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Wed Dec 25, 2013, 08:49 AM

Congress skeptical of new Pentagon spy agency


Congress skeptical of new Pentagon spy agency
Posted: Wednesday, December 25, 2013 4:30 am
By Ken Dilanian | Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Congress is giving only halfhearted support to a Pentagon effort to broaden military espionage operations beyond war zones.

The Pentagon created the Defense Clandestine Service in April 2012 to recruit sources and steal secrets around the globe, just as the CIA does. The new service relies on several hundred operatives from the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s main source of human intelligence and analysis.

But senior defense officials failed to convince key members of Congress, especially those on committees that oversee Pentagon and intelligence operations, that the CIA’s National Clandestine Service and the 15 other U.S. intelligence agencies aren’t meeting military needs.

“The concern is about duplication of human intelligence collection,” said a senior congressional aide who asked for anonymity to discuss an intelligence program. “Why does (the Pentagon) feel that it has to set up its own mini CIA?”

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