Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Leading Journalists Expose Major Cover-ups in Media

Media Cover-up
The riveting excerpts below are from the revealing accounts of 20 award-winning journalists in the highly acclaimed book Into the Buzzsaw. These courageous writers were prevented by corporate media ownership from reporting major news stories. Some were even fired or laid off. They have won numerous awards, including several Emmys and a Pulitzer.
Jane Akre—Fox News. After our struggle to air an honest report [on hormones in milk], Fox fired the general manager [of our station]. The new GM said that if we didn’t agree to changes that the lawyers were insisting upon, we’d be fired for insubordination in 48 hours. We pleaded with [him] to look at the facts we’d uncovered. His reply: “We paid $3 billion dollars for these stations. We’ll tell you what the news is. The news is what we say it is!” [After we refused] Fox’s GM presented us an agreement that would give us a full year of salary, and benefits worth close to $200,000, but with strings attached: no mention of how Fox covered up the story and no opportunity to ever expose the facts. [After declining] we were fired. (click for more)

Dan Rather—CBS, Multiple Emmy Awards. What's going on is a belief that you can manipulate communicable trust between the leadership and the led. The way you do that is you don't let the press in anywhere. Access to war is extremely limited. The fiercer the combat, the more the access is limited, [including] access to information. This is a direct contradiction of the stated policy of maximum access to information consistent with national security. There was a time in South Africa when people would put flaming tires around people's necks if they dissented. In some ways the fear [now in the U.S.] is that you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. That fear keeps journalists from asking the tough questions. I am humbled to say, I do not except myself from this criticism. (click for more)

Monika Jensen-Stevenson—Emmy-winning producer for 60 minutes. Robert R. Garwood—14 years a prisoner of the Vietnamese—was found guilty in the longest court-martial in US history. At the end of the court-martial, there seemed no question that Garwood was a monstrous traitor. Several years later in 1985, Garwood was speaking publicly about something that had never made the news during his court-martial. He knew of other American prisoners in Vietnam long after the war was over. He was supported by Vietnam veterans whose war records were impeccable….My sources included outstanding experts like former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency General Tighe and returned POWs like Captain McDaniel, who held the Navy’s top award for bravery. With such advocates, it was hard not to consider the possibility that prisoners (some 3,500) had in fact been kept by the Vietnamese as hostages to make sure the US would pay the more than $3 billion in war reparations. [After the war] American POWs had become worthless pawns. The US had not paid the promised monies and had no intention of paying in the future. (click for more)

Kristina Borjesson—CBS, Emmy award winner. Pierre Salinger announced to the world on Nov. 8, 1996, that he’d received documents proving that a US Navy missile had accidentally downed [TWA flight 800]. That same day, FBI’s Jim Kallstrom called a press conference. A man raised his hand and asked why the Navy was involved in the recovery and investigation while a possible suspect. “Remove him!” [Kallstrom] yelled. Two men leapt over to the questioner and grabbed him by the arms. There was a momentary chill in the air after the guy had been dragged out of the room. Kallstrom and entourage acted as if nothing had happened. [Kallstrom was later hired by CBS.] (click for more)

Greg Palast—BBC. In the months leading up to the November [2000] balloting, Gov. Jeb Bush ordered elections supervisors to purge 58,000 voters on the grounds they were felons not entitled to vote. As it turns out, only a handful of these voters were felons. This extraordinary news ran on page one of the country’s leading paper. Unfortunately, it was the wrong country: Britain. In the USA, it was not covered. The office of the governor [also] illegally ordered the removal of felons from voter rolls—real felons—but with the right to vote under law. As a result, 50,000 of these voters could not vote. The fact that 90% of these were Democrats should have made it news as this alone more than accounted for Bush’s victory. (click for more)

