Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Perhaps the government won't need to inflate its terrorism-arrest stats after it implements the Defense Science Board's recommendation. This influential committee inside the Pentagon has proposed a terrifying way to fight evil-doers: Goad them into making terrorist attacks. Yes, you read correctly. Instead of waiting for a plot to be hatched and possibly executed, go out and make

it happen. In summer 2002, the Defense Science Board outlined all kinds of ways to fight the war on terrorism around the world. The scariest suggestion involves the creation of a new 100-man, $100-million team called the Proactive Pre-emptive Operations Group, or P2OG. This combination of elite special forces soldiers and intelligence agents will have "an entirely new capability to proactively, pre-emptively provoke responses from adversary/terrorist groups,"

according to the DSB's report. Just how the P2OG will "provoke" terrorists into action is not specified, at least in the unclassified portions of the report. United Press International — which apparently has access to the full, classified version of the report — says that techniques could include "stealing their money or tricking them with fake communications." The Moscow Times offers further possibilities, such as killing family members and infiltrating the groups with provocateurs, who

will suggest and even direct terrorist strikes. Once the terrorists have been provoked, what then? UPI says that by taking action, the terrorists would be "exposing themselves to 'quick-response' attacks by US forces." In other words, the plan is to hit the hornet's nest with a stick, while waiting nearby with a can of bug spray. The flaws in this approach are obvious. Although not spelled out in the UPI article or the report itsef, the idea seems to be that the P2OG will cause terrorists to make an attack but supposedly stop them light before the attack actually occurs. Will the P2OG always be able to prevent terrorism it creates from taking place? Will it always be able to "neutralize" all of the terrorists during that

crucial window after a plan has been put into motion but before it's been carried out? I wouldn't want to bet lives on it. But that's exactly what's happening.

Whenever any future terrorist attack occurs — an embassy is truck-bombed, a nightclub is blown to smithereens, prominent buildings are hit with hijacked passenger jets — we'll never be 100 percent sure that this wasn't an operation the P2OG provoked but then was unable to stop in time.


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