WIN #20-04 dtd 14 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.
SECTION I -- CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
CIA Asset Said to Flee India for U.S.A.
Musharraf Acts to Rid ISI of Islamists
SECTION II -- CONTEXT AND PRECEDENCE
Qatar to Execute Russian Agents?
Gitmo MI Interrogation Options Allowed at Abu Ghraib
SECTION III -- CYBER INTELLIGENCE
Army May Apply IT Funds to Rapid Deployment Force
Vietnam to Monitor Online Information
Security Gaps Found in Dutch airline, government networks
SECTION IV -- EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Positions Available at SYTEX
SECTION V -- BOOKS, SOURCES, AND ISSUES
What Went Wrong Before, During and After 9/11
Spies’ cult book reissued
From Brooklyn with Love and Guns
Islamist Terrorism As Seen From Riverside Church
Danger Seen in CIA Hiring Spies-for-Rent
SECTION VI -- NOTES, LETTERS, QUERIES AND COMING EVENTS
Defining What WMD Are
Intelligence and a Polish Fencing Champion
16 June - Herbert Yardley: Reader of Gentlemen’s Mail
16 June - Lecture, Book Signing by AFIO Member David Kahn
17 June - Lecture, Book Signing by Thaddeus Holt, author of The Deceivers
21 June - Pavitt to Speak on America’s Clandestine Service
30 June - NGA Director Clapper to Address NMIA Luncheon
SECTION I -- CURRENT INTELLIGENCE
CIA ASSET SAID TO FLEE INDIA FOR U.S.A. -- A senior Indian intelligence officer has possibly fled to the United States after being exposed as a CIA asset, according to Indian press reports. Rabinder Singh, who was Joint Secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), India's external intel agency, has been missing since 14 May. On 5 June, the Sunday Express, an Indian newspaper, reported that Singh traveled through Nepal, using a U.S. passport, and that he and his wife may be in the United States. According to the Times of India, the New Delhi government has denied the Singh episode, but his dismissal from RAW has been reported for allegedly jeopardizing India's security.
Singh, who was in charge of South East Asian affairs, first joined RAW as an officer of the Indian army. He stayed on at RAW, leaving the army with the rank of major. He reportedly had been under observation for the past four months after coming under suspicion when security staff found photocopies of classified documents in his briefcase as he was leaving the office, according to the Indian online news service, Rediff.com. A question mark had already arisen over his reliability in the early 1990s when intelligence he gathered about U.S. government activities in South Asia was found to be questionable. His wife, employed in a sensitive U.S. agency with links to the CIA, was involved in the operation and there were suspicions that the CIA was using her to plant disinformation, Rediff.com reported. One piece of disinformation, which the agency allegedly tried to feed through this channel in the late 1980s, was that the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi had reported to the State Department that the then Chief of the Army Staff was planning a coup against Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Gandhi was assassinated in 1989 by Tamil nationalists.
During his career, Singh worked as a field operative in West Asia and West Europe. As head of the RAW office in the Indian city of Amritsar, he gathered trans-border HUMINT about the Pakistani military and the training of Sikh terrorists by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate. In West Asia, his task was monitoring the activities of terrorist groups there. In West Europe he focused on the activities of Sikh terrorist elements. Rajiv Gandhi’s mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards.
The Singh affair is reportedly the third detected CIA penetration of Indian intelligence. The first was detected in 1986-1987 and involved a senior RAW officer who was handling sensitive Sri Lankan operations. When confronted with videotapes of clandestine meetings with a CIA operative attached to the U.S. consulate in the southern port city of Chennai, the RAW officer broke down and confessed. He was dismissed from RAW and sent to prison for a year.
The second penetration was uncovered in 1995-1996 and was related to a senior officer of the Indian Police Service's Intelligence Bureau employed at the Ministry of External Affairs with responsibility for internal security and counter-intelligence. As such he was acquainted with foreign intelligence officers posted to diplomatic missions in New Delhi. After returning to the IB, he reportedly became the head of its counter-intelligence division and was responsible for maintaining surveillance of foreign intelligence officers based in New Delhi. IB counter-intelligence found out by accident that a woman CIA operative at the U.S. Embassy was contacting Indian government officials using a mobile phone registered in the name of their superior at IB. This time, too, the suspect broke down when confronted with videotapes of his meeting with the CIA operative. Apart from hiring the mobile phone and giving it to her, he had not betrayed any sensitive information and was therefore prematurely retired with no further action taken against him.
