By now, many of you have probably already heard the revelations about the Pentagon’s new in-house espionage agency, an organization so secret that not even Congress knew about it. Intended to operate without detection and to get around the military’s “near total dependence on the CIA”, the agency has also done a pretty good job of getting around a couple of other pesky obstacles, like appropriations, congressional oversight… the US Constitution.
Pentagon officials said they established the Strategic Support Branch using “reprogrammed” funds, without explicit congressional authority or appropriation. Defense intelligence missions, they said, are subject to less stringent congressional oversight than comparable operations by the CIA.
Ahh… don’t you love the military’s newspeak-like love of language? “Reprogrammed funds.” Which of course translates into “we appropriate money for this, but we secretly spend it on that.”
I suppose then — what with their Orwellian attention to linguistic detail — the Defense Department is perfectly comfortable with the secret name they chose for this secret organization: the Strategic Support Branch.
Yes… it’s the SS! Many people have noted this administration’s fascist tendencies, but they’re not even trying to hide it anymore.
Yeah, I know there’s a “B” in there for “Branch”, but it could have been an “A” for “Agency” or a “G” for “Group” or something like that. You can be sure that when they sat down to name this organization, somebody must have looked at the abbreviation and thought “hmm… SS… some folks might find that a touch disturbing.” They just didn’t care.
Well, at least we can take comfort in the fact that our SS doesn’t operate on domestic soil. (Not that we’d know if it did.)
But whatever its name, these covert covert-operations raise a lot of troubling questions about the administration’s lack of accounta… wait a minute, somebody’s at my door. I’ll be right back….