Weekly Intelligence Notes #34-03
WIN 34-03, dtd 5 September 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
ED. NOTE: WIN 34 was due on 29 August, but Symposium-related problems absorbed our time and delayed its publication. Mea culpa. RJ
CONTENTS of this WIN
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CIA'S MOST RECENT GRADUATES -- To mark the occasion of the June graduation of its largest class of new officers, CIA recruiters recently spoke on a on-the-record basis to the press. This was the first class enrolled after the 11 September attacks. The teaching of the craft of intelligence work was conducted at the "Farm" -- the officially unacknowledged site outside Williamsburg, Virginia. The group averages 29 years in age, and one-third are women. Twelve percent are ethnic minorities, three-quarters of the class speak a foreign language with "considerable" fluency; 70 percent had not been in the military or worked for the government. Some gave up more lucrative jobs in the private sector, and starting salaries will range between $45,000 and $60,000 a year. The chief of CIA human resources, Bob Rebelo, noted it takes a certain kind of mind to be a spy. He continued by noting that CIA is always in need of people proficient in foreign languages. "If you walked into this room with 100 native Arabic speakers, I'd give them all offers this afternoon, if they had the other qualifications we need," he said. "Same with Chinese. Same with Persian. Same with Urdu. Same with Pashto."
Understandably, Mr. Rebelo did not dwell on the fact that the "other qualifications" frequently preclude making an offer. Another possibly limiting factor is the long range question of how valuable will Pashto proficiency, for example, be to the organization ten years from now. (Harvey) (Dallas Morning News 21 Aug '03 //AP)
NSA NETWORK-CENTRIC TRANSFORMATION -- NSA Director Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden's recently announced his third initiative in four years to transform NSA from an agency entrenched in collecting intelligence from Warsaw Pact countries' land-based systems to the modern task of collecting intercepts transmitted by Internet, fiber and satellite systems.
NSA's new signals intelligence processing vision makes consumers part of the analysis system. It builds on the multibillion-dollar Groundbreaker and Trailblazer projects started in 2000 to update the agency's IT business and intelligence eavesdropping systems. The new challenge is "how we take the people who consume signals intelligence and make them players in the creation of signals intelligence," according to General Hayden. There are educational, technological and legal hurdles to overcome. By quickly pushing raw signals intelligence data to DOD, State and allied government agencies, they need top-notch translators and analysts. That is the first challenge. The second is easing federal laws that say NSA is the only agency that can produce signals intelligence.
NSA's signals intelligence processing initiative mirrors the Defense Department's evolving network-centric warfare strategy of getting information to warfighters soon after it is collected. DOD officials believe posting data quickly to a network that warfighters could easily view to assist in making decisions, shortens the target-identification-to-attack time gap. They say making tactical and geographic data readily accessible to commanders and troops is the best way to attack targets. NSA did this successfully on a small scale during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Marines in High Mobility Multipurpose Vehicles working on laptops tapped into the most sensitive NSA databases. The Marines accessed NSA computers down to the regiment level, the Army at the division echelon and the Air Force at theater command centers.
DOD conducted the Quantum Leap experiment Aug. 27 to test new concepts and technologies in transmitting, posting and accessing information. John Stenbit, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration, calls it 'horizontal fusion.' Stenbit said the department must adopt the OHIO principle: Only Handle Information Once. NSA is keeping in step. (Jonkers) (Federal Computer Week, 1 Sep 03, p.14 //F. Tiboni)
IRAQ WMD INTELLIGENCE DECEPTION -- U.S. and allied intelligence agencies have reportedly launched a major effort to determine if they were 'victims' of Iraqi defectors who planted disinformation to mislead the West and their own eagerness to believe them.. Former Iraqi operatives have confirmed that Hussein's regime sent "double agent" defectors to the West to plant fabricated intelligence. In other cases, Baghdad apparently tricked legitimate defectors into funneling phony tips about weapons production and storage sites. "They were shown bits of information and led to believe there was an active weapons program, only to be turned loose to make their way to Western intelligence sources," said the senior intelligence official. "Then, because they believe it, they pass polygraph tests and the planted information becomes true to the West, even if it was all made up to deceive us."
