AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #48-08 dated 22 December 2008
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Section I - INTELLIGENCE HIGHLIGHTS
Gates Calls For Action Against Somali Pirates. U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called for steps to combat the rising threat of piracy off the coast of Somalia and said the U.S. needs more intelligence before it embarks on land pursuits.
Gates said companies and ships must use common sense, consider increasing their security personnel and be more vigilant about using recommended routes to stay safe.
Senior U.S. naval officers expressed concerns about pursuing pirates onto Somali territory, a policy advocated in a resolution the Bush administration submitted to the United Nations. While the U.S. is pushing the UN Security Council to authorize such pursuit, the resolution doesn't signal any intention for the U.S. itself to chase pirates onto Somali territory, according to an American official who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The U.S. offered the draft resolution to the council Dec. 11. A vote may be held as early as next week, when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to visit the UN, although questions raised by Indonesia about whether land pursuit would violate international law may delay consideration.
Land pursuit operations would carry a high risk of harming innocent civilians because of the difficulty of identifying those guilty of piracy, U.S. Fifth Fleet spokeswoman Lieutenant Stephanie Murdock said yesterday.
Gates also advised nations to prepare standard operating procedures against seaborne threats including piracy, terrorism, narcotics trafficking and smuggling. He said taking basic steps like speeding up or raising the ladders of the boats would be a good first move.
The U.S. currently has six naval vessels in waters near Somalia, according to Murdock. U.S. allies have another six to eight ships in the region, she said.
The European Union earlier this month authorized deployment of a naval task force off Somalia in an effort to curb the problem. Somali pirates have attacked more than 32 ships, seized 12 of them and taken 230 crew members hostage since October.
Gates, who has been retained as defense secretary by President-elect Barack Obama, made his comments in a speech at the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies Manama Dialogue conference in Bahrain which brought more than twenty countries together to discuss regional security in the Gulf and Middle East. During the speech he promised "continuity" and "commitment" to the region. [Hall/Bloomberg/13December2008]
Belgian Authorities Charge Six as Al-Qaeda. Belgian authorities charged six suspected al-Qaeda-linked extremists with membership in a terrorist group Friday, including a woman they called an "al Qaeda living legend," according to media reports. "Five men and a woman have been charged with membership of a terrorist organization and have been placed in preventive detention," Lieve Pellens, a Belgian prosecutors' office spokeswoman, was quoted by a number of media outlets as saying.
The suspects were among 14 detained in a police swoop as part of an operation to thwart a terror attack being planned to coincide with an EU summit in Brussels.
Those charged had contacts at the "highest levels of al Qaeda," the source said.
The police source added officers "had only 24 hours to act."
The leaders of the European Union's 27 member states are meeting in Brussels Thursday and Friday. It is not clear that the heads of state and government themselves were the target of the planned attack.
The federal prosecutor's office in Belgium identified one of the suspects as Malika El-Aroud, the widow of one of the men who assassinated a key opponent of the Taliban in Afghanistan two days before September 11, 2001.
El-Aroud's late husband was one of two men who killed Ahmed Shah Massoud, a leader of the Northern Alliance, in a suicide mission ordered by Osama Bin Laden.
Belgian police aimed to prevent El-Aroud, whom the police source called an "al-Qaeda living legend," from moving to Afghanistan to play a role in the fight against the coalition forces there, the source said.
She is thought to be a recruiter for the anti-Western network, rather than a fighter, the source said.
Information showed the suspect who was to carry out the attack had received the green light to execute the operation, police said. Investigators noted the suspect had said goodbye to his family "because he wanted to go to paradise with a clear conscience," police said.
Authorities also found a video meant for the suspect's family, which police said was probably a farewell tape. They did not find any explosives, the police said in a statement.
The 14 suspects were arrested after police carried out 16 search warrants in Brussels and one in the western Belgian city of Liege. During those searches, police seized computer equipment and documents and the 14 people, including the three who traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan and 11 others suspected of having given them logistical and material support.
Police said their investigation has been under way intensively since the end of 2007. [CNN/12December2008]
Satellites Spy on Washington from on High. A satellite imaging company provides clear new pix of features on Earth's surface as India mulls the role played by such imagery in the deadly Mumbai attacks.
From its orbit 423 miles above Earth, the GeoEye 1 looks down on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The satellite, launched September 6, can capture natural and man-made features to within nine feet of their actual location on Earth's surface.
Washington, D.C., home of the CIA, National Security Administration (NSA) and FBI, is a well-known haven for spies and surveillance. But new satellite pictures of the White House, Washington Monument and Jefferson Memorial show these government agencies aren't the only ones watching and being watched.
These latest images from Dulles, Va., satellite-imaging company GeoEye, are among the first to be collected by the GeoEye 1, a satellite launched into polar orbit on September 6 that can "see" objects on Earth as small as 16 inches in size in black-and-white mode or 64.6 inches in color. Images from the GeoEye 1, which stands 20 feet high and weighs more than 4,300 pounds, so impressed Google that the Internet search giant plans to add the satellite's high-resolution, digital color photos to Google Earth next month.
GeoEye 1 blasted to its current altitude of 423 miles on board a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta 2 rocket launched from California's Vandenberg Air Force Base. The satellite, built by Gilbert, Ariz.-based General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems orbits Earth 15 times a day, cruising at about a 16,800-mile- per-hour clip.
Pretty pix, perhaps. But critics say there's also a dark side to the satellite's-eye view shots. The terrorists who attacked hotels, cafes and religious centers in Mumbai, India, killing nearly 200 and injuring scores of others late last month, reportedly used global positioning systems (GPS), Blackberries, mobile phones with multiple SIM cards (reducing the likelihood of their calls being traced), and CDs containing high-resolution satellite imagery from Google Earth to coordinate their strikes, the Asia Times reported last week. One option being considered by India's courts is to have Google blur images of sensitive areas in the country until the case is decided, London's Times Online reported earlier this week.
The U.S. Department of Defense is also leery of aerial intrusions and in March ordered its bases and other military installations to ban Google from taking photos of them for its Street View application. Google added the feature to Google Earth in April.
