AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #06-08 dated 11 February 2008


Click here to view disclaimers, removal, methods of use of the links in this document.

The WIN in its entirety appears below; however, the document may also be viewed online by current members with usernames and passwords at: 
Usernames and Passwords appear on AFIO Membership Cards.
They work only if the membership is current.

WIN CREDITS FOR THIS ISSUE:  The WIN editors thank the following special contributors to this issue: nb, pjk, gp, ak, and dh.  
All have contributed one or more stories used in this issue. 






Letters to the Editor


Research Requests

Film Reviews

Job Announcement

Coming Events

Current Calendar Next Two Months ONLY:
  For Additional Events two+ months or more....view our online Calendar of Events  


Iran Angered Over India's Launch of Israeli Spy Satellite. Iran said it had lodged an official complaint with New Delhi over India's commercial launch of an Israeli spy satellite last month.

The satellite, blasted into orbit from southern India on January 21, is reported by the Israeli press to have the ability to see through clouds, carry out day and night all-weather imaging and will be used to spy on Iran's suspect nuclear program.

The launch was carried out under a commercial contract between Israel Aerospace Industries and Antrix, the marketing arm of India's space agency, and is seen by India as another boost for its bid to win more international satellite launch business.

Israel, along with many Western nations, says Iran is using an atomic energy drive as a cover for developing a bomb - an allegation denied by Tehran.

Last month Israel said all options were on the table to prevent Iran - which openly calls for the destruction of the Jewish state - from obtaining nuclear weapons.  [AFP/4February2008] 

Hong Kong Journalist "Spy" Freed. A Hong Kong journalist charged with spying for Taiwan has been released from a prison in mainland China after being held in detention for almost two years.

Officials in China notified Hong Kong authorities that Ching Cheong had been released on parole, said a Hong Kong government spokeswoman. Ching, a Hong Kong-based correspondent for Singapore's The Straits Times newspaper, was sentenced to five years' jail in August 2006 on charges of spying for Taiwan. Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK said Ching has returned home to see his family. He had been released on parole because he had served more than half of his five-year term, RTHK said. [UKPress/5February2008] 

Mexico 'Secretly Helped' the CIA Against Cuba. Three former Mexican presidents supported the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in its clandestine campaign against Cuban leader Fidel Castro in the 1960s and 1970s, according to a US journalist.

Former Washington Post reporter Jefferson Morley said he will publish his investigative book based on declassified US documents that show Mexico provided assistance to the failed "Bay of Pigs" invasion in April 1961 aimed at toppling Castro's government, the news agency quoted the El Universal newspaper as saying.

Morley, the author of Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA, said Adolfo Lopez Mateos, who was Mexico's president from 1958-1964, authorized "under the table" help for the CIA by handling the delivery of 50,000 gallons of fuel for the boats that were used in the abortive invasion. According to Morley, Mateos and former president Gustavo Diaz Ordaz - in office from 1964-1970, - were spies in the pay of the CIA, and they collaborated during their administrations with the US intelligence agency.

The journalist says when US president John F. Kennedy came to power in 1961, it was the CIA and not the State Department that had an "institutional relationship with Mexico".

The Mexican authorities granted, among other things, "entry permits" to Cuban counter revolutionaries from November 1960 and allowed installation of interception and recording equipment to listen to telephone calls between the Cuban and Soviet embassies in Mexico during those years.

The book revolves around Winston Scott who was the CIA chief in Mexico from 1956 to 1969. Scott was close to Lopez Mateos, Diaz Ordaz and the latter's successor, Luis Echeverria, who governed Mexico from 1970-1976 and prior to that, was the interior minister in the Ordaz cabinet. [GulfNews/3February2008] 

New NATO Intelligence Chief was Trained by KGB. The new chief of the Hungarian secret services, who spent six years at the KGB's academy in Moscow during the 1980s, has become chairman of NATO's intelligence committee, a development that diplomats said could compromise the security of the alliance.

Sandor Laborc, 49, was personally chosen by Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany of Hungary as director of the country's counterintelligence National Security Office in December, after a bitter dispute between the governing coalition led by the Socialists - the former Communists - and the main opposition party, Fidesz.

Laborc, a former Communist who was trained at the KGB's Dzerzhinsky Academy from 1983 to 1989, according to members of the national security committee in the Hungarian Parliament, had failed to win support from that committee, which oversees such appointments. Despite that, Gyurcsany and Gyorgy Szilvasy, the minister responsible for the intelligence services, pushed through the appointment.

Soon after his appointment, Laborc took over the chairmanship of NATO's special committee dealing with a wide range of intelligence issues, a rotating post that is held for a year and which fell to Hungary last month, alliance officials confirmed Friday.

The committee, whose main task is to analyze and share intelligence, includes all of the secret service chiefs of NATO countries, who meet several times a year. Several NATO delegations, including the United States, whose ambassador was asked several times to comment on Laborc's appointment, declined to do so.

Some delegations said they had not been aware of Laborc's biography. His short curriculum vitae posted on the Hungarian security service's official Web site makes no mention of his time spent in Moscow. His past came to light when Szilvasy proposed him for the top intelligence job last autumn.

NATO diplomats who did agree to discuss the appointment insisted on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter. They said that even if they had reservations about Laborc, they were in no position to block his appointment.

In practice, Laborc's appointment means that some NATO countries will be much more wary about sharing sensitive intelligence.

"Here we have a person who was trained by the KGB. I cannot assume that he has changed that much in his attitudes," said another NATO diplomat, predicting that several important NATO countries would hold back on sharing intelligence. "NATO, it must be said, is a very leaky organization," the diplomat added.

Indeed, NATO has been plagued with leaks. Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic joined the alliance in 1999, and the rest of the former Warsaw Pact countries in 2004. After that expansion, military attach�s from the Bulgarian delegation did not receive clearance to have access to a certain level of intelligence material.

In Hungary itself , Laborc's appointment has deepened the mistrust and polarization between the governing Socialists and the Fidesz opposition because of the way the prime minister by-passed the Parliament's national security committee. Although the committee's decision is not constitutionally binding, such committees have served as important instruments of democratic accountability since 1990, when the Communists were removed from power in Hungary. [Dempsey/InternationalHerald/3February2008] 

Fugitive Russian Lawyer Seeks US Asylum. A fugitive Russian attorney has applied for political asylum in the United States after accusing Russia's security service of waging a vendetta against him.

Boris Kuznetsov is wanted in Russia on charges of revealing state secrets. He says he is being punished for blowing the whistle on illegal phone tapping by the secret services, and that he will not receive a fair trial if he returns home.

Kuznetzov is living in New Jersey where he is writing a book about abuses by the Federal Security Service (FSB), main successor to the Soviet-era KGB. His lawyer in Moscow, Robert Zinoviev, confirmed that he was seeking asylum.

Russian rights activists have raised concern about official pressure on lawyers in politically charged cases. They say prosecutors sometimes target lawyers purely because they defend a client who has fallen out with officialdom.

On several occasions, prosecutors have applied to have lawyers representing Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Kremlin opponent and former boss of oil company YUKOS, stripped of their right to practice.

The charges against Kuznetsov relate to his work as a defense lawyer for Levon Chakhmakhchyan, a member of the upper house of parliament who is being tried for corruption. Kuznetsov said he had evidence that the FSB had been tapping his client's telephone without clearance. He sent the evidence to the Constitutional Court. Prosecutors alleged that in doing that he had disclosed state secrets.

The FSB has not responded to requests for comment on the Kuznetsov case. [Reuters/5February2008] 

Intelligence Officials Monitor YouTube For Intelligence. US open source intelligence collectors under the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), are looking increasingly online for intelligence; they have become major consumers of social media.

"We're looking at YouTube, which carries some unique and honest-to-goodness intelligence," said Doug Naquin, director of the DNI Open Source Center (OSC), in remarks to the Central Intelligence Retirees' Association last October. "We're looking at chat rooms and things that didn't exist five years ago, and trying to stay ahead. We have groups looking at what they call 'Citizens Media': people taking pictures with their cell phones and posting them on the Internet."

In November 2005, the OSC subsumed the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service, which housed the agency's foreign media analysts. The OSC is responsible for collecting and analyzing public information, including Internet content.

Not everyone in the intelligence community sees the value in open source intelligence. "[W]e still have an education problem on both ends, both with the folks who are proponents of open source but perhaps don't know exactly why, and folks internally who are still wondering why I am sitting at the same table they are," said Naquin.

But further acceptance of open source intelligence, of the Internet and social media, seems inevitable in the intelligence community if only because traditional media is becoming less relevant. "What we're seeing [in] actuality is a decline, a relatively rapid decline, in the impact of the printed press - traditional media," said Naquin. "A lot more is digital, and a lot more is online. It's also a lot more social. Interaction is a much bigger part of media and news than it used to be."

