John Barry

Stories by John Barry

  • 'I Better Call My Lawyer'

    The Pentagon is just across the Potomac River from the White House, but sometimes the gulf seems far wider. Last week an edict from Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz appeared on a Pentagon Web site announcing that any country which failed to support the war on Iraq would not be allowed to bid on some $20 billion in contracts to rebuild the country. Wolfowitz was, in truth, merely posting a decision reached within the administration late last month. But the timing of the announcement was a bit awkward. The next day, President George W. Bush was scheduled to make friendly phone calls to the heads of state of the very countries penalized by the Pentagon's declaration. This week former secretary of State James Baker is scheduled to fly to Europe to beseech Russia, Germany and France to forgive Iraq's crushing $120 billion debt. Before Baker even stepped on the plane, the countries cut off from the reconstruction contracts were angrily refusing to bail out Iraq.A senior...
  • Irag, I'll Scratch Your Back...

    IraqI'll Scratch Your Back...This week, former secretary of State James Baker is scheduled to fly to Europe to beseech Russia, Germany and France to forgive Iraq's crushing $120 billion debt. His task is made all the more difficult by a statement, written by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, announcing that any country which failed to support the war on Iraq would not be allowed to bid on some $20 billion in contracts to rebuild the country. Before Baker even stepped on the plane, the countries cut off were angrily refusing to bail out Iraq.U.S. President George W. Bush was reported to be miffed by the inopportune Pentagon pronouncement. A senior administration official blamed the foul-up on "munchkins," i.e., lower-level officials who had innocently blundered. But it was another in a series of miscommunications between the Defense Department and the White House.The day after the Pentagon announced its punitive policy, a knowledgeable source told NEWSWEEK, top officials from...
  • Dissent In The Bunker

    The military has been hitting hard lately in Iraq, using overwhelming firepower to kill the enemy in operations with videogame names like Iron Hammer and Ivy Cyclone II. But behind the scenes, some military experts, including high-ranking officers in U.S. Special Forces (Army Green Berets, Navy SEALs and the like), are beginning to complain that America's strategy in Iraq is wrongheaded. "This is what Westmoreland was doing in Vietnam," says a top Special Forces commander, referring to the firepower-heavy tactics favored by the military's senior commander in Vietnam, Gen. William Westmoreland, who lost sight of America's essential mission in that lost war: winning the hearts and minds of the people.One center of private concerns with America's Iraq strategy is the Defense Policy Board, a collection of outside experts--mostly heavyweight conservatives--who regularly consult with Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Disquiet in this quarter is particularly significant, since the DPB...
  • 'Wrap These Guys Up'

    No U.S. commander in Iraq has done a smarter job than Maj. Gen. David Petraeus. Practically every military observer agrees: in the seven months since his troops took charge in the northern city of Mosul, the 101st Airborne Division commander has put in a flawless performance. That's what's most troublesome. Petraeus and his troops have produced a textbook example of waging peace, empowering the civilian populace, repairing the economy, even sending local kids to summer camp. Mosul had the first functioning city council in post-Saddam Iraq. Petraeus has ordered big signs posted in every barracks: WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO WIN IRAQI HEARTS AND MINDS TODAY? But for the last month or so the public's mood has turned hostile. Guerrilla attacks, once rare, have become routine. In the past six weeks, 31 of Petraeus's soldiers have died in action, including one who was killed last Friday in a direct mortar hit on division headquarters. As the general remarked to NEWSWEEK last week, "It's...
  • A War In The Dark

    It's hard to know your enemy when you don't speak his language. In Iraq, when guerrillas place an IED (improvised explosive device) by the side of the road, they sometimes write a warning on the street--in Arabic. The locals understand to steer clear; the Americans drive right into the trap. "Everyone knows about it except us," grouses Lt. Julio Tirado of the 124th Infantry Regiment, Florida National Guard, patrolling warily in the town of Ramadi.The Americans are learning the universal language of insult. They catch on now when Iraqis in the seething Sunni Triangle flash them a backhanded V sign, which conveys roughly the same message as an extended middle finger back in the States. When Americans wish to demonstrate their contempt to the locals, they point to the soles of their feet, deeply offensive to Iraqis.What the Americans still don't know is who, exactly, they're fighting. Last week, after four suicide-bombing attacks in the heart of Baghdad left more then 30 people dead,...
  • National Security: How Will The Second-Term Shuff

