All About the WMD Commission
Updated: March 30, 2005
Officially known as the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction, the panel was created by an executive order of President Bush in February, 2004. Commission Co-Chairmen: Silberman | Robb
Commission Members: Levin | McCain | Rowen | Slocombe | Studeman | Vest | Wald
Staff: Executive Director | General Counsel | Spokesman
Former Member: Cutler
Laurence H. Silberman (Larry)
AGE: 69; born Oct. 12, 1935.
BIRTHPLACE:: York, Pa.
EDUCATION:: B.A., Dartmouth College, 1957; LL.B., Harvard University, 1961
EXPERIENCE:: Army private, 1957-58; lawyer in private practice, 1962-1969; undersecretary of labor, 1970-73; deputy U.S. attorney general, 1974-75; ambassador to Yugoslavia, 1975-77; fellow, American Enterprise Institute, 1977-85; executive vice president, Crocker National Bank, San Francisco, 1979-83; member, Defense Policy Board, 1981-85; adjunct professor of law, Georgetown Law Center, 1987-now; judge, U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, 1995-now.
FAMILY: Wife, Rosalie G. Gaull; one son and two daughters. A semi-retired senior federal appeals court judge and former Republican adviser and deputy attorney general, Silberman is widely considered intensely conservative. Silberman serves on the super-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review, which in 2002 ruled that the Justice Department could use broad new authority to conduct wiretaps and other surveillance of terrorism and spying suspects in the United States. His appointment as co-chairman infuriated administration critics who were advocating a fresh and critical look at the quality and use of intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction. The New York Times writes: "Conservatives hail Judge Silberman as a well-respected and savvy leader who has had a long and diverse career as a diplomat, law enforcement official and jurist. But several liberal groups and Democratic lawmakers have attacked what they call his severe partisanship on and off the bench in episodes including the Iran-contra affair, the Whitewater investigation and accusations of sexual misconduct against President Bill Clinton."
Charles S. Robb (Chuck)
AGE: 65; born June 26, 1939.
EDUCATION:: B.A., University of Wisconsin, 1961; LL.D., University of Virginia, 1973.
EXPERIENCE:: U.S. Marine Corps, 1961-70; law clerk, U.S. Court of Appeals, 1973-74; private attorney, 1974-78; Virginia lieutenant governor, 1978-82; governor of Virginia, 1982-86; Democratic senator from Virginia, 1988-2001; served on Senate Intelligence Committee.
FAMILY: Wife, Lynda Bird Johnson; three children.
ON THE WEB: Biography (George Mason University) A former Democratic governor from Virginia and two-term Senator, Robb comes from the conservative wing of the party. A decorated Marine and the son-in-law of former president Lyndon Johnson, Robb is not considered an activist. He beat Iran-Contra figure Oliver North to get reelected to the Senate in 1994 but lost to George Allen in 2000. In the 1990s, his reputation was bruised by scandals involving his aides' handling of an illegally intercepted cellular telephone call made by then-Lt. Gov. L. Douglas Wilder and regarding reports of his attendance at cocaine parties and extramarital conduct with former Miss Virginia Tai Collins. He joined the faculty of George Mason University in 2001 as a professor of law and public policy and is writing his memoir.
Richard C. Levin (Rick)
AGE: 57; born April 7, 1947.
BIRTHPLACE:: San Francisco.
EDUCATION:: B.A., Stanford University, 1968; bachelor of letters, Oxford University, 1971; Ph.D. in economics, Yale University, 1974.
EXPERIENCE:: Yale economics professor, 1974-now; Chairman of Yale economics department, 1987-92; dean, Yale graduate school, 1992-93; president of Yale, 1993-now.
FAMILY: Wife, Jane Ellen Aries; two sons and two daughters.
ON THE WEB: Biography (Yale University) President of Yale University since 1993, Levin is the longest-serving president in the Ivy League, a testament to his ability to satisfy a wide range of often conflicting constituencies. A Democrat, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences board on science, technology and economic policy.
AGE: 68; born Aug. 29, 1936.
BIRTHPLACE:: Panama Canal Zone.
EDUCATION:: U.S. Naval Academy, 1958; National War College, 1973-74.
EXPERIENCE:: Commander, U.S. Navy, 1958; prisoner of war, Hanoi, Vietnam, 1967-73; captain, Navy pilot, 1977; director, Navy Senate Liaison Office, Washington, 1977-81; congressman from Arizona's first district, 1982-86; Republican senator from Arizona, 1986-now.
FAMILY: Wife, Cindy Hensley; five sons and two daughters.
ON THE WEB: Senator McCain's Web Site The maverick Republican senator from Arizona, McCain is a decorated veteran and former POW who now serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He co-authored legislation banning soft money donations to national political parties. He ran against President Bush for the Republican nomination in 2000.
Henry S. Rowen
AGE: 79; born Oct. 11, 1925
EDUCATION:: B.S., MIT, 1949; B.Phill., Oxford University, 1955.
