Weekly Intelligence Notes #04-03
WIN 04-03, dtd 28 Jan 03
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.
LAST CALL FOR Joint Special Luncheon by Association of Old Crows (Capitol Chapter) and AFIO at the Spy Museum on Thursday, 6 February 2003 at the Zola restaurant, (part of the International Spy Museum, in Washington DC at 9th and F streets, next to Gallery Place Metro], at noon. The speaker will be former DCI R. James Woolsey, always stimulating and insightful. The cost is $37.50. AFIO members can make reservations by email firstname.lastname@example.org, fax (703 790 0264) with VISA, MasterCard or American Express credit cards.. No refunds for cancellations. Deadline is 9 am this Friday, 31 January.
CONTENTS of this WIN
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SENATE ADDS $3.9 BILLION FOR INTELLIGENCE -- At the Administration's request, the Senate has quietly added $3.9 billion to a fiscal 2003 omnibus appropriations package to fund intelligence activities. With the U.S. continuing a war on terrorism and also preparing for an invasion of Iraq, intelligence agencies are finding themselves running low on funds. The House received the Administration's request too late to include it in its FY '03 appropriations bills, so the matter will be resolved in a House-Senate committee conference. (Jonkers) (Aerospace Daily, 21 Jan 03)
ADVERTISING FOR ARAB-AMERICAN SPOOKS -- CIA began placing newspaper advertisements last weekend in newspapers in New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Tampa, Florida., and Detroit -- all communities with sizable Arab-American populations. Ads in other newspapers will follow. "For over 100 years Arab-Americans have served the nation. Today we need you more than ever," states the advertisement. The drive supplements the usual CIA practice of recruiting on college campuses. A CIA spokesman said "What we're looking for are second- or third-generation Arab-Americans with area and cultural expertise as well as foreign language skills." Applicants must be U.S. citizens and willing to undergo security screening. (Jonkers) (AP news-websites, 22 Jan 03)
FBI LINGUIST RECRUITING FOIBLES -- The following is a word-for-word copy of the transcript of the FBI live online discussion on the Washingtonpost.com site by Larry Mefford, Assistant Director of the FBI Counterterrorism Division.
"(Question) Boston, Mass.; Dear Mr. Mefford: Why is it that the FBI does not pay close attention to people like myself who have credentials that the FBI would literally love to hear from? I have been practicing law for 18 years, speak Arabic in a couple of dialects, French, Armenian and to a lesser degree other languages. I have a Masters degree in Criminal Justice and I have researched and authored a graduate thesis on Terrorism. I have been sending resumes to the FBI and letters to the Director for the last year and a half with not one single response. What type of individuals are you looking for if not one such as myself and why is it so difficult to even speak to any FBI official such as yourself? I am completely baffled. I hope to receive a response. Thank you.
Larry Mefford: The FBI is seeking qualified applicants who possess specialized skills essential to fulfilling the mission of the FBI. These skills are identified at the FBI.gov website where you can also apply online. We are especially interested in individuals who possess foreign language skills, such as Arabic, Urdu, Pashto, and Kurdish, as well as a military or civilian intelligence background or advanced computer skills. I hope this helps - good luck with your future endeavors."
One might observe that if the FBI personnel office displays the same bureaucratic lassitude in its response (assuming there ever will be one) to the Boston Arabic specialist as Mr. Mefford did, one can understand why the FBI reports that its 'vigorous' drive to recruit folk of possible value to Mr. Mefford's counter terrorism division has gone rather slowly. (Harvey)
SVR- CIA KOREAN INTELLIGENCE IMBROGLIO (cont'd) -- The Russian foreign intelligence service (SVR) denied cooperating with CIA on monitoring the North Korean nuclear program, a NYT story included in last week's WIN 03-03. The story was that in the early 1990s SVR agents had installed secret nuclear detection equipment inside the Russian Embassy in the North Korean capital Pyongyang at the request of the CIA. The equipment was designed to pick up emissions of the isotope krypton, which would signal that North Korea had resumed plutonium reprocessing at its Yongbyon nuclear reactor. The SVR press service, in its denial, stated that "... some forces in the United States have deliberately fabricated this publication at a time when Russia is making intense efforts to help defuse the tension around North Korea's nuclear program."
Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov recently spent three days discussing ways out of the crisis with officials in Pyongyang. He traveled to Beijing on Tuesday. The timing of the report on the US-Russian covert intelligence venture in North Korea is interesting and unhelpful for the Russian effort to defuse the situation. Someone apparently did not like the Russian initiative and leaked the story. The SVR denial was to be expected. (Jonkers) (AP news-web sites 21 Jan 2003)
U-2 OPERATIONS IN KOREA -- An American U-2 reconnaissance plane crashed last Sunday shortly after take-off near Osan, South Korea. The Air Force pilot ejected safely. Three Korean citizens were injured, and there was property damage. The crash comes amid rising anti-American sentiment in South Korea following the acquittals in a U.S. military court of two Army soldiers whose vehicle hit and killed two local schoolgirls in June, and in the context of rising tension about North Korea's nuclear gambit. There is an increasingly strong desire for unification in Korea, and popular goodwill towards the US is said to be receding. American officials are therefore acting rapidly to minimize the fallout of the damages from the U-2 crash. The United States keeps about 37,000 troops in South Korea, which shares the world's most heavily militarized border with the North Korean communist garrison state, capable of pouring hundreds of thousands of soldiers and enormous barrages of artillery rounds over the border at short notice. The U-2 can operate at an altitude beyond the range of North Korean surface-to-air missiles. It is no surprise that North Korea resents the intrusion and frequently protests U.S. surveillance, which must be a necessary and routine feature of US reconnaissance-intelligence operations in the area. (Jonkers) (AP //Jae-Suk Yoo) (http://www.nypost.com/apstories/V8736.htm)
PAKISTAN - NORTH KOREAN INTELLIGENCE - Last June, four months before the current crisis over North Korea became public, the CIA reportedly delivered a classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on North Korea's nuclear ambitions to President Bush and his top advisers. It made the case that North Korea was secretly obtaining the means to produce weapons-grade uranium, and that Pakistan had been sharing sophisticated warhead-design information and weapons-testing data with the Pyongyang regime.
In terms of history, in the early 90's US intelligence concluded that the North Koreans were reprocessing more spent fuel than they declared, and might have separated enough plutonium to fabricate one or two nuclear weapons. The resulting diplomatic crisis was resolved when North Korea entered into an agreement with the US to stop its nuclear-weapons program in return for economic aid and the construction of two light-water nuclear reactors that would generate electricity. Three years after the agreement North Korea began using a second method to process fissile material, producing weapons-grade uranium from natural uranium—with Pakistani technology. The question is 'Why did Pakistan do it?'
North Korea is impoverished and economically isolated, but with technological competence. One of its main sources of export income is arms sales, including missiles. The communist regime is also paranoid about its security, further inflamed by its nomination by the current administration on the "axis of evil." Bob Woodward, in his book "Bush at War," recalls an interview at the President's Texas ranch in August: " 'I loathe Kim Jong Il!' the President shouted. Woodward wrote that the President had become so emotional that "I thought he might jump up."
Pakistan's primary enemy is India. When the latter proceeded to develop nuclear weapons, Pakistan followed. After a decade of investment it was able to produce the weapons, but then needed delivery vehicles, particularly after the US broke its contract to deliver fighter-bomber aircraft. North Korea could supply the missiles. By 1997 Pakistan was broke and could no longer pay for the missiles. North Korea accepted payment in kind. For its missiles and missile technology, it received nuclear weapons information. Pakistan sent prototypes of high-speed centrifuge machines to North Korea, along with weapons blueprints. Pakistan also provided data on how to build and test a uranium-triggered nuclear weapon, and gave the North Korean intelligence service advice on "how to fly under the radar," as a former Pakistani intelligence official put it -- that is, how to hide nuclear research from American surveillance satellites and U.S. (and South Korean) intelligence agents. Sometime in 2001 North Korean scientists began to enrich uranium in significant quantities.