Despite its name the Open Source Center hasn't proven to be particularly open with its findings. "One area where Mr. Naquin's Center falls short, in my opinion, is in public access to its products, which is very limited," said Aftergood. "I know that there are some copyright barriers to open publication of foreign media items. But there shouldn't be any such barriers to release of the Center's own analytical products. And yet they are hard to come by. I hope this is one aspect of the Center's activities that will be reconsidered." [Claburn/InformationWeek/6February2008] 

Legal Cases Draw Spy Secrets Out of Shadows. In February 2004, MI5 intercepted a telephone conversation between two young men its officers had been tracking for almost a year. Talk of bomb building between the two - Omar Khyam and Salahuddin Amin, both convicted last year of terrorist offences - led to a rapid expansion of the investigation.

Operation Crevice became the largest counter-terrorism probe mounted in the UK. It used almost 100 communication intercepts, each needing a warrant from a cabinet minister. The men and their friends were put under close surveillance and listening devices were placed in Mr. Khyam's home and car, and the flat of another suspect.

The placing of the bugs by specialist officers was not without risk, while discovery could have jeopardized the investigation. But one reason it was done was because of an "anomaly" - unlike recordings from eavesdropping devices, intercepts cannot be used as evidence in a court of law.

Government interception of telephone calls and e-mail traffic has, according to Sir Paul Kennedy, the commissioner responsible for monitoring the practice, helped prevent murders, stopped drugs and people smuggling, curbed serious violent crime, terrorism and much more. Yet, Britain is the one country in Europe, apart from Ireland, where evidence from wiretaps is not admissible in court.

The intelligence services are popularly depicted as being resolute in their opposition to the use in court of such wiretap evidence, but the Crevice case suggests reasons why their view may be nuanced. They distinguish firmly between "intelligence" and "evidence", but since 2001 they have in any case been drawn inexorably into court cases, particularly involving terrorist suspects, in which some of their methods have come into the open.

So why, if the rest of Europe is using intercept evidence as well as the US, Canada and other democracies, should the UK be different? MPs on the intelligence and security committee have argued that it is because the UK is the one country that combines an adversarial legal system, subordination to the European Convention of Human Rights, with a significant signals intelligence capability.

However, it is not clear to some critics, including the Society of Conservative Lawyers, why the European convention, which guarantees a right to a private life and a fair trial, should be relevant provided intercept evidence is used proportionately and to meet a pressing need.

The arguments against its use were rehearsed last year by Sir Swinton Thomas, Sir Paul's predecessor. They included fears from Government Communication Headquarters and other agencies that terrorists and criminals would benefit not just from knowing what the agencies can and are doing, but also from clues to what they cannot do and are not doing.

Many relevant conversations are in foreign languages or slang, opening them up to different interpretations and reducing their utility in a court. Internet and other communications service providers were also totally opposed to the use of intercepts as evidence, fearing they and their staff would lose the protection of the current system, he said.

Sir Swinton also said the workload for the intelligence and law enforcement agencies would balloon if they had to present intercept evidence in court. In one case, 16,000 hours of eavesdropping evidence had to be transcribed at the request of the defense. The cost: �1.9m. [Fidler/FinancialTimes/7February2008] 

Germany Drops CIA Kidnap Investigation. German prosecutors have dropped an investigation into the alleged involvement of CIA agents in an Egyptian Muslim cleric's purported kidnapping from Italy, saying that they saw no prospect of achieving results.

Prosecutors in Zweibruecken, near the U.S. military's Ramstein air base, had been investigating the alleged kidnapping of Osama Hassan Mustafa Nasr, known as Abu Omar, in Milan. The CIA allegedly flew Nasr from Aviano air base to Ramstein and then on to Cairo, Egypt, on Feb. 17, 2003.

Prosecutors said they had been unable to establish the identity of the pilot or others on the plane, and also could not determine whether anyone at Ramstein, in western Germany, was involved.

They said Nasr himself says he is "not able to identify the pilot or other members of the crew."

"U.S. authorities for their part were not prepared to give the corresponding information and contribute to clearing up the matter," they added in a statement, noting that Italian prosecutors were unsuccessful in seeking U.S. legal assistance.

German prosecutors said they had dropped the investigation against persons unknown "because further investigative approaches that would promise success are not apparent."

Italy has charged 26 Americans in the alleged operation - all but one identified by Italian prosecutors as CIA agents - but a Milan judge suspended the trial in October pending a decision by the country's highest court on a government challenge that could scuttle the case.

The cleric allegedly was flown over Switzerland, and the Swiss also opened an investigation. It was suspended in November.

Nasr, who was released early last year, has said he was tortured during four years of imprisonment in Egypt.

The Italian case resulted in the first trial involving the U.S. so-called extraordinary rendition program - moving terrorism suspects from country to country without public legal proceedings. The suspects were absent.  [Moulson/AP/8February2008] 

Adam's Driver Was a Spy. Gerry Adams' former driver was said to have left the country after being outed as an informer for MI5. Roy McShane, from west Belfast and believed to be in his 60s, worked with the Sinn Fein leader and other senior party members for several years. McShane - who is now believed to be in protective custody - was one of a number of drivers providing transport for Sinn Fein during the peace process.

Security expert Brian Rowan, said that McShane's role would have been crucial for the security services - an assertion refuted by Sinn Fein. "He may just have been part of a pool of drivers, but he was driving the most significant figures in the Republican leadership, including Gerry Adams and Martin McGuinness," Mr. Rowan said. "He would have known where they were going and who they were seeing at particular times and all of that goes into a wider frame. So Denis Donaldson was in the office, Roy McShane was in the car and other agents are in different places and the information they all provide makes the bigger picture."

A Sinn Fein spokesman last night stressed, however, that the former chauffeur and non-party member, was "never privy to sensitive information". "Republicans will be disappointed but not surprised at the news," he said.

The spokesman said that McShane was yesterday taken into the " protective custody" of a branch of the intelligence services. "The man has left his family, they have to pick up the pieces and that is a matter for him to address," he added. "He is under no threat from republicans. If he wishes to return, it is up to him to make peace with his community and in particular his family." The spokesman added that, owing to suspicions surrounding McShane over a number of years, he was not privy to party secrets.

The news comes more than two years after Sinn Fein's Denis Donaldson (65) - former head of staff at Stormont - was unmasked as a secret agent in December 2005. He was expelled from the party and shot dead near Glenties, Co Donegal, the following April. Donaldson was arrested for alleged spying at Stormont in 2002 - which led to the Assembly's collapse - but charges were subsequently dropped. [McNeilly/BelfastTelegraph/9February2008]

Spying at all-time high in Norway.  Russian intelligence agents are operating in Norway in numbers recalling Cold War activities, the Norwegian Police Security Service said.

Russian spies are particularly focusing on Norway's strategic geopolitical position and the country's offshore oil and gas expertise, Aftenposten reported Friday.

The Russians have rivals in the spy game in Norway, PST head Jorn Holme told Aftenposten.

"I'm not going to comment on individual countries," he said, "but there are more countries active (in espionage) in Norway than people would think."

The increased espionage activity follows a relative lull during the 1990s, the report said. Citing unnamed sources, Holme told the newspaper Russian espionage in Norway is at an "all-time high."

There are also unresolved border issues, largely involving natural resources, between Russia and Norway.

Jakub Godzimirski, a researcher at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, told the newspaper Russia does not regard Norway as a military threat, but he said Norway is "interesting because it is a member of NATO and the Kremlin sees Norway as an American outpost." [UPI/8February2008]

Hackers Access Australian Government Files. Chinese computer hackers have launched targeted attacks on classified Australian government computer networks.

The cyber attacks has prompted an internal review of IT security, Fairfax newspapers report. The federal government will spend $70 million to improve IT security this year, a figure that could be increased after the recent spate of hackings.

The attacks are thought to be part of an international espionage operation to glean intelligence from the western world.

Australian intelligence figures are believed to be concerned at a growing level of industrial espionage.

The attacks late last year are believed to have been directed at local companies, but it is thought they were unsuccessful.

Chinese authorities are believed to be seeking information on subjects such as military secrets and the prices Australian companies will seek for resources such as coal and iron ore.

"I wouldn't characterise the attempts as necessarily malicious, just routine espionage aimed at getting an advantage," a Canberra-based intelligence source told Fairfax.

"It's important to recognise that this is not a direct threat aimed at destabilising our government, nor is this a wilful effort to hinder or discredit government activity.

