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?



  1. MRN says:

    Don’t the alphabet soup agencies already do this with their NOC’s (Non-Official Cover)? Recent publicized examples such as Valerie Plame, Raymond Allen Davis, all those detained American “tourists” and “hikers” in Iran prove that this has been going on for a long, long time all over the world.

  2. Cap'nKangaroo says:

    I think the obvious business cover would be either arms dealer or private security consultants (think Blackwater, sorry, now called Xe, no, wait, they changed their name again. think Academi)

    What else would younger, physically fit men and women with short cropped hair be? Plus, it looks great on their resumes as they transfer to the private sector to become private security consultants.

  3. UncDon says:

    Adolf Hitler would be proud.

  4. deowll says:

    This government is supposed to know how to run a business in such a way as to make money? HAH! HAH! HAH! The only way these people know how to make money to is take it from somebody else or as Obama prefers to call it, “redistributing the wealth.”

    • Cap'nKangaroo says:

      Or put Romney in charge of it. Of course he’ll do a cost-analysis and layoff all the US Armed Forces members and outsource the business to China or India. All the while collecting huge annual fees for his “management” expertise.

      • msbpodcast says:

        If only you were kidding…

        I can see that scum politician corporatist re-enacting Mussolini’s fascist policies with his pals at Academi (I guess they don’t teach spelling at that academy.)

    • Glenn E. says:

      Interestingly. The very thing you claim Obama is doing, wants to do, or has done. Is Exactly what Mitt Romney did years ago, as his career business model. Take the money out of one thing, and put it into another, he liked better. No matter that people lost their jobs, benefits, or retirement. The biggest looters of American free enterprise, AREN’T those that get elected to any high office. Those official are merely guilty of looking the other way, while the private sector sharks engaged in a feeding frenzy.

  5. msbpodcast says:

    They’re creating problems for themselves by the very security systems they’re selling to all and sundry.

    Soon biometric security will be good enough to catch all spies attempting to use a false/second identity.

    Once a country knows you under one identity, you will forever be using that identity.

    If it was a false identity, you’re going to spend your life living a lie. If it was a stolen identity, you could be held liable for all criminal acts committed by the person whose identity you were stealing or vice versa if somebody steals your identity, you could be liable for any perfidy committed by the person who stole your identity.

    There will never be an opportunity for espionage and the kind of duplicitous identity theft and assumption that there was when “I Spy” was being filmed from 1965..68.

  6. Glenn E. says:

    To illustrate the point the article makes. Some years ago, a US Tv series called “Masquerade” was about an international tour agency, run by a convert branch of the government. And some of the lucky tourist, traveling aboard and around on a scenic tour bus, were hand chosen civilians with special trades, who volunteered to help Uncle Sam in some “mission impossible” operation. The show didn’t last long. And I think it was the US tourism industry that complained that the rest of their clients would be put in danger. One the Tv series was rebroadcast overseas, and foreign powers suspected every American tourist was a spy. In some rare cases, they’re probably right. Like those hikers, that just happen to stray to close to some border, they shouldn’t have.

    What’s interesting trivia about “Masquerade”, is that it co-starred that no talent Xenuologist Kristy Alley. And as I said it was something of a Mission Impossible knockoff. Years later, another Xenuologist, Tom Cruise, would take over the M.I. movie franchise. And the real M.I. Tv series from the 1960s, would have to wait for its DVD release, until after Cruise got his 3rd M.I. box office flop. Now he’s got a forth one out. And where does it take place? Dubai. Where all the Arab oil wealth is. Coincidence?

  7. sargasso_c says:

    Many countries still regard un-uniformed foreign combatants as spies and sabateurs. Presenting military credentials at immigration and declaring in writing your intentions and plans, seems a sensible precaution to take.