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February 3, 2011

Rogue Element Running Amok

 

Rogue elements
Staff Reporter
1 November 2010
Copyright © 2010. Daily Times. 
Rogue Element Running Amok

RAWALPINDI: A senior US Air Force official, Michael Furlong, has been found in quite a precarious position according to a report published by the New York Times. Based on a Pentagon inquiry report, Mr Furlong has apparently gone too far in gathering intelligence in both Pakistan and Afghanistan by violating executive orders and the US Defence Department’s rules of engagement in war zones. Accused in March this year of siphoning off funds from legitimate US military programmes related to studying the culture and landscape of Afghanistan, Michael Furlong is charged with using these funds to gather intelligence on insurgent camps and militants with the use of private contractors after which insurgents would be rounded up or even assassinated. Such covert tactics are the stuff of clandestine operations that the CIA has employed in many a war-torn land. It should be remembered that the US has a different military policy for the public and another one for clandestine operations.

Michael Furlong’s programme, called Information Operations Capstone, was operated under a $ 22 million contract run by Lockheed Martin Corp, a major manufacturer of fighter jets. What Mr Furlong was running was not just a stealth operation, it was one where private contractors were said to be running amuck in Afghanistan and Pakistan, gathering intelligence and doing whatever they pleased.

Such James Bond-style escapades ought to serve the intelligence and military in Pakistan with a wake-up call. Afghanistan is a land under US and NATO occupation but Pakistan is not. For the report to quote Pakistan is a frightening reality. With rumours making the rounds of the presence of Blackwater in the country (now known as Xe Services LLC) and allegations of Mr Furlong’s programme being firmly supported by the Pentagon, it will not bode well for us to easily dismiss such a shadowy presence. Whatever tattered sovereignty Pakistan has left, such private contactors roaming around the border and broader areas of the country should not be tolerated, and that too from an ally. Lord knows what they are up to. Playing hanky panky is one thing but operating on an ally’s soil without so much as a nod in its direction is unacceptable. Our intelligence agencies must take note of this report and probe into the matter, after which it should be taken up with the American authorities.

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How an ‘Off-the-Books Spy Operation’ Happens

March 15, 2010


This is Michael D. Furlong, a strategic planner for the Joint Information Operations Warfare Command based in Texas [at Lackland AFB]. According to a baroque story in today’s New York Times, Furlong is under criminal investigation for diverting money from a program that hired contractors to gather information about Afghanistan and Pakistan and used it to run what the paper terms an “off the books spy operation” to kill militants in the region.

Dewey Clarridge--from the O.S.S. to his own Private Spy Network

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Operation Gladio

NATO's Secret Armies
NATO's Secret Armies
Excerpt from John Prados' Foreword to NATO's Secret Armies (book by Daniele Ganser):
As the Cold War ended, following juridical investigations into mysterious acts of terrorism in Italy, Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti was forced to confirm in August 1990 that a secret army existed in Italy and other countries across Western Europe that were part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Coordinated by the unorthodox warfare section of NATO, the secret army had been set up by the US secret service Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6 or SIS) after the end of the Second World War to fight Communism in Western Europe.


The clandestine network, which after the revelations of the Italian Prime Minister was researched by judges, parliamentarians, academics and investigative journalists across Europe, is now understood to have been code-named 'Gladio' (the sword) in Italy, while in other countries the network operated under different names including 'Absalon' in Denmark, 'ROC' in Norway and 'SDRA8' in Belgium. In each country the military secret service operated the anti-Communist army within the state in close collaboration with the CIA or the MI6 unknown to parliaments and populations. In each country, leading members of the executive, including Prime Ministers, Presidents, Interior Ministers and Defence Ministers, were involved in the
conspiracy, while the 'Allied Clandestine Committee' (ACC), sometimes also euphemistically called the 'Allied Co-ordination Committee' and the 'Clandestine Planning Committee' (CPC), less conspicuously at times also called 'Coordination and Planning Committee' of NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE), coordinated the networks on the international level. The last confirmed secret meeting of ACC with representatives of European secret services took place on October 24, 1990 in Brussels.


As the details of the operation emerged, the press concluded that the 'story
seems straight from the pages of a political thriller'. The secret armies were
MI6 : Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Serviceequipped by the CIA and the MI6 with machine guns, explosives, munitions and high-tech communication equipment hidden in arms caches in forests, meadows and underground bunkers across Western Europe. Leading officers of the secret network trained together with the US Green Berets Special Forces in the United States of America and the British SAS Special Forces in England. Recruited among strictly anti-Communist segments of the society the secret Gladio soldiers included moderate conservatives as well as right-wing extremists such as notorious right-wing terrorists Stefano delle Chiale and Yves Guerain Serac. In its strategic design the secret army was a direct copy of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), which during the Second World War had pararachuted into enemy-held territory and fought a secret war behind enemy lines.


In case of a Soviet invasion of Western Europe the secret Gladio soldiers under NATO command would have formed a so-called stay-behind network operating behind enemy lines, strengthening and setting up local resistance movements in enemy-held territory, evacuating shot-down pilots and sabotaging the supply lines and production centres of the occupation forces with explosives. Yet the Soviet  invasion never came. The real and present danger in the eyes of the secret war strategists in Washington and London were the at-times numerically strong Communist parties in the democracies of Western Europe. Hence the network in the total absence of a Soviet invasion took up arms in numerous countries and fought a secret war against the political forces of the left.