    Burned out by two wars and drained by ideological disputes, President George W. Bush's national-security team is dreaming of a kinder, gentler life outside government. Condoleezza Rice, the national-security adviser, talks of serving "dog years" in the White House. A senior official says, "Every year feels like seven because there's been too much to do." In public, team members say they're too busy to think about their future; in private, the jockeying for potential positions is well underway.Rice once seemed a surefire bet to move to the State Department. But associates now insist she has no interest in State's sprawling diplomatic bureaucracy and is keen to step out of the limelight after a grueling five years as Bush's chief foreign-policy adviser (including more than a year on the 2000 campaign). Possible replacements include Robert Blackwill, Rice's strategic adviser, and Paul Wolfowitz, the deputy Defense secretary, who were both advisers on Bush's 2000 campaign. Among the...
  • Rummy's New Headaches

    Defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld was a congressman from Illinois back in the 1960s, but these days he seems to have lost his touch on Capitol Hill. He sends up endless reports, gives regular closed-door briefings and averages two breakfasts a week with members of Congress. Still, they sense he disdains the traditional Washington ritual of sucking up to powerful committee chairmen. At times he seems to go out of his way to antagonize them.When Rumsfeld briefs them on Iraq, some complain, he rarely provides more information than they read in the morning newspapers. One senior Republican senator was furious at Rumsfeld's vague responses at a recent Hill session. "When a senator asked how many troops we would have in Iraq a year from now, he said, 'We're hoping for a sizable foreign involvement, and we're optimistic that things will be improved,' and blah, blah, blah," he told NEWSWEEK. "It was a typical nonsensical, nonsubstantive briefing, like he always gives." Rumsfeld aides say...
  • A Man With A Mission

    Jet-lagged but upbeat as ever, Lewis Lucke clambers through the rubble of Al-Mamun switching station. American missiles blasted the place four times during the war, then looters stripped and torched it. Now the facility is almost ready to reconnect Baghdad's phones with the outside world--if all goes well. Three weeks ago an anti-U.S. guerrilla tried to undo the repairs with a rocket-propelled grenade, but it was a dud. Lucke, chief of Iraq operations for the U.S. Agency for International Development, shrugs. "This is a high-visibility site," he says. "We never doubted that they'd try to blow it up."Lucke is one of those can-do Americans who want to make a difference in Iraq, and who haven't lost faith that democracy will prevail. The 24-year USAID veteran came out of retirement to begin planning the reconstruction effort four months before the invasion. His life has been one long scramble ever since. He and his staff work 16 hours a day, seven days a week, helping to fix not only...
  • The Unbuilding Of Iraq

    The Iraq war had yet to begin, but some nasty fighting was already going on back in Washington between the Department of Defense and the Department of State. Last February, retired Lt. Gen. Jay Garner was trying to put together a team of experts to rebuild Iraq after the war was over, and his list included 20 State Department officials. The day before he was supposed to leave for the region, Garner got a call from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who ordered him to cut 16 of the 20 State officials from his roster. It seems that the State Department people were deemed to be Arabist apologists, or squishy about the United Nations, or in some way politically incorrect to the right-wing ideologues at the White House or the neocons in the office of the Secretary of Defense. The vetting process "got so bad that even doctors sent to restore medical services had to be anti-abortion," recalled one of Garner's team. Finally, Secretary of State Colin Powell tried to stand up for his...
  • Faulty Armor?

