Obama Administration Moves To Expand Spy Network Of Pentagon in “Major Adjustment For National Security”

600px-US-DefenseIntelligenceAgency-Seal.svgCIAThe Obama Administration has announced that it will seek the expansion of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to include a wider range of espionage operations. The move which has attracted little attention would create a large spy network in the Pentagon as the same time that the CIA is moving to build more of an independent air force and military operational capacity.

There seems little concern that we are eliminating the long tradition of keeping military and intelligence operations separate — to avoid the concentration of power in these agencies. We will now have largely duplicative operational capacities in the Pentagon and CIA, which each able to launch large military or intelligence operations.

The DIA expansion will include as many as 1,600 “collectors” in positions around the world to expand clandestine operatives in the Pentagon. They want to monitor large Islamist militant groups in Africa, weapons transfers by North Korea and Iran, and military modernization underway in China — areas overlapping with the CIA.

The agency’s director, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, admitted recently that “This is a major adjustment for national security.”

The DIA expansion also adds to a burgeoning security state both domestically and internationally. The Obama Administration has expanded national security powers and actively sought the establishment of a Nixonian “Imperial Presidency.” With the Administration’s opposition to transparency and increase in security forces, the concern is that the center of gravity in our system is shifting dramatically toward clandestine and national security services. Once again, there is little opposition under a civil liberties movement which has been eviscerated under Obama. Congress is unlikely to present much opposition with most Democratic members seeking to protect Obama from such criticism rather than maintaining any check or balance on the Executive Branch. The result is the appearance of a runaway security system that is both adding operational abilities and reducing oversight pressures. A dangerous combination.

Source: Washington Post

42 thoughts on “Obama Administration Moves To Expand Spy Network Of Pentagon in “Major Adjustment For National Security”

  1. Jeremy Scahill had an interesting piece on the CIA in The Nation recently:

    The Petraeus Legacy: A Paramilitary CIA?
    Jeremy Scahill

    While much of the media focus on l’affaire Petraeus has centered on the CIA director’s sexual relationship with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, the scandal opens a window onto a different and more consequential relationship—that between the CIA and the military’s Joint Special Operations Command. In a behind-the-scenes turf war that has raged since 9/11, the two government bodies have fought for control of the expanding global wars waged by the United States—a turf war that JSOC has largely won. Petraeus, an instrumental player in this power struggle, leaves behind an agency that has strayed from intelligence to paramilitary-type activities. Though his legacy will be defined largely by the scandal that ended his career, to many within military and intelligence circles, Petraeus’s career trajectory, from commander of US military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan to the helm of the CIA, is a symbol of this evolution.

    “I would not say that CIA has been taken over by the military, but I would say that the CIA has become more militarized,” Philip Giraldi, a retired career CIA case officer, told The Nation. “A considerable part of the CIA budget is now no longer spying; it’s supporting paramilitaries who work closely with JSOC to kill terrorists, and to run the drone program.” The CIA, he added, “is a killing machine now.”

    As head of US Central Command in 2009, Petraeus issued execute orders that significantly broadened the ability of US forces to operate in a variety of countries, including Yemen, where US forces began conducting missile strikes later that year. During Petraeus’s short tenure at the CIA, drone strikes conducted by the agency, sometimes in conjunction with JSOC, escalated dramatically in Yemen; in his first month in office, he oversaw a series of strikes that killed three US citizens, including 16-year-old Abdulrahman Awlaki. In some cases, such as the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, commandos from the elite JSOC operated under the auspices of the CIA, so that the mission could be kept secret if it went wrong.

    One current State Department liaison who has also worked extensively with JSOC describes the CIA as becoming “a mini-Special Operations Command that purports to be an intelligence agency.” For all the praise Petraeus won for his counterinsurgency strategy and the “surge” in Iraq, he says, his real legacy is as a “political tool,” an enabler of those within the national security apparatus who want to see a continuation of covert global mini-wars. Pointing to the “mystique that surrounds JSOC” and Adm. William McRaven, commander of the Special Operations Command, the liaison says, “Petraeus was trying to implement that kind of command climate at the CIA.”

  2. This is about profit and control of populations around the world. Cities which have no money for schools, or like Detroit, which may be liquidated, are starved while war and surveillance never seem to be part of the equation in what needs to be cut. There’s always money for war and surveillance, yet few seem to wonder why and where that money comes from while accepting that children and the elderly and the poor can bugger off.

