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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 062-05
January 23, 2005

Statement From Pentagon Spokesman Lawrence DiRita on Intelligence Activities of the Defense Department

There is no unit that is directly reportable to the Secretary of Defense for clandestine operations as is described in the Washington Post article of January 23, 2005, entitled "Secret Unit Expands Rumsfeld's Domain." Further, the Department is not attempting to "bend" statutes to fit desired activities, as is suggested in this article.

 It is accurate and should not be surprising that the Department of Defense is attempting to improve its long-standing human intelligence capability.

 A principal conclusion of the 9-11 Commission report is that the U.S. human intelligence capability must be improved across the board. The Department of Defense has a longstanding human intelligence capacity in the Defense Human Intelligence Service, a component of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

 Prior to the 9-11 Commission issuing their conclusion that the nation's human intelligence capability must be improved, the Defense Human Intelligence Service has been taking steps to be more focused and task-oriented for the global war on terror. One of the objectives of this effort is to make better human intelligence capability available to assist combatant commanders for specific missions involving regular or special operations forces.

 The demands of the Global War on Terror necessitate a framework by which military forces and traditional human intelligence work more closely together and in greater numbers than they have in the past. These actions are being taken within existing statutory authorities to support traditional military operations and any assertion to the contrary is wrong. The department remains in regular consultation with the relevant committees in Congress and with other agencies within the intelligence community, including the CIA.

 

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