Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

US MILITARY DOMESTIC INVESTIGATION OF US BANK ACCOUNTS WAS AUTHORIZED FIVE YEARS AGO


My recent article,  Is SOCOM Venturing into the crowded Field of Money Laundering Investigations ? has caused some to raise the question: is the US military authorized to conduct domestic investigations of legitimate financial transactions, and if so, by whom ? I believe that I have found the answer, and some readers may find it of relevant interest.

Issued on 19 August, 2010*, a Department of Defense Directive, Number 5205.14, which sanctioned Counter-Threat Finance (CTF) operations, as a matter of policy, specifically authorized such actions:

"The Department of Defense shall work with other US Government departments and agencies, and with partner nations, to deny, disrupt, or defeat and degrade adversaries' ability to use global licit and illicit financial networks to negatively disrupt US interests."

A fair reading of that passage certainly appears to authorize the US Military to work with domestic law enforcement agencies, and examine American banking records, including legitimate transactions, for anything "negatively affecting US interests." That statement is so broad, one could drive an M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank through it, and certainly does authorize money laundering investigations, whether there is anything illegal happening, or not.

The Directive was signed by Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn. If you wish to review the complete text, you may access it here**.

Deputy Secretary Lynn
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*Updated 16 Nov 12.
** DOD Directive 5205.14 

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