Hersch on Cambone and the Black-Ops SAP

Seymour Hersh continues his series of New Yorker articles on the Abu Ghraib prison-abuse scandal with The gray zone. It describes how Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen Cambone led the process of applying outside-the-rulebooks interrogation techniques to get intelligence on the Iraq insurgency. The operation was conducted under the authority of a “special-access program”, or SAP, a super-secret Defense Department program for situations deemed too sensitive to handled by the normal classifed-secrets procedures.

Hersh bases his story on the accounts told to him by several former intelligence officials and by a former Pentagon consultant “with close ties to many conservatives.” None of the sources are identified by name.

It’s a compelling story that Hersh tells. Is it true? I dunno. But it certainly explains recent events much more elegantly than the nonsensical fairy tale that Cambone and Rumsfeld have been telling about a few misguided MPs going off the reservation within an otherwise-professional and well-led operation.

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