WIN #19-04 dtd 7 June 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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SECTION I -- CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
Changing the Watch at Langley
Special Forces Operating Against Islamists in the Sahara
SECTION II -- CONTEXT AND PRECEDENCE
Al Qa’ida's Small Victories Add Up
U.S., Taliban Held Secret Talks on Handing Over Usama
SECTION III -- CYBER INTELLIGENCE
Software Testing Grounds British Flights
USG Agencies to Report Their Operating System Standards
GAO Calls for Better Patch Management
SECTION IV -- EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
High Tech Positions Just Announced at Windermere
SECTION V -- BOOKS, SOURCES, AND ISSUES
A Constellation of Dots to Link Up
The Changed World of Information Operations
Whitewashing a Soviet Asset
FBI Told of Impending 9/11 Attacks in 2000
SECTION VI -- NOTES, LETTERS, QUERIES AND COMING EVENTS
TV to Tell Story of British Agent who Reported on Nazi A-bomb Effort
WMD Commission Sets up Website
Assistance Sought Regarding Gaddafi and Pan Am 73
Maj. Gen. Rudolf Krzak
08 June - The Greatest Spy Theft in History
10 June - Handbook of Practical Spying
13 June - NPIC Reunion: Spring Fling 2004
16 June - The James Madison Project Luncheon Series
16 June - Herbert Yardley: Reader of Gentlemen’s Mail
19 June - AFIO Night at the Boston Pops 2004
SECTION I -- CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
CHANGING THE WATCH AT LANGLEY – It’s a safe bet that WIN readers have been gobbling up what the news media have offered in connection with the sudden resignations of DCI Tenet, announced on 3 June, and Deputy Director of Operations James Pavitt the following day. So WIN limits itself to commentary on the Tenet resignation carried in the Daily Telegraph (London) on 5 and 6 June and on what Tenet’s successor, John E. McLaughlin, will face, from the Washington Post on 7 June. The resignation of DCI Tenet is just the beginning of what promises to be one of the worst periods in the often-troubled history of the intelligence service, in the view of the Daily Telegraph. http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/06/05/wcia05.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/06/05/ixnewstop.html
As the resignations were being announced, politicians stepped up calls for radical change. Democratic contender Sen. John Kerr said, "We must reshape our Intelligence Community for the 21st century and create a new position of 'director of national intelligence' with real control of all intelligence personnel and budget." Carl Levin, a Democratic member of the Senate intelligence committee that is about to release a report on its investigation into pre-war estimates of Iraq's WMD, said it was "a very stinging report of failure inside the CIA".
Republicans as well as Democrats are critical of Tenet and the CIA, Sen. Richard Shelby, a former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, said Tenet's decision to go was long overdue. "There were more failures of intelligence on his watch as director of the CIA than any other Director of Central Intelligence in our history. I have long felt that, while an honorable man, he lacked the critical leadership necessary for our Intelligence Community to effectively operate, particularly in the post-9/11 world." Daily Telegraph. www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/06/06/wcia06.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/06/06/ixworld.html
Intelligence analysts and CIA veterans differ sharply on why the agency was caught out so badly in its assessments of the threat posed by Saddam Husayn, according to the Telegraph. Prof. Arthur Hulnick, a 28-year CIA veteran now at Boston University, condemned the civilian leadership at the Pentagon, from Secretary Rumsfeld on down, and was especially angered by the setting up of an Office of Special Plans by Under Secretary Douglas Feith. "These people in the Office of Special Plans were political appointees, not professionals. If you tell a Team B what to find, they are going to find it." The CIA, Hulnick said, has been ill served by the Bush administration that ignored caveats and nuances. He bridled at criticism of the CIA's failure to recruit more agents inside Iraq. "Don't they understand how hard it is to recruit the kind of sources who tell you what you need to know?" the Telegraph reported. Daniel Byman, a former analyst at the CIA and a staff member on the congressional inquiry into 9/11, found fault with the switch from a policy of deterrence that prevailed during the Cold War, to one of pre-emption. Politicians, he said, require evidence of an imminent threat to galvanize public opinion, but once a threat is truly imminent, it is probably too late, he said. "It's easy to say 'Japan is an imminent threat', it's just attacked Pearl Harbor."
According to the Telegraph, the conventional wisdom is that the agency is suffering from political interference - a good team ruined by the demands of an ideologically motivated administration -- but there are CIA veterans who reject this view. "Yes, analysts felt pressure from policy-makers.” said Prof. Richard Russell, a CIA Middle Eastern analyst from 1984 until 2001. “But some analysts have an ivory tower mindset. It's the responsibility of policy-makers to question and probe.” “I don't think there is evidence of politicization. What I do see is faults and shortcomings within the community." Above all, Russell said, the CIA failed to recruit high quality spies, not just in Iraq, but also in South Asia and other trouble spots. "In the absence of robust, broad human intelligence, they've tried to fill the gaps with analysis," he said.