    The Bush administration's military predicament in Iraq has suddenly gotten worse. Just a month before the next U.S. Army unit is due to deploy in Iraq to relieve the hard-pressed forces already there, the military is confessing to a potential showstopper. The deploying unit's new armored vehicles may have faulty armor which would leave them vulnerable to machine-gun fire and to the rocket-propelled grenades that are the Iraq insurgents' favorite weapon.The vehicle is the prized new Stryker wheeled troop carrier, advertised as the first fruit of the Army's plan to transform itself into a lighter, go-anywhere-fast force.Worse still: the Army has known it might have a problem since February, but has kept quiet about it. An Army memo sent yesterday to the head of the Stryker program, and obtained by NEWSWEEK, reports: "Evidently this issue was first raised in February 2003. Am unsure how this issue escaped public scrutiny for six months." Not even Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld...
  • The Army Cleans House

    In a move widely seen within the Pentagon as a purge, a dozen or more Army generals are being ushered into retirement as the Army's new chief of staff, Gen. Peter Schoomaker, takes over. In advance of Schoomaker's swearing-in last Friday, the Army's acting chief, Gen. John Keane--who is himself retiring--spoke with a list of three- and four-star generals, thanked them for their services and told them it was time to go. Sources say Keane first contacted half a dozen names, but by the end of the week the list had reportedly grown to 11--"with more to come within 30 days," according to one Army source. The Army has a total of 50 three- and four-star generals. A senior Pentagon civilian called the move "housecleaning."Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has made no secret of his dissatisfaction with what he sees as unimaginative Army leadership. Schoomaker, too, is critical of a culture he sees as risk-averse and change-resistant. In comments made privately but now circulating widely in...
  • Scientists: Mass Exodus?

    Just as the administration approved the first efforts in a decade to develop new nuclear weapons--earth-penetrating nukes to entomb underground WMD facilities--it's triggered a potential exodus of America's top nuclear-weapons designers. For 60 years, Los Alamos--the nation's premier nuclear-weapons lab--has been run by the University of California, which set up scientists with mouthwatering pensions. Those age 60, with 30 years of service, can retire on three-quarter salary; UC investments have been so profitable that nobody has had to contribute to the scheme for more than a decade. But those days may be over. After a series of management and security lapses, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham decreed the UC contract would go out to rival bids. Their pensions in danger, many of Los Alamos's weapons designers are threatening to walk, with no experienced design cadre to take their place. The National Nuclear Security Administration assured staffers their pensions will be protected...
  • Saddam's Secrets

    While Bush aides try to look calm, the search grows increasingly feverish. They predicted they would find Saddam Hussein's arsenal of mass destruction as soon as Iraq's experts could dare to tell the truth. Now the regime is gone, and Saddam's best-known WMD officials are dead or in U.S. custody, shielded from the regime's monstrous reprisals. There's only one problem. What the survivors are saying is not what the White House wants to hear. The detainees say Iraq destroyed all of its banned munitions years ago, and nothing more was produced. The scientists have been threatened, coaxed, offered all kinds of incentives, including safe haven outside Iraq for their families. Nothing changes their stories.Even inside normal intelligence channels, the scientists' debriefings are restricted information. "They are keeping everything about this extremely tight," says a State Department official who would ordinari-ly see such reports. President Bush himself gets regular updates on the WMD...
  • War Costs: How Much? Well, How High Can You Count

    Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ordered the U.S. military to collaborate on a "lessons learned" study of the Iraq war. That will take months, but the air commander, Lt. Gen. Michael Moseley, has had a team from his "analysis and assessments" staff compile some raw numbers. Some highlights of the 16-page report: 423,998 U.S. military personnel were deployed; other Coalition forces sent an additional 42,987 troops. The total is roughly equivalent to the population of Albuquerque, N.M. The war lasted 720 hours. The allies flew more than 41,400 sorties. That consumed 18,622 tons of fuel, enough to keep a Boeing 737-300 airliner aloft for about 12 years. The Coalition flew 1,801 aircraft--all but 138 were American. The Iraqis were showered with 31,800,000 leaflets bearing 81 different messages. End to end, the leaflets would have made 120,454 rolls of toilet paper. Coalition forces lost 20 aircraft, but only 7 as a result of enemy fire. Search-and-rescue teams flew 55 missions and...
  • Periscope

