Weekly Intelligence Notes
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.
ED. NOTE: The AFIO National
Intelligence War Symposium 2002 is fast approaching. If you have been
trying to register by phone, our lines have been swamped as members & guests
seek space at this important annual event. We recommend
fax at 703 991-1278 or via e-mail
I urge you to sign up before some
events become overbooked and options become unavailable for you or your guests.
The Tour [Option #1] of the International Spy Museum which ferries you to
the door, gives you immediate V.I.P. access to the museum -- minus the 2-hr wait
-- and whisks you back to the Hotel, is proving to be everyone's favorite
"extra" this year. Don't miss out on that, and the gourmet 'Intelligence
& Media' luncheon and presentation ceremony with which it comes. This
follows two prior days filled with our e x p a n d e d Symposium
featuring Senior Govt officials sharing some of the "just-off-the-desk"
complexities faced by them and the rest of the intelligence community as events
rapidly move ahead on national and foreign fronts.
Your participation also will help us, and this bigger Symposium comes at a very moderate price - thanks to numerous contributing volunteers. AFIO members have ten more days for priority registration, before other professional intelligence associations begin registering with you on a first come basis. Our capacity for some of the special facilities is 250 attendees. If you cannot locate the prior e-mailed or mailed forms, let us know at Symp2002@afio.com and a set of these will be rushed to you. If you need the printed forms, provide your mailing address.
CONTENTS of this WIN
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INTELLIGENCE IN TRANSITION -- The Intelligence Community in Washington is under pressure and in turmoil, while simultaneously engaged in war planning and mission execution. An overview will be presented in WIN#40 next week. All will be discussed at the AFIO National Intelligence War Symposium 2002 on 1 and 2 November. The Joint Congressional Inquiry is continuing with expert testimony and thoughtful questions by panel members and many "solutions" to intelligence reorganization are floated as trial balloons. Intelligence Community members, including CIA and FBI, are feeling the pressure, as it is added to their intensive pursuit of the anti-terrorist war mission. The new Homeland Department Intelligence function is being created under the leadership of former DDI John Gannon.. A new military command to support Homeland Security at all levels within the Continental US , Northern Command , or NORTHCOM, has been activated. The new position of Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence has been approved by the Senate and is expected to receive Congressional approval by 11 October. The war in Afghanistan is undergoing a change in nuance, with less attention to bombing them into oblivion, and more on the political alliance-building aspects. Agency and Defense Intelligence participation in planning for the impending Iraq war appears to be proceeding apace. (Jonkers) (Various Media sources)
DCI PROTESTS JOINT CONGRESSIONAL 9/11 PANEL STAFF MEMO -- As an indicator that nerves have been getting frayed in the Congressional 9/11 Panel Inquiry process, DCI George Tenet wrote Congressional Intelligence leaders that he was outraged that the panel's staff had predicted that a CIA officer scheduled to testify, Cofer Black, until recently the Chief of the CIA Counter-Terrorism Center, would "probably dissemble" in response to a question. "Your staff predicted to your members that one of the most senior and decorated officers of this agency would not tell the truth . .. . This suggestion is an affront not only to him, but to every man and woman in the C.I.A." He said some members of the committee staff had been motivated by "bias, preconceived notions and apparent animus." In response, the joint inquiry's staff director, Eleanor Hill, issued a statement saying that the remarks were included in the briefing books "due to an oversight in the editing process." While saying it was a "poor choice of words," Ms. Hill said it "should not negate the tremendous investigative effort of the staff of the Joint Inquiry Committee and the considerable factual record presented during the public hearings." DCI Tenet made it clear he was not satisfied with that answer. "There can be no doubt about the meaning of the words ..." he wrote, adding that "I will not countenance our officers being accused of 'dissembling' by uninformed anonymous staff." .(Jonkers) (NYTimes 28 Sep 02 // N. Lewis & J. Risen)
STARTLING RECOGNITION OF INTELLIGENCE "FAILURE" -- For people who are interested in what is going on in the intelligence world and have been drowned in the deluge of political/media/public "intelligence failure" accusations, the New York Post recently published an unusually perceptive analysis of the 9/11 murders. The article noted the universal (except for President Bush) blaming of CIA and the FBI for allowing the attacks to happen. Then it addressed the joint Congressional investigation panel "dribbling out pieces of information meant to call attention to every warning sign that was missed" and noted that such investigations like this are inevitably distorting. Investigators spend months discussing a meeting that lasted half an hour in real time and focus on key pieces of information that in retrospect seem to tell the entire story but leave out the "15 million other things that were going on at the time." That "intelligence" is so amorphous and can be criticized at will, usually with protection of sources and methods constraining any kind of defense, was also noted.