While the DCI has stressed he has resigned to spend more time with his family, a former CIA analyst, who has worked with Tenet, told the Telegraph the motives for the DCI’s decision were considerably more complicated and embittered. "I think George, who is really a civil servant, not a politician, got too close to [the Bush administration's] policy-making agenda, above all on Iraq," said the analyst. "He got burned and now he's had enough." The Telegraph reports friends of Tenet as saying he decided he had no desire to perform the role of summer scapegoat. "I would say George thought to himself 'I don't need this,' " said a former CIA analyst. “’Why should I stand there and take the rap. Why not go now?'”
Following 9/11, Tenet became a central figure in the Bush war cabinet meetings. The CIA, rather than the Pentagon, orchestrated American strategy in Afghanistan, buying up tribal leaders for the fight against the Taliban and co-opting the forces of the Northern Alliance. At that point, Tenet's stock had never been higher. But beginning in 2002 voices in the Pentagon and the White House were raised in criticism of Tenet and his staff for, it was said, dragging their feet in making the case for removing Saddam. Dick Cheney took to visiting Langley to examine Iraq-related documents for up to three or four hours at a time, sending a chill through the corridors, the Telegraph reports a CIA operative as saying. "What you had was an intolerable situation in my opinion," commented Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Il), "in which the CIA director, who is supposed to control intelligence collection, was himself being monitored."
Then came the fatal words with which Tenet replied to Bush’s question about intelligence on Iraqi WMD: “It's a slam-dunk case.” "The phrase 'slam dunk' is going to hang with him until the end of his days," said Judith Yaphe, a former CIA Iraq specialist, told the Telegraph. "In this administration it became too much a sense from the top of 'tell us what we want to hear'. Now, well, what's that phrase about the Revolution devouring its own children? His looks like the first major head to roll."
When John E. McLaughlin becomes Tenet’s successor on 11 July, preserving the CIA's status at the White House and among world leaders will be among the toughest jobs facing him. Washington Post. www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20762-2004Jun6.html Many administration officials and current and former intelligence personnel, according to the Washington Post, fear that in an administration made up of such domineering figures as Vice President Cheney and Secretaries Powell and Rumsfeld, the CIA's role is in danger of being marginalized. McLaughlin would be seen as a colonel analyst rather than a combat general, a former senior intelligence official told the paper. McLaughlin's prospects are further threatened by his having been involved in questions affecting the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq. That NIE is now seen as having been based on faulty, outdated and poorly sourced intelligence, including the notorious 16 words that made their way into the President's 2003 State of the Union address: "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Tenet has said he did not approve the passage, but White House officials say McLaughlin did. McLaughlin also has done much of the classified briefing for Congress that Tenet otherwise would have done, aides said. "There is no way he can say, 'I'm not part of the problem,' " the former senior intelligence official told the Post.
On the positive side, McLaughlin is known as unflappable under stress and Tenet has acted to underpin McLaughlin's relations with foreign intelligence services. Tenet telephoned senior foreign officials to tell them he regards McLaughlin as his alter ego, the Post reported being told by an official with knowledge of the calls. With unprecedented recruitment of case officers and analysts underway, McLaughlin will be expected to defend the Intelligence Community reputation and morale when as expected, it comes under fire in the coming weeks from two congressional reports and one from the 9/11 commission.
As for the White House, the DCI has been seeing the President most mornings and Bush and Tenet got along famously. "Tenet is ethnic, charming, a hail fellow well met," according to a senior intelligence official, while McLaughlin is inward, self-contained, and analytical. "The president may have less fun, but that doesn't mean he can't develop a different but prosperous relationship," the official said. "John has a seductive quality in his relationship with other people," said Winston P. Wiley, former chief of the CIA's counterterrorism center and deputy director of intelligence. "In some ways it's equally compelling," but different from Tenet's charisma. "He's more cerebral, it's easier for him to listen," Wiley added. "He's a performing magician, which takes a lot of discipline, and he knows how to read crowds." (Cameron L.C., DKR)
SPECIAL FORCES OPERATING AGAINST ISLAMISTS IN THE SAHARA -- U.S. Special Forces are conducting operations across the southern Sahara against Islamist militants with ties to al-Qa'ida, the Sunday Telegraph (London) reported on 6 June. Daily Telegraph. www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/06/06/wsaha06.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/06/06/ixworld.html The U.S. campaign followed on from the discovery that the Algerian Groupe salafiste pour la prédication et le combat (Salafi Group for Preaching and Combat), known by its initials GSPC, was building what U.S. officials call garrisons in the sand on the border of Algeria and Mali. The group has purchased surface-to-air missiles, heavy machine guns, mortars and satellite positioning equipment with funds provided by Germany. The Berlin government is believed to have paid the Islamist terrorists something like $6 million for the release of 17 European tourists seized last year. The GSPC has also been active in Europe and its members have been arrested in Italy, Spain and Germany for suspected terrorist activity.