    NATO: New Marching OrdersDespite all the frisson from the French and the anger from the Americans, it seems the so-called great divide between the two traditional allies could yet be bridged--starting with NATO.Even with the recent talk of its impending doom, NATO may still have a role to play in Iraq. And such a role, NEWSWEEK has learned, is actively under discussion. French President Jacques Chirac, in his latest effort at fence-mending, told U.S. President George W. Bush in a recent phone call that France would not object to a NATO peacekeeping presence in Iraq, according to a knowledgeable source. French officials suggest Paris would be willing to contribute a brigade and put the NATO presence under overall American control.Although one U.S. administration hawk says Bush--who is still incensed over Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war--is unlikely to OK any kind of French role, U.S. officials say Washington is open to using NATO to supply security--especially as Bush faces the...
  • A Job For Nato?

    Nato's been casting about for a new mission ever since the cold war ended, with Europeans craving some kind of role in the lone superpower's strategic plans. The possibility of a NATO role in Iraq is now actively under discussion, NEWSWEEK has learned. French President Jacques Chirac, in his latest effort at fence-mending, told President Bush in a recent phone call that France would not object to a NATO peacekeeping presence in Iraq, according to a knowledgeable source. French officials suggest Paris would be willing to contribute a brigade, and put the NATO presence under overall American control. One administration hawk says Bush, who is still incensed over Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war, is unlikely to OK any kind of French role. But U.S. officials say Washington is open to using NATO to supply security--especially as Bush faces the prospect that U.S. occupation troops might be bogged down for a long time in Iraq. "NATO can play an important role in post-Saddam Iraq," says...
  • No Sky Over Turkey?

    U.S. military planning has hit a giant roadblock. Turkish leaders, having failed to persuade their Parliament to OK the deployment of 62,000 U.S. ground troops for a northern front against Iraq, has now said the fall-back U.S. request--use of Turkey's airspace for air- and cruise-missile strikes against Iraq--will also have to be approved by Parliament. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear that he won't consider that unless Turkey is promised a say in a post- Saddam Iraq, and the same $26 billion package that the administration was offering for the ground deployments remains on the table. But senior administration officials have said the offer has been retracted.Airspace rights are crucial. One insider privy to the war-planning said: "If we don't get [the] airspace, the military are telling us it's not a showstopper, but it's certainly a big impediment." NEWSWEEK has learned that the United States asked for 11 air corridors over Turkey and also requested use of...
  • Exclusive: The Defector's Secrets

    Hussein Kamel, the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect from Saddam Hussein's inner circle, told CIA and British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in the summer of 1995 that after the gulf war, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapons stocks and the missiles to deliver them.Kamel was Saddam Hussein's son-in-law and had direct knowledge of what he claimed: for 10 years he had run Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs. Kamel told his Western interrogators that he hoped his revelations would trigger Saddam's overthrow. But after six months in exile in Jordan, Kamel realized the United States would not support his dream of becoming Iraq's ruler after Saddam's demise. He chose to return to Iraq--where he was promptly killed.Kamel's revelations about the destruction of Iraq's WMD stocks were hushed up by the U.N. inspectors, sources say, for two reasons. Saddam did not know how much Kamel had revealed, and the inspectors hoped to bluff...
  • Periscope

    EXCLUSIVEA Defector's SecretHussein Kamel, the highest-ranking Iraqi official ever to defect, told the CIA, British intelligence officers and U.N. inspectors in 1995 that, after the gulf war, Iraq destroyed all its chemical and biological weapon stocks and the missiles to deliver them.Kamel had direct knowledge of what he claimed: for 10 years he had run Iraq's nuclear, chemical, biological and missile programs. Kamel hoped his revelations would trigger Saddam's overthrow, but when he realized the United States would not support his dream of becoming Iraq's ruler, he chose to return to Iraq--where he was killed. Kamel's WMD revelations were hushed up by U.N. inspectors, sources say, for two reasons: the inspectors hoped to bluff Saddam into disclosing still more, and Iraq has never shown the documentation to support Kamel's story. Still, his tale raises questions about whether the WMD stockpiles attributed to Iraq still exist.Kamel said Iraq had not abandoned its WMD ambitions. The...
  • Now, Flexible Force

