Weekly Intelligence Notes #03-03
WIN 03-03 dtd 21 January 2003
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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IRAQ HPM TARGETING -- Now that the buildup of US forces makes it clear that a US invasion will supplement the increasing severity of US-inspired sanctions, inspections and bombing of Iraq that has taken place over the past years, the media contain numerous speculations bearing on intelligence, targeting, weapons and special operations. One of these relates to the possible use of experimental new high energy weapons, first successfully tested in 1999, as previously reported in the Wins. High Power Microwave (HPM) weapons can unleash in a flash as much electrical power—2 billion watts or more—as the Hoover Dam generates in 24 hours. Capacitors aboard a missile with an HPM load discharge an energy pulse—moving at the speed of light and impervious to bad weather—in front of the missile as it nears its target. That pulse can destroy any electronics within 1,000 ft. of the flash by short-circuiting internal electrical connections, thereby wrecking memory chips, ruining computer motherboards and generally screwing up electronic components not built to withstand such powerful surges. The powerful electromagnetic pulses reportedly can travel into deeply buried bunkers through ventilation shafts, plumbing and antennas.
The Directed Energy Directorate at Kirtland AFB, NM, is reportedly studying how to deliver varying but predictable 'e-bomb' pulses to inflict increasing levels of harm: to deny, degrade, damage or destroy. HPM engineers call it "dial-a-hurt." But that hurt can cause unintended problems: beyond taking out the enemy's silicon chips, HPMs could destroy nearby heart pacemakers and other life-critical electrical systems in hospitals or aboard aircraft (that's why the U.S. military is planning to put them only on long-range cruise missiles). The U.S. used a more primitive form of these weapons—known as soft bombs—against Yugoslavia and in the first Gulf War, when cruise missiles showered miles of thin carbon fibers over electrical facilities, creating massive short circuits that shut down electrical power.
Although the Pentagon prefers not to use experimental weapons on the battlefield, "the world intervenes from time to time," according to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, "and you reach in there and take something out that is still in a developmental stage, and you might use it." The HPM might be ready to be used -- or this media report is part of the rapidly increasing psychological warfare pressure on the Iraqis to surrender. (Jonkers) (TIME, 19 Jan 03 / M. Thompson) http://www.time.com/time/covers/1101030127/nmicro.html
RUSSIAN SUPPORT TO US INTELLIGENCE IN KOREA -- Russian intelligence officers secretly placed CIA nuclear detection equipment inside the Russian Embassy in Pyongyang (and possibly elsewhere) inside North Korea in the 1990's. The C.I.A. trained officers from the S.V.R., the Russian intelligence agency, in the operation of the American equipment, and the Russians then shared their findings with the Americans.
Plutonium reprocessing and uranium enrichment are the two routes to making fuel for nuclear bombs, and detecting the different nuclear fuel production methods calls for different types of intelligence collection. North Korea has become adept at deception tactics to mask its weapons program, but there are certain signs intelligence experts look for. Traditionally, uranium enrichment facilities have required large amounts of electricity and water, making it possible to identify them by satellite photographs of power grids and other industrial infrastructure. Plutonium reprocessing, on the other hand, is a chemical process requiring less power and water, and so such plants can be situated in more remote locations, like Yongbyon, which is about 60 miles north of Pyongyang. But plutonium reprocessing emits an isotope of krypton in gaseous form that can be tracked and measured, even in very small amounts.
The Russians were apparently given American sensing equipment to help analysts determine whether reprocessing was under way at Yongbyon, which after 1994 would have been a violation of the agreement reached under the Clinton administration, known as the Agreed Framework. The equipment could also help the C.I.A. determine whether plutonium reprocessing had secretly been moved to another site in North Korea. The joint operation has since ended, and it is not publicly known how long it lasted or whether it provided useful intelligence. In addition to the detection equipment the C.I.A. gave to Russian intelligence, of course, the United States used sensors on aircraft flying near North Korea, as well as ground-based sensors in nearby countries.
As signs of North Korea's determination to build nuclear weapons mounted, the Clinton administration intervened, and hammered out a new agreement in 1994 aimed at freezing the North Korean nuclear program, particularly plutonium reprocessing at a facility in Yongbyon. American intelligence concluded that North Korea had generated enough fissile material to produce one or two nuclear bombs. The latest crisis over the North Korean nuclear program erupted last year, when United States intelligence obtained strong evidence that North Korea had secretly developed a uranium enrichment program, which would represent a second track toward the development and production of nuclear weapons. Now American officials fear that North Korea may be poised to break out with full-scale nuclear weapons production.