Maj. Sarah Kerwin of the U.S. Army's European Command, which is responsible for North and West Africa, is reported as saying: "There are clear indications that Muslim extremists from the Middle East and Afghanistan have moved into these massive open spaces, where they are as elusive as if they were out at sea. They bring a new threat where they can bury weapons in the sand, mark the exact position with their satellite equipment, and then move off along the camel trails with other tools and equipment." As well as the Salafi group, the Moroccan Combat Group, held responsible for the bombings in Madrid and Casablanca, is also believed to be sheltering in the desert region.
The U.S. Army is to spend $125 million over the next five years on a trans-Sahara counterterrorism initiative. Troops of the eight countries that comprise the region are being trained, advised and equipped by the United States. Last March, the U.S. military helped organize the capture in western Chad of Amari Saifi. A former Algerian paratrooper known as Al Para, he was the GSPC's leader. His captors were the Chadian Movement for Democracy and Justice that is in rebellion against the military regime that runs Chad. The rebels say they are ready to hand over Saifi but the regime opposes contact with them. U.S. military officials say they hope the problem will be resolved in the coming weeks. (DKR)
SECTION II -- CONTEXT AND PRECEDENCE
“AL QA’IDA'S SMALL VICTORIES ADD UP” -- Under this title, Anthony H. Cordesman, one of the most respected experts in Washington on international military and security affairs, commented on the attacks in May on oil-industry personnel in Saudi Arabia. NY Times. www.nytimes.com/2004/06/03/opinion/03CORD.html Cordesman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), called the 29 May attack on oil company compounds in Khobar, in which at least 22 people died, including an American, al-Qa’ida’s most successful attack since 9/11. (See Al-Qa’ida’s Current Operational Status? in WIN #18-04 dtd 31 May 2004) But, writing in the New York Times, he went on to say that in the grand scheme of things it was a small-scale attack and should not have been treated as more.
Al-Qa’ida’s real target was the willingness of foreigners to stay in the country. This was a direct blow at the economic underpinnings of Saudi Arabia and its ability to attract the investment it needs for reform. Cordesman criticized the official American reaction to the attack, which he described as one of panic with unhappy implications for American interests. “The United States did not call for new Saudi security efforts, offer aid in counterterrorism, or try to fight back, “ he wrote. “Instead, the American Embassy in Riyadh decided to forget about American investment and trade by calling for all Americans to leave the country.”
The incident and the reaction to it came at a time of record high oil prices, in a country whose oil production is critical to the American and global economies, Cordesman pointed out. All Persian Gulf countries have their own Islamist extremist cells and if Saudi Arabia proves vulnerable, they are next. “Is it any wonder oil prices soared further this week -- if the Americans are going to cut and run whenever things get messy, why should oil traders have any faith in the continued supply?” In a similar vein, the Israeli analytical group, Inteligx, published a report on 5 June on the connection between high prices for oil and terrorism. The report concluded: “Terror is achieving its goals, at least as far as the world oil market is concerned. Only restoration of the balance between supply and demand coupled with a reduction in fears over terror is likely to bring about a drop in oil prices to a realistic level.”
By 9/11, it was known that some 70,000 to 100,000 young men had been through some form of Islamist training camp, and that Al- Qa’ida had affiliates or some kind of tie to movements in more than 60 countries, Cordesman wrote. In the years that have followed, the United States defeated the Taliban and Al Qa’ida in Afghanistan, but failed to capture many of the leaders or secure the country, and has not completed the nation building that could bring true victory, he notes. “The dispersal of terrorists has destabilized western Pakistan, and the resulting political struggle has strengthened Islamists in the rest of the country and created a new regional threat. Yet instead of wrapping up that fight, Washington invaded Iraq.” “As in Afghanistan, the United States failed to secure Iraq after its military success and has been far too slow to create a meaningful plan for nation-building,” Cordesman said, adding, “There is daily, violent evidence that the American invasion has bred a mix of Iraqi Islamists and foreign volunteers that is a growing threat.” “We must do everything we can to help the region's more moderate and friendly regimes -- the Saudis and others -- defeat terrorism and improve the protection of foreign workers and oil facilities. Equally important is stepping up aid and antiterrorism assistance to Pakistan. Yes, these fights have a military dimension -- but the primary struggle is political, ideological and economic. We can't win it by force or on the cheap. Victory will come only through strengthening local allies and reformers, not by trying to impose our own political values,” Cordesman concludes.
