Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Document of the Week: State Deparment Cable on Ante Gotovina's Capture

Again, I was late with the Document of the Week. This week's Document of the Week is a 12/08/05 cable from the US embassy in Zagreb to Foggy Bottom providing the details of how Ante Gotovina was captured. Citing sources within Croatian intelligence and (probably) the ICTY, (1)  the US Embassy writes that Spanish intelligence, the Croatian Intelligence Agency (IA) and the Croatian Counter Intelligence Agency (POA), and select ICTY officials tracked him for months.The cable also noted that Gotovina's arrest "marked a major step forward for Croatian law enforcement, as no word of this effort had leaked to the public during the multi-month operation."

(1) Given the cable redacts the name of the informant, there is no way to know for sure at this time. Given the cable is not sent to the American embassy in Madrid, this leads to me to believe that the cable's named source is not from the Spanish government. Nothing more than a hunch leads me to conclude that the source if from the ICTY instead of Croatian.

(2) This cable was photocopied in an effort to cover up some food stains. It failed. Even worse the photocopy of the cable was shrunk. To make it more readable and to reduce its size, I axed a lot of white space.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ante Markovic's Throat Surgery and Its Greater Significance

Despite the concern over the political impact of his absence shown in this cable, I doubt the absence of Ante Markovic, the last prime minister of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, due to surgery for an unknown throat concern had much impact on the course of Yugoslav history.

However, one should consider this cable in the broader FOIA context. This document discusses the personal medical history of a still living individual and was released intact with no redactions.  In contrast, the FBI will not even considering releasing the FBI files of living individuals who have been tried and convicted within the federal court system. Nor will they release the FBI files of prominent
American leaders such as Joe Biden or Barack Obama despite the fact an argument can be made that their prominence and positions of authority overrule their b(6) privacy rights under FOIA.

Finally, does anyone know what Markovic's condition was? I cannot find any information on it in the secondary literature, any other declassified and released State Department cable, or memoir of a participant.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Document(s) of the Week# 16 The Renatta Predmore Case

In the mid 1970s, Renatta Predmore filed a lawsuit against the NSA after she discovered she was denied a promotion due to her gender.  She prevailed.  The 1976 settlement of her case forced the NSA to include a woman on every promotion board. In 1980, a codicil amending this settlement compelled the NSA to to publish the male/female composition of their promotion boards each year. (1) Below are copies of those documents

Women in NSA Documents                                                           

A NSA history concedes that lawsuit did not totally end discrimination, but giving "a fair hearing for women at promotion time." (2) However as James Bamford documented in Body of Secret,  the NSA still had serious deficiencies in this regard. (3)

(1) Jill Frahm, From Librarians to Leadership: Women at NSA, Cryptologic Almanac 50th Anniversary Series http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/crypto_almanac_50th/From_Librarians_to_Leadership.pdf
(2) Jill Frahm, From Librarians to Leadership: Women at NSA, Cryptologic Almanac 50th Anniversary Series http://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/crypto_almanac_50th/From_Librarians_to_Leadership.pdf
(3) James Bamford, Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency, (New York: Anchor Books: 2002) 559-60

Monday, May 9, 2011

Document of the Week #15 CIA Report on Terrorist Attacks on American Business Abroad

In the hubbub spawned by the successful whacking of Osama Bin Laden, I totally forgot to post a Document of the Week. By the time I remembered to do so, it was already Thursday and I simply decided to shelve it until next week.

This Document of the Week is a June 1982 CIA report on terrorist attacks against American businesses aboard between January 1968 through December 1981. Twenty pages in length, the report includes several interesting graphs and numerous factoids that challenge the post-9/11 narrative that terrorism was unknown to the United States and its American inhabitants.

In the 14-year span covered by the report, the CIA noted there almost a thousand terrorist attacks against American business interests by foreign terrorists. Of the 953 attacks carried out by 98 different foreign terrorist organizations against American businesses, 144 of them caused casualties. The number of attacks increased from 1968 until they peaked in 1974 when they began a decline that was interrupted by an uptick in 1978 due to the events in Iran. During this time period, Argentina was the site of the most attacks against American businesses keeping with Latin America being the geographic location of the most attacks Argentinian terrorist organization Montoneros was the group responsible for the most terrorist attacks against American interests in the time period covered by the report. The Western Europe and the Middle East were each the locations of 18% of the total attacks followed by the North America (which includes the United States saw 16% of the total attacks.

This report does have some noticeable errors. A while back, I posted a similar CIA focused on skyjackings of American aircraft, which listed attacks by Croatian and Serbian nationalists groups opposed to the former Yugoslavia. This report lists and mentions  those acts (calling them skyjackings) but fails to list the groups responsible for them.

CIA Report on Terrorist Attacks on American Businesses                                                           

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Croatian Dissident Bruno Busic's CIA Files

In response to a FOIA request I had submitted for the records of Croatian dissident nationalist and the manifesto writer for the hijackers of TWA-355 Bruno Busic, the CIA released fifteen pages of records (and invoked Glomar regarding the existence or non-existence of any other records), just finished intelligence reports, on him. The first document is a single page from the 21 September 1972 Eastern Europe Intelligencer in which the CIA reported that Busic, Franjo Tudjman, and another man were on trial, accused of working with “unspecified foreign intelligence service,” which in the case of Busic meant the CIA. The CIA also made note of Busic's contacts with emigre Croatian radicals.

The next document is the entire 14 December 1971 Central Intelligence Bulletin in which Busic was discussed. Sandwiched between a redacted in its entirety article and an article on the controversy very over the Soviet intention to open an embassy in Costa Rica is a page long article on the crackdown on Croatian nationalists by the Yugoslav government. At least thirty people, including Bruno Busic, were arrested and the Yugoslav government denounced their actions and threatened further interventions to maintain order. 

Bruno Busic's CIA Records