WIN #40-04 dtd 1 November 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.


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CONTENTS of this WIN [HTML version recipients - Click title to jump to story or section, Click Article Title to return to Contents] [This feature does not work for Plaintext Edition recipients. If you wish to change to HTML format, let us know at However, due to recent changes in AOL's security standards, members using AOL will not be able to receive HTML formatted WINs from AFIO and will thus be receiving our Plaintext Edition. The HTML feature also does not work for those who access their e-mail using web mail. NON-HTML recipients may view HTML edition at this link:





   Euro Intel Services Say Russians Moved Iraqi Arms to Syria


   Russian Spying In Britain at Cold War Level





   MI Reports on Iraqi Arms Dumps Repeatedly Ignored


   9/11 Commission Report Omitted CIA Review of Intel Failures


   Businesses Beat USG in Hiring Scarce Linguists





   U.S. ISPs Hosting Terrorist Supporters


   Bush Website Blocked Outside U.S.


   Military Using Spanish-Language Web Site to Win Recruits







      Torture, A Tragic Choice


      Uncle Sam and the Mullahs


      American Patriotism Subverted by Nationalism?




      Intel Boss Says Russia Using Fuel to Regain Empire







      Author Researching 1960 Democratic National Convention      


   Coming Events


      9 November - Washington, DC - International Spy Museum - Inside Stories: Robert Hanssen-Colleague, Friend, and Traitor


      19 November - Arlington, VA - OSIS Veterans Meet  


      New Intel Conference Debuts Next February




      Nick Natsios






EURO INTEL SERVICES SAY RUSSIANS MOVED IRAQI ARMS TO SYRIA - Two European intelligence services have informed DoD that Russian special forces moved weapons from Iraq to Syria in the weeks before the invasion, the Washington Times reported on 28 October.


   John A. Shaw, Deputy Undersecretary for International Technology Security, told the Times he believed the Russians troops, working with Iraqi intel, almost certainly removed high-explosive material that went missing from the al-Qaqaa facility.

   Spetsnaz forces were under GRU military intelligence. They organized large commercial truck convoys for the weapons removal, another DoD official said.

   The Russian military units main task, Shaw said, was to destroy evidence of any of the contractual arrangements Russia had with the Iraqis.

   Shaw said he had obtained reliable information on the arms-dispersal program from two European intelligence services that have detailed knowledge of the Russian-Iraqi weapons collaboration.

   Powerful arms were separated from lighter ones, such as mortars, bombs and rockets, and sent to Syria and Lebanon, and possibly to Iran, he said.

   Russian involvement in helping disperse Saddam Husayn’s weapons, including some 380 tons of RDX and HMX, was still being investigated, Shaw said. The RDX and HMX were probably of Russian origin, he said. They are used to manufacture high-explosive and nuclear weapons.

   The second DoD official said documents showed that Saddam paid for Russian special forces to provide security for Iraq's Russian arms and to conduct counterintelligence activities designed to prevent U.S. and Western intel services from learning about the transport of arms through Syria.

   The arms-removal program began after former KGB boss Evgeny Primakov, a long-time pal of Saddam, visited him but failed to persuade him to give in to U.S. and Western demands, this official said.

   Shaw said he believed moving Russian-made weapons and explosives out of Iraq was part of plan by Saddam to set up a redoubt in Syria that could be used as a base for insurgency in Iraq.

    The director of an Iraqi government front company, Al Bashair Trading Co., fled to Syria, where he is in charge of monitoring arms holdings and funding Iraqi insurgent activities, the official said. (DKR)


RUSSIAN SPYING IN BRITAIN AT COLD WAR LEVEL - Russia has resumed Cold War levels of spying and intelligence gathering in Britain, senior Whitehall and security sources have told a British newspaper, The Independent.


   The Russian spy network is run by the SVR (Foreign Intelligence Service) and GRU (military intelligence). The SVR has about 18 officers in Britain and GRU has about 14, all of whom have diplomatic status, according to intelligence sources. Russian officers each have dozens of informers and agents.

