The US military is operating a 60,000-strong secret army without any Congressional oversight, spending at least $900 million on it annually, thus violating many US laws, as well as the Geneva Conventions.
This bombshell has come in a latest investigative report by the popular US magazine Newsweek, citing the results of a two-year investigation.
According to the report, based on dozens of Freedom of Information Act requests, the analysis of 1,600 resumes and job postings, and interviews with several persons involved, the secret force engages in operations abroad and on US soil.
The damning report suggests that the secret army carries out operations across the US and overseas, both online and offline, and that its tasks include defeating increasingly complex technologies.
Over half of the force is believed to consist of special operations troops operating in countries like Pakistan, Yemen, West Africa, North Korea and Iran, according to the report.
Intelligence specialists engaged in the collection of information, counter-intelligence, and linguists are reportedly its second-largest party.
Other personnel constitute a cyber army engaged in cyber-warfare and intelligence collection, and work to manipulate social media.
The secret military programme is said to be known as “signature reduction,” and is ten times bigger than the CIA’s notorious clandestine operations division.
According to the Newsweek investigation, published worldwide, some 130 companies are said to be involved, with nearly a billion dollars in taxpayer money spent on the creation of fake documents, the payment of bills and taxes, and the construction of complex false identities.
Banks and credit card companies are said to be made to look the other way for the secret army’s soldiers while searching for illegal activities such as fraud and money laundering.
It also reportedly includes defeat of modern identification and biometrics systems, including fingerprinting and facial recognition, not just across the country, but in the US itself.
The covert initiative reportedly has access to the US intelligence community’s grab bag of real, counterfeit, and altered foreign passports and visas, as well as what’s known as a Cover Acquisition Management System, a previously never reported-on register of false identities logging the mechanisms used by operators, according to reports.
The secret army reportedly includes a "Special Access Programmes (SAP)" section which contains secrets about the tools and methods used to trick foreign security systems’ fingerprinting and facial recognition components, with SAPs including unassuming names such as "Hurricane Fan," "Island Hopper," and "Peanut Chocolate."