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May 06, 2006

Rumsfeld And "The Intelligence Business" Politics  War and Peace

When he was confronted the other day in Atlanta by CIA veteran Ray McGovern, Rumsfeld claimed he hadn't lied about Iraqi WMD. He hadn't lied, because he had been fooled by bad intelligence from the CIA. He hadn't lied, because, Rumsfeld said, "I'm not in the intelligence business." Which, of course, is itself a lie if there ever was one.

The Defense department is home to numerous intelligence agencies, which collectively dwarf the CIA. According to the official website of the US Intelligence Community:

Three major intelligence agencies in the Department of Defense (DoD) — the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) — absorb the larger part of the national intelligence budget. NSA is responsible for signals intelligence and has collection sites throughout the world. The NRO develops and operates reconnaissance satellites. The NGA prepares the geospatial data — ranging from maps and charts to sophisticated computerized databases — necessary for targeting in an era dependent upon precision guided weapons. In addition to these three agencies, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) is responsible for defense attaches and for providing DoD with a variety of intelligence products. Although the Intelligence Reform Act provides extensive budgetary and management authorities over these agencies to the Director of National Intelligence, it does not revoke the responsibilities of the Secretary of Defense for these agencies. [Emphasis added]

In addition to the NSA (the largest US intelligence agency), NRO, and NGA, the DoD is home to Air Force Intelligence, Army Intelligence, Defense Intelligence Agency, Marine Corps Intelligence, and Navy Intelligence, as well as various Special Forces and other clandestine ops capabilities. And Rumsfeld has long pushed hard to increase the Pentagon's autonomy in intelligence-gathering and clandestine ops.

In December, I noted something called the Counterterrorism Field Activity (CFIA) that seeks to centralize all counterterrorism intelligence collection inside the United States under Pentagon control.

Rumsfeld has also been extending the Pentagon's reach in human intelligence and black ops activities abroad. WaPo:

While the stature and role of the CIA were greatly diminished under Goss during the congressionally ordered reorganization of the intelligence agencies, his counterpart at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, continued his aggressive efforts to develop a clandestine intelligence operation within his department. The Pentagon's human intelligence unit and its other clandestine military units are expanding in number and authority. Rumsfeld recently won the ability to sidestep U.S. ambassadors in certain circumstances when the Pentagon wants to send in clandestine teams to collect intelligence or undertake operations.

"Rumsfeld keeps pressing for autonomy for defense human intelligence and for SOF [Special Forces] operations," said retired Army Col. W. Patrick Lang, former head of Middle East affairs at the Defense Intelligence Agency. "CIA has lost the ability to control the [human intelligence] process in the community."

Now, "the real battle lies between" Negroponte and Rumsfeld, said retired Army Lt. Gen. Donald Kerrick, a former deputy national security adviser and once a senior official at the Defense Intelligence Agency. "Rumsfeld rules the roost now." [Emphasis added]

Pretty impressive for a guy who's "not in the intelligence business."

Posted by Jonathan at May 6, 2006 05:11 PM  del.icio.us digg NewsVine Reddit YahooMyWeb

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