"But, do we have secrets that other governments would like to know? Yes. Are they trying? Yes. Espionage over the internet is a major battleground of the future."

A Department of Defence spokesman would not confirm or deny the recent cyber attacks on key government agencies, while a Chinese government spokesman denied cyber espionage had been authorised for any Australian agencies. [AAP/10February2008]


Al Qaeda Focusing on WMDs. A top Al Qaeda expert on chemical and biological weapons who Pakistan says was killed in a US airstrike in 2006 is "alive and well and in charge of resurrecting Al Qaeda's program to develop or obtain weapons of mass destruction", the Los Angeles Times reported on 3 February. It said US officials believed that the terror group had regenerated some of its research effort to develop or obtain chemical, biological, radiological and even nuclear weapons. The effort was currently focused on developing and using cyanide, chlorine and other such poisons, it said.

The assessments are based on "anecdotal evidence gleaned from electronic intercepts", information by informants and captured Al Qaeda members, the tracking of money flows and militant websites.

Abu Khabab was believed to have set up rudimentary labs for Al Qaeda scientists, intelligence officials told the LA Times and "recent intelligence shows that [he] is training Western recruits for chemical attacks in Europe and perhaps the United States," the report said. A senior intelligence official said this was similar to his "Khabab Camp" in Al Qaeda's sprawling Darunta training complex in Afghanistan's Tora Bora region before the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Information Minister Nisar Memon refused to comment on Abu Khabab and Al Qaeda's weapons programme, but unidentified security officials from three Pakistani intelligence agencies told LA Times he was alive.

The report said the CIA had concluded several months after Pakistan's claim that Masri was dead, that he was alive, "based on evidence from human intelligence and electronic intercepts of conversations". "The CIA dispatched additional agents into northwest Pakistan in the summer of 2006, including one specifically responsible for finding Abu Khabab."

Rand Corporation senior analyst John V Parachini said it was difficult for the group to get the necessary infrastructure and people.

But Raphael Perl, who heads the Action Against Terrorism Unit of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, said it was widely assumed that Al Qaeda had developed chemical weapons years ago, and that if it didn't have biological capabilities already, "they are certainly not far from it".

The US intelligence official said the effort was "a very small, very compartmented program," because of lack of infrastructure and security available in the pre-2001 Afghanistan.

Chris Quillen, a former CIA analyst, said the network's programme might have made significant progress but was not "ready for an attack tomorrow". [DailyTimes/5February2008] 

Special Ops Chief Sees Opportunities to Assist Pakistani Military. As the Pakistani government struggles to combat the growing presence of al Qaeda and other insurgent groups within its borders, the Pentagon's special operations chief raised the possibility of U.S. forces taking a larger role in that fight.

U.S. special operations or conventional troops could assist the Pakistani military via joint operations against al Qaeda operatives without advertising the U.S. role, Assistant Defense Secretary for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict Michael Vickers said during a Feb. 6 breakfast with reporters in Washington.

Declining to speculate on what role U.S. forces could play in joint operations with Pakistan, Vickers said any U.S. involvement "would be by, with and through the Pakistanis."

U.S. military and intelligence officials have long suspected that many of al Qaeda's senior leadership - including Osama Bin Laden - have sought refuge within Pakistan's vast border with Afghanistan.

Recent news reports have stated that the Central Intelligence Agency has already launched a number of airstrikes via unmanned aerial drones against senior al Qaeda leaders suspected of hiding within that border region.

However, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf last month spurned a personal request by CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell to substantially increase U.S. military presence there, according to a report in The New York Times.

Hayden and McConnell proposed stepping up U.S. involvement in the region through either increased CIA-led covert operations or under a joint U.S.-Pakistan military effort, during a covert trip to the region last month, according to the Jan. 27 Times story.

Since that meeting, however, Hayden said that Musharraf's administration has become increasingly aware that insurgent activity within the border region is as much a Pakistani problem as it is for the United States.

Should Pakistan relent and allow U.S. forces to operate more freely within its borders, the overall mission footprint would still remain relatively small, according to Vickers.

"I do not think it would be right to characterize it as a bunch of Caucasians running around [in Pakistan]. I do not think that anybody would dream of that," Vickers said. "There are lots of ways to do joint operations."

When asked if one of those ways would be joint intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations, Vickers responded: "It could be, but it could be others as well."

Vickers noted the Pentagon's current efforts to train and equip Pakistan's Frontier Corps is making progress. [Munoz/InsideDefense/7February2008] 

Former USAF/NSA Code-Breaker, Arabic Translator Reviews New Jihadist Toolkit. Jeff Bardin, a former USAF/NSA code-breaker and Arabic translator who blogs for at "Brave New World of Infosec," has posted a review of the new encryption and file-shredding tools now available for free download from an Islamic network used by Al Qaeda jihadists.

The Mujahedeen Secrets 2 Program, from the Islamic Faithful Network, is the second version of a toolkit intended to help militants communicate with greater secrecy. It includes automatic message encryption/authentication, file encryption, digital signature creation/checking and file shredding.

Bardin - who held Top Secret clearances as a code-breaker and Arabic translator for the United States Air Force while at the National Security Agency - says the download was easy to find and available for download on several sites. After spending some time reviewing the tools, he concluded that the toolkit shows an increasing sophistication level over a previous version of Mujahedeen Secrets (which is sometimes spelled Mujahideen). He wrote:

"I was able to create keys, encrypt and decrypt files as well as utilize all the features of the toolset. The help screens were detailed, including indexing and search capabilities. What was also of interest was the fact that the tool was in English, although the download information as well as the help files were in Arabic.

"This provides groups like Al-Qaeda methods to securely transmit and wipe their files. Not that they haven't had such tools in the past, but a second edition toolset demonstrates a software development lifecycle with some level of sophistication and planning. We should not underestimate our enemies."

For Bardin's full review of the toolkit, including several screen shots, visit his blog entry, "A Gift from the Islamic Faithful Network - Mujahedeen Secrets 2 Program." [Scalet/CSOOnline/7February2008] 


McConnell Statement at Hearing on Global Terror Threats. On 7 February 2008, Representative Silvestre Reyes held a hearing on Global Terror Threats. Among the speakers was Mr. Michael McConnell, the director of national intelligence. Following is his statement to the Committee: 

Before I address the specific threats, I just want to raise one issue that both you and the ranking member raised, and that's the issue of immediate importance to our community with regard to our ability to provide warning and protection for the nation and it involves what's referred to as FISA, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

The authorities that were granted under the amendment of the Protect America Act temporarily closed gaps in our ability to conduct foreign surveillance and those abilities are critical to our efforts to protect the nation from current threats.

You'll hear later in the testimony how we've been successful at using those authorities to, in fact, disrupt planned attacks. And, briefly, what I want to mention here is just some of the benefits that have accrued as a result of the authorities that were granted last August.

First of all, a better understanding of the international networks of Al Qaida; more broadly speaking, just personalities and the network at-large.

Second, individuals in the network, and let me get specific, down to the point of individual identity and, in some cases, planning for suicide bombing activity.

Now, most importantly, since August until now, a greater insight into terrorist planning gained by these authorities have allowed us to disrupt attacks, and that's occurred over the last six months.

Now, expiration of the act would lead to the loss of these important tools and the community relies on them and it would impact our ability to discover the plans of those who wish us harm.

In fact, the group we are targeting has sworn to inflict mass casualties, greater than 9/11, on our country. Extending the act that was passed last August, without addressing the retroactive liability protection for the private sector, will have very far-reaching consequences for this community, not only in the context of what I'm talking about now, but more broadly.

Lack of liability protection would make it much more difficult for us to obtain the future cooperation of the private sector, whose help is so vital to our success.

Now, at the request of several members on the Hill, the AG and I have provided letters, several, and most recently, a day or so ago, to try to address any specific questions that try to get at this in a little more depth.

But I would urge you, when you come to conference with the Senate, that you pass a long-term legislation effort to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and it must include retroactive liability protection for the private sector if we are going to be effective going forward.

Be happy to discuss this in much greater detail in open or closed session, as you would like, in the course of the briefing or at another time.

Let me turn now to worldwide threat. With regard to threats facing our country, let me say that the judgments that I will offer reflect some of those of the chairman and the ranking member. They're based on the efforts of thousands of patriotic, highly skilled professionals, many of whom served in harm's way, and members of the committee know this because you visited them where they served in harm's way.

My sincere hope is that not only the Congress, but the American people will see these men and women as the skilled professionals that they are, with the highest respect for our laws and values, and dedicated to serving the nation, with the courage to seek and speak the truth to the very best of our ability.

Let me start with terrorism and highlight a few of our counterterrorism successes over the past year.

