Weekly Intelligence Notes #46-02
WIN #46-02 dtd 8 December 2002
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs.
CONTENTS of this WIN
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CONGRESSIONAL 9/11 PANEL FINDINGS -- The leaders of the joint Congressional committees investigating the 9/11 attacks, including senators Graham and Shelby, and representatives Goss and Pelosi, reportedly will make their recommendations to the full panel this week. Inevitably, an advance view has been floated in the media. Other than the extensive systemic fault-finding, findings are reported to include the following:
(1) A recommendation that the CIA and the Justice department conduct a one-year study on the need for creating a separate domestic intelligence agency. In effect this would give the FBI a year to remake itself into a force capable of collecting intelligence on domestic terror groups before the task would be taken away. Note: one might remember that this type of domestic security mission was accomplished effectively by the FBI (and CIA) in earlier decades, dealing with communist infiltration and subversion, but that it eventually resulted in a disastrous negative backlash for the intelligence community. The FBI might want to consider this carefully! Perhaps a separate agency would not be so bad -- or do we really need more agencies?
(2) A recommendation to create a cabinet-level Intelligence 'czar,' by whatever name, placing one individual in charge of the 13 US intelligence agencies and their budget. This has been advocated by a number of intelligence notables, and by those intellectuals dreaming of recreating the intelligence community from scratch (starting with a blank page). The proposal has allegedly not found strong support at the White House or the Department of Defense (which controls 80% of the intelligence budgets and assets for national security and defense), nor by powerful defense appropriations committees on the Hill.
(3) Another reported recommendation is to introduce mandatory personal responsibility for mistakes made by individual intelligence professionals. Senator Carl Levin (D/Mich) foreshadowed this line of thinking in his sharp questioning of DCI George Tenet on individual culpability during the 9/11 panel hearings. The DCI answered that there had been systemic problems, including insufficient training, and that he was taking responsibility for mistakes made.
The full 9/11 panel, made up of members of the separate House and Senate Intelligence committees, is said to be meeting Tuesday to agree on a final report to be made public this week. A special CIA declassification task force has been established to clear for public release as many as possible of the committee's findings. One assumes, Washington being Washington, that those conclusions not cleared will (unfortunately but probably) be leaked. (Jonkers) (WashPost 8 Dec02, p. A18 //D. Priest)
IRAQI SCIENTISTS ON US WANTED LIST -- The Administration has stepped up pressure on the United Nations to identify key Iraqi scientists and spirit them out of Iraq, willing or not. The Security Council resolution passed on Nov. 8 demands that Iraq provide "unimpeded" and "unrestricted" access "to all officials and other persons" that inspectors want to interview "inside or outside Iraq." The message to chief arms inspector Hans Blix is that Washington wants him to make this a priority, and to be aggressive in identifying these scientists, and demand that they leave the country, with or without their agreement.
An intense argument is under way. The UN position is that the United Nations cannot, in effect, abduct people against their will. "Taking someone against their will is contrary to the whole United Nations concept. You'd fracture the U.N. consensus. . . . Many of us think that defections are best done by a welcoming government. There is no U.N. mechanism for this. The U.N. has no capacity to grant asylum. Any government, and the United States in particular, has all of that capacity."
American officials hold that interviews with Iraqi scientists inside Iraq is out of the question since the UN inspection teams are under intense surveillance by Iraqi intelligence. Richard Perle, Chairman of the Defense Policy Board, said that the Security Council provision demanding access to Iraqi weapons scientists and their families "was the only innovation in the entire resolution, and if they don't use it, they will fail." SecDef Rumsfeld noted that "If you go back and look at the history of inspections in Iraq, the reality is that things have been found — not by discovery, but through defectors."
The American push for control over Iraqi scientists has put further pressure on the UN Inspection routine. High level discussions are underway.
