The Confederate Spymaster Sleeping With the Enemy
Confederate generals relied on Thomas Jordan for key intelligence on Union troops—and he led them straight into a disastrous battle.
SHILOH BATTLEFIELD, Tennessee—It’s rare in history that spymasters get credit for victories, but, then again, only occasionally are they blamed for disasters.
Few are so bold or so foolish as to declare that something is an absolute fact, as CIA Director George Tenet did when he told President George W. Bush the intelligence confirming Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction was a “slam dunk.”
No, the language of espionage is a language of qualification. Do the Iranians have a nuclear weapons program? A key National Intelligence Estimate in 2007 concluded they sort of didn’t but, then again, might just. (“We judge with high confidence that in fall 2003, Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program; we also assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Tehran at a minimum is keeping open the option to develop nuclear weapons.”)