The disclosure of the clandestine operation against the North Koreans reveals a remarkable level of intelligence cooperation between Moscow and Washington on one of the most important security issues in the post-cold-war era — the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Russia is still playing a role in tempering the crisis, but their influence on Pyonyang has lessened. (Jonkers) (NYTimes 20 Jan 03 //J./ Risen)
WHY IRAQ? - The discovery of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq is not going too well up to this point, in spite of US intelligence support, and worldwide public skepticism about this war abounds. Other than the fact that the US war on Iraq never really stopped after the Gulf War, the latest rationalization for war published in the media is that the President was convinced by Paul Wolfowitz, the 57-year old Deputy Secretary of Defense, that the larger threat to American security after the shock of 9/11 was not sitting in a cave in Afghanistan but in a Baghdad bunker. For many political reasons, foreign and domestic, this idea fell on fertile ground with the President.
Paul Wolfowitz, Under-Secretary of Defense, has been depicted in Washington as a strong anti-Soviet hawk, and a hardline pro-Israel and anti-terrorist partisan. He helped shape the tough Reagan-era policies toward the Soviet Union that have been credited with success. In 1990 he called for pre-emptive strikes against enemy states trying to obtain weapons of mass destruction—precisely the shift in U.S. strategy that the Administration announced last fall. Some other proposals by Wolfowitz are said to have been dismissed as reckless.
After Sept. 11, Wolfowitz articulated the need to remove Saddam before he could acquire biological or nuclear weapons of mass destruction and possibly provide them to terrorists: "9/11 basically brought home to all of us, including me, just what the stakes were in leaving threats like that untended." Wolfowitz is said to believe that building a democratic Iraq would have a domino effect, giving rise to Arab democracies and defusing anti-American anger. Thus, why Iraq? - is answered by a political assessment viewing (1) Iraq as a potential future threat that could do some damage to the US ; (2) Iraq as a potential future threat to Israel; and (3) Iraq as a model for a US-'facilitated' democracy spreading to the Arab and Muslim world.
Unsaid are other reasons, such as domestic partisan politics and the appeal of a war on Iraq to key voting constituencies; an implied means of restraining Israel, with its mountain of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction and a reputation of dangerously itchy trigger fingers; the well-publicized US oil and gas access strategy - Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia; and the overall US power strategy for a prolonged PAX AMERICANA based on technological and military superiority.
The point of all this is that, from everything published thus far, the attack on Iraq is not based on intelligence or their current or recent terrorism support, but on domestic and international political strategy calculations. Thus the search for evidence of Iraqi 'weapons of mass destruction' by the inspectors appears to be diplomatic public theater and window-dressing, to allow minor powers (e.g. Britain, France, Russia) a fig leaf for assenting to the attack. From all that has been published or said thus far, the Iraq war rationale was driven not by intelligence, but by political considerations and calculations, foreign and domestic. It may be noted that this is contrary to the North Korea case, in which Intelligence on nuclear and missile proliferation plays a significant role. Based on open sources, Iraq is all politics, not intelligence. (Jonkers) (TIME, posted 19 Jan 03// issue 28Jan03 //R. Ratnesar) ( www.time.com/time/covers/1101030127/nwolfie.html )
GROWING MISSILE THREAT TO AIRLINERS -- U.S. officials are said to be increasingly worried that terrorists will use shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missiles to shoot down one or more U.S. airliners. Intelligence information suggests terrorists are making those attacks a priority. Intercepted communications and the interrogation of captured terrorists indicate that airliner attacks are among the "high-value" attacks under active consideration by al-Qaeda and its successor groups. The missile threat has reportedly prompted the Defense Department to accelerate efforts to develop safeguards that could help protect airliners. The threat is being assessed by National Security Council, the White House Office of Homeland Security, the FBI and transportation safety agencies.
