AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #46-07 dated 10 December 2007

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WIN CREDITS FOR THIS ISSUE:  The WIN editors thank the following special contributors to this issue: pjk and dh.  

All have contributed one or more stories used in this issue.  

Apologies for the delay in the release of this issue. It was delivered by WINs editors on Monday, but AFIO personnel December event responsibilities delayed transmission to members until today.

Editors' comment:  We would like to thank all readers who have written over the last several weeks pointing out the inprecise use in media accounts of words such as "spy" and "double agent." We would like to take this opportunity to explain to our readers the role of the WIN and the WIN editors. We reprint intelligence-related stories as they appear in publications our readers may not have easy access to. In most instances, we do not edit or correct those articles. The mainstream media frequently misunderstands intelligence issues and misuses intelligence terms. As former intelligence officers, we are very aware of the incorrect usage, but reprint articles intact to provide readers with the information as presented in the media without resorting to use of [sic] in the summaries. We strongly encourage readers to send letters of correction to the original journalists and publishers of these articles [hence the links at story ends] in hopes of educating writers to avoid future mangled usage. Copies of your letters of correction would be appreciated by AFIO, too, for our files. Members play an important role in educating the media and can do so only by taking immediate action when errors come to your attention. If we corrected the stories in the WINs, you would assume, incorrectly, that the mainstream media used terms correctly and are more informed about nuances of the intelligence profession, than they are. 






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New Findings on Iran May Be Due to a Defector. The U-turn on Iran by US spy agencies, the biggest since the Iraq debacle five years ago, is the result of "physical" intelligence, probably a defector, according to various diplomatic and security sources in Washington. One of the main figures in the frame is General Ali-Reza Asgari, a former deputy defense minister and Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander. Asgari apparently disappeared in Turkey over the past 12 months, having either defected or been kidnapped, and may be in US hands.

Other senior intelligence officials, quoted in the New York Times, argue that the turnaround may not have been the result of a single defector but pointed to an analysis of video footage of a tour by foreign journalists of Iran's nuclear facility at Natanz in 2005.

During his press conference yesterday, Bush said he first heard about the National Intelligence Estimate report in August, when Mike McConnell, director of national intelligence since February, approached him. But he added that he had only had confirmation by McConnell last week. The president admitted that US intelligence-gathering in Iran had been difficult since its 1979 revolution.

Work on the latest NIE report on Iran has been underway for more than a year. The NIE is the consensus view of the 16 US intelligence agencies, and is the equivalent of Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee, the Cabinet Office-based clearing house for MI6, MI5, Special Branch and Ministry of Defense intelligence. Most of the 16 agencies are components of cabinet departments with other roles, with the exception of the CIA. The rest include three major intelligence agencies in the department of defense - the National Security Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. There is also the Defense Intelligence Agency, the state department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the FBI, the intelligence organizations of the four military services - air force, army, navy, and marines - the department of homeland security, the coastguard, the energy department, the department of the treasury and the Drug Enforcement Agency.

The NIE is independent but the White House retains control of whether the estimate will be published. [MacAskill/TheGuardian/5December2007]

Confessions Could Reveal Truth About Death of Chile's President Frei. The confessions of two former military intelligence officers concerning the poisoning death of Gen. Augusto Lutz - a former head of military intelligence during the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet - is expected to shed light on the suspicious death of former President Eduardo Frei Montalva in 1982. The two officers revealed in their confessions that Lutz - who was admitted to the Military Hospital after drinking a "military cocktail" in Punta Arenas - died Nov. 28, 1974 after he was injected with a chemical toxin.

There are striking similarities between the deaths of General Lutz and President Frei. Both men were originally thought to have died from an infection stemming from surgical complications. The deaths of Frei and Lutz were surprising, since both men entered local hospitals for "small-risk" treatment.

Varela said Sunday that under Pinochet's military regime the government used "surgical complications" as an excuse to get rid of prominent individuals considered "dangerous to the military state." "The military dictatorship could not eliminate men like Lutz and Frei with a bullet," said Varela. "They were too high profile." Varela disclosed Sunday that this investigation is in its final stages and the judge in charge of the case already has suspects in custody believed to be connected to the poisoning of the former president.

According to Varela, Gen. Eduardo Arriagada Rehren and the colonel (R) Sergio Rosende Ollarzu - who both worked in the germ warfare laboratory for the army during the dictatorship - will be tried for their involvement in the poisoning of President Frei. Two doctors, Helmar Rosenberg and Sergio Gonz�lez, are also expected to be tried for carrying out the suspicious autopsy of Frei. [Meehan/LaNacion/5December2007] 

Spy-Themed Park Planned for Spain. An amusement park with a spy theme is planned as part of a major entertainment complex in Spain, according to organizers who announced the project in Orlando at the Attractions Expo of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions. The park, named Spyland, will be part of a massive leisure complex called Gran Scala that is being planned for the Zaragoza province of Spain. The entertainment district is expected to include 32 casinos, four theme parks, mega-hotels, shopping and other attractions.