    As a people this nation has really screwed up value systems. Things won’t change unless enough of our population actually chooses life affirming values. Instead, those who voted for Obama chose a culture of death and destruction of the social fabric.

    The CIA runs whole military operations which are not subject to civilian control. In fact, all the agencies do this and they have just again, openly expanded their powers. Until people will face honestly what is happening in this govt. and get cracking on stopping it, it will continue. We have a plebiscitory military dictatorship. We worship it through its funding and the lionization of “leaders” such as Obama and the real powers, his generals and clandestine officers. The answer is to stop worshiping at the cult of death, power and personality. At least then we have a chance of turning things around.

  3. U.S. Drone Strikes Are Causing Child Casualties: Video and Report
    By Robert Greenwald
    Posted: 12/01/2012

    During my recent trip to Pakistan as part of our upcoming documentary film, Drones Exposed, I was struck most by the stories told to me by children who had experienced a U.S. drone strike firsthand. The impact of America’s drone war in the likes of Pakistan and Yemen will linger on, especially for the loved ones of the 178 children killed in those countries by U.S. drone strikes.

    War Costs’ latest video (with accompanying report) brings attention to the children who have died as a result of drone strikes. The video names some of the children who perished in these strikes, and points out the obfuscation tactics of American officials who will not own up to the significant amount of civilian casualties that have occurred due to this legally- and morally-dubious policy.

  4. I would like to see the CIA returned to its historical operations and leave the military operations to the military. The increase in these operations internationally is symtomatic of the fact that there does not seem to be a need for any president to declare war to make it lega!

  5. It would take a really gullible polyanna not to recognize that this increased surveillance and paramilitary activity overseas will eventually be reflected in the fabric and operational character of these governmental institutions footprint domestically. It already is.

    (Borrowing part of what onprior thread) budgets and programs could be brought under control but for the conspiracy of political calculus in the 21st century, and the political-miitary-K Street-corporate-financial revolving door. But we can’t talk about that in our ‘center-right’ country because ’911 changed everything’.

  6. Chee, and HOW MUCH is this going to cost? Haven’t they heard of the fiscal cliff? I guess not. WE’RE the ones that have to learn about that, not them!

  7. I remember early on in the war against the Taliban (I want to say Oct 2001) pictures of troops on horseback described by Rumsfeld as CIA. I was somewhat surprised at that time that the CIA had “troops”.

    Fast forward to 2012 and the Petraeus scandal where once again I wondered how in the world the CIA allowed a new director to be put in place without proper vetting but then read that the vetting wasn’t done because the Army had recently vetted the dude for a top security clearance. Twenty years ago the CIA would never have accepted some other agency’s vetting nor would they have had enough combat troops on the books to mount on horseback … even if you count Roland, the Headless Thomson Gunner.

    I suspect the Petraeus event ignited a constantly simmering war between the different intelligence agencies, a battle the CIA had been successfully prosecuting in its favor, and the DIA is now taking back ground, which is most interesting considering the fact that Petraeus came from the Defense Dept.

    As to the civil liberties movement … where were they for the last 2 decades as the CIA was building its military force field … a field well enough established to ride into war on horseback in Oct. 2001?

    Global mini wars around the world and intelligence agency wars in Washington … all paid for with our tax dollars and none of them, not a one, were good enough to protect us on Sept. 11, 2001

  8. Swarthmore and Blouise,
    The CIA has become another section of the military. We shouldn’t be surprised when we have military officers becoming CIA heads and NSA heads.

  9. SwM,

    And let’s not forget that neither the intelligence agency in the Defense Dept nor the CIA were good enough to protect us from the swing dick sex lies of Petraeus and the incredible vulnerabilities inherent in that man and his lady friends.

  10. Swarthmore mom
    1, December 3, 2012 at 11:18 am
    raff, We had a CIA head become president.


    BINGO That’s where it all started!

  11. Deny the Pentagon a spy agency and deny the CIA military force. Never the Twain shall meet. As one who used to frequent the bar in the Hilton Hotel at El Tahir Square in Cairo I can tell you that there were too many people working for Bell Helicopter. Hint. Too many Brits running about “working” for British Air. Between M-I6 and the CIA one could not belly up to the bar to get a drink. I guess now the Pentagon spys will work for ConAgra and the CIA guys for Northrup Grummand. This particular bar was the brain trust and organizing centre for the grand plan to recruit Muslim Brotherhood members to go to Afghanistan to run the Russians out. Some of them came back to bite. They bit Anwar Sadat. Now they are making Egypt into a holy Muslim Republic like Iran. Too many spies spoil the broth.

