The Diane Rehm Show: Drones and counterterrorism strategy

I was a guest today on The Diane Rehm Show, discussing drones and the future of the United States’ strategy to fight terrorism. We also discussed what drones mean for the future of war and when drones will be showing up in U.S. cities.  You can listen to the full show here.

Gerald R. Ford Prize ceremony

C-SPAN covered the Ford Prize ceremony this afternoon at the National Press Club in Washington. My introduction, followed by brief remarks, begins at 16:20. Brent Scowcroft was the guest speaker–he’s at the end, and he took some questions from the audience.

The Watchers wins the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism

I’m happy to report that The Watchers won this year’s Bernstein Award for excellence in journalism! This is a huge thrill, and I’m honored to be included in such fine company of past winners and finalists. You can read more about the award here. And here’s a write up of the evening ceremony, which was held this week at the New York Public Library.

Patriot Act–deja vu all over again

I was a guest on this week’s “On the Media,” talking about the renewal of the Patriot Act, and whether the Obama administration is secretly interpreting the law in a way that allows the government to collect more information.

Gerald R. Ford Prize

A quick bit of personal news. I’ve won the 2010 Gerald R. Ford Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense. Washingtonian has a nice write-up.

The award recognizes four stories I wrote last year–two for National Journal, two for Washingtonian.  The latter stories are online, here and here. There will be an awards ceremony on June 14 in Washington. Thanks to my editors on these four pieces, and to all of you for reading!

From the Team that Brought You Blackwater Comes…Jellyfish

A new private intelligence outfit, formed by ex-Blackwater execs and former team members of the pre-9/11 Able Danger program, says it has human sources inside the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran.

Check out the full–rather incredible–details here.

Bin Laden’s death planned out in miniature

Before a team of elite Navy forces stormed Osama bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, they and senior US officials had closely studied a digital mock-up of the facility and even a physical miniature, able to be laid out on a table. It showed them the intelligence community’s best guess about what Bin Laden’s hiding place looked like, down to the precise location of gates, fences, windows, and doors.

Full story in Washingtonian.

Killing Osama: Or, How the CIA Got Its Groove Back

What a difference two years, a couple hundred drone strikes, and killing Osama bin Laden make. With the news that a CIA-led operation ended the life of the world’s most wanted man, the long-embattled agency may have politically rehabilitated itself after years of controversy that once seemed likely to sink it.

Read the full story at Washingtonian.

Petraeus and Panetta: The CIA looks even more like a military operation

As the CIA has gotten better at hunting down and killing people, it has come to look increasingly like a military outfit run by civilians.The ascendancy of Gen. David Petraeus to CIA director begins to make a lot more sense when you consider that the difference between CIA and military operations is getting less significant all the time.

Read the full story in Washingtonian.

Bloomberg Government aims to rule Washington media

What is the global news giant founded by New York’s billionaire mayor up to in DC? Find out, in my feature story for Washingtonian, which also takes a close look at the wild game of musical chairs being played in Washington media.