There are two known unsuccessful attempts by the CIA to penetrate Indian intelligence. The first was in the 1980s, when a senior RAW officer posted in a West European country came under pressure from the CIA to work for it. He immediately alerted RAW and was withdrawn from his foreign posting. In the second attempt, in the early 1990s, a CIA officer at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi tried to recruit an IB officer who immediately informed his superiors. A trap was laid, evidence collected and the CIA officer obliged to leave India, according to Rediff.com (PJK, DKR)
MUSHARRAF ACTS TO RID ISI OF ISLAMISTS -- In an effort to deal with Islamists within Pakistan’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, President Pervez Musharraf has decreed that henceforth army officers may serve in it for no more than three years and may not have a second tour of duty with it. Gen. Musharraf’s move was reported on 11 June by United Press International, citing Western diplomatic sources in Islamabad. Washington Times. The sources said the president had acted at the prompting of Washington. Previously, some officers were allowed to remain in ISI for years, enabling them to develop ties with various militant Islamist groups, observers said.
Since December, Musharraf has been quietly trying to purge al-Qa’ida supporters from the military. In that month, two attempts were made to assassinate him. Last week, he acknowledged in an interview with a Pakistani television station that al-Qa’ida has not only infiltrated Pakistan's military but also recruited volunteers to assassinate him. Previously, Pakistani officials habitually denied there had been any such infiltration. In the TV interview, Musharraf revealed that several junior officers had been arrested for helping al-Qa’ida carry out the two attacks. Musharraf identified Amjad Farooqi, a Pakistani veteran of the Taliban, as the Qa’ida leader who recruited the would-be assassins. Farooqi also organized the murder of the American journalist Daniel Pearl, killed in Pakistan more than two years ago, the president said. UPI reported that investigators in Pakistan say Farooqi exploited Islamist connections to join the army and was then able to create a network in both the army and air force. He remains at large.
A military coup in 1977, which overthrew the corrupt civilian regime of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, brought the Islamist Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq to power that encouraged Islamist views within Pakistan’s military and the ISI. The result was that sympathizers with the Afghan Taliban and al-Qa’ida became well placed in the services. Musharraf also came to power in a coup in 1999 but far from being an Islamist is an admirer of Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, the modernizing, secularist Turkish leader who ended the Islamic caliphate.
The continued Islamist presence has made the quest for Usama bin Ladin and al-Qa’ida and Taliban remnants more difficult. Islamist revolutionaries are widely admired among the Pashtun tribesmen who inhabit areas of Pakistan adjacent to Afghanistan. Current Pakistani army operations in the area, most notably in Wazirstan, have met determined resistance and, observers say, have failed to produce impressive results. Defense sources in Pakistan told UPI that military intelligence is studying the files of all officers of the rank of colonel and above to determine whether they have associated with radical religious groups. Those found to have been are quietly being shown the door, the sources said. They add that Musharraf intends to cleanse the army before this December, when he is supposed to retire from the military and become a purely civilian leader. But he is also said to be consulting lawyers to see whether he can remain in the army despite his agreement with Islamist opposition parties to give up his military position. The sources say several senior generals from the time of Zia ul-Haq are expected to retire by March of next year, which would make it easier for Musharraf to liberalize the armed forces.
With 520,000 troops, the army is the strongest force in Pakistan and has ruled the country for more than half the years since its creation in 1947. Even when not in power, the army continues to be a major influence on national policies. The elimination, if it succeeds, of Islamists from its officer corps will be greatly reassuring to the United States in the prosecution of the war of Islamist terrorism. In March, the Bush administration declared Pakistan a major ally of the United States. (DKR)
QATAR TO EXECUTE RUSSIAN AGENTS? -- Prosecutors in Qatar have asked for the death penalty for two Russian special services agents accused of assassinating former Chechen separatist President Zelimkhan Yandarbiyev in February, the Jamestown Foundation’s e-mailed Eurasia Daily Monitor reported on 9 June. The court was expected to render its verdict on 30 June. In addition to Yandarbiyev's murder, the two Russians are accused of attempting to murder his 14-year-old son, Daud, who was seriously injured in the 13 February bomb blast that killed his father. The Russians are also accused of smuggling weapons into Qatar.
