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Profile: Howard Hart

 
  

Positions that Howard Hart has held:

  • Chief of the CIA?s Paramilitary Operations Division


 

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Howard Hart actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Week of November 14, 2004      US Military

       President George Bush issues a presidential directive establishing an interagency group to consider whether it “would best serve the nation” to give the Pentagon complete control over the CIA?s elite paramilitary units. [New York Times, 11/23/2004; New Yorker, 1/24/2005; Associated Press, 11/22/2004 Sources: unnamed pentagon consultant] The units carry out the government's most sensitive covert operations including “training rebel forces; destabilizing governments and organizations through violence; and directly attacking enemy targets and individuals.” [Associated Press, 11/22/2004] CIA paramilitary activities are conducted under presidential directives called “findings.” [New York Times, 11/23/2004] The panel will consist of representatives from the State and Justice Departments, the Pentagon, and the CIA. Critics of the proposal, including veteran members of special operations branches, note that CIA units operate “under a different set of findings and carry different legal protections than the military, in particular for cases in which they are ordered to conduct the most extreme clandestine operations,” the New York Times reports. Other critics say the move, which is based on a recommendation by the 911 Commission, is part of a Pentagon strategy to wrest control of covert operations from the CIA. Thomas W. O'Connell, the assistant defense secretary for special operations and low-intensity conflict, denies this, telling the New York Times, “I have heard it said that there is a conspiracy within the Department of Defense to go and rip off the agency's capabilities, and I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth.” [New York Times, 11/23/2004] However, former CIA officers tell investigative reporter Seymour Hersh a few months later that they believe otherwise. They feel the study's conclusion has already been made. “It seems like it?s going to happen,” Howard Hart, the former chief of the CIA?s Paramilitary Operations Division says. [New Yorker, 1/24/2005 Sources: unnamed pentagon consultant]
People and organizations involved: Howard Hart, George W. Bush
          

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