Sunday, May 16, 2010
Military brass in Afghanistan and Pakistan are relying on a ring of private spies despite legal concerns among authorities. News broke earlier this year that the CIA had enlisted retired intelligence officers as contract spies. At the time, the program was portrayed as unofficial and said to be brought to a close. Now, The New York Times reports, it's clear that the work of those private agents continues in places like Pakistan. The spies send reports to top commanders. Their presence in Pakistan is particularly shocking as the American military is prevented from operating there and the Army is not supposed to hire contract spies under Pentagon rules.
Read the entire shocking revelation at The New York Times
Has it ever occurred to anyone at the New York Times that our intelligence operations are not constrained by such artificialities as the Law of Land Warfare? In the time-honored history of American espionage, the ONLY rules or references in our laws that define ANY kind of legal requirements, when it comes to intelligence-gathering, is Executive Order 12333, which provides for the effective conduct of United States intelligence activities and the protection of constitutional rights of U.S. citizens.
This same Executive Order 12333 ALLOWS for private contracting, by the way:
Executive Order 12333, United States Intelligence Activities
Part 2 - 2.7 Contracting.
"Agencies within the Intelligence Community are authorized to enter into contracts or arrangements for the provision of goods or services with private companies or institutions in the United States and need not reveal the sponsorship of such contracts or arrangements for authorized intelligence purposes. Contracts or arrangements with academic institutions may be undertaken only with the contract of appropriate officials of the institution."
Historically, the United States has used military men, diplomats, private businessmen, mercenaries and adventurers, foreigners - even members of other countries governments - in espionage and reconnaissance. Somebody tell me: WHEN DID THAT CHANGE?
Personally, I don't have a problem with doing anything and everything it takes to WIN THE GLOBAL WAR AGAINST TERRORISM.
What we gotta ask ourselves is . . . DO WE WANT TO WIN THIS THING OR WHAT ? ? ?
I guess the answer to that question is another question: does the New York Times want to win this thing, or what?
- Sean Linnane