Jason Vest

Jason Vest is a Senior Correspondent for The American Prospect and a
contributor to the Boston Phoenix and The Nation, specializing in intelligence
national security affairs. He also holds an Ochberg Fellowship with the
University of Washington's Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma. Recognized by
American Journalism Review in 2002 as an "Unsung Hero of Washington
Vest has previously done staff stints at the Washington Post, US News & World
and Village Voice. He covered the Eritrea-Ethiopia border war
(1999-2000), as a correspondent for The Scotsman, and was awarded a 1999 Fund
Investigative Journalism grant to examine both the war and media coverage.

Originally a reporter for alternative weeklies in Indiana, Vest has also
written for The Atlantic Monthly, Columbia Journalism Review, Mother Jones,
AlterNet and the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, among others. His
work for
the Prospect in 2004 has been supported by grant awards from the Foundation
for Constitutional Goverment and the Ettinger Foundation. His book on national
security during the current Bush Administration will be published by Wiley &
Sons in 2005.

Recent Articles

The Dubious Genius of Andrew Marshall

Early next month, HREF="http://www.prospect.org/print/V12/4/vest-j.html">Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's Adviser on Net Assessment will produce a report that will be the working blueprint for the Pentagon's future. Given that the Adviser -- Andrew Marshall -- is a futurist fascinated with the most advanced technologies, observers expect the report to be chock full of recommendations emphasizing an expansive embrace of "information age" technologies, and a shift away from more conventional procurements. Indeed, if you read last Friday's HREF="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46423- 2001Feb8.ht ml">Washington Post , you'd be inclined to think that Andrew Marshall is an island of ingenuity, intellect, and integrity floating amidst the vast archipelago of corrupt and conniving Defense bureaucracies. He is, wrote the Post 's Thomas Ricks, "one of the Pentagon's most unconventional thinkers," a man who's "controversial" in part due to his prescient, visionary...

Our Man in Little Havana:

It was the summer of 1985 and John Lantigua, then The Washington Post 's Nicaragua stringer, discovered he had a new nickname, at least among American right-wingers: "Johnny Sandinista." For many senior politicos in the Reagan Administration, Nicaragua was a black and white issue. If you weren't pro-Contra and anti-Sandinista, you were a dupe of two malevolent forces: What one senior official euphemistically called "the source" of evil in this hemisphere -- Cuba -- and the power behind Cuba that then Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey held was the center of all world terrorism and subversion: the Soviet Union. John Lantigua's reporting didn't reflect such a Manichean worldview, and for that, the Administration would try to smear him and others who didn't "come on-side." In a "report" produced by the far-right "media watchdog" group Accuracy in Media, Daniel James -- identified only as a "Latin America expert," but, in fact, a longtime CIA contract propagandist --...

Kill this Idea

No employee of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination. --Executive Order 11905, signed by President Gerald Ford (February 18, 1976) No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination. --Executive Order 12333, signed by President Ronald Reagan (December 4, 1981) I n December 28 of last year, former U.S. Labor Secretary (and national editor of TAP ) Robert B. Reich told the audience of CNN's Crossfire that he hoped upcoming confirmation hearings of Bush appointees would not be a study in "the politics of character assassination." It seems that Reich's last word may have lodged itself a bit too literally in the mind of his guest that night, Bob Barr, Congressman of Georgia, because six days later, the ultraconservative Republican Barr introduced a piece of House legislation designated as HR 19. Its aim: Restore the currently illegal use of assassination...

Darth Rumsfeld

See the online sidebar " href="/print/V12/4/vest-j-sidebar.html">Punch-Drunk on Hardball" S ince Donald Rumsfeld's appointment as secretary of defense was announced on December 28, approbatory phrases have been the order of the day. The Washington Post cast him as "elder statesman," while The New York Times characterized him as a "tough-minded manager." At his January 11 confirmation hearing, the servile aria started by the press was taken up by the Senate Armed Services Committee: Save for a few pointed questions on fiscal oversight by Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and Senator Robert Byrd, the West Virginia Democrat, Rumsfeld's hearing could have passed for a mannerly colloquy of academics discussing the future of defense. On January 20, moments after George W. Bush was sworn in, Donald Rumsfeld--"Rummy," as he is known to his friends--was confirmed by the Senate. To longtime defense policy observers and arms control advocates, watching the restoration of Rumsfeld to...

Humble Pie

If we are an arrogant nation, they will resent us. If we're a humble nation, but strong, they'll welcome us. --George W. Bush, encapsulating his diplomatic philosophy, October 11, 2000 Bush's America is certainly not more "humble," as the president promised. On the contrary, he has managed to give himself an image as an international "troublemaker" whose main accomplishment has been to launch a wave of uneasiness, perplexity and irritation among allies and adversaries alike. --Portuguese columnist Teresa de Sousa in Lisbon's Publico, May 2001 T he great Italian journalist Luigi Barzini, Jr., once characterized Americans as "loners in the world." The aptness of that description was brought home on May 3, when the United States was voted off the United Nations Human Rights Commission, even as such rampant human rights violators as Sudan and Libya were voted on. The most disturbing element of the whole debacle, as Human Rights Watch's UN representative Joanna Weschler told The New York...