Ronald McDonald's SS

Tyler Durden camera_lumina at hotmail.com
Mon Jan 24 07:34:50 PST 2005


"Military and civilian participants said in interviews that the new unit has
been operating in secret for two years -- in Iraq (news - web sites),"

Well hell, it's doing such a good job already it should definitely be 
expanded!

-TD

>From: Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org>
>To: cypherpunks at al-qaeda.net
>Subject: Ronald McDonald's SS
>Date: Sun, 23 Jan 2005 22:15:07 +0100
>
>I'm sure in due time they'll just start calling it Strategic Support, 
>period.
>
>http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=1802&u=/washpost/20050123/ts_washpo
>st/a29414_2005jan22&printer=1
>
>Secret Unit Expands Rumsfeld's Domain
>
>Sun Jan 23, 1:14 AM ET
>
>By Barton Gellman, Washington Post Staff Writer
>
>The Pentagon (news - web sites), expanding into the CIA (news - web 
>sites)'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 (news - web sites),
>Afghanistan (news - web sites) and other places they declined to name.
>According to an early planning memorandum to Rumsfeld from Gen. Richard B.
>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." Myers and his staff declined to be
>interviewed.
>
>The Strategic Support Branch was created to provide Rumsfeld with 
>independent
>tools for the "full spectrum of humint operations," according to an 
>internal
>account of its origin and mission. Human intelligence operations, a term 
>used
>in counterpoint to technical means such as satellite photography, range 
>from
>interrogation of prisoners and scouting of targets in wartime to the
>peacetime recruitment of foreign spies. A recent Pentagon memo states that
>recruited agents may include "notorious figures" whose links to the U.S.
>government would be embarrassing if disclosed.
>
>Perhaps the most significant shift is the Defense Department's bid to 
>conduct
>surreptitious missions, in friendly and unfriendly states, when 
>conventional
>war is a distant or unlikely prospect -- activities that have traditionally
>been the province of the CIA's Directorate of Operations. Senior Rumsfeld
>advisers said those missions are central to what they called the 
>department's
>predominant role in combating terrorist threats.
>
>The Pentagon has a vast bureaucracy devoted to gathering and analyzing
>intelligence, often in concert with the CIA, and news reports over more 
>than
>a year have described Rumsfeld's drive for more and better human
>intelligence. But the creation of the espionage branch, the scope of its
>clandestine operations and the breadth of Rumsfeld's asserted legal 
>authority
>have not been detailed publicly before. 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.
>Rumsfeld's dissatisfaction with the CIA's operations directorate, and his
>determination to build what amounts in some respects to a rival service,
>follows struggles with then-CIA Director George J. Tenet over intelligence
>collection priorities in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pentagon officials said the
>CIA naturally has interests that differ from those of military commanders,
>but they also criticized its operations directorate as understaffed,
>slow-moving and risk-averse. A recurring phrase in internal Pentagon
>documents is the requirement for a human intelligence branch "directly
>responsive to tasking from SecDef," or Rumsfeld.
>
>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 (news - web
>sites) 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. Navy Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, director of the
>Defense Intelligence Agency, expressed "utmost confidence in Colonel
>Waldroup's capabilities" and said in an interview that Waldroup's unit has
>scored "a whole series of successes" that he could not reveal in public. He
>acknowledged the risks, however, of trying to expand human intelligence too
>fast: "It's not something you quickly constitute as a capability. It's 
>going
>to take years to do."
>
>Rumsfeld's ambitious plans rely principally on the Tampa-based U.S. Special
>Operations Command, or SOCOM, and on its clandestine component, the Joint
>Special Operations Command. Rumsfeld has designated SOCOM's leader, Army 
>Gen.
>Bryan D. Brown, as the military commander in chief in the war on terrorism.
>He has also given Brown's subordinates new authority to pay foreign agents.
>The Strategic Support Branch is intended to add missing capabilities -- 
>such
>as the skill to establish local spy networks and the technology for direct
>access to national intelligence databases -- to the military's much larger
>special operations squadrons. Some Pentagon officials refer to the combined
>units as the "secret army of Northern Virginia."
>
>Known as "special mission units," Brown's elite forces are not acknowledged
>publicly. They include two squadrons of an Army unit popularly known as 
>Delta
>Force, another Army squadron -- formerly code-named Gray Fox -- that
>specializes in close-in electronic surveillance, an Air Force human
>intelligence unit and the Navy unit popularly known as SEAL Team Six.
>
>The Defense Department is planning for further growth. Among the proposals
>circulating are the establishment of a Pentagon-controlled espionage 
>school,
>largely duplicating the CIA's Field Tradecraft Course at Camp Perry, Va., 
>and
>of intelligence operations commands for every region overseas.
>
>Rumsfeld's efforts, launched in October 2001, address two widely shared
>goals. One is to give combat forces, such as those fighting the insurgency 
>in
>Iraq, more and better information about their immediate enemy. The other is
>to find new tools to penetrate and destroy the shadowy organizations, such 
>as
>al Qaeda, that pose global threats to U.S. interests in conflicts with 
>little
>resemblance to conventional war.
>
>In pursuit of those aims, Rumsfeld is laying claim to greater independence 
>of
>action as Congress seeks to subordinate the 15 U.S. intelligence 
>departments
>and agencies -- most under Rumsfeld's control -- to the newly created and
>still unfilled position of national intelligence director. For months,
>Rumsfeld opposed the intelligence reorganization bill that created the
>position. He withdrew his objections late last year after House Republican
>leaders inserted language that he interprets as preserving much of the
>department's autonomy.
>
>Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, deputy undersecretary for intelligence,
>acknowledged that Rumsfeld intends to direct some missions previously
>undertaken by the CIA. He added that it is wrong to make "an assumption 
>that
>what the secretary is trying to say is, 'Get the CIA out of this business,
