Monday, January 24, 2005

Rumsfeld Has Secret Spy Agency

From The Washington Post. Apparently, those hippies at the CIA and in Congress can’t be trusted with this kind of stuff.

Go read the whole article.
The Pentagon, expanding into the CIA's historic bailiwick, has created a new espionage arm and is reinterpreting U.S. law to give Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld broad authority over clandestine operations abroad, according to interviews with participants and documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The previously undisclosed organization, called the Strategic Support Branch, arose from Rumsfeld's written order to end his "near total dependence on CIA" for what is known as human intelligence. Designed to operate without detection and under the defense secretary's direct control, the Strategic Support Branch deploys small teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists alongside newly empowered special operations forces.

Military and civilian participants said in interviews that the new unit has been operating in secret for two years -- in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places they declined to name...

…A recent Pentagon memo states that recruited agents may include "notorious figures" whose links to the U.S. government would be embarrassing if disclosed.

…Two longtime members of the House Intelligence Committee, a Democrat and a Republican, said they knew no details before being interviewed for this article.

…Pentagon officials said they established the Strategic Support Branch using "reprogrammed" funds, without explicit congressional authority or appropriation. Defense intelligence missions, they said, are subject to less stringent congressional oversight than comparable operations by the CIA.

…The new unit's performance in the field -- and its latest commander, reserve Army Col. George Waldroup -- are controversial among those involved in the closely held program. Pentagon officials acknowledged that Waldroup and many of those brought quickly into his service lack the experience and training typical of intelligence officers and special operators. In his civilian career as a federal manager, according to a Justice Department inspector general's report, Waldroup was at the center of a 1996 probe into alleged deception of Congress concerning staffing problems at Miami International Airport.

(emphasis added)

Just a new super-secret spy agency hidden from the CIA and Congress, headed by an unqualified guy who lied to congress. Nothing to worry about. Just defending freedom, ya know.

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