John Barry

Stories by John Barry

  • Iraq's Real WMD

    They call it "running the gauntlet." Army Capt. Gregory Hirschey and his bomb squad would go looking for improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in the streets of Baghdad. They would find them in donkey carts, paint cans, trash bags, plastic bottles and in schoolyards--explosive charges ready to be detonated by insurgents lying in wait. Operating around the clock in teams of three, Hirschey's 21-man unit responded to 2,178 incidents in seven months, from the summer of 2005 to the winter of 2006. "There were IEDs on the way there, there were IEDs on the way back," says Hirschey. Not to mention small-arms fire, ambushes and rocket-propelled grenades.With a month left on his tour, Hirschey began to think his unit would miraculously emerge unscathed. Then an IED blew off a soldier's arm. Twelve days later, a team leader--Hirschey's close friend, Staff Sgt. Johnnie Mason--was dismantling an IED when a second one killed him instantly.(Army bomb squads are often targeted by the insurgents for...
  • Will Israel Strike Iran?

    As scary as the idea may sound, the Israelis may not be bluffing. Their defense experts display no doubt whatsoever that Israel's Air Force can cripple Iran's nuclear program if necessary. The trick, they say, is to go after the system's weak spots. "You need to identify the bottlenecks," says a senior Israeli military source, asking not to be named for security reasons. "There are not very many. If you take them out, then you really undermine the project." Shlomo Brom, a former Israeli armed forces chief of strategic planning, says the destruction of two or three key facilities would probably suffice. He singles out the Natanz uranium-enrichment complex and the conversion plant at Esfahan as critical.It wouldn't be as easy as it sounds. Tehran, taking obvious lessons from Israel's successful 1981 bombing of Saddam Hussein's reactor at Osirak, has done its best to shield potential targets like Natanz. "They are dispersed, underground, hardened," says the senior Israeli military...
  • How Much Longer?

    It was the day they had all been waiting for, and Gen. George Casey couldn't sleep. Everything was riding on this--not the least how long Casey would have to stay in Iraq--and his nerves were keyed up as he lay awake listening for blast concussions that he knew could come anywhere, any time. At 6 a.m. on Dec. 15, America's top commander in Iraq finally rose red-eyed from his bed, had his usual cup of coffee and sat down for an intelligence briefing. Then he boarded his Black Hawk helicopter.All over the country that morning, millions of Iraqis were lining up to elect their first permanent government since the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. After circling around a relatively calm and peaceful Baghdad, Casey's chopper took off for violence-racked Anbar province and passed over the notorious Abu Ghraib Prison. Then it headed west, to the Sunni strong-holds of Ramadi and Fallujah, the birthplace of the insurgency that continues to threaten Iraq's future. As Casey looked down, he...
  • With Enemies Like This

    Applause and cheers welcomed the Citgo truck as it pulled up at a South Bronx curbside one icy morning last week. The 9,500-gallon tanker was on a mission for one of the Bush administration's most stubborn adversaries in the Western Hemisphere, but the crowd didn't seem to mind. The big thing was that Venezuela's leftist president, Hugo Chavez, was making good on his promise to help some of New York's poorest residents get through a winter of record-setting oil prices. The Venezuelan firm Citgo has agreed to supply 8 million gallons of heating oil to 75 low-income apartment buildings at a 40 percent discount--and the nonprofit landlords have agreed to pass on the savings to their tenants. "Some have tried to read politics into this outreach program," said Bernardo Alvarez, Caracas's ambassador to Washington. "But they should not do so. This is a humanitarian gesture on the part of the Venezuelan people to our neighbors in need."Right. Chavez, a close personal friend of Fidel Castro...
  • A New View At Defense

    Shortly after the start of President George W. Bush's second term, a high-level "deputies" meeting was called at the White House. Issue one on the agenda was how to improve the administration's message in the face of allegations that the U.S. government condoned torture. Philip Zelikow, the powerful counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, spoke up first. He argued firmly that the problem was not how the policy of interrogation and detention was presented to the world; it was the policy itself. No one was surprised by that stance: State, after all, is the diplomatic caretaker of America's global image, and for some time Rice has been quietly campaigning to dial back detention policies.But what happened next shocked everyone. Gordon England, the Pentagon No. 2 recently installed as Paul Wolfowitz's successor, enthusiastically endorsed Zelikow's views. The critical question from England's perspective was: are we better or worse off using these methods? Worse, he concluded. ...
  • IRAQ: 82ND FACES ALLEGATIONS