On the flip side, the Indian government is considering offering satellite imagery navigation services that rival Google Earth. The country's Indian Space Research Organization is planning to launch Bhuvan (Sanskrit for "Earth"), which would use a network of satellites to create high-res images of India accessible via the Web for free, according to London's Times Online.
GeoEye points out on its Web site that its technology is exclusively a tool for mapping and that "imagery from high-resolution systems such as the GeoEye 1 satellite is considered to be outside the threshold of personal privacy." At its current resolution, it is impossible to recognize individuals on images, the company says. [Greenemeier/ScientificAmerican/11December2008]
Russian Effort To Define Espionage, Treason Raises Concerns. Human rights activists in Russia are expressing concern over proposed amendments to the Criminal Code defining "espionage" and "state treason."
The amendments were proposed for discussion in the State Duma on December 12.
Moscow Helsinki Group chairwoman Lyudmila Alekseyeva told RFE/RL's Russian Service on December 15 that the amendments would create an all-encompassing definition that could put anyone who visits a foreign country or spoke to a foreigner in jail as a traitor.
Moscow-based lawyer Yury Shmidt said the proposed amendments would abuse human rights and freedoms. [Rferl/16Decemer200]
Russian Military Mulls Buying Israeli Drones. Russia is negotiating with Israel to buy a batch of spy drones, the head of the Russian armed forces said, in what would be its first ever purchase of military hardware from the Jewish state.
Israel sparked concern in Moscow after it previously sold drones to Georgia that were used successfully before and during its August war with Russia.
Russia's weapons industries have failed to supply the military with drones, developing only experimental models that experts have described as outdated.
Gen. Nikolai Makarov, the chief of the general staff of the Russian armed forces, said that Russia would like to buy an unspecified number of drones from Israel.
If finalized, the deal would mark an unprecedented delivery of Israeli military technology to the Russian military.
During the Cold War years, Moscow supplied weapons worth billions of dollars to the Arab nations which fought Israel and barred Jews from living in the Soviet Union.
Israeli defense officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of Russia-Israel ties, confirmed the Russians had asked to buy the drones and said that Israel is considering the request.
Israeli Defense Ministry envoy Amos Gilad will head to Russia Wednesday to try to persuade Russia not to sell advanced air defense missiles to Iran, the defense officials said.
Gilad will also discuss the drone sale in his talks with Russian officials, they said.
Russia's relations with Israel have improved steadily since the Soviet collapse, but some tensions remain.
Israel has been concerned that Russia could sell its enemies, Iran and Syria, advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems. That would make any potential strike at Iran's first nuclear power plant - which Russia is helping to build - more difficult. [Friedman&Isachenkov/AP/17December2008]
Spanish Official Denies CIA Stopovers in Spain. A former Spanish senior official admitted that the former conservative government allowed US flights transporting terrorist suspects to make stopovers in Spain, but denied that stopovers actually took place, judicial sources said.
National Court judge Ismael Moreno questioned Miguel Aguirre de Carcer in the framework of his investigation into alleged flights of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) via Spain between 2002 and 2005.
Aguirre de Carcer wrote a 2002 top secret memo showing that the United States requested permission to fly Taliban and al-Qaeda suspects from Afghanistan via Spain to the US prison camp in Guantanamo, Cuba.
The memo was published recently by the daily El Pais.
Aguirre de Carcer said he and two other officials recommended that Spain accept the US request, but that he did not know whether the final decision was taken by then foreign minister Josep Pique.
Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos earlier told parliament that stopovers had been allowed, but had not occurred. [Monsters&Critics/17December2008]
Muslim Cleric Claims He Has Evidence of Illegal Wiretaps by NSA. Convicted Muslim clerk Ali al-Timimi claims in court papers that he has evidence showing he was illegally wiretapped under the Bush administration's warrantless wiretap program.
Timimi is serving a life sentence after being convicted of inciting terrorism in 2005. A court filing in U.S. District Court in Alexandria said Timimi's lawyers have evidence of illegal wiretaps by the NSA and by "potentially other agencies."
The motion asks U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema of Alexandria, Va., to declare the wiretap program illegal, the story says. Timimi contends his conviction should be overturned because the illegal evidence gathering violated his constitutional rights. Much of the evidence on the wiretap issue has been litigated in secret.
In an October hearing that was later unsealed, Brinkema said the government may have violated federal discovery and evidence rules in the case. She ordered the government to look for additional evidence that it used secret wiretaps in the case. [Wei/Abajournal/17December2008]
India Passes Tough Anti-Terror Laws. India's parliament has voted for tougher anti-terrorism laws including the setting up of an intelligence agency to address security inadequacies exposed by the attacks in Mumbai earlier this month.
The new laws will also double the length of time suspected militants are allowed to be detained without charge. [RadioAustralia/18December2008]
Minister Under Fire for Germany's Role in Iraq. The credibility of Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the Social Democrat who will challenge Chancellor Angela Merkel in national elections in the autumn, came under sharp attack over continuing allegations that - under his tutelage - Germany aided the United States both in its "war on terror" and in the Iraq invasion that Berlin opposed.
In a foretaste of the national election campaign next year, conservatives aligned with Merkel and opposition deputies both sharply attacked Steinmeier's credibility when he appeared - for the fifth time in two years - before a parliamentary committee investigating allegations that German intelligence services were aware of CIA kidnappings, and of prisoner renditions to third countries where torture was permitted, and were involved in preparing the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
As chief of staff for the former Social Democrat chancellor, Gerhard Schröder, Steinmeier was politically responsible for intelligence services and their activities.
As in previous appearances, Steinmeier denied that German intelligence agents based in Baghdad had passed on information to the United States during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, or that he was aware of any renditions that involved the kidnapping of alleged terror suspects for U.S. interrogation.
But the allegations continue to embarrass the Social Democrats. Schröder firmly opposed the Iraq invasion, joined France and Russia in a coalition against it and won re-election in 2002 on the strength of a strong campaign against U.S. policy.