EXPERIENCE:: RAND Corporation economist, 1950-53 and 1955-60; deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, 1961-64; assistant director, U.S. Bureau of the Budget, 1965-66; president of RAND, 1967-72; professor of public management, Stanford University, 1972-81, 1983-95; chairman of National Intelligence Council, 1981-83; senior research fellow at Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, 1983-now; assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, 1989 to 1991; emeritus professor at Stanford since 1995; member of the Defense Policy Board.
FAMILY: Wife, Beverly Griffiths; three daughters and three sons.
ON THE WEB: Biography (Stanford) Rowen is professor emeritus of public policy and management at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. Rowen has had government jobs on and off since 1961, most in the Defense Department. In between, he worked at Rand Corp., the West Coast research institute, where he ultimately became president. He served as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs from 1989 to 1991 under Dick Cheney. Rowen was chairman of the U.S. Intelligence Council from 1981 to 1983 and chaired the Department of Energy Task Force on the Future of Science Programs from 2002 to 2003. Rowen, along with, among others, Cheney, Donald H. Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, was a founding signatory in 1997 of the Project for the New American Century, a think tank that advocated for war in Iraq.
Walter B. Slocombe
AGE: 63; born Sept. 23, 1941
EDUCATION:: B.A., Princeton University, Rhodes Scholar, 1963-65; LL.B., Harvard University, 1968
EXPERIENCE:: Law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas, 1968-69; National Security Council staff, 1969-70; research associate, International Institute of Strategic Studies, 1970-71; associate/member, Caplin and Drysdale law firm, 1971-76, 1981-93; 2001-now; Deputy assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs, 1977-79; deputy undersecretary of defense for policy planning, 1979-81; deputy undersecretary of defense for policy planning, 1993-94; undersecretary of defense for policy, 1994-2001; senior adviser to Coalition Provisional Authority, May-November 2003.
FAMILY: Wife, Ellen Seidman; two daughters and a son
ON THE WEB: Biography (Caplin and Drysdale)
It Takes More Than Guns (Washington Post op-ed, Oct. 14, 2003) Slocombe has split most of his time between the Pentagon and a high-powered D.C. law firm for the last three decades. Slocombe held several high-level positions at the Pentagon, including undersecretary of defense for policy in the Clinton administration. For six months last year he was senior adviser to the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad for national security and defense, working with John Redd. At his law firm, Caplin and Drysdale, he specializes in civil litigation. He was named to the commission in July to replace fellow Democrat Lloyd Cutler.
William O. Studeman (Bill)
AGE: 65; born Jan. 16, 1940
BIRTHPLACE:: Brownsville, Texas
EDUCATION:: B.A., University of the South, Sewanee, Tenn., 1962; student, Defense Intelligence School, 1966-67; M.A., George Washington University, 1973; Naval War College, 1973 and 1981.
EXPERIENCE:: Advanced through ranks to admiral, U.S. Navy, 1992; commanding officer, Navy Operational Intel Command, 1982-84; director of long-range planning, U.S. Navy, 1984-85; director of naval intelligence, 1985-88; director, National Security Agency, 1988-92; deputy director, CIA, 1991-95; vice president and deputy general manager for intelligence and information superiority, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, 1996-now; member of the Defense Science Board.
FAMILY: Wife, Gloria Diane Jeans; two daughters and one son.
ON THE WEB: Biography (Northrop Grumman) A retired admiral, former deputy director of the CIA, and former director of the National Security Agency, Studeman is now a vice president for military contractor Northrop Grumman, a fact left out of the White House press release. Studeman is a member of the Defense Science Board and recently co-chaired a task force co-sponsored by the Defense Department and the CIA that produced a secret study entitled "Intelligence in Support of the War Against Terrorism." He is considered a possible candidate to become the next CIA director.
Charles M. Vest
AGE: 63, born Sept. 9, 1941
BIRTHPLACE:: Morgantown, W.Va.
EDUCATION:: B.S., West Virginia University, 1963; M.S., University of Michigan, 1964; Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1967.
EXPERIENCE:: Professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, 1968-1990; also held administrative posts; president of MIT since 1990.
FAMILY: Wife, Rebecca Ann McCue; a daughter and a son
ON THE WEB: Biography (MIT) President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 1990, Vest recently submitted his resignation, effective in the fall. Vest chaired the U.S. Department of Energy Task Force on the Future of Science Programs from 2002 to 2003. From 1993 to 1994, he chaired the President's Advisery Committee on the Redesign of the Space Station, and from 1994 to 2001 he served as a member of the President's Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. A Republican, he sits on the board of directors of IBM and du Pont.
Patricia M. Wald (Pat)
AGE: 76; born Sept. 16, 1928.
BIRTHPLACE:: Torrington, Conn.
EDUCATION:: B.A., Connecticut College, 1948; LL.B., Yale University, 1951.