   SVR is divided into three specialist fields: gaining intelligence on political issues; matters of security; and technology, such as military and commercial secrets. GRU is involved in obtaining information on Britain's nuclear and military capabilities and American bases in Britain.

   The Russian operatives are also collecting information about exiled opponents of Vladimir Putin, Russian president and former KGB officer.

   Among these is Boris Berezovsky, the fallen oligarch who has been in exile since 2000.

   The build-up of Russian spying in Britain and other European countries followed Putin coming to power in 2000. He has reinvigorated the old Soviet customs of secrecy and spying abroad.

   MI5 is troubled by counter-espionage funding being cut by half as resources have been reallocated to deal with al-Qa'ida. MI5’s Director General, Eliza Manningham-Buller, told a parliamentary committee, “The problem is that the international counter-terrorist work is moving and expanding at such a rate."

   A confidential document, Espionage Threat, based on information provided by MI5 and MI6, revealed that Russians were also monitoring the movements of military aircraft in Britain. Operatives were using the internet to target military specialists with access to secret information. Several Russians have left Britain quietly to avoid a diplomatic row.

   Oleg Gordievsky, head of the KGB London station before defecting in 1985, said: "The strength of the KGB is that there are so many Russians living here and working for British companies. Each second Russian in a position of some importance is acting as an informer to the KGB.”

   A spokesman at the Russian Embassy in London, said: "No comment." (DKR)






MI REPORTS ON IRAQI ARMS DUMPS REPEATEDLY IGNORED - Repeated reports of unsecured Iraqi arms dumps being looted were ignored, according to a former member of the Army National Guard’s 223rd MI Battalion who served in Iraq.

   Writing in on 29 October, David DeBatto asserts that at the same time high explosives were being taken from a facility at al-Qaqaa, he learned of another major weapons and ammunition storage facility near Camp Anaconda where his battalion was based. That site, too, was unguarded and



 “But despite my repeated warnings -- and those of other U.S. intelligence agents -- nothing was done to secure this facility, as it was systematically stripped of enough weapons and explosives to equip anti-U.S. insurgents with enough roadside improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, for years to come,” DeBatto writes.

   Early in May 2003, local walk-ins informed DeBatto of a large weapons storage facility close to Anaconda that was unguarded and was being looted daily by thieves. Word in the local communities was that the thieves were selling the weapons and explosives to ex-Baath party members for use in attacking U.S forces.

   When DeBatto and his team went to the site, that he estimates was about five square miles or more in size, he was stunned by the vast amounts of weapons lying around on the ground that included surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles, land mines, rocket-propelled grenades, small arms ammunition, hand grenades, detonator caps, plastic explosives and other assorted ammunition and weaponry.

   His team took pictures of the site and he filed a report immediately after returning to Anaconda as well as verbally briefing the battalion commander, Lt. Col. Timothy Ryan. The next day DeBatto returned to the site with Ryan who then told DeBatto he would talk to EOD (explosive ordinance disposal) and “have the stuff removed."

   Ryan did not himself have the authority to either remove the material or to post guards, De Batto says, and would have had to request such action through his chain of command.  That was Col. Thomas M. Pappas, commander of the 205th M.I. Battalion. In any event, no action was taken.

   DeBatto says he made three or four more trips to the site between May and August that confirmed the facility continued unsecured. During one visit, DeBatto noted stored land mines. On his next visit, the mines were gone.

   After each visit, he says, he filed reports to the 223rd OMT (Operations Management Team) on the exposed weaponry and the risk to coalition forces. Iraqi villagers continued to inform him of the dangerous situation and ask why the Americans could not place guards at the facility or haul the stuff away. “I had no answer for them,” he writes.

   While writing his account, he called Sgt. Greg Ford, another member of his MI unit who was also stationed at Anaconda. Ford remembered the weapons stockpiles open to looters just outside Anaconda and told DeBatto that he, too, had filed at least one written report about the problem and verbally advised Ryan. Ford said his sources had also told him that ex-Baath party members were going to use the weapons as IEDs.

