Weekly Intelligence Notes #27-03
WIN 27-03, dtd 11 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
CONTENTS of this WIN
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SADDAM HUSSEIN REDUX -- A tape allegedly recorded by Saddam Hussein on 14 June was broadcast on the Arab television service al-Jazeera on 4 July 2003. CIA spokesman Bill Harlow said on the following Monday that, "We can't say absolutely because of the poor quality of the tape recording, but it is probably authentic." The voice, presumably emanating from the dark netherworld which Saddam (and also Osama) now inhabit, called on the Iraqi people to protect guerrilla fighters and not to cooperate with U.S. and allied forces. Although the tape does not say that he himself is still in Iraq, Hussein declared that "I would like to make it clear to everyone that my comrades and brother members of the command are actually in Iraq now."
Is this call to resist a part of a strategy that started with trying to prevent a US invasion by destroying Iraq's chemical weapons as well as moth-balling its potential biological and latent nuclear programs in the late 1990's, then by letting the UN inspectors run free and unimpeded within Iraq (finding no trace of any WMD), and then, having failed to prevent the invasion, rapidly bowing to absolutely superior force by having the military melt away rather than being captured, and finally relying on persistent passive and active resistance and sabotage to wear down the occupying force? Although Saddam is known to be shrewd, this presumed strategy fits awkwardly with the ineptness amply demonstrated by him and his government. But it is known that for more than a year before the invasion Hussein's government trained civilians in combat techniques and distributed firearms, including AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, to be kept at home. As a result many U.S. military planners anticipated fierce urban warfare during the invasion. Iraqi officials, however, did suggest that their soldiers could become guerrillas if the United States overran the central authority.
As low level Iraqi resistance operations continue with daily incidents in a seemingly uncoordinated campaign, involving some US and UK troop casualties and infrastructure sabotage, the special operations to find and capture Saddam and his cohorts inside and outside Iraq are in high gear. At the SecDef-level assessments are being made on the adequacy of the US troop strength level, currently at 146,000 in Iraq and 63,000 in neighboring Kuwait, needed for longer term occupation and pacification. The expected 20,000 troops from other nations may provide some relief, along with increasing numbers of US and foreign private and corporate security personnel. The recruitment and training of an indigenous Iraqi police and constabulary force responsive to US direction is a high priority, to enforce law and order, but also because the rapidly increasing role and growth of organized crime is a significant threat. Meanwhile both Saddam and Osama, now mere shadowy incarnations of their former selves, still pose a continuing challenge for Intelligence and Special Operations. (Jonkers) (Wash. Post, 8 July 03, p.1, //T. Ricks & W. Pincus)
NEW PROLIFERATION SECURITY INITIATIVE -- The December 2002 seizure of a North Korean vessel carrying ballistic missiles to Yemen (that had to be released because no rules had been broken), has resulted in an agreement among a small group of nations to take further collaborative steps to monitor and intercept shipments of nuclear materials and rockets to and from certain countries. The new "Proliferation Security Initiative" (PSI), also known as the Madrid Initiative, is endorsed by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Australia. The US goal is "to work with other concerned states to develop new means to disrupt the proliferation trade at sea, in the air and on land."
Secretary of State Powell also introduced the new US policy of interdicting materials related to WMD to the 10-nation Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) in late June, as a separate issue from ASEAN's consideration of how to crack down on piracy, drug trafficking and people-trafficking. In addition to shipping missiles to the Middle East, North Korea has been caught sending drugs to Japan, and a North Korean boat loaded with amphetamines was recently seized by Australia. ASEAN includes Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
It is probable that the US will be able to stitch together an expanded PSI group of nations more or less dedicated to interdiction of North Korean WMD shipments, based on increased intelligence-sharing. The daily reports of suspicious North Korean or other terrorist activities will probably carry a PSI label, but the American intelligence community will probably do most of the intelligence work. The inevitable down side -- educating potential interdiction-runners on US intelligence capabilities -- could hopefully be lessened by careful monitoring of the release and timing of the US intelligence. (Harvey) (WashTimes 18 June03, p.1 //N. Kraiev) (NYT 18 June03// S. Weisman)
CIA TURNOVER OF STASI AGENT FILES -- Major revelations are not expected from the “Rosenholz“ (Rosewood) files on West German residents who spied for the former East Germany's Stasi security agency. Like the KGB, the Stasi enforced the Communist Party's iron grip on society by persuading or intimidating ordinary people to spy. More than 2.4 million people were placed under the Stasi's observation during the communist era.
