"It is unclear whether Mr. Clapper is also recommending tighter restrictions on Pentagon counterterrorism and counterespionage operations in the United States.
Some civil liberties groups said they worried that the change might be cosmetic and that the Pentagon might be closing the office to farm out its operations to other agencies that receive less scrutiny.
Lt. Col. Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said the recommendation to close the office had nothing to do with its troubled history. The move is aimed, Colonel Ryder said, at “creating efficiencies and streamlining” Pentagon efforts to thwart operations by foreign intelligence services and terror networks.
Representative Silvestre Reyes, Democrat of Texas and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called the decision long overdue.
Mr. Reyes said the office “was a Rumsfeld-era relic that triggered major concern about domestic intelligence gathering by the Pentagon against Americans.”
The work of coordinating the Pentagon’s various counterintelligence activities would remain important, Mr. Reyes said, but “vigorous oversight” would be needed under the new structure.
Some current and former Pentagon officials expressed concern that putting the mission of countering foreign intelligence services under the Defense Intelligence Agency could signal a decline in its priority. But Colonel Ryder, the Pentagon spokesman, said the recommendation to close the counterintelligence office was intended to strengthen counterintelligence operations. "
The United States does not need a big, powerful military oriented counter-intelligence agency. The FBI exists for the specific purpose of doing this kind of work under the aegis of the Justice Department. The CFA was always a manifestation of Von Rumsfeld’s obsessions. Rumsfeld, like his old pal the VP are devoted to the idea of centralized power and they trust no organization that they do not personally control.
Given the nature of the Washington power structure, an agency like the CFA will always grow if not reduced by fiat. It will grow in power, scope of activity and budget. Why? Simple. In any such organization the career formation of the personnel and the "urge to power" of the managers combine to make those involved obsess over numbers, function and access to the elected elite. All those things come with demonstrated activity of a measurable kind.
Good riddance. pl