Construction on Spyland is scheduled to start in late 2008, with a projected opening date of 2010, according to Didier Rancher, a promoter of the project.

Spyland will be a family attraction, Rancher said, with rides and interactive activities based on the history of secret agents around the world. Visitors will be able to play the role of spy, undertake missions, collect clues and infiltrate fictitious borders as they move through six zones in the park, including a small water park called Aquantica. Guests will also be able to test technologies used in spying. Stunt shows will be based on the escapades of real spies.

Developers originally tried but failed to get permission to build Spyland in Dubai or France before joining the Gran Scala project. Spyland is being built by a company called Amusement Park Venture, based in Reno, Nev. Gran Scala is built by International Leisure Development of London.

Details on the park are available at [MercuryNews/5December2007] 

Limits Proposed on CIA Interrogators. House and Senate negotiators working on an intelligence bill have agreed to limit CIA interrogators to techniques approved by the military, which would effectively bar them from using such harsh methods as waterboarding.

Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees decided to include the ban while working out differences in their respective bills authorizing 2008 spending for intelligence programs, 

That will set the stage for another veto fight with President Bush, who last summer issued an executive ordered allowing the CIA to use "enhanced interrogation techniques" that go beyond what's allowed in the 2006 Army Field Manual.

The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 prohibited cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment for all detainees in U.S. custody, including CIA prisoners. CIA Director Michael Hayden last year prohibited the use of waterboarding, which simulates drowning, but has been publicly silent on other interrogation techniques.

In a speech in September to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Hayden said he does not believe the CIA should be constrained by military interrogation rules. "It's clear that what it is we do as agency is different from what is contained in the Army Field Manual," he said. "The CIA handles a very small number of senior al-Qaida leaders."

Hayden contended that CIA interrogators are older and as a rule better trained than military interrogators. "We weren't consulted about the Army Field Manual, and no one ever claimed that the Army Field Manual exhausted all the lawful tools that America could have to protect itself," he said.

The 384-page manual describes 19 legal interrogation techniques, including "good cop/bad cop," "false flag" - making prisoners think they are in the custody of another country - and the separation of a prisoner from other prisoners for up to 30 days at a time. It prohibits waterboarding and sensory deprivation. Prisoners may not be hooded or have duct tape put across their eyes. They may not be stripped naked or forced to perform or mimic sexual acts. They may not be beaten, electrocuted, burned or otherwise physically hurt. They may not be subjected to hypothermia or mock executions. It does not allow food, water and medical treatment to be withheld, and dogs may not be used in any aspect of interrogation.

The CIA has waterboarded three prisoners since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but none since 2003, according to an official with direct knowledge of CIA operations. The official spoke anonymously to discuss classified information.

Elisa Massimino, Washington director of Human Rights First, hailed the committees' decision to limit the CIA to military-approved interrogation techniques. "There should be no daylight between the humane treatment standards that the military lives by and those applicable to the CIA," she said. "Experienced interrogators have repeatedly said that the Army Field Manual gives them everything they need to get actionable intelligence from dangerous prisoners." [Hexx&Flaherty/AP/6December2007] 

Violated FBI Files Named Snitches. An illegal immigrant who parlayed a sham marriage into citizenship and key jobs at the FBI and CIA made five unauthorized inquiries into an FBI computer system to find out about investigations of Hizballah.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenneth Chadwell didn't indicate why Nada Nadim Prouty, a Lebanese immigrant, wanted the information or what she did with it. But he said four of the inquiries involved files containing the names of confidential FBI informants.

In another development, a federal official familiar with the case said the CIA had access to derogatory information about Prouty before the FBI hired her in 1999, but failed to disclose it when the FBI contacted the CIA during a background check. Had the information been disclosed, the official said, the FBI might not have hired her. More perplexing, the official said, is why the CIA hired Prouty away from the FBI. The CIA declined comment.

Court papers said Prouty made at least one unauthorized inquiry to find out whether one of the investigations of Hizballah involved her brother-in-law, fugitive La Shish restaurant owner Talal Chahine. Prosecutors have said Chahine is a supporter of Hizballah. The latest details about Prouty's unauthorized computer inquiries were laid out in an indictment of Chahine.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, a Brighton Republican and ex-FBI agent who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, said the Prouty episode is alarming. She pleaded guilty in the case last month in Detroit.

Michael Cutler, a former federal immigration agent from Brooklyn, N.Y., who has testified before Congress on immigration and terrorism issues, called it "a very disturbing picture. ... My concern is what she did with the information and what happened to the confidential sources."

