On the portal of the well-known edition of Newsweek, an extremely curious investigation of the journalist and former American military man William Arkin was published, which has already caused a lot of noise. It follows from it that the United States has secretly created a real "secret army", the number of which is 10 times larger than all the agents of the CIA, for espionage, cyber warfare and "the fight against terrorism." A Bond-worthy plot brings up a whole slew of unpleasant questions for Washington.
First, a few words must be said about the author of the investigation. Arkin once served in the American military intelligence in West Berlin, and after leaving the army became a co-author of several studies concerning the location of nuclear weapons around the world, for which he almost ended up behind bars in the United States. He has also acted as a military expert for such respected publications as the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post and the New York Times. In general, this is a fairly competent, well-known and respected author in wide circles. Therefore, his investigation should be taken seriously enough.
And he tells very interesting things. According to him, an entire army has been created and is operating in the United States, in which 60 thousand people, both professional military and civilians, “serve”. The budget of this secret organization is almost one billion dollars a year. Under a program called signature reduction, they operate both in the US and overseas through front companies and fake identities. All the attributes of a spy fighter are there. According to William Arkin, American "secret soldiers" use special fabrics that make them invisible to thermal imagers, wear special harem pants with embedded sensors to intercept other people's conversations, and ride silent electric motorcycles in the Arctic. The silicone spy faces and hands deserve special mention. In all seriousness: special silicone pads are made on the fingers in order to leave the desired prints, and for reliability they are even treated with a special spray from human sebum. Silicone faces are made for operatives. (It is very convenient then to take a walk near some ammunition depot or leave "fingers" at the scene of a resonant crime, right?).
No less interesting is Arkin's story about how the "secret army" operates in cyberspace. For this, fake personalities are created, and this is not just some fake page on a popular social network with a "left" photo on the avatar. For American agents, "individuals" are created with passports, driver's licenses, bank accounts, and visas. A certain amount of activity is being conducted on their behalf: account transactions, sending correspondence, recruiting friends on social networks. While the "invisible front fighter" is engaged in something illegal somewhere in Iraq or Afghanistan, his "alter ego" is traveling around the US at the same time, spending money on a credit card and taking out car insurance. Aerobatics is considered to be "cyber introduction" into the bases of foreign countries, which allows changing passport control data. (Curious, is it possible to concoct a fake passport of the Republic of Moldova or the Republic of Tajikistan like that?).
Let us focus on the fact that this is not all the speculation of the "Kremlin bots", but the results of an investigation by an American journalist published in the American media. The real "Bondiana" turns out downright, only in life. But even more interesting are the goals for which this huge "secret army" was created.
At first, it is intelligence, or espionage, both internal and external. It is worth recalling that after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, a state of emergency is still in effect in the United States, which has freed the hands of the special services as much as possible. As part of the so-called "Patriotic Act", they controlled the correspondence and telephone conversations of their fellow citizens, anyone suspected of involvement in terrorism could be imprisoned without formal charges and the support of a lawyer. Following Edward Snowden's revelations about the extent of surveillance abuse and the scandal, the Patriot Act was replaced by the Freedom Act, which slightly diminished the powers of intelligence agencies. As you can see, this turned out to be not enough for Washington: it keeps an eye on both its own and others.
Secondly, very pleased with the revelations of Arkin about the "cyber fighters". It turns out that not only the notorious "Russian hackers" supposedly influencing democratic elections, but also their own "secret soldiers" can operate on the Internet spaces of the United States. This is where fake accounts would come in handy.
Thirdly, Attention is drawn to the fact that more than half of the 60-strong staff is made up of special operations forces fighters who:
They hunt terrorists in war zones from Pakistan to West Africa, but are also increasingly working in unrecognized hot spots, including behind enemy lines in places like North Korea and Iran.
Recall that these are all sovereign countries on whose territory American spies and militants are illegally operating. However, for the United States, their guys, hacking into computer bases of foreign countries, creating fake identities and passports, penetrating them into other countries and killing people there whom Washington has designated as terrorists are, of course, heroes. Well, where is there to them to our bad guys "Petrov and Boshirov."