Saturday, December 02, 2006

Rumsfeld's 'chief henchman' to step down

Stephen A. Cambone, Under Secretary of Defense and a close associate of outgoing Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, is resigning effective December 31, according to a Department of Defense press release. Cambone's departure was not unexpected in the wake of Rumsfeld's resignation.

Cambone was Rumsfeld's intel chief at the Pentagon, serving since 2003. Described by various sources as Rumsfeld's "chief henchman" and "enforcer," Cambone first achieved notoriety during Senate hearings involving Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, during which Cambone disagreed with Taguba's assertion that military intelligence was behind actions of prison guards at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Additionally, as Lolita C. Baldor writes in an Associated Press article, Pentagon intelligence during Cambone's administration had been sharply criticized over the revelation a year ago that "a Pentagon database of suspicious activities contained the names of anti-war groups that had been found not be security risks."

According to the press release, Cambone said, "It has been a distinct honor and privilege to serve the incredible men and women of our Armed Forces, the secretary of defense, and the President's national security team during the past several years." He added that he was "looking forward to spending more time with family."


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