Michael Levine—25-year veteran of DEA, writer for New York Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today. The Chang Mai “factory” that the CIA prevented me from destroying was the source of massive amounts of heroin being smuggled into the US in the bodies and body bags of GIs killed in Vietnam. Case after case was killed by CIA and State Department intervention and there wasn’t a thing we could do about it….In 1980, CIA-recruited mercenaries and drug traffickers unseated Bolivia’s democratically elected president. Immediately after the coup, cocaine production increased massively. Bolivia [became] the source of virtually 100% of the cocaine entering the US. This was the beginning of the crack “plague.”…The CIA along with State and Justice Departments had to protect their drug-dealing assets by destroying a DEA investigation. How do I know? I was the inside source….I sat down at my desk in the American embassy and wrote evidence of my charges. I addressed it to Newsweek. Three weeks later DEA’s internal security [called] to notify me that I was under investigation….The highlight of the 60 Minutes piece is when the administrator of the DEA, Federal Judge Robert Bonner, tells Mike Wallace, “There is no other way to put it, Mike, [what the CIA did] is drug smuggling. It’s illegal.” (click for more)

Gary WebbSan Jose Mercury News, Pulitzer Prize winner. In 1996, I wrote a series of stories that began this way: For the better part of a decade, a Bay Area drug ring sold tons of cocaine to the Crips and Bloods gangs of LA and funneled millions in drug profits to a guerilla army run by the CIA. The cocaine that flooded in helped spark a crack explosion in urban America….The story was developing a momentum all of its own, despite a virtual news blackout from the major media. Ultimately, it was public pressure that forced the national newspapers into the fray. The Washington Post, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times published stories, but spent little time exploring the CIA’s activities. Instead, my reporting and I became the focus of their scrutiny. It was remarkable [Mercury News editor] Ceppos wrote, that the four Washington Post reporters assigned to debunk the series “could not find a single significant factual error.” A few months later, the Mercury News [due to intense CIA pressure] backed away from the story, publishing a long column by Ceppos apologizing for “shortcomings.” The New York Times hailed Ceppos for “setting a brave new standard,” and splashed his apology on their front page, the first time the series had ever been mentioned there. I quit the Mercury News not long after that….Do we have a free press today? Sure. It’s free to report all the sex scandals, all the stock market news, [and] every new health fad that comes down the pike. But when it comes to the real down and dirty stuff—such stories are not even open for discussion. (click for more)

John Kelly—Author, ABC producer. ABC hired me to help produce a story about an investment firm that was heavily involved with the CIA. Part of the ABC report charged that the CIA had plotted to assassinate an American, Ron Rewald, the president of [the investment firm]. Scott Barnes said on camera that the CIA had asked him to kill Rewald. After the show aired, CIA officials met with ABC executive David Burke, [who] was sufficiently impressed “by the vigor with which they made their case” to order an on-air “clarification.” But that was not enough. [CIA Director] Casey called ABC Chairman Goldenson. [Thus] despite all the documented evidence presented in the program, despite ABC standing by the program in a second broadcast, Peter Jennings reported that ABC could no longer substantiate the charges. That same day, the CIA filed a formal complaint with the FCC charging that ABC had “deliberately distorted” the news. In the complaint, Casey asked that ABC be stripped of its TV and radio licenses….During this time, Capital Cities Communications was maneuvering to buy ABC. [CIA Director] Casey was one of the founders of Cap Cities. Cap Cities bought ABC. Within months, the entire investigative unit was dispersed. (click for more)

Robert McChesney—500 radio & TV appearances. [There has been a] striking consolidation of the media from hundreds of firms to an industry dominated by less than ten enormous transnational conglomerates. The largest ten media firms own all US TV networks, most TV stations, all major film studios, all major music companies, nearly all cable TV channels, much of the book and magazine publishing [industry], and much, much more. Expensive investigative journalism—especially that which goes after national security or powerful corporate interests—is discouraged. Largely irrelevant human interest/tragedy stories get extensive coverage….A few weeks after the war began in Afghanistan, CNN president Isaacson authorized CNN to provide two different versions of the war: a more critical one for the global audience and a sugarcoated one for Americans….It is nearly impossible to conceive of a better world without some changes in the media status quo. We have no time to waste. (click for more)

For a powerful 10-page summary of this material: www.WantToKnow.info/massmedia
For other reliable resources on the media cover-up: Media Information Center

Source: http://www.wanttoknow.info/mediacover-up

The Secret Government

The Secret Government:
The Constitution in Crisis
A PBS Documentary


“The National Security Act of ‘47 gave us the National Security Council. Never have we had a National Security Council so concerned about the nation’s security that we’re always looking for threats and looking how to orchestrate our society to oppose those threats. National Security was invented, almost, in 1947, and now it has become the prime mover of everything we do as measured against something we invented in 1947."
-- U.S. Navy Admiral Gene La Rocque in PBS Documentary "The Secret Government" (
view free)


In the revealing 22-minutes of the PBS documentary The Secret Government available for free viewing below, host Bill Moyers exposes the inner workings of a secret government much more vast that most people would ever think. Though originally broadcast in 1987, it is even more relevant today. Interviews with respected, top military, intelligence, and government insiders reveal both the history and secret objectives of powerful groups in the hidden shadows of our government.

