Weekly Intelligence Notes #26-03
WIN 26-03 Dated 4 July 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
EDITOR'S NOTE -- INDEPENDENCE DAY -- We celebrate July 4th, the day independence was declared in 1776 by the Continental Congress, remembering that it took six long years of upheaval, sacrifice, ruination, struggle, suffering and cruelties of civil strife and war; and that it was led politically and diplomatically by the Continental Congress and its dedicated presidents and astute political emissaries; fought on the battlefield by brave common folk Americans of various ancestries commanded by local leaders, including the one who became preeminent and central, General George Washington (who used intelligence to good advantage), assisted by Western European foreign aristocrats (e.g. Lafayette, Von Steuben) who were inspired by the idea of Liberty and the need to modify the rule of the aristocratic ruling class, and lastly, that it was crucially supported by French Army and Navy units -- it took all of this before George III of Britain recognized the independence of the Confederate States of America in 1782. And then it took almost as long for these confederated states to transform themselves from 13 loosely united sovereign republics into a national federal union, elevated to a higher plane by the American elite and their readings and understanding of political, moral and economic philosophers from ancient Greece and Rome to modern Europe and England, as reflected in their papers, correspondence and most of all, the Constitution, which underlies our great country, the United States of America. On this July 4th, 2003, we recognize, celebrate and salute the courageous and wise men and women who went before us, and we dedicate ourselves to the same courage and wisdom in maintaining our liberty and the civilized principles and clear-eyed decency of values and standards to which this nation must continue to aspire and strive. (Jonkers)
CONTENTS of this WIN
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LIBERIA INTELLIGENCE -- With a US military assessment team about to depart and further US troop intervention under consideration, President Bush has stated his requirement that the current President of Liberia, Charles Taylor, must step down. Taylor has been indicted by the UN. The charges against him include murder, rape, abduction, recruitment of child soldiers and mutilation of thousands by hacking off their arms or legs. The indictment states that Taylor led an international joint criminal enterprise that reaped millions of dollars in profits from the illicit sale of diamonds. Taylor sold some of the diamonds to al Qaeda in 2000 and 2001 as the terrorist organization moved its cash to commodities before the September 11 attacks. Taylor has the money to keep paying a cadre of armed individuals for continued guerilla war.
The anti-Taylor 'Liberians United for Reconciliation and democracy' (LURD) is headed by individuals who used to be Taylor's deputies or allies during the war that led to Taylor's presidency in 1997. The LURD launched its war against Taylor in 2000, with tacit support from the UK and US. The LURD itself has split along ethnic lines, with frequent incidents of hostility between the Krahn, Mandingo and Gio tribal groups.
Intervention would have more than the usual problems. No one has clean hands in this conflict -- all are reportedly using combatants as young as 10, and the upper ranks are said to be filled with perpetrators of rape, mutilation, and looting. This means that our forces may encounter children with AK-47's to kill. Another problem is the lack of infrastructure. The capital Monrovia, once a functional city, is now a wreck, without electricity, water or telephone services. Only two hospitals remain.
On balance not a good place for military deployment unless the means and goals are carefully analyzed -- with an entry and exit strategy. It is another challenge for strategy and intelligence -- the analysis of, and rescue from, chaos, ruin, and exceptional brutality. (Jonkers) WashPost 4 July 03 p. A11 //D. Farah)
SYRIAN BORDER RAID -- The Pentagon has yet to provide anything more than the sketchiest outline of the 18 June attack in which helicopters, AC-130 gunships and ground troops, backed by Predator drones, struck an Iraqi convoy as well as a housing compound in a village on the Syrian border. Apparently invading the territory of Syria, five Syrian border guards were wounded, captured and carried into Iraq. They were treated for their wounds and, probably after interrogation, eventually returned to Syria.
A senior Defense Department official said there had been indications that Iraqis in a vehicle convoy were heading toward Syria and were communicating with people on the Syrian side of the border. The convoy was reportedly detected by American intelligence on 18 June, shortly after the capture of a top lieutenant to Saddam Hussein, Abid Hamid Mahmoud al-Tikriti. The raid was intended to capture or kill Saddam or other high-ranking Iraqi fugitives, and was apparently carried out by Task Force 20, a Special Operations force dedicated to finding Saddam. The Defense Department has not made any announcement on the circumstances or the results of the raid (nor do they have to). Most of the estimated 20 Iraqis detained in the raid have been released. The dead woman and child have been buried.
