Rumsfeld get's his own Clandestine Secret Service . . .


Jul 25, 2002
Vee have Vays of dealing with those people, Vee can make them Talk

Washinfton Post

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. 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.

</clip - and a whole bunch more>

More power to one of the most arrogant and abusive Power Mad Bush Cronies ?
Rather 'Hitleresque' in it's scope.

Hayabusa Rider

Admin Emeritus & Elite Member
Jan 26, 2000
He already had it. They just took those cooperative types and used their info. That there is a name doesnt change it.


No Lifer
Jun 7, 2001
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.
Yay...the PNAC Neocons are going to have a field day with this. You think the OSP with Feith was bad??


No Lifer
Jun 7, 2001
McCain Wants Hearings on Pentagon Spy Unit,2933,145252,00.html
WASHINGTON ? Sen. John McCain wants the Senate Armed Services Committee to hold hearings on allegations that the Defense Department may be bending U.S. laws in order to give Secretary Donald Rumsfeld more authority over clandestine overseas operations.

The Washington Post, which reported the story on Sunday based on military and civilian sources, said the Pentagon has created a new unit, called the Strategic Support Branch (search), as a stepsister to an established unit in the CIA.

The Strategic Support Branch is meant to address what Rumsfeld called the Pentagon's "near total dependence on the CIA" for human intelligence, something Rumsfeld ordered ended.

The New York Times reported the same story Monday.

But Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita denied that the Pentagon has a clandestine unit reporting directly to Rumsfeld. for clandestine operations.

"The Department is not attempting to 'bend' statutes to fit desired activities, as is suggested in [the Post] article," DiRita said in a statement.

He added, however, that "it is accurate and should not be surprising that the Department of Defense is attempting to improve its long-standing human intelligence capability. ... A principal conclusion of the 9/11 commission report is that the U.S. human intelligence capability must be improved across the board."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan referred reporters seeking comment Monday to DiRita's statement, noting that inaccuracies in the story were articulated by the Pentagon.

No unit is directly reportable to the secretary, McClellan stressed, but a number of reports talk about the importance and need to expand and enhance human intelligence and that steps have been taken to do just that.

McCain, R-Ariz., said he didn't think Rumsfeld or the department broke or bent any laws, but would like the committee to look into the spy activities and the authority given to Rumsfeld.

"The continuing frustration ? not just in the Pentagon, but throughout government, is that we don't have human intelligence," McCain said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

"How is that a kid from Menlo Park can join the Taliban and be captured in Afghanistan and we can't get somebody infiltrated in there?" asked McCain, referring to John Walker Lindh (search), who was caught fighting with Taliban forces in Afghanistan. "I think it's a product of the frustration with the CIA of a failure to have decent human intelligence."

FOX News military analyst Maj. Gen. Bob Scales stressed that the expansion of powers be done legally.

"We have to keep this within the law, we have to keep this within the purview of the secretary of defense," Scales said, "but Congress is going to take a look at it and provide some insight."

It's no secret that America's human intelligence capabilities abroad are far from sufficient. The Sept. 11 commission concluded in its report last year that human intelligence must be boosted in order to effectively defeat terrorists before they reach America's shores.

For decades, human intelligence "hasn't worked very well at all," said Scales, who added that this intelligence in Iraq is especially lacking, according to military leaders on the ground there.

"There is a huge, huge gap in Iraq today between what the military needs to know to be effective and the information that is provided to them from the CIA," Scales added.

Rep. Jane Harman (search), the ranking Democrat on the House Select Intelligence Committee, said if the reports are true, the Pentagon may indeed be circumventing Congress' oversight role over such activities, as outlined in the recently enacted intelligence reform bill.

"The story disturbs me," the California lawmaker told FOX News on Monday. "What disturbs me is not that we're trying to get better battlefield intelligence ... [but] if this is an end run around Congress and an end run around this new intelligence reform bill, I don't like it one bit."

To duplicate CIA capability at the Pentagon in an effort "that Congress doesn't know about is not right," she added.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., told FOX News that she hoped House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., would also hold hearings.

"I think it's not only important to know who's leaking information out of the Pentagon, but if these special intelligence forces are, in fact, according to law," she commented.

Rep. Clay Shaw, R-Fla., said the fact that people inside the Pentagon were talking to the press about such under-the-radar operations ? despite how many inaccuracies there may be in the stories ? could harm the top brass's objectives.

