Weekly Intelligence Notes #11-04 dtd 12 April 2004
WIN #11-04 dtd 12 April 2004
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are commentaries on Intelligence and related national security matters, based on open media sources, selected, interpreted, edited and produced by AFIO for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers.
CONTENTS of this WIN
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Queries / Announcements / Coming Events
THE PDB FOR 6 AUGUST 2001 -- The American press, print and electronic, has blanketed us with coverage of the 9/11 commission and of the testimony national security advisor Condoleezza Rice gave before it last Thursday. A myriad of commentaries have also appeared, sympathetic to the Bush administration and critical of it. Rather than relay material that WIN's readership has already seen in abundance, we are merely publishing what the BBC says is the full text of the 6 August 2001 PDB. The memo has been a focal point in the past week's debates over anti-terrorist policy.
The Presidential Daily Brief was set up by the CIA under that name in 1964 and is delivered to the president six mornings a week. Highly classified, its distribution under President Bush is restricted to fewer than a dozen senior administration officials, according to the New York Times. Compiled in a loose-leaf notebook, it contains about a dozen items a day and serves as a kind of newspaper with reports on current developments around the world and on broad trends.
The 9/11commission asked that the 6 August memo be declassified and the White House did so on 10 April. Three sections were edited, the White House said, to protect the names of foreign governments that provided information to CIA. For a historically rare and unprecedented opportunity to view the PDB, Click Here. (Cameron L.A., BBC, DKR)
THEATER COMMANDERS WANT MORE INTELLIGENCE -- Early April testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee by three regional commanders showed a similarity in that all three called for more and better intelligence, especially citing enhanced UAV capabilities. The Commander of the Pacific Command, Admiral Thomas Fargo USN, said in written testimony, "We need a dynamic mix of national and airborne assets capable of maintaining access for IMINT and SIGINT coverage over target areas for extended periods. Scientific and technical advancements like multispectral imaging aboard high-altitude, high-endurance assets such as the U-2 and Global Hawk are ideally suited to support our requirements. Early fielding of the Global Hawk in the USPACOM area of responsibility is essential." With regard to tactical systems such as the Predator UAV, he said they are of great value but that limited airframes, sensors and dissemination systems “prevent us from taking full advantage of these capabilities."
The Commander of the Southern Command, Gen. James T. Hill, USA, indicated in his written testimony that the war on terror will lead to an increase in requirements for persistent, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR). "Southern Command's role in Operation Enduring Freedom includes the employment of national, airborne, ground and maritime ISR assets that are targeted against regional terrorist groups and transnational support cells." He continued to say the majority of his assets currently are focused on the tactical fighting in Columbia and thus unavailable for other missions.
General Leon J. LaPorte, USA, Commander of the UN Command, Republic of Korea-United State Combined Forces Command and US Forces Korea, said short-range UAVs that improved tactical IAR were fielded in Korea last year. "The next step is fielding long-range, high-altitude UAVs that can conduct some of the missions now performed by manned reconnaissance aircraft. Your continued support to modernize intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities is a wise investment in the future."
At least in the media article on the subject and in a refreshing change from the treatment of intelligence in Washington, the three commanders did not indulge in criticism of recent intelligence performance in their areas. [Harvey] (Aerospace Daily, 2 Apr '04, DKR)
REPORT CAST DOUBT ON FBI’S ROLE IN DOMESTIC INTELLIGENCE -- The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), in a report published last week, said doubts remain as to whether the FBI can really change from a law enforcement agency focused on arresting criminals to an agency that collects and uses intelligence to stop terrorists before they strike.
The report acknowledged that the FBI has taken steps to correct shortcomings that became apparent after 9/11. Among the steps are increased intelligence operations, centralized controls of national security cases at FBI headquarters, and enhanced recruitment and training of analysts.
However, the report said, “The culture of the FBI, including its law enforcement-oriented approach to intelligence, may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle to necessary intelligence reforms...Some argue that the pace and scope of reform may be too slow and not radical enough.”
Maureen Baginski, the FBI's chief of intelligence, told Associated Press that the bureau has come far in a short time in building its intelligence capability. Each of the bureau's 56 field offices now has a contingent devoted to intelligence, and every morning at headquarters top FBI officials who oversee all of its programs meet to discuss intelligence arising from the day's threats, investigations, events and other activities. Baginski went to the FBI in May 2003 after 25 years at the National Security Agency.
