Robert Dreyfuss

Robert Dreyfuss is a senior correspondent for The American Prospect. He is the author of Devil's Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam. He can be reached through his website.

Recent Articles

The Yes-Man

Exactly as intended, Porter Goss has hit the Central Intelligence Agency like a wrecking ball. The former Florida congressman, who had an undistinguished career as a CIA operations officer in the 1960s, came to the agency in September 2004 after serving seven years as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. With his staff in tow -- a collection of Capitol Hill aides nicknamed the Gosslings -- Goss bowled into the CIA's Langley, Virginia, headquarters, scattering senior officials like so many duckpins. In mid-September, Robert Richer, the newly installed deputy director of operations and a former Near East Division chief, quit in disgust. The newspapers duly reported Richer's departure. But he is only the tip of a Titanic-sized iceberg. Since Goss took over, between 30 and 90 senior CIA officials have made their exit, according to various sources, some fleeing into retirement, others taking refuge as consultants. Others, unable to retire, have stayed, but only...

The Yes-Man

Exactly as intended, Porter Goss has hit the Central Intelligence Agency like a wrecking ball. The former Florida congressman, who had an undistinguished career as a CIA operations officer in the 1960s, came to the agency in September 2004 after serving seven years as chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. With his staff in tow -- a collection of Capitol Hill aides nicknamed “the Gosslings” -- Goss bowled into the CIA's Langley, Virginia, headquarters, scattering senior officials like so many duckpins. In mid-September, Robert Richer, the newly installed deputy director of operations and a former Near East Division chief, quit in disgust. The newspapers duly reported Richer's departure. But he is only the tip of a Titanic-sized iceberg. Since Goss took over, between 30 and 90 senior CIA officials have made their exit, according to various sources, some fleeing into retirement, others taking refuge as consultants. Others, unable to retire, have stayed, but...

Vice Squad

Bad heart, errant shotgun, and Halliburton stock options in tow, Dick Cheney has ruled the White House roost for the past five years, amassing enough power to give rise to the joke that George W. Bush is “a heartbeat away from the presidency.” Yet, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of words have been written on Cheney's role in the Bush administration, most of what's been written fails to explain how the vice president wields his extraordinary authority. Notoriously opaque, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) is very difficult for journalists to penetrate. But a Prospect investigation shows that the key to Cheney's influence lies with the corps of hard-line acolytes he assembled in 2001. They serve not only as his eyes and ears, monitoring a federal bureaucracy that resists many of Cheney's pet initiatives, but sometimes serve as his fists, too, when the man from Wyoming feels that the passive-aggressive bureaucrats need bullying. Like disciplined Bolsheviks slicing...

Vice Squad

Bad heart, errant shotgun, and Halliburton stock options in tow, Dick Cheney has ruled the White House roost for the past five years, amassing enough power to give rise to the joke that George W. Bush is “a heartbeat away from the presidency.” Yet, despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of words have been written on Cheney's role in the Bush administration, most of what's been written fails to explain how the vice president wields his extraordinary authority. Notoriously opaque, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) is very difficult for journalists to penetrate. But a Prospect investigation shows that the key to Cheney's influence lies with the corps of hard-line acolytes he assembled in 2001. They serve not only as his eyes and ears, monitoring a federal bureaucracy that resists many of Cheney's pet initiatives, but sometimes serve as his fists, too, when the man from Wyoming feels that the passive-aggressive bureaucrats need bullying. Like disciplined Bolsheviks slicing...

Talk to the Enemy

Throughout December, in a political offensive designed to recapture the initiative over the failing war in Iraq, President Bush portrayed the battle there in stark terms. Iraq, he said, is the central front in a global struggle against “Islamofascism,” against an enemy whose intent is to create a radical, worldwide caliphate comparable to the Nazi enemy the United States fought in World War II or the communist foe that competed with America in (the Cold) World War III. In so doing, the president aligned himself with the hardest of America's hard-liners, such as former CIA Director James Woolsey and Commentary 's Norman Podhoretz, who insist that the war in Iraq is part of some mythical World War IV. And in that war, President Bush asserted, the choice America faces in Iraq is either “victory or defeat.” But in fact, the war against the “evil caliphate” exists only in Bush's mind. In the real Iraq, the war pits U.S. forces and the nascent Iraqi government against a persistent...

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