For their part, Iraqi officials have begun to assail the inspection mission as a tool of American war preparation and intelligence. On Wednesday, Iraq's vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, referring to the inspectors, said that "their work is to spy to serve the C.I.A. and Mossad." Both expected and not unreasonable. The 'regime change' scenario is relentlessly unfolding. (Jonkers) (NY Times, 6 Dec 02, p.1// P. Tyler)
OVERDUE INTELLIGENCE REPORTS -- Unabashed by the fact that their FY-03 Intelligence Authorization Bill was two months late by the time they passed it, the House intelligence committee (HPSCI) chastised the Intelligence Community (IC) for being delinquent with its reports to the Congress. The committee charged that 51 of 84 reports due by 1 May 2002 were not yet submitted. Eight were sent as incomplete interim reports and 18 others were provided after they were due, "... an overall record of eight percent compliance." In context, it might be noted that the intelligence community had to prepare for, and attend, some 1,300 meetings, briefings and hearings with members of Congress and their staffs during the year thus far, without counting the House-Senate committee inquiry sessions into the 11 September attacks.
Congress being Congress, the legislators added a few more reports to the list in the new bill. They included a semiannual document on seized financial assets of terrorists and searches conducted of individuals suspected of financing terrorists, another on establishment of a civilian linguist reserve corps and one assessing the effectiveness of the national security education program that provides scholarships to individuals learning needed languages. Five reports were repealed but two annual reports canceled are now required as individual reports when the concerned events occur.
Congress threatens to cut the DCI's funds by one-third unless the delinquent reports are submitted in the next few months. Although a bit unclear on what funds are vulnerable, the $158 million that finances the Intelligence Community Staff management account, which pays for 322 individuals who serve the DCI in his 'intelligence community hat,' is a likely target. While it is probably true that a number of the delinquent reports are petty and too intrusive for an "oversight" organization, 322 individuals costing $158 million would seem capable of coping with 84 reports, if only in a "slow roll" fashion. (Harvey) (Wash Post 1 Dec '02, pg. A5 b// W. Pincus)
TERRORIST PROTOTYPES -- To most Americans these days the label "terrorist" conjures up images of swarthy men of Middle Eastern descent, but another wave of terrorism could be carried out by people with fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes. Iran and the al-Qaeda terrorist network began recruiting and training Bosnian Muslims for war against Orthodox Christian Serbs and Catholic Croats long ago, in order to expand the Muslim base in Eastern Europe.
A House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare (TFTUW) report from 1992 documented an escalation by Iran and al-Qaeda during the Yugoslav crisis, that (1) included funding the training of Bosnian Muslims, (2) provided a variety of arms, (3) proclaimed the battleground of Bosnia-Herzegovina a microcosm for resisting the West's war on Islam, calling for Muslim fighter reinforcements. "They arrived in Bosnia-Herzegovina in answer to Tehran's call to fight the jihad and eager to commit martyrdom in the name of Islam. They included highly trained and combat-proven volunteers from Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon and several other Arab countries." US policy at the time, frequently focused on the short-range objectives, helped funnel Muslim fighters and weapons to Bosnia, in their eagerness to defeat the Serbs.