Meanwhile, the indictment said Chahine, 51, wrote letters to immigration officials in 1992 to falsely say that Prouty's first marriage was legitimate and that he personally knew Prouty and her husband. It said Chahine told an FBI agent before Prouty was hired that he wasn't aware of anything in her background that could be used to subject her to coercion or compromise or reflect badly on her character.

Chadwell wouldn't elaborate on the court papers, the latest twist in an unfolding scandal involving Chahine, his wife, her sisters and the sisters' former roommate, who became a Marine captain and pleaded guilty Tuesday. The women are accused of hiring U.S. citizens to marry them so they could stay in the United States.

Prouty, 37, of Vienna, Va., pleaded guilty to citizenship fraud and accessing an FBI computer system without authorization on two occasions, in 2000 and 2003. She wanted to find out whether she, her sister and Chahine were being investigated by the FBI and to learn details about a Detroit-based investigation of Hizballah.

Wednesday's court papers listed six unauthorized inquiries from 2000 to 2003, five of them involving Hizballah. In May this year, Prouty falsely told FBI agents that she hadn't accessed the FBI computer to find out whether one of the Hizballah investigations involved Chahine, court documents said.

Prouty's lawyer, Thomas Cranmer, said he couldn't comment. Prouty is free on bond pending sentencing next year. She quit the CIA last month. [Ashenfelter/FreePress/6December2007] 

Watchdog Says CIA Mishandling Declassification Duties, Wasting Resources. The CIA is wasting resources devoted to declassifying decades-old intelligence documents by reviewing the same documents several times and trying to re-classify information that has already been released to the public, an open-government watchdog charges. "I believe that CIA has been improperly withholding declassified information as if it were classified," Steven Aftergood, who heads the Federation of American Scientists' Project on Government Secrecy, wrote in a letter to the director of the CIA's Information Security Oversight Office.

Aftergood points to two different versions of a declassified CIA history of "The Berlin Tunnel Operation, 1952-1956." The CIA recently released one version of a report on the operation - which aimed to tap Soviet phone lines by tunneling into Berlin - that was declassified in July; however, a version of the same report already was released in February. "Astonishingly, much of the text that was released in February is marked as classified in the July version!" Aftergood writes on the project's Secrecy News blog. The July report, for example, did not even include the code-name of the operation - PBJOINTLY, which was published in the February version. Furthermore, July's version heavily redacted two previously declassified appendices to the report totaling 21 pages.

Another report, "Record of Paramilitary Action Against the Castro Government of Cuba" from 1961, also was posted online by the CIA after it was subjected to declassification review this year. However, as Aftergood notes, the same report was reviewed a decade ago, and a version containing no less information was released in 1998. "In other words," Aftergood writes at Secrecy News, "despite the CIA's expenditure of scarce declassification resources to process the document twice, no value was added by doing so."

The CIA made news with its zealous classification earlier this year when outed-spy Valerie Plame Wilson sued the agency claiming it was interfering with her memoir by refusing to allow her to write how long she was with the CIA. That information already existed in the public sphere, however, because it is contained in an unclassified letter from the CIA to Wilson that has been published in the Congressional Record. (To avoid what she saw as the CIA's obstructionism, Plame included in her memoir an afterword by American Prospect reporter Laura Rozen, who filled in censored dates and places from published sources.)

For Aftergood and the Project on Government Secrecy, the CIA's shortfalls aren't about settling a personal matter, as much as about ensuring historians have access to as much of the agency's records as possible. "For the CIA to represent the material that was newly redacted in July 2007 as classified when in fact it has been declassified and published by the CIA itself is, I believe, a violation of the executive order," Aftergood wrote in his letter to the agency. "It generates confusion and suggests poor quality control, if not something worse." [Juliano/RawStory/6December2007] 

French Author Accused of Outing Secrets. A French anti-terrorist judge has filed preliminary charges against an investigative journalist and author accused of publishing defense secrets. Authorities are investigating articles by Guillaume Dasquie, including one that reported French intelligence had suspected al-Qaida of planning a plane hijacking nine months before the Sept. 11 attacks. Dasquie was detained after investigators from the DST counterespionage agency searched his residence, the judicial officials said. 

The charges against Dasquie are for "possessing secret defense documents" and "divulging secret defense documents or intelligence," the officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. Dasquie was later released but remains under judicial surveillance.

Under French law, preliminary charges mean the investigating judge has determined there is strong evidence to suggest involvement in a crime.

One of two publications under investigation is an April article by Dasquie published in Le Monde called "Sept. 11: The French Had Long Known," which included excerpts of confidential documents from the DGSE intelligence agency. One note, dated Jan. 5, 2001, said al-Qaida was plotting a hijacking and listed potential airline targets, including the two carriers, United and American, that were targeted in the Sept. 11 attacks later that year. The other publication by Dasquie involved French intelligence documents published on his Web site concerning the death of French Judge Bernard Borrel in Djibouti in 1995.

