US spied on Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki, insurgents using 'groundbreaking' covert techniques

Bob Woodward has a new book out so we’re getting drips and drabs from the Washington Post today. It seems the US has been spying on the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (no surprise there, honestly) but using was Woodward calls ‘groundbreaking’ new covert techniques.

Woodward does not disclose the code names of the covert programs or provide much detail about them, saying in the book that White House and other officials cited national security concerns in asking him to withhold specifics. But he quotes “several authoritative sources” as saying that “85 to 90 percent of the successful operations and ‘actionable intelligence’ had come from” the breakthrough techniques.

The book also details the dissension behind the surge, and the fact that Bush made his decisions without the advice (and against the advice) of the Pentagon. It also mentions that he fired Rumsfeld without consulting Cheney (Rumsfeld’s cheif supporter).

Bush informed Cheney of his decision on Nov. 6, 2006, the day before the midterm elections. “Well, Mr. President, I disagree,” Cheney is quoted as saying, “but obviously it’s your call.”

Anyway, we’ll see how it plays when it gets released on Monday. Some of Woodward’s recent books have been self-serving on the part of his ’sources’ (which can be easily seen in some parts).