Message #396:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: The CIA's Navajo Code Walkers
Date: Tue, 03 Dec 96 16:44:00 MST
Encoding: 96 TEXT

[ For yet another Bill Donovan story about the Navajo, see

 -- Hey, is that 'Wild Bill Donovan' of the CIA ??   --
 -- Will Clayton Lonetree submit his resume to the CIA ? --
 -- Could we call this neo-traditional sheep grazing ? --
 -- Will the Navajo share intelligence data from the Joint-Use Area with the Hopi ? --
 -- Do archaeological site vandals have anything to worry about ? --
 -- "Ye Shall Know the Truth, and the Truth Shall Set Ye Free" --
    [quotation carved on the marble wall inside the main lobby of CIA 

 -- SASIG Ed. ]     :-)

Arizona Republic, Page BI, Tuesday December 3, 1996:
Navajos to Tap CIA Software
by Bill Donovan Correspondent

Technology developed by the CIA to spy on the Soviets soon will be helping 
Navajos stop the deterioration of their homelands.

In a unique exchange of information, CIA officials have agreed to share the 
once-secret software, which now is declassified, and to teach Navajo 
 engineers to use it.

It is an effort that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago, said 
Midge Holmes, a CIA spokeswoman.  In the past CIA-developed technology was 
kept classified, even if it could be adapted for civilian purposes, she 

But the end of the Cold War and efforts by Vice President Al Gore to make 
government technology available for all commercial uses have changed all of 

"Lately, we have been looking at declassifying some of our technology if it 
could help the American people in other ways," Holmes said.

Over the years, the agency developed software to examine spy photos taken 
over foreign soil.  It pointed out the minutest differences in the photos. 
which CIA analysts used to find missile launch sites.  That technology is 
now being used by radiologists to spot changes in mammograms.

The CIA's involvement with the Navajos began in 1993, when Lawrence Lano 
attended an American Indian Science and Engineering Society meeting in 
Spokane, Wash.

Lano, president of the group's Northern Arizona chapter and a NAvajo, 
noticed a CIA-sponsored booth that was showing  videotape of the oil fires 
Iraq set in Kuwait.  Analyzing satellite photos, the CIA could determine how 
serious they were and how much oil was involved.

Lano said this chance encounter resulted in conversations with CIA officials 
about problems being faced by the Navajos.  One official, Tom Margraves, was 
interested enough to visit the reservation and to talk to Navajo students 
about the CIA and the importance of science.

Lano said he also asked tribal officials if there was any way the CIA could 
help the tribe.  It turned out that in 1994, the tribe had joined with 
several state agencies to buy Landsat thermatic-imagery maps of Arizona.

John Radcliffe, a system's analyst for the tribe's water-management program, 
said the maps had gone unused because no one in the tribe knew how to 
analyze them and there was no money available to hire an expert.

Then the possibility of the CIA help came up, and tribal officials saw a way 
to get the help they needed.

"This was even better than getting an expert in the commercial market, since 
the CIa will be supplying us some extra higher-resolution data to go along 
with their regular software," Radcliffe said.

The technology will enable the tribe to determine which reservation areas 
are overgrazed and which can handle more livestock, Radcliffe said.

It also could give the tribe an idea of how much livestock the land can 
support without overgrazing.

Tribal officials have wondered what the CIA will get out of the deal.

That's easy to answer, Holmes said.

Not only is the CIA following through with directives from Gore, but it is 
also hoping that the project will encourage younger Navajos to consider 
careers with the CIA.

"We have a lot of career opportunities that would be available in a number 
of fields, with a heavy emphasis on science and technology, and we are 
hoping that they consider the possibility ofworking someday for the CIA," 
Holmes said.