Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman, a senior correspondent for The American Prospect, is a senior reporter for The Washington Independent.

Recent Articles

Five Years Later

According to interviews with detained members of al-Qaeda in Iraq, the most powerful recruitment tool for Islamic extremists is ... the war itself.

The Pentagon sponsored a conference call Monday with a Air Force colonel named Donald Bacon in Baghdad, who presented what he characterized as the findings of a major effort to understand al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), the United State's most implacable enemy in the war. These are the irreconcilables, the extremists, the bloodthirsty, the relentless; the ones who the president has promised will follow us home if they aren't defeated. The U.S. military command and the Bush administration have explained away AQI's tiny percentage within the Sunni insurgency by saying it is disproportionately dangerous, accounting for most of the suicide bombings and high-profile catastrophic attacks.

WireTAP: A Dialogue about <em>The Wire</em> (Episode 10)

Prospect writers discuss the final episode of the critically acclaimed HBO series.

Throughout the fifth and final season of HBO's groundbreaking drama, The Wire, we've featured an ongoing discussion of the series with TAP Online writers.  This week, we chat about episode ten -- the final episode of the season and the series. (If you haven't been reading, you can catch up on our discussions of episodes one, two and three, episodes four, five and six, and episodes seven, eight and nine.)  --The Editors

Iraq, Intelligence Failures, and Kelly Clarkson

TAP Online talks with A.J. Rossmiller, author of Still Broken, the new book about his experiences as an intelligence officer in Iraq.

When A.J. Rossmiller came home from Iraq, word spread across the liberal precincts of the blogosphere about a young intelligence officer who saw the illogic of the Iraq war from deep inside, who spent his time in Baghdad chuckling with disgust as he heard Donald Rumsfeld lie to the country about U.S. intelligence collecting. I admit to being a little skeptical at the time. But in e-mails, in posts at AMERICAblog, and over beers, Rossmiller has shared his effortless insight about Iraq with me. Like many who know him, I came away from every encounter thinking, "What an amazing book he’ll write."

WireTAP: A Dialogue About <em>The Wire</em> (Episodes 4-6)

Prospect writers discuss the fifth season of the critically acclaimed HBO series.

The fifth and final season of HBO's groundbreaking drama, The Wire, is upon us. Every three episodes, we'll bring you a discussion of the series between TAP Online writers.  This week, Kriston Capps kicks off our dialogue about episodes four, five, and six. In addition to the crew from our last discussion, we're joined this time around by former TAP Online editor Sam Rosenfeld.  --The Editors

Kriston Capps: Prop Joe is dead, Omar is still alive, and McNulty is still tailing a serial killer -- all improbable outcomes in a season that, if possible, is only getting worse.

The Counter-Narrative Candidate

Never mind the rampant VP speculation. Just by speaking at the Democratic Convention, Sen. Jim Webb has a chance to undercut one of the most enduring--and corrosive--GOP narratives of the last 25 years.