Al-Jazeera's English-language website reported that one of the accused, Anatoly Belashkov, had pleaded not guilty to murdering Yandarbiyev, while the other defendant, Vassily Bokchov, admitted responsibility. Chechen sources claim the Qatari court was shown a videotape in which the defendants told how Aleksandr Fetisov, first secretary in the Russian embassy in Doha, had ordered them to assassinate Yandarbiyev and how they planned and carried out the killing. Fetisov was arrested along with the two agents but subsequently released. According to some accounts, Fetisov gained release from custody on the basis of diplomatic immunity. According to others, Fetisov was released following a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Qatari Emir Shaykh Hamad bin Halifa al-Thani in late March in exchange for the freeing of two Qatari wrestlers held by the Russians. The Russians picked up the wrestlers on the same day Qatar announced the Russian agents had been formally charged with murdering Yandarbiyev. Igor Ivanov, the Russian foreign minister at the time of their arrest, admitted the two were intelligence agents and said they had gone to Qatar to collect anti-terrorism intelligence. Ivanov maintained that the accused were not involved in Yandarbiyev's death.
Defense counsel in an 8 June press release said the prosecution had failed to disprove that the two Russians were tortured while in custody. The defense has alleged the defendants were beaten, deprived of sleep and attacked by dogs soon after their arrest. On 6 May, the Associated Press reported that one of the defendants told the Qatari court he would not answer its questions because he had been tortured while in custody. The defense also claims that the two were unlawfully detained and searched at their diplomatic residence. (DKR)
GITMO MI INTERROGATION OPTIONS ALLOWED AT ABU GHRAIB -- Options in a memorandum on Interrogation Rules of Engagement, dated 9 October 2003, closely matched those developed for use at Guantanamo Bay and were approved in a series of memos signed by Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and other top DoD officials, the Washington Post reported on 12 June. Military Intelligence personnel at Abu Ghraib were asked to sign the Interrogation Rules of Engagement, according to the Post.
In January 2002, the Post says, Rumsfeld approved the use of dogs to intimidate prisoners at Guantanamo and although officials have said this was never done there, dogs were used at Abu Ghraib. In April 2003, Rumsfeld approved the use at Guantanamo of at least five other high-pressure techniques also listed in the 9 October Abu Ghraib memo, none of them among Army standard interrogation methods. This overlap existed even though detainees in Iraq were covered, according to the administration's policy, by Geneva Conventions that did not apply to those held at Guantanamo, the Post reported.
According to the Post, the documents it obtained include statements by prison officials to U.S. Army investigators. Formal rules for interrogation in Iraq were first introduced on 10 September 2003, the day after the departure of Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller, who had come to Iraq from Guantanamo where he was in charge. He was accompanied on his trip to Iraq by CIA and DIA officials, the Post said. The Interrogation Rules of Engagement set out in detail a wide range of what the paper called pressure tactics listed in a 10 September 2003, "Interrogation and Counter-Resistance Policy," approved by Combined Joint Task Force-7, which was under the direction of Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the senior military commander in Iraq. They included methods, according to the Post, that were close to some of the behavior criticized this March by an Army investigation that found evidence of "sadistic, blatant and wanton criminal abuse" at the prison.
Some military personnel at Abu Ghraib told Army investigators they lacked awareness or understanding of changes introduced in the 9 October memo introduced three days later, on 12 October. The changes reduced the number of permitted interrogation methods. Spec. Luciana Spencer of the 66th Military Intelligence Group told investigators that, "When I began working the night shift I discussed with the MPs what their SOP was for detainee treatment. They informed me they had no SOP. I informed them of my IROE [interrogation rules of engagement] and made clear to them what I was and wasn't allowed to do or see." Spencer was removed from interrogations, the Post reported, because she had ordered a detainee to walk naked to his cell after an interrogation. Adel Nakhla, a civilian interpreter for MI, told investigators he was briefed on interrogation rules only after being implicated in an abusive event. The acronym MI "will not be used in the area," according to an undated prison memo titled "Operational Guidelines," which covered the high-security cellblock, the Post said. A photograph of a pyramid of naked Iraqi detainees was used as a screen saver on a computer in the isolation area where intelligence officers worked, according to Spencer's statement.