First of all, as it was noted, there has been no major attack against the United States and, I would add, against most of our European, Latin American or East Asian allies in all of 2007. But that was no accident.

In concert with federal, state and local law enforcement, the intelligence community has helped disrupt cells plotting violent attacks. For example, last summer, we and our allies unraveled terrorist plots linked to Al Qaida and some associates in both Denmark and Germany. We were successful because we were able to identify the key personalities in the planning and follow their activities.

We worked with our partners to monitor the plotters and disrupt the attack activities. One of those intended targets was a U.S. facility in Europe.

In addition, our partners throughout the Middle East and elsewhere continue to attack aggressively terrorist networks that were involved in recruiting, training, planning to strike American interests. Al Qaida in Iraq, and refer to that most frequently as AQI, just if slip into an acronym, they suffered major setbacks this past year.

Hundreds of AQI's leadership, operational, media, financial, logistics, weapons, and even their foreign fighter facilitators were neutralized over the past year. In addition, brutal attacks unleashed by AQI and the other Al Qaida affiliates against Muslim civilians have tarnished Al Qaida's self-styled image as the extremist vanguard.

Now, the question becomes are we reaching a tipping point to witness the decline of this radical behavior. We don't know the answer to that yet, but we're watching it very closely to see if we are approaching that tipping point.

That said, nonetheless, Al Qaida remains the preeminent terrorist threat to the United States here at home and abroad. Despite our successes over the years, the group, as was mentioned by the chairman, has been able to regenerate many of its key capabilities, and that includes the top leadership, operational lieutenants, and, most importantly, a de facto safe haven in Pakistan's border area with Afghanistan, known as the FATA, or the federal administered tribal areas.

Our Pakistani authorities, who are our partners in this fight and have helped us more than any other nation in counterterrorism operations, increasingly are determined to strengthen their counterterrorism performance, even during a period of heightened domestic political tension, which, of course, was exacerbated by the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Last year, at least 865 Pakistani forces and civilians were killed by suicide bombers. Almost 500, in addition to the 865 to suicide bombers, almost 500 security forces and civilians were killed in various armed clashes. That totals over 1,300 in 2007.

Therefore, in 2007, Pakistanis' losses exceeded the cumulative total of all the years between 2001 and 2006.

Al Qaida affiliates also pose a significant threat. Al Qaida in Iraq remains the central most capable affiliate and we are increasingly concerned that even as the coalition forces have inflicted damage on Al Qaida inside Iraq, it's possible that they could redeploy some of those resources for attacks outside of Iraq.

Al Qaida's affiliate in North Africa, known as Al Qaida in the lands of Islamic Maghreb, is active in North Africa and is expanding its target set to include U.S. and Western interests. Recall the attacks on the United Nations that killed scores in December of last year.

Other Al Qaida affiliates in the Levant, the Gulf, Africa and southeast Asia maintained a lower profile in 2007, but are still capable of conducting attacks against U.S. interests.

As was mentioned, the homegrown threat. Homegrown threats inspired by militant Islamic ideology continue and they continue without necessarily operational direction from Al Qaida. We see that as a continually evolving danger both inside the United States and to our interests abroad.

Disrupted plotting last year in the United States illustrates the nature of the threat inside the country and our European allies continue to discover their version of the homegrown threat inside Europe.

Turn now to weapons of mass destruction proliferation. The ongoing efforts of nation states and terrorists to develop and/or acquire dangerous weapons and delivery systems, in my view, constitutes the second major threat to our countries. After conducting missile tests and its first nuclear yield detonation in 2006, North Korea returned to the negotiating table last year.

Pyongyang has reaffirmed his September 2005 commitment to full denuclearization. They have shut down the nuclear facility at Yongbyon and they are currently in the process of disabling those facilities. But the north missed the 31 December deadline for a full declaration on its nuclear programs.

And while Pyongyang denies a program for uranium enrichment and also denies its proliferation activities, we know North Korea continues to engage in both.

We are uncertain about Kim Jong Il's commitment to the denuclearization pledges that were made as a part of the six-party framework.

As was asked, I want to be very clear in addressing Iran's nuclear capability. There's been considerable confusion in how this has been reported in the press.

First of all, there are three parts to any effective nuclear weapons capability. The first requirement is to produce fissile material. The second is a means of delivery of a weapon, given that you had a weapon. Normally, that would be ballistic missile.

The third part is the design and weaponization of the warhead itself. Now, we assessed, in our recent NIE, or national intelligence estimate, that the warhead design and the weaponization work is what was halted in 2003. Warhead design and weaponization work.

Also, the military was engaged in a covert effort to produce fissile material. Those are the two things that were halted in 2003.

However, that said, the declared uranium enrichment effort that would enable the production of fissile material continues. So it's still going down a path to produce fissile material.

In addition, production of fissile material is the most significant challenge in a nuclear weapons program. That continues.

Also, as in the past, Iran continues to perfect ballistic missiles that can reach North Africa and into Europe.

The earliest possible date Iran could be technically capable of producing enough fissile material for a weapon is late 2009. We consider that unlikely, but 2009. That is unchanged from our assessment some years ago and most recently repeated in 2005.

As the new estimate makes clear, Tehran halted their nuclear weapons design-related activity in response to international pressure. But they're keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons. If Iran's nuclear weapons design portion of the program, one of the three parts that I mentioned, has either already been turned on or is reactivated, it would be a very closely guarded secret.

The effort would be to keep us from being aware of the true status.

One other point I would highlight is the Iranians have never admitted to this secret nuclear weapons design program, which was, in fact, halted in 2003.

Iran also remains a threat to regional stability and to U.S. interests in the Middle East. This is because of its continued support for violent groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, and its efforts to undercut pro-Western actors, such as in Lebanon.

Iran is pursuing a policy intended to raise the political, economic and human cost of any arrangement that would allow the United States to maintain presence and influence in that region.

I'm going to turn now, just briefly, to the cyber threat. The United States information infrastructure, which includes telecommunications, computer networks and systems, and, most importantly, the data that resides within those systems is critical to virtually every aspect of our modern life.

Threats to our information technology infrastructure are an important focus for this community. We assess, as we have assessed for a long time, nations, such as Russia and China, long have had the technical capability to target U.S. information infrastructure for intelligence collection. And what I want to emphasize here - intelligence collection.

Today, some countries and potentially terrorist groups could target our information infrastructure systems not for passive intelligence collection, but for degradation and destruction. It's a very significant vulnerability of the nation.

At the president's direction, last spring, we were asked to form an interagency group to take a look at this issue, the cyber threat, and identify potential options. Our tasking was fulfilled most recently with the issuance of a presidential planning directive, which was signed earlier this year.

We'll have more to say - you're going to have a hearing, I think, next week on Friday about the details and we can talk about it more today or we'll be prepared to get into significant detail next Friday at the additional hearing.

Let me turn briefly to Iraq. The security situation in Iraq continues to show signs of improvement. Security incidents countrywide have declined significantly to the lowest point since February 2006, over two years ago.

The monthly civilian casualties nationwide have fallen by more than half over the past year. I would note, however, despite these gains, a number of internal factors continue to undermine Iraq's security.

Sectarian distrust is still strong throughout Iraqi society. AQI, Al Qaida in Iraq, remains capable of conducting destabilizing operations and spectacular attacks, as we've seen recently, despite disruptions to its networks.

In addition, inter-communal violence in southern Iraq has spread beyond clashes between rival militia factions. While improving significantly over the past year, the ability of the Iraqi security force to conduct effective independent operations, independent of coalition operations, has improved, but it remains limited at present.

Bridging the differences between the competing communities and providing effective guidance are critical to achieving a successful state in Iraq.

While slow, progress is being made. We have seen some economic gains and some quality of life improvements for all Iraqis, but these improvements, security and governance and economy, are not ends in themselves. Rather, they are the means for restoring Iraqi confidence in the central government and easing the sectarian distrust.

Turn now to Afghanistan. In 2007, a number of attacks in Afghanistan's Taliban-dominated insurgency, mostly in the south, exceeded that of the previous year. In part, that is because the coalition and Afghan forces undertook many more offensive operations over the past year.

Efforts to improve governance and extend economic development were hampered by a lack of security in some areas and sheer limitation in the government's capacity to do so.

Ultimately, defeating the insurgency in Afghanistan will depend heavily on the government's ability to improve security, deliver effective governmental services, and expand development opportunities.

The drug trade in Afghanistan is one of the greatest long-term challenges. The insidious effect of drug-related criminality continue to undercut the government's ability to assert its authority, develop a strong rule of law-based system and to rebuild the economy.