The report presented five options for Congress to consider without endorsing any one of them. They range from support for changes being pushed by Director Robert Mueller to creating a new stand-alone domestic intelligence service.
This week the 9/11 commission is hearing testimony from current and former Justice Department and FBI officials. The commission will consider whether to recommend any changes in the FBI's domestic intelligence role in the panel's final report. (AP, Washington Post, DKR)
HARSH RUSSIAN SENTENCE ON SCIENTIST -- A Moscow court has sentenced a Russian scientist to 15 years at hard labor for allegedly spying for the United States in a trial that smacked of Soviet-style repression.
Igor Sutyagin, 39, an arms control expert, was found guilty of espionage for selling a foreign company information that he and fellow scientists said was unclassified and open to the public. He was convicted on 5 April and sentenced two days later.
Sutyagin admitted selling information about Russian military hardware to a British consultancy firm when he was arrested in 1999. The prosecution alleged the firm was a front for the CIA.
After sentencing Sutyagin said, "The only thing I am guilty of is that I had contacts with foreigners....In fact only newspapers, magazines and books, mostly published abroad, were the sources of my work."
A scientist acquitted in another trial involving unclassified material, Anatoly Nikitin, told the radio station Ekho Moskvy, "A man has been jailed for 15 years for carrying out scientific activity. Even terrorists get less." Nikitin, an environmentalist, was acquitted in 1999 of treason after contributing to a Norwegian report on Russian radioactive pollution of the Arctic seas.
The Sutyagin case is the latest in a series that represent efforts by the Russian Federal Security Service, known as the FSB, to curtail contacts between Russian and foreign scientists. In one such case, a military reporter, Grigory Pasko, was released from prison in January 2003 after serving two years for treason. He had disclosed that Russia was dumping nuclear waste into the Pacific Ocean.
The FSB has increased prosecuting scientists under Vladimir Putin, who formerly headed the agency.
Sutyagin worked for the prestigious U.S.A. and Canada Institute in Moscow when he was arrested in October 1999. He has been held in prison since then. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and greatly diminished state funding, many scientists have gone to work for foreign companies.
The trial was held with a jury, something that has been done only once before in an espionage case. That was last December when another scientist, Valentin Danilov, was acquitted of spying for China. Following Danilov’s acquittal, the judge in the Sutyagin case was changed. When the new judge, Marina Komorova, instructed the jury in the Sutyagin case, she made no reference to the question of whether the material was classified, said Boris Kuznetsov, one of the defense counsels. The verdict will be appealed. "I believe he is innocent, and I do believe that the judge and prosecutor and jury knew he was innocent," said Lyudmila Alekseyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group, a human rights watchdog body. The State Department criticized the trial for its lack of transparency and due process.
The Russian academic world has been shocked with Sutyagin's treatment that contrasts with the Kremlin's efforts on behalf of two Russians facing trial in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar. They are being held on suspicion of assassinating a former president of Chechnya, Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev. He was killed by a car bomb as he left a mosque in the Qatari capital, Doha, in February. The trial is set to begin this week and the defendants could face the death penalty.
A spokesman for the foreign ministry in Moscow said that it was doing "everything within our power" to secure their release before the trial begins. Moscow denies that the pair had anything to do with the car bombing. However, Qatari police are said to have found electric cable identical to that used in the bomb in a car traced to the Russians. Two witnesses also claim to have seen the pair standing near the former Chechen leader's vehicle shortly before the explosion that killed him.
The United States has admitted providing "minor technical assistance" to Qatar, a key ally in the region, in examining the explosives used to blow up the car. Officially, the Russian security services have not assassinated anybody abroad since 1959, according to the Sunday Telegraph of London.
Dmitry Afanasiev, one of the legal team defending the Russians, said last week that they have not been shown the full file detailing the accusations. The arrest and treatment of the men demonstrated "flagrant violations of due process and internationally accepted standards of justice....Not only Russian and British attorneys but even local Qatari counsel were repeatedly denied access to the captured Russian citizens." (New York Times 8 April, BBC 8 April, Sunday Telegraph 11 April, DKR)
FEDS GO AFTER WEB SALES OF STOLEN BODY ARMOR -- The Defense Criminal Investigative Service is trying to track down more than 150 people suspected of selling stolen military body armor over the Internet. Edward T. Bradley, agent in charge of the service's Northeast field office told Associated Press that hundreds of outer tactical vests and protective inserts that make the vests more bulletproof had been stolen from the military and sold on eBay for $200 to $1,000 a piece.