If you take time to watch this engaging documentary and further explore some of the vast amount of reliable, verifiable information on WantToKnow.info, you will very likely come to the conclusion that there is a powerful shadow or secret government which manipulates global politics behind the scenes. Government bureaucracies are known for their inefficiency, yet it is their very well-organized and hierarchical military and intelligence services through which those involved with the secret government are able to implement their secret plans.

The text of "The Secret Government" is also provided below for your convenience. Please help to strengthen democracy and educate others by spreading this important information. For suggestions on how each of us can work towards a better way, click here. Together, we can and will build a brighter future for us all.


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8536707153900925247 - "The Secret Government" (22 minutes)

If the above link does not work, go to Google Video and search using "The Secret Government"

http://www.pbs.org/now/series/billmoyers2.html - PBS website gives brief bio of Bill Moyers


For another powerful, highly revealing documentary on the manipulations of the secret government produced by BBC, see http://www.WantToKnow.info/powerofnightmares (view free at link provided). The intrepid BBC team clearly shows how the War on Terror is largely a fabrication. For those interested in very detailed information on the composition of the shadow or secret government from a less well-known source, take a look at the summary at: http://www.drboylan.com/shadgovt2.


Transcript

THE SECRET GOVERNMENT – The Constitution In Crisis

Bill Moyers, Secret Government, PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) 1987

Moyers: “The Secret Government is an interlocking network of official functionaries, spies, mercenaries, ex-generals, profiteers and superpatriots, who, for a variety of motives, operate outside the legitimate institutions of government. Presidents have turned to them when they can’t win the support of the Congress or the people, creating that unsupervised power so feared by the framers of our Constitution. Just imagine that William Casey’s dream came true. Suppose the enterprise grew into a super-secret, self-financing, self-perpetuating organization. Suppose they decided on their own to assassinate Gorbachev or the leader of white South Africa. Could a President control them and what if he became the enterprise’s public enemy Number One? Who would know? Who would say no?”

“The history of our secret government.”

“World War II was over. Europe lay devastated. The United States emerged as the most powerful nation on earth. But from the rubble rose a strange new world, a peace that was not peace and a war that was not war. We saw it emerging when the Soviets occupied Eastern Europe. The Cold War had begun.”

[ ... ]

“Can it happen again? You bet it can. The apparatus of secret power remains intact in a huge White House staff operating in the sanctuary of presidential privilege. George Bush has already told the National Security Council to take more responsibility for foreign policy which can of course be exercised beyond public scrutiny. And a lot of people in Washington are calling for more secrecy, not less, including more covert actions. This is a system easily corrupted as the public grows indifferent again, and the press is seduced or distracted. So one day, sadly, we are likely to discover once again that while freedom does have enemies in the world it can also be undermined here at home, in the dark, by those posing as its friends. I’m Bill Moyers. Good night."


Special Note: The above text and videos are excerpts of the full 90-minute version of "The Secret Government." To see the entire broadcast, click here or search for the 90-minute version here.

~ read full transcript... ~

 

Coup D'Etat Rumblings in Venezuela

19 Nov 2007
 

" ... The Bush administration tried and failed three prior times to oust Hugo Chavez since its first aborted two-day coup attempt in April, 2002. Through FOIA requests, lawyer, activist and author Eva Golinger uncovered top secret CIA documents of US involvement that included an intricate financing scheme involving the quasi-governmental agency, National Endowment of Democracy (NED), and US Agency for International Development (USAID). The documents also showed the White House, State Department and National Security Agency had full knowledge of the scheme, had to have approved it, and there's little doubt of CIA involvement as it's always part of this kind of dirty business. What's worrying now is what went on then may be happening again in what looks like a prelude to a fourth made-in-Washington attempt to oust the Venezuelan leader that must be monitored closely as events develop.