    When Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld set out to "transform" the military in 2001, the prevailing view among Washington lobbyists, journalists, politicians and not a few members of the United States armed forces was: fat chance. The secretary, all those in the know predicted, would not be able to budge the "iron triangle" of Congress, the defense industry and the top brass who were determined to protect their "rice bowls"--their annual appropriations and pet programs. Indeed, the early headlines mocked Rumsfeld for even trying.The war in Afghanistan, the war on terror and the coming war in Iraq have given Rumsfeld a powerful ally: necessity. While Rumsfeld gains notice (and notoriety) for his brusque manner and off-the-cuff pronouncements about global affairs, his most important work has gone on behind the scenes, trying to improve the way the military prepares for war. Last week he spoke to NEWSWEEK about his efforts to change the Pentagon "culture" in order to make the military,...
  • Exclusive: Risking A Civil War

    Turkey is raising its price for allowing U.S. forces to invade Iraq from its territory. In early negotiations with the United States, Ankara spoke of sending in Turkish troops to set up a "buffer zone" perhaps 15 miles deep along the Iraqi border. This would prevent a flood of Kurdish refugees from northern Iraq, the Turks said. But now, NEWSWEEK has learned, Turkey is demanding that it send 60,000 to 80,000 of its own troops into northern Iraq to establish "strategic positions" across a "security arc" as much as 140 to 170 miles deep in Iraq. That would take Turkish troops almost halfway to Baghdad. These troops would not be under U.S. command, according to Turkish sources, who say Turkey has agreed only to "coordination" between U.S. and Turkish forces. Ankara fears the Iraqi Kurds might use Saddam's fall to declare independence. Kurdish leaders have not yet been told of this new plan, according to Kurdish spokesmen in Washington, who say the Kurds rejected even the earlier notion...
  • Boots, Bytes And Bombs

    It's called the "E-bomb." Delivered by a cruise missile, the E-bomb is a warhead that explodes to emit a high-energy pulse that, like a bolt of lightning, will fuse any electrical equipment within range. The E-bomb has been more than a little temperamental in testing, and engineers would still like another year to work out the bugs, but on the first night of the war against Iraq, E-bombs will detonate over President Saddam Hussein's key command-and-control bunkers in and around Baghdad. If all goes according to plan, lights will blink out, computers will melt down, phones will go silent. Saddam and his lieutenants will be left shivering in silent darkness, alone and waiting to die.The desired effect of the first night's bombing, in the expression commonly used by military planners, is "shock and awe." The overall goal of the American blitz against Iraq will be to so stun and demoralize the Iraqi Army that Saddam's forces will quickly give up. The Iraqis will realize that resistance...
  • Spies, Lies &Amp; Iraq

    The woman claimed to be Saddam Hussein's former mistress. Last September, on ABC's "Primetime Thursday," she described the Iraqi strongman as a Viagra enthusiast who enjoyed listening to recordings of Frank Sinatra singing "Strangers in the Night," as well as to tapes of torture victims crying for mercy. Parisoula Lampsos, 54, a woman of Greek extraction who had lived in Baghdad most of her life, recounted watching Saddam preen in front of a mirror declaring, "I am Saddam. Heil Hitler!" She said that she had once seen Osama bin Laden at Saddam's palace, and that, in the mid-1990s, Saddam had given money to the Qaeda terror chief. She recounted that Saddam had confessed to her that he tried to murder his own son Uday. After visiting Uday in the hospital, where he was recovering from gunshot wounds, Saddam supposedly told her, "I didn't want it this way. I wanted him to die."It was great TV. But was it good intelligence? At the Pentagon, the get-Saddam hard-liners thought so.They...
  • Fighting In Summer?