The concerns intensified in November when several men reportedly linked to al-Qaeda were arrested in Hong Kong trying to exchange heroin and hashish for Stinger missiles. Then on Nov. 28, two missiles were fired in a failed attack on an Arkia-Israeli Airlines Boeing 757 as it took off from Mombasa, Kenya. The serial number on a Soviet-made missile-launcher tube discovered near the Mombasa airport was similar to that on the scorched SA-7 tube found near the Prince Sultan base in Saudi Arabia in May. The sequence of the numbers suggests they may have been bought from the same source and were almost certainly produced at the same facility. There are an estimated 500,000 shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missiles in the world. Though most remain in government hands, many have leaked out onto the black market and into the hands of mafia or terrorist groups. The cost to install anti-missile equipment on commercial jets -- as the Israeli airliner apparently was equipped -- is estimated to be about $2 million and $3 million per airplane, not welcome news to hard-strapped airlines. "We are not refusing to do anything and not ruling anything out. But they (the government) are in charge of defending all of us. They will let us know what we should do and what we shouldn't do," an airline representative said. Given that the threat is not new, but possibly growing, the burden is on intelligence and policy-makers. (Jonkers) (USA Today, 16 Jan 03, p. 4 //T. Squitieri)
GAO REPORT ON DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY FUNDING - To assist in oversight of homeland security IT spending for organizations proposed to move to the Department of Homeland Security, GAO issued a report identifying targeted information technology (IT) funding for homeland security in FY 2002 and FY 2003. GAO identified approximately $2.9 billion in enacted and requested homeland security IT funding for FY 2002 and FY 2003. Below is a breakdown of homeland security IT funding by department/agency (in millions of dollars):
Organization FY 2002 FY 2003
Agriculture $23.68 $39.08
Commerce $0.04 $0.06
Defense $151.19 $45.15
Education $3.33 $3.75
Energy $171.55 $159.99
EPA $0.002 $0.00
HUD $0.00 $0.00
Interior $3.79 $3.84
Justice $1026.88 $778.95
HHS $386.94 $63.81
Labor $13.79 $20.60
State $0.00 $104.60
VA $28.01 $32.65
USAID $0.25 $0.39
FEMA $234.50 $175.62
GSA $17.34 $18.29
Transportation $2.70 $680.74
Treasury $634.46 $633.77
NASA $66.00 $50.00
NSF $119.17 $115.10
Nuclear Reg Comm $3.93 $1.52
OPM $0.00 $0.00
SBA $0.00 $0.00
SSA $4.08 $6.03
Total $2,892 $2,933
Please note that GAO did not identify the cost of integrating the various IT systems that will make up the completed Department of Homeland Security. Look for this to be a major issue in the 108th and future Congresses. (15Jan 03// S. Cox)
To view the Adobe Acrobat version of the complete GAO Report, go to: http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03250.pdf
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT WEB EXPOSURE REDUCED -- There is still too much sensitive information available on DoD web sites that must be removed, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld warned in a 14 January 2003 letter entitled "Website OPSEC Discrepancies." Citing an al Qaeda terrorist training manual, Secretary Rumsfeld noted that "One must conclude our enemies access DoD web sites on a regular basis." He advised that "Thinking about what may be helpful to an adversary prior to posting any information to the web could eliminate many vulnerabilities." He concluded "The fact that 'For Official Use Only' (FOUO) and other sensitive unclassified information (e.g., CONOPS, OPLANS, SOP) continues to be found on public web sites indicates that too often data posted are insufficiently reviewed for sensitivity and/or inadequately protected. Over 1500 discrepancies were found during the past year. This continuing trend must be reversed." (Jonkers) (<www.InsideDefense.com> D. Dupont) (Secrecy News 15 Jan 03)(Levine 16 Jan 03)
SURVEILLANCE DEVICES MULTIPLYING -- When it comes to snooping on Americans, Big Brother has a lot more gadgets at his disposal.
In its new study, "Bigger Monster, Weaker Chains: The Growth of an American Surveillance Society," the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) blames the unchecked use of technological tracking features for an increase in surveillance by both the government and the private sector. (Levine 16 Jan03)
SECURITY SYSTEMS TOP FAA PRIORITY -- The Federal Aviation Administration this year intends to develop mission support systems and boost cyber security within its enterprise, according to Daniel Mehan, assistant administrator and CIO at FAA.