Refreshingly, it was recalled that the threat posed by al Qaeda was not a secret held only by the intelligence community, since by mid-1998 al Qaeda had staged three major terrorist assaults on US government facilities, killing and wounding nearly 300 people. Osama bin Laden had become a stock movie villain (see the movie "The Siege"). According to the analysis, It was up to the political leadership in Congress and the Executive to focus public attention on the al Qaeda threat. But despite this failure by the political leadership, it was also a reflection of the American mood. It was up to us, the American people, "to recognize that the simultaneous attack on two US embassies in Africa was no different from an attack on American soil."
The concluding thoughts were that the politicians did not want to tell Americans, America did not want to see, and to the extent there was a failure, it was a failure of a self-governing people. "Investigate it all you like, but we need nothing more than a mirror to show us all we need to know." (Harvey) (NYPost. Com 20 Sept '02, "Blame the People" // John Podhoretz)
OSAMA's MAIL - INTELLIGENCE VS THE LAW -- As if the U.S. Postal Service didn't have enough problems after the September 11 attacks, with anthrax and all, it also held letters addressed to Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. Justice investigators came in to open them - but, in accordance with the law and existing procedures, they had to go to the Customs Service, which handles international goods. Rules are rules. Customs said nobody could get a warrant to open the letters without probable cause. Osama's name and address weren't good enough. "The mere fact," the Customs Service said, "that envelopes were addressed to Osama bin Laden without any other evidence was considered to be insufficient to establish probable cause to obtain a warrant authorizing the search of the envelopes." The result? The letters were allowed to proceed to Afghanistan via the U.S. mail. Whether this press report is the whole story or not, it demonstrates a point -- that the war-like suspensions of a number of laws protecting our individual liberties were not in place prior to September 11, and even afterward took some time to take hold, giving rise to decisions that were correct before, but absurd in the context of 9/11 . Congress has now changed the rules, and mail and packages addressed to Osama and his ilk can be opened. (Jonkers) (U.S. News & World Report, 7 Oct 02 //P. Bedard)
US - IRAQ COOPERATION -- Iraq's bio-weapons program reportedly got its start in the 1980's with US assistance. Strains of all the germs Iraq used to make weapons, including anthrax, the bacteria that make botulinum toxin, and the germs that cause gas gangrene, along with other deadly pathogens such as the West Nile virus, were sent to Iraq. The exports were legal at the time and approved by a program administered by the Commerce Department, under the guise of providing public health support, with the destination of Baghdad University, a rather naive cover. Other sample shipments were sent in 1986 to the Iraqi chemical and biological weapons complex at al-Muthanna. At the time US strategic interests dictated support for Iraq in its war with Iran, including intelligence support, when Iran appeared to be winning the contest. The introduction of chemical warfare by the Iraqi army staved off defeat. (Jonkers) (AP & WashTimes 1 Oct 02 p. A11) (For US intelligence support, see also: "Ally To Adversary: An Eyewitness Account of Iraq's Fall From Grace, by Rick Francona (Lt. Col, USAF, ret), US Naval Institute, April 1999. ISBN 1557 02811. Colonel Francona, a former Air Attaché to Damascus, was the US point man)
NSA TO UPGRADE MONITORING CAPABILITY -- The largest U.S. intelligence agency will spend millions to upgrade the technology it uses to sift through the enormous volume of telephone conversations, e-mail and other worldwide communications chatter it monitors. The National Security Agency has signed a $282 million 26-month contract under its 'Trailblazer' program, to get private industry assistance in developing a more refined system for culling useful intelligence from the flood of data it collects daily. Trailblazer is a program NSA launched two years ago to use commercial technology to help NSA keep pace with the growth in communications and associated cyber technologies. The advent of e-mail, pagers, cellular phones, fax machines and the growth of international telephone service has left the NSA with profound 'needle-in-a-haystack' challenges. The Sept. 11 attacks underscored the need for such monitoring. Among the millions of communications intercepts the NSA collected on Sept. 10, 2001 were two Arabic-language messages warning of a major event the next day. The Arabic messages were not translated until Sept. 12. Details concerning the NSA contract are classified. As a general observation, however, even the unclassified announcements of technology and defense contracts provide detail that may well be of value to foreign intelligence collectors. (Jonkers) AP 1 October 02 //S. Hettena) http://apnews.excite.com/article/20021001/D7MCOVUG1.html
IRAQ CONFLICT RAISES CYBER ATTACK FEARS -- If history is a guide, a war to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq would likely set off a firestorm of hacker activity targeting U.S. networks and infrastructures. And those attacks could be greater in number and affect a broader cross-section of U.S. businesses than anything seen before, according to intelligence experts. Surges in cyber attack activity have typically accompanied major international crises during the last several years, including the Arab-Israeli conflict, the war in Kosovo, and the collision of a U.S. spy plane with a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea last year. (Levine 30 Sep 02) http://www.pcworld.com/news/article/0,aid,105479,00.asp