   A tribal shaykh told Ford an Iraqi living in Syria had been sending drivers into Iraq to loot systematically weapons storage facilities, including al-Qaqaa, for material to be used in making IEDs. “Until that time, late spring of 2003, IEDs were virtually unknown in Iraq,” DeBatto writes. “But beginning around June, they became a common threat to U.S. forces around Anaconda and elsewhere.”

   DeBatto says Michael Marciello, another ex-counterintelligence agent from the 223rd, has told him that he too informed his unit chain of command about the unguarded storage facility outside of Anaconda, but got no response. Marciello said he saw many unsecured storage sites all over Iraq that were full of weapons and ammunition. "They were commonplace," he told DeBatto. "Nobody really cared about them."

   A DoD spokesperson, Lt. Col. Barry Venable, told DeBatto, he was not aware of any reports about unsecured weapons storage facilities near Camp Anaconda. According to DeBatto, Venable also said that the priority of the troops at that time was taking down the Saddam regime. Since the regime's fall, said Venable, Coalition forces have destroyed 240,000 tons of munitions and have secured another 160,000 tons that are awaiting destruction. When asked if there were enough troops to secure the weapons sites after the war, Venable answered, "There were enough troops to complete the mission." Venable admitted he had no idea whether there are still unsecured weapons storage sites in Iraq that were being looted. (DKR)


9/11 COMMISSION REPORT OMITTED CIA REVIEW OF INTEL FAILURES - Key staff members of the 9/11 Commission left an internal CIA review of intelligence failures out of its final report, reported on 28 October.

   Citing Philip Zelikow, the commission's former executive director, the report said commission staffers made an agreement with the CIA IG to not put the internal investigation into the commission's final report, issued in July.

   Zelikow said the investigation was not cited in the commission's final report because CIA personnel who were interviewed and named in the review were never told the information they provided would be used in the final 9/11 report.

   According to the Los Angeles Times on 19 October, a report on the internal CIA investigation has been stalled within the agency since June. The investigation was intended to determine whether individual officers should be held accountable for failures prior to 9/11. A joint congressional committee investigating intel failures requested the investigation in December 2002.

   House Intel Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra and ranking member Jane Harman sent a letter to the CIA in early October asking for the report to be released. Hoekstra and Harman are influential members of the conference committee dealing with a final bill on intelligence reform.

   The 9/11 commission's final report concluded that government wide institutional failures, especially within the IC, prepared the way for 9/11. (DKR)


BUSINESSES BEAT USG IN HIRING SCARCE LINGUISTS - The CIA, FBI, U.S. military and other USG agencies are failing to recruit enough linguists with knowledge of Middle Eastern languages because of private firms that pay much more money for the same skills, Reuters reported on 25 October.

   In addition to the small pool of linguists in languages such as Arabic, Dari or Pashto, few people in the United States know the Middle East well enough to provide the insights and cultural sensitivities both the government and private sector seek. Academics say only a few dozen students in the United States graduate annually with degrees in Arabic.

   As a result of the shortage in linguists, there is a backlog of more than 123,000 hours of tapes in languages linked to terrorism cases, despite hundreds of new hires since 2001.

   Multinationals in the oil business and consumer goods, among others, sometimes pay twice as much as a government post does or at least $10,000 to $30,000 a year more. The higher income attracts students who may graduate with debts of more than $250,000 from college and graduate school education. Some candidates are also put off by invasive background checks for USG jobs that can delay employment for a year or more.

   Kevin Hendzel, a spokesman for the American Translators Association, told Reuters USG had narrowed the salary gap since Sept. 11, but could not always compete with firms paying six-digit salaries for qualified linguists, especially in hardship posts.

   Alan Johnson, an adviser to Wall Street firms on compensation, said demand for Middle East expertise had been increasing for five years and continued to rise with the growth of middle class consumers in the region. Private firms want to increase the proportion of business done outside of Europe or the United States. (DKR)






U.S. ISPs HOSTING TERRORIST SUPPORTERS - American Internet service providers are providing web-hosting for the Islamist terrorists organizations Hamas, Lebanese Hizballah and Palestinian Jihad, according to Front Page online on 21 October.


