Weekly Intelligence Notes #13-03
WIN #13-03 Dated 2 April 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
CONTENTS of this WIN
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DEFENSE INTELLIGENCE REORGANIZATION -- After a Senate confirmation hearing on 27 February, Stephen Cambone has been confirmed by the Senate as the new Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USDI). The new office will have sweeping authority over the direction, policies and budgets of all Defense Department intelligence programs and organizations. In a report to the Senate, required by the FY 2003 Defense Authorization Act, SecDef Rumsfeld indicates that the USDI will have three deputies, for (1) Intelligence Preparation and Warning, (2) Warfighting and Operations, and (3) Counterintelligence and Security. A separate staff, working directly for Under Secretary Cambone, will be divided into a support function and a policy, requirements and resources element. USDI Cambone will exercise the customary DoD authority over the four intelligence agencies: the National Security Agency (NSA) , the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA), and the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO).
The report also calls for renaming and reorganizing the office of the current Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) for Communications, Command and Control and Intelligence (C3I) headed by John Stenbit, by removing the intelligence function, and focusing it on Information Management, Information Technology, Frequency Spectrum Management, Information Security (all formerly grouped under 'Communications'), and other Command and Control issues. The revised ASD C3 office will also have a space warfare support coordination responsibility, working with the Policy, Intelligence and Acquisition under secretaries and the Pentagon's Executive Agent for Space, "to ensure that space related decisions are integrated with national security policy." The new ASD/C3 (by whatever name) also will continue to have jurisdiction over the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
Old hands will remember that a similar organization existed (separating C3 and I) in the past, except that Intelligence has been moved up in the defense hierarchy. Also noteworthy is that, perhaps mindful of sensitivities and criticism, throughout this report SecDef Rumsfeld emphasizes that USDI Cambone and his staff will make program and budget decisions that are fully responsive to - and complement the direction of - the DCI. (Jonkers) (WPost 27 March 03, p.1 //T. Duffy)
AL QAEDA BIOCHEMICAL WEAPONS PLANNING -- According to several anonymous government sources, al Qaeda leaders had plans and obtained materials to manufacture two biological toxins -- botulinum and salmonella -- and the chemical poison cyanide. Most of the new information comes from hand-written documents and computer hard drives seized with the capture of Khalid Sheik Mohammed in a home owned by a bacteriologist with access to production materials and facilities in Pakistan. Among the documents seized was a direction to purchase bacillus anthracis, the bacterium that causes anthrax disease. The seized documents give specific timelines for producing biochemical weapons, include inventories of equipment, spell out procedures to grow seed pathogen, and to process it for aerosol dispersal. None of the documents indicate the manufacture was completed or any locations for the planned production. Although the al Qaeda biochemical planning constitutes one instance where the intelligence estimates apparently did not reflect the usual notorious "worst case" possibility, the effective FBI/CIA/Pakistani pursuit of the al Qaeda leadership has nevertheless successfully disrupted this particular threat. (Harvey) (WPost 21 Mar03 //B. Gellman)
DIGITAL TERRAIN IMAGERY SUPPORTS COMBAT FORCES -- In July 2002 the DCI turned over all mapping requirements to commercial companies. This has made US commercial imagery suppliers, such as Space Imaging Inc. and DigitalGlobe, integral to US military programs to keep current on imagery changes in the war zone. NIMA (National Imagery and Mapping Agency) analysts are supporting troops in the field, carrying special laptops that are loaded with images and scans of older maps that can be compared side by side on a screen. The NIMA people also have the ability to tap into the system back at headquarters. The agency recently leased satellite bandwidth from the Social Security Administration to speed transmission and also set up high-speed lines between it and Space Imaging and DigitalGlobe. A mobile satellite-communications system in two multipurpose wheeled vehicles has been set up in Qatar, co-located with US CENTCOM. High speed data links allow the images to be beamed around the battlefield as well as loaded into laptops and taken into the field. Since these commercial images are available to the public, the US military can share them with forces from other nationalities.
Commercial software programs also allow geographic or intelligence data to be combined to create 3-D representations that can be used for mission planning as well as mission rehearsal practice on a simulator. While reams of articles have been published on new and imaginative intelligence collection systems, largely unheralded progress and innovations such as the mobile digital support outlined above is making an equally essential contribution to operational intelligence effectiveness. (Harvey) Wall St. Journal, 21 Mar 03 //A. M. Squeo)
DOMESTIC AIR SURVEILLANCE - - The FBI reportedly has a fleet of some 80 aircraft flying America's skies to track and collect intelligence on suspected terrorists. Several planes, known as "Nightstalkers," are equipped with infrared devices that allow agents to track people and vehicles in the dark. Other aircraft are outfitted with electronic surveillance listening equipment. Still others fly photography missions. All 56 FBI field offices have access to the aircraft, piloted by FBI agents. Most aircraft are propeller-driven civilian models. A senior FBI official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the FBI does not do flyovers to listen to telephone calls and gather electronic data from random citizens in hopes the data will provide leads. Rather, the planes are used to follow specific individuals, some of whom may already have been bugged or for whom the FBI has a warrant to listen to cell phone calls. "There should be no concern that the aircraft are doing anything other than assisting with physical surveillance," said FBI agent James Davis.
