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Stephen Cambone

Stephen CamboneAKA Stephen A. Cambone

Born: c. 1951
Birthplace: Bronx, NY

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Government

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence

After helping to develop policies concerning tactical nukes at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (1982-86), Dr. Stephen Cambone spent the next four years at defense contractor SRS Technologies thinking about ballistic missiles. A nuclear arms control expert, Cambone spent 1990-93 working for Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, and his contributions in 1991 helped to shape President George H.W. Bush's adjustments to the Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars") project.

Cambone spent the Clinton years out of government -- first by working for the conservative think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies (1993-98), then two years at the National Defense University.

Cambone returned to the Pentagon with the second Bush administration, reporting directly to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Reportedly, Cambone was not well-liked by the military staff. In 2002, a fellow neocon and colleague at the Project for the New American Century described him this way:

Fairly or not, Cambone has long been viewed as Rumsfeld's henchman, almost universally loathed -- but more important, feared -- by the services.

In 2001, Cambone was promoted into the new position of Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. During the buildup to the Iraq invasion, Cambone granted an interview with The New Yorker in which he described potential improvements to the Arab world:

Will there be further regime changes in the Middle East? "Things won't be the same after as they were before," Cambone said. "Just by virtue of the event occurring, people making commitments. So should a conflict -- and I underline should, if, maybe -- there is a prospect that things, yeah, I think things could change in many of those places. Now, things could also go badly. One should not discount, for all that one can imagine good things happening, the prospect that things that would not be helpful or positive could occur, too" -- especially, he added, if the United States and its allies do not manage the postwar period adeptly.

When President George W. Bush finally asked who was in charge of finding the Iraqi WMDs, his staffers eventually fingered Cambone. Journalist Seymour Hersh quoted an unnamed CIA official as saying, "Remember Henry II -- 'Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?' [...] Whatever Rumsfeld whimsically says, Cambone will do ten times that much." Not surprisingly, after the Abu Ghraib torture scandal broke, unidentified members of the Bush administration promptly fingered Cambone as being the mastermind behind placing the prison in the hands of military intelligence.

    University: BA Political Science, Catholic University of America (1973)
    University: MA Political Science, Claremont Graduate University (1977)
    University: PhD Political Science, Claremont Graduate University (1982)

    US Defense Department Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
    Center for Strategic & International Studies Senior Fellow of Political-Military Studies (1993-98)
    Project for the New American Century On the team for Rebuilding America's Defense report (2001)

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