Like Cordesman and the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London (see Al-Qa’ida’s Current Operational Status? referred to above), the distinguished Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra sees a re-energized Al-Qa’ida at work. In an investigative report published 26 May, the Milan journal cites anonymous sources inside Al-Qa’ida as saying the Islamist network is seeking to make Iraq into another Afghanistan. To do so it is linking up with local groups fighting the United States occupation and assassinating Iraqis capable of bringing stability to the country.
In Sudan, Al-Qa’ida affiliates are contributing to local instability, while the organization's leadership has created an operational axis with Lebanon's Hezbollah, an instance of Sunni-Shii cooperation against a common enemy. Al-Qa’ida is also said to be gathering strength in Southeast Asia and the Southwestern Pacific, where it is recruiting and radicalizing the poor and disenfranchised in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia. Finally, Corriere reports, the group has begun building a new cadre of organizational leaders for regional operations. (DKR)
U.S., TALIBAN HELD SECRET TALKS ON HANDING OVER USAMA -- U.S. and Taliban officials met secretly in Germany almost a year before 9/11 to discuss terms for the Afghans to hand over Usama bin Ladin, according to a German television documentary aired on 3 June. Free Republic.com.
www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1147756/posts ZDF television quoted an Afghan-American businessman, Kabir Mohabbat, as saying he tried to arrange a deal between the United States and the Taliban who were protecting UBL and his Al-Qa’ida network. According to Mohabbat, the Taliban foreign ministers, Mulla Wakil Mutawakil, told him he could have UBL whenever the Americans were ready to receive him. “Name us a country and we will extradite him, Mutawakil reportedly said.
A German member of the European Parliament, Elmar Brok, confirmed to Reuters that he had helped Mohabbat in 1999 to establish initial contact with the Americans. "I was told (by Mohabbat) that the Taliban had certain ideas about handing over bin Ladin, not to the United States but to a third country or to the Court of Justice in The Hague," Brok said. The Taliban hoped to gain recognition from Washington and an end to a boycott that was isolating the Taliban internationally. Brok said he was in no position to judge how credible the offer was, but passed it on to the U.S. Ambassador, John Kornblum. Mohabbat was then called to Washington to be interviewed by U.S. officials. This resulted in the two sides meeting in a hotel in Frankfurt in November 2000. Kornblum, now head of the investment bank Lazard in Germany, had no comment, his office said. A U.S. embassy spokesman said he was not familiar with the ZDF documentary.
The documentary said the Afghans put forward several offers and that there was talk of holding further negotiations at the U.S. embassy in Pakistan on where and when bin Laden would be handed over. In the event there were no further talks until five days after 9/11 when there was a meeting in the Pakistani city of Quetta, as reported by U.S. media. In Quetta, the U.S. officials pressed the Taliban to hand over UBL within 24 hours but the Taliban was not able to, Mohabbat said. A few weeks later the U.S.-led military intervention began to topple the Taliban and kill, capture or disperse UBL and his fighters based in training camps in Afghanistan. UBL remains at large and there has been a resurgence of Taliban activity in Afghanistan in recent months. (DKR)
SECTION III -- CYBER INTELLIGENCE
SOFTWARE TESTING GROUNDS BRITISH FLIGHTS -- Overnight testing of software management procedures caused disruption to Britain's National Air Traffic Control system that kept planes on the ground at airports throughout the country. National Air Traffic Services, that controls British airspace, told ZDNet.com that the flight data processing system at a control center at West Drayton crashed during the night time tests. As a result, information about flights entering controlled airspace had to be input into the rest of the ATC system by hand, resulting in a drastic reduction of capacity and a temporary ban on take-offs over the night of 2 to 3 June. It was the first time this particular failure had occurred and an investigation was opened into the causes of the problem.
The British government owns slightly more than half of NATS, with a consortium of airlines and employees owning the rest. The organization hit severe difficulties following the slump in air travel after 9/11, a problem made worse by a catalogue of computer system errors. ZDNet. http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1105_2-5225412.html (DKR)
USG AGENCIES TO REPORT THEIR OPERATING SYSTEM STANDARDS -- Henceforth government agencies will be required to list their operating system configuration standards in a report that goes to the Office of Management and Budget and to Congress, Karen Evans, OMB administrator for electronic government and information technology has told Congress.
The requirement is one of the changes introduced in the rulebook on Federal information security when OMB releases its guidelines for 2004. At hearings on cybersecurity, Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fl.) expressed astonishment that only five out of 24 federal agencies have an accurate count of their information systems, as revealed in OMB's latest Congressional report on the Federal Information Security Management Act. Putnam chairs the House Government Reform Committee's Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and the Census Subcommittee. His subcommittee asked Evans and other federal and industry officials to testify at a hearing on 2 June on the growing threat of network vulnerabilities.