Germany has decoded large numbers of Stasi files, but most of those include only the agents’ codenames. The Rosenholz files are understood to reveal their true identities. Unnamed experts noted that of the 200,000 names on the microfilm copies of personal index cards, about 12,000 could be former Stasi spies in West Germany and 40,000 were agents who worked within the former East Germany. It will take German officials at least six months to organize and begin compiling information from the files, which are copied on 381 CD-ROMs. Although the files may result in revelations that would be of interest to the public and historians, criminal charges are unlikely because of the German 10-year statute of limitations.
The documents, created by the Stasi during its existence from 1950 until 1989, were obtained by the CIA in one of the Cold War’s last great intelligence coups. It is said that they were acquired in 1992 from a KGB officer in Moscow who had previously worked in East Berlin. Germany has been struggling unsuccessfully for years to recover the files. The utility of the files for CIA operations, delaying the return of the files to Germany, is left to the imagination. (Jonkers) (London Times, 9 July 03) (The Guardian, 8 July 03 //B. Aris) (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 11 July 2002)
NAVY INTELLIGENCE RESERVISTS DEACTIVATED -- Several hundred naval reserve intelligence specialists on counter-terrorism were deactivated in June, including officers with up to 18 months left on their tours. One analyst is quoted as saying, "The decision to cut by a third the reserve intelligence and operations assets fighting the war on terrorism is a conscious, if foolish, decision." Agencies hit by the reserve cutback include ONI, DIA's Counter-Terrorism Operations Group, and DIA's Joint Intelligence Task Force Countering Terrorism. A Navy spokesman said the demobilization of reservists is a management issue related to making sure the Navy has enough money for its critical missions.
One can never discount the possibility of a large bureaucracy making a self-destructive decision, but cutting experienced counter-terrorism personnel while under terrorism attacks would appear to achieve new heights of ineptness (assuming the report is correct). Explaining the counter-terrorism cuts as a measure to save money for critical missions is not likely to instill instant understanding of the Navy's view of what is important to the Service and to the nation either. (Harvey) (WashTimes 4 July 03, p.5 //B. Gertz & R. Scarborough)
THE NEW US -- A DISSERTATION AS A SECURITY THREAT -- Sean Gorman's professor called his dissertation "tedious and unimportant." Gorman didn't talk about it when he went on dates because "it was so boring they'd start staring up at the ceiling." But since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Gorman's work has become so compelling that companies want to seize it, government officials want to suppress it, and al Qaeda operatives -- if they could get their hands on it -- presumably would find it a treasure map. Tinkering on a laptop, wearing a rumpled T-shirt and a soul patch goatee, the George Mason University graduate student has mapped every business and industrial sector in the American economy, layering on top of this the fiber-optic network that connects them.(Levine 8 July)
PHONE CAMERA MISCHIEF -- It may have been inevitable. Now that cell phones with little digital cameras have spread throughout Asia, so have new brands of misbehavior. Some people are secretly taking photos up women's skirts and down into bathroom stalls. Others are avoiding buying books and magazines by snapping free shots of desired pages. (Levine 9 July)http://www.siliconvalley.com/mld/siliconvalley/news/editorial/6266547.htm
NEW AUTOMATED CORPORATE PRIVACY TOOLS -- IBM is unveiling Wednesday new tools to help corporations make sure their confidential information is only seen by authorized employees. With the advent of federal rules that require the banking, medical and other industries to protect customer privacy, IBM originally responded with Tivoli Privacy Manager -- software designed to help organizations automate the enforcement of privacy practices as opposed to doing it manually or not at all. (Levine 9 July)
SECURITY PRODUCT STANDARDIZATION -- Despite wide use across government, intrusion detection systems have no standard metrics to measure their performance, according to a new report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The report 'An Overview of Issues in Testing Intrusion Detection Systems,' concluded that there are no comprehensive and scientifically rigorous methodologies to test the effectiveness of intrusion detection systems, which monitor and analyze systems and network traffic for possible hacker attackers or misuse. (Levine 9 July )
WMD SPOOF -- A Birmingham (UK) man's satirical Web page clocked up more than a million visits last week. A Web site lampooning the United States' inability to locate weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has become one of the biggest hits on the Internet. The site, which is designed to look like a genuine error message -- replete with "bomb'' icon -- was last week the top result when the phrase "weapons of mass destruction'' was entered into one of the Web's top search engines, Google.(Levine 7 July)http://news.zdnet.co.uk/story/0,,t269-s2137132,00.html
US INFORMATION SECURITY LAW SOURCE -- a four-part series looking at the way those laws affect the work of security professionals. U.S. Information Security Law:
(1) Part One: Protecting Private Sector Systems, and Information Security Professionals and Trade Secrets (http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1669).
(2) Part Two: Protecting Private Sector Systems and Securing the Working Environment (http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1681).
