Earlier this month we learned that the Obama
Administration is significantly expanding the number of covert Defense Intelligence
Agency (DIA) agents overseas. From just a few hundred DIA agents overseas
today, the administration intends to eventually deploy some 1,600 covert
agents. The nature of their work will also shift, away from intelligence
collection and more toward covert actions. This move signals a major change
in how the administration intends to conduct military and paramilitary
operations overseas. Unfortunately it is not a shift toward peace, but rather
to an even more deadly and disturbing phase in the "war on terror."
Surely attacks on foreign countries will increase as a
result of this move, but more and more the strikes will take place under
cover of darkness and outside the knowledge of Congress or the American
people. The move also represents a further blurring of the lines between the
military and intelligence services, with the CIA becoming more like a secret
military unto itself. This is a very troubling development.
In 2010, I said in a speech that there had been a CIA
coup in this country. The CIA runs the military, the drone program, and they
are in drug trafficking. The CIA is a secretive government all on its own.
With this new expanded Defense Intelligence Agency presence overseas it will
be even worse. Because the DIA is operationally under control of the
Pentagon, direct Congressional oversight of the program will be more
difficult. Perhaps this is as intended. The CIA will be training the DIA in
its facilities to conduct operations overseas. Much of this will include
developing targeting data for the president's expanding drone warfare
Already the president has demonstrated his preference
for ever more drone attacks overseas. In Pakistan, for example, President
Obama has in his first four years authorized six times more drone strikes than
under all eight years of the Bush Administration. Nearly three thousand
individuals have been killed by these drones, many of those non-combatants.
President Obama said recently of Israel's strikes
against the Palestinians in Gaza, "No country on Earth would tolerate
missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders." This
announcement by the administration amounts to precisely that: the US intends
to rain down ever more missiles on citizens overseas. I believe what the
president says about Israel is true everywhere, so what about those overseas
who live in fear of our raining missiles? How will they feel about the United
States? Is it not possible that we may be inviting more blowback by expanding
the covert war overseas? Does that make us safer?
An exhaustive study earlier this year by Stanford and
New YorkUniversity law schools found that US drone
strikes on Pakistan are "damaging and counterproductive,"
potentially creating more terrorists than they kill. Its recommendations of a
radical re-appraisal of the program obviously fell on deaf ears in the
Thousands of new DIA spies are to be hired and placed
undercover alongside their CIA counterparts to help foment ever more covert
wars and coups in foreign lands. Congress is silent. Where will it all end?