Amit Yoran, director of the Homeland Security Department's National Cyber Security Division, told the subcommittee that DHS is formalizing its relationships with federal, state and local government agencies, academic institutions, industry groups and businesses through a new effort called the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) Partner Program. Under the program, set to begin this summer, DHS officials plan to create a permanent control-system center for collecting, analyzing, sharing and responding to cybersecurity threat information, FCW.com reported. www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2004/0531/web-omb-06-03-04.asp (DKR)
GAO CALLS FOR BETTER PATCH MANAGEMENT -- A General Accounting Office report released last week describes uneven patch-management practices across the Federal government and recommends two changes. One is that the Office of Management and Budget require agencies to report to it on their patch-management practices. The other change recommended is that the government consider reviving a centralized patch-management service for civilian agencies, FCW.com reports.
A similar, centralized service begun in February 2003 was discontinued in February this year, in part because agencies dismissed the usefulness of the system. But the GAO report says that OMB officials agree with GAO auditors that a service that would include patch testing should be reconsidered. The GAO report is based on a study from September 2003 to last month using a Web-based survey of 24 federal agencies and departments. FCW.com.
SECTION IV -- EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
HIGH TECH POSITIONS JUST ANNOUNCED AT WINDERMERE -- Please send resumes and inquiries to Jennifer Drury, Recruiting Manager at email@example.com. Positions now available:
Information Assurance Engineers Network Security Engineers
Windows Application Developer Trusted Solaris Programmer
Java Application Developer PKI Expert
Database Developer Web Developer
Linguist Program Manager
Systems Engineer OLAP Engineer
Mechanical Engineer Engineering Manager
Embedded Software Engineer Project Engineer
Tempest Engineer EMI/EMC Engineer
Calibration Technicians Electronic Technicians
**Majority of positions require high-level of security clearance
Windermere offers a wide array of capabilities including, Information Assurance, Military Compliance Testing, Calibration and Repair Services, Computer Forensics, Engineering Design Services, Manufacturing, Information Technology Services, and Communication Services. Offering a state-of-the-art work environment, Windermere considers itself an "employer of choice". With locations in Virginia, New Jersey, Florida and Maryland (3), Windermere is a growth-oriented company with almost 400 employees. Windermere is an employee owned company that prides itself on providing both products and services to a variety of government and commercial agencies. Our clients are among the nation's most elite and our employees are among the nation's most talented. We offer an outstanding benefits package that includes a unique Business Area Performance Bonus and Equity Earn-Out Program, tuition reimbursement, 401k with company match, training assistance, a liberal leave policy, and top tier health coverage.
SECTION V -- BOOKS, SOURCES, AND ISSUES
A CONSTELLATION OF DOTS TO LINK UP -- Stephen F. Hayes, The Connection: How al Qaeda's Collaboration with Saddam Hussein has Endangered America (HarperCollins. 194 pp. $19.95) It is commonplace these days to hear that no significant ties have been found connecting Saddam Husayn and Al-Qa’ida and that claims by the Bush administration that there was such a connection provided no real grounds for invading Iraq. Hayes argues that indeed there was such a connection and that it represented a real threat to the United States. He points to links between Iraq and the 1993 World Trade Center bombers, one of who appears to have been given asylum and support by Saddam after the attack. Iraqi intelligence documents, he shows, speak of a good relationship with Usama bin Ladin.
Hayes faults the news media for a bias against accepting the reality of the Saddam-Qa’ida connection and points to media skepticism about a meeting in Prague, reported by Czech intelligence, between an Iraqi operative and Muhammad Atta, the 9/11 hijacker. He admits that this skepticism echoed assessments within the American Intelligence Community and is at pains to point out where information needs to be treated with caution.
Evidence is now accepted that there were meetings between senior Iraqi figures and al-Qa’ida representatives and connections between the Ba’ath regime and the Islamist terror organization Ansar al-Islam. Ansar was strongly influenced by al-Qa’ida. While nothing found so far amounts to a smoking gun, there are dots that when joined up point to a sinister Saddam-Qa’ida connection. By the time the Iraq war began, Hayes writes, the evidence of Iraqi links to al-Qa’ida was a veritable constellation of dots to be linked up. Nevertheless, there will be some readers who feel that Hayes has not quite convinced them. (DKR)
THE CHANGED WORLD OF INFORMATION OPERATIONS -- Edwin L. Armistead, Information Operations: Warfare and the Hard Reality of Soft Power, (Brassey, 240 pp., illustrated, $48.00) Nothing in recent years has changed the world of international relations and national security more than developments in the means of communications. This is the premise advanced by Lt. Cdr. Armistead, USN. His book demonstrates how modern means of communication have affected the delivery of critical information and influential content that shape perceptions, manage opinions, and control behavior. The electronic revolution includes a transcendence of the old psychological operations conducted by national governments. Thus low-cost high technology allows non-governmental organizations and rogue elements, such as terrorist groups, to put across their views as well as enabling cyberattacks on computer networks and infrastructure.
