Report: The Pentagon's new powers

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Monday, January 24, 2005

WASHINTON D.C., USA – (Washington Post) A Washington Post report reveals a secret intelligence department created by the Pentagon "directly responsive to tasking from Secretary of Defense" Donald Rumsfeld. The report raises questions regarding the legality of the Strategic Support Branch, allegations disputed by Pentagon spokesperson Lawrence T. DiRita:

"...the Department is not attempting to 'bend' statutes to fit desired activities, as is suggested in this article."

Sen. John McCain (R AZ) expects the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee to hold hearings on the issue. "I'm always sorry to read about things in The Washington Post when they affect a committee that I am a member of."

Members of congressional intelligence committees were reported as not being aware of the program. Funding of the program was through "reprogrammed" funds, without explicit congressional authority or appropriation.