Jeffrey Bartholet

Stories by Jeffrey Bartholet

  • Clinton on King: What Cost?

    Will Clinton's Martin Luther King comment cost her black support in the South Carolina primary? A veteran of the civil rights movement weighs in.
  • Daoud Hari: A Guide Through the Valley of Death

    Explorers, journalists and adventurers going to Africa have long relied on local guides for advice and protection. Richard Burton, the intrepid Victorian-era explorer, employed a man he dubbed "the End of Time" when he made his way across the wastes of Somaliland in 1854. The End of Time was prone to reciting foreboding verse. "Man is but a handful of dust," he told Burton when they came across the fresh tracks of hostile clansmen. "And life is a violent storm." Such guides are among the most interesting people on the planet. The best of them straddle cultures, attempting to mediate between the local and the foreigner, the believer and the infidel. Never, perhaps, has the need been greater for their services.Daoud Hari, author of an upcoming book called "The Translator," worked as such a guide in Darfur, the region of western Sudan that has been the scene of atrocities the U.S. government regards as genocide. He knows places where the sands are littered with human bones, some "still...
  • Q&A: Turkey vs. Iraq

    Turkey's ambassador warns that patience is running short. The military option is open.
  • From Sudan Child Soldier to Hip-Hop Star

    Once a child soldier, Emmanuel Jal is now an African hip-hop artist. A journey from war and starvation to the five-star comforts of fame.
  • Capital Sources: A Bold Climate-Change Plan

    A defender of the auto industry proposes a carbon tax that will cause everyone pain. Is the country ready for shared sacrifice to combat global warming?
  • Q&A: Iraq's Ambassador to U.S.

    Iraq's ambassador to the United States backs the Petraeus plan, calls for Iran to 'stop interfering' in his country's affairs—and expects a continued American presence there for a long time to come.
  • Capital Sources: Keeping an Eye on Al Qaeda

    Rita Katz surfs jihadi websites for indications of terrorist activity. Her take on the latest Osama bin Laden video—and the machinery that produced it.
  • Capital Sources: Anatomy of a Nuclear Sting

    Gregory Kutz and his colleagues wanted to order enough radioactive material to make a dirty bomb. So they set up bogus companies and applied for separate licenses from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the state of Maryland. They didn’t succeed with Maryland, but they got a license from the NRC in less than a month. Then Kutz and his associates doctored the license to increase the amount of radioactive material they could buy, and began placing orders for nuclear moisture-density machines, which contain Cesium-137 and Americium-241. Suppliers were only too happy to help. Fortunately, Kutz is head of forensic audits and special investigations for the Government Accountability Office. His operation was a sting—one of about a dozen his team runs each year, most of them successfully. (The NRC has acknowledged some shortcomings, and moved quickly to address them.) Following testimony to a Senate subcommittee, Kutz explained the way the sting worked to NEWSWEEK’s Jeffrey Bartholet....
  • United Nations: A New Way to Fight Famine?

    Famines generally follow a grim script: first the rains fail, then aid agencies issue dire warnings, and finally the United Nations scrambles to raise money and send food aid as journalists write stories of horror and tragedy. In the worst cases, real alarms don't go off until the starving appear on television screens. Even when peasants are spared death, they often lose everything they own—including animals and seeds.Does it have to unfold like this? The World Food Programme is trying a radical new idea: famine insurance. In this approach, a country secures an insurance policy against a catastrophic drought. If the rains come, the insurance company keeps its premium. But if rains fail and disaster is sure to strike, the international insurer pays out well before people go hungry. Richard Wilcox, director of business planning for the U.N. World Food Programme, hatched the idea in a pilot program for Ethiopia last fall. Now he's planning to enlarge the experiment. He spoke to...
  • The Taliban’S ‘Bloody Spring’

    Turmoil in Iraq gets most of the headlines these days. But in Afghanistan, where the Bush administration began its war on terror in October 2001, the trend lines are not good, either. The number of suicide attacks and roadside bombs is soaring, and the once-dormant Taliban is resurgent. Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United States, Said T. Jawad, worries that Iraq has diverted key resources away from his country. But in an interview with NEWSWEEK’s Washington bureau chief, Jeffrey Bartholet, Jawad also said he expects Washington to announce a huge aid increase soon. Excerpts:NEWSWEEK: The top American commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, has been pressing for a dramatic increase in funding for your country, a request you clearly support. Do you have a sense of how the administration is going to respond?Jawad: It is very positive. The numbers are not yet finalized, but they show a significant increase in funds for building the security institutions as well as...
  • Moqtada al-Sadr and U.S.'s Fate in Iraq

    He can deal out death through his black-clad followers and roil the government any time he chooses. Why Moqtada al-Sadr may end up deciding America's fate in Iraq.
  • Worrisome Signs

    Political pressure and sober intelligence analysis don’t mix well. Paul R. Pillar, who served as the CIA’s National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, took that as a clear lesson from the Iraq war. So when a House intelligence committee issued a sharply worded report on Iran last week, Pillar had concerns. Authors of the study—“Recognizing Iran as a Strategic Threat: An Intelligence Challenge for the United States”—chastised U.S. spy agencies for “major gaps in our knowledge of Iranian nuclear, biological and chemical programs,” and insisted that intelligence analysts must “not shy away from provocative conclusions.”The report was immediately controversial. The New York Times said it “seems intended to signal the intelligence community that the Republican leadership wants scarier assessments that would justify a more confrontational approach to Tehran.” Pillar, who retired from the CIA a year ago, spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Jeffrey Bartholet at the...
  • Fighting in the Shadows