Deputies who support Merkel sharpened their attacks Thursday, capitalizing on a furor stirred this week by a report in Der Spiegel magazine that the German BND intelligence agency played a role in planning some parts of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The magazine cited former U.S. military officers, including General Tommy Franks, who commanded the Iraq invasion. Franks was quoted as telling Der Spiegel: "It would be a huge mistake to underestimate the value of information provided by the Germans. These guys were invaluable," referring to two agents in Iraq. [Dempsey/IHT/18December2008]
Canadian Lawyers Furious Spy Agency Tapping Calls to Terror Suspects. Lawyers defending terrorism suspects expressed outrage Thursday that Canada's spy agency has been listening in on their telephone conversations with their clients and got a judge to end the practice.
Court documents show the Canadian Security Intelligence Service has been monitoring the calls to ensure the suspects don't breach stringent bail conditions.
Federal Court Judge Carolyn Layden-Stevenson publicly released information about the wiretapping in a Toronto court on Thursday.
"The CSIS analyst... listens to all intercepted communications, including solicitor-client communications if any," Layden-Stevenson wrote.
Her summary pertains to phone tapping that occurred in the case of Mahjoub, an Egyptian detained as a threat to public safety because of his alleged ties to al-Qaida.
Mahjoub, who spent more than six years in custody without charge or trial, was released in April 2007 on strict bail conditions that included monitoring by security agents.
To secure his release and so authorities could ensure his communications did not pose a threat to national security, he agreed to having his phone calls tapped.
However, lawyers who act for the men under national security certificates were stunned to find out their confidential communications with their clients were monitored.
Late Thursday, Layden-Stevenson issued an order to the spy agency to cease intercepting such calls and to delete any they inadvertently record.
The lawyers recently became aware of what they called an "outrageous" violation of lawyer-client privilege and demanded answers.
During a secret hearing in Ottawa on Wednesday, a senior agent with the spy service revealed the tapping was being done on behalf of the Canada Border Services Agency.
In all, five foreign Muslim men have been detained as risks to public safety under a controversial national security certificate.
Four have been released on stringent bail conditions, while one remains in detention. [CanadianPress/18December2008]
U.S. Reviews Program on Importer Licensing. The Commerce Department said it may suspend a program that allowed five Chinese companies expedited licensing to import U.S. products that have potential military uses.
The Verified End User program has generated criticism from some national-security experts, members of Congress and nonproliferation groups, who called it a relaxation of export restrictions intended to keep sensitive technology out of the hands of U.S. rivals.
At least two of the companies participating, critics say, have ties to entities that are associated with the Chinese military. Some worried that U.S. technology with dual commercial and military uses could end up in use by the Chinese military. U.S. intelligence and law-enforcement officials have expressed worries that China has ramped up espionage efforts to obtain advanced U.S. technology.
Bush administration officials have said the program was intended to provide a precertification process, to allow companies deemed trustworthy to speed past the thicket of licensing procedures that some U.S. manufacturers say makes them less competitive against rivals in Europe and other regions.
A spokesman for the Chinese Embassy in Washington didn't respond to a request for comment.
The possible suspension comes as negotiations continue between the Commerce Department and the Chinese government to expand on-site reviews of the companies certified to participate. The Washington Times reported on the possible suspension Wednesday.
"We continue to work on an agreement that would formalize procedures for VEU-specific on-site reviews," Mario Mancuso, undersecretary of Commerce for industry and security, said in a statement. "The absence of such procedures does not pose a security risk. However, the lack of an agreement diminishes VEU's trade enhancing benefits, and Commerce is evaluating all options related to the program for China, including suspension."
The program was intended to be open to companies from India, but no companies from that nation were certified before Commerce officials came under fire for the Chinese participation.
President George W. Bush earlier this year ordered a streamlining of export regulations. He was partly responding to complaints from industry that the licensing process used by the State and Commerce departments to approve sensitive military and civilian exports was too cumbersome and was costing U.S. business some selling opportunities overseas.
Commerce officials have said they consulted the Pentagon, the Energy Department and U.S. intelligence agencies, and got their unanimous support before approving all five Chinese companies. [Perez/WSJ/17December2008]
Castro Offers to Exchange Dissidents for "Cuban 5." Cuban President Raul Castro made an unprecedented offer to exchange political dissidents jailed in his country for five Cubans imprisoned in the U.S. for espionage.
Castro, on his first official visit to Brazil, also reiterated Cuba's willingness to discuss the United States' 46-year-old economic embargo with incoming President Barack Obama.
Answering a reporter's question about political prisoners in Cuba, Castro said he would consider releasing some as a gesture to opening talks with the new administration.
But he said the U.S. would need to reciprocate.
"Let's make a gesture for a gesture," said Castro, who took over in February from his ailing brother, Fidel. "We will send those prisoners you talk about (to the United States) with their families. But give us back our five heroes."
The Cuban president referred to the so-called "Cuban Five," who were convicted in 2001 on espionage charges and are lionized in Cuba as heroes. Cuban exile groups in the U.S. say they were justly punished.
U.S. President George W. Bush has taken a hard line against Cuba and would not consider such a trade. State Department spokeswoman Heidi Bronke said the jailed dissidents should be released immediately without conditions.
Obama has never discussed releasing prisoners and has said he will keep the embargo as leverage until Cuba shows "significant steps toward democracy," starting with freedom for approximately 219 jailed political dissidents.
But he has shown more openness toward the communist island. Obama promised during the campaign that immediately after taking office on Jan. 20, he will lift all restrictions on family travel and cash remittances to Cuba - not just roll them back to previous rules that were tightened by the Bush administration.
The five arrested in 1998 acknowledged being Cuban agents but said they were not spying on the United States. They said their focus was on U.S.-based exile groups planning "terrorist" actions against the Castro government. [Sibaja/AP/17December2008]
Russia's Security Service Prevents 97 Terrorist Attacks in 2008. Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers prevented 97 terrorist attacks in 2008 and killed 200 militants and gang leaders, according to the FSB director.
Alexander Bortnikov told a meeting of chief editors from leading Russian media outlets that, "The criminal activity of over 680 bandits and their accomplices has been stopped, 97 terrorist acts, of which 50 were planned to take place in public places, were prevented."
Bortnikov said about 900 people had been convicted of terrorist and extremist crimes, adding that "some 4,000 firearms, over 2 million pieces of ammunition, about 4,000 explosive devices and 8 tons of explosives had been seized."