Hussein's motives for such a disinformation scheme may have been to bluff his enemies abroad, including Iran and Israel (the nearby threat) and the US (the distant threat), by sending false signals of his capability to deter an attack. At the same time by destroying or burying his active WMD materiel he led the eagerly war-bound US leadership and Intelligence by the nose and into a trap -- earning a worldwide impression of a lack of credibility and capability when UN inspectors could find nothing.
"We were prisoners of our own beliefs," said a senior U.S. weapons expert who recently returned from a stint with the survey group. "We said Saddam Hussein was a master of denial and deception. Then when we couldn't find anything, we said that proved it, instead of questioning our own assumptions." A U.S. intelligence official said that analysts may have been too eager to find evidence to support the WMD claims by the political leadership. As a result, he said, defectors "were just telling us what we wanted to hear."
The current focus on Iraqi defectors reflects a new skepticism within the Iraq Survey Group, the 1,400-member team responsible for finding any illicit arms. The survey group is jointly led by David Kay, a former U.N. nuclear inspector who was named a CIA special advisor in June, and Army Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, who headed the "human intelligence" service at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Kay has said he will issue a preliminary report next month.
The CIA launched its own internal review of intelligence in February before the war but did not re-interview defectors. The four-member panel, headed by former CIA Deputy Director Richard Kerr, has only reviewed "finished" intelligence, not the "raw" reports that form their basis. The panel is now awaiting the Iraq Survey Group report before judging whether CIA assessments were on target.
More than likely the final report will state that WMD 'programs' were ongoing, citing covert 'planning' to purchase and install "dual use" equipment in civilian laboratories and factories. Evidence collected over the last two months suggests that Hussein's regime abandoned large-scale weapons development and production programs after the Gulf War in 1991 in favor of a plan to produce a much smaller "just in time" operation that could be modified to produce poison gases or germ agents if they were suddenly needed. Whether this plan was actually implemented is yet to be discovered. Reportedly no proof has been found that any chemical or bio-warfare agents were produced after 1991.
One way or another, some observers believe that enough material will be produced by the Kay group to provide a measure of political and institutional WMD cover for both intelligence shortcomings and Government war propaganda. As world-wise cynics noted in England (where PM Tony Blair is having a hard time), if you agree with the strategy, then don't quibble about the means necessary to carry the (ignorant) mass public along with you. It's been done since time immemorial. (Jonkers) (LA Times, 28 August 03, p. 1 //B. Drogin)
CLASSIFIED "BLACK PROGRAM' SPENDING UP -- 'Black' or compartmented classified programs requested in the 2004 defense budget are at the highest level since 1988, according to a report prepared by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Part of the surge in the classified budget might be explained by increases for the CIA's covert action support programs buried in the defense budget, or for similar defense intelligence programs. Some black spending in the Pentagon budget is designated for code-named programs such as the Army's "Tractor Rose" and the Navy's "Retract Larch." But code-names may be just accounting fictions that do not stand for actual programs. Other classified spending is accounted for under such bland headings as "special activities."
In the past weapons systems such as the F-117 and the B-2, incorporating advanced technologies, were initially developed within the classified budget. It is anybody's guess where today's classified money is going, but some of it may be dedicated to programs such as missile defense, advanced submarines and the development of hypersonic planes that can fly beyond Earth's atmosphere. In any case, in dollar terms, total classified spending in the Pentagon budget request has allegedly almost doubled since the mid-1990s, and we may find out later what technological wonders in intelligence and weapons systems are underway 'out-of-sight.' (Jonkers) (WashPost 27 Aug 03, p. 23 //D. Morgan)
NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION - INDIA's NUCLEAR COMMAND -- Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee chaired the first meeting of the newly established Indian Nuclear Command Authority in a concrete bunker at an undisclosed location. He reviewed the progress in consolidating the country's nuclear deterrence by the tri-service Strategic Forces Command (SFC) established in January. Also discussed were the alternate chains of command for retaliatory nuclear strikes, the transfer of nuclear delivery systems to the SFC and the need for an operational nuclear weapon triad - in the form of aircraft, mobile land-based missiles and sea-based platforms.
