Some 60,000 individuals belong to a comparatively huge undercover US army, “working under masked identities and in low profile,” according to an exclusive Newsweek report.
“The largest undercover force the world has ever known is the one created by the Pentagon over the past decade,” says the Newsweek report.
This “broad program” is a “signature reduction” effort, which is an attempt by so-called security agencies to minimize their footprint in the realm of surveillance.
Newsweek says it engaged in a two-year investigation of “over 600 resumes and 1,000 job postings, dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests, and scores of interviews with participants and defense decision-makers,” in order to put together a more comprehensive picture of this secret army.
“The force, more than ten times the size of the clandestine elements of the CIA, carries out domestic and foreign assignments, both in military uniforms and under civilian cover, in real life and online, sometimes hiding in private businesses and consultancies, some of them household name companies.
The unprecedented shift has placed an ever greater number of soldiers, civilians, and contractors working under false identities, partly as a natural result in the growth of secret special forces but also as an intentional response to the challenges of traveling and operating in an increasingly transparent world. The explosion of Pentagon cyber warfare, moreover, has led to thousands of spies who carry out their day-to-day work in various made-up personas, the very type of nefarious operations the United States decries when Russian and Chinese spies do the same…
Dozens of little known and secret government organizations support the program, doling out classified contracts and overseeing publicly unacknowledged operations.”
This American military sector is both secret and “completely unregulated,” and, while no one knows for certain the program’s exact size, the program’s existence “challenges U.S. laws, the Geneva Conventions, the code of military conduct and basic accountability,” according to Newsweek.
Around 130 private companies bring in $900 million yearly for the purpose of servicing the signature reduction program.