The FSB director also said the internal security service was currently working in cooperation with 137 intelligence services in 77 countries.
Bortnikov said the FSB had prevented around 55 billion rubles ($2 billion) worth of damage, adding that over 1,300 criminal cases had been launched involving corruption leading to more than 500 people being convicted.
The director said that the FSB had prevented some 48 officials and 101 agents employed by foreign intelligence services from operating in Russia. [Rian/18December2008]
Section II - CONTEXT & PRECEDENCE
Four Really Bad Scenarios: National Security Implications of the Financial Crisis. What's the worst that could happen?
That's a question that James Rickards spends a lot of time pondering these days, as he sifts through the national security implications of the financial crisis facing the United States.
Rickards will lay out his worst case scenarios in a lecture sponsored by the Navy and the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Policy tonight. And his forecasts aren't for the faint of heart.
Rickards calls it the "A to Z" problem: What are the threats that could make the U.S. economy look less like America and more like Zimbabwe? He sees them everywhere - in the Chinese ownership of vast amounts of American debt, in Russia's increased centralization of its economy, in Al Qaeda's long-established fascination with damaging the U.S. economy.
In many ways, Rickards is the ultimate bear. He's not just thinking about whether the stock market will decline, but whether or not the stock market will survive.
All that puts Rickards decidedly outside mainstream economic and political thinking in America. But he does have an influential audience: the United States intelligence and defense communities.
Rickards is a regular adviser on financial issues to the office of the Director of National Intelligence, and he lends his financial advice to the national security community.
His lecture comes as part of an annual "Rethinking Seminar" produced by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Rickards argues that government is not doing nearly enough to prepare for the worst. "Here's the policy problem for the United States," he said in an interview. "We have experts in defense and intelligence, and huge depth in capital markets experience at the Fed and at Treasury. But they're separated by the Potomac River. And they're not talking to each other."
Rickards came by his economic experience the hard way. He was the general counsel at Long Term Capital Management, the hedge fund that collapsed in spectacular fashion in the late 1990s and nearly took the global economy along with it. That near-economic death experience gave him a healthy appreciation for risk. Today, he's the senior managing director for research at Omnis, an applied research firm.
Four of the scenarios keep him up at night:
The Bait Effect
Terrorists, and al Qaeda in particular, are fascinated with the idea of destroying the U.S. economy. Rickards worries that the economic meltdown in the United States could serve as bait of sorts for a terrorist attack, as plotters calculate that a strike now could have a "force multiplier" effect because of the already skittish U.S. stock market.
The China Syndrome
The Chinese own more than $500 billion worth of U.S. Treasury bonds, and billons more in the debt of other U.S. entities such as those held by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. And a general sense of mutually assured financial destruction keeps them from wielding that debt like a weapon: if the Chinese dumped U.S. debt on the global market, their own holdings of U.S. debt would decline in value, the U.S. economy would be damaged, ultimately harming the Chinese economy by reducing American ability to buy more Chinese goods.
They'd have to be crazy to try it. But Rickards points out that governments don't always do the rational thing. And in the meantime, their holdings give the Chinese incredible power over American decision making.
"It gives the Chinese de facto veto power over certain U.S. interest rate and exchange rate decisions," Rickards explained. "For example, there's a limit to how much dollar depreciation the Chinese would tolerate."
That potentially closes off one American economic strategy: allowing the dollar to decline in value in order to help boost U.S. exporters. And China's leverage is only growing as each federal bailout adds to the U.S. deficit.
The Existential Crash
A pessimist by nature, Rickards believes that many economic forecasters are wrong, and the recession will get far worse than predicted.
He sees an epic disaster scenario in which the U.S. gross domestic product declines by a staggering 35 percent over the next six to seven years. Crippling deflation could take hold. Unemployment, he says, could approach 15 percent.
That's a calamitous rate, but it would not be an all time high: unemployment hit 25 percent during the Great Depression.
"The national security community needs to be conversant with this," Rickards said. "In defense, intelligence, and national security, you earn your money by preparing for things that may be remote, but pose an existential threat if they come to pass."
In this scenario, the possibilities for global unrest increase dramatically as a staggering United States retreats from foreign aid and global diplomacy and the list of dangerous failed states grows sharply.
The Alternate-Dollar Nightmare
"The Number One vulnerability is the dollar itself," Rickards concluded. "We're printing them and shoving them out the door, and the Fed is basically out of bullets. So why hasn't the dollar collapsed? The short answer is, global investors don't have any other choice." That is, there simply aren't enough Euro- or Yen-backed securities for investors to shift their money out of dollars and into some other currency.
But what if some kind of global coalition - say a trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund allied with several countries around the world - banded together to create a gold-backed alternative to the dollar?
Rickards says investors - many of whom already resent that they have no alternative to the dollar - would sell American currency in huge numbers to take advantage of the new opportunity. "If that happens, that's the end of the dollar," Rickards said. "You'd have high unemployment, deflation, and interest rates would go up. It would take what already looks like a strong recession and make it a Great Depression or worse."
Still, even Rickards sees a silver lining to all this. He looks around the world to the problems facing other countries such as Russia, China, Iran, and those in the Middle East.
"There are vulnerabilities for the United States, but also opportunities," he said. "I'd rather be the United States than any of these other countries." [Javers/Post-Gazette/17Decmber2008]
The Spy Who Really Came in From the Cold. Several years ago, David Cornwell (better known by his nom de plume, John Le
Carré) told an interviewer that, "espionage was not really something exclusive and clandestine. It was actually the currency of the Cold War. Spies were the poor bloody infantry of the Cold War."
They still are - though these days we are in a different war and battling another pernicious ideology.
Cold War spy novels make for entertaining reading, but the more we learn about the nuts and bolts of what actually went on back then, the more we come to understand that truth is in many ways even more dramatic than fiction.
Consider, for example, the case of Colonel Ryszard Kuklinski. He was a Polish patriot who may have saved his nation, the whole continent of Europe - maybe even the world - from massive suffering at the hands of a Soviet war machine once poised to race from behind Warsaw Pact borders to the Atlantic Ocean.
