January - February

Materials arranged chronologically.

Gellman, Barton.

1. "Secret Unit Expands Rumsfeld's Domain: New Espionage Branch Delving Into CIA Territory." Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2005, A1. []

According to "interviews with participants and documents obtained" by the Washington Post, the U.S. Defense Department "has created a new espionage arm and is reinterpreting U.S. law to give Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld broad authority over clandestine operations abroad.... 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."

2. "Some Question Background of Unit's Leader: Inexperienced Personnel Cited As a Risk to Espionage Work." Washington Post, 23 Jan. 2005, A10. []

According to "skeptics of the Pentagon's intelligence initiatives," the Army reserve officer who commands the DIA's Strategic Support Branch, Col. George Waldroup, "is controversial. His ascent to a top espionage post from a civilian career at the Immigration and Naturalization Service is a cautionary tale, according to them, about the risks of rapid expansion in the staffing and mission of clandestine units....

"The Strategic Support Branch's human intelligence 'augmentation teams' have deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq with a commando unit ... that drew the most demanding intelligence missions.... Task force members, in interviews, complained that some of Waldroup's personnel were unprepared for the assignment."

See also, Eric Schmitt, "Pentagon Sends Own Spy Units into Battlefield: Role May Encroach on Territory of CIA," New York Times, 24 Jan. 2005, A1.

U.S. Department of Defense, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs). "DoD Background Briefing on Strategic Support Teams." News Transcript, 24 Jan. 2005. [Available at:]

Senior Defense Official: "The teams that we're talking about..., the Strategic Support Teams, are funded within the general Defense Intelligence Program, which itself is inside the National Foreign Intelligence Program, which is under the aegis of the DCI.  So the package that ... we submitted in the [FY] '05 [budget] bill, was drawn up in coordination with the DCI staff.  So this has been a product that was jointly agreed between, broadly, the secretary and the DCI and then applied between the two organizations for the express purpose of improving the human intelligence capability both within CIA and within DIA."

Jehl, Douglas, and Eric Schmitt. "Reports on Pentagon's New Spy Units Set Off Questions in Congress." New York Times, 25 Jan. 2005. []

On 24 January 2005, "[s]enior members of Congress said ... that they would seek to determine whether the Pentagon had overstepped its bounds by creating new secret battlefield intelligence units" within DIA. Stephen A. Cambone, under secretary of defense for intelligence, and Vice Adm. Lowell Jacoby, the head of the DIA, "said the teams had been formally established in the fiscal year 2005 defense budget using existing authority to replace ad hoc defense intelligence units that had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan for more than two years."

White, Josh, and Barton Gellman. "Defense Espionage Unit to Work With CIA." Washington Post, 25 Jan. 2005, A3. []

On 24 January 2005, DoD officials "acknowledged ... that the Pentagon has created new clandestine teams to gain better human intelligence for military commanders but emphasized that the program was developed with the cooperation" of the CIA, "not to bypass it.... [T]wo defense officials who briefed reporters on the condition that their names not be used ... said that the ... organization has been running in its current form since October under funding authorized for this fiscal year."

Jehl, Douglas, and Thom Shanker. "Congress Is Reviewing Pentagon on Intelligence Activities." New York Times, 4 Feb. 2005. []

According to Congressional officials, "[t]he House and Senate Intelligence Committees have begun to review whether the Pentagon has met legal requirements to keep them fully informed of its intelligence activities.... The reviews focus on what Pentagon officials acknowledged in recent weeks was the Defense Department's widening role in intelligence gathering.... [T]he committees are seeking to exert the same extent of intelligence oversight to the Pentagon that they have long applied to the C.I.A."

Tyson, Ann Scott. "Study Urges CIA Not To Cede Paramilitary Functions to Pentagon." Washington Post, 5 Feb. 2005, A8. []

According to senior defense officials on 4 February 2005, a study contracted by the Pentagon and carried out by McLean-based Booz Allen Hamilton "has concluded that the Defense Department should not take charge of the CIA's paramilitary functions." The study considered how to act on the 9/11 commission's recommendation "that lead responsibility for covert and clandestine paramilitary operations be ... consolidated under the ... Special Operations Command.... The study's conclusion ... reflects an emerging consensus among current and former defense, military and intelligence officials that it is more logical for the CIA to retain its relatively modest paramilitary force."

Gellman, Barton. "Controversial Pentagon Espionage Unit Loses Its Leader: Rumsfeld Reportedly Moving Ahead With Plans to Expand Team's Intelligence Work Worldwide." Washington Post, 13 Feb. 2005, A8. []

Reserve Army Col. George Waldroup, leader of the Pentagon's new espionage unit, the Strategic Support Branch, "has resigned his position." A DIA spokesman said "Waldroup, an Army reservist, returned to civilian life last weekend after an initial period of active duty expired. He acknowledged that Waldroup's status was renewable."

Tyson, Ann Scott, and Dana Priest. "Pentagon Seeking Leeway Overseas: Operations Could Bypass Envoys." Washington Post, 24 Feb. 2005, A1. []

According to administration officials, "[t]he Pentagon is promoting a global counterterrorism plan that would allow Special Operations forces to enter a foreign country to conduct military operations without explicit concurrence from the U.S. ambassador there."

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