The Taliban, operating in the poppy growing regions, at a minimum, receives some level of financial support tied to this opium traffickers.

In the Levant, the regime in Damascus seeks to undermine Lebanon's security by using proxies and harboring a variety of terrorists, most specifically, Hezbollah. Syria also remains opposed to progress in the Middle East peace talks.

Since the assassination of Rafik Hariri in 2005, eight additional Lebanese leaders or officials have been killed in an effort to intimidate the 14 March coalition and alter the political balance in the Lebanese legislature.

In the Palestinian territories, the schism between Abbas and Hamas escalated after Hamas seized control of Gaza last summer. Although feeling increased pressure over a weakening economic situation and an accelerating humanitarian crisis, Hamas remains in charge of the Gaza Strip.

In the West Bank, we are beginning to see signs of progress by the Fatah, including renewed security and law enforcement cooperation with Israeli forces and taking more effective action against Hamas.

Law and order has started to show signs of some level of improvement in the West Bank.

Turn now to Russia and China. Increases in defense spending have enabled the Russian military to begin to reverse the deep deterioration of its capabilities that actually began before the collapse of the Soviet Union. However, the Russian military still faces significant challenges. For example, demographic trends are not favorable and they still suffer from significant health problems.

In addition, conscription deferments erode available manpower and Russia's defense industries are suffering from a loss of skilled personnel.

China's military modernization is shaped, in part, by its perception that a competent, modern military force is essential to achieve greater power status. Improving Chinese theater range missile capability will put U.S. forces, both Naval and Air Force, at greater risk from conventional weapons.

In addition, Beijing seeks to modernize China's strategic nuclear forces to address concerns about its survivability. If present trends continue, in the global development of counter space capabilities, Russia and China will have increasing abilities to target U.S. military, intelligence and navigation satellite systems, also to include command and control, and the effort will be to inflict damage on our ability to conduct military operations, specifically, the delivery of precision munitions.

Turn now to Venezuela and Cuba. The referendum on constitutional reform in Venezuela last December was a stunning setback for President Chavez and it could slow his movement toward authoritarian rule.

The referendum's outcome has given psychological boost to his opponents. However, high oil prices will probably continue to enable Chavez to retain the support of his primary constituents, continue co- opting the economic elite, and stave off the consequences of his financial mismanagement.

Without question, however, policies being pursued by President Chavez have set Venezuela on a path to economic ruin.

The determination of the Cuban leadership to ignore outside pressure for reform is reinforced by the more than $1 billion net annual subsidy that Cuba receives from Venezuela. We assess that the political situation probably will remain stable during at least the initial months following Fidel Castro's death.

However, policy missteps or mishandling of a crisis by the leadership in Cuba could lead to instability and raise the risk of a mass migration issue.

Turn now to Africa. The persistent insecurity in Nicaragua oil- producing region, the Niger Delta, threatens U.S. strategic interests, as was mentioned by the chairman.

The president of Nigeria has pledged to resolve the crisis in the delta, but faces many, many obstacles. Ongoing instability and conflict in other parts of Africa are significant threats to U.S. interests in that region and in others due to the high humanitarian and peacekeeping costs and the drag on economic reform and the development in those situations for the situation to worsen.

The violence in Kenya, after a close election which was marred by irregularities, represents a major setback in one of Africa's most prosperous and democratic countries.

Turning to Sudan. The crisis in Darfur, in the region, shows few signs of resolution, even if the planned U.N. peacekeeping force, which is now planned to be 26,000, even if they arrive and fully deployed, as we hope.

The Ethiopian-backed transitional federal government in Somalia is facing serious attacks by opposition groups and extremists. It probably would flee Mogadishu or collapse if the Ethiopians withdrew.

In addition, tensions between the longtime enemies, Ethiopia and Eritrea, have increased over the past year, both sides showing signs of preparing for war.

It's a pleasure to be before you this morning to respond to your concerns.   [CongressionalQuarterlyTranscripts/7February2008] 


Letters to the Editor

Agree with Hersh:  I completely agree with the comments of Burton Hersh in the February 4 issue of WINS. My feeling was that we had reached a new low in striving for sensationalism a la People magazine. There are times when I feel that WINS is hardly more than a shill for Ex- intelligence officials who write expose books, hoping to turn a profit on their careers, as many are doing in the museum world. Having voiced that nasty, there are many who have written very useful contributions to the history of what was once a little understood service, And WINS is useful in bringing these to the attention of the afio membership.   Cecil Corry

Praise for WINS:  I usually am a pretty silent guy. But the Hersh letter just can't go unanswered. I have been a member since 1980, and did my time in the trenches. I have nothing but praise for the way our leadership has improved the quality of the monthly newsletters and the Intelligencer. It seems to only get better each month.

Hersh's attack and his demand for a "balanced" approach smack of an agenda. Why "balanced" as it seems to me the articles are from authors simply submitting their opinion or more serious analysis. His slam of criticism of the (in my opinion) very flawed NIE is case in point as well as his name calling of his opponents. What is wrong with debate? Is he so naive as to believe there aren't political agendas in the intelligence world? 

My advice is to ignore such idle banter and march on.  Keith Hall

Questions about Hersh Comments - Q1:  Mr. Hersh: Please reveal to me the proof you cite that Oswald was on CIA and FBI payroll in the year before the JFK shooting. With that in hand, I will form an opinion on your complete writing.  chuck s.

Q2:  I found some of Mr. Hersh's comments to be quite enlightening especially about Lee Harvey Oswald being employed by the FBI and the CIA at the same time notwithstanding the Dual Office and Dual compensation Act, all immediately prior to the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. As the former Special Counsel, Acting Chief Counsel and Acting Staff Director (2 positions) and finally Chief Counsel of the House Select Committee on Assassinations (9/1976 to 3/1977) when I resigned as Chief Counsel and the Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez, resigned as Chairman of the Select Committee, that I and no member of the Committee or the Staff ever knew that fact. Perhaps that is why it is not mentioned anywhere in the final reports of either the Warren Commission or the House Select Committee on Assassinations AND until my resignation I was the only person who physically conducted investigations in the United States and abroad and had multiple dealings with both Agencies. I also interrogated witnesses from those Agencies in Closed Executive Sessions of the Select Committee. I wonder why Mr. Hersh did not come forward with his evidence to the Committee? Kenneth E. Brooten, Jr., Chief Counsel, United States Congress (Ret.)

From the Editors: The WIN editors would like to thank everyone who commented on the letter to the editors from Mr. Hersh. We had an overwhelming number of responses, both supporting and opposing Mr. Hersh. 

We would particularly like to thank the supporters of the WIN who took the time to respond. As a group, the supporters seem to understand the mission of the WIN, which is to provide our readers with a summary of intelligence items in the current media. We cull through literally hundreds of articles from national and international sources every day, searching for items which we believe will be of interest to our readers. We do not always agree with them - we sometimes completely disagree with them - and we certainly don't write them, but we replay them for the benefit of our audience. 

We also appreciate our critics taking the time to send in comments. We encourage you to send us any articles you would like to propose to include in the WIN which reflect the tone/content you would like to see in the WIN. We have several readers who regularly provide excellent content. We also welcome original content. For example, several people wrote requesting information supporting the allegation by Mr. Hersh that Lee Harvey Oswald worked for both the FBI and the CIA, which would make an excellent story for a future WIN.

Thank you all again for your comments.


Free Weekly Report.  The Transpartisan Policy Institute, along with the Earth Intelligence Network, is proud to announce a free individual weekly intelligence report. The EIN seeks to create the discipline of public intelligence. Volunteers can create their own weekly for any zip code, country, state, topic, etc. 

To subscribe go to

UPCOMING Chapter events by Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals

Great Lakes Michigan Chapter Meeting
This presentation is a great opportunity to see inside what makes one of the most popular information locating sources work. The presentation will provide insight into a variety of internet based search opportunities, tools and techniques as well as a look into the ways that many companies have begun to search internally for information and expertise within their own companies. Learn more about how to utilize one of the most used tools by a Google expert.

Minneapolis Chapter Meeting
A Business War-game is a structured, disciplined and facilitated process designed to make the development and execution of a plan more effective by helping an organization to understand a situation much better than it could through other approaches. Join us for an interactive presentation and discussion of business war gaming that will include war gaming concepts, processes, and tools, examples and lessons learned, and war-game project considerations. The presentation will also include a short interactive exercise followed by a question and answer discussion. The presentation will be facilitated by Kappa West consultants Mr. Dan Baird and Mr. Tim Smith. Kappa West Management Consultants was founded in 1974, and has served over 250 global clients on six continents since its inception.