"I think the big issue is ... Are there leaks in the Pentagon that are in any way jeopardizing our intelligence gathering?" he asked.

The Washington Post reported that the "new espionage arm" deploys teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists, along with newly-empowered special operations forces.

Those interviewed for the story said the unit has been in operation for two years in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places not named.

The focus of the intelligence initiative, however, is on "emerging target countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, [the] Philippines and Georgia," the Post wrote, citing a planning memo to Rumsfeld from Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The teams reportedly conduct missions in both friendly and unfriendly countries, the Post reported, when conventional war is either far off or unlikely altogether. The CIA's Directorate of Operations traditionally has performed this role.

Senior Rumsfeld advisers told the Post that the missions are central to what they say is the Pentagon's overriding goal of combating terrorist threats.

The big question is whether or not such a unit is legal.

"It's a matter for the lawyers," Barton Gellman, the author of the Post article, told FOX News. He said Rumsfeld's predecessors didn't think they had the authority to do what he's reportedly doing.

"He asked for a reinterpretation, or a relook at it, from his general counsel, and his counsel said 'Well, you have more authority than your predecessors thought,'" Gellman said.

"The need for much more, better human intelligence is very widely agreed," Gellman continued. But he noted that the Sept. 11 commission said there needed to be more subordination of such activities to a central director of intelligence, something the Pentagon would appear to be resisting with an independent clandestine unit that doesn't coordinate with other agencies.

Scales said the military has been conducting clandestine operations much like that described in recent news reports for "many, many years" under different names and auspices.

"This isn't anything new," he said. "What is new is this huge gap that's opened up between what we need to know and what we do know, and the Department of Defense is doing whatever it can to close that gap."
Hmm...McClellan redirects to DiRita who pretty much confirms what was reported by the Post (albeit with a lame attempt to disavow getting around reporting to Congress.) The same DiRita who recently issued a non-denial denial about Hersh's report of commandos in Iran.


McCain, redeem thyself.


Apr 25, 2001
I like McCain more and more here, too bad this kind of drawing outside the lines will prevent him from ever getting the Republican nomination. In any case, I don't think our intelligence problems can be solved with more agencies. Haven't these guys been paying attention?


Diamond Member
Feb 17, 2004
Pentagon Secret Unit Helped Find Saddam

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

WASHINGTON - When U.S. troops pulled Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) from a hole in the ground a year ago, the capture was described afterward as the work of a team of conventional and special operations troops.

Nothing was said about an assist from an intelligence unit that the Pentagon (news - web sites) created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to expand the military's ability to collect human intelligence ? information from spies as opposed to listening devices or satellites.

The unit's existence was revealed by The Washington Post on Sunday.

Pentagon officials said Monday that the unit, called the Strategic Support Branch, had a hidden hand in interrogations and other aspects of the clue-sifting work inside Iraq (news - web sites) that narrowed the search for Saddam and led eventually to the cramped underground chamber where he was hiding.

The Post said the unit also has been used in Afghanistan (news - web sites) and other undisclosed locations. In addition to interrogation, it provides linguistic help and close-in surveillance of targets.


Surprise out just in time to justify the creation of Rummy's Secret Unit. But we'll probably won't know if its true or not. Truth? rewriting history?


Senior member
Nov 6, 2004

February 07, 2005

WASHINGTON DC - Life sometimes imitates art. One of my all-time favorite films is the gripping drama, `Seven Days In May.? Made in 1964 and starring Burt Lancaster, the film depicts an attempted coup by far rightists in Washington using a top secret, Pentagon anti-terrorist unit called `Ecomcon.?

Last week, the respected former military intelligence analyst William Arkin revealed a hitherto unknown government directive, with the Orwellian sobriquet `JCS Conplan 0300-97,? authorizing the Pentagon to employ special, ultra secret `anti-terrorist? military units on American soil for what the author says are `extra legal missions.? In other words, using US soldiers to arrest or kill citizens at home, acts that have been illegal since the US Civil War and are a grave violation of the constitution and tradition.

