[IWAR] Erich Mielke, Iraq-NSA connection

From: Mark Hedges (hedgesat_private)
Date: Sun Feb 15 1998 - 23:49:43 PST

  • Next message: Mark Hedges: "[IWAR] MYTH AND LEGEND: way beyond MJ-12"

    Two articles. Cypherpunks rocks. -hedges-
    >X-ROUTED: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 20:35:58 -0500
    >X-TCP-IDENTITY: Billp
    >Date: Sun, 15 Feb 1998 20:13:41 -0700
    >From: bill payne <<billpat_private>
    >MIME-Version: 1.0
    >To: j orlin grabbe <<kallisteat_private>
    >CC: cyberia-lat_private, ukcryptoat_private,
    >        cryptographyat_private, cypherpunksat_private, kaiat_private
    >Subject: Erich Mielke
    >Sender: owner-cypherpunksat_private
    >Precedence: first-class
    >Reply-To: bill payne <<billpat_private>
    >X-Loop: cypherpunksat_private
    >Sunday 2/15/98 7:52 PM
    >J Orlin Grabbe
    >Albuquerque Journal  h 2/5/98
    >  Ex-Spy Denied Extra Pension
    >    BERLIN - The former head of the East
    >  German secret police, a lifelong communist
    >  who fled Germany in the 1930s to avoid
    >  the Nazis, is not entitled to extra pension
    >  money for the time he spent in exile, a 
    >  court ruled Wednesday.
    >    One the No. 2 man in East Germany, Erich
    >  Mielke, 90, now lives in seclusion with his 
    >  wife in an apartment in eastern Berlin.  His
    >  monthly pension, according to German media,
    >  is just under $55 a month.
    >    Hoping to boost his income, he applied to Berlin
    >  authorities for a supplemental pension for the
    >  years he spent in Moscow and Spain, 1931 until 
    >  the end of  World War II.
    >    But the court ruled that the main reason for his
    >  exile was not fear of persecution, but for his 
    >  involvement as a young communist street fighter
    >  in the killing of two Berlin policemen on Aug. 9,
    >  1931.
    >Your attached article ALSO may include Mielke.
    >Grabbe, a LOT of guys wanted to find out what 
    >happened.  Israel too.
    >Let's all hope for settlement of this unfortunate
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    >    <<mailto:kallisteat_private> [Email Reply]  
    > NSA, Crypto AG, and the Iraq-Iran Conflict 
    >           by J. Orlin Grabbe 
    > 	One of the dirty little secrets of the 1980s is that  the U.S.
    regularly provided Iraq's Saddam Hussein with  top-secret communication
    intercepts by the U.S. National  Security Agency (NSA).  Consider the
    > 	When in 1991 the government of Kuwait paid the  public relations
    firm of Hill & Knowlton ten million  dollars to drum up American war
    fever against the evil  dictator Hussein, it brought about the end of a
    long legacy  of cooperation between the U.S. and Iraq.  Hill & 
    Knowlton resurrected the World War I propaganda story  about German
    soldiers roasting Belgian babies on  bayonets, updated in the form of a
    confidential witness  (actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador
    to the  U.S.) who told Congress a tearful story of Iraqi soldiers 
    taking Kuwaiti babies out of incubators and leaving them  on the cold
    floor to die.  President George Bush then  repeated this fabricated
    tale in speeches ten times over the  next three days. 
    > 	What is remarkable about this staged turn of  events is that, until
    then, Hussein had operated largely  with U.S. approval.  This
    cooperation had spanned three  successive administrations, starting
    with Jimmy Carter.   As noted by John R. MacArthur, "From 1980 to 1988,
     Hussein had shouldered the burden of killing about  150,000 Iranians,
    in addition to at least thirteen thousand  of his own citizens,
    including several thousand unarmed  Kurdish civilians, and in the
    process won the admiration  and support of elements of three successive
    U.S.  Administrations" [1]. 
    > 	Hussein's artful slaughter of Iranians was aided by  good military
    intelligence.  The role of NSA in the  conflict is an open secret in
    Europe, the Middle East, and  Asia.  Only in this country has there
    been a relative news  blackout, despite the fact that it was the U.S. 
    administration that let the crypto cat out of the bag.   