I recently attended a symposium at Langley on the life and work of this remarkable unsung hero who risked life, limb, and loved ones to pass along vital information at a crucial moment during the Cold War.
Under the watchful eye of CIA Director General Michael V. Hayden, and as part of a very real "social-contract" with this country, voluminous de-classified materials are being made available to researchers and the public at large. General Hayden was a history major back in college days and has not lost his love for thorough and informed analysis of the past. This passion has clearly informed his directorate.
The most recent historical symposium corresponded with the release of materials relating to Rsyzard Kuklinski and his work on our behalf, but especially that of his beloved Poland. In fact, Kuklinski, who died in 2004, did not see himself as working for "us" - rather he consciously recruited America, via the CIA, to work on behalf of Polish freedom during a dark and difficult time.
In August of 1972, Kuklinski sent a letter to the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, West Germany, establishing contact with our intelligence operatives. Signing it "P.V." (later Kuklinski said this stood for "Polish Viking"), this singular act began a relationship that would bear the fruit of literally thousands of vital documents and crucial information helping us to understand Soviet doctrine and intent.
The definitive account of the Polish spy's fascinating story is a book written by Benjamin Weiser, a reporter for the New York Times, entitled, A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, and the Price He Paid to Save His Country. Rsyzard Kuklinski is described at the time of his espionage work as "a small man with tousled hair, penetrating blue eyes and the gestures and mannerisms of a man within whom an unbounded supply of energy is bottled up." He focused that energy on doing everything he could to prevent his country from being sacrificed during the Cold War, as it had been in so many ways during the Second World War.
Kuklinski was motivated by patriotic fear. His role as a high-ranking staff officer made him privy to information about what a major Soviet offensive in Europe would mean. Though always framed via lip service as "defensive" in nature, the Soviet and Warsaw Pact war plans, in fact, were entirely designed to be offensive operations.
The salient point, as far as Kuklinski was concerned, had to do with the so-called Second Strategic Echelon - a massive potential Soviet offensive involving roughly 2 million soldiers and at least a million armored vehicles. Rsyzard and others in a place to know about these plans discerned accurately that the only real response NATO forces would have to counter such a massive Soviet mobilization would be nuclear.
And those bombs would drop, not in Moscow, nor in Western Europe - rather they would obliterate Poland - the perpetual 20th century European pawn.
In fact, the materials passed to us by this highly effective Cold War spy enabled the United States and NATO to effectively plan for such a scenario. And the other guys never knew we had the information.
But even beyond the role he played for us strategically, he also became our eyes and ears during those turbulent months (1980) as the world watched a fledgling political movement known as Solidarity, led by Lech Walesa, begin to achieve political traction in Poland. The world also wondered if and when the Soviets (with the complicity of their puppets in charge of things in Warsaw) would intervene as they had in Budapest (1956) and Prague (1968). It seemed like only a matter of time.
Rsyzard Kuklinski was uniquely positioned in those days to report on what was going on - enabling us, in the waning days of the Carter presidency, to effectively warn the Soviets off. At one point, he sent a 16-page letter to the CIA describing high-level meetings of the Polish government where the discussion included the potential for a Soviet invasion of their country.
And the next year, 1981, as it became clear that the Polish government led by General Wojciech Jaruzelski, was preparing to declare martial law in the land, Kuklinski kept us informed in great detail. He despised Jaruzelski, writing in one covert dispatch that the strongman was "unworthy of the name Pole."
In a dramatic moment on November 2, 1981, Rsyzard Kuklinski was summoned to a meeting in the office of one of his bosses. Six men sat at a T-shaped table and learned that there was a "mole" among them - someone had been leaking information to the Americans. Somehow managing to keep his composure, Kuklinski joined the chorus of voices in the room denouncing such an act of "treason."
But he knew his days were numbered and soon found a way to communicate to his handlers: "I urgently request instructions for evacuating from the country myself and my family. Please take into consideration that the state border is possibly already closed for me and my family."
For several days, CIA personnel in Warsaw tried to carry out a plan to evacuate Rsyzard, his wife, and their two sons. Eventually they were spirited away for the long drive to Berlin. I spoke with the driver during a reception near the famed CIA floor seal in Langley's lobby, and he told me that they managed to get through three checkpoints en route - though acknowledging he still gets chills when thinking about that perilous trip - even 27 years later.
Life in America was no picnic for this Cold War hero and his family. They had to live under an assumed identity and avoid relationships, particularly with Polish-Americans, for years. The two Kuklinski sons met with untimely accidental deaths less than a year apart, breaking the hearts of mom and dad. Questions were raised about the nature of the deaths - one in a boating accident (the body never found) - the other on a college campus, felled by a hit-and-run driver. But no evidence (beyond the circumstantial) was ever discovered that pointed to anything conspiratorial or sinister.
Rsyzard Kuklinski was tried in absentia in 1984 in Poland, found guilty of treason, and sentenced to death. After the Cold War ended, his sentence was commuted to 25 years (something that hurt Kuklinski deeply). In 1995, the chief justice of the Polish Supreme Court annulled his sentence. Then in September of 1997, all charges against him were revoked, enabling him to return to Poland a free man.
In April-May 1998, Rsyzard Kuklinski made an 11-day tour of several Polish cities. He was greeted by some as a hero - on a level with Pope John Paul II. Others, however, protested that he was - and would remain - a traitor.
Lech Walesa, for all his good work in the cause of freedom, never completely accepted Kuklinski's account of things - even suggesting publicly that Rsyzard was a "double-agent" working for the Soviets, as well as the Americans. No such evidence exists - in fact, as new information comes out the case being made that Kuklinski was a Polish patriot and one of the good guys gets stronger and stronger. But Walesa's remarks highlight the tension when "state" becomes synonymous with "country."
Frankly, Rsyzard Kuklinski's work - his willingness to risk it all for what he believed was right - left the world a better place. The Soviet Union eventually fell apart and freedom broke out in his beloved Poland. Neither would have happened had Warsaw Pact nations acted on clearly defined plans for continental - even global - hegemony.
