The Pentagon is expected to shut an intelligence office that has been criticized by lawmakers and civil liberties groups who charge that it was part of a Defense Department effort to expand into domestic spying, The New York Times reported. ( Reuters )
The Counterintelligence Field Activity office was created by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after the September 11 attacks as part of an effort to counter the operations of foreign intelligence services and terrorist groups inside the United States and abroad, the newspaper said.
Shutting the office would be part of a broad effort under the current defense secretary, Robert Gates, to review, overhaul and, in some cases, dismantle, an intelligence architecture built by Rumsfeld, the newspaper said in a story posted on its Web site on Tuesday, and to be published in its Wednesday editions.
The office came under fierce criticism in 2005 after it was disclosed that it was managing a database that included information about antiwar protests planned at churches, schools and Quaker meeting halls, the Times said.
Pentagon officials said Gates had not yet approved the recommendation that the office be closed.