   Such activity is illegal, Front Page notes, and subject to prosecution. Some ISPs have taken action on their own to check such activity. In September, Colorado-based ISP Level3 and Virginia-based Network Solution tracked and shut down Hamas and Hizballah websites.

   More recently, the British authorities responded to a U.S. request under a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and closed down 20 media websites in 17 countries that advocate terrorism, according to Front Page.

   Arsalan Iftikhar, the legal director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, has denounced punishment of those who provide terrorists with expert advice or assistance by operating websites. He alleges it is opening "the floodgates to really marginalizing a lot of the free speech that has been a hallmark of the American legal and political system.” Some observers, the present writer included, regard CAIR as sympathetic to Islamist causes hostile to the United States.

    Currently, anyone can purchase web-hosting services without providing substantial personal information other than a valid credit card number.



BUSH WEBSITE BLOCKED OUTSIDE U.S. - The official re-election Web site of President Bush,, was blocked to browsers outside the United States starting on 25 October, the BBC reported.


   People abroad who tried to browse the site were informed they were not authorized to view it, the BBC said.

   The blocking appeared to be the result of a decision by the Bush campaigners rather than an attack by vandals or hackers. Geographic blocking is possible because the numerical addresses that the net uses to organize itself are given out on a regional basis.

   Netcraft, a company that watches traffic patterns across different sites, spotted the international exclusion zone around the Bush site in the early hours of 25 October. Attempts to view the site at monitoring stations in London, Amsterdam and Sydney have failed. Netcraft's monitoring stations in the United States were able to view the site without difficulty.

   The site could be seen abroad by using anonymous proxy services based in the United States. Some Canadians reported being able to browse the site. The Boingboing weblog also informed would-be browsers they could access the site by using alternative forms of the George W Bush domain name.

   Mike Prettejohn, president of Netcraft, said the blocking might have been imposed to cut costs and reduce traffic in the run-up to the elections. (DKR)


MILITARY USING SPANISH-LANGUAGE WEB SITE TO WIN RECRUITS - The Army and Navy have introduced Spanish-language Web sites to boost the recruitment of Hispanics, the Washington Times reported on 22 October.


   The Army is using "cyber recruiters" to chat in Spanish with possible recruits. Hispanics make up 16 percent of the U.S. population, but only 9.9 percent of the 1.4 million active-duty force. (DKR)








   TORTURE, A TRAGIC CHOICE - Sanford Levinson, ed. Torture: A Collection (Oxford University Press,   352 pp. $29.95)

   Nothing so acutely illustrates as does torture the opposition between an ethics of intention and an ethics of consequences. The former gives us, all too often, a sense of moral superiority because we mean well. The ethics of consequences is sterner. It requires us to ask what will follow if we do something.

   In a triumph for the ethics of intention, torture has come to be regarded as wholly and universally unacceptable. U.S. law has allowed no exceptions to this standard, even when lives may depend on what an enemy prisoner knows but will not willingly disclose. Since 9/11, however, there has been a shift in public attitudes and the Bush administration has redefined the interpretation of the Geneva Conventions to allow physical abuse. Now, in

Torture: A Collection, lawyers, philosophers, political scientists and other contributors accept that torture can be acceptable in extreme situations, as when a prisoner possesses knowledge urgently needed to prevent deaths.

   This shift is an assertion of the ethics of consequences. If one fails to do what can be done to extract information that can save the lives of comrades and the innocent, the consequence is their betrayal. It is also true, of course, that if one engages in torture the consequence is the betrayal of the moral ideals of our society. The choice is between two goods and so, as the ancient Greeks would have understood, is the stuff of tragedy.