When Kuklinski died in February of 2004, then Director of Central Intelligence, George Tenet said: "This passionate and courageous man helped keep the Cold War from becoming hot, providing the CIA with precious information upon which so many critical national security decisions rested. And he did so for the noblest of reasons - to advance the sacred causes of liberty and peace in his homeland and throughout the world."
Long before that, Rsyzard Kuklinski reflected, "I am pleased that our long, hard struggle has brought peace, freedom, and democracy not only to my country but to many other people as well." So are we. [Stokes/TownHall/21December2008]
Section III - COMMENTARY
Past Tense Pretense, by Clarice Feldman. I confess I do not and never really will understand the workings of large bureaucracies. Correspondence on my desk today confirms that I probably will spend the rest of my sentient days wondering of them, "What were they thinking?"
The troublesome letters indicate that Roland Haas, author of Enter the Past Tense, has been and remains in the employ of the U.S. Army Reserve Command in a sensitive and responsible position - senior intelligence officer. The book he authored claims that at 19 years of age (in 1971) he was recruited by the CIA and that for 19 years from the date of his recruitment to 2000 he assassinated 18 people, including several inside the United States on orders from the CIA.
Of course, such a claim would indicate that the agency has been violating federal law during all that time, including the years it was led by now Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, whom Barack Obama has indicated he intends retain in that position.
More specifically the editorial review of his book, in which Haas admits to alcohol and drug dependency problems, describes the contents like this:
While at Purdue University on an NROTC scholarship in 1971, Roland Haas was recruited to become a CIA deep clandestine operative. He underwent intensive training to prepare for insertion into hostile areas, including High Altitude Low Opening (HALO) parachuting and weapons instruction. In the course of his first mission (to East and West Germany, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bulgaria, Romania, and Austria), he assassinated several international drug dealers. On his return, he was thrown into an Iranian prison, where was physically and psychologically tortured. Over the next thirty years, he served the agency on an as-needed basis, engaging in such activities as hunting down and eliminating members of the Red Army Faction and extracting Soviet Spetsnaz officers from East Germany. His cover jobs included being a part owner of an Oakland health club, which brought him into close contact with steroid abuse in professional athletics, drug abuse in general, and the Hell's Angels, whom he believes tried to have him killed. He also served in Germany as site commander for the Conventional Forces in Europe weapons treaty. His most recent cover was as the deputy director of intelligence in the U.S. Army Reserve Command, which involved him with the Guantanamo detention facility.
I have neither read his book nor do I intend to, but former CIA employees have refuted his claims online and to his present employer (the U.S. Army Reserve) noting among other things:
The CIA does not assassinate people. Executive Order 12333 forbids it. Certainly it has not in the period of time that Haas claims to have been employed there.
The CIA does not recruit anyone let alone an 18 year old, to be an assassin.
Haas claims to have had some bad trips on LSD. No CIA applicant who acknowledged LSD use was hired. Haas claimed as well to have continued to use drugs after his recruitment, but that seems unlikely to have been missed in regular polygraph tests of agents.
He never explains how he avoided the draft, but in that period of time CIA employees were drafted while serving in the agency and did not get deferments.
He claims to have undertaken covert operations under his own name; an assertion deemed the epitome of poor tradecraft.
He doesn't explain why he was selected to go to Guantanamo in his present position, and the only explanation is a TDY boondoggle, of a piece with hiring him and granting him a security clearance at all and then failing to terminate him when it became apparent that he lacks the sort of character any rational person would consider the sine qua non of a grant of a security clearance. Haas himself has said, "In fact, no one who admitted the dependencies I had would also NEVER, EVER, be granted this level of clearance." So why does he have such a clearance now after admitting such dependencies?
The very nature of his book and subsequent employment by the U.S. Army suggest (a) the book was fabricated and the Army doesn't care, or (b) he violated every secret of his prior employment (it was never reviewed by the agency's Publications Review board as all books by CIA employees must be) and the Army nevertheless thinks he's just the ticket for classified employment.
That his story itself is preposterous goes without question. Replete as it is with James Bond-like tales of derring do as a captive of the Iranians, released through the auspices of the CIA and then continued on as a covert agent; meeting and killing Afghan drug dealers; killing an East German cop who stopped him; being sent on a mission into East Germany when he was suffering from stress, no intelligence officer I can find considers it even remotely credible.
Several have tried to make his employer aware of the problems with the book and have met with - to me - an astonishingly nonchalant response to their heartfelt assertions that the book debases the agency and this government.
Among the military the retired officers have contacted, contending that Haas "has stained the honor of our government and its intelligence apparatus" and that his "employment in an intelligence capacity with the Army Reserve Command" should be a source of "embarrassment to his superiors" are Brigadier General Anne F. Macdonald, Col. Charles E. Phillips and General Stultz.
In the latest response received to these letters, Colonel Stephen E Castlen, Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters , U.S. Army Reserve wrote that "The United States Army Reserve Command neither endorses nor discredits the accounts in Enter the Past Tense. ...We do not have any position regarding the veracity of his claims."
Neither the complaining retiree nor I can see the truth in this defense. If Haas' book is a fabrication -given its nature (it's not purporting to be fiction) - continuing to employ the author in "a sensitive and responsible position, the U.S. Army Reserve Command has in effect taken a clear position supporting the veracity of his claims."
Maybe someone in Congress can get to the bottom of this.
Or maybe Secretary Gates will get wind of it and straighten out this matter.
In the meantime, I can only ask of the Army Reserve Command: Whatever are you thinking? [Feldman/AmericanThinker/20Deember2008]
Section III - RESEARCH, READING AND COMING EVENTS
Did you know Donald W. Farley, CIA Office of Medical Services (OMS) from 1951-1966?I am looking for anyone who knew or worked with the late Donald W. Farley. Farley was a former Navy Corpsman and veteran of Iwo Jima who served as a medic in CIA Office of Medical Services (OMS) from 1951-1966. Farley served on Taiwan, Atsugi, Cherat Pakistan, Beirut, Saigon and other TDY assignments. He was wounded and lost his sight during the March 30, 1965 bombing of the US Embassy in Saigon and retired in 1966. I can be reached by email at email@example.com. Thanks, Jonathan D. Clemente, MD
Reading. If you are looking for a good book for the intelligence enthusiast on your Christmas list, we again suggest a visit to The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf on the CIA website, Hayden B. Peake does an exceptional job of compiling and reviewing recent intelligence publications. In the September 2008 publication, Mr. Peake reviews the following publications and many of these reviews also appear in AFIO's Intelligencer Journal on the way to all current members.:
* Analyzing Intelligence: Origins, Obstacles, and Innovations, Roger Z. George and James B. Bruce
* The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Shenon
* Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century, Marc Sageman
* The Search For WMD: Non-Proliferation, Intelligence and Pre-emption in the New Security Environment, Graham F. Walker (ed.)