Bradley said some sellers sold the vests and inserts to the families of soldiers headed for Iraq, exploiting fears raised by reports last October that nearly one-quarter of American troops in Iraq lacked ceramic-plate body armor.
Government investigators launched a sting to make purchases on the Internet auction site, and have 157 suspected sellers in 33 states, U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan said. So far seven suspects have been charged. Sales of 539 vests and 506 inserts were discovered with 88 vests and 104 inserts recovered. Meehan said suspected drug dealers have recently been found with pieces of military body armor.
At Camp Pendleton, Calif., Marine Staff Sgt. Marvin Funiestas, 26, was convicted in a court martial and sentenced early in April to 10 years in prison after being found with more than 100 pieces of stolen body armor.
Bradley and Meehan said eBay officials helped investigators and the Internet site was not being accused of any illegal activity. (CLaClair, AP 8 April, DKR)
ACLU BRINGS ACTION AGAINST NO-FLY LIST -- The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of seven passengers who were barred from boarding flights on multiple occasions by airline and security personnel. The suit is aimed at a Federal no-fly list of terrorist suspects. The ACLU claims the list has been used to humiliate and stigmatize innocent citizens.
The seven plaintiffs were extensively questioned, searched and publicly singled out as posing a security threat after being told their names were on the list, the suit said. In each incident, they were allowed to board their flights after extensive efforts to prove they were not the same person as the suspected terrorist on the government's list. The passengers, all U.S. citizens, include a 74-year-old minister from Washington State, a 36-year-old U.S. Air Force master sergeant from Alaska, a 22-year-old student at Middlebury College in Vermont, a 34-year-old attorney in Illinois, a 51-year-old activist in Philadelphia and two ACLU employees.
The Transportation Security Administration provides the list to airline and security personnel and plans to use it with other databases of suspected terrorists, as part of a new passenger-screening program called Computer-Assisted Passenger Pre-Screening System II. The program is expected to begin later this year. TSA spokesman Mark Hatfield said the passengers' frustrating experience demonstrated a need for the new system, which is designed to better distinguish innocent travelers from terrorist suspects with the same name before they arrive at the airport.
The TSA and the Department of Homeland Security are named in the suit, filed 6 April in the U.S. District Court in Seattle. It seeks a court order to force the TSA to change the system so fewer innocent passengers are wrongly accused. The TSA said it has received more than 250 complaints from travelers.
The seven said the government has not told them why their names are on the list nor provided a way to remove their names. Two of the plaintiffs said they received letters from the TSA verifying their identities, but it hasn't been much help. TSA could not promise that there would be no delays or that they would not be stopped in the future, one of the two said.
The problem, Hatfield said, is the agency has an outdated system to verify passengers' identities. Hatfield said he was not aware that the no-fly list had helped capture any suspected terrorists. But he said it served as a useful deterrent. (PJK., Washington Post 7 April, DKR)
BRITISH OPPOSITION CHARGES RIFE MISUSE OF GOVERNMENT COMPUTERS -- The opposition Liberal Democrat Party claims rife misuse of computers in government departments, resulting in serious security concerns.
The worst department is the Inland Revenue, which was forced to investigate 1,369 cases of computer misuse between 1997 and 2003. According to official figures, 1,174 of those resulted in disciplinary action. The customs service investigated 328 cases of computer misuse with 147 resulting in disciplinary action. Other departments that appeared to have a problem include the Department for Work and Pensions and the Northern Ireland Office, which handles many sensitive documents.
Steve Webb, the Liberal Democrat shadow work and pensions secretary, called the idea of government employees snooping through people's private records cause for alarm. "Apart from the moral and ethical issues of computer misuse, these figures show serious security and cost problems. By accessing all sorts of inappropriate websites, some civil servants risk infecting their computers with viruses which costs taxpayers' money to fix and leaves computers vulnerable to security breaches."
Webb demanded the ruling Labor Party impose stiffer penalties for civil servants who step out of line.
(CLaClair, www.theregister.co.uk 4 April,DKR)
[IMPORTANT: AFIO does not "vet" or endorse these inquiries or offers. Reasonable-sounding inquiries and career offerings are published as a service to our members, and for researchers, educators, and subscribers. You are urged to exercise your usual caution and good judgment when responding or supplying any information.]
NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY TO HIRE 1,500 PEOPLE BY SEPTEMBER -- To meet the increasing needs of the Intelligence Community, NSA human resources chief John Taflan has announced, the agency will seek to hire around 1,500 people by this September and the same number every year for the next five years. NSA is looking for people with experience in foreign languages, especially Arabic and Chinese; intelligence analysis; signals analysis; mathematics, computer science, engineering and physical sciences; and acquisition. Non-technical jobs are also available. NSA offers outstanding opportunities, including work affecting national security and working with the latest technology. Additional benefits include flexible schedules, travel possibilities, federal benefits, educational opportunities, and the chance to work with a diverse group of people. Resumes should be submitted on the NSA web site, www.nsa.gov.
BOEING INTERNATIONAL SECURITY ACTIVITY -- a Fortune 500 corporation, is looking for people with at least a minimum SECRET clearance. Previous government, military intelligence, or security/law enforcement experience desired. International experience is a plus. Successful applicants will utilize security/intelligence experience while working complex security issues. They will interface with local, state, and federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, company managers, employees, customers, and vendors worldwide. They will be self-starters capable of working individually and in a close team. Positions are based in Seattle, WA. Please forward resumes to Jobs@Boeing.com and specify requisition number 04-1007091.
RAYTHEON SEEKS COLLECTION SUPPORT OFFICERS/DESK OFFICERS -- Responsibilities involve providing a workflow framework for operations that include logistic, data and records management, and related desk support; creating, managing and maintaining electronic spreadsheets and other databases; creating managing and maintaining operational materials; and creating editing and reviewing operational cable traffic. Candidates must have BA/BS degree and prior desk officer experience. Ten years related work experience may qualify in lieu of a degree. Reasonably good computer skills necessary. Current Top Secret/SCI with full scope polygraph required. Email your resume to Bob Farrand at: email@example.com. Or fax it to Bob at 703-613-1421.
AFIO MEMBER IS SEEKING NEW EMPLOYMENT -- An internationally known consultant on space international-security matters, Dr. Richard Boylan, has over four decades of research and field investigation and information generation experience in relation to exobiological activity and space contacts, policy and planning. He also has extensive contact and information-exchange with designated former intelligence and military officers concerning authorized and tacit space intelligence findings; coordination with the major investigators in this field in developing space information-sharing and strategic sociopolitical and futurist scenario planning; and personal contact and communication interface with Visitor interlocutors.
Dr. Boylan is now available for part-time, intermittent consultant work, domestic or international. Employers interested in finding out more about Richard Boylan, Ph.D., CHT can contact him at (T) 916-422-7400 or at
PHOTO INTERPRETER NEEDED -- "Does anyone know of a skilled photo interpreter, now working in private laboratory that has the ability to do a high quality enhancement on a digital surveillance photograph taken by a security camera?" Jim Hastings, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
USING SHARP AND STICKY POWER -- by Walter Russell Mead; Power, Terror, Peace, and War: America’s Grand Strategy in a World at Risk, Knopf, 160pp. $19. Mead, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, believes that unrestrained global capitalism and a more robust American imperium are inevitable. In his book, to be published later this month, Mead supports unilateralism and pre-emptive war, but also calls for greater attention to be given to the “sticky,” “sweet” and hegemonic aspects of American power in the war on terrorism. These terms are Mead’s development of Joseph Nye’s concept of hard and soft power. Mead divides hard power into two
categories: sharp, that is military, and sticky or economic power. Soft power divides between sweet or cultural influence and hegemonic, the totality of the United States’ agenda-setting power. In making his case, Mead provides useful insights into changes that distinguish the recent past from the likely future. Referring to the automobile magnate, he writes of a “Fordist” bureaucratic welfare state in the last century and in this one individualistic “millennial capitalism,” rooted in Jacksonian rebellion against the professional classes that have administered American from the New Deal on. As always, Mead is at the very least intellectually stimulating.
WORSHIPPING MARS -- by James Hillman; A Terrible Love of War, Penguin Press, 272 pp., $23.95. Hillman is a Jungian psychoanalyst who firmly believes that human kind love war. For him, war is an archetypal impulse and an authentic religious phenomenon, a worship of Mars. War is an implacable force, a primary element of the human condition, and what he calls a beautiful horror. As evidence, Hillman cites various memoirs and letters written in the heat of battle that reveal in the fighters a sense of such beauty and of their god-like invincibility. For those far from the battlefield, there is an appetite for viewing war whether real or on film that is akin to a taste for pornography, making voyeurs of us all. Christianity, Hillman says, is a warrior religion, something that not many Christians, clerics or laymen, are likely to agree with. He is least convincing when he suggests that the impulse to war can be checked by devotion to beauty as represented by Venus.