    > 	First, U.S. President Ronald Reagan informed the  world on national
    television that the United States was  reading Libyan communications. 
    This admission was part  of a speech justifying the retaliatory bombing
    of Libya for  its alleged involvement in the La Belle discotheque 
    bombing in Berlin's Schoeneberg district, where two U.S.  soldiers and
    a Turkish woman were killed, and 200 others  injured. Reagan wasn't
    talking about American  monitoring of Libyan news broadcasts. Rather,
    his "direct,  precise, and undeniable proof"  referred to secret 
    (encrypted) diplomatic communication between Tripoli  and the Libyan
    embassy in East Berlin. 
    > 	Next, this leak was compound by the U.S.  demonstration that it was
    also reading secret Iranian  communications.  As reported in
    Switzerland's <italic>Neue  Zurcher Zeitung</italic>,  the U.S.
    provided the contents of  encrypted Iranian messages to France to
    assist in the  conviction of Ali Vakili Rad and Massoud Hendi for the 
    stabbing death in the Paris suburb of Suresnes of the  former Iranian
    prime minister Shahpour Bakhtiar and his  personal secretary Katibeh
    Fallouch. [2] 
    >  	What these two countries had in common was they  had both purchased
    cryptographic communication  equipment from the Swiss firm Crypto AG.
    Crypto AG  was founded in 1952 by the (Russian-born) Swedish 
    cryptographer Boris Hagelin who located his company in   Zug.  Boris
    had created the "Hagelin-machine", a  encryption device similar to the
    German "Enigma".  The  Hagelin machine was used on the side of the
    Allies in  World War II. 
    > 	Crypto AG was an old and venerable firm, and  Switzerland was a
    neutral country. So Crypto AG's  enciphering devices for voice
    communication and digital  data networks were popular, and customers
    came from  130 countries. These included the Vatican, as well the 
    governments of Iraq, Iran, and Libya.  Such countries  were naturally
    skeptical of cryptographic devices sold in  many NATO countries, so
    turned to relatively neutral  Switzerland for communication security. 
    > 	Iran demonstrated its suspicion about the source of  the leaks, when
    it arrested Hans Buehler, a top salesman  for Crypto AG, in Teheran on
    March 18, 1992.  During  his nine and a half months of solitary
    confinement in Evin  prison in Teheran, Buehler was questioned again
    and  again whether he had leaked Teheran's codes or Libya's  keys to
    Western powers.  Luckily Buehler didn't know  anything.  He in fact
    believed in his own sales pitch that  Crypto AG was a neutral company
    and its equipment was  the best.  They were Swiss, after all.  [3] 
    > 	Crypto AG eventually paid one million dollars for  Buehler's release
    in January 1993, then promptly fired  him once they had reassured
    themselves that he hadn't  revealed anything important under
    interrogation, and  because Buehler had begun to ask some embarrassing 
    questions. Then reports appeared on Swiss television,  Swiss Radio
    International, all the major Swiss papers, and  in German magazines
    like <italic>Der Spiegel</italic>.  Had Crypto AG's  equipment been
    spiked by Western intelligence services?  the media wanted to know. The
    answer was Yes [4]. 
    > 	 Swiss television traced the ownership of Crypto  AG to a company in
    Liechtenstein, and from there back to  a trust company in Munich. A
    witness appearing on Swiss  television explained the real owner was the
    German  government--the Federal Estates Administration. [5] 
    >         According to <italic>Der Spiegel</italic>, all but 6 of the
    6000  shares of Crypto AG were at one time owned by Eugen  Freiberger,
    who resided in Munich and was head of the  Crypto AG managing board in
    1982. Another German,  Josef Bauer, an authorized tax agent of the
    Muenchner  Treuhandgesellschaft KPMG, and who was elected to the 
    managing board in 1970, stated that his mandate had  come from the
    German company Siemens.  Other  members of Crypto AG's management had
    also worked at  Siemens. Was the German secret service, the 
    Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), hiding behind the  Siemens' connection?