The Iraqi villagers reportedly made their living by smuggling sheep across the border from Iraq into Syria, which probably requires communicating with corrupt border guards, and obviously people could be substituted for sheep (the reverse is also often true), but whether this sheep-smuggling triggered the raid is not known -- but it does bear on the credibility of the tactical intelligence underlying the operation. (Jonkers) (NYTimes 28 June 03 //D. Jehl & E. Schmitt) (http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/28/international/worldspecial/28CONV.html
CIA INTERNAL REVIEW ON IRAQ INTELLIGENCE -- A first part of a classified draft report on Iraq WMD intelligence, written by a small team headed by former CIA Deputy Director Richard Kerr, was completed in mid-June. The team reviewed the major intelligence reports written for policy-makers, including the NIE issued in October 2002. An unclassified CIA report on this (classified) NIE stated that "Since inspections ended in 1998, Iraq has maintained its chemical weapons effort, energized its missile program and invested more heavily in biological weapons. Most analysts assess Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program." This unclassified CIA report has been criticized for failing to mention the caveats of uncertainty or doubt expressed by analysts about these propositions in the classified version. Nevertheless, Mr. Kerr reportedly stated publicly that "It is unlikely that even the most critical review of reporting would have led to the conclusion that (WMD) programs were not being continued."
The second part of the report will compare US intelligence reports with evidence found within Iraq. A significant and intensive effort is underway in Iraq to track WMD programs and evidence. As Mr. Kerr stated on the Intelligence Community estimates, "It is a set of judgments. It may be completely inaccurate." (Jonkers) (WashTimes 4 July 03, p. A-10) (WashPost 4 July 03, p. A20 ///W. Pincus)
US INTERROGATION PLEDGE OF PURITY -- President Bush, in honoring U.N. Torture Victims Recognition Day, stated that, "The United States is committed to the worldwide elimination of torture and we are leading this fight by example. I call on all governments to join with the United States and the community of law-abiding nations in prohibiting, investigating, and prosecuting all acts of torture and in undertaking to prevent other cruel and unusual punishment." The Pentagon noted its position that "All interrogations, wherever they may occur," must be conducted without the use of cruel and inhumane tactics, and that anyone found to have broken the law (such as in the deaths of two Afghan prisoners at the Bagram interrogation facility) will be prosecuted.
Reportedly the interrogation center at Bagram air base north of Kabul has been the site of "stress and duress" techniques in which prisoners are deprived of sleep or kept in awkward positions until they feel extreme pain. Two Afghan detainees died in Bagram in December 2002. Military pathologists said one died of a heart attack and the other of a blood clot in the lung, but both showed signs of 'blunt force trauma.' Their deaths were classified as homicides in March '03. A U.S. Army criminal investigation is underway. The death of an Afghan man in U.S. custody over the weekend (21/22 June) is also under investigation, according to U.S. military officials. The man reportedly died Saturday afternoon at a holding facility near Asadabad in the eastern province of Konar.
U.S. officials said they sometimes transfer uncooperative suspects to foreign countries where security services are known for brutality. In some of countries where "extraordinary renditions" take place, security services interrogations may also involve mind-altering drugs such as sodium pentathol to get detainees to answer questions relayed by U.S. government personnel. Officials from some countries, whose treatment of prisoners is publicly considered objectionable by the US, have countered that the U.S. government itself has used similar techniques in suspected terrorist interrogations.
In the first 15 months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, nearly 3,000 suspected al Qaeda members and their supporters were detained worldwide. An NSC spokesman said that prisoners abroad are being treated correctly, but others defended the occasional use of violence as just and necessary, saying "you don't want to be promoting a view of zero tolerance on this." Officials noted, for example, that painkillers were used 'selectively' to win cooperation of Abu Zubaida, a high-ranking al Qaeda member 'shot in the groin during his arrest.'
The President's message sets the policy, and will serve to keep mal-treatment of prisoners by over-eager rank-and-file interrogators from getting out of hand. It must be recognized, however, that the terrorist (and other national security) threats may occasionally require "strong" measures from the intelligence interrogators, and that care needs to be exercised not only in maintaining civilized standards of discipline, but in not producing low-level scapegoats for exceptional circumstances -- a possibility with the Bagram case. (Jonkers) (WashPost 27 June 03, page 1 //P. Slevin).
US MARINE CORPS DETAILS SPECIAL DETACHMENT TO USSOCOM -- On Friday 27 June the US Marine Corps took its first steps toward assembling an elite group to become part of US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The USMC commando unit will be organized, trained and equipped to carry out special reconnaissance, direct-action, limited foreign internal defense and coalition support missions. Operating under the name Detachment One, the elite USMC unit will take its place alongside Army, Navy and Air force special operations forces under command of the US Special Operations Command.
When the Pentagon formed USSOCOM in 1987, the Marine Corps chose to march to the beat of its own drum, developing a training program to make their amphibious Marine Expeditionary Units "special operations capable." But more recently the need for a smaller, more permanent special operations force, in the spirit of the World War II Raiders, gave birth to Detachment One. After an evaluation period, the new USMC Detachment One will fall under Naval Special Warfare Squadron One. The detachment is expected to begin training with a Navy SEAL team in October and subsequently deploy in April.