THE PENTAGON AND THE BOYS FROM HOLLYWOOD -- by David L. Robb, Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies, Prometheus, 350 pp. $28. Robb explores the conflicts between filmmakers and the Pentagon when the military are asked to provide everything from locations to Black Hawk helicopters. He relates how in "Top Gun", Tom Cruise was not allowed to have a love interest in an enlisted woman; she was changed into a civilian. The Marine Corps obliged producers to cut a scene from "Windtalkers" that showed a leatherneck prying gold teeth out of dead Japanese. In "The Perfect Storm," the crew of a sinking boat is rescued by the Air National Guard, not the Coast Guard as happens in real life. Robb reports that the Pentagon even went so far as to have military elements written into the Disney television series, The Mickey Mouse Club. The intention, it seems, was to get kids to want to join up when they grew up. Does Hollywood have to make such deals? Robb points out that "Forrest Gump," "An Officer and a Gentleman," and "Platoon" were all made without military assistance.
FRENCH THOUGHTS ABOUT WAR AND THINGS -- by Bernard-Henri Lévy; War, Evil and the End of History, trans. from the French by Charlotte Mandell, Melville House, 400 pp. $18.95 paper. Lévy, one of France’s best known intellectuals, has taken as his subject marginal but cruel conflicts in which the Western public has tended to take relatively little interest. He mixes eyewitness accounts of war in Angola, Sri Lanka, Burundi, Colombia and Sudan with philosophical comments on genocide, terrorism and history. Lévy explores the culture of each war zone. He tells us about his meetings with a young Tamil woman, prepared to be a suicide bomber, and a worried Communist militant leader in Colombia. In Sudan, he describes the ghost towns left behind by a war that first erupted in 1955. Burundi is described as a scene of total desolation. Lévy goes on to recount his intellectual progress from youthful Maoist activism, expounding his views on Hegelian views of history, the philosophy of ruins, nostalgia for war and its dehumanizing effects, the role of journalism and so on. He brings in Nietzsche, Sartre, and Foucault and other philosophies as well as drawing on novels and films. Some readers will be enchanted by Lévy’s elegant style; others may find the writing less than profound.
BRITISH TORY PAPERS CARRY CRITICISM OF U.S. CONDUCT IN IRAQ -- The Sunday and daily editions of an Influential conservative British newspaper have published criticism of U.S. military operations and policy in Iraq, coming from a senior British commander in Iraq, a noted American military analyst and a well-known British historian.
Both the ruling Labor Party and the opposition Conservative Party, which the papers the Sunday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph support, firmly backed U.S. intervention in Iraq. The publication of these critical pieces suggests a deep level of discontent among those Tory parts of the British establishment traditionally the most friendly to the United States.
Britain has deployed 8,700 troops in southern Iraq and has another 2,300 in the region. It is the largest Coalition military contingent after the United States. It was the British, after conquering three Ottoman provinces comprising Mesopotamia and part of Kurdistan during World War I, who turned these into the kingdom of Iraq. They retained a strong influence in Iraqi affairs until the overthrow of the monarchy in 1958. Indeed, the Iraqis had a saying: “God in Heaven, the British on Earth.”
The kind of conflict now besetting the Coalition in Iraq is nothing new to the British who fought and beat an insurgency in Malaysia but were beaten by insurgencies in Palestine, Kenya, and Cyprus. The senior British officer told The Sunday Telegraph that America's aggressive methods were causing friction among allied coalition commanders and that there was a growing sense of unease and frustration among the British high command. Source Link
“My view and the view of the British chain of command is that the Americans' use of violence is not proportionate and is over-responsive to the threat they are facing,” the officer told the paper. “They don't see the Iraqi people the way we see them. They view them as untermenschen. They are not concerned about the Iraqi loss of life in the way the British are. Their attitude towards the Iraqis is tragic, it's awful.”
Mortar attacks on U.S. troops in Baghdad, he said, are met with mortar-locating radar to find the firing point, then an artillery attack in the general area, even though it may be a densely populated residential area. American troops shoot first and ask questions later, the commander said. “They are very concerned about taking casualties and have even trained their guns on British troops, which has led to some confrontations between soldiers.”
"The British response in Iraq has been much softer. During and after the war the British set about trying to win the confidence of the local population. There have been problems, it hasn't been easy but on the whole it was succeeding."