   In this book, the contributors admit the moral legitimacy of torture in extreme cases and debate whether it should be legally allowed or whether it is better to accept a break between law and morality. A historical section recounts American, European and South American experiences with illegal but tacitly accepted torture. Other essays take up the ruling of the Israeli Supreme Court in 1999 that outlawed coercive interrogation, the United Nations Torture Convention and the European Convention on Human Rights. In its conclusion Alan Dershowitz, Elaine Scarry, Judge Richard Posner and Richard H. Weisberg debate what has followed in the wake of 9/11. (DKR)


   UNCLE SAM AND THE MULLAHS - Kenneth Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict Between Iran and America (Random House, 576 pp. $26.95)

   The United States faces a major problem in how to deal with Iran. Despite protestations to the contrary, Tehran's mullahocracy appears hell-bent on acquiring the capacity to manufacture its own nuclear weapons. Should the mullahs succeed, the consequences will be, at the very least, further destabilization of an already unstable part of the world that is of prime interest to the United States.

   Pollack, a former CIA analyst and National Security Council official, tells the story of the mullahs' hostility to the United States, and of the United States to them. It began with Iran's Islamic revolution in 1979 that overthrew the pro-Western Shah. Relations ever since have been adversarial with Washington backing Saddam Husayn's Iraq against the mullahs in the Iraq-Iran war of 1980 to 1988; and Tehran backing anti-American and anti-Israeli terrorist organizations. There have been moments when rapprochement seemed in the air, as when the mullahs cooperated to a degree in the overthrow of their enemy the Taliban and at the Bonn conference that conjured up a transitional regime in post-Taliban Afghanistan. But such moments have proved ephemeral.

   Pollack is currently director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington. (DKR)


   AMERICAN PATRIOTISM SUBVERTED BY NATIONALISM? - Anatol Lieven, America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism (Oxford University Press, 304 pp. $30)

   Lieven is a senior associate at Washington’s Carnegie Endowment. He argues that the American patriotism that honors a civic code and pays respect to individual freedoms and constitutional law also has a nasty side that is jingoistic and militaristic and sees America as having a mission to overcome the savages. Since 9/11, the Bush administration has invoked this Jacksonian nationalist tradition with, Lieven believes, catastrophic results for the prosecution of the war on terror.

   This is a book that some readers will find unpalatable, indeed, outrageous. Given Lieven’s intelligence, erudition and boots-on-the-ground experience, rebuttal of his work will need to be well informed and well reasoned if it is to be effective. (DKR)




   INTEL BOSS SAYS RUSSIA USING FUEL TO REGAIN EMPIRE - The former chief of Polish intelligence, Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, has accused Russia of a new economic imperialism, seeking to regain its grip on former Warsaw Pact satellites through control of their energy sectors, the leading Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza reported on 27 October.


   Siemiatkowski told a parliamentary inquiry he was not speaking out of an anti-Russian phobia, but from knowledge he acquired as intel boss. He was chief of UOP, the Office for State Protection, created in 1990 as successor to the Communist UB (Security Office). When the UOP was dissolved in 2002, he moved to the new AW, the foreign intelligence agency. He left that post earlier this year.

   He charged that Russia was seeking to restore its empire through economic means and with the principle of “yesterday tanks, today oil.”

   "What Russia has been doing in the fuel sector of Eastern Europe, that's a new economic imperialism," he said. Russia is already the main supplier of oil and gas to Central Europe and Russian energy giants are seeking to gain control of refineries and petroleum distribution chains in Central Europe.

   Poland, the biggest economy among the former Soviet satellites, blocked a bid by Russia’s LUKoil to buy Rafineria Gdanska in 2002. It is Poland’s second largest refinery.

   That incident has come up in a parliamentary inquiry into Poland's richest man, industrialist Jan Kulczyk, and secret talks he held in Vienna about the future of the Polish energy sector with Vladimir Alganov, a former KGB resident in Warsaw, now an adviser to the Russian Industry and Energy Ministry.