Congress approved a $20 million increase in the FBI's aviation budget this year, but denied a request for two new Black Hawk helicopters. It also ordered the bureau to develop a master plan for its aviation program. (Jonkers) (AP & CNN 14 Mar 03 / 2352GMT) (http://edition.cnn.com/2003/US/03/14/fbi.spy.planes.ap/)
COOKING THE BOOKS ON IRAQ -- Recent reports claiming that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger were allegedly based on forged documents. This public disclosure has renewed complaints attributed to among some CIA and DIA analysts about the way intelligence related to Iraq has been handled. Some analysts allegedly claimed that they felt pressured to make their intelligence reports on Iraq conform to Administration policies, and to write intelligence reports to emphasize links between Saddam Hussein's government and Al Qaeda. The forged documents were not created by the CIA or any other US government agency, and CIA officials were reportedly suspicious of the documents.
The uranium purchase claim has been cited publicly by President Bush. The President has not been the only one left dangling in the breeze by poorly manufactured, easily disproved, politically driven, fake 'intelligence' on Iraq. The Secretary of State and others have been tripping over their need to build a public intelligence case to justify Iraq war policies. On the face of it the (unnecessary) forgeries that have been disclosed diminish the credibility of our authorities and insult the intelligence of our public (perhaps cynically discounted). Policy pressure to manufacture intelligence analysis conclusions would undoubtedly embarrass our intelligence analysts. But it would not be the first time, and won't be the last. (Jonkers) NYTimes 23 March 03 //J. Risen)
PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE ON CYBERWAR GUIDELINES -- President Bush reportedly signed a National Security Presidential Directive on 16 July 2002, ordering the government to develop national-level guidance for determining when and how the United States would launch cyber-attacks against enemy computer networks. Despite months of discussions involving principally the Pentagon, CIA, FBI and NSA, a number of issues still remain unresolved. "There has been an initial step by the president to say we need to establish broad guidelines," a senior administration official said. "We are trying to be thorough and thoughtful about this. I expect the process will end in another directive, setting the foundation."
The full extent of the U.S. offensive and defensive cyberwar-arsenal is among the most tightly held national security secrets. By penetrating computer systems that control the communications, transportation, energy and other basic services in a country, cyber-weapons can have serious cascading effects, disrupting not only military operations but civilian life. There are serious questions about collateral damage. For example, a computer attack on an electric power grid, intended to pull the plug on military facilities, might end up turning off electricity to hospitals on the same network. There are issues that are similar to the strategic nuclear issue, which are: When would you want to do this? Do you ever want to do it? Do you want to legitimize that kind of weaponry? (Jonkers) (WashPost //B. Graham)
PRESIDENTIAL INTERNET SECRECY ORDER -- President George W. Bush on 25 March 2003 signed an executive order that explicitly gives the government the power to classify information about critical infrastructures such as the Internet. The Presidential directive changes the definition of what the government may classify, to include details about "infrastructures" and weapons of mass destruction. The new executive order also makes clear that information related to "defense against transnational terrorism" is classifiable.(Levine 26 March 03) (http://news.com.com/2100-1028-994216.html)
HOUSE CYBER-SECURITY SUBCOMMITTEE LEADERS APPOINTED -- Leaders have been named for the new House Homeland Security Sub-committee on Cybersecurity Science and Research and Development. Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) will chair the subcommittee. The ranking minority member will be Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.).