The Paris-based media watchdog Reporters Without Borders expressed concern about Dasquie's case and said he should not be held responsible for leaks from official sources. If Dasquie's case goes to court and he is convicted, he could face up to five years in prison and $109,000 in fines, the group said.

The French National Journalists Union also expressed concern about the case and other cases involving searches of journalists' offices or homes and what it called the "criminalization of the journalistic investigation." Representatives of the union were meeting Friday with officials from the Justice Ministry to discuss solidifying French laws on protecting journalists' sources. [VonDerschau/AP/6December2007] 

Litvinenko's Widow Pins Hopes on Ex-KGB Witness. A former Russian security agent, freed from prison last week, could become a key witness in the Alexander Litvinenko polonium poisoning case if Moscow allows him to leave the country.

Marina Litvinenko said she hoped former agent Mikhail Trepashkin would be able to speak to British police investigating the death of her husband, an outspoken Kremlin critic who was poisoned in London in November 2006. She said Trepashkin had also agreed to help her by testifying in a case she has filed with the European Court of Human Rights in an attempt to prove Russian state complicity in the murder.

"He's given his agreement to that ... If it's all officially possible, he will help. He told me personally," Mrs. Litvinenko told Reuters in an interview, referring to a weekend telephone conversation with Trepashkin. "Everything now depends what freedom of movement he will have. You know that to leave Russia you need an international passport ... He's dealing with this now, applying for a passport."

Russia emphatically denies involvement in the death of Litvinenko, a former KGB security officer who died a lingering, painful death after being poisoned with radioactive polonium that was slipped to him in a cup of tea. Its refusal to extradite the main suspect, Andrei Lugovoy, has badly damaged relations with Britain.

British police investigating the case have so far been unable to speak to Trepashkin, who was jailed in 2004 by a Russian military court for disclosing classified information. 

Trepashkin has said the FSB security service asked him in August 2002 to join a team tasked with assassinating Litvinenko and his patron Boris Berezovsky, a Russian business tycoon living in London who has angered Moscow with his frequent criticism of President Vladimir Putin. From Trepashkin's account, "it will be immediately clear that the operation was planned a long time ago, in 2002," she added. "I hope everything he says, all these facts, can be verified."

If no trial of Lugovoy can take place, Marina Litvinenko has the right to demand an inquest in Britain which would force investigators to reveal their case against him. She and her lawyers believe the evidence would also point to Russian state involvement.

Asked how long she was prepared to wait for an inquest, she said: "I can't say exactly how long. But of course it's not tomorrow and not in one month, even not two months. Next year? We will see."

She accused the suspect, Lugovoy, of hiding from justice by standing for - and winning - election to Russia's parliament last weekend, which gives him immunity from prosecution.

Lugovoy has repeatedly denied killing Litvinenko, saying the murder was part of a plot by British intelligence. [Trevelyan/Reuters/5December2007] 

Despite Report, France and Germany Keep Pressure on Iran. The leaders of France and Germany said that Iran remained a danger and that other nations needed to keep up the pressure over its nuclear program despite a United States intelligence report's conclusion that Tehran was no longer building a bomb.

Speaking at a joint news conference at the �lys�e Palace, President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel said they had not changed their minds despite the findings of the American intelligence estimate released Monday, which some believed would have eroded support for tougher new sanctions.

Their remarks came as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice won the backing of NATO foreign ministers on Thursday for new United Nations sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

"The threat exists," said Mr. Sarkozy, one of the staunchest defenders of the new sanctions. "Notwithstanding the latest elements, everyone is fully conscious of the fact that there is a will among the Iranian leaders to obtain nuclear weapons." "I don't see why we should renounce sanctions," he added. "What made Iran budge so far has been sanctions and firmness."

Mrs. Merkel stopped short of explicitly mentioning sanctions, but also appeared determined to support current negotiations in the Security Council on the issue. "I think that we are in a process, and that Iran continues to pose a danger," she said.

The National Intelligence Estimate made public on Monday said that Tehran had frozen its nuclear weapons program in 2003. But it also said that the country was continuing to build up a technical ability that could be used both for civilian and military purposes.

Both leaders urged the continuation of a strategy that combined pressure with dialogue.

In comments apparently directed at Russia and China, two members of the Security Council that have been reluctant to endorse new sanctions, Mr. Sarkozy urged that there be a coherent position, a view Mrs. Merkel said she shared. [Bennhold/AP/7December2007] 

IDF to Show US Nuclear Data on Iran. Disappointed after failing to make their case on Iran and influence the outcome of the United States' National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released this week, Israeli Military Intelligence will present its hard core evidence on the Islamic Republic's nuclear program on Sunday to the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff during a rare visit he will be making to Israel.