SECRET SERVICE LOOKING FOR WASHINGTON CYBER NET SECURITY HOLES -- Secret Service agents are putting a high-tech twist on the idea of a cop walking the beat. Using a laptop computer and an antenna fashioned from a Pringles potato chip can, they are looking for security holes in wireless networks in the nation's capital. The agency best known for protecting the president and chasing down counterfeiters has started addressing what it calls one of the most overlooked threats to computer networks. "Everybody wants wireless, it's real convenient," Special Agent Wayne Peterson said. "Security has always been an afterthought." (Levine 30 Sep 02) http://www.nandotimes.com/technology/story/555541p-4378549c.html
DISA LEAVES TECHNOLOGY SHOPPING LIST ONLINE -- An improperly secured database operated by the U.S. Defense Information System Agency (DISA) allowed Internet surfers to view and place orders for computers, networks, cell phones, software, and other technology used by the military. Before it was locked down over the weekend, visitors to the Web site of DISA's Requirements Identification and Tracking System (RITS) were able to peruse hundreds of requisition documents, such as a $310,000 order for "new generation STE crypto devices" in support of the Global Command and Control System. (Levine's Newsbits 30 Sep 02) http://online.securityfocus.com/news/911
THE NATIONAL STRATEGY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, The White House, Washington DC, September 2002 -- From the Executive Summary: "The great struggles of the twentieth century between liberty and totalitarianism ended with a decisive victory for the forces of freedom- - and a single sustainable model for national success: freedom, democracy and free enterprise.
In the twenty-first century, only nations that share a commitment to protecting basic human rights and guaranteeing political and economic freedom will be able to unleash the potential of their people and assure their future prosperity. People everywhere want to be able to speak freely; choose who will govern them; worship as they please; educate their children -- male and female; own property; and enjoy the benefits of their labor. These values of freedom are right and true for every person, in every society -- and the duty of protecting these values against their enemies is the common calling of freedom-loving people across the globe and across the ages."
The Executive Summary continues: "Today the United States enjoys a position of unparalleled military strength and great political and economic influence. .....We will defend the peace by fighting terrorists and tyrants. . . .. . To defeat this threat we must make use of every tool in our arsenal -- military power, better homeland defense, law enforcement, intelligence, and vigorous efforts to cut off terrorist financing. The war against terrorists of global reach is a global enterprise of uncertain duration .... And America will hold to account nations that are compromised by terror, including those who harbor terrorists -- because the allies of terror are the enemies of civilization. The United States and countries cooperating with us must not allow the terrorists to develop new home bases. Together, we will seek to deny them sanctuary at every turn. " ....
....."The gravest danger our Nation faces lies at the crossroads of radicalism and technology. Our enemies have openly declared that they are seeking weapons of mass destruction, and evidence indicates that they are doing so with determination. The United States will not allow these efforts to succeed. We will build defense against ballistic missiles and other means of delivery. We will cooperate with other nations to deny, contain, and curtail our enemies' efforts to acquire dangerous technologies. And, as a matter of common sense and self-defense, America will act against such emerging threats before they are fully formed....."
This is a document worth reading carefully. It touches upon the importance of intelligence and sets new parameters of US Intelligence requirements and clandestine as well as overt operations in the context of PAX AMERICANA. It has many implications, sometimes illuminating, sometimes stressing a raw power approach to RealPolitik, sometimes saying what might have better been left unsaid, but always important. (Jonkers) (White House, NSC, September 2002) http://www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html Also at: www.usaid.gov/about/nss/
DEFENSE PLANNING GUIDANCE (May 2002) -- The annual DPG issued by the SecDef in May 2002 directs a number of new studies and guides the services as they craft their long-term budgets. This year's studies fall into four broad headings, including on for - C3I - Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance programs (in terms of more accurate acronyms, C4 and ISR programs) The Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3 &Intelligence will be involved with (a) Intelligence Support for New Defense Planning, (b) the C4ISR Report, (c) Human Intelligence Improvements, (d) Alternative Interoperability Strategies, (e) the Information Operations Roadmap, and (f) Operational Space Demonstrations.