Thus the answer to Why? is that both Pakistan and North Korea acted in what they perceived as their national interests, each motivated by their sense of hostile threat.
It had taken Pakistan a decade of experimentation, and a substantial financial investment, before it was able to produce reliable centrifuges. Thanks to Pakistan, the North Koreans were able to chop many years off their development process, and now theoretically could have enough fissile material to manufacture two or three warheads a year.
The NIE reportedly provided no intelligence community consensus on whether North Korea actually has produced, or is producing, nuclear weapons.
The article by Seymour Hirsch, on which this report is based, contains other reflections on a nuclear-armed Pakistan (they will undoubtedly be addressed by the US in the future), on the reasons why the Administration did not make the North Korean threat public earlier (Iraq war was given priority), and on the current political stance on negotiations with Korea (" Don't be distracted by all this talk about negotiations. There will be negotiations, but they have a plan, and they are going to get this guy after Iraq. He's their version of Hitler."), but these are beyond the scope of these Notes, which focus on Intelligence. (Jonkers) (New Yorker /Annals of National Security//The Cold Test, 27 January 2003 // Seymour Hirsch)
COMMERCIAL SATELLITE IMAGERY UTILIZATION -- The National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) recently issued contracts worth as much as $1Billion -- if all contract options are exercised through FY 2007 -- to Space Imaging, Inc., and DigitalGlobe Inc. With support from Congress, and in the context of excessive requirements for the available National reconnaissance satellites, CIA Director George Tenet in June 2002 directed the Intelligence Community to use only commercial images for mapmaking.
DigitalGlobe Inc., the former Earthwatch, uses the QuickBird satellite. Space Imaging manages the IKONOS satellite. The companies supply unclassified, high-resolution pictures, excellent for creating actual and virtual military maps. NIMA has purchased commercial imagery before. In October and November 2001, for example, NIMA paid Space Imaging $1.9 million for its entire archive of Afghanistan imagery.
This commercial imagery utilization directive and program leaves the nation's limited inventory of reconnaissance satellites free to be focused on the collection of intelligence data for military and civilian policy makers and agencies. With requirements from the global war on terrorism, the remaining needs for the war on drugs, local wars such as Iraq and Afghanistan, a crisis in Korea, and watchful warning needs elsewhere, our National reconnaissance satellites are kept more than busy. (Jonkers) (Bloomberg.com, 17 Jan 03 /// T. Capaccio)
GULF WAR MEDICAL INTELLIGENCE -- As it lays the groundwork for another war with Iraq, the U.S military is engaged in a massive effort to prevent the reappearance of Gulf War syndrome and to guard against a biological or chemical warfare threat. Over the decade that followed the 1991 Persian Gulf conflict, the chronic illnesses that tens of thousands of veterans described, ultimately marred the U.S. victory. The agonizing investigation of what came to be known as Gulf War syndrome eroded trust in the military, cost hundreds of millions of dollars and consumed thousands of years of human labor. As American troops prepare to face the same enemy in the same place, military planners hope that this time they can keep the perplexing phenomenon at bay. Their weapons include a new generation of detectors for nerve gas and biological threats, and millions of tubes of human serum stored at 25 degrees below zero." (L. Sulc) (WashPost 21Jan03 //D. Brown) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A19112-2003Jan20.html
PERSONAL DATA PIRATED FROM RUSSIAN PHONE FILES -- It is a prime nightmare of the digital age: all of your personal information — credit card numbers, home address, Social Security number — stolen and passed around, or perhaps even posted on the Internet for anyone to see. Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of customers of Mobile Telesystems, a Russian mobile phone company, have been discovering firsthand how that feels. The company acknowledged on Tuesday that it had suffered a huge security breach that led to pirated CD's, purportedly containing its entire database of five million customers, appearing on the streets of Moscow. (Levine 23 Jan 03)
SPRINT DSL SECURITY PROBLEM -- Sprint DSL customers are reportedly at risk of having their e-mail addresses and passwords stolen-- even when their computers are powered off -- due to weak security controls on their DSL modems. Experts warned this week that the security problem could enable Internet vandals to wreak havoc from afar with the ZyXel Communications DSL modems issued by Sprint to tens of thousands of its FastConnect broadband customers. (Levine 23 Jan 03) http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,57342,00.html
