Weekly Intelligence Notes #38-03
WIN 38-03 dtd 7 October 2003
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by AFIO for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs
NOTE: THE CHANGING FACE OF INTELLIGENCE 1-4 Nov 2003 at the National Reconnaissance Office and Central Intelligence Agency and other locales has limited space remaining. You will surely regret not signing up for this event. To view the complete four-day agenda --as well access our quick online registration form -- follow this link (REMOVED FOR SECURITY):
CONTENTS of this WIN
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HPSCI CHAIRMAN ON THE CIA LEAK -- Just as the media coverage over the allegation of White House deliberate public identification of a CIA covert officer was reaching it stride, the Chairman of the House Permanent Special Committee on Intelligence, Rep. Porter Goss (Rep/FL), was asked his position and provided both common sense and some political damage control. While saying he takes such leaks seriously, he distinguished between willful violation of the federal law and an inadvertent disclosure. He continued, "I would say there's a much larger dose of partisan politics going on right now than there is worry about national security. But I would never take lightly a serious allegation backed up by evidence that there was a willful -- and I emphasize willful, inadvertent is something else -- willful disclosure, and I haven't seen any." He also said that leaks of classified information are so routine that his committee would not act on them unless the intelligence services take them seriously. He noted that no one from the intelligence community had contacted him formally or informally and that his knowledge of the situation has come from the news media.
According to the Chairman, the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act, which makes disclosure of covert agents' identities a federal crime, is difficult to apply. It requires proof that the disclosure was intentional, and to his knowledge, the government has never successfully prosecuted anyone under that law. Regarding the frequency of leaks, he said, "There's a leak every day in the paper -- every single day -- of some type or another. About once a week the community refers them to the Justice Department."
An ancillary downside to the contretemps is that we probably will never have a chance to see how well a cover that uses a vocal former ambassador husband and the motherhood of young twins actually works for a covert operative in a foreign country. (Harvey) (Sarasota Herald Tribune Washington Bureau 3 Oct '03, pg. 10A //C. Reiss)
UNDERREPORTED SECTIONS OF THE IRAQ SURVEY GROUP'S FIRST REPORT -- David Kay's preliminary report on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction has been widely publicized as reporting no WMD were found. Not surprisingly, the bulk of the media did not report what the first three months of search did uncover. Here are some highlights copied from the ISG's report:
"We have discovered dozens of WMD-related program activities and significant amounts of equipment that Iraq concealed from the United Nations during the inspections that began in late 2002. The discovery of these deliberate concealment efforts have come about both through the admissions of Iraqi scientists and officials concerning information they deliberately withheld and through physical evidence of equipment and activities that ISG [Iraq Survey Group] has discovered that should have been declared to the UN. Let me just give you a few examples of these concealment efforts...:
· A clandestine network of laboratories and safehouses within the Iraqi Intelligence Service that contained equipment subject to UN monitoring and suitable for continuing CBW [chemical and biological weapons] research.
· A prison laboratory complex, possibly used in human testing of BW agents, that Iraqi officials working to prepare for UN inspections were explicitly ordered not to declare to the UN.
· Reference strains of biological organisms concealed in a scientist's home, one of which can be used to produce biological weapons.
· New research on BW-applicable agents, Brucella and Congo Crimean Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF), and continuing work on ricin and aflatoxin were not declared to the UN.
· Documents and equipment, hidden in scientists' homes, that would have been useful in resuming uranium enrichment by centrifuge and electromagnetic isotope separation (EMIS).
· A line of UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] not fully declared at an undeclared production facility and an admission that they had tested one of their declared UAVs out to a range of 500 km, 350 km beyond the permissible limit.
· Continuing covert capability to manufacture fuel propellant useful only for prohibited SCUD variant missiles, a capability that was maintained at least until the end of 2001 and that cooperating Iraqi scientists have said they were told to conceal from the UN.