 

Since he took office in February, 1999, and especially after George Bush's election, Chavez has been a US target, and this time he believes credible sources point to a plot to assassinate him. That information comes from Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh, president of the Hugo Chavez International-Foundation for Peace, Friendship & Solidarity (HCI-FPFS) in a November 11 press release. Sankoh supports Chavez as "a man of peace and flamboyant champion of human dignity (who persists in his efforts in spite of) growing US blackmail, sabotage and political blasphemy."

 

HCI-FPFS sources revealed the plot's code name - "Operation Cleanse Venezuela" that now may be unfolding ahead of the December 2 referendum on constitutional reforms. According to Sankoh, the scheme sounds familiar - CIA and other foreign secret service operatives (including anti-Castro terrorists) aiming to destabilize the Chavez government by using "at least three concrete subversive plans" to destroy the country's social democracy and kill Chavez.

 

It involves infiltrating subversive elements into the country, inciting opposition within the military, ordering region-based US forces to shoot down any aircraft used by Chavez, employing trained snipers with shoot to kill orders, and having the dominant US and Venezuelan media act as supportive attack dogs. Chavez is targeted because he represents the greatest of all threats to US hegemony in the region - a good example that's spreading. Venezuela also has Latin America's largest proved oil reserves at a time supplies are tight and prices are at all-time highs.

 

Sankoh calls Washington-directed threats "real" and to "be treated seriously" to avoid extending Bush's Middle East adventurism to Latin America. He calls for support from the region and world community to denounce the scheme and help stop another Bush administration regime change attempt.

 

More information on a possible coup plot also came from a November 13 Party for Socialism and Liberation article headlined "New US plots against the Venezuelan Revolution." ..."


continue reading... ~

'Bob Marley: More than a poster and a spliff'

"...In 1978 The Wailers returned to headline the One Love Peace Concert, intended to raise money for the most suffering ghettoes. During a transcendent performance of "Jamming," Marley called the country's two rival political leaders onstage, clasped their hands together, lifted them over his head and proclaimed "Love, prosperity be with us all. Jah Rastafari. Selassie I." With the power of his music and devotion, he united a nation.

On May 11, 1981, he died. Since then his visage has donned countless tapestries and hemp necklaces. That mega-selling compilation, Legend? Released three years after his death. The worst part is the hardest to understand: Douchebags and Time magazine continue to herald his worst music, the former by blasting his later, more smoothly produced fare and the latter for naming Exodus the album of the century. Bizarre doesn't begin to explain that decision; at best, Exodus is Marley's ninth best album.

The result: Some people, such as hipsters, tend to dismiss Marley entirely on the basis that his fans suck. I'm partially guilty - it took me an abnormally long time to come around. Unfortunately, not everyone does, and a lot of the above-mentioned hipsters turn into tastemakers, and thus false impressions become real.

Furthermore, a lot of his ethnicity has been stripped from him. Reggae is still generally filed under the vague "world music" label, a category that Marley himself is largely responsible for creating. Worse, the urgency has also been stripped from his music. The image of Bob Marley in our world now is one of ganja and peace, love and acoustic guitar jams with your best bros. Where is the blood and suffering? The cries for burnin' and lootin' or revolution for all men?

Because Robert Nesta Marley is no longer with us, his name and image are entrusted to us to protect and his message to spread. So put down the bong, put on Catch A Fire and figure out how you're going to make a difference in the world..."

~ read in full... ~

 

Ronald Jenkees

My Response to a Muslim Call for Common Ground (by Jim Wallis)

Christianity and Islam comprise the world's largest communities of faith - 2.1 billion Christians and 1.5 billion Muslims. If these two religious traditions cannot find ways to keep peace between themselves, the world will be in very serious trouble. As Brian McLaren posted earlier on this blog, a group of 138 Muslim scholars and clerics recently sent an open letter to Christians around the world, A Common Word Between Us and You. In it, they proposed that

Muslims and Christians together make up well over half of the world's population. Without peace and justice between these two religious communities, there can be no meaningful peace in the world. The future of the world depends on peace between Muslims and Christians.