   According to declassified intelligence reports, Kulczyk told Alganov that he had support for the sale from the “top man,” implying President Aleksander Kwasniewski, a former Communist, the Moscow Times reported on 25 October. "He didn't refer directly to the president, he said 'the top man,"' Kwasniewski has said. "And I am not at all of the opinion that 'the top man' has to mean the president."

   Fear of Moscow is acute across Central Europe 15 years after it escaped Soviet domination and opened up to the West, a process crowned with the countries' entering the European Union this year, Reuters noted on 28 October. (DKR)








   AUTHOR RESEARCHING 1960 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION - AFIO member and author Bart Davis is researching certain aspects of the 1960 Democratic National Convention. He would appreciate hearing from all AFIO members who have personal recollections of the Convention, or stories passed on by family or friends. Please email him at: or fax at (516) 944-8563.


Coming Events


   9 November - Washington, DC - International Spy Museum - Inside Stories: Robert Hanssen-Colleague, Friend, and Traitor - He worked with Hanssen for 14 years at the Bureau, was a Supervisor in his chain-of-command for three years, and considered him a work-friend for over two decades. Don't miss the unique insights of David G. Major, retired FBI Supervisory Special Agent, Co-Founder of the Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies, and International Spy Museum Board Member, as he provides a rare glimpse into the personality and psychology of one of the most damaging spies in U.S. history, former Supervisory Special Agent Robert Hanssen. Hear his perspective about why Hanssen's betrayal was so difficult to uncover, what motivated him to spy for the Soviet Union, and what steps have been taken by security agencies in the aftermath of this case. For more information, please visit:


   19 November - Arlington, VA - OSIS Veterans Meet - Veterans of the former Navy Ocean Surveillance Information System (OSIS) will meet informally at the Army-Navy Country Club, Arlington, VA, on 19 November, from 6:00 PM. Open bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. POC: J.R. Reddig, email:


   New Intel Conference Debuts Next February - Featuring well over 50 seminars, sessions and special events, the National Intelligence Conference and Exposition (INTELCON) will debut next February 8-10 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City, just outside of Washington in Arlington, Virginia.

   INTELCON'S s goal is to bring together annually intel professionals and members of Congress in an informal setting on neutral ground to provide educational enhancement and discuss common issues.

   Veteran intelligence specialist John Loftus is directing the INTELCON Program, supported by an advisory group of figures within the Intelligence Community and a liaison committee whose members reach out to intelligence and intel-related professionals in both the public and private sectors. Conference Chairman is Dr. William Saxton, founder of the very first computer/IT conference for the Federal government.

   Based upon the theme of “Widening the Intelligence Community,” the Conference offers five two-day Program Tracks – Federal Civilian, DOD/Military, State and Local Law Enforcement, Business, and Private Sector. In addition, there will be eight, full-day Professional Enhancement Seminars on Trends in Intelligence Technology, Role of Congress in Intelligence Oversight, Finding and Keeping Intelligence Specialists, Reforming the Intelligence Community, View from Abroad, Sharing Intelligence, Getting the Public Involved, and Political, Policy and Legal Issues. Also planned are two plenary sessions – Counterintelligence Methods and Applications; and, How to Find and Leverage Open Source Intelligence.

   Luncheon and keynote addresses by prominent speakers, and special briefings for Congress, will round out the program. There will also be a full-scale vendor exposition with a wide spectrum of companies and products relevant to intelligence interests. Its organizer is Federal Business Council of Annapolis Junction, Maryland that is also handling INTELCON’s overall production.

   For more information, please go to the event’s Web site, , or contact: David Powell, Federal Business Council, 10810 Guilford Road, P.O. Box 685, Annapolis Junction, Maryland 20710 Tel. 301-206-2940, Fax: 301-206-2950,




   Nick Natsios - We regret to announce the death of Nick Natsios, a stalwart member of AFIO and AFIO/New England Chapter. An OSS veteran and former senior CIA officer in the DO, Nick spent the last few years of his life bravely fighting a serious illness and finally lost that battle on September 28th. We here at AFIO salute Nick for his many years of selfless service to our nation and hope that his memory will live on in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him. [AHulnick]




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