Skip to main content

What could possibly go wrong?

The New York Times reports:

The top American commander in the Middle East has ordered a broad expansion of clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups or counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region, according to defense officials and military documents.

The secret directive, signed in September by Gen. David H. Petraeus, authorizes the sending of American Special Operations troops to both friendly and hostile nations in the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces. Officials said the order also permits reconnaissance that could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate.

Oh, it gets better.

During the Bush administration, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld endorsed clandestine military operations, arguing that Special Operations troops could be as effective as traditional spies, if not more so.

Unlike covert actions undertaken by the C.I.A., such clandestine activity does not require the president’s approval or regular reports to Congress, although Pentagon officials have said that any significant ventures are cleared through the National Security Council. Special Operations troops have already been sent into a small number of countries to carry out limited surveillance and reconnaissance missions, including operations to gather intelligence about airstrips, bridges and beaches that might be needed for an offensive.

Here's Exhibit A of what is wrong with clandestine invasions of sovereign nations: they don't usually manage to stay very clandestine.

Our top military commanders have secretly authorized the deployment of US troops into friendly and unfriendly nations, in a manner which apparently does not require oversight by any elected representative of the American people.

What should be done about this?  What can be done?

Originally posted to Jay Elias on Mon May 24, 2010 at 06:27 PM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Angie in WA State, Linnaeus, hester, grollen, ben masel, slinkerwink, El Zmuenga, Trendar, miasmo, No Preference, mickT, Joan McCarter, tiggers thotful spot, mattman, PeterHug, Shockwave, Emocrat, dkistner, xynz, RFK Lives, SallyCat, hubcap, conchita, TracieLynn, mftalbot, Pithy Cherub, chuckvw, ctsteve, bewert, danthrax, Dallasdoc, pat bunny, weasel, alizard, Pohjola, barbwires, AllisonInSeattle, vacantlook, wezelboy, lalo456987, greenskeeper, Tarindel, marina, jfdunphy, LakeSuperior, seesdifferent, CTPatriot, corvo, Flint, mike101, panicbean, frandor55, Simplify, DocGonzo, truong son traveler, ajsuited, Valtin, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, reflectionsv37, Sara R, LABobsterofAnaheim, Burned, neroden, dsteffen, Ekaterin, dancewater, fhcec, Jim P, SoulCatcher, Denny in Seattle, occams hatchet, pico, esquimaux, buddabelly, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, HoundDog, borkitekt, The Wizard, Magnifico, luckydog, blueoasis, tecampbell, erratic, bubbanomics, Demena, Pilgrim X, JugOPunch, profh, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Cassiodorus, blueoregon, shaharazade, PoxOnYou, bstotts, Nulwee, Aaa T Tudeattack, NonnyO, seabos84, bigchin, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, nathguy, out of left field, bluicebank, dmh44, moosely2006, FishOutofWater, gatorbot, millwood, carpunder, Got a Grip, JML9999, cacamp, revm3up, damascusdem, condorcet, beltane, Lujane, geomoo, Seamus D, SmileySam, tampamatt, BYw, protectspice, watercarrier4diogenes, David Futurama, squarewheel, nippersdad, bsmechanic, CanyonWren, Partisan Progressive, Patch Adam, EquationDoc, Daily Activist, sanglug, ArthurPoet, ohmyheck, Leftcandid, ratmach, Larsstephens, Johnny Q, rja, Betty Pinson, MsGrin, Oh Mary Oh, CathodeRay, bicycle Hussein paladin, Colorado is the Shiznit, sixthestate, BlueHead, Situational Lefty, felldestroyed, alienufo, volleyboy1, MinistryOfTruth, cailloux, RLMiller, Azazello, James Robinson, FireBird1, dance you monster, mojada, West Michigan Dem, banach tarski paradox, drnononono

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site