EXPERIENCE:: U.S. Court of Appeals clerk, 1951-52; associate, Arnold, Fortas & Porter, 1952-53; D.C. Crime Commission member, 1964-65; attorney, Office of Criminal Justice, 1967-68; Washington Neighborhood Legal Service, 1968-70; co-director, Ford Foundation Project on Drug Abuse, 1970; co-director, Center for Law and Social Policy, 1971-72; co-director, Mental Health Law Project, 1972-77; assistant attorney general, Justice Department, 1977-79; judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, 1979-99; chief judge, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, 1986-91; judge, International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, 1999-2001.
FAMILY: Husband, Robert L. Wald; three daughters and two sons. A former chief judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Wald was an assistant attorney general in the Carter administration. She also served as a judge representing the United States on the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Wald has received nearly 20 honorary degrees and has authored several books on poverty and drug abuse. In February, she stepped down as the chair of the Open Society Justice Institute, a human-rights organization funded by George Soros, the billionaire financier who is also making huge contributions to the anti-Bush political movement.
STAFF John S. (Scott) Redd, Executive Director
A retired vice admiral, Redd was until early May posted in Iraq as the chief operating officer and deputy administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority. Born Sept. 10, 1944, in Omaha, Neb., he graduated from the Naval Academy in 1966. He founded the Navy's FIFTH Fleet in the Middle East in 1995 and served in several high-level policy positions in the Pentagon, including director of strategic plans and policy on the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was also CEO of NetSchools Corporation, a high technology education company headquartered in Atlanta.
Stewart Baker, General Counsel
A Washington lawyer who served as general counsel at the National Security Agency from 1992 to 1994, he currently heads the technology law practice at the Steptoe & Johnson law firm in Washington, D.C., where his areas of specialization include privacy, national security, computer security, electronic surveillance, encryption, digital commerce and export controls. He has been a member of the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age. He has been a member of the Defense Science Board's Task Force on Information Warfare (1995-1996; and 1999-2001). He is the co-author of a book titled "The Limits of Trust: Cryptography, Governments, and Electronic Commerce." He has written for Slate, including the essay called "Wall Nuts: The Wall Between Intelligence and Law Enforcement Is Killing Us" (Dec. 21, 2003). He graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1976 and his previous tours in government include a stint as deputy general counsel at the Education Department and as law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
Larry McQuillan, Spokesman
McQuillan was a journalist in Washington for 25 years, the last 14 of which he spent covering the White House for the Reuters news agency and then for USA Today. Since January, he has been the director of communications for the American Institutes for Research.
FORMER MEMBER Lloyd N. Cutler
AGE: 86; born Nov. 10, 1917.
BIRTHPLACE:: New York City.
EDUCATION:: A.B., Yale University, 1936; LL.B., Yale University, 1939.
EXPERIENCE:: Private attorney, New York City, 1940-42; private attorney, Washington, 1946-now; partner, senior counsel, Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering, 1962-79, 1981-now; presidential counsel, 1979-80 and 1994; senior counsel, President's Commission on Strategic Forces, 1983; co-chairman, Energy Department Task Force on Nonproliferation Programs in Russia, 2000-01; member, National Commission on Election Reform, 2001.
FAMILY: Wife, Rhoda Winton Kraft; previously married to the late Louise W. Howe; three daughters and one son.
ON THE WEB: Biography (Wilmer, Cutler) White House counsel to presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Cutler is one of the grand old men of the Washington legal community and an incredibly well-connected power broker. The law firm bearing his name is one of the most prestigious and established in the city. Cutler was named last year to the Technology and Privacy Advisery Committee, which advises the Defense Department on data collection practices in counter-terrorism efforts. Cutler resigned from the commission for personal reasons in July, and was replaced by Walter Slocombe. © 2004 The Washington Post Company
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Washington Post, AP or Reuters Stories From the Past Two Weeks
Google News Search
Next Up: WMD Hearings, Soon Please (CBSNews.com, April 16)
Anything Goes in the Senate (Robert Novak column, Feb. 16)
Laurence Silberman: the Right Man or the Right's Man? (People for the American Way, Feb. 13)
Harry Reid Floor Speech on Laurence Silberman (Congressional Record, Feb. 11)
The Partisan 'Mastermind' in Charge of Bush's Intel Probe (Salon, Feb. 10) Documents
Commission Web Site
President Bush Announces Formation of Independent Commission (White House, Feb. 6)
Executive Order (White House, Feb. 6)
Fact Sheet (White House, Feb. 6)
Statements by Co-Chairmen (White House, Feb. 6)
Personnel Announcement -- Rowen and Vest (White House, Feb. 12)
Fact Sheet (House Committee on Government Reform Minority Staff, February)
Emergency Response Fund Reallocation (Office of Management and Budget, March 12)
Letter Regarding Funding (White House, March 12)
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