An MI soldier told the New York Times that members of an interrogation unit at Abu Ghraib began reporting abuse of prisoners to senior officers last November. The soldier was among MI personnel interviewed by the Times in Germany and the United States. They asked not to be identified for fear they would jeopardize their careers. Among the abuses was the beating of five blindfolded Iraqi generals. The beatings occurred after riots erupted in the prison in late November that the generals were suspected of instigating. The Pentagon is looking into the incident as part of its inquiry into abuses at Abu Ghraib, the Times said, citing what it called people knowledgeable about the investigation. MI personnel said reports from the prison's Detainee Assessment Branch, set up in October to help speed the flow of detainee releases, were sent for final approval to a three-member board. Members of the board were Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the commander of the 800th Military Police Battalion, Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, the top MI officer in Iraq, and a lawyer. The sections in the reports referring to abuses were generally only a paragraph or two in a longer document, according to the Times.
More controversial documents concerning interrogation methods are soon to be made public, according to the Sunday Telegraph on 13 June. Four confidential Red Cross documents implicating senior Pentagon civilians in the Abu Ghraib scandal have been passed to an American television network, which is preparing to make them public shortly, the London newspaper reported. It quoted Scott Horton, former chairman of the New York Bar Association as saying, "There are some extremely damaging documents around, which link senior figures to the abuses. The biggest bombs in this case have yet to be dropped." (DKR)
SECTION III -- CYBER INTELLIGENCE
ARMY MAY APPLY IT FUNDS TO RAPID DEPLOYMENT FORCE -- The U.S. Army’s information technology faces cuts, restructuring or cancellation if it fails to aid the Army to become a lighter, similarly sized and equipped, rapid deployment force, according to Lt. Gen. Steve Boutelle, the Army's chief information officer.
Reporting the threat to military IT, FCW.com said on 9 June the Army might slash $600 million in funding for fiscal 2006 to 2011 for the multibillion-dollar Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program. The money would be used instead to pay for Army transformation. The service used money saved from a Microsoft Corp. enterprise license agreement signed last year to fund its modular-brigade effort.
Army officials plan to restructure the infrastructure modernization program so that voice, video and data hardware and software improvements surrender priority to war-fighting forces. The decision serves a strategy to train and equip rapid-reaction units to capture or kill enemies who fight in small groups in rugged terrain, said Boutelle, speaking at the 2004 Army IT conference. (DKR)
VIETNAM TO MONITOR ONLINE INFORMATION -- Following the sentencing over the past two years of several dissidents to long prison terms for using the Internet to criticize the government and promote democracy, the Communist regime in Vietnam has ordered authorities in all cities and provinces to closely monitor all online information, the Associated Press reported on 9 June. Henceforth Internet cafe owners can be fined or jailed for allowing clients to download or send "bad information" whether it is pornographic or “disseminating state secrets.” Cafe owners must also document what Web sites their clients visit and for how long, and all users must present identification cards before logging on. There are an estimated 5,000 Internet cafes in Vietnam. About 4 million people out of Vietnam's population of 81 million regularly use the Internet. (DKR)
SECURITY GAPS FOUND IN DUTCH AIRLINE, GOVERNMENT NETWORKS -- An investigative report by a current affairs program claimed to show how easy it is to gain confidential cyber information from the Netherlands’ national airline, KLM, and the Public Works and Water Management ministries. DMEurope.com. Both KLM and the Water Management ministry contested the findings of the Zembla program, broadcast on 3 June.
Zembla asserted that it uncovered 15 security breaches in KLM’s wireless computer-connections at Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport. The program producers also said they intercepted computer traffic between Water Management ministry engineers at its Rotterdam office and accessed e-mails and electronic documents, as well as discovering a ministry official visiting a pornographic Website.