The FAA has delayed a pilot program for smart cards but is moving forward on several other procurements. The FAA plans to release an information request this month for 'Broad Information Technology Services II,' a $1.3 billion contract set aside for small businesses. In order to qualify as a prime contractor, a company must have total revenue of $36 million in the past three years. An award is expected in June. (Levine 16 Jan 03)
CODE NAME KINDRED SPIRIT: Inside the Chinese Nuclear Espionage Scandal, by Notra Trulock, Encounter books, Dec 2002, ISBN 1-893 554511. The author was the Energy Department's Director of Intelligence from 1994 - 1998. He accuses Los Alamos nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee with providing sensitive weapons data to China during unreported meetings with nuclear-weapons scientists. He charges that the FBI "mishandled" the counterespionage investigation -- allegedly because the nuclear weapons designer and his wife worked as FBI informants.
Trulock discloses that a Justice Department report on the Lee case concluded that electronic surveillance of Mr. Lee should have been carried out based on evidence that he and his wife were spies for China. A surveillance application to a secret federal court "established probable cause to believe that Wen Ho Lee was an agent of a foreign power, that is to say, a United States person currently engaged in clandestine intelligence activities for, or on behalf of, the [People�s Republic of China] and that his wife Sylvia Lee, aided, abetted or conspired in such activities."
Trulock also writes that the FBI conducted an earlier counterintelligence probe of Lee for providing documents to Taiwan and meeting improperly with Taiwanese intelligence agents. The FBI probe was closed in 1984 and no action was taken against Mr. Lee. Security officials at Los Alamos National Laboratory recommended in 1984, after the Taiwan investigation, that Mr. Lee be removed from the laboratory's sensitive program to build the W-88 small nuclear warhead, but he was allowed to keep his job. Interestingly, in terms of this encounter with the FBI, Lee and his wife supplied information to the FBI on Chinese nuclear scientists from 1985 onward.
Trulock's book also describes the decades-long effort by foreign governments, including China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Pakistan to gather valuable data on U.S. nuclear weapons from the Energy Department facilities. The effort allegedly increased during the Clinton administration, according to Trulock, 'due to the pro-China policies' of President Clinton.
Lee was the U.S. government's chief suspect in the reported compromise of W-88 warhead secrets to China. He denied giving data to communist China, was extensively investigated but never accused of espionage. He pleaded guilty in September 2001 to one count of mishandling classified information, including computer codes used to design nuclear weapons. In this book, Trulock sets out why he believes that Lee was a spy and the investigation a politically-tainted scandal. (Jonkers) (from review by B. Gertz, WashTimes 17 Jan 03) http://www.washtimes.com/national/20030117-69476482.htm
Dino Brugioni writes: There is an excellent article in the New York Times Magazine of Jan. 12, 2003, pp.36-39, titled 'Anthrax Island.' It concerns Vozrozhdeniye Island, the principal biological testing area in the Soviet Union. It was abandoned by the post-Soviet Russians in 1992. It is now uninhabited and being scavenged by people for whatever is not nailed down. In the 1950s it was one of the Agency's prime targets. It was overflown by Buster Edens (U-2) on May 8, 1957 and we did the analysis of the fine photos he returned. The center of activity was a walled compound that contained stables, warehouses and laboratories. It was the apex of roads and trails that led to the test sites and to the port of Kantubek.
The former head of the installation is quoted "To achieve the effect of killing one half of the population in a square kilometer costs $2,000 with conventional weapons, $800 with nuclear weapons, $600 with chemical weapons, and $1 with a biological weapon." Recommended reading! (Dino A. Brugioni)
IN MEMORIAM - Col. James H. "Trapper" Drum, 87, decorated World War II veteran who later served in what became CIA's Directorate of Science and Technology, died on 15 Dec. 202 in Essex, CT. A native of Chicago, Col. Drum was a 1937 graduate of the U. S. Military Academy. As an infantry company commander in 1944 he suffered a severe hand wound in an engagement at Geilenkirchen, Germany. He received the Silver Star and the Purple Heart. Col. Drum left the army in 1946 and soon thereafter joined the fledging CIA in the Office of Technical Services, later a part of DS&T. He retired in 1957.
Col. Drum was a member of AFIO and a former grand seneschal of the Washington chapter of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, a wine lovers group. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Betty Burke Drum. 'Trapper' Drum, who was both a decorated war hero ( the action in which he won a Silver Star left him with a permanently maimed hand) and one of the pioneers of what became CIA's DS&T, has taken his place of honor in the 'bivouac of the dead.' (Jonkers) (from J. Goulden, WPost 22Dec02)
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