Admiral Michael Mullen will land in Israel Sunday morning for a 24-hour visit that will include a one-on-one meeting with IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, as well as with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

Mullen's visit to Israel will be exactly a week after the publication of the NIE report that claimed Iran had frozen its nuclear military program in 2003 and has yet to restart it. During his visit, Military Intelligence plans to present him with Israel's evidence that Iran is in fact developing nuclear weapons.

In addition to Iran, Ashkenazi and his staff will also discuss with Mullen America's commitment for Israel to retain its qualitative edge in the face of the sale of advanced JDAM missiles to Saudi Arabia.  [Katz/JerusalemPost/7December2007] 

UK 'Involved in Espionage Against Iran.' Britain has been involved in espionage operations against Iran and has provided the US with the intelligence, The Guardian reports. The daily reported the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intercepted Iranian communications on which the US National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear program was eventually based. The US U-turn on Iran was partly based on GCHQ information, a source in Washington speaking on condition of anonymity was quoted by the paper as saying.

The Guardian added that while the 16 US intelligence agencies, which compiled the NIE report, must be independent of the White House, contrary to public belief, the US president retains control over whether and when an estimate is published.

The GCHQ is an intelligence and security organization which reports to the British Foreign Secretary and works closely with other intelligence agencies in the UK (commonly known as MI5 and MI6).

Iran has repeatedly said Britain is involved in espionage and acts of sabotage against the country.  [PressTV/6December2007]  

China Says it is Cyber-Espionage Victim. The Chinese Foreign Minister today denied his country is using the internet to spy on others and said China has itself been a victim of cyber-espionage. Yang Jiechi said: "The Chinese government firmly opposes hacking attacks ... these are prohibited by law."

Speaking at a press conference in London with the Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Mr. Yang added: "Actually a number of Chinese agencies have been attacked by hackers."

The comments were made after The Times revealed that the Director-General of MI5 had sent letters to 300 executives and security chiefs at banks, accounting and legal firms warning them that Chinese state agencies were hacking into their systems and trying to steal confidential information.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman yesterday claimed that the report was slanderous and prejudiced and ignored the political, economic and social progress made by the country. China also alleged that the report was an attempt to put obstacles in the way of improved ties between Britain and China.

The Times reported on Saturday that Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, had written to businessmen warning them of industrial cyber-espionage that had been traced back to China. People who had seen the letter told The Times that the security forces believed that companies doing business in China were under particular threat from hackers.

The hackers are thought to include specialists with links to the People's Liberation Army (PLA). Hackers connected to the Chinese military have also been accused by computer experts of carrying out cyber attacks on the US Pentagon, the British Parliament and the German Chancellery. [Blakley/BusinessTimesOnline/7December2007] 

Australian Army Intelligence Celebrates 100 Years Of Service. The Australian Intelligence Corps celebrated 100 years and officially recognized their soldiers and officers who saw active service in the Army during a plaque dedication ceremony in Canberra early on 6 December.

The Corps has seen service in both World Wars, Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and more recently Somalia, Rwanda, Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan. The Corps has been represented on duties in various United Nations and multilateral peacekeeping and humanitarian operations.

The contribution and professionalism of the Australian Intelligence Corps was officially recognized by Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Peter Leahy, AC, who watched as Honorary Colonel of Australian Intelligence Corps Major General John Hartley, AO (Rtd), and serving soldier, Sergeant Donna Haigh, unveiled the plaque.

"The activities of the Australian Intelligence Corps are critical to the Army and will remain so in the future," Lieutenant General Leahy said. "The battle space we operate in is complex and its threats numerous, lethal and often unbound by international laws and norms. I commend the Corps for its efforts in the past 100 years and charge it to continue to ensure the Army is forewarned and forearmed."

Senior serving officer of Australian Intelligence Corps, Major General Steve Meekin, AM, also attended the moving ceremony. "This is a proud moment for the Corps, and all current serving members owe a debt of gratitude to our predecessors who established and built on the reputation of the Corps over 100 years," said Major General Meekin.

"The Australian Intelligence Corps is an integral part of the Australian Army's capability and a significant element within the Defense intelligence community." [AustralianDefenseForce/6December2007]



Key Judgments from the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran. Following are the declassified key judgments from the National Intelligence Estimate on Iran's nuclear program:

A. We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons. We judge with high confidence that the halt, and Tehran's announcement of its decision to suspend its declared uranium enrichment program and sign an Additional Protocol to its Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement, was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure resulting from exposure of Iran's previously undeclared nuclear work.

