Robert Cordell is the Deputy Director of the National Intelligence Oversight Committee (NIOC) and a hidden antagonist in Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow.
Former CEO of a defense contractor, Cordell milked lucrative Pentagon contracts to build a personal fortune and then used that money to secure the position of deputy director, NIOC. He uses his authority to steer government contracts to shell companies owned by friends. The President created NIOC to provide a layer of oversight between covert agencies and congress, but according to Gabe, Cordell's only role is to hinder the IPCA. Cordell's red tape and paperwork has, on numerous occasions, interfered with missions and cost innumerable lives. The most recent incident notably occurred when Gabe had Bitar cornered in Libya, but Cordell refused air support, and the Syrian escaped. Cordell now pursues with a tenacity that leads Gabe to believe he is driven by something more than just making up for his mistake of letting Bitar flee.
Syphon Filter Logan's Shadow
After several countries started the race for the possession of the X-Z-2, invented by a Chinese defector Shen Rei, Cordell hired Bitar to ensure security for the device. Cordell then directed the USS Mt. St. Helens into the Indian Ocean, alone without an escort, to assist Bitar in his mission; the terrorist used waves of Somali pirates to overwhelm the US ship's personnel. Bitar stole the device transported by Cordell, but had his own agenda with it. He captured Shen and forced him to mass-produce the X-Z-2, before destroying part of the Iraqi oil fields to undermine the interest of the West in the Middle East. Cordell began hiding, and Logan used it to find out where the Al-Jamil hold Shen.
After convincing the Chinese agent Trinidad to help him, Cordell manipulated events so that Lian Xing followed her husband Shen, and Logan in turn followed Lian. Trinidad has worked with Logan long enough to successfully accomplish their mission, but Logan was able to find evidence that Cordell hired Bitar. The military arrested Cordell and suspended him from his position.
Cordell functioned as director of the National Intelligence Oversight Committee during the middle to late-2000s, and was present to provide increased accountability of black box agencies for the United States government. Previously in the private sector, he worked at a defense contractor with projects involving nuclear reactors on naval vessels until his employment at NIOC where he could exert influential authority over intelligence forces.
NIOC allowed Cordell the right to cooperate with the armed forces and relay orders. Generally deceptive or otherwise inept, he caused the additional deaths of armed forces personnel because of his inexperience with commanding military operations, and the escape of al-Jamil terrorist leader Ghassan Al-Bitar when he refused air support during the pursuit of the antagonist in Libya.
As several nations became entangled in a race to secure the X-Z-2 bomb invented by Chinese scientist Shen Rei, a genius who subsequently defected, Cordell hired Al-Bitar as a mercenary to bring Shen across the border and to the safety of NIOC couriers. Bitar stole a bomb transferred by Cordell, and destroyed a section of Iraqi oil fields to damage Western interests in the Middle East. Cordell began a cover-up and used Logan to find where al-Jamil had taken Shen.
Having convinced the Chinese agent Trinidad to aid him, Cordell manipulated events to ensure that Lian Xing would go after her husband Shen, and Logan would follow them. Trinidad operated to keep Logan alive long enough to succeed, but he uncovered evidence that Cordell had hired Bitar. The military arrested Cordell and removed him from his position.
Personality and traits
"I used Bitar to get the job done Logan. Just like I used you."- Cordell before being arrested.
An incompetent bureaucrat, Cordell is a pencil neck who displays significant ineptitude and deception in the discharge of his duties. Whether accidentally or purposefully, he orchestrates at least two incidents where United States military personnel are butchered mass scale. He initially withholds vital intelligence from Special Forces sent to stop Bitar on the St. Helens, and later commands Desert Scorpions to jump in broad daylight, leading to a massacre when triple A cut down the soldiers. Lacking any sort of military training whatsoever, he displays little to no conscious, indiscriminately calling an air strike to carpet bomb the compound and then sending in troops to sift through the remnants.
Furthermore, Cordell seems not to sympathise with Gabe when Alima's chopper is shot down, killing the pilot. Gabe's motivation to stop Bitar was not to render assistance to the NIOC but rather due to a personal grudge he bore against the terrorist.
Cordell was also pulling strings behind the scenes: he persuaded the President to shut down the IPCA.
Resembling Jason Chance, Cordell's mentality is to do whatever he must to 'get the job done'. However, as with Markinson and Stevens, he fails to complete his duty and is eventually captured. He somehow succeeds in talking to Trinidad despite being in custody during the mission 'Shadowed'.