The Center for Cooperative Research
U:     P:    
Not registered yet? Register here
 
Search
 
Advanced Search


Main Menu
Home 
History Engine Sub-Menu
Timelines 
Entities 
Forum 
Miscellaneous Sub-Menu
Donate 
Links 
End of Main Menu

Volunteers Needed!
Submit a timeline entry
Donate: If you think this site is important, please help us out financially. We need your help!
Email updates
 


Click here to join: Suggest changes to existing data, add new data to the website, or compile your own timeline. More Info >>

 

Profile: Strategic Support Branch, or Project Icon

 
  

Positions that Strategic Support Branch, or Project Icon has held:



 

Quotes

 
  

No quotes or excerpts for this entity.


 

Relations

 
  

Related Entities:


 

Strategic Support Branch, or Project Icon actively participated in the following events:

 
  

Shortly after September 11, 2001      US Military

       The Pentagon establishes what is later known as the Strategic Support Branch (SSB), or Project Icon, to provide Rumsfeld with tools for “full spectrum of humint [human intelligence] operations” in “emerging target countries such as Somalia, Yemen, Indonesia, Philippines and Georgia.” It is said that Rumsfeld hopes the program will end his “near total dependence on CIA.” According to Assistant Secretary of Defense Thomas O'Connell, a possible scenario for which the Strategic Support Branch might be called to action would be if a “hostile country close to our borders suddenly changes leadership.... We would want to make sure the successor is not hostile.” [The Washington Post, 1/23/2005] When SBB's existence is revealed in early 2005, the Pentagon denies that the program was established to sideline the CIA, insisting that its sole purpose is to provide field operational units with intelligence obtained through prisoner interrogations, scouting and foreign spies, and from other units in the field. [CNN, 1/24/2005; The Washington Post, 1/25/2005] As an arm of the Defense Intelligence Agency's (DIA) nine-year-old Defense Human Intelligence Service, SSB operates under the Defense Secretary's direct control and consists of small teams of case officers, linguists, interrogators and technical specialists who work alongside special operations forces. [The Washington Post, 1/23/2005] However some SBB members are reported to be “out-of-shape men in their fifties and recent college graduates on their first assignments,” according to sources interviewed by the Washington Post. When the SSB's existence is revealed in 2005, its commander is Army Col. George Waldroup, who [The Washington Post, 1/23/2005 [b]] reports to Vice Admiral Lowell Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). SSB's policies are determined by Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone. [CNN, 1/24/2005] Critics say Waldroup lacks the necessary experience to run SSB and note that he was once investigated by Congress when he was a midlevel manager at the INS. [The Washington Post, 1/23/2005 [b]] SSB includes two Army squadrons of Delta Force; another Army squadron, code-named Gray Fox; an Air Force human intelligence unit; and the Navy unit known as SEAL Team Six. According to sources interviewed by the Washington Post, the branch is funded using “reprogrammed” funds that do not have explicit congressional authority or appropriation, [The Washington Post, 1/23/2005] though this is denied by the Pentagon when the unit's existence is revealed. [CNN, 1/24/2005]
People and organizations involved: Thomas O'Connell, George Waldroup, Delta Force, Strategic Support Branch, or Project Icon, Donald Rumsfeld, Gray Fox, SEAL Team Six
          

Between late 2004-January 2005      US Military

       A Pentagon memo states that agents recruited as part of the Strategic Support Branch (see Shortly after September 11, 2001) “may include ‘notorious figures’ whose links to the US government would be embarrassing if disclosed.” [The Washington Post, 1/23/2005]
People and organizations involved: Strategic Support Branch, or Project Icon
          

January 2005      US Military

       Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone issues a set of new guidelines reinterpreting the Pentagon's reporting requirements to Congress on its covert operations. The new guidelines were drafted by the Pentagon's legal counsel at the insistence of Donald Rumsfeld. The Washington Post reports: “Under Title 10, for example, the Defense Department must report to Congress all ‘deployment orders,’ or formal instructions from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to position US forces for combat. But [the guidelines] ... state that special operations forces may ‘conduct clandestine HUMINT operations . . . before publication’ of a deployment order, rendering notification unnecessary. Pentagon lawyers also define the ‘war on terror’ as ongoing, indefinite and global in scope. That analysis effectively discards the limitation of the defense secretary's war powers to times and places of imminent combat. Under Title 50, all departments of the executive branch are obliged to keep Congress ‘fully and currently informed of all intelligence activities.’ The law exempts ‘traditional . . . military activities’ and their ‘routine support.’ [The set of new guidelines] ... interprets ‘traditional’ and ‘routine’ more expansively than his predecessors.” Assistant Secretary of Defense Thomas O'Connell, who oversees special operations policy, explains to the Washington Post, “Many of the restrictions imposed on the Defense Department were imposed by tradition, by legislation, and by interpretations of various leaders and legal advisors.” He then asserts that over time these mechanisms unnecessarily watered down the Pentagon's authority. “The interpretations take on the force of law and may preclude activities that are legal. In my view, many of the authorities inherent to [the Defense Department] . . . were winnowed away over the years,” he says. In addition to its efforts to evade congressional oversight, the Pentagon also seeks to diminish its dependency on the CIA. According to written guidelines acquired by the Washington Post, the Defense Department will no longer await consent from the agency's headquarters for the human intelligence missions it “coordinates” with the CIA, instead it will work directly with agency officers in the field. The Pentagon will consider a mission “coordinated” after it has given the agency 72 hours. [The Washington Post, 1/23/2005; The Washington Post, 1/25/2005]
People and organizations involved: Stephen Cambone, Donald Rumsfeld, Strategic Support Branch, or Project Icon, Thomas O'Connell
          

January 23, 2005      US Military

       The Washington Post reports that according to “[f]our people with firsthand knowledge” the Strategic Support Branch (see Shortly after September 11, 2001) has “begun operating under ‘non-official cover’ overseas, using false names and nationalities” in missions that “skirt the line between clandestine and covert operations.” Under US law, “clandestine” operations are conducted in secret, while “covert” operations are more sensitive and are denied by the government if revealed. Covert actions require a written “finding” by the president affirming its necessity with prompt notification of senior congressional leaders of both parties. [The Washington Post, 1/23/2005]
People and organizations involved: Strategic Support Branch, or Project Icon
          

Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under the Creative Commons License below:

Creative Commons License Home |  About this Site |  Development |  Donate |  Contact Us
Terms of Use