* Still Broken: A Recruit's Inside Account of Intelligence Failures, From Baghdad to the Pentagon, A. J. Rossmiller
* Why Spy?: Espionage In An Age of Uncertainty, Frederick P. Hitz
* The Agency and The Hill: CIA's Relationship with Congress, 1946-2004, L. Britt Snider
* Communicating with Intelligence: Writing and Briefing in the Intelligence and National Security Communities, James S. Major
* The Hunt for Nazi Spies: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France, Simon Kitson
* Military Intelligence and the Arab Revolt: The First Modern Intelligence War, Polly A. Mohs
* Operation Freshman: The Hunt for Hitler's Heavy Water, Jostein Berglyd
* Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA, Jefferson Morley
* Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi's Spy-Tech World, Kristie Macrakis
* The Sixth Man: the extraordinary life of Paddy Costello, James McNeish
* Spies in Arabia: The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain's Covert Empire in the Middle East, Pryia Satia
* Spies in the Empire: Victorian Military Intelligence, Stephen Wade
* STASI Decorations and Memorabilia: A Collectors Guide, Ralph Pickard
* My Years In a Pakistani Prison: The Untold Story of Kishorilal, alias Amaril Singh, alias Saleem, an Indian Spy in Pakistan, Kishorilal Sharma
Another excellent bibliographic website providing a guide to a large number of intelligence books, is maintained by Prof [former CIA officer} J. Ransom Clark at http://intellit.org/index.html
EVENTS IN COMING TWO MONTHS....
Tuesday, 13 January 2009, 6:30 p.m. - Williamsburg, VA - The new AFIO Hampton Roads Chapter has planned a meeting at Williamsburg Public Library. For details and further information contact Melissa Saunders at firstname.lastname@example.org
15 January 2009 – San Francisco, CA – The AFIO Jim Quesada Chapter hosts Stanislav Levchenko, former Russian KGB Major. Levchenko defected to the United States in October 1979, and was
instrumental in detailing the KGB's Japanese spy network to the U.S
government, including Congressional testimony in the early 1980’s. A
Soviet court condemned Levchenko to death in 1981. Levchenko published
his autobiography, On the Wrong Side: My Life in the KGB, in 1988.
Major Levchenko's talk will focus on the new Russia and its imperial
The meeting will be held at United Irish Cultural Center, 2700 45th Avenue, San Francisco (between Sloat and Wawona). 11:30 AM no host cocktails; noon - luncheon. $25 member rate with advance reservation and payment; $35 non-member rate. RSVP required. E-mail RSVP to Mariko Kawaguchi (please indicate meat or fish) no later than 5PM 1/05/09: email@example.com or mail check made out to "AFIO" to: Mariko Kawaguchi, PO Box 117578 Burlingame, CA 94011. (650) 622-9840 X608.
18 January 2009, 4 p.m. - Charles, IL - The AFIO Midwest Chapter meeting. The AFIO Midwest Chapter meeting will be held at the St. Charles Place Restaurant. Speaker tba.
The St. Charles Place Restaurant is at 2550 E Main Street, St Charles, IL. Contact Angelo DiLiberti for details: 847-931-4184. Please reply ASAP. New members welcome.
-21 February 2009 - Baltimore, MD - Ethics in the Intelligence
Community 2009 - The 4th Annual Conference of the International
Intelligence Ethics Association
List of topics
• The Foundations of Ethics in Intelligence
• The Ethics of Intelligence Assassinations: The Israeli Experience
• The Application of Stakeholder Analysis to Covert Action
• Legitimizing Intelligence Ethics: A Comparison to Ethics in Business
• Surreptitious Physical Searches: An Ethics of Privacy
• Many Spheres of Harm: What's Wrong with Intelligence Collection
• The Ethical Implications of the Downing Street Memos
• The Role of Ethics Reform in Turkey's Bid to Join the EU
• Evolution of British Intelligence & Counter-Terrorism: Northern Ireland, 1969 - 1998.
Location: The Johns Hopkins University at Mt. Washington Conference Center Baltimore, Maryland
Register now and save $50.00. This year, on-line registration is available and encouraged by all attendees. You can reserve your space at the conference and get a hotel room at the same time!
Registration Fees: Individual - Institution - $450; Individual - $375; Student - $250
For more information about registration fees, including fees for early and late registration, go to http://intelligence-ethics.org/conference/09/index.html.
Registration fees include continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Friday, and continental breakfast and lunch on Saturday.
Lodging: The Mt. Washington Conference Center has 48 guestrooms for conference attendees. Single rooms with a queen-size bed and double rooms with two double beds are available.
The room rate is $150 per night.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contract us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
22 January 2009, 12:30-2:00 p.m. - Los Angeles, CA - AFIO Los Angeles Chapter meeting. The AFIO L.A. chapter event features Mark Gorwitz a private researcher with expertise in the nuclear
proliferation area on the topic of Iran's nuclear program at the LMU campus. Please RSVP via email by January 16, 2009 AFIO_LA@yahoo.com
26 February 2009, Noon to 1 pm - Washington, DC - The Spy Within: Larry Chin and China’s Penetration of the CIA
In October 1982, the FBI received chilling information from the CIA—the Agency had learned China was running a spy inside US intelligence, but the spy’s identity, where he worked and for how long, and what information he was passing was unknown. Over the next three years, investigators worked frantically to identify the mole, to discover the secrets he’d betrayed and the agents he’d endangered, and to collect the evidence to prosecute him for his betrayal. The investigation ultimately revealed that for more than thirty years, Larry Chin, the CIA’s leading Chinese linguist, had been a top Chinese penetration of the Agency. In the first book to explore Chin’s betrayal, Tod Hoffman uses exclusive interviews, previously unreleased documents, and his own practical expertise as a former spy-catcher for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service to spin a captivating cat-and-mouse tale. Join Hoffman as he discusses the untold story of one of America’s biggest spy cases.