LIBRARIANS VERSUS PATRIOT ACT -- The Patriot Act allows investigators to seize patrons' book-borrowing and Internet-surfing records to investigate terrorist leads; it also prohibits library staff from publicizing law enforcement requests for such materials. The librarians' response to law enforcement requests for patrons' records has been sharply divided, according to a nationwide survey. (Sheriff Levine's Newsbits, 16 Jan03) http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,57256,00.html
STARGATE DOCUMENTS RELEASED -- John Taylor, Head of Modern Military Records, National Archives, called on Wednesday 22 Jan 03 to report that CIA has just released 72,000 pages of new declassified documents on STARGATE (remote viewing) experiments by the Army and Air Force. Document dates are up to 1995, and all are on CDROMs. Some of it was used in the research for the story just out now in the current issue of US News & World Reports, which covers Intelligence, including a 3 page article on Stargate. John Taylor said he would be willing to assist any AFIO Member/researcher interested in working with these new releases. He says we can publish his number [301 837-3041] where they can call to set up an appointment to go over these new items. (Bancroft)
CLASSIFIED KGB HISTORY ONLINE -- A Top Secret internal history of Soviet security agencies has recently been published online by the Harvard Project on Cold War Studies. The document, which remains classified in Moscow, was obtained from Latvian archives by Mark Kramer, the intrepid director of the Harvard Project and editor of the Journal of Cold War Studies.
The top-secret 639-page history of the Soviet state security organs was completed in 1977 under the auspices of Viktor Chebrikov, the deputy head of the KGB (who later became head of the agency). The book was intended for use in the KGB's special academy for the training of senior officers. It provides a detailed history of the KGB and its predecessor agencies from 1917 through the mid-1970s. The book is still classified top secret in Moscow and is unavailable there. The copy here was obtained in Riga, Latvia in July 1997, courtesy of Indulis Zalite, a Latvian archival researcher. The Latvian government has declassified all documents from the Soviet era and they are now freely available to researchers. Still in Russian language. See "Istoriya sovetskikh organov gosudarstvennoi bezopasnosti" edited by Lt. Gen. V.M. Chebrikov, et al, in thirteen very large PDF files, at: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~hpcws/KGBhistory.htm .(R. Palmer/Cachet Int'l Inc.) (Secrecy News 16Jan 03)
UNCLASSIFIED GOVERNMENT INFORMATION DEEMED PROPERTY -- When Drug Enforcement Administration analyst Jonathan Randel was sentenced this week to a year in prison for leaking Unclassified government information to a British journalist, the law that he was found to have violated was not the Espionage Act, but another statute, one that treats 'government information as property' -- the government's property -- that can be stolen or misappropriated. 18 United States Code section applies to "Whoever embezzles, steals, purloins, or knowingly converts to his use or the use of another, or without authority, sells, conveys or disposes of any record, ... or thing of value of the United States or of any department or agency thereof" as well as "Whoever receives, conceals, or retains the same with intent to convert it to his use or gain, knowing it to have been embezzled, stolen, purloined or converted...."
The prohibition against conveying any information ("thing of value") without authority and against receiving that information would seem to have far reaching implications. "Why bother with an Official Secrets Act with this thing on the books?" mused former CIA analyst Allen Thomson.(NYTimes 16 Jan03) http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/16/national/16DEA.html
(Secrecy News 16 Jan 03) http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/18/641.html
W.W. writes on IRAQ "If you really want an early indication of just how Iraq got to the top of the heap in this administration's eyes, look at pages 82-85 in Bob Woodward's, " Bush At War." Only a few days after "9/11" there was already discussion at the administration's highest levels as to what to do if the war regarding the Taliban and Al Qaeda was not progressing rapidly enough and the American public was growing wary as to the lack of visible results. Solution: invade IRAQ!"
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