  12. And let’s not forget that neither the intelligence agency in the Defense Dept nor the CIA were good enough to protect us from the swing dick sex lies of Petraeus and the incredible vulnerabilities inherent in that man and his lady friends. -Blouise

    William Binney briefly addresses Petraeus’ “vulnerabilities” in an interview with RT:


  13. When I was a child, we were taught that the Soviet Union was the ‘Evil Empire’ and that we could NEVER become like THEM. Boy were WE wrong. We have, indeed, become the Cold War Soviet Union.

  14. Expect CIA operations in the Arctic.

    The first large ship through the “mythical” Northwest Passage just happened:

    Gas tanker the “Ob River” took the cargo aboard at Melkøya, Finnmark County, on 7 November. The ship is now lying outside one of Japan’s major LNG terminals in Japan waiting to unload 134,738 cubic metres of liquefied natural gas.

    A subsidiary of giant Russian company Gazprom owns the cargo.

    (Arctic Ocean gets first gas cargo). An Admiral who is head of U.S. Navy global warming response (ports endangered is a national security threat) did a talk at the Pentagon indicating that a Singapore type port is under construction in Greenland, because it will not be long until the Northwest Passage is a freeway:

    This Navy Admiral even believes that Singapore will no longer be the greatest ocean port, but that a port in Greenland will take that honor, because after the polar ice caps melt in the Arctic, the fabled Northwest Passage will become strategic, and the Panama Canal will become somewhat of a museum piece.

    (Has The Navy Fallen For The Greatest Hoax?). The U.S. has more spies than the Nuns, but knows less than fifth graders.

  15. ap,

    (from your link) … “Binney says that social networks analysis is being carried out on all Americans, and that if for any reason the clique in charge of the government decides to target an individual, they can go back and analyze the electronic records on him or her for damning information.”

    And what’s to keep them from adding a few bytes of their own and attributing it to you? Who is going to be able to analyze that kind of a set up? Scary stuff.

  16. JFK planned to destroy the CIA or at least rein it in and we know what happened to him. GHWB was CIA at the time. From what I understand, the CIA is somewhat like the Mafia, once in always in. Obama is CIA.

    Would we be letting Romney get away with this? Obama is W on steroids. W started it but Obama is escalating the worst of W’s actions – more wars on countries without a national debate or Congressional approval, escalating warrantless surveillance, escalating drone attacks, massive amounts of money for military and spy activities, kill lists, indefinite detention without charges, etc.

  17. “And what’s to keep them from adding a few bytes of their own and attributing it to you? Who is going to be able to analyze that kind of a set up?” -Blouise

    Yep, Blouise. And as you said, “Scary stuff.” We are in very dangerous territory here in the U.S.

  18. Interesting that this is happening at the same time that a new, large, secure security command center is being built in Israel. Will that command center come with DIA and Pentagon/Pentagon contractor tenants? Does building a facility as part of some kind of foreign military aid remove it’s purpose from Congressional funding decisions and later Congressional oversight regarding use?

    I read an article a couple of days ago that said it was safe to close Gitmo at this point. Does this mean that we aren’t going to be capturing enemy combatants in the future?

    A new facility on friendly ground in the Middle East that would allow shared use could solve some problems.

    Lotta’ coincidences; I get twitchy and suspicious when there are coincidences.

    “Guantanamo Detainees Could Be Moved To U.S. Jails, Government Report Says”

    …. “The study said there are six Defense Department prisons and 98 Justice Department prisons that could take the detainees, but it does say that existing facilities likely would need to be modified and current inmates may need to be relocated to make room for the new arrivals.

    President Barack Obama ordered the closing of the Guantanamo’s detention facility when he took office in 2009, but that was blocked by a Republican-led bill that cut off funding to move the detainees to the U.S. The lawmakers cited security concerns, saying the presence of the detainees would encourage terror attacks in the states or cities where they were being held. ”


  19. As Ralph said: Oboma is worse than Bush.

    The real purpose of this “security” spying is probably to make sure that
    CIA-sponsored “terrorists/freedom fighters” don’t get cold feet and start
    playing for the wrong team.