>and we'll take it.' I don't interpret it that way at all."
>
>"The secretary actually has more responsibility to collect intelligence for
>the national foreign intelligence program . . . than does the CIA 
>director,"
>Boykin said. "That's why you hear all this information being published 
>about
>the secretary having 80 percent of the [intelligence] budget. Well, yeah, 
>but
>he has 80 percent of the responsibility for collection, as well."
>
>CIA spokeswoman Anya Guilsher said the agency would grant no interviews for
>this article.
>
>Pentagon officials emphasized their intention to remain accountable to
>Congress, but they also asserted that defense intelligence missions are
>subject to fewer legal constraints than Rumsfeld's predecessors believed.
>That assertion involves new interpretations of Title 10 of the U.S. Code,
>which governs the armed services, and Title 50, which governs, among other
>things, foreign intelligence.
>
>Under Title 10, for example, the Defense Department must report to Congress
>all "deployment orders," or formal instructions from the Joint Chiefs of
>Staff to position U.S. forces for combat. But guidelines issued this month 
>by
>Undersecretary for Intelligence Stephen A. Cambone state that special
>operations forces may "conduct clandestine HUMINT operations . . . before
>publication" of a deployment order, rendering notification unnecessary.
>Pentagon lawyers also define the "war on terror" as ongoing, indefinite and
>global in scope. That analysis effectively discards the limitation of the
>defense secretary's war powers to times and places of imminent combat.
>
>Under Title 50, all departments of the executive branch are obliged to keep
>Congress "fully and currently informed of all intelligence activities." The
>law exempts "traditional . . . military activities" and their "routine
>support." Advisers said Rumsfeld, after requesting a fresh legal review by
>the Pentagon's general counsel, interprets "traditional" and "routine" more
>expansively than his predecessors.
>
>"Operations the CIA runs have one set of restrictions and oversight, and 
>the
>military has another," said a Republican member of Congress with a
>substantial role in national security oversight, declining to speak 
>publicly
>against political allies. "It sounds like there's an angle here of, 'Let's
>get around having any oversight by having the military do something that
>normally the [CIA] does, and not tell anybody.' That immediately raises all
>kinds of red flags for me. Why aren't they telling us?"
>
>The enumeration by Myers of "emerging target countries" for clandestine
>intelligence work illustrates the breadth of the Pentagon's new concept. 
>All
>those named, save Somalia, have allied themselves with the United States --
>if unevenly -- against al Qaeda and its jihadist allies.
>
>A high-ranking official with direct responsibility for the initiative,
>declining to speak on the record about espionage in friendly nations, said
>the Defense Department sometimes has to work undetected inside "a country
>that we're not at war with, if you will, a country that maybe has 
>ungoverned
>spaces, or a country that is tacitly allowing some kind of threatening
>activity to go on."
>
>Assistant Secretary of Defense Thomas O'Connell, who oversees special
>operations policy, said Rumsfeld has discarded the "hide-bound way of
>thinking" and "risk-averse mentalities" of previous Pentagon officials 
>under
>every president since Gerald R. Ford.
>
>"Many of the restrictions imposed on the Defense Department were imposed by
>tradition, by legislation, and by interpretations of various leaders and
>legal advisors," O'Connell said in a written reply to follow-up questions.
>"The interpretations take on the force of law and may preclude activities
>that are legal. In my view, many of the authorities inherent to [the 
>Defense
>Department] . . . were winnowed away over the years."
>
>After reversing the restrictions, Boykin said, Rumsfeld's next question 
>"was,
>'Okay, do I have the capability?' And the answer was, 'No you don't have 
>the
>capability. . . . And then it became a matter of, 'I want to build a
>capability to be able to do this.' "
>
>Known by several names since its inception as Project Icon on April 25, 
>2002,
>the Strategic Support Branch is an arm of the DIA's nine-year-old Defense
>Human Intelligence Service, which until now has concentrated on managing
>military attachis assigned openly to U.S. embassies around the world.
>
>Rumsfeld's initiatives are not connected to previously reported 
>negotiations
>between the Defense Department and the CIA over control of paramilitary
>operations, such as the capture of individuals or the destruction of
>facilities.
>
>According to written guidelines made available to The Post, the Defense
>Department has decided that it will coordinate its human intelligence
>missions with the CIA but will not, as in the past, await consent. It also
>reserves the right to bypass the agency's Langley headquarters, consulting
>CIA officers in the field instead. The Pentagon will deem a mission
>"coordinated" after giving 72 hours' notice to the CIA.
>
>Four people with firsthand knowledge said defense personnel have already
>begun operating under "non-official cover" overseas, using false names and
>nationalities. Those missions, and others contemplated in the Pentagon, 
>skirt
>the line between clandestine and covert operations. Under U.S. law,
>"clandestine" refers to actions that are meant to be undetected, and 
>"covert"
>refers to those for which the U.S. government denies its responsibility.
>Covert action is subject to stricter legal requirements, including a 
>written
>"finding" of necessity by the president and prompt notification of senior
>leaders of both parties in the House and Senate.
>
>O'Connell, asked whether the Pentagon foresees greater involvement in 
>covert
>action, said "that remains to be determined." He added: "A better answer 
>yet
>might be, depends upon the situation. But no one I know of is raising their
>hand and saying at DOD, 'We want control of covert operations.' "
>
>One scenario in which Pentagon operatives might play a role, O'Connell 
>said,
>is this: "A hostile country close to our borders suddenly changes 
>leadership.
>. . . We would want to make sure the successor is not hostile."
>
>Researcher Rob Thomason contributed to this report.
>
>--
>Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
>______________________________________________________________
>ICBM: 48.07078, 11.61144            http://www.leitl.org
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>
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