America has lost the military initiative in Iraq, the officer said, and to regain it “will have to abandon the sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut approach....They need to stop viewing every Iraqi, every Arab as the enemy and attempt to win the hearts and minds of the people.” It will take up to 10 years to create a stable, democratic and safe Iraq, said the officer.
Also in The Sunday Telegraph, the American military analyst, Edward Luttwak, described the picture of unmitigated hostility to the Americans painted by the media misleading: the only Iraqis who will talk to the media are those passionately hostile to the Americans. The majority of Iraqis, who just want peace and prosperity, won't express their views in public because they are afraid of the gunmen, who bully anyone who does not support violence against the "infidel invader." Source Link
"Still, there is no denying that the Americans are very unpopular in Iraq," says Luttwak, a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "There is one good reason for that unpopularity, which is that they have failed to discharge the first duty of an occupying force: to provide, and maintain, law, order and stability." The U.S. has been unable to do so, he continues, because the Bush administration's estimates of how many men it would need to control Iraq were wildly wrong. Of the 130,000 servicemen in Iraq, Luttwak calculates, fewer than 60,000 are actually combat troops and that number cannot possibly control 22 million Iraqis.
All the same, he says, given the grossly inadequate numbers available for the task, the Americans and their Coalition allies are not doing too badly. "Most of Iraq is not in revolt against the Americans."
On Saturday, the Daily Telegraph carried a denunciation of what historian Niall Ferguson finds is American ignorance of history and of the harm that he sees as resulting from this. Source link
Ferguson, who currently teaches at New York University, recalls a conversation with a mid-ranking Treasury official about American plans for the post-war reconstruction of the Iraqi economy. “Not for the first time since crossing the Atlantic, I was confronted with the disturbing reality about the way Americans make policy,” he writes. “Theory looms surprisingly large....The lessons of history come a poor second, and only recent history - preferably recent American history - gets considered.” “There was amazement last year,” Ferguson continues, “when I pointed out in the journal Foreign Affairs that in 1917 a British general had occupied Baghdad and proclaimed: ‘Our armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators.’ By the same token, scarcely any American outside university history departments is aware that within just a few months of the formal British takeover of Iraq, there was a full-scale anti-British revolt.
In that uprising Sunni and Shi’i Arabs put aside their mutual dislike to make common cause against the British. Last week there were calls by both Muslim factions to do the same again. The British suffered 2,000 casualties in the 1920 insurgency that also raised the cost of being in Iraq to politically unacceptable levels. London was thus obliged to create a nominally independent Iraq that they continued to rule indirectly.
In a display of his own ignorance about the breadth and depth of learning that can be found among the U.S. uniformed military, Ferguson writes that he is willing to bet that not one senior military commander in Iraq today knows the slightest thing about 1920 events. He does, however, find that maybe some younger Americans realize that the United States has lessons to learn from something other than its own history. The best discussion of the 1920 revolt he has come across this year, he says, was presented by a young Chicago-based graduate at a Harvard University history conference.
“The high quality of political debate in the American universities suggests that the delusion of American ‘exceptionalism’ may be waning, he concludes. “But for the time being U.S. policy in Iraq is in the hands of a [Vietnam] generation who have learnt nothing from history except how to repeat other people's mistakes.”
Ferguson’s Colossus: The Price of America's Empire is published this month by Penguin Press. (Cameron L.C., Daily Telegraph (London) 10 April, Sunday Telegraph 11 April, DKR)
SYSTEM DETECTS PHONY PASSPORTS IN SECONDS -- Australia has joined Canada, Hungary, Sweden, Finland, and Nigeria in using or testing a toaster-sized system that can tell in seconds whether a passport is a fraud and identifies travelers who might be on terrorist watch lists. The iA-thenticate system, produced by Imaging Automation Inc. of Bedford, N.H., is also being employed at Dallas-Fort Worth and Boston airports.
Since installing the system at international airports in February, Australia's Custom Service has detected false documents, catching people who might not otherwise have been found out. The system, which ranges in price from $5,000 to $15,000 a unit, uses multiple light sources to examine hundreds of security features on travel documents. Many of the features, including the composition of ink, are invisible to the naked eye.
Imaging Automation is trying to sell its system to the Department of Homeland Security, which is facing delays in its plans to incorporate passport-validating fingerprint and facial biometrics at border crossings.
