Monday, August 18, 2008

New Unit of DIA Will Take the Offensive On Counterintelligence

Walter Pincus writes in The Washington Post:

The Defense Intelligence Agency's newly created Defense Counterintelligence and Human Intelligence Center is going to have an office authorized for the first time to carry out "strategic offensive counterintelligence operations," according to Mike Pick, who will direct the program.

Such covert offensive operations are carried out at home and abroad against people known or suspected to be foreign intelligence officers or connected to foreign intelligence or international terrorist activities -- but not against U.S. citizens, said Toby Sullivan, director of counterintelligence for James R. Clapper Jr., the undersecretary of defense for intelligence.

Sullivan and Pick, who is chief of the agency's Counterintelligence Human Intelligence Enterprise Management Office, spoke to reporters during a Pentagon briefing this month.

These sensitive, clandestine operations are "tightly controlled departmental activities run by a small group of specially selected people" within the Defense Department, said Sullivan, who exercises authority over all Pentagon counterintelligence activities. The investigative branches of the three services -- the Army's Counterintelligence Corps, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service -- have done secret offensive counterintelligence operations for years, and now DIA has been given the authority.

More here.


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