Sunday, January 23, 2005

Espionage arm expands domain for Rumsfeld

The Pentagon, expanding into the CIA’s historic bailiwick, has created a new espionage arm and is reinterpreting US law to give Defense Secretary Donald 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. According to an early planning memorandum to Rumsfeld from Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the focus of the intelligence initiative is on ‘‘emerging target countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, Philippines and Georgia.’’

So much for the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission re: an intelligence czar, although this does explain Shrub's about face -- he found a way around it.

When you catalog which "-ocracies" the Bush syndicate favors or opposes, it is pretty damned obvious which side "meritocracy" lines up on.


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