Weekly Intelligence Notes
WIN 34-02 dtd 26 August 2002
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members, ISIS associates and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs.
CONTENTS of this WIN
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INTELLIGENCE CHIEF SELECTED FOR HOMELAND AGENCY --
White House has reportedly selected John Gannon, a former Chairman of the
National Intelligence Council and former CIA Deputy Director for Intelligence,
as the prime candidate for taking charge of the intelligence unit proposed for
the new Homeland Security Department. The intelligence unit would gather and
analyze information from the many components of government to piece together a
broader picture to help prevent a terrorist attack. It would meet one of the
main criticisms after the Sept. 11 attacks that killed 3, 000 people --
that various government agencies had scraps of information that, if
compiled in one place, might have provided a warning, or at least signaled that
more investigation was
President Bush has proposed folding all or parts of 22 agencies, including the Coast Guard, Secret Service and Border Patrol, into the proposed Homeland Security Department .The CIA and FBI would not be part of the new department but would be required to share intelligence with it. Congress has not yet approved final legislation to create the new cabinet-level agency, the largest (and most expensive) government reorganization in half a century, but the administration has begun preliminary planning for it. An official from the General Accounting Office at a hearing last month said the magnitude of the transformation could mean it would take up to five to 10 years for the new department to become fully effective.
Gannon, who left a private sector position recently to help with planning for the new department, could not be reached for comment. A White House official said that it was "premature to speculate on personnel issues at this point." (Jonkers) (Reuters 14 August 02 // T. Zakaria)
INTELLIGENCE LEAKS AND
SUPREME COURT RULINGS -- "The match is about to begin" and
"Tomorrow is zero hour." are the translations of two Arabic language messages
NSA intercepted on the eve of September 11 but did not translate until September
12. References to the intercepts had been in print before, but the specific
words, which could include code words, were never released. The FBI has been
conducting a detailed investigation of how the exact text of the classified
intercept of the messages, briefed by NSA on June 18 to a Senate-House panel
investigating Sept. 11, came to be published in the press June
It is illegal for individuals not properly authorized to release classified information. Nearly 100 people, including all 37 members of separate House and Senate intelligence committees and some 60 staff members, have been questioned. Routinely, those questioned were asked if they would be willing to take polygraph tests. Most declined. [The story did not say on what grounds the staffers, being hired and not elected, refused the polygraph.] Some 17 senators have been asked to turn over phone records, appointment calendars and schedules for June 18 and 19 that would reveal their possible contact with reporters. A similar request did not go to House intelligence committee members.
Much Washington outrage and gnashing of teeth has ensued as a result of the investigation since how can a panel investigating the FBI be itself subjected to FBI investigation? One chapter of the continuing saga has recently resulted in the publicizing of a 1972 Supreme Court case involving a senator who insisted on reading portions of a classified document to reporters as his "constitutional obligation to protect the security of the people by fostering the free flow of information absolutely essential to their democratic decision-making." The resultant high court case led to a finding that the constitutional "speech or debate" clause, providing immunity from arrest to legislators, only applied in matters that were "an integral part of the deliberative process and communicative process" in considering legislative actions. The clause "does not privilege either senator or aide to violate an otherwise valid criminal law in preparing for or implementing legislative acts."
While it is customary in such investigations to have them end up accomplishing nothing, it is possible in this instance that the unusually vigorous and thorough performance as well as the publicizing of the limited nature of legislative immunity may dampen Capital Hill enthusiasm for using intelligence data for frontage time with the press.(Harvey) ( Washington Post 24 Aug '02, pg. A01 // Dana Priest)
EASING OF TERRORIST DATA
COLLECTION PROPOSED --
Representatives of the Justice Department, the CIA
and the FBI recently testified before a Senate committee in support of
legislation to lower the standards of evidence required to obtain court approval
for secret wiretaps in investigations of foreign terrorists and spies. Under the
proposed legislation, Justice would no longer have to convince a special court
that a suspect was an agent of a foreign power or a member of an international
terrorist organization to obtain a wiretap under the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Act. The change would ease standards of evidence that are already
considered lower than those required in regular criminal
Impetus for the change stems from the experience in the Moussaoui case in which FBI did not seek court approval for a warrant under the law because the headquarters officials did not believe the agents in the field had enough evidence. After 11 September, searches uncovered evidence that, according to Sen Schumer, "...may have been the thread which, if pulled, would have unraveled the terrorists' plans. And one reason the FBI didn't seek that warrant is that the bar for getting those warrants is set too high."