NJ Chapter & American Marketing Association Joint Meeting
Author and Futurist, Eric Garland, joins us for a not to-be-missed evening as he identifies upcoming trends and the business implications that are on the horizon. In his book, Future, Inc.: How Businesses Can Anticipate and Profit from What's Next, Garland identifies the top eight drivers of the future that executives should start preparing for now.

Greater DC Chapter Meeting
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you will win a hundred times in a hundred battles. If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you win one and lose the next. If you do not know yourself or your enemy, you will always lose. --Sun Tzu One of the most often-quotes strategic philosopher's is China's Sun Tzu. Military leaders have looked to the ancient Chinese text for guidance on strategy. Leaders in business have adapted Sun Tzu's wisdom to provide guidance on business strategy as well. Have we really gleaned the important lessons from Sun Tzu's wisdom? "Understanding Sun Tzu on the Art of War" explores the meaning of Sun Tzu's philosophies through the use of high impact case examples, most involving American or British military forces. It presents strategic tools for use in any professional contest. For those with an interest in current global events, this material provides fertile ground for discussion.

UK CI Networking Program
"Business is a game" proclaimed IBM founder Thomas J Watson. "It is the greatest game in the world if you know how to play it". Game theory is an analysis technique that helps business analysts understand the rules of the game and how to play it. The technique looks at strategic situations where players choose different actions in an attempt to maximize their returns. It is ideally situated to looking at competitive strategies available to organizations and has been used to select the best strategies in a number of commercial conflicts. The concepts behind game theory are ancient, its use as an analysis approach is new.

Southwest Ohio Chapter Meeting
This presentation will cover key points including: " Translate KITs to define the appropriate characteristics of nodes and links to be applied to a CI SNA. " Understand appropriate methodology and technology for collections and storage of SNA data “Comprehend SNA methodologies for evaluating social networks

Denver Rocky Mountain Chapter Meeting
All of us in CI are looking for ways to move our practice forward. We know that we need to continually raise the bar in order to prove our value to our clients. We may be looking for a new way to solidify our CI client-practitioner relationships. Or, it may be an issue of providing clients with an even better end result. Yet others may be most interested in raising the image of the CI industry overall. Whether one or all of these issues hits home, then you will want to hear Gary Maag, CEO, Proactive Worldwide, Inc. discuss his newest concept, the CI Customer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. Mr. Maag recently presented this industry-advancing idea at the SCIP annual meeting in New York City to enthusiastic response.

Research Requests

Photo Interpreter Team #108.  I am seeking any information pertaining to the missions of Photo Interpreter Team #108 during World War II. While any of their missions would be important specifically that to photograph the Japanese midget submarines at Kure Naval Base prior to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would have priority. The names of the team members would also be important as I am seeking a recommendation for the Silver Star award to T/3 Anthony Casale. I am member Alfred Hahn and can be reached at or tel. 804 739-0601. Thank you for any assistance you can provide.  Al,  

Polish Major Rygor Slowikowskia:  Dear Fellow members of AFIO: In my new book: FDR'S 12 Apostles: The Spies Who paved the Way For The Invasion of North Africa I tell of the heroic services rendered to Robert Murphy, FDR'S Special Representative in North Africa when he was stationed in Algiers from 1940-1943.

Polish Major Rygor Slowikowskia headed a Polish intelligence network in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. He reported to the London based Polish military government in exile financed by SIS/MI6. His Polish team of agents (including his wife Sophi and son George) collected information under cover of being sales agents for an oatmeal enterprise headquartered in Algiers. His network was phenomenally successful in evading Vichy French, German and Italian counters-espionage. His intelligence information passed to Washington via an Robert Murphy/OSS Eddie radio link in Tangier was critical to the planning of TORCH invasion.
Now ARTE a French Television network is preparing a documentary film about Major Slowikowski's work during WWII written and directed by Malgosha Gago.
I would greatly appreciate if any members had information they wish to contribute to this documentary or knew of someone who did. Information from an historian or writer who has worked on the contribution of the Polish Intelligence service to assisting General Donovan to establish the OSS would be welcome.  Please contact:

I would much appreciate confirmation that this request is well received.
Hal W. Vaughan,, backup email:
+33 (0)
Paris, France 

Film Reviews

SECRECY: A film about the vast, invisible world of government secrecy by Peter Galison and Robb Moss. The "classification universe" is invisible to most of us, yet the production of governmental classified secret documents involves millions of people. And government secrecy is growing, vastly outpacing the circulation of open information. The statistics, as much as can be gathered, are staggering. In a single recent year, the United States government classified about five times the number of pages added to the Library of Congress; the cost is about eight billion dollars a year - just to keep secrets secret.

Now, 70 years after the builders of the bomb created a national information security system and just a few years after 9/11, a government secrecy crisis is looming. The combination of a declared war on terrorism and the curtailment of civil liberties sets the stage to ask some critical questions. When does security erode, rather than enhance, democracy? Can burying too much information actually undermine national security?

Secrecy, the stylistically elegant and provocative new film by Robb Moss and Peter Galison, explores the hidden world of national security policy by examining the many implications of secrecy, both for government and individuals. Combining animation, installations, a mesmerizing score, and riveting interviews, the film takes us inside the inverted world of government secrecy as we share the experiences of lawyers, CIA analysts, and the ordinary people for whom secrecy becomes a matter of life and death. Secrecy premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008. [SecrecyOfficialSite]

Nerakhoon (The Betrayal). Nerakhoon (The Betrayal), the feature directorial debut of cinematographer Ellen Kuras, took 23 years to make. The film, about a family caught in the tides of war, is as much a history lesson about a part of the Vietnam War that is little known as it is a story of how co-director Thavisouk Phrasavath came to America at the age of 14 with his mother and nine siblings after his homeland, Laos fell to the Communists. 

Thavi's father, a former commander with the Royal Laotian army, was recruited by the CIA to work intelligence along the Ho Chi Minh trail during the Vietnam War, as a part of the United States government's clandestine operations from Laos during the war. When the United States withdrew from Laos, Pathet Lao gained power and Thavi's father was declared an enemy of the state and sent to a "re-education" camp. Thavi, then just 12, was repeatedly arrested because of who his father was, and finally, in fear for his life, left his family to swim across the Mekong River to a refugee camp in Thailand, where he was finally reunited with his mother and siblings two years later.

In 1981, Thavi's family, presuming his father was gone forever, relocated to the United States full of hope for the future, only to find that the sponsors who brought them to the United States were dishonest, taking the money they were paid to help the family and depositing the entire family - mother and 10 children - into a cramped room in a slum in Brooklyn next door to a crack house. As the eldest sibling, Thavi struggled to help his mother keep the family alive, while trying to imprint enough of their country's cultural values on his younger siblings to keep the family together. 

Kuras first met Thavi four years later, in 1985, when she was looking for someone who could teach her Laotian. She met Thavi, the two became friends, and after hearing his personal history, she knew she wanted to tell his tale. Nerakhoon (The Betrayal) is a visually beautiful film - a combination of cinema verite and archival footage with elements of experimental filmmaking blended in as well. The film is simultaneously a micro view of this one family's struggles to survive in and adapt to a foreign culture in the aftermath of war, and a macro statement about the fight of immigrants to retain a sense of self-identity, sense of culture and sense of self while assimilating to a new environment. The larger story could have been told through the lens of any immigrant group - refugees from Laos, Cambodia or Vietnam as a result of that conflict, or immigrants from Mexico today, or even the struggle of Native American tribes in the United States struggling to maintain tribal identities in a modern world.

What Kuras accomplishes here, though, is taking those broader themes of immigration and cultural identity (not to mention the responsibility our government bears to take care of the people in other countries it uses to further its own goals in wars) and refracting those broader ideas through the narrower lens of one family's story. By blending elements of narrative and experimental filmmaking into a documentary, Kuras makes these wider themes personal. Kuras and Thavi, working together on this film, narrow the broader themes to their direct impact on him and his family, making a much more impactful and real tale than if Kuras had simply made a dry, historical documentary about the US government and Laos during the Vietnam war.

