Steve Coll is Dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He is a staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. (June 2016)
The Mirror Test: America at War in Iraq and Afghanistan
by J. Kael Weston
Two and a half million American families, spread widely across the country, understand truths about the price of badly conceived wars that their political leaders and foreign policy theorists will not confront.
In December 2005, a panel of US military officers at Guantánamo Bay convened a hearing about the case of a Mauritanian prisoner named Mohamedou Ould Slahi. In the midst of the proceedings, Slahi mentioned that he had recently completed a memoir. “When it is released I advise you guys to …
The record of World War II is that the Allied and Axis powers both invested substantially in strategies to win over Muslims and that both succeeded only partially and temporarily. Even these limited achievements were informed by cynical expedience on the part of the invading European forces and the adapting Muslim populations in their way.
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
by Brad Stone
Over the last decade, Amazon’s growing market share and persistent bullying, particularly in the realm of digital books, raise the question of how well competition and antitrust law can protect diverse authors and publishers.
The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News—and Divided a Country
by Gabriel Sherman
Since its creation in 1996, as an arm of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, News Corporation, Fox News has made a killing by providing ideological reinforcement to like-minded conservatives. Although the audience for Fox News is aging and leveling off in size, it remains the largest of any cable news network in America by far. Its profit margin has been above 50 percent in recent years, a rate almost unheard of in mainstream business. Fox’s success has been due in no small part to the insights of Roger Ailes, a former Republican media and campaign consultant and the network’s first and only president.
You’d like your government to tell you the truth, and the government dissembled repeatedly after the raid about what the rules of engagement were. They dissembled because the truth was uncomfortable and because the rules are secret, and they have this deep culture of secrecy in this administration, as in the last couple, about rules of engagement. What it highlights is that the United States does not have a detention regime that works anymore. Anytime it brings terrorists suspects into custody it generated political controversy. And so what you can see is a bias is built up in the system, in which the Obama Administration judges it’s just easier to kill people. That doesn’t create any political controversy.