The proposals to ease the standards for wiretaps and search warrants under the present law follow the enactment of the USA-Patriot Act, which has already expanded the ability of the intelligence community to collect and distribute information on suspected terrorists operating in the United States. That act made it far easier for the FBI and Justice to share information obtained from domestic investigations with the CIA, which is legally barred from conducting domestic espionage. The CIA deputy counsel told the Senate committee that CIA's access to material gathered from domestic wiretaps has dramatically increased since the Patriot Act was made law. Civil liberties groups have already registered concern despite the fact that the lower standards [assuming they become law] apply to aliens, not citizens.(Harvey) (New York Times 1 Aug '02, // J. Risen)
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT's FAT
BUDGET FOR ISR 'TRANSFORMATION'
According to Kevin Meiners, Director for
Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) in the office of the Asst
Sec Def for C3I , the FY-03 budget includes more than $5 billion for programs
deemed 'transformational" by the Secretary of Defense. A list of such programs
currently includes items like the expansion of the bandwidth capability of the
Global Information Grid - a military communications infrastructure, the
development of a new "transformational communication system" [it will be
recalled that recent reporting on the intelligence aspects of the Afghan
conflict have pointed out the handicap on full use of UAV capabilities created
by the lack of communication bandwidth for the relay of the collected ISR
data.], a space-based radar, and UAV systems like Global Hawk. The
Transformational Communication System (TCS) is a potentially $3 billion effort
and is envisioned as a laser network of satellites linked to ground command and
control and forward-deployed operational
In addition to communications improvements, the transformation thrust includes improvements in the UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) themselves since they were rushed into operations and have shown a number of weaknesses. The future, as noted by the ISR director, also needs to address the requirements actually placed on the UAVs, such as examination of the need for the bird to take imagery for all of a 24-hour flight or whether a 'change detection' capability would be better. As work progresses there must be a drive to keep the vehicles effective but at the same time bring the costs down since, "You want to send that UAV out there and not worry all that much if it crashes." It is heartening to read that an official charged with the responsibility for new ISR capabilities is sensitive to the inevitable inclination to lard up new systems too much.
(Harvey) (Defense Daily 11 Jul '02, pg. 2 // Hunter Keeter)
DOD "PREEMPTIVE" INTELLIGENCE ORGANIZATIONAL
It may be an indication of the underlying attitude of some of the news media
towards the intelligence community that the significance of a request to
Congress in late June by Secretary Rumsfeld for a new post of an Undersecretary
of Defense for Intelligence (making a fourth undersecretary in the department)
was treated as routine until early August. Then suddenly, the media
characterized the move as a "surprising gambit" by the Defense Department "that
will have far-reaching consequences in the nation's intelligence structure." The
internal managerial matter is now described as "a bureaucratic coup that
accomplishes many Pentagon goals in one fell
One magazine is probably correct in noting that "by consolidating all the Pentagon's intelligence agencies under one high-level official, it virtually nullifies another radical reform proposal." That "radical reform" proposal [which actually has been booted around in one form or another within the Washington political/ bureaucratic circles periodically since the 1970s] surfaced in a March trial balloon by the Clinton-commissioned Scowcroft panel which recommended that the NSA, the NRO and the NIMA should be under the control of the DCI. Some retired officials and political folk on the Hill also have embraced the "When in doubt, reorganize" syndrome with its unspoken premise of "consolidation is action." Enthusiasm for moving military and civilian intelligence people and infrastructure out of the organizations that created, manned and supported them into the CIA milieu varies inversely with the proponent's working- intelligence experience.
Rich Haver, a naval intelligence officer involved in the '60's in occasionally-fatal ELINT collection on the periphery of the Soviet Bloc as well as being a brilliant-enough analyst in the '70's to have briefed one-on-one in the Oval Office, is rumored to be a leading candidate for the new undersecretary post. Currently the special assistant to the Defense Secretary and once in the same post under the current Vice President, Mr. Haver recently quoted Mr. Rumsfeld as saying, "I want one dog to kick, but when it comes to intelligence, I have to go down to the kennel." This kennel includes about 80 percent of the nation's intelligence assets such as DIA, NSA, NIMA, NRO, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force intelligence organizations and other military intelligence units. (Harvey)
(New York Times News Service 4 Aug '02 by James Risen and Thom Shanker; U.S. News and World Report "Breaking news 08/01/02" // Linda Robinson; Washington Times 26 Jun '02, pg. 1 // Rowan Scarborough; New York Times 14 Jun '02, editorial; Christian Science Monitor 28 May '02 // Stansfield Turner; USA Today 17 Jun ;02 pg. 11 // Jonathan Weisman; New York Times 13 June '02 // Warren Rudman and Gary Hart)
CRYPTO LOCKDOWN SECURES LOST LAPTOP DATA -- Stolen or lost laptops can now automatically encrypt all their data, thanks to new equipment that creates a wireless bond between the machine and its owner. When its "master" is out of range, it locks down, keeping the data from falling into the wrong hands. Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed the system and say it should protect data even if files have been left open on screen.