Congress set October 26th 2004 as a deadline for countries whose nationals benefit from a U.S. visa waiver to introduce biometric passports that contain data on fingerprints and iris identification. Secretary of State Powell and Homeland Security Secretary Ridge have asked Congress to extend the deadline for two years as they believe none of the 27 countries involved can meet it. (PJK, AP, DKR)
Mike P. writes: Thanks for including Tony Cordesman's "Facts We Must Face" (WIN #10-04 dtd 5 April 2004). It is a balanced, realistic assessment of where we stand in Iraq. DKR's companion piece on Islamist violence was also right on target.
I had reservations about going into Iraq, but ultimately supported the action. However, my support began to waiver when I realized that forces I thought would surely be deployed to Iraq remained in garrison in the United States. I feared exactly the post-war situation Cordesman and DKR describe.
The Administration committed forces sufficient to defeat Saddam's regime, but failed to provide the ground forces necessary to ensure effective control after the war and inhibit the types of attacks we now see daily. This was a strategic misjudgment of extraordinary magnitude. We will pay for it.
Secretary Rumsfeld publicly humiliated General Shinseki, then the Army Chief of Staff, for correctly warning Congress that significant additional forces would be needed to assure the peace. Unfortunately, General Shinseki had lost credibility with the SECDEF during force restructuring debates. Rumsfeld still does not appear convinced that airpower and space technology cannot substitute for the type of ground forces Shinseki argued were needed. The neo-cons were wrong and arrogant.
It is clear that we must stay the course in Iraq. Our forces are performing a very difficult job well, but they are stretched too thin. Yesterday, General Abizaid suggested that additional ground forces might be needed to ensure security while nation building continues. This would effectively scrap plans to reduce U.S. ground forces in Iraq by about 20 percent by mid-summer, a course that, I believe, is dangerous. I hope Abizaid escapes the fate of Shinseki. Unfortunately, the prospect of maintaining major ground forces in Iraq has ugly implications for other strategic interests and for the long-term health of the Army, the Marine Corps and the reserve structure.
JMK writes: WIN #10-04 dtd 5 April 2004 included thoughts by Tony Cordesman on how badly the Bushies bungled their thinking on what would happen after "Shock and Awe". They clung to thieves like Chalabi the way Johnson clawed at the various ARVN generals. More and more reason to can the idiots who advised him and see if a new set of faces in D.C. can start fresh and work with people we may not like but the Iraqis respect or at least fear enough to start over, themselves. Four more dead this morning.
I will believe this is worth it when one of the Bush girls decides to volunteer for Daddy's war. We cannot "win" just with troops, there has to be a better political fix than the crew who have now spent the last three years blaming Clinton seem to be able to come up with. There's plenty of blame to share for the lack of sensible leadership for about seven years, now.
Member A.J.J.: asks whether AFIO WIN #10-04 dtd 5 April 2004 was an AFIO newsletter or one from the Republican National Committee? Hard to tell the difference, he found.
David E. writes: The IPS item on Zelikow (WIN #10-04 dtd 5 April 2004) is suspect on the face of it. The headline is an overstatement of the first paragraph, which is itself an overstatement of the quoted text of Zelikow's remarks, which do not purport to be a statement of the Administration view and which draw no link to the decision to invade Iraq. I would also be very skeptical about the bias of IPS, which I do not recognize as an established press service. There are enough important things in the world without highlighting an obscure item from an obscure source--and one that has the effect of supporting the views of those who portray U.S. policy as in the grip of a Zionist cabal.
QUERIES / ANNOUNCEMENTS / COMING EVENTS
FOR YOUR CALENDARS - AFIO's Fall Symposium/Convention -- will be held 29, 30 & 31 October 2004 in the Baltimore, MD vicinity at various secure locations. Full details to follow in coming months. Please reserve these dates on your calendars. Plan to arrive 28th and depart on the 31st.
22 April - Washington, DC - IWP OPEN HOUSE -- Study National Security and Intelligence at the Institute of World Politics. Explore the idea at their open house which introduces you to their summer courses and popular M.A. programs. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and the $50 application fee is waived for those who attend. Visit www.iwp.edu for further details or call us 202-462-2101. The Institute of World Politics is a Graduate School of Statecraft and National Security Affairs, 1521 16th St. NW, Washington, DC.
