Washington, DC (UPSI) – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s two-year bid to increase surveillance and intelligence capabilities of the military has been green lighted according to a New York Times report on Tuesday. The elite troops known as “Military Operational Liaison Elements” or “M.O.L.E.S” will be used in situations both domestic and abroad to “disrupt, capture or kill” terrorists.
The special units will be stationed in the US embassies in hotspots throughout the world, and in all major cities throughout the US. The force’s primary objective will be to gather information clandestinely and plan counterterrorism measures in conjunction with local officials.
The special operations command reports directly to Rumsfeld, falling outside of the normal supervision of domestic and international surveillance. The teams, already in place, have been trained extensively with infiltration tactics and ways to coordinate with local authorities. The forces draw upon the best that the Army Green Berets and Rangers, the Navy Seals, the Marines, and Air Force has to offer.
While publicly the program has drawn criticism and opposition from the rank and file of traditional intelligence agencies such as the CIA, the agency’s head, Porter Goss, has largely applauded the effort, particularly in regards to domestic security efforts. “I would cite you the recent case in North Carolina,” stated Mr. Goss, “in which Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar attacked UNC students with an SUV. Now, had we had more “boots on the ground”, we probably could have prevented this. The CIA has been strained, overworked, and hobbled by many recent leaks, but this is no excuse when it comes to the safety and protection of America. I, for one, would welcome the assistance that this innovative force could potentially offer. As a matter of fact, plans are in the works for just such a liaison strike force within the CIA.”
Secretary Rumsfeld stated, “We have ample evidence that while there is certainly no civil war in Iraq, these crafty dead enders and killers may be succeeding in exporting their plans for civil unrest to the United States. This modern war of ideas in which we find ourselves is one in which delay is deadly and inexcusable. We simply must have the capacity to instantly infiltrate and disrupt unrest and the seeds of defeatism wherever they may crop up.”
The Times went on to conclude that with the current level of distrust and criticism that critics in Congress and the academic world have leveled at the Bush administration’s counterterrorism efforts, it would likely be impossible for it to go any lower as a result of the revelation of the existence of these forces.