(3) Part Three: Information Security and the Public Sector-An Introduction to the Criminal Law of Information Security (http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1693).
(4) Part Four: Information Security and the Public Sector- An Introduction to the National Security Law of Information Security. (http://www.securityfocus.com/infocus/1710)
ALL THE SHAH'S MEN: AN AMERICAN COUP AND THE ROOTS OF MIDDLE EAST TERROR, by Stephen Kinzer, John Wiley & Sons, 2003. On Aug. 19, 1953, Mohammad Mossadegh, the elected prime minister of Iran, was overthrown in a coup led by U.S. agents in a plan devised by the British Secret Service. The official and widely accepted American story was that this was a spontaneous popular uprising. Author Kinzer describes a different scenario. He shows the extreme reaction of the British when the Iranian parliament, in 1951, voted to nationalize the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co., most of whose shares were owned by the British government. This nationalization was a response to Britain's adamant refusal to change its existing favorable concession. The British, despite their Labor government's nationalization of several British industries, refused to accept either a 50-50 profit sharing agreement or the compensated nationalization the Iranians offered. The British Secret Service thereupon planned Mossadegh's overthrow, but, with Harry S. Truman as president, the US refused to join the British.
When Dwight D. Eisenhower became president in 1953, he brought with him John Foster as secretary of state and Allen as head of the CIA. Both had big business backgrounds and thought Iran's nationalization threatened oil concessions everywhere. An alarming threat was presented to the American and British public -- that Iran's communist Tudeh Party was about to take over a strategic country bordering the Soviet Cold War foe, and that Mossadegh's moves were a threat to Western oil access.
Even before taking office, the Dulles brothers dealt with the British regarding Mossadegh's overthrow and soon convinced an initially doubtful Eisenhower. Winston Churchill and his Conservatives had defeated the Labor government and had launched an aggressive series of anti-Mossadegh operations that caused Iran to break diplomatic relations and expel all British subjects. Hence the British handed over to the Americans their coup plans and ties to Iranian operatives. Money was liberally distributed to Iranian agents, who handed out some of it to mobs under their control. With the support of the mob and some military, the coup succeeded, and the country's exiled monarch, Mohammad Reza Shah was reinstalled.
A new 1954 oil agreement retained nationalization in name only, with real power going to a consortium consisting of Anglo-Iranian, U.S. companies and a few international companies. Over the decades there was a reinstatement of nationalization, though, as long as it was under the shah, the U.S. did not worry and U.S. companies profited from oil distribution. The author tells the story in the context of questioning the long-term efficacy of US interventions abroad. (Reviewed by Professor Emeritus Nikki R. Keddie, UCLA, author of "Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution.") (other stories on this topic, search www.latimes.com/archives) (Editor's Comment: Book not read, Keddie's review edited. Review included to provide perspective on background of Iran as the next probable target for US attention. In earlier days the threat was oil and communism; today it is oil and Islamic fundamentalism, In both cases it involves US access and control). (Jonkers)
THE AL-QAEDA THREAT: AN ANALYTICAL GUIDE TO AL-QAEDA'S TACTICS AND TARGETS, by Ben Venzke and Aimee Ibrahim, ISBN 0-9665437-3-4, 200 pages (6x9) $39.95 to obtain click www.intelcenter.com/alqaedathreat/index.html or call 703 370 2962. The book is based on a study of 10 years of al-Qaeda statements, audio tapes, videos and training manuals, extracting all references to tactics and targeting philosophy, resulting in assessments of eighteen classes of tactics and twenty-two classes of targets. It was found that a number of al-Qaeda terrorist attacks were forecast by their statements, as depicted in this short, substantive book, based on Arabic textual materials.
The ever-pressing need for more translation resources are repeatedly obvious. In Febraury 2002 the authors obtained an article by an al-Qaeda member addressing the importance of targeting oil tankers. This was followed eight months later by the attack on the LIMBURG off the coast of Yemen. Perhaps even more disturbing, the same article explores the ease with which a small nuclear device and nuclear material could be obtained in Russia due to poor security measures.
This is an Open Source book that can contribute to analysts involved in highly classified counter-terrorist activities, and is useful for counter-terrorist professionals at all levels of government. For the next couple of weeks the authors will be releasing one al-Qaeda excerpt a day from the book through their IntelCenter Announcement List. You can sign-up for this list for free by going to http://www.intelcenter.com and clicking on Announcement List. You can also find more information about the book at http://www.intelcenter.com/alqaedathreat/index.html (Jonkers)
IN MEMORIAM -- Tony Poe -- The Death of a Legend. Tony Poe, aka "Anthony Poshepny," former Marine and CIA retired, died peacefully during the morning of June 27, 2003. The news was hard to accept. It is still difficult to imagine Tony dying peacefully or even dying at all. He seemed indestructible. Having survived Japanese and NVA bullets, and the consumption of enough alcohol to fill a large swimming pool, Tony kept going like the Energizer Bunny.