The basis for this peace and understanding already exists. It is part of the very foundational principles of both faiths: love of the One God, and love of the neighbour. These principles are found over and over again in the sacred texts of Islam and Christianity. The Unity of God, the necessity of love for Him, and the necessity of love of the neighbour is thus the common ground between Islam and Christianity.

A group of scholars at Yale Divinity School's Center for Faith and Culture wrote a response, Loving God and Neighbor Together. To date, the response has been endorsed by almost 300 Christian theologians and leaders, and it appeared on Sunday as a full page ad in The New York Times. The response begins by acknowledging that

… we were deeply encouraged and challenged by the recent historic open letter. … We receive the open letter as a Muslim hand of conviviality and cooperation extended to Christians world-wide. In this response we extend our own Christian hand in return, so that together with all other human beings we may live in peace and justice as we seek to love God and our neighbors.

After affirming the Muslim letter's emphasis on love of God and love of neighbor as central to both faiths, the Christian response concludes

"Let this common ground" – the dual common ground of love of God and of neighbor – "be the basis of all future interfaith dialogue between us," your courageous letter urges. Indeed, in the generosity with which the letter is written you embody what you call for. We most heartily agree. Abandoning all "hatred and strife," we must engage in interfaith dialogue as those who seek each other's good, for the one God unceasingly seeks our good. Indeed, together with you we believe that we need to move beyond "a polite ecumenical dialogue between selected religious leaders" and work diligently together to reshape relations between our communities and our nations so that they genuinely reflect our common love for God and for one another. Given the deep fissures in the relations between Christians and Muslims today, the task before us is daunting. And the stakes are great. The future of the world depends on our ability as Christians and Muslims to live together in peace.

Religious communities should not resolve their differences by killing each other. We must prevent the "clash of civilizations" that some predict or even desire. Irresponsible calls to war against "Islamo-facism," even by some Christian leaders must be countered with the spirit of the above declarations. That's why I signed this response to our Muslim counterparts and would encourage each of you to find ways to enter in to this dialogue. It's time to stop shouting and start talking. Out of that might come something even better than mere peace and dialogue - like actual interfaith collaboration in resolving some of the planet's most dangerous threats and challenges. Isn't that a better role for religion?

~ link ~

 

'I'll have the Bilderberger, well done!'

By Jerry Mazza
Online Journal Associate Editor
9 Nov 2007
 

" ... Somehow for 15 years Estulin managed to find the location of yearly Bilderberg meetings as they were announced, always just a week before they happened, always in some small town outside a major city, cloak and daggered with armed and vicious security guards. The meetings, first held in the Bilderberg Hotel in the small Dutch town of Oosterbeek in 1954, during the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, did not allow press coverage of any kind. Today that remains true, even though major news and media figures may attend, that is, to plan to alter public opinion on some issue.

In fact, here is Estulin’s latest report on Bilderberg 2007: Welcome to the Lunatic Fringe. Read it, please. It includes a list of this year’s objectives and a complete list of attendees. Estulin’s razor-sharp observations will boggle your mind.

Bilderberg privacy reigns, too, to make attendees feel “free enough” to utter their innermost thoughts (a truly scary thought). Uninvited, Estulin arrives days in advance of meetings, bonds with hotel staff, even security once he gives them the past history of this group. And then there are those who know the history and come to him, eager to reveal the ugly “innermost thoughts” of someone who’d like to see a government toppled, a revolution financed, a leader disappeared (as in Aldo Moro of Italy), a president made or toppled (as in the case of Richard Nixon when he bucked Bilderbergers on his price control plan that was working). In short, the agenda is to weaken all world leadership but they’re own. Bilderberger needs, mandates, and laws, in their eyes, precede even those of the US government.