    The Bush Administration has long insisted any abuse of prisoners in Iraq or Afghanistan violated official U.S. policy--that it was committed by those on the Abu Ghraib night shift. But a new report by Human Rights Watch alleging prisoner abuse by the 82nd Airborne Division in Fallujah from September 2003 to April 2004 says the brutality was not just the work of rogue soldiers. NEWSWEEK has learned that much of the abuse in Fallujah was allegedly directed by an officer in charge of military intelligence within the 82nd, say two sources privy to testimony that contributed to the report but was not included in it. (Both declined to be named on the advice of their counsel.) Beatings occurred at the Fallujah base almost daily, and prisoners were put in "stress positions" and in human pyramids as at Abu Ghraib, the public report says. "We now have consistent reporting from many different places and time periods that MI personnel were directing precisely this kind of treatment" to break...
  • IRAQ: STEPPED-UP SCRUTINY?

    In case a future Iraqi leader decides that Iran's nuclear ambitions next door mean Iraq should restart Saddam Hussein's nuclear-, chemical- or biological-weapon program, what kind of inter-national monitoring should the country be subject to? "The question is starting to bubble up," says a British official who is not allowed by his government to speak for attribution.Demetrios Perricos, head of the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, the agency probing Iraq's WMD work before the U.S. invasion, raised the issue in the United Nations Security Council in June. France and Russia both indicated that they thought Iraq would need to accept continued special inspections. The United States did not comment because Iraqi politicians are reportedly adamant that the new, sovereign Iraq will accept no special constraints or monitoring. "They are demanding the same treatment as any other nation," says a U.N. official who spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity...
  • DRAWING DOWN IRAQ

    Donald Rumsfeld doesn't like long-term occupations. He's always made that clear. After U.S. forces took Baghdad, the Defense secretary had plans to reduce the U.S. presence in Iraq to 40,000 troops by the fall of 2003. Then the insurgency struck.Now Rumsfeld is quietly moving toward his original goal--three years late. The Pentagon has developed a detailed plan in recent months to scale down the U.S. troop presence in Iraq to about 80,000 by mid-2006 and down to 40,000 to 60,000 troops by the end of that year, according to two Pentagon officials involved in the planning who asked not to be identified because of the sensitive nature of their work. Their account squares with a British memo leaked in mid-July. "Emerging U.S. plans assume that 14 out of 18 provinces could be handed over to Iraqi control by early 2006, allowing a reduction in overall [U.S. and Coalition forces] from 176,000 down to 66,000," says the Ministry of Defense memo.Gen. George Casey, the commander of U.S. forces...
  • Blair's New Rules

    The Brits, beneath their polite exteriors, are relentless people. They do not forgive those who betray them. During World War II, an Irishman named William Joyce became infamous in England as "Lord Haw-Haw," a mocking voice broadcasting from Berlin, gloating over the deaths and destruction of British cities. At Joyce's trial in 1945, it was established that, during at least his first broadcasts, he had held a passport as a British citizen-while, as his indictment put it, "he did aid and assist the enemies of the King." British law, going back to mediaeval times, is stark in its clarity: "Protection gives allegiance; allegiance gives protection". Loyalty and citizenship are a two-way bargain. Joyce, enjoying protection as a British citizen, owed allegiance to Britain. He was hanged for high treason.Prime Minister Tony Blair's new crackdown on the seedbeds and instruments of Islamic terrorism in the UK is a watershed not merely for Britain but for the West more widely. Blair, in...
  • CHOPPER DOWN OVER KUNAR

    The two special forces Chinook helicopters had come in, unfortunately, at sunset. They were racing to rescue their comrades on the ground. Onboard the lead chopper--a giant, twin-rotor beast called an MH-47--were eight Navy SEALs and an eight-man Army flight crew. The SEAL commandos, part of a supersecret task force hunting down "high value" Qaeda and Taliban fugitives, were searching for a lost reconnaissance team in the treacherous Kunar border region of Afghanistan. The recon team had been ambushed in the heavily forested mountains in midafternoon on June 28, apparently by Taliban fighters who may have been protecting the wanted rogue Afghan commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.But the timing of the rescuers' arrival, at dusk, turned the Chinooks into fat targets: noisy black shapes silhouetted against a glowing western sky. And apparently the enemy was waiting. As the helicopters lumbered overhead near the Afghan town of Asadabad, they encountered heavy fire from the ground. A...
  • WAR OF NERVES