After the Dayton accords in 1995, foreign Muslim fighters were to leave Bosnia but, according to an April 1996 TFTUW report, "the majority of mujahideen scheduled to have left Bosnia ... still serve in the ranks of the army of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The mujahideen are divided among three clusters of operational units and a fourth cluster of units directly engaged in terrorism and other covert special operations." The report says that the special military units are "built around a hard core of foreign mujahideen while the rest of the troops are Bosnian Islamist." Depending on how things go, some of these Bosnian Islamists may be among those who change the terrorist prototypes. (Jonkers) (Insight 2 Dec 02 //S. Wheeler) http://www.insightmag.com/news/331668.html)
E-GOVERNMENT ACT ESTABLISHES WEB STANDARDS -- In one of the most dramatic changes in information technology policy since the passage of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, the E-Government Act of 2002 lays out the rules of engagement for agencies providing information and services online, including Web standards, procurement reform, and security policies. (Levine 12-02/02) (http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2002/1202/news-egov-12-02-02.asp)
FBI CONVERTING FILES -- To get a grip on its files, the FBI is busy converting 750,000 documents a day to a common electronic format. The bureau is scanning its records at a facility dubbed the DocLab. The DocLab uses a dirty optical character reader process, as opposed to a corrected OCR process, to speed up operations, said William L. Hooton, assistant director of the FBI's new Records Management Division.(Levine 12/03/02)
NORTHERN COMMAND CONSIDERING NEED FOR REVISED CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM -- Officials at the newly established U.S. Northern Command, dedicated to military Homeland Defense support, stated that the military's traditional system for classifying information may have to be altered as lines of communication with federal, state and local homeland security agencies are built.(Levine 12/03/02)
BURGLARS TARGET "OUT-OF-OFFICE" EMAILS -- Thieves using 'out of office' auto-reply emails to find empty homes. Thieves are using information contained in 'out of office' auto-reply emails and cross-referencing it with publicly available personal information to target empty houses. The warning comes from a UK blue chip user group, the Infrastructure Forum (Tif), which uncovered details of the scam from a meeting of its members. What serves thieves, serves others. Beware. (Jonkers) (Levine's Newsbits 12/04/02) (http://www.vnunet.com/News/1137316 )
SIXTEEN FEDERAL AGENCIES FLUNK COMPUTER SECURITY REVIEW -- In a scathing report released Friday, the U.S. Congressional 'Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Relations' flunked 16 federal agencies on their computer security efforts, while giving barely passing grades to a host of other agencies. (Levine 12/04)
, by David F Stafford, 2002, Merlin Publishing, ISBN 0-972-18789-8. The newspapers carry articles about Special Operations Forces daily, but few know about the training they receive. The author was a qualified U. S. ARMY Special Forces Medical Sergeant and served with a Special Forces Group. The book describes the trials and sacrifices that must be made in the Special Operations field and some of the heartbreaks. It sketches the path traveled by a "boy" to become a qualified Special Forces soldier, ready to serve anywhere in the world. It is a book that starts out slow, but picks up and is well written. I would recommend this to our members. It is an eye opener. ( W. Bradish)
LATEST UK PUBLIC RELEASES -- An unusually meaty release of British historical records from World War II and the early Cold war is described in the latest monthly announcement from the Public Record Office here:
(Secrecy News 12/03/02)
INTELLIGENCE OVERSIGHT REFERENCES IN LATIN AMERICA -- A comparative analysis of intelligence oversight in Europe and South America is offered in "Control Publico de la Actividad de Inteligencia: Europa y America Latina, una vision comparativa" by Jose Manuel Ugarte. A copy of the paper, which was presented at a conference in Buenos Aires last month, is available here:
Guatemala's national security organization, policy and doctrine are examined, from first principles to current realities, in a new book of essays entitled "Seguridad democratica en Guatemala: desafios de la transformacion" edited by Bernardo Arevalo de Leon, Patricia Gonzalez, and Manolo Vela. The book is published by the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) / Sede Guatemala (2002). For price and ordering information, send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Related resources on Guatemala and intelligence are available here: http://www.fas.org/irp/world/guatemala/index.html
(Secrecy News 12/03/02)
INTERNATIONAL FOI LAW -- An impressive collection of freedom of information laws from around the world has been compiled by Prof. Alasdair Roberts of Syracuse University. His online library also includes documents reflecting the impact of NATO directives on the information policies of new NATO member nations, as well as several hard-to-find "security of information agreements" that govern the exchange of classified information between countries. See:
(Secrecy News 12/03/02)
CORRECTION: Item "TERRORIST INTELLIGENCE COLLECTION COURSE : 4 Day Class, 4-7 March 03" in prior WIN. The email address listed for this important March 3rd conference was wrong. Conference inquiries should be directed to email@example.com, or to firstname.lastname@example.org (D. Jimenez)
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