KLM denied its business systems were broken into. "Zembla gained access to wi-fi connections, which were supplied by Schipol Telematics,” said a company spokesman. “KLM also uses these connections, but this does not mean that our systems were also accessible. That is not possible, since we deploy firewalls and encrypt all communications." Zembla’s investigator, Wim van der Pol, admitted his team did not break into KLM’s computers, but insisted that it nevertheless turned up data such as employee names and protocol details.
A Water Management ministry spokesperson said that a wi-fi connection between two of its buildings was at fault but not its whole network. The ministry has ordered its wi-fi network not be used until its security can be guaranteed. Roel Pieper, a Dutch professor of informatics, urged the government to take a tougher approach to computer security by establishing a single, central authority to reduce risks associated with computer failure. At present, responsibility for ICT policy is shared between five ministries. (DKR)
SECTION IV -- EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
[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.]
POSITIONS AVAILABLE AT SYTEX -- Sytex Inc., a business unit of The Sytex Group, Inc. (TSGI), is seeking personnel to support their CIFA client in the Arlington, Virginia area. SYTEX recently won a contract with CIFA and seeks additional talented personnel to assist with fulfilling its contract requirements. A list of the vacancy announcements and the respective qualifications that have to be met are listed on their website at: (http://webdemo1.sytexinc.com/ja/jasearch.asp) All positions require a current Top Secret Clearance.
SECTION V -- BOOKS, SOURCES, AND ISSUES
WHAT WENT WRONG BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER 9/11 -- AFIO member James Bamford, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies (Doubleday, 420 pp., $26.95) WIN readers will know Bamford as the author of two well-received works, The Puzzle Palace and Body of Secrets, that dealt with the NSA. In A Pretext for War he is once again concerned with the NSA as well as other parts of the Intelligence Community.
Bamford shows in meticulous detail and with fresh insights how 9/11 aircraft were hijacked, along with the failure to check al-Qa’ida's operation. Along the way, Bamford makes clear how unprepared and ill equipped the U.S. defense systems were to cope with attacks. An example of these unhappy conditions noted by Bamford was that DCI Tenet did not learn of the 9/11 attacks until the second aircraft had slammed into the World Trade Center.
Many readers are likely to find that the gravamen of this book comes in its last part. There, Bamford delivers a harsh judgment on the handful of individuals who dominated Bush Administration’s policy on Iraq. Not surprisingly, they include Richard Perle, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz and Undersecretary Policy Feith. Neoconservatives all, Bamford charges them with manipulating the CIA, DIA and the NSA in their determination to find pretexts for overthrowing Saddam Husayn, something they began thinking about doing long before 9/11. Indeed, Bamford traces the origins of the Bush Administration’s policy on toppling Saddam back to a plan devised by Perle, Feith and a senior State department adviser, David Wormser, when they were advising Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the mid-1990s. Netanyahu rejected the plan.
Bamford believes that Bush, who he makes clear he dislikes, was determined to pay back Saddam for the latter’s attempt to kill Bush's father and that this played a part in the decision to invade Iraq. The Administration’s absorption with Iraq, and its sympathies for Israel, blinded it, Bamford argues, to the rage in the Arab world over the Palestinians treatment at the hands of U.S.-backed Israel. That rage was further intensified by the invasion of Iraq and continues to undermine Washington’s position both with the Arab street and ‘friendly’ regional leaders, concerned about their ability to continue to keep their people under control. That is a situation most glaringly obvious at the moment in Saudi Arabia and, beyond the Arab world, in Pakistan. (DKR)
SPIES’ CULT BOOK REISSUED -- Roger Hall, You’re Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger (Naval Institute Press, 224 pp., paperback, $15.95) Those WIN readers old enough to have read You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger when it first came out in 1957 may wish to buy a copy of this new edition to replace their lost one or to give to younger folk who have not had the good fortune to have read it. An OSS veteran and AFIO member, Hall grew up in a Navy family in Annapolis. In this book that sold 50,000 copies when it first appeared, Hall has many a witty observation to make about the goings on he took part in during the Second World War. No wonder it became a cult book for those involved in the spy game. (DKR)
FROM BROOKLYN WITH LOVE AND GUNS -- Stacy Sullivan, Be Not Afraid, For You Have Sons in America: How Albanians in the U.S. Fought for Their People in Kosovo (St. Martin’s, 352pp., $27.95) In this book, Sullivan, a journalist who covered the Balkans in the 1990s, tells the amazing story of how a Kosovo Albanian who slipped illegally into the United States from Mexico, became a roof contractor in Brooklyn and proceeded to buy and deliver arms to the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Florin Krasniqi bought weapons at gun shows and took them on conventional flights to Albania from where they were forwarded to the Kosovars fighting off Serbian domination. To purchase Stinger missiles, Krasniqi, a Muslim, traveled to Pakistan. And back home in Brooklyn, Krasniqi got a great deal in uniforms from his Hasidim neighbors. Sullivan has written a book that is very funny, but also troubling. One would like to hope that the wheeling and dealing in weaponry Sullivan describes has become impossible since 9/11.