Armistead’s book fills an important gap in IO literature by analyzing the military, technological, and psychological aspects of information operations and as such serves as a textbook for military IO professionals. The general reader, too, has much to learn from this work about how IO has affected foreign policy, military operations, and government organization in recent years. (DKR)
WHITEWASHING A SOVIET ASSET -- Bruce Craig, Treasonable Doubt: The Harry Dexter White Spy Case (University Press of Kansas, 436 pp., $34.95) Craig seeks to show that Harry Dexter White, who spied for the Soviets, was at the same time an honorable man. In the Venona decrypts (See How the Soviets Stole the Atom Bomb in WIN #18-04 dtd 31 May 2004), White, who was second only to Secretary Henry Morgenthau at the Treasury during World War II, is mentioned in 15 messages between the KGB station in the United States and Moscow.
Craig's book is likely to strike at least some readers as intellectually dishonest. He asserts that White did not knowingly hire Communists and always had the best interests of the American government in mind. In fact, when White was in charge of the Treasury’s Division of Monetary Research from 1936 to 1939, it was full of Soviet agents. As Sen. William Jenner wrote after 1953 hearings on subversion in government departments, White hired party members and promoted them. Craig also omits the testimony before the Jenner committee by Morganthau’s speechwriter, Jonathan Mitchell that White had tried to persuade him that the Soviets had developed a system that would supplant capitalism and Christianity. As a result of White’s intervention, the Soviet Union was provided at its insistence with a set of plates for printing U.S. devised occupation marks. Washington subsequently had to redeem $380 million worth of these run off by Moscow. Craig ignores this and other mischief wrought by White.
According to Craig, White saw no dichotomy in being a full-time member of FDR’s establishment and at the same time serving the Soviet regime. In Moscow, White was seen as one of the KGB’s most valuable assets in the United States. White died of natural causes in 1948, never having had to face a court of law for what he did. Some may agree that publication of Craig’s whitewash by what has been thought of as a reputable university press raises troubling questions about the intellectual integrity of at least parts of American academia. (DKR)
POLISH VALOR -- Wesley Adamczyk, foreword by Norman Davies, When God Looked the Other Way: An Odyssey of War, Exile and Redemption (University of Chicago, 288 pp., $25) In May 1940, the Soviet army led 25,000 Polish Army officers into Katyn Forest in eastern Poland and murdered them. The Russians’ intention was to wipe out as best they could the educated and politically mature classes from which the officers were drawn and thus remove patriotic cadre who could be expected to oppose a restoration of Russian imperial control over Poland. Just that followed five years later in the wake of the Yalta agreements between Stalin, FDR and Churchill.
Adamczyk’s father was one of those who died at Katyn and in this work he tells what his family endured in the forced exile imposed by the Soviet authorities in that area of Poland they occupied under an agreement with Nazi Germany. Adamczyk’s family were sent 3,000-miles in horrendous conditions to the wastes of Kazakhstan, then part of the Soviet Union, where food was scarce for the local people, let alone the exiled Poles. Thanks to the determination of his mother, the family, like a good number of Poles, made their way to the part of Iran then occupied by the British. There his mother died of exhaustion.
Some of the Poles sent to Kazakhstan stayed on and in Poland today efforts are being made to receive repatriate these and their children born in Central Asia and to help them assimilate again into their ancestral land.
Adamczyk draws vivid sketches of the Russians and their brutality, the dirt poor but generous Kazakhs, and well turned out Americans moving through a world of misery. His book is a worthy memorial to those thousands of Poles whose lives embodied the words of their national anthem, “Poland is not yet lost while we live.” (DKR)
FBI TOLD OF IMPENDING 9/11 ATTACKS IN 2000 -- A former waiter in an Indian restaurant in Britain, Niaz Khan, told the FBI office in Newark, N.J., in April 2000 that al-Qa’ida had trained him to hijack a plane and fly it into a building. Daily Telegraph. www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/06/05/wcia105.xml&sSheet=/news/2004/06/05/ixnewstop.html Khan, who passed two lie-detector tests, described the Islamist terrorist camps and the mock Boeing aircraft used in training him.
Joseph Billy Jr., the agent in charge of the Newark office, said on 4 June that Khan’s claims were taken seriously. Bradenton.com.
www.bradenton.com/mld/bradenton/news/local/8844080.htm "An investigation was done on this matter when he came to us," Billy told the Associated Press. "Nothing was discounted. We spent several weeks with him around the clock trying to verify the information that he gave us." The FBI shared information with other agencies and turned the man over to British authorities, according to Billy. "None of the information that he gave us was ever able to be confirmed or denied," Billy said.
