commentary on Politics and a little bit of everything else

The Special Ops War between the SOCOM and the CIA in Afghanistan and Pakistan….Part 3

The Dog has written two pieces on the Special Ops war in Afghanistan and Pakistan…..

Part 1 Here………….….and Part 2 Here………….

We have Part 3 which clears the Forest from th Tree’s….

In   a piece in the Atlantic….Marc Ambinder flushes out why Part 1 and 2 ended up ….

The issue is …..The CIA has been given Carte Blanche to operate in Afghanistan to hunt and kill bad guys……The Military does not….

The orignal orders came from Theatre Commander Patreaus from US CEntral Command/CENTCOM

US Special Operators ROE’s* require them to phone home for clearance……

While Ambinder writes that Greg Miller of the Washington Post had an exclusive on the Issue…..

The Dog has been following the issue in two pieces in the New York Times that I have posted up by Mark Mazzetti……

Ambinder goes on to point out that the info in the WashPost and NY Times seem to be systemic leaks by the Special Operations Command/SOCOM ) military complaining about the arrangement that gives the CIA free rein to ‘deal with’ anyone on a approved ‘bad guy’ list and the US service Special Ops teams have to ‘call it in’….

No of course Ambinder relates there is a political Bullshit line that US Troops don’t operate in Pakistan…..So ofcourse the way around that is make sure the people operating in- Country are CIA Operators…NOT Military Operators….

Mazzetti goes into a bit about is the all this stuff legal…..And the Dog points out that the reporter puts in the the Generals prosecuting the war don’t mind getting the ‘takes’ info …no matter where it comes from…..and no one really wants the thing to stop…so the legal question really isn’t an issue…the whole thing works……

Ambinder goes on to confirm that contrary to earlier times…The Paksitanis ARE working with the US and get real time feeds from Prator drones…

When the drones find stuff the Pakistanis get it, SOCOM gets it…..and yes the CIA  intel teams get it…..The difference is the CIa teams can act on it…the SOCOM teams have to again…’phone home’…..

SOCOM’s operators are very much on the periphery of the shooting in Pakistan. They have much freer reign in Afghanistan. But even there, they’re being constrained by the intelligence they receive, and most of the human tips come from the CIA, or are laundered through the CIA’s relationships with foreign intelligence organizations.
SOCOM is not questioning the effectiveness of the drone program. What they want is encapsulated in these paragraphs:

U.S. Special Operations teams in Afghanistan have pushed for years to have wider latitude to carry out raids across the border, arguing that CIA drone strikes do not yield prisoners or other opportunities to gather intelligence. But a 2008 U.S. helicopter raid against a target in Pakistan prompted protests from officials in Islamabad who oppose allowing U.S. soldiers to operate within their country. The CIA has the authority to designate and strike targets in Pakistan without case-by-case approval from the White House. U.S. military forces are currently authorized to carry out unilateral strikes in Pakistan only if solid intelligence were to surface on any of three high-value targets: al-Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, or Taliban chief Mohammad Omar. But even in those cases, the military would need higher-level approval.

Read that carefully. The regular special operations forces have less authority to target … targets than the CIA, a strategic intelligence gathering agency, … IN A WAR. That’s the embedded news in the piece. SOCOM is trying to send a message to policy-makers and the public: they’ve got the capacity to help a lot more then they are helping, and they’re being hamstrung by legal authorities that don’t make sense to them. One point of the joint task force concept embraced by the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) and SOCOM is to crowd out the CIA’s paramilitary operations in the Af-Pak war theater.


May 30, 2010 Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Government, Law, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Federal Judges finds some Bush era domestic wiretaps illegal……

The ruling by a federal judge….. upholds the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act policy of having the National Security Agency obtain a warrant under a FISA judge’s direction for all domestic ,non-emergency, wiretaps.

The Bush Administration and the Obama Administration both argued that the executive branch did not need to get the warrant……

The judge disagreed…..

The case involved Al Haraamin ….an Islāmic Charity operating in the state of Oregon that the NSA wire taped without authorization from the FISA court…..previous suits against the practice have been thrown out on technical reasons…….

The Obama Administration has advised that in the beginning of their tenure they did the same thing..but has since reverted back to obtaining FISA warrants in domestic wiretapping situations…..

Congress has renewed most of the controversal  Patriot Act……..

A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the National Security Agency’s program of surveillance without warrants was illegal, rejecting the Obama administration’s effort to keep shrouded in secrecy one of the most disputed counterterrorism policies of former PresidentGeorge W. Bush.

In a 45-page opinion, Judge Vaughn R. Walker ruled that the government had violated a 1978 federal statute requiring court approval for domestic surveillance when it intercepted phone calls of Al Haramain, a now-defunct Islamic charity in Oregon, and of two lawyers representing it in 2004. Declaring that the plaintiffs had been “subjected to unlawful surveillance,” the judge said the government was liable to pay them damages.

The ruling delivered a blow to the Bush administration’s claims that its surveillance program, which Mr. Bush secretly authorized shortly after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, was lawful. Under the program, the National Security Agency monitored Americans’ international e-mail messages and phone calls without court approval, even though the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, required warrants.

The Justice Department said it was reviewing the decision and had made no decision about whether to appeal.

The ruling by Judge Walker, the chief judge of the Federal District Court in San Francisco, rejected the Justice Department’s claim — first asserted by the Bush administration and continued under President Obama — that the charity’s lawsuit should be dismissed without a ruling on the merits because allowing it to go forward could reveal state secrets.


March 31, 2010 Posted by | Breaking News, Computers, Government, Law, Media, Men, Other Things, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, September 11, Updates | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The U.S. offers to upgrade other countries troops equipment in Afghanistan….

A mine-resistant troop carrier outside the village of Pushtay in Afghanistan in January.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates pledged Friday that the United States would help protect foreign troops in Afghanistan by offering them armored transport vehicles, surveillance systems and electronic equipment to guard against roadside bombs. Such bombs have claimed more lives than any other weapon in the war.

What a wonderful common sense move….as equipment becomes available from the Iraqi campaiign…why not sell, loan or even give it to other countries troops operation in Aftghanistan?……Perhaps this might make those troops safer?……

Now no body like hand-me- downs….but nobody likes being unequiped to go out on patrols when  I.E.D.s are a re big problem….Since it cost money to pack equipment up and send it back to the states…why not find use for the stuff where it can be used……

Simple and smart……

Oh, and Gates wants to give these other armies better intel?…..why haven’t they been doing that all along?…we ARE all in this together…right?

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Automobiles, Breaking News, Government, Media, Men, Military, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates, Women | , , , | Leave a comment