The Indian armed forces at present have the 2,000-km-plus Agni-II ballistic missile (capable of reaching Chinese targets) and the 150-250 km short-range Prithvi missile (tactical combat) in their armory. The 700 to 800-km range Agni-I missile, specifically dedicated for Pakistan targets, is being readied for operational use with nuclear warheads. Frontline IAF fighters like Mirage-2000s and Sukhoi-30MKIs can be configured to deliver nuclear weapons. Indian nuclear and armament developments are generally off our media screens, but this is the area where a full-scale nuclear war is more likely than anywhere else, with devastating results for all of us. (Jonkers)(The Times of India, 2 Sep 03 //Rajat Pandit) (courtesy John S.) (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com:80/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=160202)
THE FISA COURT -- The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. It is responsible for authorizing government applications for clandestine search and surveillance in counterintelligence and counter-terrorism investigations. In 2002 the Court reviewed and approved 1228 such applications, an all-time high. The Court plays a decisive role in defining the permissible boundaries of domestic surveillance. When the FBI is criticized for using the USA Patriot Act to monitor unsuspecting (Arab?) Americans, it points to the fact that by law any such surveillance must first be approved by the FISA Court. It is a court that operates with the greatest discretion, out of the limelight. The 2003 roster of the eleven-member FISA court has now been released, after a Freedom of Information request. A full profile of the Court today -- its members, their views of the USA Patriot Act and the war on terrorism, and their experience with the FISA process -- remains to be written.(Secrecy News (5/9/03) (http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/fisa/court2003.html)
LOCKHEED WINS FBI SECURITY OVERHAUL CONTRACT -- The FBI awarded Lockheed Martin Information Technology Inc. a five-year, $140-million contract to overhaul security on the Bureau’s systems and networks. The contract will support the FBI’s new Technology Infusion Program, aimed at mitigating risk and reducing vulnerabilities. (Levine 08/27) http://www.gcn.com/vol1_no1/daily-updates/23301-1.html
BORDER SECURITY VIDEO ENHANCEMENT -- The Bureau of Customs and Border Protection is expanding its use of intelligent video cameras to include the Mexican border in addition to the Canadian border. In May, the Homeland Security Department began installing the state-of-the-art surveillance technology by ObjectVideo along the Canadian border. Now the company's Video Early Warning (VEW) software will be installed at critical points in California and Arizona. (Levine 08/27)
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS SOLD ON THE WEB -- The California-based Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights said for $26 each it was able to purchase the Social Security numbers for top Bush administration officials.(Levine 08/28)
OFFENSIVE AND DEFENSE INFORMATION WAR CONTRACTS -- The Air Force has chosen six vendors to compete for $252 million to provide offensive and defensive Information Warfare techniques, for operations, acquisition and testing at the Air Force Information Warfare Center. The indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contracts were chosen last month and announced yesterday. (Levine 08/28)
GAO REPORT ON INFORMATION-SHARING -- It claims that the Department of Homeland Security is losing control of information-sharing efforts.
