Monday, October 10, 2005

More Creative Uses of the Military

Has anybody else noticed the marked 'mission creep' contemplated for the US military on US soil? First it was the use of the active military during times of natural catastrophe (hurricanes and the like), then to use as 'guards' during quarantines necessitated by pandemics (Avian Flu). Now the Defense Intelligence Agency, a part of the Pentagon, wants authorization to spy on people here in America without them knowing about it. The information comes from a Walter Pincus piece in the Washington Post.

As part of the expanding counterterrorism role being taken on by the Pentagon, Defense Intelligence Agency covert operatives need to be able to approach potential sources in the United States without identifying themselves as government agents, George Peirce, the DIA's general counsel, said yesterday.

"This is not about spying on Americans," Peirce said in an interview in which he defended legislative language approved last week by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. The provision would grant limited authority for DIA agents to clandestinely collect information about U.S. citizens or emigres in this country to help determine whether they could be recruited as sources of intelligence information.

"We are not asking for the moon," Peirce said. "We only want to assess their suitability as a source, person to person" and at the same time "protect the ID and safety of our officers." The CIA and the FBI already have such authority, he added, and the DIA needs it "to develop critical leads" because "there is more than enough work for all of us to do."...

The DIA and other Pentagon agencies are increasing their human intelligence activities in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and threats to U.S. military bases and facilities at home and abroad. Peirce said one reason the new authority is needed is that there is "evidence the enemy is inside the U.S. perimeter."
[Emphasis added]

If the 'enemy' is indeed "inside the U.S. perimeter" (military-speak for "here, inside the country), then we already have a governmental agency to do the work. It's called the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which could drop its current obsession with adult pornography web sites and go back to doing the investigation of potential terrorist threats inside the United States.

The Central Intelligence Agency is supposed to do the intelligence gathering outside the United States. Now that the FBI and the CIA are allowed to talk to each other and to compare notes, I fail to see why the military intelligence gathering organization is even needed in terrorist spy-game. Surely the military has more appropriate things to do, like try to figure out where Osama bin Laden is and where the insurgents are hiding. Why is the DIA even considering operations on US soil, and why is Congress even considering giving them that option?

I'm beginning to think that this regime is perfectly willing to militarize our civilian society, and that's even with my tin-foil helmet in the closet. Things do not look good for the Republic, not good at all.

[Thanks to kelley b. for the tip. Read his take on this outrage at his blog.]


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