The above frightening news comes as Washington is gripped by retro-Cold War fever - `Muslims Under Our Matresses? having replaced the 1950?s scare, `Red?s Under Our Bed?s? - galloping paranoia, feverish threats of war against Iran from the real president, Dick Cheney, and a titanic bureaucratic battle just won by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Instead of being fired for the gigantic military-political-financial fiasco in Iraq and the shameful torture scandals that are still coming to light , Rumsfeld has just managed to create a new, spy/special ops organization under the Pentagon, blandly named `Strategic Support Branch,? that will replace or duplicate many of CIA?s tasks.

CIA is being punished big-time. Too many CIA veterans criticized or contradicted Bush and Cheney?s phony claims over Iraq and terrorism. The agency failed to back up Cheney?s grotesque claims about Iraq?s alleged nuclear weapons and links to al-Qaida. So Bush and Cheney imposed a new, yes-man director on the agency, Porter Goss, slashed budgets, conducted massive purges of veteran offciers, and downgraded CIA to third class status.

There is little doubt that CIA performed poorly in its foreign assessments. Part of the fault lay with lack of human intelligence on the ground; but an equal share of the blame came from a reporting structure that progressively filtered out any information the White House or Pentagon would find objectionable and, of course, from former CIA director George Tenet, who failed his responsibility to Americans and the facts by pandering to Bush/Cheney fantasies whipped up by a cabal of neoconservative extremists.

The last straw for the White House was publication of the brilliant book, `Imperial Hubris,? by `Anonymous,? the CIA chief terrorism/bin Laden analyst, that totally and embarrassingly refuted or contradicted almost all of the Administration?s claims about Islamic extremism.

Rumsfeld?s new SSB will become the Pentagon?s very own, in-house CIA, complete with mammoth budgets, commando units, hits squads, spies, mercenary forces, intelligence gathering and analysis, and a direct line to the White House. The Pentagon has just effectively taken over the spy business.

Mind you, the Pentagon has been deeply involved in intelligence for 50 years. The Pentagon?s Defense Intelligence Agency is increasingly active around the globe. Army intelligence and its covert sub-branches have long conducted `black? ops, including unlawful missions in the US as well as assassinations and sabotage abroad. The Pentagon consumes three quarters of the total US intelligence budget.

Rumsfeld has skillfully used terrorism hysteria to wrest control of intelligence and make the Pentagon supreme in Washington?s bureaucratic power struggles.

The Pentagon?s new spy arm will be largely excluded from Congressional oversight or media examination. Its special operations teams will roam the globe, killing or kidnapping at will, torturing suspects, and bringing down governments, all under cover of `deep black? missions of which no records will be kept, and no questions asked.

Equally worrying, the Pentagon?s new special ops units are headed up by notorious religious fanatic and loudmouth, Lt. Gen. William Boykin, who calls the US Army, `the house of God,? and Islamic insurgents, `agents of Satan;? and told Muslims `my God is bigger than your god, which is an idol. ?

Boykin?s command will now dispatch post-modern Christian crusaders to cleanse the world of Satanic Muslims and other miscreants. The Pentagon?s new special forces will be able to hire local armies and hit men, as well as run ops of which CIA knows nothing. The 9/11 Commission called for improved intra-agency cooperation and data sharing ? what we will now get is far less cooperation, as the Pentagon goes its own, secret way.

Equally worrisome, the Pentagon?s new `black? warriors will not be supervised by a normal military chain of command or some degree of Congressional oversight, as were CIA combat teams. These irregular forces will draw into their ranks rabid ideologists, uniformed bounty hunters, and Bible Belt mutants wearing t-shirts proclaiming, `kill em?all, let God sort?em out.? These militarized thugs and video arcade Rambos are sure to run amok, commit serious crimes, and drag America?s once good name ever deeper into the mud.

Anyone who doubts this should look back at the wars in Indochina and Central America, where some US special forces, CIA combat teams, mercenary units and local allies engaged in wide scale murder, torture and dealing in opium and cocaine.
The `black? forces run by Pentagon neocons and Crusader Boykin will largely operate outside of the control of the top brass, bypassing the chain of command under cover of secrecy and `need to know.?

Have we reached `Seven Days in May?? Not yet, but the second Bush Administration has been taking dangerous steps that continue to curtail personal rights, undermine the supine, cowardly Congress, and empower ideological or religious extremists and shadowy agencies with unrestrained powers that endanger Americans at home and all those abroad suspected of troubling the Pax Americana.

Copyright Eric S. Margolis 2005