Laura Rozen

Laura Rozen is a Prospect senior correspondent and a national security correspondent for The Washington Monthly.

Recent Articles

A NEW IRAN TIMELINE EMERGES

A NEW IRAN TIMELINE EMERGES . Back in February, U.S. point man on Iran Nick Burns told the Brookings Institution (. pdf ): 'We have got some time" for diplomatic and economic pressure on Iran to show results. Now State department officials are signaling, the window for multilateral diplomacy is "unwinding." The immediate cause of the change in tone? The U.S. is badgering allies on the UN Security Counil to impose a third round of sanctions on Iran for failing to comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its nuclear program. "Look, the third round of sanctions is critical," a State Department official said. "If we're up there begging and bargaining and negotiating over the graduation of what are largely ineffective sanctions, then fine, time is not long..." But on a June 6th visit to Washington for the US-Israel Strategic Dialogue, the Israeli team leader, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz , said he and Secretary of State Rice agreed to review sanctions' effectiveness at...

A Faith in Dialogue

TAP talks to a participant in the recent delegation of American Christian leaders who visited Iran -- and met with Ahmadinejad.

Joe Volk, executive secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation , a Quaker lobbying group in Washington, recently participated in a delegation of American Christian leaders that was received by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Since his return, he has been meeting with congressional foreign policy staffers to tell them about what his group heard in Iran and urge expanded U.S.-Iran dialogue. He discussed his trip with Laura Rozen. --- Laura Rozen: Tell me about your group and the nature of the delegation with which you traveled to Iran. Joe Volk: The U.S. religious leaders delegation was composed of 13 members and took some staff and a PBS film crew for the "Now" program. We went February 17 … and arrived in Tehran very early Monday, 1:30 a.m. We literally began our visits and meetings with the Iranians right then in the airport which continued through [the week]. Our last meeting was a two-and-a-half hour conversation with President Ahmadinejad on February 24...

Rendition on Trial

TAP talks to a prosecutor in the first-ever trial of those involved in America's "extraordinary rendition" policy.

On June 8, the trial of 28 American and Italian intelligence officials allegedly involved in the 2003 "extraordinary rendition" of an Egyptian cleric , Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr (known as Abu Omar), is to get underway in a Milan courtroom. Although the 26 CIA officers indicted will be tried in abstentia, it will be the first trial of suspects indicted for being involved in the United States' controversial extraordinary rendition policy. Laura Rozen interviewed the Milan prosecutor who investigated the Abu Omar rendition, Armando Spataro, by email. --- LR: What is your biography? How did you become a prosecutor? AS: I was born in Taranto, in the South of Italy. I became a prosecutor in September 1976 … I have lead many investigations on left-wing domestic terrorism (Red Brigades etc), in the '70s and '80s, and two colleagues and friends of mine were murdered in Milano by these groups. After the '80s, I led many investigations on mafia activities. Towards the beginning of your...

The First Contract

From 1991 to 1993, a young lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve was working as a program manager in a Pentagon intelligence office. His name was Mitchell John Wade. His boss, the assistant secretary of defense for command, control, communications and intelligence, was Duane P. Andrews. Andrews's job at the Pentagon was essentially to serve as intelligence advisor to the secretary of defense. The secretary of defense at the time was someone that Andrews knew well and respected immensely: Dick Cheney. Back during the Reagan administration, Andrews had served as a professional staff member to the House Intelligence Committee, of which Cheney, then a Wyoming Republican congressman, was a prominent member. In a recent interview with a federal technology magazine, Andrews lists Cheney as his personal, lifelong hero. In 1993, at the end of George H.W. Bush's presidency, Cheney went on to become CEO of the oil services giant Halliburton; Andrews joined the massive government contractor...

More to Come?

This writer has reported extensively on a 2001 meeting in Rome between two then-members of the office of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, Iranian arms dealer Manucher Ghorbanifar, Iranian intelligence operatives, and the Italian intelligence service. Reading the DoD IG (Defense Department Inspector General) report on its investigation into the activities of Feith's office, and watching Friday's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the report, were, therefore, somewhat surreal experiences. What was surreal was their narrow focus on the question of the Pentagon policy shop's alternative intelligence analysis alleging Iraq-al-Qaeda links, when few dispute that the array of activities engaged in by Feith's shop was broader than that and hardly limited to alternative intelligence analysis. Both the hearing and the unclassified two-page DoD IG report (with an accompanying PowerPoint presentation ) were narrowly focused on the question of whether members of Feith's...

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