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Trash Talk

I want to take issue with Martin Peretz’s description of my former colleague Spencer Ackerman’s articles as “trash.” Maybe I am sensitive because Spencer co-authored several with me, including a piece of the Bush administration’s deception about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction (“The First Casualty”), which Marty praised at the time. Spencer also co-authored a terrific profile of Dick Cheney with current editor Frank Foer (“What Dick Cheney Really Believes,” November 20, 2003). But Spencer wrote much on his own, including regular commentary on the Iraq war for The New Republic’s website, during which he changed, like others at the magazine, from a supporter to opponent of the decision to go to war. I particularly remember an outstanding cover story Spencer wrote on American Muslims. I would like to link to it, but the links to our archives are broken. It was called “Religious Protection: Why American Muslims haven’t turned to Terrorism,” and appeared Dec. 12, 2005. 

--John B. Judis