The Chairman of the full Homeland Security Committee, which coordinates all House oversight of the Homeland Security Department, is Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.) (Levine 21 Mar03) (http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/21486-1.html)
INTERNET CYBERWAR RAGES OVER IRAQ WAR ISSUE -- As the conflict continues in Iraq, nerds are fighting their own worldwide war in cyberspace, causing mayhem on the Web. Pro-and-anti-Iraq war protesters have been making their point by hacking into Web sites in a display of "cyber activism." Online protesters have attacked a number of Web sites with anti-war slogans. Both virus-writer and hacker activity have stepped up dramatically. For example, on 19 and 20 March more than 1,000 Web sites were hacked and defaced, including US Navy sites. The Arabic news service Al-Jazeera's news Website was knocked out for most of the week by flooding it with wave after wave of bogus requests. Al Jazeera countered by doubling its bandwidth to 200 megabytes per second, but the attackers soon inundated the extra bandwidth. "No normal hacker could do this. We think for sure it's a big organization" said a spokesman. Another type of hack of Al-Jazeera's site also came into play, as legitimate queries were redirected to a page depicting a US flag. Internet security experts said the attacks appear to make use of common software vulnerabilities and tried-and-true-attack coding. The FBI monitored the hack and reportedly is investigating. (Jonkers) (USA Today 31 March 03 p.7B)(Levine 21, 26 & 28 March) (http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,t269-s2132670,00.html)
EMAIL WORM PRETENDS TO HAVE SATELLITE IMAGES -- A new e-mail worm has surfaced that purports to show screensavers of U.S. surveillance satellite pictures of Iraq
or animations that are either patriotic or that mock President Bush. The worm, dubbed Ganda-A, spreads by sending itself to e-mail addresses on an infected machine and tries to disable anti-virus and other security software and infect certain files on the hard disk.(Levine 21 Mar) (http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/internet/03/21/worm.warning.reut/index.html)
NERVE CENTER: Inside the White House Situation Room, by Michael K. Bohn, Brassey's, Washington DC 2003, ISBN 1-57488-438-7, with Bibliography, Index. The White House Situation Room functions as the President's intelligence and alert center, providing vital around-the-clock communications and crisis management capabilities to the President, the Vice President, the National Security Advisor, and members of their staffs. Michael Bohn, a former career Naval Intelligence officer, who served as Director of the Situation Room under President Reagan, presents an 'insider's' light on what goes on in the facility, including many interactions between a fascinating cast of characters at the center of world crises over a period of some four decades. His narrative is anecdotal, drawn from the recollections of over a hundred people, and in the process he transforms the historical figures at the center of great events to the human beings that they are. He interviewed past presidents (Gerald Ford and George Bush), former national security advisors (Rostow, Kissinger, Scowcroft, Brzezinski, McFarlane, Poindexter, Lake) and their deputies, former presidential advisors (McNamara, Sorenson), former NSC staff members and other directors and duty officers.
You will meet all of them in the narrative, and they bring the 'Sit Room' to life over its colorful forty-two-year history, beginning with its birth during the Bay of Pigs fiasco in 1961. In ten highly readable chapters Bohn traces the development of the facility, explains its functions, provides details (and photos) of its layout, acknowledges the dedicated professionals who made the 'Sit Room' a success, and, of course, covers the various crises and principals. I found his book informative, interesting and well-written, and agree with former National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, who said "Whether you simply appreciate a good read filled with interesting anecdotes or are a serious historian of the White House, you will enjoy this book. It both demystifies and puts a human face on the 'Sit Room,' while paying fitting tribute to the men and women who so able have served there." (Jonkers)
CIA PERSONNEL REQUIREMENT -- CIA is looking for retired SF officers/noncoms experienced in working with/training indigenous troops for immediate deployment to the Middle East. A present or former security clearance and/or experience working with the Agency in the past is a plus. The office concerned said they had been recruiting at Bragg but still need people urgently. If any of our members, or their acquaintances or colleagues, are interested, I would highly recommend they send their resumes immediately to the Agency hiring site on the internet. Feel free to disseminate this message as appropriate. (Jonkers)
IN MEMORIAM -- KGB Major General Rem Krassilnikov, a legendary figure within the KGB, who was in charge of the investigations and arrests of the American spies within the Soviet Government that were betrayed by Aldrich H. Ames, Robert P. Hanssen and others, died in Moscow last week. He was 76.
During the critical years of the mid- and late 1980's, before the collapse of the Soviet Union, he was Chief of the First Department within the KGB's Second Chief Directorate, which placed him in charge of investigating and disrupting CIA operations in Moscow. CIA officers eventually came to recognize the quiet, white-haired general as one of their main intelligence adversaries. Within the KGB, General Krassilnikov earned the nickname "the professor of counterintelligence," and some American intelligence officers who went up against him saw him as the real life embodiment of "Karla," the mysterious Soviet spymaster in the novels of John le Carré.
For a time, he was Chief of the Second Department of the Second Chief Directorate, targeting MI-6, the British intelligence service, in Moscow. He later said in an interview that he learned much about British intelligence by spending time with two famous British spies who had defected to Moscow, Kim Philby and George Blake. He had taken over the First Department of the Second Chief Directorate, which concentrated on American activities in Moscow, by that time a series of American spies began to give the Soviets a treasure trove of information about CIA operations in the mid-1980's.
