Mercenary ‘Intelligence’ Spats In The Sandbox

The memo also said that Mr. Furlong had a history of delving into outlandish intelligence schemes, including an episode in 2008, when American officials expelled him from Prague for trying to clandestinely set up computer servers for propaganda operations. Some officials say they believe that the C.I.A. is trying to scuttle the operation to protect its own turf, and that the spy agency has been embarrassed because the contractors are outperforming C.I.A. operatives . . .

To skirt military restrictions on intelligence gathering, information the contractors gather in eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan’s tribal areas is specifically labeled “atmospheric collection”: information about the workings of militant groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan or about Afghan tribal structures. The boundaries separating “atmospherics” from what spies gather is murky. It is generally considered illegal for the military to run organized operations aimed at penetrating enemy organizations with covert agents.

Amusing and even predictable. DoD let the Lockmart contract lapse this month. Still, an ‘investigation’ will result in nothing but a pile of dead trees (and overly ornate PDF file).

Once again Dewey Clarridge pops up like a telemarketer at dinnertime. North by contrast channelled his energies into churning out awful television. Nice to know DoD, Petreaus and Lockmart hired a Czech company to assist intelligence operations (putting a retired senior U.S. General who helped start it all on the payroll).

This Administration will do nothing. No one’s clearances will be revoked. No letters of reprimand. After all, a Tampa-based CENTCOM lawyer said it was kosher. Haven’t we seen *that* dance before? Holder probably has everyone involved on ‘call block.’

Congress in its heart of hearts wonders what’s the fuss? Of more concern is why aren’t more Czech holding entities U.S. front companies showing up at breakfast fund raisers?

Thank goodness one no let it slip to the Pakistanis. Imagine if Pakistanis realized American mercenaries and drones were operating in their country. Killing 20-30 people at a time with – to Americans – monotonous regularity. Even a non-radicalized Taliban faction Pakistani eventually might get pissed off. That kind of ‘nut’ could over react to those few silly drone fusillades and other “war” stuff. And suggest someone go buy propane. Or something.