Spies Gone Wild: Afghanistan
Posted on Mar 15, 2010
A Defense Department official may have diverted millions from a Pentagon-funded research website to hire a rogue band of spies he reportedly called “my Jason Bournes” (as in the Matt Damon super assassin). These Jason Bournes, The New York Times reports, allegedly spent time running around both sides of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border looking for militants to have killed.
New York Times:
The official, Michael D. Furlong, hired contractors from private security companies that employed former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives. The contractors, in turn, gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps, and the information was then sent to military units and intelligence officials for possible lethal action in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the officials said.
While it has been widely reported that the C.I.A. and the military are attacking operatives of Al Qaeda and others through unmanned, remote-controlled drone strikes, some American officials say they became troubled that Mr. Furlong seemed to be running an off-the-books spy operation. The officials say they are not sure who condoned and supervised his work.
A U.S. Special Forces soldier on horseback in Afghanistan in 2001.