    Meanwhile, the Obama/NPR crowd just loves their O boy.

  20. Here is the official argument and explanation for the military treatment of Bradley Manning. (I know Jane Hamshers site, but Gosztola is doing an excellent job under difficult circumstances, ie, banning of court transcripts):

    By: Kevin Gosztola Monday December 3, 2012 5:59 pm

    “Military prosecutors challenging a defense motion alleging Pfc. Bradley Manning was subjected to “unlawful pretrial punishment” while imprisoned at Quantico are arguing Manning had multiple avenues available to him if he wanted to complain about his confinement which he never used.”


  21. As with the post before this, “http://jonathanturley.org/2012/12/03/as-congress-debates-raising-taxes-and-cutting-core-programs-for-americans-the-obama-administration-builds-israel-a-100-million-air-complex/”
    Liberals have got the big govt war monger they deserved. This man will bankrupt the country, spy on, rendition and assassinate people all at his say so. It would be comedic if it wasn’t tragic, where are the public outcries? Most of the commenters on this blog are firm Obama supporters, Romney would have been just as bad. Both parties need to be abolished, parties period. Partisanship has no meaning anymore except which side of big brother you find less distasteful, I want more social justice from the left, while ignoring the massive culture of dependence it creates and undermines people’s self worth. The left are strangely silent about their champion in the white house who has mad bush look like less of a war criminal in many respects. Then we have the right which is just as big a part of the corporate aristocracy as the left, but are war mangers up front instead of acting peaceful like Obama. End partisanship, end the parties, bring back Senators not popularly elected. This helps protect state sovereignty, and removing the two parties would be a great libertarian start for us all. Or we can continue with the never ending debt, inflation, assassination, spying, indoctrination, arbitrary justice, fascism, socialism…..Time for a new way, like America’s founders intended.

  22. It came to pass all the contemporary kings soon to be Lords, and all the contemporary Lords some soon to be King united in their efforts to builds walls higher and higher to protect their ever burgeoning fiefdoms. T’was many heard say “Tis a marvelous and wonderful thing we build today, if we do it right we will stay and stay”

    And the serfer man say all hail to our Lords, And the serfer man pray all praise to the Lord, And the serfer man dies bound to the ground. Pity the serfer man serfer man down.

  23. The CIA has been using military personnel, or at least transferring them on paper, for over 45 years. It’s nothing new. For better or worse.

  24. Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 12:49 PM EST

    Blackwater still making major deals with U.S. in Afghanistan

    The contractors, now named Academi, own and operate U.S. Commandos’ new base

    By Natasha Lennard


    “Blackwater, which now goes by the name “Academi” to sound less like an army of pillaging mercenaries, is still making major no-bid deals with the U.S. military in Afghanistan. Wired’s Spencer Ackerman reported Wednesday that Blackwater will play “landlord” to U.S. Special Operations Forces in the country.

    Thanks to a no-bid deal worth $22 million, U.S. Special Ops have moved to a new Blackwater-owned and operated base — Camp Integrity. “It’s highly unusual for U.S. military forces to take up official residence on a privately owned facility, ” reported Ackerman, noting, “According to Lt. Col. Tom Bryant, the spokesman for Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan, it’s only supposed to be temporary, as the command plans to move to Bagram Air Field by summer 2013. But Camp Integrity is already shaping up to be a crucial location for an Afghanistan war that’s rapidly changing.”

    The use of Camp Integrity reportedly arose from the simple fact of overcrowding as the U.S. consolidated its Special Operations into one force. Academi offered a home for the force that could not be accommodated by existing military facilities. But as Ackerman noted, “Academi’s old incarnation, Blackwater, had deep ties to the secretive U.S. special operations community. Founder Erik Prince was a Navy SEAL, and the firm aided the Joint Special Operations Command with counterterrorism targeting and ‘snatch and grab‘ operations in Pakistan.”

    Despite the rationale of expediency, it may come as a surprise to Blackwater (by any other name) critics that the contractors are continuing to make major deals with the U.S. military in Afghanistan, despite its record murdering Afghan civilians. But as Ackerman pointed out, the notorious security firm now hosts “the heart of the enduring commando mission in the U.S.’ longest war.”

    Last month Ackerman reported that Academi will also play a major role in the Pentagon’s plan to expand its global spy network to an unprecedented size. Academi is among six firms hired to train DIA spies in self-defense.”

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