Key Rumsfeld aide resigns
Fri Dec 1, 8:56 PM ET
The Defense Department's top intelligence official will resign at the end of the year, the Pentagon announced.
Stephen Cambone, undersecretary of defense for intelligence, is the most senior Pentagon official to announce he is leaving since US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tendered his resignation last month.
Cambone, who came to the Pentagon with Rumsfeld in January 2001, has been a key player in his efforts to transform the US military into a lighter, high tech force and in carving out a larger role for US military intelligence.
The Defense Department expanded espionage and other covert intelligence gathering activities under Cambone, drawing criticism from some in Congress that it was intruding on turf traditionally dominated by the CIA.
General Michael Hayden, the CIA director, said in a radio interview November 22 that reports of tension between the CIA and the Pentagon over its intelligence gathering programs were exaggerated.
"There is a bit of an urban legend out there, that the distance between here and the Pentagon, which is about seven miles down the river, is the line of confrontation," Hayden told WTOP radio. "That's simply not true."
"The Defense Department performing additional intelligence tasks is good news for America; it brings more resources to a problem we have discussed as being very, very difficult," he said.
"The only question, of course, is like any team, that the performance and activities of the new players are coordinated with the squad already out there on the field. And I have to tell you, that activity is coordinated."
Hayden said Robert Gates, a former CIA director who has been tapped to replace Rumsfeld, would reinforce "the success that we've had under Secretary Rumsfeld, and frankly, with Under Secretary for Intelligence Steve Cambone."
In its announcement, the Pentagon said Cambone had no specific plans after his departure December 31 but "looks forward to spending more time with his family."
Cambone is one of the last members of the original team that came to the Pentagon with Rumsfeld, who announced his resignation November 8.