ISLAMIST TERRORISM AS SEEN FROM RIVERSIDE CHURCH -- Mahmood Mamdani, Good Muslim, Bad Muslim: America, the Cold War and the Roots of Terror, (Pantheon, 260 pp., $24) Mamdani, a Muslim whose forebears left the Indian subcontinent to settle in East Africa, agrees with Usama bin Ladin when the latter declares that al-Qa’ida and similar Islamist militant groups are motivated by legitimate political grievances with U.S. foreign policy. The U.S. government chose to cultivate Islamists during the last decades of the Cold War, which resulted, Mamdani asserts, in nothing dividing ‘our’ terrorism from ‘their’ terrorism with each tending to feed the other.
Those familiar with the activities of mainstream Protestant Churches will not be surprised to learn that Mamdani’s reflections were developed in a series of talks he gave at New York’s Riverside Church, that tower of the liberal Protestant establishment. Nor will such readers be surprised that Mamdani is Herbert Lehman Professor of Government in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University.
For Mamdani, terrorism does not necessarily have anything to with Islamic culture. Rather, the growth in the employment of terror is the fruit of American Cold War policy. Mamdani dismisses the idea of good Muslims who are secular and Westernized and of bad Muslims who are primitive and fanatical.
There are those familiar with Islam who will find Mamdani clever but unconvincing. Such readers would argue that the Islamic world is beset by something very like a civil war in which primitive and fanatical Muslims have come under the influence of leaders whose views derive in good part from notions that originated in the West, notably fascism and Leninism. Those who doubt this are referred to an article by the present writer, “Winning Over the Muslim Mind” in the Spring issue of The National Interest. Those conducting terrorist operations often come from well-educated, well-off Muslim families and their ambition is the perennial one of seizing political power with the equally perennial hope that thereby they will overcome their personal sense of humiliation and alienation from the world into which they were born. (DKR)
POTENTIAL DANGER SEEN IN CIA HIRING SPIES-FOR-RENT -- To fulfill contracts with USG, private companies are recruiting CIA officers, sometimes right out of the agency's cafeteria, according to author James Bamford. And, he adds in an op-ed contribution to the New York Times on 13 June, ongoing privatization of the IC has been largely overlooked in current discussions of moving agencies and creating intelligence czar. Bamford’s most recent book, A Pretext for War: 9/11, Iraq, and the Abuse of America's Intelligence Agencies, is reviewed above under Books in this issue of WIN.
Despite being awash in money as a result of post-9/11 budget increases, there is uncertainty over Langley’s future that, Bamford says, means it faces a long delay before it can recruit, train and develop a new generation of spies and analysts. As a result the CIA is recruiting staff from what he calls the "intelligence-industrial complex" which is made up of big companies, like Booz Allen Hamilton, to small ones, like the Abraxas Corporation in McLean whose members used to work in the place across the street.
Because the issue is hidden under the CIA's layers of secrecy, Bamford writes, it is impossible for even Congress to get accurate figures on how much money and how many people are involved. But many experts inside and outside the agency, he reports, feel that the sums run into hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of contractors. Private contractors are taking over jobs once reserved for highly trained agency employees, such as regional desk officers who control clandestine operations around the world; watch officers at the 24-hour crisis center; analysts, counterintelligence officers who oversee clandestine meetings between agency officers and their recruited assets; and reports officers who liaise between officers in the field and analysts at headquarters. Bamford believes there is a potential for trouble in this situation unless the union between the IC and business is closely monitored. The Abu Ghraib scandal has shown how employing private contractors in sensitive intelligence operations can lead to disaster, Bamford agues. The potential for disaster grows when not just agents on the ground but supervisors at headquarters also work for a private company.