International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: No registration required. Free.
4 March 2009, 6:30 p.m. - Washington, DC - Josephine Baker: Singer, Dancer, Spy - A discussion at Spy Museum
“I am ready to give the Parisians my life.”—Josephine Baker
From Broadway to the Rue Fontaine, the extraordinary Josephine Baker was the toast of the international nightclub circuit. Born in the United States, the talented African American singer-dancer moved to France to escape racism in America and became an enormous star. She triumphed at the Folies Bergère and enjoyed the acclaim of European society. Her affection for France was so great that when World War II broke out, she volunteered to spy for her adopted country. Her café society fame enabled her to rub shoulders with those in the know, from high-ranking Japanese officials to Italian bureaucrats, and report back what she heard. She heroically stayed in France after the invasion working closely with the French Resistance to undermine the Nazi occupation. Her espionage exploits are just one chapter in Baker’s extraordinary life. Join Jonna Mendez, former CIA chief of disguise, as she reveals Baker’s intelligence work and places it in the context of her exciting and celebrated life.
International Spy Museum, 800 F Street, NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
TICKETS: $15; Advance Registration required. Tickets are non-refundable and do not include admission to the International Spy Museum. To register, call 202.393.7798; order online at www.spymuseum.org; or purchase tickets in person at the International Spy Museum.
5 - 6 March 2009 - Houston, TX - "Terrorism, Crime & Business" Symposium - Understanding the Fundamental Legal and Security Liability Issues for
American Business. A conference sponsored by St. Mary's University.,
School of Law, Center for Terrorism Law. Four
Main Symposium Themes: • An overview of the aims and objectives of the
global terror threat posed by al-Qa’eda-styled terror groups, sub-State
terror groups, and “lone-wolf” terrorists.
• An analysis of the specific threats to American business sectors that are deemed part of the nation’s “critical infrastructure,” i.e., energy, petrochemical, electric utilities, communication, transportation, health, banking and finance, agriculture, water and shipping. • An understanding of the varied legal issues associated with terrorism and criminal negligence claims against businesses that have suffered a terror attack or serious criminal act in cyberspace or the physical world. • A comprehensive review of how to develop appropriate physical security methods.
SPEAKERS and LOCATION: The symposium will be held at the Federal Reserve Bank, 1801 Allen Parkway, Houston, Texas. The registration fee is $300.00, which includes breakout refreshments, a hosted lunch,
and extensive printed materials, e.g., Terrorism Law: Materials, Cases, Comments (5th Ed. 2009). Participants may qualify for Continuing Legal Education Credits (CLE). For registration information and details, contact Ms. Faithe Campbell at (210) 431-2219; email@example.com. Additional information is also available at the Center for Terrorism Law website: www.stmarytx.edu/ctl.
26 - 27 March 2009 - Raleigh, NC - "Sexspionage" The 6th annual Raleigh Spy Conference salutes lady spies - and their counterparts on the other side - with
expert speakers delivering riveting tales of Sexspionage, the new term
characterizing the current emphasis on gender in the murky world of
international intrigue. Lady spies have played a crucial role in
espionage for centuries, from ancient civilizations through the
Biblical era, world wars, the Cold War and today's sophisticated
environment of modern espionage. As the flood of newly declassified
documents over the past 15 years attests, female operatives were
responsible for many of the most daring intelligent operations of the
modern era - while others played a notorious role working against the
US. And the role of sex in spy adventures has taken center stage though
Speakers: Brian Kelley, retired CIA operations officer, presents videotaped, jailhouse interviews of convicted spies and their wives (the spouses of former FBI agents Earl Pitts and Richard Miller along with the former wife of CIA officer, Jim Nicholson); wives who were complicit in their husband's espionage (Barbara Walker, Anne Henderson Pollard and Rosario Ames) along with an interview of the former Soviet citizen who seduced FBI agent Richard Miller on behalf of the KGB.
Ron Olive, retired special agent from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and author of "Capturing Jonathan Pollard: How One of the Most Notorious Spies in American History was Brought to Justice," that uncovered the role of Pollard's wife Anne.
I.C. Smith, former FBI Special Agent, presents the story of Katrina Leung, known inside the FBI as "Parlor Maid," who managed to seduce her two FBI case agents, compromising them during the course of the twenty year operation. She was first used by the FBI as a double agent, then "doubled back" or "tripled" by Chinese intelligence against the FBI and later becoming the only known "quadruple" (re-doubled back against the Chinese by the FBI) agent yet exposed.
Terry Crowdy, British espionage writer and researcher will offer the role of female spies and tales of seduction from antiquity, the Christian era to modern lady spies at work today. Crowdy's book "The Enemy Within" is considered one of the top surveys of espionage.
Nigel West, the keynote speaker, is a former MP - and a leading expert on modern espionage. He is the author of the forthcoming "Historical Dictionary of Sexspionage," due out before the conference.
Costs: Full registration for all sessions and one ticket to the Spy Gala: $250
For this special conference, ladies are invited to attend for $125.00, one-half off the registration cost.
Veterans, members of the military and the intelligence community: $175
Seniors over 62, teachers and students: $145.
Special discount for ladies! Only $125.000 for the entire conference package.
You can register online or call 919-831-0999. http://www.raleighspyconference.com
Event Location: Plans are under way to hold the 6th Raleigh Spy Conference at the Museum of History. Stay tuned for more details as event plans are finalized.
2 May 2009 - Washington, DC - The OSS Society William J. Donovan Award Dinner Honors General David H. Petraeus, USA, Commander, United States Central Command at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC. Black Tie/Dress Mess. Cocktails, $150 pp. 6:30 p.m., Dinner 7:30 p.m. For further information or to register call 703-356-6667 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org
For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events
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