Yet planning and attending these meetings is in essence a crime. Estulin points out, “A US law, called the Logan Act, states explicitly that it is against the law for federal officials to attend secret meetings with private citizens to develop public policies. Although Bilderberg 2005 was missing one of its luminaries, US State Department official John Bolton who was testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the American government was well represented in Rottach-Egern by Alan Hubbard, assistant to the president for economic policy and director of the National Economic Council; William Luti, deputy under secretary of defense; James Wolfensohn, outgoing president of the World Bank and Paul Wolfowitz, deputy secretary of state, an ideologue of the Iraq war and incoming president of the World Bank. By attending Bilderberg 2005 meeting, these people are breaking federal laws of the United States.” ... "


~ link ~
 

Elite troops and their 'expanded role' on intelligence

March 8, 2006
Elite Troops Get Expanded Role on Intelligence
By THOM SHANKER and SCOTT SHANE
WASHINGTON, March 7 — The military is placing small teams of Special Operations troops in a growing number of American embassies to gather intelligence on terrorists in unstable parts of the world and to prepare for potential missions to disrupt, capture or kill them.

Senior Pentagon officials and military officers say the effort is part of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's two-year drive to give the military a more active intelligence role in the campaign against terrorism. But it has drawn opposition from traditional intelligence agencies like the C.I.A., where some officials have viewed it as a provocative expansion into what has been their turf.

Officials said small groups of Special Operations personnel, sometimes just one or two at a time, have been sent to more than a dozen embassies in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. These are regions where terrorists are thought to be operating, planning attacks, raising money or seeking safe haven.

Their assignment is to gather information to assist in planning counterterrorism missions, and to help local militaries conduct counterterrorism missions of their own, officials said.

The new mission could become a major responsibility for the military's fast-growing Special Operations Command, which was authorized by President Bush in March 2004 to take the lead in military operations against terrorists. Its new task could give the command considerable clout in organizing the nation's overall intelligence efforts.

The Special Operations command reports to Mr. Rumsfeld, and falls outside the orbit controlled by John D. Negroponte, the newly established director of national intelligence, who oversees all the nation's intelligence agencies. An episode that took place early in the effort underscored the danger and sensitivity of the work, even for soldiers trained for secret combat missions.

In Paraguay a year and a half ago, members of one of the first of these "Military Liaison Elements" to be deployed were pulled out of the country after killing a robber armed with a pistol and a club who attacked them as they stepped out of a taxi, officials said. Though the shooting had nothing to do with their mission, the episode embarrassed senior embassy officials, who had not been told the team was operating in the country.

One official who was briefed on the events, but was not authorized to discuss them, said the soldiers were not operating out of the embassy, but out of a hotel.

Now, officials at the Special Operations Command say, no teams may arrive without the approval of the local ambassador, and the soldiers are based in embassies and are trained to avoid high-profile missteps.

Under guidelines established by Mr. Negroponte, the C.I.A. station chief assigned to most American embassies coordinates American intelligence in those countries.

Most embassies also include defense attachés, military personnel who work with foreign armed forces and report to the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency. But the new special operations personnel have a more direct military role: to satisfy the military's new counterterrorism responsibilities, officials said.

Special Operations forces include the Army Green Berets and Rangers, the Navy Seals, the Marines and special Air Force crews that carry out the most specialized or secret military missions. Their skills range from quick strikes to long-range reconnaissance in hostile territory, military training and medical care.

The creation of the Military Liaison Elements, and the broader tug-of-war over the Special Operations Command's new role, appear to have exacerbated the disorganization, even distrust, that critics in Congress and the academic world have said permeates the government's counterterrorism efforts.

Officials involved in the debate say the situation may require President Bush and his senior national security and defense advisers to step in as referees, setting boundaries and clarifying the orders of the military and other intelligence agencies.

Many current and former C.I.A. officials view the plans by the Special Operations Command, or Socom, as overreaching.

"The Department of Defense is very eager to step up its involvement in counterterrorism activities, and it has set its sights on traditional C.I.A. operational responsibilities and authorities," said John O. Brennan, a 25-year C.I.A. officer who headed the National Counterterrorism Center before retiring last year. "Quite unfortunately, the C.I.A.'s important lead role in many of these areas is being steadily eroded, and the current militarization of many of the nation's intelligence functions and responsibilities will be viewed as a major mistake in the very near future."

Mr. Brennan, now president of the Analysis Corporation, an intelligence contractor in Virginia, said that if Socom operations were closely coordinated with host countries and American ambassadors, "U.S. interests could be very well served."