As one might expect from a film directed by a famed cinematographer, Nerakhoon (The Betrayal) is beautifully shot and visually poetic. Kuras has a talent for using images and imagery to tell her story, and she immerses us into the lives of Thavi and his family through 23 years of following and filming their story. It's an unforgettable journey, and listening to Thavi himself chart the course of his family through the film, one learns more than just a history lesson about Laos and Vietnam; Thavi's story is about love, family, culture, betrayal, struggle, and, ultimately, survival and triumph, making Nerakhoon (The Betrayal) a powerful tale with a heart and soul you won't soon forget.  [Voynar/SundanceReview/31January2008]

AT THE INTERFACE: The WWII Recollections of Donald M. Showers - Naval Communications [DVD]. AFIO member Mac Showers was an eyewitness to CDR Joe Rochefort's amazing radio intelligence coup in the war in the Pacific. It has been over 65 years since the naval battles of Coral Sea and Midway Island and we are still learning more about the critical role of communications intelligence in winning the Pacific War. Ensign Donald M. Showers was assigned to the top secret Naval Intelligence Center station in Hawaii (codenamed Station HYPO) that was tasked with breaking the Japanese operational codes . Here he relates his first hand experiences as part of the team that intercepted and decrypted the Japanese messages leading to a strategic victory in the Battle of the Coral Sea and a decisive rout of the Japanese at Midway Island a month later. Showers was also involved in planning the air mission in which Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was killed and describes the decision making that led to this mission.
Showers describes the personalities and roles of the important players: Chester Nimitz, Edwin Layton, Joseph Rochefort and Jasper Holmes. He provides a first hand account of the development of the deception, devised by Holmes, that revealed that the secret location for the major Japanese offensive in June 1942 was Midway Island!
Rochefort and HYPO's successes were not without conflict with the jealous brass in Washington who coveted credit for the Midway victory. As a "reward" for his team's successes, Rochefort was relieved of command of HYPO and taken out of the intelligence field for 3 years!
Showers' narrative is illustrated with historical film footage, photographs and maps of the persons and places from the time.
This is a DVD-R (NTSC, No Region) disc. Each is new and packed in a sealed, wrapped DVD case. The total running time of the films is 42 minutes.
The DVD is produced by Shoestring Educational Productions, and runs 41 minutes.
View the trailer on their website:

The DVD's are for sale for $18.00 + $2.00 Shipping and Handling (USPS First Class domestic) per copy.  It can be purchased as follows: 1) Directly from their website: (purchasers there can pay with credit card, paypal or e-check); 2) By phone:  858-405-6038. They accept Visa or Mastercard orders by phone; 3) By mail.  Send a check for $20, made out to Shoestring Educational Productions to: Shoestring Educational Productions, 5873 Menorca Drive, San Diego, CA 92124.  Please include the address to which you would like it shipped; or 4) Foreign buyers should contact: to arrange for shipping.

Job Announcement

Director, Global Intelligence & Threat Analysis, Burbank, CA Position Type Full-time
Experienced, creative intelligence professionals with excellent leadership skills should not miss this opportunity to lead a unique mission protecting one of the world's most recognizable brands. The Director, Global Intelligence and Threat Analysis provides security and political risk assessments to protect the Company's assets, guests, employees, and reputation, and offers decision support for the Company's global business expansion.

The diverse scope of this mission covers Parks and Resorts (including cruise lines), Media Networks (ABC, ESPN, Disney Channel), Studios (Disney, Miramax), and Consumer Products; assets are spread over more than 40 countries.

Qualified candidates should review the official vacancy and apply directly at the Disney Careers website:

Serious inquiries may be addressed to the incumbent, Rodney Faraon, at

Requisition ID 142503

Job Responsibilities
Responsible for leading a Burbank -based global team in the collection and analysis of timely and accurate intelligence relevant to securing The Walt Disney Company's global human and capital assets and the development of policy, plans and training to mitigate vulnerabilities.

Primary Functions and Responsibilities:
*In cooperation with the Vice President, Global Intelligence, Threat Analysis and Crisis Management, develops policy and strategy to assess and mitigate threats to company assets and employees

*Collects, evaluates and disseminates accurate and timely intelligence to appropriate company executives

*Applies intelligence to in-place security measures to assess vulnerabilities

*Recommends risk mitigation strategies

*Develops and maintains a travel safety and advisory system for the Walt Disney Company's travelers

*Develops strong and productive relationships with high-level domestic and international law enforcement, intelligence, and private sector counterparts

*Develops a private sector intelligence community designed to provide a network of information partners

*Accomplishes enterprise and department objectives by establishing action plans, timetables and outcome measurements, obtaining and allocating resources, reviewing progress, making mid-course corrections

*Achieves financial goals by establishing objectives; developing and monitoring budgets; controlling and reducing costs; optimizing use of assets

*Contributes to team effort by offering information and opinion as a member of management; integrating objectives with other functions; accomplishing special projects as needed

*Maintains results by recruiting and selecting key managers; coaching, counseling and disciplining managers; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results

*In partnership with the Director, Global Crisis Management, assists in the development of policy, plans and exercises designed to enhance the crisis resistance of the Walt Disney Company

Supervisory Scope
*Directly manage two to three intelligence analysts and provide oversight, guidance and policy to a team of intelligence and security professionals worldwide

Required Qualifications
*Minimum of 7-10 years experience and a demonstrated record of success in positions of increasing responsibility within private sector corporate security or a related public sector organization, including 3-5 years of experience within a law enforcement/intelligence or related agency and 3-5 years of experience in a leadership role

*Bachelor's degree is required and a Master's degree is desirable

*Demonstrated ability to build, motivate and lead a professional team attuned to organizational culture, yet be innovative and able to develop new initiatives

*Demonstrated track record of partnering and developing consensus within an organizational climate of diverse operational activities and wide ranging lines of business

*Demonstrated ability to communicate clearly within all levels of an organization, including briefing executive management as well as operating teams

*Excellent conceptual and critical thinking skills and sound judgment, with strategic orientation and ability to perform tactically, as required

*Experience in providing technical expertise appropriate to knowledge of risk and cost effective delivery of essential security services

*Demonstrated ability to identify, analyze and evaluate a large volume of information, and to communicate accurately both verbally and in writing, timely recommendations on business and security related risks to the organization with solid focus on detail, as required

*Ability to develop global security strategies keyed to likely risks and in collaboration with organization stakeholders

*Ability to anticipate, influence and assist the organization to assess and rapidly adjust to changing conditions and trends in a global multi-cultural environment

*Proven track record of leading, managing and developing employees

*Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with international affairs

Business Overview
The Walt Disney Company, together with its subsidiaries, is a diversified worldwide entertainment company with 2007 annual revenues of $35.5 billion. Its four business segments include Media Networks, Parks and Resorts, Studio Entertainment and Consumer Products. Disney products are sold in 190 different countries around the world under some of the following brands: ABC Television Network, ESPN, ABC Family, Disney Channel, SOAPnet, ABC Studios, Walt Disney Television Animation, Disney Interactive Studios, Disney Publishing, Touchstone Pictures, Miramax, Disney Theatrical Productions, Walt Disney Records, Lyric Street Records, Disney Cruise Line, Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort
Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.

Coming Events


16 February 08 - Kennebunk, ME - The Maine Chapter of AFIO will hear Chapter President, David Austin, on FISA.  Austin will speak on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held at the Kennebunk Free Library, corner of Rt. 1 and Rt. 35 in Kennebunk at 2:00 p.m.  For information call 207-364-8964 or 207-985-2392

Thursday, 21 February 2008, 12 noon – 1 pm – Washington, DC – author debriefing and book signing – Pete Earley author of Comrade J, at the Spy Museum. From 1997 to 2000, a man known as Comrade J was working in the U.S. as the highest-ranking operative in the SVR – a successor agency to the KGB. He directed all Russian spy action in New York City, and personally oversaw every covert operation against the U.S. and its allies in the UN. Comrade J recruited spies, planted agents, manipulated intelligence, and influenced American policy – all under the direct leadership of Boris Yeltsin followed by that of Vladimir Putin. He was a legend in the SVR: known as the man who kept the secrets. Then in 2000 he defected and turned the tables on Mother Russia – for two years he had acted as a double agent for the FBI. In Comrade J, Earley gives an account of this extraordinary spy. Free, no registration required.