Then there is the increased cost to taxpayers. Companies frequently offer to double a federal employee's salary and many of those who sign on end up back in their old office. “Thus, after spending millions of dollars training people to be clandestine officers, taxpayers are having to pay them twice as much to return as rent-a-spies,” writes Bamford. Bamford said that some former CIA officers gone private told him their talents are being wasted on unsophisticated tasks, and that because of the slap-dash nature of the rush to expand, the quality of intelligence produced has become questionable. Another former agency staffer said he was among a group of contractors assigned to analyze e-mail messages on computer hard drives snatched by operatives in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The trouble was that many of the messages were in Arabic and none of the group could read it.
Bamford’s view is not all dark; he believes it may be possible to find more effective ways of tackling problems through marrying well-trained federal employees with innovative contractors working in a less structured role. But, he stresses, better oversight is critical. “If Congress doesn't even know whom the CIA is hiring, how can anyone ensure that what they are doing (and how much they are being paid) is acceptable?” he asks and concludes, “As we decide how to remake our intelligence services, we need to find the right balance between the people who make the cloaks and daggers and the people who wear them.” (DKR)
TENET’S LEGACY -- Rather than the failure the news media and some in Congress portray, DCI Tenet turned the CIA around from a pathetic, risk-averse agency to one that has been highly successful in the war on terrorism. So writes Ronald Kessler in USA Today of 7 June. Kessler is an AFIO member and the best-selling author of, most recently, The CIA at War: Inside the Secret Campaign Against Terror, Insider the CIA, and The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI as well as other books on political Washington. He points out that when Tenet became DCI in July 1997, the Clinton administration had cut the Agency’s clandestine service by 25 percent.
Because of rules imposed by former DCI John Deutch, agency officers needed special permission to recruit an agent who might have engaged in a human-rights violation such as killing someone. Yet the only sources with an inside track to terrorists' plans were ones involved in unsavory activities. This had a chilling effect on recruiting assets, Kessler reports William Lofgren, chief of the CIA Eurasian Division, telling him. The result was that people retired in place or left.
When Tenet took over, he made it clear he wanted CIA operatives to take risks and that he would support them, even if something went wrong. Focusing on terrorism, Tenet warned Congress in February 2001 that al-Qa’ida was the most immediate and serious terrorist threat to the United States, Kessler writes, while recognizing that Langley did not uncover the 9/11 plot. As for the embarrassing failure to find WMD in Iraq, Saddam Husayn’s generals said they believed he had chemical weapons and would use them. How, Kessler asks, does one find out that what the generals themselves believed was wrong?
On the credit side, says Kessler, Tenet enrolled foreign intelligence and security services in the war on terrorism. The result is that some 3,000 terrorists have been rolled up since 9/11, and two-thirds of al-Qa’ida's leadership has been killed or captured. CIA operatives have also helped dismantle Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan's black-market nuclear-supply network and pushed Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to end his nuclear-weapons programs.
The fact that the United States has not been attacked since 9/11 is not a matter of luck, Kessler asserts, and is in large part the fruit of the determined efforts of the CIA under Tenet and the FBI under Robert Mueller. When Bush announced Tenet's resignation, the pained expression on his face conveyed how sorry he was that Tenet was leaving, says Kessler. Tenet has done a "superb" job, the president said. “To those on the inside who are fighting the war on terrorism and know the real story, that said it all,” Kessler concludes. (DKR)
SECTION VI – NOTES, LETTERS, QUERIES AND COMING EVENTS
DEFINING WHAT WMD ARE -- A new report from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) (www.fas.org/irp/crs/RL32391.pdf) delves into the technologies and substances that make up what are called, often loosely, weapons of mass destruction. The CRS report, gives particular attention to the potential for small-scale terrorist attacks involving the use of chemical and biological weapons, deals with the difficulties of manufacturing or otherwise acquiring CBW agents, their feasibility as weapons, and their public health impact, including the availability of medical treatment. (DKR)
DEMOCRAT BIAS? - Chuck B. writes to ask about WIN #19-04 dtd 7 June 2004: “Do I detect a slight bias toward the Democrats in the WINS lately? Quotes from left leaning papers (New York Times) and think tanks keep popping up with little from the other side. I hope I am wrong but I am not the only one commenting on this bias.”
