Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

Cambone’s extraordinary rendition back to civilian life

Posted by metaphorical on 2 December 2006

Senior Pentagon official Stephen Cambone to resign

Fri Dec 1, 8:38 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Stephen Cambone, the U.S.
Defense Department’s top intelligence official and a
close aide to outgoing Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld, will resign on December 31, the Pentagon
said on Friday.

Cambone, of course, was the guy back at the Pentagon responsible for the horrors of Abu Ghraib. Here’s how The Nation put it back in 2004:

The interrogations at Abu Ghraib were part of a highly classified Special Access Program (SAP) code-named Copper Green, authorized by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and ultimately overseen by Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone.

The backstory here is that the CIA is no longer in charge of national intelligence, the Department of Defense is, and, though it started long before this administration, Cambone’s appointment was the culmination of that shift.

According to the Center for American Progress, “as the nation’s first ever undersecretary of defense for intelligence, Cambone wields vast power within the intelligence community; yet, his only qualifications for the post are a fierce loyalty to Donald Rumsfeld and an unshakeable right wing ideology.”

Though without operational authority per se, the undersecretary – or defense intelligence czar, as the position is known – wields tremendous power though his mandate to set the intelligence-gathering agenda and oversee budget allocation.


As intelligence expert Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists recently told the New Republic, the effect of creating this new position is “to shift the intelligence community’s center of gravity further into the Pentagon.” “Shift,” however, surely understates what has transpired. The OUSD-I now coordinates 85 percent of the United States’ total intelligence budget; the director of central intelligence (DCI), in contrast, manages only 12 percent.

The newspeak lesson is clear: When you call something a central intelligence agency, people think it’s the central agency when it comes to intelligence, but it ain’t necessarily so.


One Response to “Cambone’s extraordinary rendition back to civilian life”

  1. plm said

    National Defense University, Institute for National Strategic Studies: Director of Research
    Center for Strategic and International Studies: Senior Fellow for Political-Military Studies, 1993-1998
    National Institute for Public Policy (NIPP): Member of team that produced a January 2001 NIPP study entitled Rationale and Requirements for U.S. Nuclear Forces and Arms Control, which served as a blueprint for George W. Bush’s Nuclear Posture Review
    Project for the New American Century: Project Participant on PNAC’s 2001 “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” report
    Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management and Organization: Staff Director
    Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States: Staff Director, 1998
    Department of Defense: Director of the Strategic Defense Policy Office, Bush Sr. adminstration
    Los Alamos National Laboratory: Served on the staff of the director and specialized in theater nuclear weapons issues

    Yep, completely unqualified. Huy was lucky he was even allowed to drive unsupervised.

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