· Plans and advanced design work for new long-range missiles with ranges up to at least 1000 km--well beyond the 150 km range limit imposed by the UN. Missiles of a 1000 km range would have allowed Iraq to threaten targets through out the Middle East, including Ankara, Cairo, and Abu Dhabi.
· Clandestine attempts between late-1999 and 2002 to obtain from North Korea technology related to 1,300 km range ballistic missiles--probably the No Dong--300 km range anti-ship cruise missiles, and other prohibited military equipment."
· "In addition to the discovery of extensive concealment efforts," Kay continued, "we have been faced with a systematic sanitization of documentary and computer evidence in a wide range of offices, laboratories, and companies suspected of WMD work. The pattern of these efforts to erase evidence--hard drives destroyed, specific files burned, equipment cleaned of all traces of use--are ones of deliberate, rather than random, acts."
The report listed the principal factors hindering the search effort as: Iraq's WMD activities started out highly compartmentalized with each program enforced through terror, deception and denial; deliberate dispersal and destruction of material and documentation related to weapons began pre-conflict and ran trans-to-post conflict; significant elements of post-conflict looting had a clear aim of concealing pre-conflict activities; some WMD personnel crossed borders in the pre/trans conflict period and may have taken evidence and even weapons-related materials with them; any actual WMD weapons or material is likely to be small in relation to the total conventional armaments footprint; and finally, many of the Iraqis contacted report threats and overt acts of intimidation.
One significant element of the report unmentioned by the media in its rush to highlight "no WMD" was the physical danger thrust on the survey group. The report said, "In September alone we have had three attacks on ISG facilities or teams. The ISG base in Irbil was bombed and four staff injured, two very seriously; a two person team had their vehicle blocked by gunmen and only escaped by firing back through their own windshield; and on Wednesday, 24 September, the ISG Headquarters in Baghdad again was subject to mortar attack." Intelligence personnel are accustomed to post-conflict BDA collection problems, but the ISG experience thus far would appear virtually unique. Source: Statement by David Kay on the Interim Progress Report on the Activities of the Iraq Survey Group (ISG) before the HPSCI and SSCI 2 Oct '03 and File: Congressional oversight (2) (Harvey)
INITIAL, TENTATIVE "LESSONS LEARNED" IN IRAQI WAR OPERATIONS -- Focusing on military operations in the Iraq War at the CinC and below level, a classified, 400-page report that is still being written was briefed for the House Armed Services Committee recently by Admiral Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., the commander of the Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia. Perhaps the lead conclusion, after finding that joint operations enhanced the effectiveness of ground, sea and air forces in battle and that the "friendly fire" problem has not been solved, was that future combat will be based upon bringing "overmatching power" to the battle vice "overwhelming force." Overmatching power is measured not solely in numbers of troops and weapons, but in the ability to join all of the military's capabilities for quick, decisive victory with far fewer troops. This was done in Iraq by leveraging "four key dimensions of the modern battle space: knowledge, speed, precision and lethality." [Unmentioned in the press reporting but obvious to intelligence people, good intelligence is "knowledge" and without knowledge, speed, precision and lethality are of limited value.]
The Admiral's briefing and a separate Pentagon briefing by his chief of the Joint Center for Lessons Learned, Brig. Gen. Robert Cone alluded to intelligence several times. Their comments included:
** The Admiral described the dichotomy between good intelligence at the start of the war, in terms of assessing the Iraqis' overall strength, and much poorer intelligence as the "high-speed, fast-moving campaign" unfolded. "The ability to be able to do effects assessments or battle damage in a rapid fashion lags seriously behind the movement of our forces," he said.
** Brig. Gen. Cone said a clear lesson learned was that intelligence "wasn't good at all, in terms of what we expected of the enemy inside the city." [This would seem to be another way of saying battle damage assessment lagged.]
** The study ranked its findings in terms of "winners," those "capabilities that demonstrated considerable effectiveness but need enhancement," and those that fell unacceptably short of expectations or needs. Under the effective but needs enhancement category, the study included urban warfare, psychological operations, and the broad category of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance [the increasing popular ISR term].
