Spencer Ackerman

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

Recent Articles


A LIGHT IS FLICKERING. Twelve to eighteen months now, and they can stand up and we can stand down. Maybe. General Casey and Ambassador Khalilzad promised that within that timeframe, the Iraqi government will a) disarm the militias, b) quell the insurgency, and c) reach political compromise on the sectarian divisions that have torn the country apart. No word yet, of course, on whether it will also give every Iraqi a pony. The Bush administration has proven itself very good at meeting its deadlines in Iraq. The June 30, 2004 handover of "sovereignty" took place ahead of schedule; the January 2005 election went off as planned; so too did the October 15, 2005 constitutional referendum and the December 15, 2005 election of a permanent government. What got lost in the mix was the meaning of these dates -- that is, in order to meet every benchmark, and thereby demonstrate "success" in Iraq for a news cycle or two, the administration joyfully overlooked the fact that each of these...


MOLTO MARIO. God bless you, Mario Loyola of National Review . During these dark times, who will stand up to defend the Iraqi experiment in democracy? You will! To wit : But as bad as the security situation is, I think Americans would feel differently if they knew the tenor of the political debate in Iraq -- how effectively every major issue is getting debated in the legislature, in the government, and in the press. Amidst all the violence, the democratic debate continues, and it is already sinking deep roots into the Iraqi psyche. Damn right! The Iraqi democratic process has yielded such prominent successes as the federalism bill, which a Shiite-dominated parliament pushed through over the strenuous objections of the Sunni minority. The Sunnis not-unreasonably see federalism as a means to deny them the resource wealth from Iraqi oil, and tried -- with help from Moqtada Sadr -- to stop the bill through a failed effort at preventing a quorum. Leading Sunni politician Adnan Dulaimi...


YOU'VE DONE NOTHING BUT CAUSE HARM. Matt had Clash-blogging; I'll have Avail -blogging. The latest Mason-Dixon poll has George Allen slightly ahead of Jim Webb , albeit still within the margin of error. No one knows how the race will end up, but one group that had Allen's number way, way before Macaca-gate was the brilliant 1990s Richmond-based punk band Avail. Back on their classic 1996 album 4 a.m. Friday , they penned an anthem, "Governor," about then-Gov. Allen: so don't talk to me about all you're gonna do and who you represent and how you'll see it thru i'm not buying who you're selling you're selling you and it just doesn't seem right you've done nothing but cause harm and you want praise and i'm not gonna take it easy We shouldn't, either. --Spencer Ackerman


SO ABOUT ISRAEL. First Ehud Olmert launched an immoral war against Lebanon in response to Hezbollah's aggression against Israel. Then the war embittered nearly the entire country against Olmert, making his hold on power tenuous only months after his massive electoral victory. Now, the once-centrist leader has, in a single blow, decimated his ties to the center by entering into a coalition with the extremist Yisrael Beiteinu party. What Avigdor Lieberman 's merry men advocate is, to be blunt, ethnic cleansing: as the creepy name (which translates into "Our Home Is Israel") suggests, Yisrael Beiteinu believes the million-plus Arab citizens of Israel must be expelled. According to Haaretz , one of Lieberman's right-wing rivals blasted the move, insisting that "Yisrael Beiteinu has abandoned its principles and is joining a left-wing government." But notwithstanding the resistance of the Labor Party to abandoning the Olmert coalition, Lieberman's entry into the government signals the...


THE DOUG FEITH WING OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. From Mike Rubin and Andy McCarthy over at The Corner and Eli Lake of The New York Sun comes word of a truly bizarre NRSC NRCC attack on a Democratic candidate for the PA-10, Chris Carney . Liddy Dole Tom Reynolds 's forces have sent out a mailing accusing Carney of "having failed our nation" by being part of a Pentagon effort to tie Saddam Hussein to al-Qaeda before the war. Now, the substance of the message is, well, true , as I reported in a piece for my former employers, and I suspect that with the exception of the attack on a Democrat, most Tapped readers wouldn't object to the NRCC's characterization. When I hung out with Carney on the stump for an afternoon in Honesdale, Pa., in March, he forthrightly acknowledged that he still believes there's more to the Iraq-al-Qaeda tie than the 9/11 Commission et. al. concluded. However, Carney also advocates an accelerated let-'em-stand-up-and-let-us-get-the-hell-out-of-Iraq position, which is...