Tuesday, December 13, 2005

NBC Reports Domestic Pentagon Spying

NBC news is reporting today that the Pentagon is spying on American citizens, some of which are only expressing their Constitutional right of expression against the war in Iraq. I was unaware until today that this type of activity was legal and has been going on since 9/11. Apparently, the Pentagon is allowed to spy on Americans they believe might threaten U.S. military bases and personnel, but from some of the documents I saw on television today, they have gone further than this in investigating some groups that have no ill intention against military bases or personnel, but that just disagree with the administrations war policy.

To me this sounds like a job for "Homeland Security". Why did the government create this agency if they are not going to be in charge of domestic threats against people and property which include military bases and personnel? In my view military intelligence should be limited to foreign threats against the United States and Homeland Security should handle domestic issues. This is the old problem of too many people gathering intelligence and not informing each other of their findings. This is exactly what happened before 9/11 and the Congress and President need to nip this in the bud before things go right back to the way they use to be where intelligence agencies didn't communicate with each other.

Maybe this whole deal isn't as bad as it appears, but it smells bad and the Bush administration needs to get the American public back on it side when it comes to the war in Iraq. These kinds of stories are not helpful and it makes me wonder who's in charge of setting up these domestic intelligence groups in the Pentagon. The President receives current intelligence briefings each morning, from what I've read, from his Homeland Security chief and other personnel. I don't think this military information is part of that briefing from what I saw, so this information is just being gather by some group in the Pentagon for it's own personal consumption because they have no power of arrest in the United States unless given that right under special Presidential authority and I'm pretty sure President Bush hasn't given them that authority in this situation.

The Pentagon made this same mistake during the Vietnam war. They spied on Americans and it came back to bite them in the butt when all the details came out. Why is it so hard for leaders in government to learn from past mistakes? It seems to happen all the time. Don't any of these folks study history so they can keep from repeating the bad actions of others? Maybe they just think they are smarter than their predecessors and can get away with it because of their intellect or some other silly reason.

Please don't take my comments as an assault on the military. In our government, the grass roots soldiers and ground commanders are some of the more honorable and brave people on this earth. It's the bureaucrats that just sit behind a desk each day in the Pentagon that think this kind of stuff up. I don't know if it's because they feel powerless and just want to know something no one else knows in an attempt to feel more important or they have more sinister motives in mind. Either way, this kind of activity needs to be stopped by the Congress and President as soon as possible. We have people that are trained in domestic intelligence and are very capable of doing their best to protect this country against terrorist threats, without the Pentagon expanding it's roll further.

Just image what Pentagon leaders would think if Homeland Security started conducting foreign intelligence in Iraq without military leaders knowledge. I'm sure that would go over like a lead balloon with the brass of all the military services. If Homeland Security is designed to gather intelligence to protect this country from threats, then let them protect the entire country, including military bases and personnel.

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