The Nation: JSOC Relies on Blackwater for Pakistan Dirty Work
Jeremy Scahill, Blackwater’s most dogged journalistic pursuer, has an absolute monster story in The Nation about the Joint Special Operations Command contracting out very sensitive drone-strike spotting and terrorist-snatch operations to Blackwater. It’s a huge piece, so read the whole thing. There’s a ton of detail in here, and a lot about the lack of oversight with which much of this relationship is said to operate:
One of the concerns raised by the military intelligence source is that some Blackwater personnel are being given rolling security clearances above their approved clearances. Using Alternative Compartmentalized Control Measures (ACCMs), he said, the Blackwater personnel are granted clearance to a Special Access Program, the bureaucratic term used to describe highly classified “black” operations. “With an ACCM, the security manager can grant access to you to be exposed to and operate within compartmentalized programs far above ‘secret’–even though you have no business doing so,” said the source. It allows Blackwater personnel that “do not have the requisite security clearance or do not hold a security clearance whatsoever to participate in classified operations by virtue of trust,” he added. “Think of it as an ultra-exclusive level above top secret. That’s exactly what it is: a circle of love.” Blackwater, therefore, has access to “all source” reports that are culled in part from JSOC units in the field. “That’s how a lot of things over the years have been conducted with contractors,” said the source. “We have contractors that regularly see things that top policy-makers don’t unless they ask.”
One thing Jeremy might have added is that JSOC’s current commander, Adm. William McRaven, has emerged as a serious player in Afghanistan-Pakistan strategymaking.