    Generals must always speak truth to civilian power. That is the conclusion of a book considered to be required reading by many senior officers in the Pentagon. "Dereliction of Duty," by Maj. (now Col.) H. R. McMaster, argues that the Joint Chiefs of Staff failed to do their duty by failing to level with the president, the Congress and the American people about the true costs and requirements of fighting the Vietnam War. McMaster, who is now commanding the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in Iraq, has briefed at least one gathering of four-star generals. "You need to hear this," former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Henry Shelton told McMaster's audience, America's top 17 four-stars, over a breakfast in January 1998. The message these senior officers were supposed to take away is to be honest about foreign interventions like Iraq--to always tell the hard realities to their civilian masters.But do they? Almost every week, President George W. Bush holds a regularly scheduled...
  • MOVING THE FURNITURE

    Connecticut has been a bulwark of America's naval defenses since the Revolutionary War. But last week the 21st century suddenly hit home in the worst way. The Pentagon said it planned to shutter the state's historic Groton sub base, delivering the single biggest loss of military jobs (8,460) in the country. "We're a culture of boat builders," Tony Sheridan, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, said sadly. "From the Mystic Seaport to the old whaling city New London. So there'll be a psychological impact." For barber Joe Quaratella Jr.--who's been cutting Navy hair for 46 years--it's a more direct blow: he could be kissing his retirement goodbye. "I already work six days a week, but I'd have to work seven days and work nights," says Quaratella. "We have to pay the bills, you know?"So does Donald Rumsfeld, and that's the problem. The Defense secretary's proposal to close 33 major U.S. military bases and reduce another 29 in size, a plan two years in the making...
  • A DEADLY GUESSING GAME

    Don't ask America's top brass exactly how the Iraq war is going. They don't know. The various U.S. services have never managed to agree on a unified system for gauging successes and failures in the counterinsurgency campaign. Instead, everyone uses a different yardstick. Recently the National Intelligence Council, the information clearinghouse for America's spy services, produced a study of the problem. NEWSWEEK has learned that the document, which remains classified, urges that the present babel of war assessments be replaced with a coherent system, one that would help U.S. forces react faster and more effectively to shifting insurgent tactics and other challenges. The paper's overall tone is "not uplifting," according to a source familiar with its contents. In blunt terms, things are looking grim. How grim? It's anybody's guess.Good luck finding someone in the administration to make that guess. America's Iraq policy is like a ghost ship these days. The administration has tried to...
  • GITMO: SOUTHCOM SHOWDOWN

    Investigators probing interrogation abuses at the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay have confirmed some infractions alleged in internal FBI e-mails that surfaced late last year. Among the previously unreported cases, sources tell NEWSWEEK: interrogators, in an attempt to rattle suspects, flushed a Qur'an down a toilet and led a detainee around with a collar and dog leash. An Army spokesman confirms that 10 Gitmo interrogators have already been disciplined for mistreating prisoners, including one woman who took off her top, rubbed her finger through a detainee's hair and sat on the detainee's lap. (New details of sexual abuse--including an instance in which a female interrogator allegedly wiped her red-stained hand on a detainee's face, telling him it was her menstrual blood--are also in a new book to be published this week by a former Gitmo translator.)These findings, expected in an upcoming report by the U.S. Southern Command in Miami, could put former Gitmo commander Maj....
  • TIP SHEET

    Travel: Spring For BroadwayBy Raina KelleyMissed Christo's "The Gates"? Not to worry. Come to New York this spring and you can still see killer rabbits, Denzel in Valentino and a flying car. Broadway is about to open its best season in years, with lots of promising new musicals (including "Twelfth Night" set to Elvis), enough revivals for a Theater 101 class and stars like Jessica Lange, John Lithgow, Kathleen Turner, James Earl Jones and Alan Alda packed into 10 city blocks. If you're trying to save money, go to Kansas City, because even we can't make New York seem like a bargain. But if you want to see great theater, avoid wasting your time and money, and maneuver the theater district like a native, take our advice.Grab a seat: Get started at Telecharge (telecharge.com) or Ticketmaster (ticketmaster.com), but remember that you'll pay full price plus at least $8 in fees. Check Broadway Box (broadwaybox.com) for free discount codes that can save you up to 50 percent. Last time we...
  • Reforming the United Nations

