rumsfeld’s grab for power and how it may lead us to iran

In last week’s issue of the New Yorker, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh (the guy who broke the Abu Ghraib torture story) made the claim that the Bush administration has been running clandestine operations in Iran for some time now. Many suggested that Hersh was off base, but then yesterday the Washington Post stepped in to corroborate elements of his story. According to the Post, Donald Rumsfeld has been operating a super-secret “human intelligence” division though the Pentagon for the past two years, and, according to sources, this group has been active in countries like Iran. The group is called the Strategic Support Branch, and, if I understand it correctly, they are like the CIA, only they operate without governmental oversight. (And they may have more latitude with regard to conducting targeted assassinations.) To put it really simply, Rumsfeld has created his own secret CIA inside the Pentagon.

Not surprisingly, some are speculating that this unprecedented concentration of power in one branch of government, under the Secretary of Defense, does not bode well for democracy… A more immediate concern of mine, however, is that this new organization might not be charged, like the CIA has been in the past, to provide unbiased intelligence. In other words, I fear that Rumsfeld could have created in the Strategic Support Branch not an organization to provide good, non-partisan intelligence, but instead an organization with a mandate to deliver intelligence which supports a predetermined course of action.

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  1. Posted October 12, 2005 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

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