"Michael Furlong, the long-time Defense Department official who set up and ran network of private intelligence collectors for the military, is being hung out to dry by the very forces that precipitated the network's formation in the first place.Read more in "The Secret Pentagon Spy Ring", The Atlantic, May 20, 2010.
Here's the skinny: form follows function in the military, and the U.S. Strategic Command, or STRATCOM, has been aggressively moving into territory traditionally occupied by other military elements and the Central Intelligence Agency. They're doing it under the cover of something called IO -- Information Operations -- which they've adapted as one of their core missions. (The others: cybersecurity, which overlaps with IO, nuclear weapons, and space defense.)
Around 2004 or 2005, STRATCOM set up what it calls the Joint Information Operations Warfare Center in San Antonio, Texas. IO ops are run from here. Most everyone involved in this controversy, from Furlong to his superiors to the contractor intelligence gatherers, went through the JIOWC at some point in their careers."