* We assess with high confidence that until fall 2003, Iranian military entities were working under government direction to develop nuclear weapons.

* We judge with high confidence that the halt lasted at least several years. (Because of intelligence gaps discussed elsewhere in this Estimate, however, DOE and the NIC assess with only moderate confidence that the halt to those activities represents a halt to Iran's entire nuclear weapons program.)

* We assess with moderate confidence Tehran had not restarted its nuclear weapons program as of mid-2007, but we do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.

* We continue to assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon.

* Tehran's decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005. Our assessment that the program probably was halted primarily in response to international pressure suggests Iran may be more vulnerable to influence on the issue than we judged previously.

B. We continue to assess with low confidence that Iran probably has imported at least some weapons-usable fissile material, but still judge with moderate-to-high confidence it has not obtained enough for a nuclear weapon. We cannot rule out that Iran has acquired from abroad - or will acquire in the future - a nuclear weapon or enough fissile material for a weapon. Barring such acquisitions, if Iran wants to have nuclear weapons it would need to produce sufficient amounts of fissile material indigenously - which we judge with high confidence it has not yet done.

C. We assess centrifuge enrichment is how Iran probably could first produce enough fissile material for a weapon, if it decides to do so. Iran resumed its declared centrifuge enrichment activities in January 2006, despite the continued halt in the nuclear weapons program. Iran made significant progress in 2007 installing centrifuges at Natanz, but we judge with moderate confidence it still faces significant technical problems operating them.

* We judge with moderate confidence that the earliest possible date Iran would be technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon is late 2009, but that this is very unlikely.

* We judge with moderate confidence Iran probably would be technically capable of producing enough HEU for a weapon sometime during the 2010-2015 time frame. (INR judges Iran is unlikely to achieve this capability before 2013 because of foreseeable technical and programmatic problems.) All agencies recognize the possibility that this capability may not be attained until after 2015.

D. Iranian entities are continuing to develop a range of technical capabilities that could be applied to producing nuclear weapons, if a decision is made to do so. For example, Iran's civilian uranium enrichment program is continuing. We also assess with high confidence that since fall 2003, Iran has been conducting research and development projects with commercial and conventional military applications -some of which would also be of limited use for nuclear weapons.

E. We do not have sufficient intelligence to judge confidently whether Tehran is willing to maintain the halt of its nuclear weapons program indefinitely while it weighs its options, or whether it will or already has set specific deadlines or criteria that will prompt it to restart the program.

* Our assessment that Iran halted the program in 2003 primarily in response to international pressure indicates Tehran's decisions are guided by a cost-benefit approach rather than a rush to a weapon irrespective of the political, economic, and military costs. This, in turn, suggests that some combination of threats of intensified international scrutiny and pressures, along with opportunities for Iran to achieve its security, prestige, and goals for regional influence in other ways, might - if perceived by Iran's leaders as credible - prompt Tehran to extend the current halt to its nuclear weapons program. It is difficult to specify what such a combination might be.

* We assess with moderate confidence that convincing the Iranian leadership to forgo the eventual development of nuclear weapons will be difficult given the linkage many within the leadership probably see between nuclear weapons development and Iran's key national security and foreign policy objectives, and given Iran's considerable effort from at least the late 1980s to 2003 to develop such weapons. In our judgment, only an Iranian political decision to abandon a nuclear weapons objective would plausibly keep Iran from eventually producing nuclear weapons - and such a decision is inherently reversible.

F. We assess with moderate confidence that Iran probably would use covert facilities - rather than its declared nuclear sites - for the production of highly enriched uranium for a weapon. A growing amount of intelligence indicates Iran was engaged in covert uranium conversion and uranium enrichment activity, but we judge that these efforts probably were halted in response to the fall 2003 halt, and that these efforts probably had not been restarted through at least mid-2007.

G. We judge with high confidence that Iran will not be technically capable of producing and reprocessing enough plutonium for a weapon before about 2015.

H. We assess with high confidence that Iran has the scientific, technical and industrial capacity eventually to produce nuclear weapons if it decides to do so. []



The War of Ideas, Jihadism against Democracy, by Walid Phares.   Palgrave Macmillan, February 2007, 288 pages.  From Afghanistan and Iraq to Europe and the United States we are engaged in one of the most heated wars of all time. In this incisive book, the man that has been called the only one to understand the mind of the jihadist shows that the most important battle is actually taking place in the hearts and minds of the world's population. This is the war of ideas, where ideology is the most powerful weapon of all. Phares explores the beliefs of two opposing camps, one standing for democracy and human rights, and the other rejecting the idea of an international community and calling for jihad against the West. He reveals the strategies of both sides, explaining that new technologies and the growing media savvy of the jihadists have raised the stakes in the conflict. And most urgently, he warns that the West is in danger of losing the war, for whereas debate and theorizing rarely translate into action here, ideas and deeds are inextricably linked for the forces of jihad.  [PalgraveMacmillan]


