Washington: According to Newsweek magazine's exclusive report, the Pentagon has created the world's largest secret force, including special operations forces and military intelligence specialists, engaging in "nefarious" operations the US itself condemns.
The report titled "Inside the Military's Secret Undercover Army" claims to have found "some 60,000 people now belong to this secret army, many working under masked identities and in low profile, all part of a broad program called 'signature reduction'", following a two-year investigation.
The force has engaged in "publicly unacknowledged operations", including wiretapping activities in certain regions and manipulation of social media.
"What emerges is a window into not just a little-known sector of the American military, but also a completely unregulated practise," it said.
Alleging that the impact of the program on military policies and culture is uninspected, the report said, "Congress has never held a hearing on the subject. And yet the military developing this gigantic clandestine force challenges US laws, the Geneva Conventions, the code of military conduct and basic accountability."
The report further noted that the program's total size is unknown.