Cheney Plays Julius Caesar and Like Then Must be Stopped (Legally)



I have been arguing for years that Vice President Cheney had done more than any other single person in the government — including the President of the United States — to plant acolytes and followers of his throughout the national security bureaucracy. He has had spies and apparatchiks in the Departments of State and Defense, in the Directorate of National Intelligence, the National Security Agency and the CIA, and elsewhere in government. John Bolton was one of these at the…

Launch of Center for a New American Security



I’m attending the launch conference today for the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) that is headed by two former CSIS senior staffers, Kurt Campbell and Michele Flournoy. The conference has pulled together a real who’s who of the Democratic national security establishment into this invite only confab at the Willard Hotel. But there are some of the Republican persuasion here too — including Philip Zelikow who until recently served as Counselor to Condoleezza Rice, Peter Feaver of the…

20/20 Blindness on the Caribbean: <em>A Guest Blog from Johanna Mendelson Forman</em>



Johanna Mendelson Forman is a Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and was previously Senior Program Officer for Peace, Security and Human Rights at the UN Foundation. She post below is a version written specifically for The Washington Note and is a shorter version of this article that just ran in The Washington Post’s “Think Tank Town” column. (This article was written ‘before’ the June 19-21 conference and is written with that tense.) This week…

Health Care and Human Rights: Michael Moore Compares What Cuba and America Now Export



Michael Moore is making quite a splash in Washington with his new film, Sicko. I have yet to see the film, but I think that one of the key takeaways from the documentary on the sorry state of American health care is that in Cuba, comprehensive quality health care is considered a human right. Cuba gets much wrong — but after Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Haditha, and frankly 47 million uninsured Americans with no health care — America has a diminished…

BOATS, PLANES AND BIPARTISANSHIP — <em>A Guest Blog from Representative Jane Harman</em>



Representative Jane Harman (D-CA-36) blogs in her spare time and reads The Washington Note frequently. She also occasionally guest blogs at Huffington Post. Like the proprieter of TWN, she considers herself a “radical centrist” and presently serves as Chair of the Intelligence Subcommittee of the House Committee on Homeland Security In the partisan paradigm under which Congress operates, compliments are rarely paid to good policy initiatives by the opposite party. Here goes. I applaud the recent initiatives of Homeland Security…

George Bush Reversing Course on GITMO?



It is rumored that tomorrow during a “Principals Meeting”, the administration will decide to shut down the Guantanamo military detention facility and transfer prisoners there into the American legal system. I have not received confirmation that this is the case, but it sounds like this could be another important example of President Bush tacking towards the consensus neo-realist position of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell, CIA Director Mike Hayden,…

Name Every Victim



I’ve never met Bill Scheurer, but I think his Peace Majority Report is a wonderful contribution to the debate on the U.S. role in the world. He takes a broad view of peace advocacy and is refreshingly willing to challenge the peace movement on its strategic choices and effectiveness. I rarely read commentary from the organized peace movement, but I would read more if it were like Scheurer’s. His latest column on the occasion of World Refugee Day notes the…

The Other “Surge”



A reader noted that yesterday was World Refugee Day. To mark the occasion, the UN High Commission on Refugees released a report that counts over 10 million asylum-seekers this year. That’s a 14% increase over last year, thanks mostly to the estimated 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Jordan and Syria. This is one “surge” that deserves serious attention. For more on this, see Mark Goldberg over at UN Dispatch or Steve’s earlier posts here, here, and here. — Scott Paul

Anthony Cordesman: U.S. is Frog Quickly Boiling in Iraq Pot



CSIS Strategic Analyst Anthony Cordesman didn’t use that metaphor exactly. Here is what he wrote in an email he sent me this morning along with his new report, “Still Losing? The June 2007 Edition of “Measuring Stability in Iraq“: The latest Department of Defense report on “Measuring Stability in Iraq” attempts to put a bad situation in a favorable light. It does not disguise many of the problems involved, but it does attempt to defend the strategy presented by President…