    Administration officials hit the phones before George Bush's choice of John Bolton as United Nations ambassador was announced earlier this month. Secretary of State Condi Rice phoned U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan; the White House phoned foreign leaders. Heads-up on these occasions is standard etiquette; but the callers' message this time was part reassurance, part veiled threat: Bolton's naming showed that Bush is serious about the United Nations--but equally determined to see it reform.Reactions to the nomination of Bolton--whose incendiary remarks about the global organization have included comments like "there is no such thing as the United Nations"--have ranged from bewildered to apoplectic. Yet Bush's timing may be better than it seems. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan has proposed, in a major speech to the General Assembly today, the most radical reforms in the U.N.'s 60-year history. Much of what he has suggested responds directly to U.S. criticisms. Other proposals will...
  • RUFFLING FEATHERS

    John Bolton didn't particularly want this job. And Condoleezza Rice didn't especially want to be introducing Bolton as America's next ambassador to the United Nations, some Bush administration officials say. Not so soon after her boss, George W. Bush, seemed to make so much progress working his "new diplomacy" in Europe last month. Bolton, a fiery libertarian, has spent much of his career blasting the United Nations in public, calling it an example of global government gone wild. Rice, the new secretary of State, had refused to make him her chief deputy despite what even Bolton's friends admit was his intense campaign to win that post last fall. No surprise, then, that Rice seemed ill at ease last week, her smile dimmer than usual, says one official at the announcement. "It was utterly inconceivable that this was her initiative," said the official.The U.N. job is, in fact, Bolton's consolation prize. The administration's chief arms-control official has made many enemies abroad among...
  • Tip Sheet

    You'll be tickled by what Elmo can do now. This fall Fisher-Price will introduce a new talking plush toy based on the "Sesame Street" character that says your child's name, counts down to his birthday and lets him know when it's time for lunch. The technology is made possible through a memory card in the doll's stomach that receives information from parents.By now, adults have learned all about interactive toys like the virtual pet Tamagotchi. But the latest kids' gadgetry, unveiled last week at New York's American International Toy Fair, involves even more sophisticated technology, like motion detectors and sound recognition. The idea is to create toys that look, feel and act like living creatures. Critics say such toys can stifle creativity, but kids love them. The generation who grew up playing with their parents' cell phones and iPods expect their toys to be just as wired. "By 2010," predicts Jim Silver, the editor of Toy Wishes magazine, "they're going to have a toy dog that...
  • DIVIDE AND CONQUER

    A not-so-funny thing happened on George Bush's trip to Europe last week. He went to ease the tension over the war in Iraq, but wound up laying bare a new dispute over China. Bush urged the European Union to reconsider plans to lift a 15-year-old arms embargo on Beijing, and the leaders of Europe politely but clearly declined. Once again, Washington and Brussels hold deeply conflicting views of an ambitious power. Only imperial Iraq was a Saddam Hussein fantasy. China is clearly an emerging superpower. The question that now divides the West is: what kind of superpower?This split could be very dangerous, and not only to transatlantic relations, because the Chinese regime looks invulnerable to change. The question of how Beijing will exercise its growing strength, and how the West should respond, will only grow in importance. And the debate in Brussels last week seemed to crystallize two very different answers. "There's a sense that we're just talking past each other," says one U.S....
  • Technology: When Toys Talk Back

    You'll be tickled by what Elmo can do now. This fall Fisher-Price will introduce a new talking plush toy based on the "Sesame Street" character that says your child's name, counts down to his birthday and lets him know when it's time for lunch. The technology is made possible through a memory card in the doll's stomach that receives information from parents.By now, adults have learned all about interactive toys like the virtual pet Tamagotchi. But the latest kids' gadgetry, unveiled last week at New York's American International Toy Fair, involves even more sophisticated technology, like motion detectors and sound recognition. The idea is to create toys that look, feel and act like living creatures. Critics say such toys can stifle creativity, but kids love them. The generation who grew up playing with their parents' cell phones and iPods expect their toys to be just as wired. "By 2010," predicts Jim Silver, the editor of Toy Wishes magazine, "they're going to have a toy dog that...
  • NUCLEAR OFFENSE

