Stephen A. Cambone

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Dr. Stephen A. Cambone, who served since January 2001 as a senior aide to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and was appointed in March 2003 to a new U.S. Department of Defense intelligence office within the Pentagon, the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD/I), has resigned and will leave office December 31, 2006. [1]


According to his Department of Defense biographical note, Cambone was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence on March 7, 2003.

"Prior to March 7th, he was the Director, Program Analysis and Evaluation, Office of the Secretary of Defense. Dr. Cambone held that position since July 1st, 2002. On July 19th, 2001, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. He held that position until July 1st, 2002. Prior to that, he served as The Special Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense from January 2001 to July 2001," his biogrpahical note states.

"Dr. Cambone was the Staff Director for the Commission to Assess United States National Security Space Management and Organization from July 2000 to January 2001. He was the Director of Research at the Institute for National Strategic Studies, National Defense University (INNS/NDU) from August 1998 to July 2000. Before that he was the Staff Director for the Commission to Assess the Ballistic Missile Threat to the United States from January 1998 to July 1998; a Senior Fellow in Political-Military Studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) from 1993 to 1998; the Director for Strategic Defense Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense from 1990 to 1993; the Deputy Director, Strategic Analysis, SRS Technologies (Washington Operations) from 1986 to 1990; and a Staff Member in the Office of the Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1982 to 1986," his biographical note states.[2]

Abu Ghraib: Hiding in Plain Sight

When the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib was revealed, Cambone was central to the bureaucratic chain of command that oversaw the interrogations. The interrogations, Jason Vest wrote in The Nation, "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."[3]

Writing in Columbia Journalism Review, Jason Vest noted that Cambone described his job as "exercising authority, direction and control" of all Pentagon intelligence and responsibility for all information to be "collected, analyzed, and distributed". [4]

Vest noted that in written answers to questions put to him ahead of confirmation hearings he "wrote of the desirability of disseminating certain intelligence analysis 'without source attribution.' And he discussed how he would 'consult, and coordinate . . . to ensure DoD-related intelligence activity supports the goals' of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith, to whom he would 'ensure timely delivery of intelligence information.' (Critics call Feith's directorate the home of all manner of hidden and ideologically motivated efforts since 9/11.)"

Seymour Hersh revealed that while Copper Green had started out in Afghanistan as using trained Special Operations personnel in Iraq it evolved use intelligence officers and other personnel not trained for the role. After the CIA withdrew from the program Cambone reportedly assigned Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the former Guantánamo Bay interrogations chief to oversee Iraq's prison system. [5]

In a media briefing Camobone disclosed his detailed familiarity with the intelligence gathering operations in Iraq. [6]

Writing in the Weekly Standard, Tom Donnelly wrote "fairly or not, Cambone has long been viewed as Rumsfeld's henchman, almost universally loathed--but more important, feared--by the services. The message is that, this time, Rumsfeld will get what he wants."

The Washington Post reported that one Army general had joked that "if he had one round left in his revolver, he would take out Steve Cambone."[7]

Publications by Stephen Cambone

  • Kodak Moments, Inescapable Momentum, and the World Wide Web: Has the Infocomm Revolution Transformed Diplomacy? (McLean, Va.: Center for Information Strategy and Policy, Science Applications International Corporation, September 1996) [8].
  • Nato's Role in European Stability (Csis Report) [9].
  • A New Structure for National Security Policy Planning (Significant Issues Series, Vol 21 No 3) [10].
  • Defense in the Late 1990s: Avoiding the Trainwreck (Csis Report) [11].

Given the key role of digital photography in the Abu Ghraib scandal, the title of the 1996 publication 'Kodak Moments' by Cambone is more than a little ironic.

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