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Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Czar Czar

Secret Unit Expands Rumsfeld's Domain:

"The previously undisclosed organization, called the Strategic Support Branch, arose from Rumsfeld's written order to end his 'near total dependence on CIA' for what is known as human intelligence. Designed to operate without detection and under the defense secretary's direct control, the Strategic Support Branch deploys small teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists alongside newly empowered special operations forces.

Military and civilian participants said in interviews that the new unit has been operating in secret for two years -- in Iraq (news - web sites), Afghanistan (news - web sites) and other places they declined to name. According to an early planning memorandum to Rumsfeld from Gen. Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the focus of the intelligence initiative is on 'emerging target countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, Philippines and Georgia.' Myers and his staff declined to be interviewed."

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