It may be noted that at the levels of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, USAF/Air Staff and USMC Hqs. staffs , 'Intelligence' has been subsumed under the 'ISR' (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) or 'C3I' or 'C4I' headings. Only the Army and Navy are still holding out with separate 'Intelligence' departments. It will be interesting to see how the proposed new Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, who will oversee or replace the present Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence under the ASD C3I , will be configured. (Jonkers) (Def. News 15-21 Jul02, page 10 //A. Svitak)
RECENT BOOKS RELEVANT TO 9/11 -- Some selections (most as yet unread) (1) The Age of Sacred Terror, by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon; (2) Exploring the World After September 11, by Thomas L. Friedman; (3) Al Queda: In Search of the Terror Network that Threatens the World, by Jane Corbin; (4) The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot, and Why the FBI and CIA Failed to Stop It, by John Miller and Michael Stone; (5) Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror, by Rohan Gunaratna; (6) Breakdown: How America's Intelligence Failures Led to September 11, by Bill Gertz; (7) The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI, by Ronald Kessler; (8) See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism, by Robert Baer. (Jonkers)
Ray M. writes on INTELLIGENCE AND WAR PROPAGANDA -- The president insists he is not going to change his mind about using all tools at his disposal to effect ''regime change'' in Iraq. So the policy has been set. In her excellent book, ''The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam,'' historian Barbara Tuchman described what happens once a policy has been set: ''All subsequent activity becomes an effort to justify it ... For the ruler it is easier, once he has entered a policy box, to stay inside. For the lesser official it is better, for the sake of his position, not to press evidence that the chief will find painful to accept. Psychologists call the process of screening out discordant information `cognitive dissonance,' an academic disguise for `Don't confuse me with the facts.'''
Ed. Note: The Iraq policy was set months ago, and was part of the President's election campaign. The reasons explicit and implicit are a mix of strategic assessments of US geopolitical and security interests and domestic political considerations. The strategic vision is sketched in the American Strategy statement (see above), and probably envisions a Muslim world from North Africa to Pakistan free of nuclear or chemical/biological warfare capabilities, optimal US access to oil and gas, and Israeli security. The discussion about the fine points of intelligence justifying the attack is of little consequence (and thus far not really persuasive). In the public arena, accusatory statements along these lines provide justification for the necessary military killing to come and generating public policy support -- war propaganda, used in all wars by all states. Intelligence must now be focused on supporting policy implementation. As noted in an earlier WIN, and along the same lines as predicted in Afghanistan, with a smart US strategy Saddam's regime may shatter like glass. What happens afterwards may be another question. (Jonkers)
CIA EMPLOYMENT POSTINGS -- New postings were added 24 September, for Contract Attorney, Counterintelligence Threat Analyst, and Curriculum Designer, to the Recruitment Center's list of positions. See http://www.cia.gov/cia/employment/jobpostings . (courtesy C. Griffith)
IN MEMORIAM -- John Denley Walker, 81, who won two Navy Crosses as an aviator in the Pacific during World War Two, and then had a long overseas career with the CIA and the State Department, died of cancer on 1 October at his home in Georgetown. During WWII he became a Navy aviator at age 21 and served on a torpedo bomber from carriers including the USS Bellau Wood and the USS Bennington throughout the Pacific Theater from 1942-1945. He received one of his Navy Crosses during a strike as a member of Torpedo Squadron 82 while attached to the USS Bennington, for fatal hits on the Japanese cruiser Ahagi following a direct attack from the Japanese battleship Yamoto .His other decorations include four Distinguished Flying Crosses, eight Air Medals, two Purple Hearts, and four Presidential Unit Citations. Despite his citations for heroism, Mr. Walker seldom spoke of his wartime experiences, dismissing them as "the things my generation did".
John Walker was an urbane man with a keenly analytical mind and a realist's view of world affairs . Mr. Walker's career in the CIA and Foreign Service from 1952 to 1978 included assignments in France, Malta, Australia and Israel . He was among our finest. A memorial service will be held on November 14 at 11:00 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery. (J. Goulden)
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