    What does Kim Jong Il really want? No one knows, of course--even the best intelligence on North Korea is sketchy--but it's a fair bet that the diminutive dictator wants to stay alive. Kim is said to be desperately worried. He is believed to move around a lot, traveling from palace to palace as Saddam Hussein once did. He disappears entirely from view for weeks. Kim even occasionally removes his pictures from buildings in Pyongyang, the capital city, in order to promote the idea that collective leadership is displacing his "Great Leader" cult. (He may be hoping to avoid a U.S. smart bomb with his name on it.) The one thing Kim has going for him is that most of the world fears that he has doomsday weapons. According to a visitor who met the dictator in Pyongyang recently, Kim said he could not give up his nuclear bombs because his million-man Army is hopelessly outmoded--leaving him at the mercy of the American military.George W. Bush has given Kim ample reason to worry. The president...
  • WASHINGTON: A GRIM MARCH OF MISSTEPS

    Rule one for fighting an insurgency: military might alone won't work. You need a political strategy. That means the local population must be given reasons to turn in the insurgents: security, jobs, a legitimate government. Jerry Bremer was supposed to bring that to the table when the patrician career diplomat landed in Baghdad in mid-May 2003 and--rushing from meeting to meeting in his blue blazer and combat boots--sought to put a benign face on the U.S. occupation. By his own admission, Bremer, an international consultant based in Washington at the time, knew little about Iraq when he arrived. "I was a businessman until more or less 10 days before I got there," he says.What Iraq's civil administrator didn't realize was that the vast military occupation he was taking over knew as little as he did. Some Pentagon officials had placed their hopes in neocon favorite Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi exile who had pushed for the war and was flown in ahead of retired Army Lt. Gen. Jay Garner, the...
  • Tip Sheet

    By Steven LevyEvery January, apple CEO Steve Jobs appears without introduction (yeah, like he needs one) at the Macworld Expo, in a black turtleneck and jeans. And he proceeds to come up with something that puts a decided bulge in technology's envelope. You can usually be sure of three things about the stuff he unveils in this San Francisco event: it's gorgeous, it's easy to use and it ain't cheap.Well, this year he hit two out of three. The products Jobs unveiled in his keynote--the iPod Shuffle music player and the Mac mini computer--are beautifully designed objects that are as friendly, if not more so, than their predecessors. But in a welcome break with its premium-priced past, Apple is aiming for the lower end of the market, to maintain dominance in the music world and to prop up PC market share.For penny pinchers yearning to jump on the iPod bandwagon, the iPod Shuffle will be irresistible. To compete in the low-cost "flash memory" technology market (using a memory chip on the...
  • 'The Salvador Option'

    What to do about the deepening quagmire of Iraq? The Pentagon's latest approach is being called "the Salvador option"--and the fact that it is being discussed at all is a measure of just how worried Donald Rumsfeld really is. "What everyone agrees is that we can't just go on as we are," one senior military officer told NEWSWEEK. "We have to find a way to take the offensive against the insurgents. Right now, we are playing defense. And we are losing." Last November's operation in Fallujah, most analysts agree, succeeded less in breaking "the back" of the insurgency--as Marine Gen. John Sattler optimistically declared at the time--than in spreading it out.Now, NEWSWEEK has learned, the Pentagon is intensively debating an option that dates back to a still-secret strategy in the Reagan administration's battle against the leftist guerrilla insurgency in El Salvador in the early 1980s. Then, faced with a losing war against Salvadoran rebels, the U.S. government funded or supported ...
  • 'HILLBILLY ARMOR'

    Predators know to hunt the weakest animal in the herd. So do the Iraqi insurgents. It is an essential truth about the Iraq war that's ingrained in soldiers like Pvt. Daniel Rocco, a Humvee gunner with the Second Battalion of the 82nd Field Artillery Regiment. Rocco's unit is an artillery regiment trained for conventional warfare, not escorting convoys. But the "Steel Dragons" of the Second now spend most of their days protecting the weak: VIP visitors and 18-wheel trucks loaded with food or other supplies on the road to Baghdad. In the process Rocco's unit gets hit regularly with small-arms fire, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and even suicide car bombs. He displays reddish pockmarks and scar tissue up his right arm, the effects of an IED from last May. "I really can't close my right hand," he says. And Rocco's Humvee is, today, equipped--with "Gypsy racks"--steel-plated cages around the gunner--and other add-on, improvised hardware, known as "hillbilly armor." "It's Mel Gibson...
  • PERSICOPE