    Mogadishu is a place most Americans would rather forget. During the 1990s, the "Black Hawk Down" debacle symbolized the dangers of dabbling in far-off lands we don't understand. TV images of a half-stripped GI being dragged through the dust by gleeful Somalis--he was one of 18 U.S. Army Rangers killed in a botched effort to arrest a warlord--became an emblem of American vulnerability. But Mogadishu, it seems, won't be forgotten. Somalia is erupting in violence again. And with little warning, Americans find themselves once more in the middle of battles they only dimly comprehend--and may well be losing.Last week, for the first time since the early 1990s, much of the Somali capital was engulfed in bloody fire fights. By all accounts, a jihadist militia of the so-called Islamic Courts Union was gaining ground on an alliance of secular warlords who have received U.S. backing. Observers say the Union has been winning adherents by casting its enemies as stooges of Washington, especially...
  • Death of a Peacemaker

    My friend Yahya was asleep at home with his wife when several heavily armed vehicles rolled to a stop outside his house around 2 a.m. last Monday. It was raining in Mogadishu, and the patter of droplets obscured the sounds of the night. A group of roughly 10 assassins, wearing masks or scarves around their faces, used a ladder to scale the back wall of Yahya's compound. To find their way in the dark, they had flashlights tied to the barrels of their Kalashnikovs. Yahya's guards, some of them sleeping, were taken by surprise and handcuffed. The killers entered the house, which apparently was unlocked. Some of the men made their way to a second-floor bedroom and woke Yahya and his wife. They demanded valuables and took Yahya's laptop. Then they led Yahya to a corridor where they executed him. First they shot him several times with an AK-47, then two or three more times to the mouth and head with a pistol.I first met Abdulkadir Yahya Ali in Mogadishu in 1991 when he gave me a tour of...
  • Photo Ops

    James Nachtwey has been described--by a fellow photographer--as the Angel of Death. If you see Nachtwey in a ravaged land, and people are not dying in front of his lens, they soon will be. Amongst the dirt and blood and shell casings, he prowls with unreal grace. His hair is well groomed, his attire just so. As he steps gingerly around the rubble, you could be forgiven for wondering if he got lost on his way to a Paris soiree. It's not surprising, then, that Nachtwey's photos benefit from a similar tension between the gruesome and the elegant. He captures on film the worst the world has to offer: the starving, the diseased, the wounded and the dead. But the composition of the photos imposes a meticulous kind of beauty, and the scenes often glow in a warm, almost ethereal light.Perhaps no book captures the horror of recent years more beautifully than "War" (415 pages. Design. Method of Operation Ltd.), a massive volume of photographs and short essays. Nachtwey and eight other top war...
  • Kashmir's Psychic Toll

    Zohur Ahmed Dar had no reason to fear when he went to his neighborhood mosque one night late last year. But after an evening of prayer and ritual to celebrate the day the prophet Mohammed received revelations from God, Dar never made it back home.Riding his motor scooter through the dark streets of Srinagar--the summer capital of the disputed, Indian-ruled region of Kashmir--Dar was attacked by "unidentified gunmen" wearing masks. They shot Dar in the back and left him for dead. Taken to hospital, he survived for two days, then succumbed to his wounds.The psychological shock from that single event--one of some 60,000 killings in 13 years of conflict in Kashmir--continues to eat away at Dar's family and friends. His 30-year-old wife, Salima Bano, was probably hurt most. For two months after the killing, the mother of three couldn't stand to be in a well-lit place, or to hear people's voices. Now she's recovering, but slowly. Sitting on a stool in the Government Hospital for...
  • The Fear Factor

    Nobody has voted, so we've got an order to collect them," the Indian soldier explains. Nearby, seven Kashmiri men, eyes hard with what could be anger or fear, are squatting by the side of a narrow road that winds up a ridge in Indian-ruled Kashmir. The soldier, outfitted in full battle gear, seems only mildly embarrassed by his task. "We have to collect them to show that people have voted," he says. In any case, he insists, he's just following orders. He then bids goodbye and herds the small group of Kashmiris down the road, past an apple orchard and toward the local polling station in the village of Ait Mullah.Two teenage girls, relatives of the dragooned voters, stand in the gate of their home and observe the roundup. They're surrounded by a clutch of small boys and girls. "We told them we weren't registered to vote here, and anyway, they couldn't force us," 17-year-old Haseena says. "But they wouldn't listen." The soldiers took a 21-year-old brother and a 19-year-old sister from...
  • 'Nobody Is Safe'

    The Indian soldier, in full battle gear and armed with an AK-47, seems only mildly embarrassed. He's herding a dozen men and women down a narrow road in Indian-ruled Kashmir. "Nobody has voted, so we've got an order to collect them," the soldier explains. "We have to show that people have voted." He says he's only following orders. Who gave the order? The soldier says he doesn't know. Then he says goodbye, and the group moves on downhill, toward the local polling station in the village of Ait Mullah. A clutch of children and teenagers, relatives of the dragooned voters, stand at the gate of a home nearby. Haseena, 17, is the oldest. She says soldiers marched away with her 21-year-old brother and her 19-year-old sister. "We told them we weren't registered to vote here, and anyway, they couldn't force us," she says. "But they wouldn't listen." Asked why local people didn't want to vote, she averts her dark eyes. A small boy pipes up: "If they vote during the day, the militants will...