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Military Information Programs under Review

After reports surfaced that Defense Department official Michael D. Furlong had established a $24 million covert intelligence program comprised of former C.I.A. and Special Forces operatives in order to conduct unauthorized, and possibly illegal spying operations in Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates has demanded an appraisal of the military’s information programs. Already, officials have confirmed that Mr. Furlong’s clandestine network has been shut down and that Mr. Furlong himself is now the subject of criminal and other investigations involving the Defense Department’s inspector general and other Pentagon officials. Secretary Gates has additionally charged an assembly of senior officials to determine whether “systemic problems” existed among various operations including electronic warfare, psychological operations and other noncombat programs, according to Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell. The team assembled by Secretary Gates and tasked with the investigation now has fifteen days to conduct the necessary review, all while Mr. Furlong, at least for now, continues to deny any wrongdoing.

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