First, in 1984, Edward Lee Howard, who had been fired by the CIA just before he was to be posted to Moscow, began to provide information to the KGB about spies working for the CIA in Moscow. Then, in the spring of 1985, Aldrich Ames, Chief of Counterintelligence in the CIA's Soviet Division, volunteered to the KGB and eventually turned over a list of Russians working for the CIA. And in the fall of 1985, Robert Hanssen, an FBI agent, volunteered to the KGB and provided information on many of the same agents betrayed by Ames. That intense period of cold-war espionage has since come to be known as "the year of the spy."
For a brief time, that sudden wealth of inside information led General Krassilnikov and his KGB spyhunters from triumph to triumph, as they rolled up one American spy after another throughout 1985 and 1986. Perhaps their most important spy captured was Adolf Tolkachev, a Soviet scientist who had provided the CIA with thousands of pages of secret documents on Soviet military aircraft designs and who is credited with helping the United States Air Force design new planes that could defeat the best the Soviets had on their drawing boards. Tolkachev was arrested in early 1985 and later executed.
In virtually every case, Gen. Krassilnikov's team would arrest a Russian agent working for the CIA in secret. Later, the KGB would often try to ambush the CIA case officer waiting to meet the spy, not realizing the agent was already in prison. The result of the Soviet offensive was that by 1987, the CIA had lost virtually all of its agents in Moscow, and the agency's ability to track Soviet intelligence had been severely damaged. Gen. Krassilnikov had scored one of the most complete victories in the annals of modern espionage.
In interviews in recent years, Gen. Krassilnikov, who by then had retired from the KGB was clearly sensitive about the fact that his investigators within the Second Chief Directorate had not received the credit he believed they deserved for so successfully thwarting and halting so many American espionage operations. He said he felt that it was unfair that historians assumed that the Russian spies had been handed to the KGB on a silver platter by Ames and other moles, and he argued that the capture of so many spies required intensive investigative work.
Gen. Krassilnikov's defensiveness may have been the product of a turf war within the Soviet intelligence bureaucracy. The American moles handing over so much information were being handled by the KGB's First Chief Directorate, the elite foreign intelligence service, rather than the Second Directorate, which handled counterintelligence within the Soviet Union. No matter how secret, internal bureaucratic turf wars and human foibles and jealousies occur everywhere. This opposing general in the Cold War intelligence wars has passed beyond it now. (Jonkers) (NYT 24 March03 //J. Risen)(courtesy C. Laclair) (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/24/obituaries/24KRAS.html?ex=1050053915&ei=1&en=0a77bde489230106)
IRAQ CAKEWALK QUERY -- G.D. writes: You have repeatedly defined the Iraq invasion as a 'cakewalk.' How about it now? ED. Response: Nothing disproves the designation. The media carping about delays are trivial. The weather was a problem. The conquest will be completed soon. It is both a cakewalk (copmpared to wars like WWII, Korea and Vietnam) and a turkey shoot. The Iraqi's are defenseless against our missiles and bombing, combined with our intelligence and surveillance sensors. They are sitting ducks, and are being taken apart. Special operations troopers are killing the leadership. It will not last much longer. (Jonkers)
OPERATION SHOEBOX -- BLUE TECH, Inc., an AFIO Corporate Partner, is helping the wives of the US Navy Seals to raise funds to send Care Packages to US Navy Special Warfare personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan. "US Navy Wives in Virginia Beach VA are running "Operation Shoebox" to benefit the US Navy Special Warfare Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. "They are asking for donations in increments of $5.00 to pay for the assembly of "Care Packages" that can then be sent to US Navy Special Warfare Forces personnel. Every increment of $5.00 will pay for a Shoebox sized care package.
"Donations can be sent to: OPERATION SHOE BOX, PO BOX 10443, Virginia Beach VA 23450. "For any questions please email: (firstname.lastname@example.org) "For additional details please go to: (http://www.bluetech.com/shoebox.html)
CHEMICAL/BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS WEBSITE - Alec writes -- I would like to draw members' attention to a biological weapons resource that I have developed. Our new site has come on stream and current news can be read at (http://www.wmdnews.org/News.shtml).
It is updated several times throughout the day as news comes in from approximately 50 news sites that we poll. I would appreciate it if AFIO members took a few minutes to look at our offerings and comment on them. Further, the news software that the site uses allows many people to submit articles to the site. If anyone sees gaps in our coverage and they would like to spend a purely voluntary couple of hours a week to help filling those gaps, we would be very happy to work with them. The only requirement would be a little bit of HTML. Any correspondence on this topic should be directed to (email@example.com).
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