--- Die Washington Post hat neue Details zu den bereits bekannt gewordenen Planungen des Verteidigungsministeriums, seinen Geheimdienstapparat aufzustocken und unabhängiger von der CIA zu werden. Das US-Militär soll damit besser zum Aufbau heimlich agierender Einheiten für Spezialoperationen, die natürlich auch weniger der demokratischen Kontrolle unterstehen, befähigt werden: 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." ... 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. Da würden wir natürlich schon gerne wissen, welche "Prominenten" da für Rumsfeld weltweit schon arbeiten. Perhaps the most significant shift is the Defense Department's bid to conduct surreptitious missions, in friendly and unfriendly states, when conventional war is a distant or unlikely prospect -- activities that have traditionally been the province of the CIA's Directorate of Operations. ... Some Pentagon officials refer to the combined units as the "secret army of Northern Virginia."