A radio transceiver installed inside the laptop's casing is programmed to identify its owner by means of a small transmitter worn like a wristwatch. This lets the laptop know how far away its master is. Whenever separated by a set distance, automatic encryption of data is triggered. As soon as the user comes back within radio range, the computer will begin unlocking the computer so that it is ready to resume work when the user sits down. The idea could be used to secure confidential business information and even keep military secrets safe, The system would work with a prototype computer wristwatch developed by IBM. This watch uses the Linux computer operating system and can communicate with other devices through the Bluetooth radio protocol.
The research will be presented at the Association of Computing Machinery 2002 conference, held in Atlanta on 23 to 26 September. (Jonkers) (NewScientist.com's news service , 15 August 02 //W. Knight) (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99992683 )
SECDEF ON NETWORK-CENTRIC WARFARE -- The Defense Department's focus on network-centric operations carries the responsibility that those systems are secure and available if the United States is going to fight effectively, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in his annual report to Congress and President Bush. "U.S. forces must leverage information technology and innovative network-centric concepts of operation to develop increasingly capable joint forces, " Rumsfeld said in the document, issued Aug. 16. He said that the war in Afghanistan has demonstrated the military's ability to use a variety of network combat elements from all of the services. (Levine's Newsbit 21 Aug 02)
DOD GIVES BIOMETRICS A WORKOUT -- The Defense Department Biometrics Management Office (BMO) is in the middle of a three-phase "quick look" project using iris scan technology to gain access to the Pentagon Athletic Club. The first phase involved educating the athletic club's staff about iris scan technology via a demonstration. The second phase, which began July 23, involves one month of enrolling members into Iridian Technologies Inc.'s IrisAccess2200, said Maj. Steve Ferrell, executive officer for the Biometrics Fusion Center, the testing and evaluation facility for the BMO. (Levine 21 Aug 02)
OF SPIES AND LIES: A CIA Lie Detector Remembers Vietnam, by John F. Sullivan, University Press of Kansas, 2002, ISBN 0-70061168-1. Sullivan, who was one of the CIA's top polygraph examiners during the final four years of the war in Vietnam, tells his story. Ward Warren, a thirty-year CIA veteran, whose full review of the book will appear in the next issue of "Intelligencer, " writes:" Of Spies and Lies gave me the opportunity to look a little closer at this investigative tool of the clandestine service. The author explains in detail understandable to the layman how the polygraph works and how the CIA uses it." Sullivan also covers CIA's operations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and the role the polygraph played. He provides an interesting mélange of Saigon Station operations, Station management (and mismanagement) and the course of the Vietnam War in its last stages. It is the first book written by a Lie Detector operator. Working down on the field level, he puts a human face on covert operations. He portrays a rogue's gallery of cheats, scoundrels and libertines, while also giving due credit to those who fought hard to maintain professional standards. Read Ward Warren's full review, or pick up the book now and discuss it at the Convention. (Jonkers)
LICENSED TO SPY, the new (and first) book on the US Military Liaison Mission (USMLM) , Germany, by John Fahey, will be discussed by the author at a book-signing reception sponsored by the Cold War Museum, a project impressively promoted by Gary Powers Jr. AFIO is co-sponsoring this event, both as a sign of support for the Cold War Museum, and in recognition of the valuable intelligence produced by the USMLM. Major General (ret) Lajoie, who was chief of the USMLM at the time when USMLM member Major Nichols was killed on a reconnaissance tour, may be present. The book signing will be held 17 September 2002 at the National Archives, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm, including a one hour briefing and question session at 7 pm. AFIO members are invited to attend. (Jonkers)
AFIO National Intelligence War Symposium: Terrorism, Technology and Strategy, will be conducted 31 October - 3 November 2002 in McLean, Virginia. The full agenda, etc. will be published next week. (Jonkers)