    Will George Bush press the button for war Monday, Jan. 27, the day U.N. inspectors in Iraq make their initial report? Not likely. Even Britain would be hard pressed to go along if he did. And permission to use bases in Turkey, Jordan and perhaps even Saudi Arabia is contingent on getting a second U.N. resolution. "Mission: Impossible," in other words.So what next? Obviously, wait. How long? Do the math. Next week U.N. inspectors will almost surely be given extra time. Washington insiders are already talking a month--and possibly two. Depending on what the inspectors find, there's then the prospect of a U.N. debate over a second resolution. The first took two months. The next probably won't be easier. Add it all up, and the date for military action is late March, at the earliest, and could be June. Summer, in other words, in Iraq.The conventional wisdom suggests that's beyond the Pentagon's window of opportunity. In fact, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld seems to be working on that...
  • Turkey: Holding Its Ground

    Turkey's hesitation to allow U.S. troops to use its soil as a springboard for an invasion of Iraq has "stunned" the Bush administration, a senior U.S. official told NEWSWEEK. Washington wants to deploy "two or three divisions" of ground troops in Turkey plus an unspecified number of combat air wings. A possible force of 80,000 poised on Iraq's northern border suggests that the invasion plan relies far more heavily on a "northern front" than has so far been revealed.A 150-strong U.S. military survey team starts work in Turkey this week assessing facilities at three ports and 10 air bases. Even for the survey team to be allowed to go in, the United States had to make an unprecedented concession: the Pentagon had to drop its usual demand that the team be clearly subject to U.S. rather than domestic Turkish law.The next U.S. envoy to Ankara will be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Richard Myers, who flies to Turkey at the end of the week to meet with the chief of the Turkish...
  • Periscope

    Brazil: Lula's Looking GoodAs soon as Brazilian President Luiz Inacio (Lula) da Silva was sworn in on Jan. 1, the world worried that his leftist leadership would send Brazil down the path of neighboring Argentina. Foreign investors feared he would focus on pleasing his support base and fail to execute necessary reforms. Instead, Lula seems to be taking steps to defuse what some considered Latin America's biggest time bomb.The Brazilian president has wowed financial markets by introducing a program of severe fiscal austerity. The largely impoverished voters who elected Lula have been placated--for the time being at least--by the appointment of large numbers of trade unionists (seven), women (four), blacks (two) and others of the dispossessed who have rarely graced Brazilian cabinets.All along, Lula has said that he will delay fighting poverty until he could restore Brazil's teetering finances. His program should do just that. He has proposed no large new taxes. Brazil already...
  • Turkey Gets Cold Feet

    Call it a bad case of cold feet. To fight a war against Saddam Hussein, Washington needs Turkey's help. At the least, it wants access to air bases along Iraq's northern border. At best, it hopes for permission to launch a full-scale ground operation from Turkish soil involving 80,000 U.S. troops. The inducement is a $14 billion aid package to compensate Ankara for financial losses and the promise of continued support at the IMF. The problem: Turkey's new government, elected just last November, is having serious second thoughts about joining the Bush administration's war.Turkey's surprise about-face has "stunned" Washington, a senior U.S. official acknowledged to NEWSWEEK, and could force the Pentagon to rethink its whole operations plan. U.S. diplomats and military planners thought they had a deal after the ruling AK Party leader Tayyip Erdogan met with George W. Bush in December. But the Turkish government's dilemma is clear: 88 percent of its people strongly oppose war, according...
  • Exclusive: No Help

