According to a classified document, “Special Operations and Joint Forces in Countering Terrorism” prepared for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, a new organization was created in 2002 to thwart potential terrorist attacks on the United States. This counter-terror operations group— the Proactive Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG) will require 100 people and at least $100 million a year. The team of covert counter-intelligence agents will be responsible for secret missions designed to target terrorist leaders. The secret missions are designed to “stimulate reactions” among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts which would then expose them to “counterattack” by U.S. forces.

This means that the United States government is planning to use secret military operations in order to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. In a strange twist of logic, it seems the plan is to somehow combat terrorism by causing it. According to the report held by United Press International, other strategies include “stealing money from terrorist cells or tricking them with fake communications”.

Exactly what type of actions would be required to “stimulate reactions” by terrorist groups has yet to be revealed. When asked questions regarding what measures would be taken, Pentagon sources responded with, “Their sovereignty will be at risk.”


Appropriately enough for a story about the deepest possible covert operation — penetrating terrorist cells and provoking them into action — the saga of the Pentagon’s “Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group” (P2OG) went straight back into the dark after strutting its brief hour upon the stage. There has been no new information about the group since it was first mentioned nationally in the Los Angeles Times as part of a larger story on Pentagon plans for new “secret armies.” Was it funded? Is it operational? Has it “flushed out” any terrorists lately by goading them into “action”? Are any of the post-Iraq War spate of terrorist atrocities linked to P2OG activities? We don’t know. And with Donald Rumsfeld’s openly avowed penchant for “strategic misinformation,” how will we ever know? Certainly the mainstream press has done nothing to enlighten us. Although the CounterPunch article (which appeared simultaneously in The Moscow Times) provoked a lively response in the “alternative” media, there has not been a single subsequent mention of the group in the U.S. national press. In the UK, John Pilger has raised warning flags about P2OG in The New Statesman and the Daily Mirror, while The Ecologist also ran a version of the CounterPunch article. The rest is silence. At first glance, this decided lack of interest might seem a curious reaction, given the American media’s insatiable—and profitable—obsession with terrorism. But the media’s equally intense, and equally profitable, abhorrence of moral ambiguity—especially when it involves possible American complicity in mayhem and murder—makes the silence easier to understand.

Russ Kick, the man behind The Memory Hole and the editor-at-large for The Disinformation Company has this to say:

Once the terrorists have been provoked, what then? UPI says that by taking action, the terrorists would be “exposing themselves to ‘quick reponse’ attacks by US forces.” In other words, the plan is to hit the hornet’s nest with a stick, while waiting nearby with a can of bug spray. The flaws to this approach are obvious. Although not spelled out in the UPI article or the report itself, the idea seems to be that the P2OG will cause terrorists to make an attack but supposedly stop them right before the attack actually occurs. Will the P2OG always be able to percent terrorism it creates from taking place? Will it always be able to “neutralize” all of the terrorists during that crucial window after a plan has been put into motion but before it’s been carried out? I wouldn’t want to be lives on it. But that’s exactly what’s happening.

Whenever any future terrorist attack occurs – an embassy is truck-bombed, a nightclub is blown to smithereens, prominent buildings are hit with hijacked passenger jets – we’ll never be 100 percent sure that this wasn’t an operation the P2OG provoked but then was unable to stop in time.