The USMC move reflects the increasing importance of USSOCOM and worldwide "special" operations in the defense posture and strategy developing under SecDef Rumsfeld. (Jonkers) (Marine Corps News, 27 June 03 //Cpl. J. Vought)
PRIVACY AND BIG BROTHER -- As a security expert, I worry about my privacy as much as everyone does--probably more--because I have seen what can go wrong. With recent federal regulations such as the USA Patriot Act, some companies believe they need to protect themselves from "Big Brother"
by getting rid of data. But privacy advocates are making a big mistake by harping on only one side of the picture. Privacy isn't about deleting my data, it's about controlling access to my data -- most of which I don't want thrown away. (Levine) http://news.com.com/2010-1071_3-1023117.html
SOFTWARE FOR MURDER CLUES -- Sherlock Homes once said "When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Now Scottish software developers have developed a program to help police consider all the possibilities in the investigation of suspicious deaths. 'Sherlock Holmes' is designed to highlight less obvious lines of inquiry that detectives might overlook. http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/4/31554.html
PERSONAL LOCATOR BEACONS -- a potential lifesaving technology became available Tuesday to millions of Americans. The Personal Locator beacon system became operational in the 48 contiguous states, allowing lost hikers, campers and others to be tracked in an emergency if they carry the devices. (Levine) http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/ptech/07/01/emergency.beacons.ap/index.html
FOREIGN CITY SURVEILLANCE -- The Pentagon, (DARPA), is developing an urban surveillance system that would use computers and thousands of cameras to track, record and analyze the movement of every vehicle in a foreign city. Dubbed "Combat Zones That See," the project is designed to help the U.S. military protect troops and fight in cities overseas. Police, scientists and privacy experts say the unclassified technology could easily be adapted to domestic scene. (Levine) (http://www.latimes.com/technology/la-na-spy2jul02,1,293128.story) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61389-2003Jul2.html )
SPIES IN THE VATICAN: ESPIONAGE & INTRIGUE FROM NAPOLEON TO THE HOLOCAUST, by David Alvarez, University Press of Kansas, 2003. ISBN 0-7006-1214-9, with Notes, bibliography, Index. "Spy" works continue to tumble from publishers. And a wonderful surprise read among this spring's crop is David Alvarez's 'Spies in the Vatican.' A California professor, Dr. Alvarez drew heavily upon Vatican archives accumulated by a Jesuit priest, Father Robert Graham, before Rome snatched them back into secrecy. No matter. Dr. Alvarez convincingly establishes that the Vatican's intelligence service, rather than making the Pope "the best informed of the world's leaders," as some statesmen have claimed, was no such thing. Previous historians and unwitting diplomats created the myth. "It is...as if a group of ornithologists sat about discussing the merits of a magnificent bird....without anyone having actually observed the bird, discovered a nest, learned its call, or run across the smallest feather."
For one thing, the Vatican's "intelligence service" relied heavily upon ill-trained priests whose primary role when assigned abroad was reporting on internal church affairs. Papal nuncios serving abroad rarely got beyond the capital and confined their contacts to "officials in the host country's foreign ministry, colleagues in the local diplomatic corps, and bishops of the local Catholic church." Encounters with businessmen, scholars and military men were rare. One ranking Vatican official was so disgusted that he scrawled words such as "imbecile!" on reports, and stormed, "People always say the diplomacy of the Holy See is the first in the world. If ours is the first, I'd like to see the second."
Dr. Alvarez graciously excuses the Vatican's operatives, noting that they were" committed primarily to the propagation of a particular faith" and saw themselves "as priests rather than intelligence operatives...Priests could no more by spies than they could be warriors." As an intelligence camp-follower, I relish the occasional authentic debunking book, and such is what Dr. Alvarez has provided. (Reviewed by Joseph Goulden, WashTimes 29 June03)
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT REPORT ON PROJECT 112 -- The Defense Department announced on July 1 that it had concluded its investigation into the biological and chemical warfare testing program known as Project 112. The Project, conducted from 1962 to 1973, included the use of actual biological and chemical agents on U.S. military personnel as part of the Shipboard Hazard and Defense (SHAD) program. (Secrecy News 07/03)
SURVIVING TERRORISM: RECOGNITION AND RESPONSE GUIDE TO NUCLEAR, BIOLOGICAL, AND CHEMICAL ATTACK, by Alexander E. Gowen [self-published spiral bound paperback, no listed price or ISBN, pub. date 4/2003; Order from author at 3202-7 Stonesthrow Lane, Durham, NC 27713; 919-361-9308]. A compilation of State, Local and Federal guidelines on recognition and modes of response to a variety of chemical, biological or nuclear agents. Categories for each substance includes: color, odor, onset of action; personal protection; signs and symptoms; Incubation period; how spread; how transmitted; duration of illness; death rate; how manufactured; where it is naturally found; mode of action; and treatment options. Includes brief chapter on how to stock and maintain a personal CBN shelter. While much of this material can be found on the Internet, the convenience and clean organization of this small handbook make it a useful addition to law enforcement, first responder, and personal reference collections. Prof. Gowen is an AFIO Academic Associate member.
FBI SPECIAL INTELLIGENCE BOOK RESEARCH -- Former FBI Special Agent and current AFIO member R. Dew, presently working for the DoD Counterintelligence Training Academy, and whose book 'No Cover' will be published by Carroll & Graf in January 2004, is doing research for a second book, and would like to interview anyone who has information about the FBI's Special Intelligence Service. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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