    We need more actionable intelligence," chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix repeated last week, appealing for help from--especially--America. Blix complains that Washington has been slow to pass evidence or leads on Saddam Hussein's forbidden weapons programs to his inspection teams. One reason for U.S. delay, NEWSWEEK has learned: the U.N. teams don't yet have overhead surveillance. The CIA has a list of suspect sites in Iraq and wants overhead monitoring of the sites before, during and after surprise U.N. visits--"to see nothing goes in or out," a source said. The United States has offered Blix use of its Predator surveillance drone (UAV). To avoid the appearance of bias, Blix wants Europe to provide the UAVs. But European UAVs are not as good as Predator. "They [the CIA] don't have that many shots in their locker," said the source, referring to the suspect-sites list. "They want to ensure the U.N. makes effective use of what they do know."--John BarryPhoto: Proof? An Iraqi...
  • Selling The United States

    The consensus among George W. Bush's advisers is that America must do a better job of making friends. Millions of Muslims view America as corrupt, brutal and arrogant, indifferent if not outright hostile to Islamic concerns. Twice lately the Pentagon has floated half-baked ideas for covert propaganda campaigns to loosen Saddam Hussein's grip on power in Iraq, and to boost America's image throughout the region and even among its European allies. Those schemes didn't get far: they're too tricky, and too embarrassing when they unravel.Instead, the Bush administration is trying a more overt campaign to win support. After pondering reams of focus-group results and opinion polls, the State Department believes it has found two themes that unite America and Islam: faith and families. Administration officials claim we're actually closer to some Muslim countries than to traditional U.S. allies. Former Madison Avenue executive Charlotte Beers, the new under secretary of State for public...
  • Big Brother Is Back

    The official logo of the information Awareness Office, the Pentagon's secretive new terrorist-detection experiment, isn't subtle. A picture of the globe, under the watchful gaze of that spooky pyramid on the dollar bill, the one with the all-seeing eye of God at the top. Underlining that, the project's motto: scientia est potentia (Knowledge Is Power).All in all, not a bad description of the office's lofty--and controversial--ambitions. Quietly created after the September 11 attacks, the office's Total Information Awareness project aims to enable federal investigators to engage in a kind of super "data mining"--inventing software to trawl through commercial and government computer databases in search of suspicious patterns that might indicate terror plans.The 9-11 hijackers, for instance, enrolled in flight schools, rented apartments, used credit cards and bought airline tickets together. The details of all these transactions were routinely stored in various companies' computers....
  • Exclusive: Behind The Bushies' U.N. Victory

    As he walked his younger daughter Anne Marie down the aisle for her wedding on Nov. 2, Secretary of State Colin Powell had a double reason to rejoice. Even as the bridal party drove to the church in rural Maryland, Powell was on his secure satphone talking with French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin. With only minutes to go before the wedding convoy drew up, the pair finally agreed on a crucial compromise in the wording of the United States' proposed U.N. Security Council resolution on Iraq. A relieved Powell switched off his phone--and for 20 minutes concentrated on being just the father of the bride. "The phone was only shut down when I started down the aisle," he joked afterward.A week of haggling still lay ahead. But the outcome--a unanimous 15-0 vote in the Security Council last Friday, with even Russia and Iraq's Arab neighbor Syria agreeing to Washington's tough line--is widely seen as a triumph for Powell. It wasn't just because of his hands-on role (he was calling...
  • Military: Getting Ready For War

    When the U.S. Army recently gave Robert Clifford an order for another of his giant, high-speed catamarans, he was overjoyed. Clifford's company in Hobart, Australia, Incat, had been overstocked with the hydrofoils, which can cut through the waves at 55mph. Normally used as civilian car ferries, each ship can carry 350 troops and 700 tons of cargo, which (along with the craft's own fuel load) means up to eight M1A2 battle tanks. After testing one of Clifford's wave-piercing cats, the Army decided to lease another in late September, a big boost for his bottom line. But Clifford was told modifications had to be completed and the multimillion-dollar ship had to be ready to sail by Nov. 14. According to Pentagon sources, the reason for that is its destination: the Persian Gulf. The first stop for the cat, newly named Spearhead by the Army, will be Diego Garcia, the Indian Ocean atoll that would be a U.S. forward supply base for an invasion of Iraq. By the last week of November, the Army...