At least based on the sketchy details given in the press, it appears that intelligence is in its usual position of never being able to satisfy its customers broadly and rapidly enough, a sort of "you get really good and they expect you to be perfect" situation. (Harvey) (Washington Post 3 Oct '03, pg. 15 // V. Loeb) (N Y Times 3 Oct '03 // T. Shanker)
NEW ARMY INTELLIGENCE SYSTEMS PLANNING FOR DEPLOYMENT -- The Defense Department is looking to accelerate the deployment of additional Army operational intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities to aid operations in Iraq. One of the capabilities sought is the Basic Language Translation Service, a system that allows soldiers to scan a document written in a foreign language and receive an English translation on the spot. The system functions in many ways like a sensor -- taking a document, quickly translating the contents and providing the soldier with understanding right then and there. The second capability the Army could deploy is the PackBot Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) that was used to clear caves in Afghanistan Developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, PackBots are equipped with sensors and tasked with reconnaissance missions, often to avoid putting soldiers in danger.
Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander, USA, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, met late last month with officials from the Army Research Lab to generate possible dollar figures and time lines on which these two capabilities might be put into the hands of the soldier in Iraq. Both of these assets are part of a year-old DOD initiative called the “Horizontal Fusion Portfolio.” The portfolio comprises 13 programs across the department, all of which strive to bring “power to the edge,” or enable soldiers to access relevant information from any place on the battlefield. The initiative invests research and development funds in these 13 programs and integrates them into the “collateral space.” Through that space, warfighters are expected to be able to share information across domains -- say, between logistics and intelligence communities -- in a way that is not possible today. Essentially, the idea is to “create AOL for the Defense Department,” according to Marian Cherry, portfolio manager within the Pentagon Information Office, “where anybody anywhere using whatever hardware they have can get into [the] cyberspace.” The Horizontal Fusion Portfolio was launched last year by the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration to accelerate “net-centric warfighting. Decisions on the deployments are pending specific allocation of the $87 billion supplemental request which has yet to be approved by Congress. (Inside the Army, 6 Oct 2003, p.1 //E. Hsu & ITA 17 Feb 03, p.1)
CYBER WAR - TEENAGER BRINGS DOWN PORT -- A British teenager allegedly brought down the Internet systems of a major US port while attempting to extract revenge on a fellow IRC user, a court heard today. Aaron Caffrey, 19, allegedly slowed systems at the port of Houston in Texas to a crawl as the result of an attack actually aimed at a fellow chat-room user, called Bokkie, whose anti-American remarks days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks annoyed the British teenager so much that he allegedly sought to take out her Net connection using an attack tool he had created. We need to remember the weakness of the computer network systems upon which we increasingly rely - - it is very, very fragile. (Levine/RJ 6 October 03)
UK ARMY DEPLOYS PC FORENSICS TECHNOLOGY IN IRAQ -- Equipment and techniques normally associated with resolving business disputes have made their way into post-war Iraq, where the army is using it to find evidence of war crimes. The British Army has revealed that it is using PC forensics technology in Iraq to search through recovered electronic media to investigate illegal activities undertaken by the previous regime. (Levine 29 Sep 03)
GAO FAULTS FBI INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY STRATEGY -- The FBI still lacks a comprehensive blueprint for modernizing its information technology systems, because the agency has not made crafting such a strategy a priority, according to a new report from the General Accounting Office. After nearly three years of effort to develop a plan to upgrade its antiquated systems, and hundreds of millions of dollars already invested in two new systems, the FBI is still in only the initial stages of creating an overall strategy for IT modernization, GAO found. (Levine 29 Sep 03)
US VISA-TRACKING PROGRAM -- The Federal government is about to unveil a blueprint for one of its largest information technology projects ever, a vast automated system that will track every foreigner entering the United States with a visa. The program, which is designed to prevent terrorists and criminals from obtaining visas, is likely to cost billions of dollars. (Levine 29 Sep 03) http://www.msnbc.com/news/973387.asp
WEBER BOOK ON REAGAN LETTERS: Broadway books is releasing AFIO member & Professor Ralph E. Weber's book, "Dear Americans: Letters from the Desk of Ronald Reagan" on October 23, 2003 [ISBN: 0-385-50756-9]. This volume contains fascinating letters handwritten by Reagan as President, 1981-1989; and also includes domestic and foreign policy issues during his presidency. AFIO readers will come away with a significantly new understanding of this President and his determination to rebuild America. His insights, his humor, his understanding of American strengths and weaknesses are evident in these letters. These letters, not written by staff members, reveal a Ronald Reagan often misunderstood by the media. Ralph A. Weber, the author's son, is Associate Editor of the book. How about the Nepotism!
