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 Pentagon Muzzles the CIA

E ven as it prepares for war against Iraq, the Pentagon is already engaged on a second front: its war against the Central Intelligence Agency. The Pentagon is bringing relentless pressure to bear on the agency to produce intelligence reports more supportive of war with Iraq, according to former CIA officials. Key officials of the Department of Defense are also producing their own unverified intelligence reports to justify war. Much of the questionable information comes from Iraqi exiles long regarded with suspicion by CIA professionals. A parallel, ad hoc intelligence operation, in the office of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith, collects the information from the exiles and scours other raw intelligence for useful tidbits to make the case for preemptive war. These morsels sometimes go directly to the president. The war over intelligence is a critical part of a broader offensive by the party of war within the Bush administration against virtually the entire expert...

Tinker, Banker, NeoCon, Spy

I f T.E. Lawrence ("of Arabia") had been a 21st-century neoconservative operative instead of a British imperial spy, he'd be Ahmed Chalabi's best friend. Chalabi, the London-based leader of the Iraqi National Congress (INC), is front man for the latest incarnation of a long-time neoconservative strategy to redraw the map of the oil-rich Middle East, put American troops -- and American oil companies -- in full control of the Persian Gulf's reserves and use the Gulf as a fulcrum for enhancing America's global strategic hegemony. Just as Lawrence's escapades in World War I-era Arabia helped Britain remake the disintegrating Ottoman Empire, the U.S. sponsors of Chalabi's INC hope to do their own nation building. "The removal of [Saddam Hussein] presents the United States in particular with a historic opportunity that I believe is going to prove to be as large as anything that has happened in the Middle East since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the entry of British troops into Iraq in...

The Darkest Horse

I t's hard to imagine a place seeming farther from the White House than State Street in Montpelier, Vermont. A bucolic hamlet nestled alongside the Winooski River, Montpelier, a town of 8,000, must be the only state capital without a McDonald's. On a brisk May morning, the sun glints blindingly off the gold-domed capitol building. Shops along State Street sell the latest issues of Yoga and Feng Shui, while boutiques with names like Moon Mountain and Cool Jewels offer beads and crystals. Independent bookstores abut the headquarters of Vermont's Progressive Party, the funky Capitol Grounds coffeehouse, and, of course, a Ben & Jerry's. From this unlikely perch, Vermont Governor Howard Dean is launching a long-shot 2004 presidential bid. Even his best friends have greeted his intentions with astonishment and disbelief. "It's amazing to me that someone sets out to climb that mountain, particularly as far out on the plains as he is," says William Sorrell, Vermont's attorney general and...

Titanic Brother:

I t's bigger than Big Brother. Call it, well, titanic brother. Only hours before President Bush called for the creation of a Department of Homeland Security, Senator Ted Kennedy stuck one of the lone discordant notes in what was otherwise a symphony of support for the idea. "The question," said Kennedy, "is whether shifting the deck chairs on the Titanic is the way to go." In his 11-minute speech to the nation, Bush noted that the United States needs the new security agency as it "[leads] the civilized world in a titanic struggle against terror." Titanic it is, a $37 billion new cabinet department with up to 200,000 employees with unprecedented power to snoop into, poke around, and investigate virtually every aspect of American life. According to the White House, the reorganization of the federal government is the most sweeping one since just after World War II, when President Truman and Congress brought us the National Security Act of 1947 (followed by its modifications in 1949 and...

Security in the Shadows

F or Tom Ridge, President Bush's homeland-security director, the storm clouds over his relationship with Congress began gathering almost as soon as his appointment was announced nine days after September 11. From the very beginning, a bipartisan chorus was raised about Ridge's lack of political clout and budget authority, not to mention his utter lack of operational power. And from that beginning the White House made clear that Ridge -- as a presidential adviser whose office was created by executive order and not by statute -- would not be allowed to testify before congressional committees. Now, however, that storm has erupted in full force and Ridge has become a lightning rod for all sorts of discontent and grumbling from Democrats and Republicans alike in both the House and the Senate. Like Vice President Cheney's now-notorious energy policy, Ridge's arguably more life-and-death homeland-security strategy has so far been devised in the dark of night. No list of consultants, private-...

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