Pentagon official Michael D. Furlong finally came forward today about his “off-the-books” contractor squad in Afghanistan, going on the record as defending the group in the face of a formal investigation.
Furlong insists that the program was approved by higher ranking officials and that a legal team has determined that it was legal. He also insists, despite reports to the contrary, that the group was never directly involved in killing anyone.
The program, which was said to have employed former CIA and Special Forces operatives, was shrouded in secrecy and paid for out of the budget of a program meant to provide troops with information about tribes and customs in Afghanistan. Officials alleged that Furlong would regularly brag to them about his team’s contacts and the attacks they had started.
If Furlong’s assertion that it was indeed approved by higher ranking officials and subjected to legal scrutiny already, it is unclear why the Pentagon is being so aggressive in its investigation. Furlong now claims that he has been locked out of his office at Lackland Air Force Base, where he is a top strategist for Stratcom.