    >         So it would seem.  <italic>Der Spiegel</italic> reported that
    in  October 1970, a secret meeting of the BND had discussed  how the
    Swiss company Graettner could be guided into  closer cooperation with
    Crypto AG, or could even merged  with it. The BND additionally
    considered how "the  Swedish company Ericsson could be influenced
    through  Siemens to terminate its own cryptographic business." [6] 
    > 	A former employee of Crypto AG reported that he  had to coordinate
    his developments with "people from  Bad Godesberg". This was the
    location of the "central  office for encryption affairs" of the BND,
    and the service  instructed Crypto AG what algorithms to use to create
    the  codes.  The employee also remembers an American  "watcher", who
    strongly demanded the use of certain  encryption methods. 
    > 	Representatives from NSA visited Crypto AG  often. A memorandum of 
    a secret workshop at Crypto  AG in August 1975, where a new prototype
    of an  encryption device was demonstrated, mentions the  participation
    of Nora L. Mackebee, an NSA  cryptographer. Motorola engineer Bob
    Newman says that  Mackebee was introduced to him as a "consultant".  
    Motorola cooperated with Crypto AG in the seventies in  developing a
    new generation of electronic encryption  machines.   The Americans
    "knew Zug very well and gave  travel tips to the Motorola people for
    the visit at Crypto  AG," Newman told <italic>Der Spiegel</italic>. 
    > 	Knowledgeable sources indicate that the Crypto  AG enciphering
    process, developed in cooperation with  the NSA and the German company
    Siemans, involved  secretly embedding the decryption key in the cipher
    text.   Those who knew where to look could monitor the  encrypted
    communication, then extract the decryption key  that was also part of
    the transmission, and recover the  plain text message.  Decryption of a
    message by a  knowledgeable third party was not any more difficult than
    it was for the intended receiver.  (More than one method  was used. 
    Sometimes the algorithm was simply deficient,  with built-in
    exploitable weaknesses.) 
    > 	Crypto AG denies all this, of course, saying such  reports are
    ""pure invention". 
    > 	What information was provided to Saddam  Hussein exactly?  Answers
    to this question are currently  being sought in a lawsuit against NSA
    in New Mexico,  which has asked to see "all Iranian messages and 
    translations between January 1, 1980 and June 10, 1996".  [7] 
    > 	The passage of top-secret communications  intelligence to someone
    like Saddam Hussein brings up  other questions.  Which dictator is the
    U.S. passing top  secret messages to currently?  Jiang Zemin?  Boris 
    > 	Will Saddam Hussein again become a recipient of  NSA largess if he
    returns to the mass slaughter of  Iranians?  What exactly is the
    purpose of NSA anyway? 
    > 	One more question:  Who is reading the Pope's  communications? 
    > Bibliography 
    > [1] John R. MacArthur, <italic>Second Front: Censorship and 
    Propaganda in the Gulf War</italic>, Hill and Wang, New York,  1992. 
    > [2] Some of the background of this assassination can be  found in
    "The Tehran Connection," <italic>Time Magazine</italic>,  March 21,
    > [3] The Buehler case is detailed in Res Strehle, 
    <italic>Verschleusselt: der Fall Hans Beuhler</italic>, Werd Verlag, 
    Zurich, 1994.   
    > [4] "For years, NSA secretly rigged Crypto AG machines  so that U.S.
    eavesdroppers could easily break their codes,  according to former
    company employees whose story is  supported by company documents,"  "No
    Such Agency,  Part 4: Rigging the Game," <italic>The Baltimore
    Sun</italic>, December  4, 1995. 
    > [5] Reported in programs about the Buehler case that were  broadcast
    on Swiss Radio International on May 15, 1994  and July 18, 1994. 
    > [6]  "Wer ist der befugte Vierte?":  Geheimdienste  unterwandern den
    Schutz von Verschlusselungsgeraten,"  <italic>Der Spiegel</italic> 36,
    > [7] U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico,  William H.
    Payne, Arthur R. Morales, Plaintiffs, v.  Lieutenant General Kenneth A.
    Minihan, USAF, Director  of National Security Agency, National Security
    Agency,  Defendant, CIV NO 97 0266 SC/DJS. 
    > November 2, 1997
    > Web Page: http://www.aci.net/kalliste/  

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