Secret geographies: man compares his spy network to OSS

A former CIA agent who runs his own spy network called the “Eclipse Group” has compared it to the OSS. Until last spring, Duane Clarridge was funded directly by the Pentagon, and is now funded by “like minded private donors” according to the New York Times.

“O.S.S. was a success of the past,” he wrote. “Eclipse may possibly be an effective model for the future, providing information to officers and officials of the United States government who have the sole responsibility of acting on it or not.”

The article makes it clear that Clarridge’s activities are looked at somewhat askance by the military, and Clarridge appears to hold a similar disregard for his former employers, the CIA. The comparison to the OSS is a bit off, because that was part of government, run by a general, and employed over 20,000 people.

Nevertheless, he was funded by the Pentagon and just as significantly is a clear example of the outsourcing of intelligence and counter-terrorism activities detailed in last year’s Washington Post reports on “secret geographies.” That report found that 854,000 people in this country hold Top Secret clearances and 1,931 private companies working on intelligence, security and counter-terrorism with the government.

It would be interesting to search the Wikileaks database for references to him, wouldn’t it? He also goes by the names “Dewey” “Dewey Marone” and “Dax Preston LeBaron.” He has a password protected website where his “agents” can access reports (currently not responding).

Oh, and he was indicted in the Iran-Contra scandal and still sends material to Ollie North who apparently has a radio show somewhere. He also angrily defends the CIA-supported ouster of Salvatore Allende in Chile in an interview with John Pilger on Youtube.

I don’t know how representative Clarridge is of those .8 million top secret credentialed people, but that’s the point. This is an alternative, parallel system of intelligence and security, and while corporate America has long been involved its the scale and penetration of it today that’s critical. Jack Dangermond, CEO of Esri, recently commented that he’s “collaborated” with the military and the government for over two decades, specifically the US secret mapping and imagery operations of the NGA. It’s not whether we’re surprised by this, the point is to know what’s going on.

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