Barbara Starr


Starr, Barbara. "High-Tech Eyes in the Sky Verify Kosovo Agreement: Snooping on the Serbs.", 28 Oct. 1998. []

"[N]ow that [Yugoslav President Slobodan] Milosevic has largely complied with NATO's demands to pull his troops out of Kosovo, the alliance is relying on a variety of high-tech satellites, spy planes and unmanned drones to make sure the Serbs don't slip back into the violence-wracked province....

"Topping the list of U.S. 'assets' is the venerable U-2.... The U-2's sensors provide a range of images including still pictures, video and infrared imagery.... The U-2 also carries rarely-discussed sensors that gather 'signals' intelligence. These sensors ... can gather data from Serb radars and eavesdrop on Serb military and police communications networks. Data gathered by the U-2 can be transmitted via satellite link to intelligence analysts in as little as four minutes.

"Also flying reconnaissance missions is ... the RC-135 Rivet Joint. This aircraft typically flies at some distance from Kosovo, cruising out over the Adriatic Sea to detect any electronic messages or activity from the Serbs. The Rivet Joint ... is armed with an array of sensors to eavesdrop on radio conversations or pick up signals from radars the Serbs may illegally activate. This would allow the Rivet Joint to send NATO aircraft immediate warnings about the location of threatening forces....

"The Predator Medium Altitude Endurance unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) uses a number of sensors that allow it to fly over Kosovo and gather detailed information about tanks, vehicles and troops.... The drone's electro-optic sensors provide high- resolution images. An infrared sensor allows NATO to determine if tanks and other vehicles are actually running, and a high-tech synthetic aperture radar can penetrate night or bad weather. The Predator can also take and transmit live video to ground stations in Europe....

"The U.S. Air Force [also] relies on commercial [satellite] imagery from the French SPOT satellite, the Canadian RADARSAT and the U.S. Landsat.... U.S. forces can also avail themselves of a number of highly classified satellites.... The Mercury-Advanced Vortex is a 'signals intelligence' satellite capable of intercepting transmissions from radios, radars and other electronic networks. U.S. forces also rely on the KH-12 Lacrosse photographic intelligence satellite to gather pictures....

"The U.S. Navy is participating in the mission as well, with its P-3C Orion aircraft ... flying over Kosovo on a daily basis.... With the ability to stay aloft for 10 to 12 hours without refueling, the Orions will provide a continuing presence to supplement the other aircraft. The Orion is equipped with a synthetic aperture radar and an electro-optic camera system for both live video and radar images of the ground situation in Kosovo. The Orion can operate in all weather, day or night. A downlink to ground stations provides instant access to the intelligence gathered during a mission."

[GenpostCW/90s/Kosovo; MI/Ops; Recon/Planes]

Starr, Barbara. "Military Network Now Handles DOD HUMINT." Jane's Defence Weekly, 11 Mar. 1995, 13.

Reports the creation of the Defense HUMINT Service.


Starr, Barbara. "Pentagon Creates Cyber Command." CNN, 23 Jun. 2009. []

On 23 June 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates "signed a memorandum establishing ... a military command aimed at conducting cyber warfare, and defending the military's computer network." According to Pentagon officials, the Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) "is expected to be headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, and headed by the director of the National Security Agency.... The new command will report to the U.S. Strategic Command" (STRATCOM).


Starr, Barbara, and Terry Frieden. "Officials: Guantanamo Translator Arrested." CNN, 30 Sep. 2003. []

According to U.S. officials, Ahmed Mehalba, a civilian translator for the Titan Corporation who worked at the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was arrested on 29 September 2003 "after immigration officials at Boston's Logan Airport found what are alleged to be classified materials in his possession..... Mehalba is the third person arrested in what appears to be a widening investigation of possible espionage at the base where suspected al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists are held." See also, Neil A. Lewis, "Guantanamo Inquiry Widens as Civilian Translator Is Held," New York Times, 1 Oct. 2003.


Starr, Barbara, and Bill Mears. "Slave in Jefferson Davis' Home Gave Union Key Secrets." CNN, 20 Feb. 2009. []

"William Jackson was a slave in the home of Confederate president Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. It turns out he was also a spy for the Union Army, providing key secrets to the North about the Confederacy." The report quotes Kenneth Daigler (here misspelled as Dagler) of the CIA's Center for the Study of Intelligence and mentions Robert Smalls and Harriet Tubman as among "hundreds" who aided the Union during the war.


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