Secrecy News: "Drastic" Domestic Military Changes; "Serious" Intelligence Reform
Secrecy News: "Drastic"
Domestic Military Changes; "Serious" Intelligence Reform
SECRECY NEWS is an email publication of
the Federation of American Scientists (FAS)
Project on Government Secrecy. It provides
informal coverage of new developments in secrecy,
security and intelligence policies, as well
as links to new acquisitions on the Federation
of American Scientists web site. It
is published 2 to 3 times a week, or as events
News Article Index
"DRASTIC" CHANGES SEEN IN DOMESTIC MILITARY OPERATIONS
In the absence of clear guidelines and effective oversight, the
U.S. military is becoming increasingly involved in domestic
operations, including surveillance activities that blur the
traditional distinction between foreign intelligence and
"Since September 11, 2001, the role of the military in domestic
operations has changed drastically," according to the 2004
Operational Law Handbook of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate
General (JAG) Corps.
"Prior to September 11, military involvement in domestic
operations was almost exclusively in the area of civil support
operations. Post-September 11, the military's role has
expanded to cover 'homeland defense' and/or 'homeland
security' missions, somewhat undefined terms," the JAG Handbook
stated (p. 355).
Several instances of "an expanding military role in domestic
affairs" were reported today in the Wall Street Journal.
In one case, an Army intelligence officer demanded that a
University of Texas law school turn over the videotape of an
academic conference in order to identify "Middle Eastern"
individuals who had made "suspicious" remarks.
See "Is Military Creeping Into Domestic Spying and Enforcement?" by
Robert Block and Gary Fields, Wall Street Journal, March 9, p. B1,
to non-subscribers here.
One military intelligence organization with a domestic presence
is the low-profile Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA).
Quietly created post-September 11, CIFA has a broad charter to
provide counterintelligence and security support to the Defense
Department around the world and within the United States.
"Worldwide, more than 400 civilian and military employees work for
CIFA with the ultimate goal of detecting and neutralizing the many
different forms of espionage regularly conducted against the United
States by terrorists, foreign intelligence services and other covert
and clandestine groups," according to the Defense Security Service.
"The threats posed by these adversaries include actions to kill
or harm U.S. citizens; to steal critical information or assets
(military or civilian); or destroy critical infrastructures."
The 2004 Operational Law Handbook published by the U.S. Army JAG Corps
provides a comprehensive map of the terrain of military law, from
the legal basis for the use of force to domestic operations to the
laws governing intelligence and special operations. A copy
is posted here (563 pages, 4.6 MB PDF file).
REP. HARMAN ON "SERIOUS INTELLIGENCE REFORM"
"Our intelligence community needs an extreme makeover," said
Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) at a speech on intelligence reform
presented March 5 at the American Enterprise Institute. She is
the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on
Rep. Harman identified five steps that the President could take
this year to correct past errors and improve future
performance, beginning with a "scrub" of all intelligence on
weapons of mass destruction.
"If estimates of Iraq's WMD programs were so far off the mark,
we must be concerned that systemic deficiencies in intelligence
analysis on other WMD programs and activities exist, such as
those in Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria and Pakistan," she
"But there are no discernible signs from the Vice President or President
acknowledging the obvious flaws in our intelligence systems," she