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:

Saturday 23 February 2008, 11:30 am - Seattle, WA - The AFIO Pacific Northwest Chapter hosts a meeting at the Museum of Flight. The cost for the meeting will be $15 which will cover tea, juice and coffee.
The meeting will be offered in three parts:
Part 1: Welcome and Socializing – Starting at 11:30pm
Part 2: Starting at 12:30pm
Our AFIO guest speaker is retired USAF Major Loody Christofero.
Major Christofero has a fascinating history having flown in WW2 in the China, Burma, India theatre of operations. He has a wealth of exciting stories having flown 73 missions in a C46 Commando across “The Hump” the Himalayan mountains. It was the only way to get supplies into China to support the Chinese troops fighting the Japanese. Major Christofero was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, two Air Force medals and a Presidential Citation.
Part 3: At 2:00pm
At 2 pm we have arranged for our members and guests to adjourn to the to the main theatre to hear a presentation:
Vietnam Panel: “The Tet Offensive 40 Years Later”
On the Vietnamese Lunar New Year of 1968, the North Vietnamese forces launched a country-wide offensive known as the “Tet Offensive.” While it was a military disaster for the communists, news of the offensive led to widespread disaffection with the war among the American public. Forty years after this historical turning point, meet several of the men who served in uniform during this controversial conflict, both on the ground and in the air. The panel will include Colonel James Carlton who flew B-52s and then OV-10s over South Vietnam, Capt. Jonathan Hayes who flew F-4s over North Vietnam, and noted author Kregg Jorgenson who volunteered as a Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP) with H Company – 75th Airborne Rangers.
Again, the cost for the meeting will be $15 which will cover tea and coffee, payable in advance, which covers all of the above.
All ROTC friends are also asked to join for this event. The cost for ROTC members will be $5 payable at the door.
Please let me know as soon as possible if you will be attending and with how many quests. or 206 729 9700

6 March 2008 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Joe P. Russoniello, U.S. Attorney, Northern District of California. Mr. Russoniello will speak on how the U.S. government prosecutes terrorism cases. The meeting will be held at United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94116 (between Sloat and Wawona). 11:30 AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation; $35 non-member rate or at door. RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish) no later than 5PM 2/27/08:, (650) 622-9840 X608 or send a check to P.O. Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011.

10 -11 March 2008 - Laurel, Maryland - 2008 Unrestricted Warfare Symposium at The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) is jointly sponsored by JHU/APL and the University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). It is also co-sponsored by the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Policy), the Department of State, and the National Intelligence Council. For 2008, the theme of integrating strategy, analysis, and technology to counter adversaries utilizing unrestricted warfare approaches. The focus will be on the DoD Campaign Plan for the War on Terrorism: Integrating Strategy, Analysis, and Technology in Support of the U.S. War on Terror Campaign. I am thrilled that Admiral Eric Olson, USSOCOM, has agreed to give the keynote address. Over the two days we will have four other featured speakers [Dr. Thomas Mahnken, ODUSD(Policy); Prof. Bruce Hoffman, Georgetown University; Dr. Stephen Flynn, Council on Foreign Relations; and Prof. Peter Feaver, Duke University], five roundtable panels, and a panel of senior-level government representatives responsible for various aspects of the War on Terror Campaign.
2008 registration details can be found at the symposium website:

Thursday, 13 March 2008, 3:00 PM - Reston, VA - The Washington Area Chapter of the International Association for Intelligence Education hosts a speaker on Intelligence Analysis. This first in a series of interviews by this group will be with Robert Clark (author of “Intelligence Analysis: A Target-Centric Approach”) interviewed by Marilyn B. Peterson. Location: The Forum, 1892 Preston White Drive, Reston, VA 20191. To register: Bill Spracher at 202-231-4193 or Non-members are welcome and refreshments will be provided by i2, Inc.

Thursday, 20 March 2008, 6:30 pm – Washington, DC -“The Bomber Behind the Veil: Muslim Women and Violent Jihad– Farhana Ali, Rand Corp. policy analyst, at the Spy Museum. Beware the mujahidaat. Farhana Ali, an international policy analyst with the Rand Corporation, is one of the few researchers focused on these Muslin female fighters. She has charted an increase in suicide attacks by Muslim women since at least 2000, in new theaters of operation, including Uzbekistan, Egypt, and Iraq. These attacks are arguably more deadly than those conducted by male jihadists, in part due to the perception that women are unlikely to commit such acts of horror, and when they do, the shock or “CNN factor” of their attacks draws far greater media attention. She discusses their place in Islamic history, their psychological profile, and the likely shelf-life of this disturbing trend. Tickets: $20. Visit for tickets.

26-28 March 2008 - Raleigh, NC - The Fifth Raleigh Spy Conference at the NC Museum of History - Not to miss. Topic: CIA’s Unsolved Mysteries: The NOSENKO Case, Double Agents and Angleton’s Wilderness of Mirrors features top experts in counterintelligence to discuss unresolved issues from the Cold War:  Tennent "Pete" Bagley-- will discuss his book on KGB defector Yuri Nosenko, with its mysterious connections to Lee Harvey Oswald and John F. Kennedy that kicked off 40 years of unresolved internal strife  
Dave Robarge, Chief Historian for CIA and expert on infamous counterintelligence chief James Angleton, will discuss the controversy created by the former chief of counterintelligence for the Agency by his obsessive hunt for a Soviet mole. 
Brian Kelley, the wrong man in the Robert Hanssen spy case - and former counterintelligence officer for CIA, will use examples of defectors and double agents he uses as case models for courses he teaches to train espionage agents. 
Jerry Schecter, former correspondent for Time magazine in Moscow during the Cold War, and respected expert and author of books on Cold War espionage, was on hand to witness for the press the important cases of defectors and double agents in the heat of the Cold War. 
David Ignatius, former foreign editor - now columnist for the Washington Post - and author of espionage fiction, is respected in the "community" for his insights on the impact of defectors and double agents on the craft of espionage. 
Conference Costs: General Public: $250.00 Seniors: $175.00
AFIO Members, Teachers, Intelligence, Students, Military only $145.00!
Early registration available: Contact Jennifer Hadra at 919-831-0999 or More information and frequent updates at:

Friday 4 April 2008, 5:30 PM - AFIO Metro New York Chapter Spring meeting features exclusive report by Lt. General Robert J. Elder, Jr. Commanding General of the 8th Air Force, the U. S. Cyber Command on "What we're doing about these cyber attacks on our country – Defending the nation TODAY."
In May 2001, Chinese hackers took down the White House Web Site for almost three hours. According to AIR FORCE Magazine, since then, the attacks originating from servers in China have grown in sophistication and intensity.
Just a year ago, the Naval Network Warfare Command acknowledged that Chinese attacks had reached the level of a campaign-style force-on-force engagement.
Last April 26th came the first full-blown cyber assault resembling an act of war. A controversy over moving a bronze statue of a Russian soldier from the center of Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, ended with a massive, coordinated assault on Estonia's cyber institutions. Many commercial and government web sites were shut down.
On Friday, April 4th, General Elder will reveal the remarkable story of how the newly-established U.S. 8th Air Force is using the electromagnetic spectrum first, as cyber defense, then to conduct cyber missions such as defeating remotely triggered IED's in Iraq, conducting electronic warfare, halting terrorist use of the Global Positioning System and satellite communications and preventing jamming.
Location: The University Club, Fifth Ave at 54th St. Reservations are required and are limited by available space. They will be accepted in the order they are received until room capacity is reached. Admission is $45 to cover meeting costs. Meeting begins at 6:00 PM
TO RESERVE: Jerry Goodwin, 646-696-1828 or by email:

17-19 April 2008 - London, UK - The German Historical Institute in London hosts "Keeping Secrets" conference. The German Historical Institute in London is hosting a conference entitled "Keeping Secrets:  How Important was intelligence to the conduct of international relations from 1914 to 1939." Among the scholars expected to speak are Zara Steiner, General William Odom, Christopher Andrew, Ernest May, Paul Kennedy, Gerhard Weinberg, Mark Lowenthal, Richard Aldrich, Georges-Henri Soutou, and David Kahn. The conference will take place at the institute in central London from 17 to 19 April. For further information write Karina Kurbach at <>

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


Disclaimers and Removal Instructions

Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are commentaries on Intelligence and related national security matters, based on open media sources, selected, interpreted, edited and produced for non-profit educational uses by members and WIN subscribers. 

REMOVAL INSTRUCTIONS: We do not wish to add clutter to inboxes. To discontinue receiving the WINs: 

a)  IF YOU ARE A MEMBER -- click here: UNSUBSCRIBE and supply your full name and email address where you receive the WINs. Click SEND, you will be removed from list.  If this link doesn't open a blank email, create one on your own and send to with the words:  REMOVE FROM WINs as the subject, and provide your full name and email address where you are currently receiving them.

 b) IF YOU ARE NOT A MEMBER, and you received this message, someone forwarded this newsletter to you [contrary to AFIO policies]. Forward to the entire WIN or message you received and we will remove the sender from our membership and distribution lists. The problem will be solved for both of us.

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 or for some AOL recipients]. If you wish to change to HTML format, let us know at The HTML feature also does not work for those who access their e-mail using web mail...however NON-HTML recipients may view the latest edition each week in HTML at this link:


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 for back issues of the WINs, information about AFIO, conference agenda and registrations materials, and membership applications and much more!

(c) 2008, AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Suite 303A, McLean, VA 22101. Voice: (703) 790-0320; Fax: (703) 991-1278; Email:

Click here to return to top.