Coming Events


11 December, 2007 - Tampa, FL - Suncoast AFIO meeting. For more information contact Don White,

Friday, 4 January 2008, 5:30 - 9 pm - New York, NY - AFIO NY Metro Chapter hosts Prof. Arthur Hulnick, former CIA, on "Intelligence Reform: Fix, Fizzle or Flop?" Congress passed and the President signed the "Intelligence Reform & Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004" in late 2004 largely as a result of the 9/11 Commission Report, a report that was completed in July 2004. This "Act" was activated in April 2005, creating the Director of National Intelligence and an agency that now has about 1500. employees and is headed currently by John McConnell. Now almost 2 1/2 years later, how effective has this effort been? Professor Hulnick is uniquely qualified to discuss this issue. His talk will be a fascinating insight into whatever progress has been accomplished to date as well as providing suggestions for future actions. Professor Hulnick's published his first book "Fixing the Spy Machine" in 1999. In 2004, he published his second book about the CIA "Keeping US Safe: Secret Intelligence and Homeland Security." This latter book examines what is really necessary to make intelligence and homeland security more efficient and competent, both within the United States and abroad.
Location: Club Quarters, 40 W 45 St. Cost: $40.00 per person. Payable in advance by check to Jerry Goodwin, 530 Park Avenue New York, NY 10021. Cash payment accepted at the door. No credit cards. Reservations Not Required: Refreshments After the Meeting. Jerry Goodwin, President, AFIO - New York Metropolitan Chapter, 212-308-1450 More information available from

8 January 2008 - McLean, VA- 10am-4pm- TECHEXPO Top Secret Hiring Event - - Active Security Clearance Required

10 January 2008 - Linthinicum, MD - 10am-4pm - TECHEXPO Top Secret Hiring Event - - Active Security Clearance Required

Sunday, 13 January 2008 1130 – 1330 - Beachwood, OH - AFIO Northern Ohio Chapter hosts a special cinema brunch to view: “Islam vs. Islamists: Voices From the Muslim Center”
This is a film produced by Frank Gaffney and Martyn Burke in a Corporation for Public Broadcasting competition that CPB/PBS refused to air after the film won a showing. It was shown at the AFIO National Symposium in October, 2007, with commentary by producer Frank Gaffney.
Following the film, there will be a discussion led by Beverly A Goldstein Ph.D
Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. The Center is a not-for-profit, non-partisan educational corporation established in 1988. Under Mr. Gaffney's leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters.
Mr. Gaffney is the lead-author of War Footing: Ten Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World (Naval Institute Press, 2005). With a foreword by former CIA Director R. James Woolsey, an introduction by Victor Davis Hanson and contributions from thirty-two other accomplished security policy practitioners, this highly acclaimed volume constitutes an "owners manual" for the new global conflict in which America finds itself engaged - the War for the Free World.
Location: Hilton Cleveland East /Beachwood, 3663 Park East Drive, Beachwood, Ohio 44122, Tel: 1-216-464-5950 Fax: 1-216-464-6539
Cost: $24 per person
RSVP: Veronica Flint, (440) 338-4720 or at

19 January 08 - Kennebunk, ME - The Maine Chapter of AFIO (affectionately referred to as MAFIO) will have Tyler S. Drumheller, 25 year career employee of the Central Intelligence Agency as guest. Drumheller retired from CIA in 2005 and is author of "On the Brink", detailing the beginning of the war in Iraq and his battles with the Bush administration over the validity of intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Having worked at the highest levels of government on foreign policy and security issues, he is currently working on a second book on the U.S. intelligence community in the age of international terrorism. At the time of his retirement ,Drumheller was Chief of the Europe Division of CIA. Among other positions held, he was Chief of CIA's largest field station. During the period 1980-1990 he served in Africa as an operations officer and chief of station. He holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia and has done graduate work in Chinese language at Georgetown University. He speaks five languages in addition to English. He is currently President of Tyler Drumheller LLC. Meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at 2:00 p.m. in the Kennebunk Free Library, 112 Main Street in Kennebunk. Contact 207-985-2392 for information.