    IRANA Temporary TruceHas one of the world's hot spots begun to cool off? In the run-up to the U.S. election, both George W. Bush and John Kerry knew that Iran's nuclear ambitions would be the next big issue on the foreign-policy agenda. And heated rhetoric (read: strong calls for U.N. sanctions on Iran coming from Washington hawks in recent weeks) seemed to indicate that the war of words would only escalate. But shortly before his re-election on Tuesday, Bush was handed a "Get out of jail free" card, should he choose to use it. Iranian President Mohammed Khatami declared that Iran would never sacrifice its right to pursue nuclear technology--namely, its uranium-enrichment program. But at the same time, he suggested that temporary suspension of these activities was now a feasible option. He also declared himself open to negotiations ahead of talks with the European Union in Paris this Friday.Why the turnaround? The main reason, it seems, is that the EU--led by Britain, France and...
  • 'I MEAN, RAISE PURE HELL'

    The first call came at 5:30 a.m., when Teresa Hill was asleep in her Dothan, Ala., home. Too groggy to move, she let the answering machine pick it up. "Hi, Mom. It's me, Amber. This is a real, real big emergency. I need you to contact someone. I mean, raise pure hell." Still half asleep, Hill listened as her daughter, a reservist with the 343rd Quartermaster Company stationed in Iraq, explained in a shaking voice that she and 18 other soldiers in her platoon were being held under armed guard. All had refused to go on a dangerous mission to deliver jet fuel. "We had broken-down trucks, nonarmored vehicles... They are holding us against our will. We are prisoners. I need you now, Mom. I need you so bad. Please, just please help me. I love you, Mom. This is very serious. I will call as soon as I can."Jolted awake, Hill reached for the phone. But the answering-machine tape had cut out, ending the call. A moment later, Hill's cell phone rang. It was Amber. She continued her story,...
  • MADMEN, ROGUES & NUKES

    Even Jim Lehrer, the moderator, seemed a bit surprised. He twice asked the candidates: both of you really believe this is the "single most serious threat" to America? Nuclear proliferation is, after all, a classic wonk's issue. But George W. Bush and John Kerry agreed on this and little else in their debate last week: the spread of nuclear fissile material, equipment and know-how is their top national-security priority. And America's No. 1 nightmare is that proliferation may yield a nuclear device detonated by terrorists in a U.S. city.What the president and his challenger sharply disagree on is what to do about nuclear proliferation. For Bush, counterproliferation is mainly about facing down hostile or rogue states, most notably Iraq. One Bush success has been his Proliferation Security Initiative, an ad hoc coalition of naval powers that stop shipments of nuclear contraband.Kerry, on the other hand, tends to focus less on hostile states than on careless or corrupt ones like Russia...
  • The Missing Medal

    A previously undisclosed Navy record obtained by NEWSWEEK supports John Kerry's claim that he was under fire when he rescued a U.S. Green Beret who had pitched overboard from Kerry's 50-foot Swift Boat during a short but intense engagement in Vietnam's Mekong Delta in March 1969.Kerry was awarded a Bronze Star for his actions that day. But the organization Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, a tax-exempt "527" advocacy group, has challenged Kerry's Vietnam record--in particular that Kerry was under hostile fire when he pulled the Green Beret, Jim Rassmann, from the water.Kerry's was one of three Bronze Stars awarded for actions during this incident. Another went to the commander of a second Swift Boat, Larry Thurlow. Thurlow is now one of the core members of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. He has sworn an affidavit saying the Swift Boats were not under hostile fire during the rescue. Thurlow's own Bronze Star citation contradicts this, but Thurlow insists the citation is false and has...
  • A BATTLE OVER BLAME

    James Schlesinger has always been a hawk. But in four decades of public life, the square-jawed former professor has also been known as mulishly independent, whether as Defense and Energy secretary or CIA director. (President Gerald Ford, annoyed by Schlesinger's arrogance, fired him.) All of which could add up to an unpleasant surprise for another old Washington lion who is not renowned for his humility: Donald Rumsfeld. In mid-August, the commission that Schlesinger chairs--handpicked by Rumsfeld from members of his own Defense Policy Board--is expected to issue its final report on abuses by U.S. interrogators stemming from the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal. NEWSWEEK has learned the Schlesinger panel is leaning toward the view that failures of command and control at the Pentagon helped create the climate in which the abuses occurred.The four-member commission's report is still being drafted and its final conclusions are not yet definite. But there is strong sentiment to assign some...