After three weeks of questioning two agents flew Khan, a British national of Pakistani descent, to England where he was handed over to security officials. After a day in custody, he says, he was released and forgotten. Khan, the Telegraph reported, was a disaffected youth addicted to gambling who says he was enticed by Usama bin Ladin's followers to their bases around Lahore, Pakistan. In return he was to receive money to pay off debts crippling his family.
Al-Qa’ida sent Khan to the United States in April 2000 to meet a contact who was to instruct him on his suicide mission. On the flight to Newark he says he panicked, and once in the United States approached the FBI.
After 9/11, American authorities contacted the British security services requesting Khan be questioned again but did not receive an official reply. After seeing the attacks on television, he called a police hotline and was told to contact his local police station. There, he was interviewed for half an hour. Details of the case have been provided to the 9/11 Commission and lawyers for 9/11 victims have traveled to Britain to see him. What Khan told the bureau in Newark accords with the concern expressed by agents in Arizona over foreigners taking Big Jet flying classes with no interest in take-offs or landings. The pieces were never put together.
When considering lapses by the bureau, it should be borne in mind that its offices receive a staggering number of calls from people offering tips. Many of the callers are cranks, psychos who forgot to take their meds, wannabes, and pathological liars. Even when callers make it past the plausibility detectors of telephone operators, the tips face more hurdles to get a minute or two of attention. Khan's tip was followed up more than most.
SECTION VI – NOTES, LETTERS, QUERIES AND COMING EVENTS
TV TO TELL STORY OF BRITISH AGENT WHO REPORTED ON NAZI A-BOMB EFFORTS -- During World War II, the British had an agent code-named The Griffin who reported from Berlin on the German drive to develop an atom bomb and missiles to deliver it. On 13 June at 8 p.m. EST, Oliver North's War Stories series on Fox cable will tell this remarkable story, based on AFIO member Arnold Kramish's book, The Griffin, published in 1985 by Houghton Mifflin. The program, "The Secret Race for the Atomic Bomb,” sounds like something for AFIO members to look forward to. (A.K. DKR)
WMD COMMISSION SETS UP WEBSITE -- The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, established by President Bush last February in response to criticism over the failure to find the WMD that were used to justify the war in Iraq, will meet exclusively in closed session, the Federation of American Scientists’ Secrecy News reported on 1 June. "Due to the sensitive nature of our work, which concerns highly classified matters of national security, these meetings are not open to the public," the Commission said in a statement on 26 May. "We nonetheless intend to keep the public informed of our work, and as we progress we welcome public input and comment. Toward this end, the Commission has solicited working papers from a broad array of independent experts and research institutions, and will launch a website containing public information about the Commission by the end of this week." The commission website may be found at www.wmd.gov (DKR)
ASSISTANCE SOUGHT REGARDING GADDAFI AND PAN AM 73 -- Mr. Prabhat writes, “I read with great interest the article on your website ("Libya: Orders from the Colonel," https://www.afio.com/sections/wins/1999/notes2399.html) from a few years ago that is related to the more recent report from The Sunday Times (“Revealed: Gaddafi's Aircraft Terror Plot that Failed,” http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,9112299%255E2703,00.html) from The Sunday Times March 29, 2004. I would like to know more details about the source of the information in your article and the evidence that Libyan leader Gaddafi was behind the attack on Pan Am 73 in 1986. I lost my father and my mother was wounded during that hijacking incident. I did attend and speak recently at the sentencing of the defendant Safarini on May 12-13, 2004 in US Federal Court in Washington, DC. Would greatly appreciate any assistance." If you can be of assistance, please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAJ. GEN. RUDOLF KRZAK -- His obituary in WIN #18-04 dtd 31 May 2004 says that Krzak was the last surviving member of the Czech resistance group that arranged the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich. I had the impression that the entire assassination team was killed in the basement of a church. Also, the obituary doesn't discuss what Krzak's role was as "the last surviving member" in this historic mission. This minor historian is hungry for more information. Perhaps some WIN reader has a lead on where I should begin. Thanks, Mike Haas. email@example.com
8 June - THE GREATEST THEFT IN HISTORY: SOVIET PENETRATION OF THE MANHATTAN PROJECT -- International Spy Museum, Washington, D.C.
Soviet spies stole our biggest secret to date…here’s how they did it. Hear the most up-to-date intelligence on the Soviet espionage inside the United States that shaved years off their atomic bomb production schedule. Renowned British intelligence expert and author of the newly released book, Mortal Crimes, Nigel West will describe the breathtaking scale and sophistication of the Soviet espionage network that infiltrated the Manhattan Project. With information uncovered from the long-secret VENONA files, and declassified documents from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, West will narrate the true story behind this extraordinary intelligence success. Tickets: $20. Members of The Spy Ring (Join Today!): $16. Space is limited – advance registration required! For more info. visit http://www.spymuseum.org/do/programs.asp#1.