WIN’s Editor replies:
The New York Times is indeed a liberal paper and one that in European terminology would be classified as Center-Left. The Telegraph is Conservative (with a capital C). As with past numbers, both papers were drawn upon for WIN #19-04, the Telegraph more than the Times.
The liberal Washington Post was also used as a source; so was the conservative Corriere della Serra. One think tank was mentioned, the Center for Strategic and International Studies. We know of no one familiar with its activities that has ever considered it to be Left-leaning. To the contrary, CSIS is regarded by those on the Left as pretty much conservative.
WIN draws on sources that have good reputations for reliability in what they report, whatever side of the political divide they may be on. We said good reputations, not perfect ones. In journalism as in intelligence, there are no 100 percent perfect records.
It may be well to bear in mind that we are passing through a time when conservatives are finding fault with personalities and activities of which they would ordinarily be expected to approve. A symptom of this, noted by David Gergen, who served Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Clinton, is the number of Republicans who want to fire President Bush but at the same time do not want to hire a Democrat. Gergen was speaking at the National Press Club in Washington on 7 June when he received the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Award. So conservatives are now being subjected to criticism by conservatives, in addition to the customary attacks from liberals and those farther to the Left. Perhaps not everyone has yet caught on to this.
INTELLIGENCE AND A POLISH FENCING CHAMPION -- A researcher writes, “My name is Charles Pierce, and I am a writer under assignment to Sports Illustrated magazine. I am working on a historical piece concerning Jerzy Pawlowsky, the great Polish saber fencing champion who worked for western intelligence services and was subsequently arrested and imprisoned by the Polish government in the 1980's. I would be particularly interested in the circumstances of Pawlowsky's recruitment and those of his arrest and eventual release. If there is anyone within the extended AFIO family who can help me with the research into this story, you may reply to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much.”
16 June - HERBERT YARDLEY: READER OF 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.
16 June - LECTURE, BOOK SIGNING BY AFIO MEMBER DAVID KAHN -- The James Madison Project Luncheon Series will have Kahn, author the widely acclaimed, The Reader of Gentlemen's Mail: Herbert O. Yardley and the Birth of American Codebreaking, as its guest for a bring-your-own, “brownbag lunch” from 12 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, 16 June at Suite 300, 1747 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C. 200006. Registration is free but donations of $5.00 or more are encouraged and are tax-deductible. Pre-registration is requested by Tuesday, 15 June. For more information, please contact Mark S. Zaid, Executive Director, at 202-454-2809
17 June - BOOK SIGNING WITH THADDEUS HOLT, AUTHOR OF THE DECEIVERS: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War, which David Kahn called a comprehensive study on the most fascinating topic in intelligence. The talk and signing begins at 7 PM at the Georgetown, Barnes and Noble. We highly recommend this event as it may be the only opportunity in this area interested parties will have to hear from the author and discuss his new, comprehensive work.
21 June - PAVITT TO SPEAK ON AMERICA'S CLANDESTINE SERVICE -- The Foreign Policy Association will present this lecture by Pavitt, who resigned 3 June as Deputy Director for Operations at the CIA. It will take place at the University Club, 1 West 54th Street, New York. Registration is at 5.30 p.m. The event is free for FPA members. The charge for their guests is $15 and for non-members $25. Those wishing to attend may e-mail email@example.com or telephone 212-481- 8100, Ext. 240.
30 June – NGA DIRECTOR CLAPPER TO ADDRESS NMIA LUNCHEON -- The speaker at the National Military Intelligence Association luncheon will be Lt. Gen. Jim Clapper, USAF (Ret), Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. The event, set for Wednesday, 30 June at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA., is co-sponsored by the Capitol Club Chapter of the Association of Old Crows. For more information call (703) 921-1800.
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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/AFIO Exec Director, Roy Jonkers.