ARE VIRUSES MONEYMAKERS? -- Sobig.f is one virus that really lives up to its name. The original Sobig showed up on networks back in January of this year, and variations have proliferated ever since. And this isn't likely to be the last. The latest spawn, Sobig.f, spreads by e-mail and shared network files, slowing e-mail servers with heavy traffic. While it has a built-in termination date of September 10, many virus watchers called it one of the fastest spreading viruses ever. What's the motive to keep creating these monsters? Apparently, the Sobig viruses are big moneymakers, designed to load special software that can anonymize spam onto people's PCs. Infected computers can be used by bulk e-mailers to send unsolicited messages that can't be tracked. (PJK)
SARS: AN INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT -- "The wave of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has been overcome, but SARS has not been eradicated...We remain vulnerable." That is one conclusion of a new Intelligence Community Assessment which examines the evolution of SARS and the potential implications of the disease for the United States under various scenarios. A copy of "SARS: Down But Still a Threat," by Karen Monaghan, published by the National Intelligence Council, August 2003, may be found at http://www.fas.org/irp/nic/sars.html (Secrecy News )
DEFENSE SCIENCE BOARD REPORT ON MILITARY SPACE PROGRAMS --There are "systemic problems" in the nation's military and national security space programs, according to a report of the Defense Science Board that was released September 4. Among other things, the next generation spy satellite program, known as the Future Imagery Architecture, is "technically flawed," the study found, and "not executable." See "Acquisition of National Security Space Programs," Report of the Defense Science Board/Air Force Scientific Advisory Board Joint Task Force, dated May 2003, and just released: http://www.fas.org/spp/military/dsb.pdf
(Secrecy News 9/5/03)
(1)CHINA - The Canadian Security Intelligence Service published an article on "Weapons Proliferation and the Military-Industrial Complex of the People's Republic of China" in the latest issue of its publication, 'Commentary.' Check http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/china/com84.html
(2)NETHERLANDS - The Defense Intelligence and Security Service (MIVD) of the Netherlands has recently published an English edition of its 2002 Annual Report. The report offers a Dutch perspective on terrorism, conflict in the Middle East, and other topics of international interest. See (in MS Word format):
http://www.fas.org/irp/world/netherlands/mivd2002.doc (Secrecy News 9/5/03)
AFIO CONVENTION AND SYMPOSIUM 1-4 November 2003 -- The Agenda and Registration documents have been distributed by email, and 'snail-mail' will follow. AFIO members are urged to register early if you plan to attend, to clear security requirements and for planning purposes. Dir CIA, Dir. NIMA, Dir NSA, Dir. DARPA, and Chmn NIC have indicated their willingness to participate. Other Symposium speakers listed have been invited. (Jonkers)
WASHINGTON SPY SCENE WALKING TOURS -- Carol Bessette (AFIO member, retired Air Force intelligence officer, and Certified Master Tour Guide) offers espionage-related walking tours of DC. September Schedule: (1) Sept 7, 'Spies of Georgetown.' Meet 1 pm in front of Georgetown Public Library, Wisconsin Ave and R St, NW. (2) Sept 14, 'Spies in the Shadow of the White House.' Meet 1 pm at statue of Andrew Jackson in center of Lafayette Square. (3) Sept 21, 'Spies: North by Northwest.' Meet 1 pm at corner of Wisconsin Ave and Massachusetts Ave (in the park, southeast corner of intersection). All tours $12; no reservations required. For further info, www.spiesofwashingtontour.com or (703) 569-1875. Recommended! (RJ)
CIA RECRUITMENT VIDEO -- "Alias" video star Jennifer Garner has been asked to be in a recruitment video for the CIA. A film industry liaison for the Agency said they'd like other cast members of "Alias" to take part too. They must be rolling in the money. (29 August 03)
USMC MARATHON -- Have an old (young) Navy Intelligence colleague make your marathon run for you on behalf of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, helping some young victims of that disease. Cmdr Chip Beck, USNR will run to raise funds. His goal is to raise $1,700. Make your tax-deductible donation, large or small, to: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, US Marine Corps Marathon Runners Team (Pledge for Runner Chip Beck) 6917 Arlington, Road, Suite 108, Bethesda, MD 20814. Make a good man sweat in a good cause. RJ.
Richard Cummings wrote: Twenty-five years ago, on 11 September 1978, Bulgarian émigré writer and broadcast journalist Georgi Markov died in London at age 49. His murder - by a killer armed with a 'poisoned umbrella'- remains one of the Cold War’s greatest mysteries. AFIO published my article on the murder in the ' Intelligencer.' Ricin was involved. This has relevance to the recent arrests in Paris and London this year of 'terrorists' with an alleged connection with al Qaeda, in possession of Ricin. I can update the article if you wish. NOTE: the article was posted on the Web at http://www.indexonline.org/news/20030911_bulgaria.shtml
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