WASHINGTON - The Bush administration has conducted an extensive spying operation of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, his staff and others in the Iraqi government, according to a new book by Washington Post editor and author Bob Woodward.
"We know everything he says," according to one of multiple sources Woodward cites about the practice in "The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008," scheduled for publication by Simon & Schuster on Monday, Sept. 8.
The book also says that the U.S. troop surge of 2007, in which President Bush sent nearly 30,000 additional U.S. combat forces and support troops to Iraq, was not the primary factor behind the steep drop in violence there during the past 16 months.
Woodward reports "groundbreaking" new covert techniques had enabled U.S. military and intelligence officials to locate, target and kill insurgent leaders and key individuals in extremist groups such as al-Qaeda in Iraq.
Woodward does not disclose the code names of these covert programs or provide much detail about them, saying in the book that White House and other officials had cited national security concerns in asking him to withhold specifics.