Monika Bauerlein

CEO

Since taking the helm at Mother Jones in 2006, Monika and editor-in-chief Clara Jeffery have won two National Magazine Awards, launched a nine-person Washington bureau, relaunched the website, given birth, and forgotten what it’s like to sleep.

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Monika Bauerlein is CEO of Mother Jones. Previously, she served as co-editor with Clara Jeffery, who is now editor-in-chief. Together, they spearheaded an era of editorial growth and innovation, marked by two National Magazine Awards for general excellence, the addition of a 12-person Washington Bureau, and an overhaul of the organization’s digital strategy that grew MotherJones.com's traffic more than tenfold. She has also worked as Mother Jones' investigative editor, focusing on long-form projects marrying in-depth reportage, document sleuthing, and narrative appeal, and as an alternative-weekly editor, a correspondent for US and European publications in Washington, D.C. and at the United Nations, an AP stringer, corporate trainer, translator, sausage slinger and fishing-line packager. She lives in Oakland.

The Haditha Soundtrack

| Sat Jun. 24, 2006 2:40 AM EDT

A lot of ink can, and will, be spilled on what makes young men blow childrens' brains out in a war that doesn't make sense. But a song is worth a thousand words, and there's no more chilling (if unintentional) soundtrack to the news from Iraq these days than a song by a Marine that has lots of defenders on conservative websites.

Now it's worth remembering that there's a long tradition of this kind of thing-there was a song in Vietnam called Napalm Sticks to Kids--and of course it's more metaphor than description; horror breeds its own kind of self-caricature. But what makes it work, what makes the Hadji Girl audience chuckle and guffaw, is how close the horror of caricature is to the horror of reality.

As the bullets began to fly
The blood sprayed from between her eyes
And then I laughed maniacally

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Will the real 20th hijacker...

| Thu Jun. 22, 2006 5:06 PM EDT

If, as AlQaeda claims, Fawaz al-Nashmi, a Qaeda operative killed in 2004 in Saudi Arabia was the 20th 9/11 hijacker, slated to join the team that took over Flight 93, what happens to Mohammad al-Kahtani, the prisoner at Guantanamo who the Bush administration has been insisting is the 20th hijacker (whenever it's not insisting that Zacharias Moussaoui was the 20th hijacker)? Al-Khatani was the subject of a March 3 Time expose, and the log of his interrogation, if you haven't seen it yet, is an absolute must-read.

Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, a staff attorney at CCR, met with the prisoner in December 2005 and in January of this year. She tells Time that in her meetings with him, Khatani "painfully described how he could not endure the months of isolation, torture, and abuse, during which he was nearly killed, before making false statements to please his interrogators." Al-Khatani, who has not been charged with anything, has withdrawn his statements, and Gutierrez has gone to federal court in the District of Columbia to demand that the government either release or charge him.

The interrogation transcript details conditions so severe, al-Khatani at one point had to be rushed to the hospital, according to CCR, which adds that "the Deputy Assistant F.B.I Director for Counterterrorism described Mr. al-Qahtani's state as `evidencing behavior consistent with extreme psychological trauma.'"

Here is a brief excerpt from an interrogation on December 16, 2002:


0315: White noise. He was offered a drink of water and he refused.
0400: P/E down. Showed detainee banana rats [sic] standard of life vs his standard of life in his wooden booth. Compared his life in a wooden booth to the life he could have with his brothers in Cuba .
0430: Detainee was walked for 10 minutes. Detainee refused water. 0450: Detainee listened to white noise.
0530: Detainee required to sit and watch as interrogator and linguist played checkers. Laughed and mocked detainee throughout game. White noise present in background.

More ways to wreck whale ears

| Wed Jun. 21, 2006 1:51 AM EDT

Let's see. Most of the world has agreed to protect whales from extinction; whales rely on sound waves to navigate, communicate, in short, survive; so what we'll do is shoot "air guns" (sounds so innocuous, right?) into the ocean whose deafening sound can be heard from the California coast clear to the other end of the Pacific? This makes sense in whose world? The answer in a second; meanwhile, check out whale expert Dick Russell's piece in Mother Jones special oceans coverage on another sound source that has been causing whales to beach themselves en masse, some with their brains literally scrambled. Now--ready? The air guns (which are bad for squid, too) are "critical in the search for tomorrow's oil and gas resources," according to Exxon Mobil.

Can't We Just Have a Moment of Silence?

| Tue Jun. 20, 2006 3:39 PM EDT

This is awful. And doesn't it seem... unseemly somehow to jump on the deaths as instant debate fodder?

Faster, Pussycat! Drill! Drill!

| Tue Jun. 13, 2006 5:54 PM EDT

A while back, Mother Jones' Osha Gray Davidson exposed the environmental m.o. of the Bush administration in a piece focusing on the under-the-radar nature of policymaking in the age of Rove:

"What makes this administration different is the fact that it is filled with anti-regulatory zealots deep into its rank and file...The result is an administration uniquely effective at implementing its ambitious pro-industry agenda-with a minimum of public notice."

Now comes the LA Times with a terrific story illustrating just how this works. In a nutshell, way back when, the Clinton administration came up with a rule that would have forced oil drillers to do more to keep gunk out of the groundwater. The drillers were not happy, and in 2002--when the EPA was still working on implementing the restrictions--a Texas oilman who happens to have been the mayor of Midland and also happened to have once run Reagan's Texas campaign, wrote to his friend Karl Rove to "openly express doubt as to the merit of electing Republicans when we wind up with this type of stupidity."

You know the rest; the rule is history, thanks in part to the folks over at the Office of Management and Budget, who made sure those EPA bureaucrats toed the line. Write the LAT's Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten,

Environmentalists pointed to the Rove correspondence as evidence that the Bush White House, more than others, has mixed politics with policy decisions that are traditionally left to scientists and career regulators.

Ya think?

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