24 April - Reno, NV - THE AFIO NORTHERN SIERRA CHAPTER hosts seminar on "The Role and Limitations of Intelligence in Counterterrorism, Law Enforcement, and National Security." The program will be held from 0930 to 1230 in the Sierra Pacific Power Company auditorium at 6100 Neil Rd, Reno, NV 89511. Retired CIA officer and AFIO/Northern Sierra chapter president Bart Bechtel will give a presentation on "Connecting the Dots, How Intelligence Works or Not." Reno resident and internationally recognized terrorism expert, Larry Martines, will speak on "The Importance of Intelligence in Fighting Organized Crime and Domestic/Foreign Extremist Groups." Retired US Customs Agent Gary Hipple will speak on "Agencies Working in Harmony, Why Not? There will also be a panel of respondents to field questions from the floor. Attendance is limited to 200 people; therefore, advance registration is required. Call or email Bart Bechtel at 775-833-0181 (email@example.com) or Gary Hipple at 775-626-2724 (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Northern Sierra chapter covers all of Nevada north of Clark County and California, north from the Fresno area, east of Interstate Highway 5, north to the Oregon-California border. Meetings are to be held quarterly. Interest in membership? Contact Bart Bechtel at (775) 833-0181 or Ludwig Spolyar at (530) 581-4212.
30 APRIL - AFIO LUNCHEON DETAILS - RYSZARD KUKLINSKI: PATRIOT & SPY -- An espionage classic as told by his CIA case officer, the intelligence analyst, and the reporter who knew him. A HUMINT Colloquium at the AFIO SPRING LUNCHEON, FRIDAY, 30 April 2004. Three presenters who knew him firsthand: Benjamin Weiser, New York Times reporter and author of the just-published, "A Secret Life" (Public Affairs); Jim Simon, the CIA Analyst; and David Forden, the CIA Case Officer called "Daniel" provide, "a rare look at a single human intelligence operation...which reflected every aspect of the intelligence process." Time: 10:30 a.m. for badge pick-up. Weiser speaks at 11 am; lunch at noon; all three panelists at 12:45 to close at 2 pm. $30/person - current AFIO members and their guests, only. .
Reserve right away with Visa, MasterCard or AMEX via email to email@example.com, by fax to 703.991.1278, or by voice to 703.790.0320. Weiser's just-released "A Secret Life"...is an "epic spy story -- uplifting, inspiring, and amazing in its factual detail" will be on sale, along with other newly released intelligence books.
19 JUNE - AN EVENING OF SPY MUSIC DETAILS - AFIO'S NIGHT AT THE BOSTON POPS -- Filling up fast. June 19, 2004 at Symphony Hall, Boston, Massachusetts. Conductor Keith Lockhart leads Boston Pops Orchestra in an exciting evening full of surprises including James Bond spy themes. The event begins at 6 o'clock with a pre-concert hors d'oeuvres reception and a glamorous sultry-spy fashion show by Boston's renowned Yolanda. Register NOW online before event sells out. For more information on event, contact Event representative, GaryW at WassinRichland@aol.com.
Ben DeFelice -- Ben DeFelice spent two decades handling one of the Central Intelligence Agency's most delicate assignments: consoling relatives of CIA employees who were missing, captured or killed in the line of duty. He died of cancer 5 April 5 at Virginia Hospital Center-Arlington. He was 79.
DCI Tenet said in a statement that DeFelice "set the highest standards in care and compassion. Over a long career, Ben pioneered major benefit programs -- including retirement and medical insurance -- that reflect a profound concern for the men and women who serve their country in intelligence."
Working with the Red Cross and the State Department, he helped get food packages to captive CIA employees and arrange for family visits. He served 20 years as chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Prisoners, composed largely of CIA employees with operational experience. "But its real purpose, as devised by DeFelice, was to set up an ongoing forum that would ensure that the men were not forgotten," Ted Gup wrote in his The Book of Honor: Covert Lives and Classified Deaths at the CIA. Benedetto DeFelice, a native of Providence, R.I., was the youngest of four children born to Italian immigrants. After Army service in World War II, he attended Georgetown’s Foreign Service school and then that university’s law school, where he was fourth in his class. He began working for the CIA in 1953, serving as deputy director of personnel from 1973 to 1983. He retired in 1987 as director of information services. His decorations included the Career Intelligence Medal and two awards of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal. In September 1997, when the CIA celebrated its 50th anniversary, DeFelice was named a trailblazer, one of 50 officers who made defining contributions to the agency. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Alma Gregory DeFelice, two sons, a daughter, and three grandchildren. (Washington Post, 9 April 2004,DKR)
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