2008 - 2009

Materials arranged chronologically.

Mazzetti, Mark. "Pentagon Is Expected to Close Intelligence Unit." New York Times, 2 Apr. 2008. []

The Pentagon is expected to close the controversial Counterintelligence Field Activity office. According to government officials, the move "is part of a broad effort under Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates to review, overhaul and, in some cases, dismantle an intelligence architecture built by his predecessor." The unit "came under fierce criticism in 2005 after it was disclosed" that its Talon database "included information about antiwar protests planned at churches, schools and Quaker meeting halls." See also, Joby Warrick, "Intelligence-Gathering Program May Be Halted." Washington Post, 2 Apr. 2008, A8.

Aftergood, Steven. "Pentagon Intelligence Oversight Falls Short." Secrecy News, 29 May 2008. []

According to a March 2008 report to Congress from the Department of Defense's Inspector General, "routine oversight" of the DoD's "massive and far-flung intelligence apparatus has been significantly reduced."

Hess, Pamela. "Senate: Iranian Intel Concealed from CIA, DIA." Associated Press, 5 Jun. 2008. []

A Senate Intelligence Committee report released on 5 June 2008 says that in late 2001 and 2002 "Defense Department officials refused to allow 'potentially useful and actionable intelligence' to be shared with intelligence agencies, even the Pentagon's own Defense Intelligence Agency."

Castelli, Christopher J. "Pentagon Shakes Up Intelligence Directorate's Organization.", 24 Jul. 2008. []

In a memorandum dated 18 June 2008, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence James R. Clapper, Jr., has restructured his office. The "jobs of the four deputy under secretaries of defense who work for Clapper" have been revamped. The "memo names [Larry] Burgess the deputy under secretary of defense for HUMINT, counterintelligence and security." The words "joint and coalition" are now part of the title of Lt. Gen. Rick Zahner, the deputy under secretary for joint and coalition warfighter support. "John Salvatori is the new deputy under secretary of defense for technical collection and analysis.... Betty Sapp is now the deputy under secretary of defense for portfolio, programs and resources." Clapper's memo is available at:

Mooney, Alexander, Martina Stewart, and Rebecca Sinderbrand. "Reporter Alleges Secret 'Assassination Wing.'" CNN, 30 Mar. 2009. []

On 30 March 2009, New Yorker reporter Seymour Hersh told CNN that "[t]he Bush administration established a secret special operations unit unmonitored by Congress with authority to assassinate high-value targets in as many as a dozen countries.... Hersh said the group -- called the Joint Special Operations Command -- reported to Vice President Dick Cheney and was delegated authority to assassinate individuals based on their own intelligence." A JSOC spokesman "rejected Hersh's report, saying their forces operate under established rules of engagement and the law of armed conflict. He adds that the vice president has no command-and-control authorities over the U.S. military."

Nakashima, Ellen. "Pentagon Cyber Unit Prompts Questions: New Command's Offensive Role Complicates Administration's Global Outreach." Washington Post, 13 Jun. 2009. []

Defense officials are creating a "cyber-command" to "defend military networks and develop offensive cyber-weapons, based on a strategy that brings together the military's cyber-warriors" and NSA. According to administration officials, the cyber-command "will focus strictly on military networks." However, "senior intelligence officials have also urged that the NSA use its abilities to help" DHS defend "critical computer systems."

Starr, Barbara. "Pentagon Creates Cyber Command." CNN, 23 Jun. 2009. []

On 23 June 2009, Defense Secretary Robert Gates "signed a memorandum establishing ... a military command aimed at conducting cyber warfare, and defending the military's computer network." According to Pentagon officials, the Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) "is expected to be headquartered at Fort Meade, Maryland, and headed by the director of the National Security Agency.... The new command will report to the U.S. Strategic Command" (STRATCOM).

Pincus, Walter. "More Intelligence Oversight Advised: Bill a Reaction to Bush Policies." Washington Post, 30 Jun. 2009. []

"Under language approved last week in the fiscal 2010 Intelligence Authorization Act," HPSCI "proposed doing away with provisions that allowed a president to limit disclosure of sensitive intelligence activities to the 'Gang of Eight.... In its place, the House committee gave each intelligence committee, rather than the president, the legal authority to limit briefings to its own members. The president would be required to provide congressional overseers with 'general information' on a covert operation or intelligence activity where there is a potential for loss of life, the outlay of significant funds, or a risk of loss of sources and methods. Briefings would also be required if the disclosure of an operation or activity could cause significant damage to diplomatic relations of the United States."

The HPSCI report, also "criticized the Pentagon for repeatedly placing some of its clandestine intelligence-gathering activities in foreign countries under the category of operations to prepare for a battlefield, which are not required to be reported to Congress. Referring to the 'blurred distinction' between these activities and those of the CIA, the committee report said the battlefield designation is being used 'where the slightest nexus of a theoretical, distant military operation may someday exist.'" See also, Steven Aftergood, "Pentagon Intel Ops 'Often' Evade Oversight," Secrecy News, 6 Jul. 2009.

Aftergood, Steven. "Pentagon Intel Ops 'Often' Evade Oversight." Secrecy News, 6 Jul. 2009. []

In its report on the 2010 intelligence bill, "the House Intelligence Committee complained" that DoD "has blurred the distinction between traditional intelligence collection, which is subject to intelligence committee oversight, and clandestine military operations, which are not.  Because they are labeled in a misleading manner, some DoD clandestine operations that are substantively the same as intelligence activities are evading the congressional oversight they are supposed to receive."

Hoover, J. Nicholas. "NSA Director Tapped For Cyber Command." InformationWeek, 20 Oct. 2009. []

President Obama has nominated NSA Director Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander "to be promoted to the rank of general and assigned as commander of the new United States Cyber Command" which "will be in charge of cyberwarfare and the security of military networks." The Cyber Command "will be based in Ft. Meade, Md., where the National Security Agency is also headquartered, and will be part of the U.S. Strategic Command.." Alexander will continue as NSA director; he "also heads the Joint Functional Component Command for Network Warfare, which is developing offensive cyberwarfare strategies."

Ambinder, Marc. "Obama Gives Commanders Wide Berth for Secret Warfare." The Atlantic, 25 May 2010. []

"Last summer, the White House authorized a massive expansion of clandestine military and intelligence operations worldwide, sanctioning activities in more than a dozen countries and giving the military's combatant commanders significant new authority to conduct unconventional warfare.The New York Times reported on one major operational plan, which authorizes intelligence gathering and reconnaissance activities in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Central Asia. A Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force Execute Order, was signed on September 30, 2009, by CENTCOM commander in chief David Petraeus."

Return to MI 2000s Table of Contents