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Spencer Ackerman
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Entries by Spencer Ackerman

Al Qaeda Goes Viral

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2008 | 6:20 PM

In 2004, one of the most important documents in the history of Islamist terrorism began to appear on jihadist Internet forums. Serialized in Arabic over 40 installments, The Global Islamic Resistance Call caused a sensation within radical Islamic circles. Throughout its 1,600 pages, the book implicitly criticized Osama bin Laden...

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Amnesty Brings Gitmo Cell Replica to National Mall

(1) Comments | Posted June 26, 2008 | 3:32 PM

Originally appeared at The Washington Independent.

In its latest effort to push the Bush administration into closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, Amnesty International is challenging Americans to become ersatz detainees.

The human-rights organization is taking a replica of an actual Guantanamo cell around the country for what...

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A Roadmap to Torture

(2) Comments | Posted June 18, 2008 | 4:36 PM

This story originally appeared on The Washington Independent.

In August 2004, a Defense Dept. panel convened to investigate detainee abuse after the Abu Ghraib scandal issued its much-anticipated report. Interrogation techniques designed for use at Guantanamo Bay, which President George W. Bush had decreed outside the scope of the...

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Civilians Missing From Action

(3) Comments | Posted May 13, 2008 | 4:02 PM

Originally appeared on The Washington Independent.

During his 2003-2004 tour in Iraq's Anbar Province, a leading Army counterinsurgent officer named John Nagl confronted many frustrations -- from improperly trained Iraqi soldiers to the combat deaths of his own men. But one problem was as acute then as it...

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King David

(2) Comments | Posted May 6, 2008 | 6:55 PM

Originally appeared on The Washington Independent.

While commanding the 101st Airborne Division during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, David H. Petraeus famously mused to journalist Rick Atkinson, "Tell me how this ends." Asked today by The Washington Independent how he would answer that if one of his own...

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The Rise of Petraeus

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2008 | 6:36 PM

Originally appeared on The Washington Independent.

Reaffirming his status as his generation's most respected general officer, David H. Petraeus was nominated today to head U.S. Central Command (Centcom), the command responsible for all U.S. military operations in the Middle East. The move puts the U.S. military's premier advocate, theorist...

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Petraeus Plays Defense in Testimony

(1) Comments | Posted April 10, 2008 | 11:38 AM

This piece was originally posted on The Washington Independent

In September, Gen. David Petraeus's mission on Capitol Hill was offensive.

He had to roll back the advance of congressional Democrats who were gathering the political momentum to stop President George W. Bush's surge of U.S. troops in Iraq. Before...

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Petraeus Testimony Field Manual

(22) Comments | Posted April 4, 2008 | 4:44 PM

An Annotated Guide to What the General Could Say to Congress

Originally published at the Washington Independent

On Tuesday, Gen. David H. Petraeus will update Congress on the status of the Iraq war. The general is so respected as a military officer that his September run through...

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Fast and Loose With the Facts

(13) Comments | Posted March 20, 2008 | 3:44 PM

Originally posted in the Washington Independent.

"The danger," said President George W. Bush on Sept. 25, 2002, "is that Al Qaeda becomes an extension of Saddam's madness and his hatred and his capacity to extend weapons of mass destruction around the world." He proceeded to build on a lie...

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