The Blogiston Post

Politics, money, and war.

Thursday, May 8

the office of special plans

Seymour Hersh has written several articles in The New Yorker on the dynamics operating within the Department of Defense. His most recent, Selective Intelligence in the May 12 issue is a must read.
They call themselves, self-mockingly, the Cabal - a small cluster of policy advisers and analysts now based in the Pentagon’s Office of Special Plans. In the past year, according to former and present Bush Administration officials, their operation, which was conceived by Paul Wolfowitz, the Deputy Secretary of Defense, has brought about a crucial change of direction in the American intelligence community. These advisers and analysts, who began their work in the days after September 11, 2001, have produced a skein of intelligence reviews that have helped to shape public opinion and American policy toward Iraq. They relied on data gathered by other intelligence agencies and also on information provided by the Iraqi National Congress, or I.N.C., the exile group headed by Ahmad Chalabi. By last fall, the operation rivaled both the CIA and the Pentagon’s own Defense Intelligence Agency, the DIA, as President Bush’s main source of intelligence regarding Iraq’s possible possession of weapons of mass destruction and connection with Al Qaeda. As of last week, no such weapons had been found. And although many people, within the Administration and outside it, profess confidence that something will turn up, the integrity of much of that intelligence is now in question.
Little is known about the Office of Special Plans (OSP), but their positioning within the Department of Defense (DoD) says quite a bit. To understand where exactly in the DoD the OSP is located a basic overview is needed.

International Security Affairs

The Secretary of Defense is Donald Rumsfeld. The Deputy Secretary of Defense is Paul Wolfowitz. Beneath the Secretary of Defense are a number of Secretary and Under Secretary positions heading various departments and agencies.

The newly created Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence of Stephen Cambone is one. The Under Secretary of Defense for Policy of Douglas Feith is a second.

Douglas Feith as the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy oversees the following personnel:
Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy
Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Strategy and Requirements
Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict
Defense Advisor for U. S. Mission NATO
Director of Net Assessment
Defense Security Assistance Agency - through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
Defense Technology Security Administration - through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy
Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action Office - through the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs
The Office of Special Plans is located within International Security Affairs.The Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs is Peter W. Rodman.
The Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs is the principal staff assistant and advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and the Secretary of Defense for formulating international security and political-military policy for Africa, Asia-Pacific, Near-East and South Asia, and the Western Hemisphere. He also provides policy oversight for security assistance and prisoner of war (POW)/missing in action (MIA) issues.
International Security Affairs is broken down into 4 regional offices:
Near East and South Asia
Western Hemisphere
And 3 other offices:
Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office
Defense Security Cooperation Agency
International Negotiations and Regional Affairs
Dr. William J. Luti is the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense in charge of Special Plans and Near East and South Asia. The Office of Special Plans is within the Near East and South Asia regional office. The Director of the Office of Special Plans is Abram Shulsky.

Defense Intelligence Community

Progressing down the chain of command from Secretary of Defense thru the Policy branch of the DoD to the Director of the Office of Special Plans, something is missing: The Intelligence Community. While intelligence is an integral part of all departments within the DoD, key intelligence such as that used by the President to declare war, seems wildly out of place in the Policy branch.

Responsibility for intelligence gathering of the significance indicated in Hersh's article is mentioned nowhere in the full directive of Responsibilities and Functions of International Security Affairs. Nor is the Policy branch included in the Department of Defense Intelligence Community comprised of the following DoD members:
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) - provides timely and objective military intelligence to warfighters, policymakers, and force planners.

National Security Agency (NSA) - collects and processes foreign signals intelligence information for our Nation's leaders and warfighters, and protects critical US information security systems from compromise.

National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) - coordinates collection and analysis of information from airplane and satellite reconnaissance by the military services and the CIA.

National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA) – provides timely, relevant, and accurate geospatial intelligence in support of national security.

Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps Intelligence Agencies –each collects and processes intelligence relevant to their particular Service needs.
The CIA, while funded under the DoD, is considered a non-DoD intelligence branch. Policy is not a member of the DoD Intelligence Community nor the non-DoD Intelligence Community.