But, he added, "if the planned Socom presence in U.S. embassies abroad is an effort to pave the way for unilateral U.S. military operations or to enable defense elements to engage in covert action activities separate from the C.I.A., U.S. problems abroad will be certain to increase significantly."

Paul Gimigliano, a spokesman for the C.I.A., gave a measured response to the program, but emphasized the importance of the agency's station chief in each country.

"There is plenty of work to go around," he said, adding: "One key to success is that intelligence activities in a given country be coordinated, a process in which the chief of station plays a crucial role."

A State Department official said late Tuesday, "We don't have any issue with D.O.D. concerning this," using the initials for Department of Defense. The State Department official said the Military Liaison Element program was set up so that "authority is preserved" for the ambassador or the head of the embassy.

The Special Operations Command has not publicly disclosed the Military Liaison Element mission, and answered questions about the effort only after it was described by officials in other parts of the government who oppose the program.

"M.L.E.'s play a key role in enhancing military, interagency and host nation coordination and planning," said Kenneth S. McGraw, a spokesman for the Special Operations Command, based in Tampa, Fla. The special operations personnel work "with the U.S. ambassador and country team's knowledge to plan and coordinate activities," he added.

Officials involved with the program said its focus is on intelligence and planning and not on conducting combat missions. One official outside the military, who has been briefed on the work but is not authorized to discuss it publicly, said more than 20 teams have been deployed, and that plans call for the effort to be significantly expanded.

In a major shift of the military's center of gravity, the Unified Command Plan signed by President Bush in 2004 says the Special Operations Command now "leads, plans, synchronizes, and as directed, executes global operations against terrorist networks," in addition to its more traditional assignment to train, organize and equip Special Operations forces for missions under regional commanders.

Recently, Gen. Bryan D. Brown, the Socom commander, and his staff have produced a counterterrorism strategy that runs more than 600 pages. It is expected to be presented to Mr. Rumsfeld in the next few weeks for final approval.

According to civilian and military officials who have read or were briefed on the document, it sets forth specific targets, missions and deadlines for action, both immediate and long-term.

One goal of the document is to set the conditions for activity wherever the military may wish to act in the future, to make areas inhospitable to terrorists and to gather the kind of information that the Special Operations Command may need to operate.

The problem is difficult in nations where the American military is not based in large numbers, and in particular where the United States is not at war. Thus, the Military Liaison Elements may not be required in notable hot spots, like parts of the Middle East, where the American military is already deployed in large numbers.

During recent travels abroad, General Brown has sought to explain the program to C.I.A. and F.B.I. officials based at embassies. Joining him for those talks is a political adviser on full-time assignment from the State Department.

Socom also held a conference in Tampa last summer to brief Special Operations commanders from other nations, followed by a session in October for Washington-based personnel from foreign embassies on a range of counterterrorism issues.

One former Special Operations team member said the trick to making the program work is to navigate the bureaucratic rivalries within embassies — and back at the command's headquarters. "All you have to do is make the ambassador, the station chief and Socom all think you are working just for them," he said on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Lee H. Hamilton, who served as vice chairman of the national commission on the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said that conflict between the C.I.A. and the Defense Department over paramilitary operations has occurred periodically for decades, and that the 9/11 commission had recommended that the Defense Department be given the lead responsibility for such activity.

But he said the embassy program raised a different issue. "If you have two or three D.O.D. guys wandering around a country, it could certainly cause some problems," Mr. Hamilton said. "It raises the question of just who is in charge of intelligence collection."

The cold war presented the military with targets that were easy to find but hard to kill, like a Soviet armored division. The counterterrorism mission presents targets that are hard to find but relatively easy to kill, like a Qaeda leader.

General Brown and the Special Operations Command now work according to a concept that has become the newest Pentagon catchphrase: "find, fix, finish and follow-up" — shorthand for locating terrorist leaders, tracking them precisely, capturing or killing them, and then using the information gathered to plan another operation.

"The military is great at fixing enemies, and finishing them off, and exploiting any base of operations that we take," said one Special Operations commander on condition of anonymity, because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. "But the 'find' part remains a primitive art. Socom can't kill or capture the bad guys unless the intel people can find them, and this is just not happening."

Lowell Bergman contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2006The New York Times Company
 
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