10 June - HANDBOOK OF PRACTICAL SPYING -- The International Spy Museum Washington, DC, International Spy Museum -- FREE LUNCHTIME AUTHOR DEBRIEFINGS AND BOOKSIGNINGS. From the belly of the beast...Forget the fancy James Bond weapons from “Q,” the Ninja’s concealed dagger, and even the Museum’s own lipstick pistol. The spy’s most potent weapon is his or her own mind. In this first-ever “how-to” handbook from “inside” the International Spy Museum, Executive Director Peter Earnest shares insights into the thoughts and strategies of successful spies. All the tradecraft and specially designed “tools of the trade” are useless if the mind behind them does not “think like a spy.” Learn how you can! For more info. visit http://www.spymuseum.org/do/programs.asp#1.
13 June - NPIC REUNION - SPRING FLING 2004 AT POTOMAC, MD -- Open to all NPICers (anyone who worked at Building 213 or the Steuart Building, no matter what the parent organization, retired or not), spouses and families. The event will be held at the Carderock Recreation Area - Beltway/I495 Exit #41 - follow signs to Carderock, about one mile north of the Beltway. 1:00 PM until dusk. Food/beverage: BYO picnic. Beer/wine permitted in Pavilion only. Grills available. To defray cost of mailings and charge for the Carderock Pavilion, please mail $10 for each family that will attend. There is no charge if just requesting to be added to the mailing list for future events. To reserve and/or to get on the future mailing list, provide your contact info with check to: Anne Allen, 6925 Greenvale Street, NW, Washington, DC 20015. For info, contact: Jim Richey at 703-971-4812, firstname.lastname@example.org; Carol Lynch at 301-464-1116, Clynch12014@comcast.net; Anne Allen at 202-244-6863; or Don McMullin at 202-244-7137, email@example.com.
16 June - THE JAMES MADISON PROJECT LUNCHEON SERIES -- A Lecture and Book Signing by noted intelligence expert and author David Kahn regarding his new book, The Reader Of Gentlemen's Mail: Herbert O. Yardley and the Birth of American Codebreaking. This event will take place from 12:00 P.M. - 2:00 P.M. at 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 300, Washington, D.C. Registration is Free; Donations of $5.00 or More are Encouraged and are Tax-Deductible. A Brown-bag luncheon will be included. Walk-Ins are welcomed but pre-registration is requested by Tuesday, June 15, 2004. For more information, please contact Mark S. Zaid, Executive Director, at 202-454-2809.
16 June - HERBERT YARDLEY: READER OF OTHER GENTLEMEN’S MAIL -- International Spy Museum, Washington, D.C. A drunk? A womanizer? A traitor? In 1917, Herbert O. Yardley founded the nation’s first code breaking agency, making a dramatic and permanent impact on American intelligence. But years later, “one of the most colorful and controversial figures in American intelligence,” set off a firestorm with his best-selling tell-all book about the secrets of cryptography. He stood accused in the court of public opinion of selling WWII code secrets to Japan. Come hear about this American original and his seemingly bizarre story from code-breaking expert, military intelligence historian, and International Spy Museum Board member, David Kahn. Kahn’s new biography, The Reader of Gentleman’s Mail, traces the full trajectory of Yardley’s fantastic life. Tickets: $20. Members of the Spy Ring (Join Today!): $16. Space is limited – advance registration required! For more info. visit http://www.spymuseum.org/do/programs.asp#1.
19 June - AFIO NIGHT AT THE BOSTON POPS 2004 -- 'An Evening of Spy Music.' The second AFIO fundraising night at the Pops event takes place Saturday 19 June 2004 in Boston, MA. Conductor Keith Lockhart will lead the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra in an exciting energetic evening full of surprises including James Bond spy themes. The event begins at 6:00 featuring a pre-concert hors d'oeuvres reception and a glamorous sultry-spy fashion show by Yolanda.
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WINs are protected by copyright laws and intellectual property laws, and may not be reproduced or re-sent without specific permission from the Producer. Opinions expressed in the WINs are solely those of the editor(s) or author(s) listed with each article. AFIO Members Support the AFIO Mission - sponsor new members! CHECK THE AFIO WEBSITE at https://www.afio.com/ for back issues of the WINs, information about AFIO, conference agenda and registrations materials, and membership applications and much more! (c) 2004, AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Suite 303A, McLean, VA 22101. email@example.com; Voice: 703 790-0320; Fax: 703 991-1278 AFIO WINs are produced each week in Memory of WINs founder, Roy Jonkers.