Tony was born on September 18, 1924, in Long Beach, California. On December 14, 1942, shortly after turning 18, he dropped out of high school and joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Tony's outstanding boot camp performance and physical ability led to his selection for the elite para-Marines. Following jump school, he joined the Second Parachute Battalion, commanded by Victor "Brute" Krulak. Tony served with the parachute raiders in the Southwest Pacific until the special units were broken up late in 1943. He returned to the United States and became part of the newly formed 5th Marine Division. Following a year's training, the division first went into action at Iwo Jima. Tony landed on Iwo as the leader of a machine gun section on the 27th Regiment. He survived the hell of that island for 15 days until wounded in the right leg. He recovered in time to serve in Japan in the fall of 1945 with the initial occupation force.
Discharged on points on November 30, 1945, Tony entered St. Mary's College in San Francisco the following fall. He stood out on a golf team that included Ken Venturi, and appeared in Who's Who in Universities and Colleges. When he transferred to San Jose State, he took the entire golf team with him, displaying the kind of leadership that would become one of his trademarks. He graduated in 1950 with a degree in history and English. He planned to join the FBI but instead was recruited by the CIA.
Tony went through the first CIA class to take all its training at Camp Peary (The Farm). Fellow members of his class included Jack Shirley, Ralph McGehee, Zeke Ziliatus, and Rufus Phillips. Bill Lair and Pat Landry were a class or two ahead of him. Sent to Korea after graduation, Tony worked with the Chondogyo church group, a sort of animist-Christian sect that had fled North Korea and were being trained to be sent back across the 38th parallel. Jack Singlaub was in charge of this project. While in Korea, Tony met and worked with Pat Landry, Jim Haase, and Tom Fosmire, all of whom would go on to have long and distinguished careers with CIA paramilitary operations in Asia.
At the end of the Korean War, Tony was one of eight case officers who were sent to Thailand. He remained there for five years, serving under Walt Kuzmak who ran the CIA cover company, Sea Supply. In 1958, he became involved in the effort to overthrow the Sukarno government of Indonesia, working with Pat Landry and Jim Haase. At one point the group had to walk 150 kilometers through jungle and over mountains for an emergency evacuation by submarine. (The relationship between Tony and Pat Landry during this adventure seemed akin to the one between the bickering Odd Couple on TV. Landry recalled that Tony was The eternal Marine: nobody ever came up to his standards.)
From Indonesia, Tony joined the project to train and insert dissident groups into Tibet. He served at Camp Hale under Tom Fosmire, and he accompanied several teams to Dacca for insertion into Tibet via CAT. He came to admire the Khambas “the best people I ever worked with." Contrary to rumors, Tony never set foot into Tibet.
In March 1961, Tony took part in the efforts to train Vang Pao's Hmong followers at Padong in Laos. In the fall of 1962, following the Geneva Accords, he and Vint Lawrence became the only two CIA officers in Laos, monitoring the truce agreement. Tony grew restless in this assignment. A teetotaler, he began drinking heavily. Whereas Vint Lawrence got on well with VP, Tony soon became alienated from the Hmong leader. He welcomed the return to fighting in Laos in 1964, the year in which he married the niece of Touby Ly Foung, a prominent Hmong leader who did not always see eye-to-eye with VP. The union would produce two daughters, of whom Tony was inordinately proud.
In January 1965 , Tony took a NVA round though the stomach at Hong Non. After recovering, he was assigned to Nam Yu, where he spent the next five years, sending intelligence teams into China and monitoring the construction of the Chinese Road. It was during this time that the legend of Tony Poe took shape. Tony, himself, who took delight in feeding tale tales (some of them true!) to gullible reporters, fed the legend. Tony eventually became disillusioned with the war. George Kenning, who worked under Tony at Nam Yu, sensed a change in Tony in the late 1960s. The will of Americans to win the war seemed broken. This simple reality, Kenning recalls, more than anything else, is what finally defeated Tony Poe.
In 1970, Tony replaced Jack Shirley as head of training at Phitscamp in Thailand. While during this work, he managed to lose the two middle fingers on his hand to a Claymore mine. He closed the camp in 1974 and retired the following year. He remained in Thailand until relocating to California in the 1990s. Perhaps an occasional problem for some of his senior bosses in the Agency, no one ever questioned Tony's loyalty, courage, or commitment to the cause of freedom. He was a true warrior and a true patriot. (William M. Leary)