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January 23, 2005

Your Tax Dollars Fund Rummy's Spy Network

WaPo ledes today with investigative journalist Barton Gellman's article, "Secret Unit Expands Rumsfeld's Domain: New Espionage Branch Delving Into CIA Territory".

Some basic reasons for opening up a secret spy shop:
1. Less Congressional oversight of DOD than the CIA.
2. Rummy has personal control instead of relying on the CIA or DNI (Director of National Intelligence, the guy who is supposed to eventually control "all" US intel work.)
3. DOD is "less risk averse" than the CIA. (Meaning they're okay with having their people killed in the line of duty.)
4. Keeping it secret reduces public scrutiny and could avoid the government being attached to embarrasing and notorious sources. (AKA criminals willing to spy for the USG.)

Scariest quote, from Assistant Secretary of Defense Thomas O'Connell, who oversees special operations policy:

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."
Let's take a wild guess, shall we? Raise your hand if you think O'Connell is referring to Cuba.

Okay, everyone can put their hands down now.

Bonus points for naming other Latin American countries that could be described in these terms.

Posted by cj at January 23, 2005 7:09 AM

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