Lew Regenstein writes on SADDAM's GASSING OF THE KURDS -- Here is an issue that our members will be interested in & perhaps may be able to offer some insight & clarification on. The iconoclastic economist & Reagan advisor Jude Wanniski claims that Saddam Hussein never gassed the Kurds, as is being so widely claimed, partially to justify the pending attack on him. Wanniski claims that it was the Iranians who in early 1988 killed several hundred Kurdish villagers in Halabja, a town of 30, 000 near the border with Iran, the site of the highly publicized atrocity. He further says the Army War College concluded in an April, 1990 report that it was Iranian gas that killed these Kurds. The full article, "What happened at halabja?," can be found in the archives at http://polyconomics.com. Does anyone out there have any info on this ? (RJ)
John v. Hoelle writes on BIBLIOGRAPHY OF COLD WAR ESPIONAGE -- Thank you for your "Help Wanted" notice in WINS . We received 18 inquiries by e-mail, 4 phone calls and two visits in response. From these good people we selected six to add to our six who have been working on this project since 1996. As Director of Publishing, with many books co-published with The British Library, Library of Congress, etc., and many years in scholarly publishing, I was surprised at the depth of talent, enthusiasm, and expertise available from these hearty volunteers. I only wished I could have used them all!! Thank you again for all your support. See you at the AFIO Convention. (RJ)
SCIP COUNTERINTELLIGENCE ROAD SHOW (SCIP CI-101) will be conducted on 18 September 02 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1100 Arch Street, Philadelphia, Pa. This full-day workshop will offer the novice competitive intelligence (CI) professional a comprehensive introduction to CI. (tel 1-215 923 0100) (email@example.com http://www.scip.org) (http://www.scip.org/chapters/meeting_info.asp?ID=425)
IN MEMORIAM - MEREDITH GARDNER, 89, who broke the Rosenberg case, died on 9 August 2002. Meredith Knox Gardner, a linguist and puzzle solver, fluent in French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Lithuanian, Spanish and Russian, arrived here early in World War II to work for the Army Signal Intelligence Service, a predecessor of the National Security Agency. He spent the war poring over messages between Germany and Japan. After their defeat, his focus turned to the Soviet Union. He was assigned to help decode a backlog of communications between Moscow and its foreign missions. The project, named Venona, was based in northern Virginia. In recent years, the National Security Agency has made public some of the exploits of the code breakers.
Starting in 1939, the Signal Intelligence Service intercepted thousands of Soviet communications, but they were not studied while America and Russia were allied. By 1946, Mr. Gardner was among the hundreds of people trying to decode the accumulated messages. On Dec. 20, 1946, Mr. Gardner discerned that a message from 1944 had contained a list of the leading scientists on the Manhattan Project, which developed the atomic bomb. More months of toil by Mr. Gardner and his colleagues turned up a reference to an agent code-named Liberal who had a wife named Ethel. "Liberal" and his wife were Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, who were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. They were executed in 1953.
Mr. Gardner worked closely with Robert J. Lamphere, an F.B.I. agent who was assigned to chase spies. Mr. Lamphere marveled at his partner's decoding talents.
"I would bring Meredith some material, and he would print in a new word over a group of numbers, " Mr. Lamphere said in 1996 in an interview with The Washington Post. "Then he would give a little smile of satisfaction." Mr. Gardner attributed his code-solving talents to his language abilities, sense of logic and, as he told The Post in 1996, "a sort of magpie attitude to facts, the habit of storing things away that did not seem to have any connection at all."
Meredith Knox Gardner was born in Okolona, Miss. He graduated from the University of Texas and earned a master's degree in languages from the University of Wisconsin. He was a language teacher at the Universities of Akron, Texas and Wisconsin before World War II.
Because the Venona project was not disclosed in detail until the mid-1990's, its
work was never widely recognized. In a speech in 1997, Senator Daniel Patrick
Moynihan of New York said the deeds of Mr. Gardner and Mr. Lamphere, in
particular, were contributions "that Americans have a right to know about and to
celebrate." Mr. Lamphere died in
Despite his pride in having helped to smash an espionage ring, Mr. Gardner was sorry that the Rosenbergs were put to death. Mrs. Gardner said her husband's reasoning was that "those people at least believed in what they were doing. (Jonkers) (NYTimes 16Aug02 //D. Stout)
NOTE REF WIN 33 TYPO -- In the item on the SR-71, a typo appeared that called the craft an SR-72. Such an animal does not exist. Please correct! (RJ)
NOTE: The next
WIN will provide an Agenda, etc. for the
AFIO National Intelligence War Symposium 2002,
to be held in McLean Virginia 31 October 2002 - 3 November 2002
We are planning another WINNER! (RJ)
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