Intelligence Activities

United States intelligence activities are clearly defined in the provisions of Executive Order 12333 of Dec. 4, 1981.
1.11 The Department of Defense. The Secretary of Defense shall:

(a) Collect national foreign intelligence and be responsive to collection tasking by the Director of Central Intelligence;

(b) Collect, produce and disseminate military and military-related foreign intelligence and counterintelligence as required for execution of the Secretary's responsibilities;

(c) Conduct programs and missions necessary to fulfill national, departmental and tactical foreign intelligence requirements;

(d) Conduct counterintelligence activities in support of Department of Defense components outside the United States in coordination with the CIA, and within the United States in coordination with the FBI pursuant to procedures agreed upon by the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General;

(e) Conduct, as the executive agent of the United States Government, signals intelligence and communications security activities, except as otherwise directed by the National Security Council;

(f) Provide for the timely transmission of critical intelligence, as defined by the Director of Central Intelligence, within the United States Government;

(g) Carry out or contract for research, development and procurement of technical systems and devices relating to authorized intelligence functions;

(h) Protect the security of Department of Defense installations, activities, property, information, and employees by appropriate means, including such investigations of applicants, employees, contractors, and other persons with similar associations with the Department of Defense as are necessary;

(i) Establish and maintain military intelligence relationships and military intelligence exchange programs with selected cooperative foreign defense establishments and international organizations, and ensure that such relationships and programs are in accordance with policies formulated by the Director of Central Intelligence;

(j) Direct, operate, control and provide fiscal management for the National Security Agency and for defense and military intelligence and national reconnaissance entities; and

(k) Conduct such administrative and technical support activities within and outside the United States as are necessary to perform the functions described in sections (a) through (j) above.

1.12 Intelligence Components Utilized by the Secretary of Defense. In carrying out the responsibilities assigned in section 1.11, the Secretary of Defense is authorized to utilize the following:

(a) Defense Intelligence Agency, whose responsibilities shall include;

(1) Collection, production, or, through tasking and coordination, provision of military and military-related intelligence for the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, other Defense components, and, as appropriate, non-Defense agencies;

(2) Collection and provision of military intelligence for national foreign intelligence and counterintelligence products;

(3) Coordination of all Department of Defense intelligence collection requirements;

(4) Management of the Defense Attache system; and

(5) Provision of foreign intelligence and counterintelligence staff support as directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Policy Dictates Intelligence

Clearly the DoD has a well established intelligence structure with clearly defined responsibilities . So just what is the Office of Special Plans doing operating inside of Policy if the Defense Department already has a dedicated intelligence community as well as an Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence?

Read Hersh's article. It should now be clear just how far outside of the intelligence community the Office of Special Plans is operating. For more insight from Hersh, read the accompanying online interview.
AMY TÜBKE-DAVIDSON: This week in the magazine, you look at how the case for going to war with Iraq was made. What did you find out?

SEYMOUR M. HERSH: Well, the biggest thing I found out is that what we think of as the intelligence community may not be a community at all. For example, I was just listening to Secretary of State Colin Powell describe how he had briefings from the intelligence community on weapons of mass destruction. It turns out that the intelligence community is really very much dominated by a small group of people in the Pentagon. Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, has more or less muscled his way into day-to-day intelligence operations. I wrote about an ad-hoc analytical group that began working in the Pentagon in the aftermath of September 11th, and which became formally known as the Office of Special Plans last August. The office is the responsibility of William Luti, the Under-Secretary of Defense, and its director is Abram Shulsky. They argued that the C.I.A. and other agencies, including the Defense Intelligence Agency and the State Department, weren't able to understand the connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda, and the extent to which Iraq was involved in the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. They felt that these agencies didn't get it right because they didn't have the right point of view. The Pentagon group's idea was, essentially: Let's just assume that there is a connection between Al Qaeda and Iraq, and let's assume that they have made weapons of mass destruction, and that they're still actively pursuing nuclear weapons and have generated thousands of tons of chemical and biological weapons and not destroyed them. Having made that leap of faith, let's then look at the intelligence the C.I.A. has assembled with fresh eyes and see what we can see. As one person I spoke to told me, they wanted to believe it was there and, by God, they found it.
The cart has been placed in front of the horse. Policy is now dictating the interpretation of intelligence. One can only hope that intelligence is not fabricated to satisfy policy in return.


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