Friday, 25 January 2008 - McLean, VA - AFIO National Winter Luncheon - Details to follow

30 January 2008 - Colorado Springs, CO - 10am-4pm -TECHEXPO Top Secret Hiring Event - - Active Security Clearance Required

2 February 2008 - Indian River, FL - Florida Satellite Chapter Luncheon.  The next luncheon for the Florida Satellite Chapter, AFIO will be on 2 February 2008 (Saturday), at the Indian River Country Colony Club (IRCC). There will be a cash bar beginning at 11:30 a.m. and a 12:30 p.m. lunch. The luncheon speaker will be COL Harry Pawlak, USAF Retired. COL Pawlak (a Chapter member) will speak about his involvement in a Recon Mission in Asia. He was forced to land in a hostile area without radio communications and walked almost three weeks before being picked up. The luncheon cost is $17.00. There will be a beef entr�e or fish entr�e option. Contact George Stephenson (Vice President) at for reservation information. Please put AFIO in the subject block to insure the e-mail will be opened. Col Pawlak is currently President of Matrix Management LTD.

5 - 6 February 2008 - San Diego, CA - 9am-4pm - WEST 2008 -

Sunday, 10 February 2008 1130 – 1330 - Beachwood, OH - AFIO Northern Ohio Chapter hosts Timothy R. Walton, author, CIA and Navy Veteran on "24 Years with the CIA." Timothy R. Walton has a B.A. in philosophy from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Virginia. While in graduate school he had a Fulbright scholarship to do research at the French Foreign Ministry in Paris, France.
From 1970 to 1976, he served in the U.S.Navy on ships and bases in the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.
For 24 years, he was an analyst with the Central Intelligence Agency, during which he worked with personnel from law enforcement, the military, and foreign liaison services.
He has had a variety of experience teaching analysis, including:• Classes at the CIA's Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis.• Mercyhurst College's program in the Washington D.C. area.• The Director of National Intelligence's "Analysis 101," which is offered to new analysts in all of the components of the US Intelligence Community.• A graduate-level class in competitive intelligence for the Johns Hopkins University business school.
He is also the author of The Spanish Treasure Fleets, the story of the centuries-long maritime struggle to control the flow of precious metals from Spain's colonies in Latin America.
Location: Hilton Cleveland East /Beachwood (Location not yet confirmed), 3663 Park East Drive, Beachwood, Ohio 44122, Tel: 1-216-464-5950 Fax: 1-216-464-6539
Cost: $24.00 per person
RSVP: Veronica Flint, (440) 338-4720 or at

22-23 February 2008 - Baltimore, MD - 3rd International Conference on "Ethics in the Intelligence Community", Sponsored by: International Intelligence Ethics Association and Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Division of Public Safety Leadership. Intelligence ethics is an emerging field without established principles for resolving the ethical problems confronting the intelligence community. Intelligence work has no theory analogous to "just war" theory in military ethics. Consequently, a focus of this conference is to provide a forum in which the application of ethical theories to intelligence problems can be discussed and a theory of “just intelligence” developed. This conference is co-sponsored by The International Intelligence Ethics Association and Johns Hopkins University, School of Education, Division of Public Leadership.
The conference will be held at The Johns Hopkins University-Mt. Washington Conference Center, in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference is open to all relevant disciplines, including political science, history, law enforcement, philosophy, international relations, theology, and to representatives of all legitimate stake-holders in intelligence ethics, including government, the press, and non-governmental organizations.
The 2-day conference begins on Friday morning, February 22nd and ends on Saturday afternoon, February 23, 2008. Attendees will be provided all meals during this time. The conference will consist of academic papers and panels, in a traditional lecture format with audience discussion. Privacy Policy: All presentations and discussions are on a “not for attribution” basis. No recording devices (cameras, audio recorders, etc.) that can capture images and sound are permitted.
A sample of the topics at the conference include:
• Torture & Ticking Time-Bombs: Empirical Research Regarding Moral Judgments
• Can Just War Theory Contribute to a Normative Framework for Intelligence Ethics? National Security vs. Social Security
• The Utility And Practicality Of A Code Of Ethics Specifically Addressing The Officer-Agent Relationship (i.e., HUMINT) And Could Such A Code Be Meaningful Or Useful In Real Operational Settings?
• A Professional Ethics Review Board for the Intelligence Community: Is it possible?
• Accountability vs. Politicalization: An Ethical Difference - With Case Studies
• Developing a Moral Framework for Making Complex Ethical Judgments For the Intelligence Professional
• Individual Rights vs. Collective Rights: A Moral Dilemma In Intelligence During National Emergency Situations?
Conference Location: Mt. Washington Conference Center, 5801 Smith Avenue, Baltimore, Maryland 21209; Information/Directions:
Registration till December 31, 2007 - Registration fee covers 3 meals on Friday and 2 meals on Saturday
$ 370 Conference Registration. Late Registration after January 1, 2008 Registration fee covers 3 meals on Friday and 2 meals on Saturday $ 395 Conference Registration
A limited number of suites are available at the conference center Suites, $150.00 a day [check in is Thursday, Tax and gratuities included] Mail To : International Intelligence Ethics Association (IIEA), P.O. Box 23053, Washington, D.C. 20026. Further information available from:

For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events


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