If the Pentagon gets its way, the gentleman doodling on his notepad as your next overseas business trip goes on endlessly could be a soldier, sailor, airman or marine in disguise.
This extraordinary redefinition of the U.S. military’s authorities for clandestine action overseas is officially part of a Pentagon wish list for revisions to its legal authorities recently sent to Congress.
“The conflict with al Qaida and its affiliates, and other developments, have required the regular conduct of small-scale clandestine military operations to prepare the battlefield for military operations against terrorists and their sponsors,” the Pentagon explains in a document first reported on by Inside Defense. “Expansion of this authority is necessary to permit DoD to conduct revenue-generating commercial activities to protect such operations and would provide an important safeguard for U.S. military forces conducting hazardous operations abroad.”
Notice how the proposal says that using the cover of “commercial activities” would “provide an important safeguard for U.S. military forces.” Perhaps it would. But it would also place businessmen in danger. Once civilian commercial activities become a front for U.S. military spying, then foreign governments will likely view normal businessmen as targets for their own counterspying, or even detention.
It’s the “revenue-generating” that got me. Not sharing your drug trade revenues, CIA, with DoD?