IRAQ WMD -- The unclassified portion of Dr. Kay’s report contains 10 single-spaced typed pages about Saddam's WMD programs. It Read the report at
Saturday, Nov. 1st, 2003 at Sheraton Premiere Hotel, Tysons Corner, VA
Featured Speakers include (among many):
-- Ms. Michelle Van Cleave, National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX)
-- Dr. Kenneth Alibek, Exec. Dir., Center for Bio-defense at GMU on weapons of mass destruction
-- Evening Banquet, "SPIES IN BLACK TIES" with British intelligence author and former MP Nigel West
Sunday, Nov. 2nd, 2003 at Sheraton Premiere
-- Choice of private espionage-themed tours (optional):
1. International Spy Museum private tour
2. Spy Bus Tour of Hanssen spy sites
-- Panel discussions held on Intelligence literature to include:
1. Author Ron Kessler speaks on his forthcoming novel "The CIA at War"
2. A special Intelligence Literature Panel
Monday, Nov. 3rd, 2003 at NRO
Featured Speakers include (among many):
-- Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper, Jr., USAF (Ret.), Director, NIMA
-- Dr. Paul Pillar, National Intelligence Council, CIA
-- Dr. Anthony J. Tether, Director, DARPA
Tuesday, Nov. 4th, 2003 at CIA
Featured Speakers include (among many):
-- Rep. Porter Goss, Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI)
-- Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, Director (NSA)
-- Mr. John Brennan, Director, Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC)
NDIA WEBSITE HAS NEW ONLINE FORM FOR AFIO MEMBER TRIAL -- The special 6 months free trial membership NDIA [National Defense Industrial Association] is offering to AFIO members can be obtained from their website. The sign-up application is at https://secure.ndia.org/forms/afio.cfm. This trial membership includes their award-winning magazine "National Defense." For further information you should also explore www.ndia.org.
Ed B. sends this note on INTERROGATION OF TERRORISTS -- Check out the October 2003 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. The article is The Dark Art of Interrogation: A Survey of the Landscape of Persuasion. The article is written by Mark Bowden a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of six books, including Black Hawk Down (1999) and Killing Pablo, which won the Overseas Press Club's Cornelius Ryan Award as the best book of 2001. Bowden's article Tales of the Tyrant, about Saddam Hussein, was The Atlantic's cover story in May of 2002
Quote: "Terrorists are lockboxes containing potentially life-saving information. Sheikh Mohammed has his own reasons for plotting mass murder, and there are those who would applaud his defiance in captivity. But we pay for his silence in blood"
Other quote: "There are ways to make people talk, and America must sometimes use them. But which ones--and when?
George and Edna McC write on MISSING IRAQI SHIPS -- Prior to the commencement of the hostilities against Iraq, the media was filled with stories of three Iraqi ships aimlessly steaming around the worlds oceans, without portfolio, as the saying goes. No destination, no port of call, etc., etc. and now completely below the horizon line of world attention. My question is: what became of those three ships? Did they come sailing in or are they waiting for Christmas day?
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