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    Will the BP Oil Spill Kill Offshore Drilling?

    BP has been trying hard to burnish its public image in recent years after being hit with a pair of environmental disasters, including a fatal refinery explosion in Texas and a pipeline leak in Alaska. One major step was to announce, in 2007, that it had hired a high-powered advisory board that included former EPA director Christine Todd Whitman, former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle, and Leon Panetta, who were each paid $120,000 a year. (Panetta left when he became President Obama’s CIA director.) Two years ago the oil giant’s chief executive, Robert Malone, flew board members out to the Gulf of Mexico on a helicopter to demonstrate the safeguards surrounding BP’s advanced drilling technology. “We got a sense they were really committed to ensuring they got it right,” Whitman told NEWSWEEK.
  • We Must Remember Reality of War

    When I was growing up, I was semi-addicted to the novels of Herman Wouk, particularly The Winds of War and War and Remembrance. They did not glamorize warfare, but they did humanize it. For the generations who came of age long after World War II, books such as Wouk’s gave words such as Auschwitz and Midway and Leyte all the more meaning, for readers experienced them through the lives (and deaths) of the novelist’s characters. In the closing pages of his epic, Wouk mused on the tragedy of history, and on its redemptive possibilities. “The beginning of the end of War,” he said, “lies in Remembrance.”
  • Evan Thomas: Why We Love War

    The reasons and causes—territory, ideology, WMDs—may change with the times, but our lust for it is eternal.
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    Kagan to Be Attacked From Left and Right

    It’s a pretty safe bet that the Democratic-ruled Senate will confirm Solicitor General Elena Kagan, President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, by about Aug. 6, with over 60 votes.
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    Even Reagan Wasn't a Reagan Republican

    In the year and a half since Barack Obama was elected president, Republicans nationwide seem to have given up on the whole governing thing and chosen instead to play a long, rancorous game of “I’m More Conservative Than You Are.”
  • The Trouble with Arizona's Immigration Law

    With the right spin doctor, Gordon Brown could seem an easy politician to admire. This was the smart, serious-minded Scot who took prudence as his watchword in his successful management of the British economy; the man who oversaw the country’s longest period of economic growth and averted global catastrophe through his handling of the financial crisis. He was the clergyman’s son who thrived on hard work and liked to talk of the “moral compass” offered by his parents’ example.
  • The Times Square Bomb Scares and the Perils of False Alarms

    In the days since the failed Times Square bombing last Saturday night, New York has faced several additional brief, but fraught, alarms. Late Wednesday night, the city’s RFK (formerly Triboro) Bridge was swarmed by police and shut down after a man ran away from a rental van which smelled of gasoline fumes. False alarm. On Thursday morning, an Emirates airways flight for Dubai was temporarily grounded at JFK airport shortly before takeoff because of a possible match between the name of a passenger and that of an individual on the U.S. government’s “no fly” list. Another false alarm; the plane was sent on its way. On Friday afternoon, part of Times Square was evacuated when police were notified of a “suspicious package.” Yet another false alarm; it turned out to be a cooler filled with water bottles.This spate of false alarms, which received greater than normal publicity due to the fact that they occurred just after the genuine but unsuccessful Times Square car bombing, demonstrates...
  • Tea Partiers Can't Be 'Screaming Meemies' Anymore

    Since its debut as a ragtag protest group, the Tea Party has cohered into a formidable voice in the GOP primaries. Now, with a slew of statewide ballot measures, the movement is pivoting again—this time into the unglamorous world of knocking on doors and gathering signatures in an effort to shape local policy.
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    How BP Works Washington

    How British oil giant BP used all the political muscle money can buy to fend off regulators and influence investigations into corporate neglect.
  • Eric Posner: The Case for Electing Judges

    About 40 states elect judges—a practice that has been fiercely criticized during the last year. Retired justice Sandra Day O’Connor has advocated against treating judges like “politicians in robes.” And the Supreme Court ruled that “a serious, objective risk of actual bias” exists in court cases involving plaintiffs or defendants who were major donors to a judge’s campaign. The leading alternative is a merit-based selection process, with nominations by experts and a final choice by the governor. But Missouri, which invented the merit system in 1940, is poised to vote this fall on an amendment that would require all judges to face a popular vote, a move that critics say will pollute Missouri’s courts.
  • 53 Hours: Faisal Shahzad's Near Disaster

    Frustrated sons of privilege, caught between East and West, sometimes make for dangerous militants. Mohamed Atta, the lead 9/11 hijacker, was the son of a Cairo lawyer and the grandson of a doctor. The so-called underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is the son of a wealthy Nigerian diplomat. Faisal Shahzad, too, appeared to be a fairly secularized, Westernized Pakistani. His father was once a high-ranking official in Pakistan’s Air Force, and Faisal had become a U.S. citizen. But unknown to many who knew him superficially, his life was riven by tensions that propelled him toward terrorism.
  • A Legal Challenge to the Vatican's Immunity Claim

    The Catholic Church has settled hundreds of alleged cases of sexual abuse by priests. But the Vatican—a walled corner of Rome commonly recognized as a sovereign nation—has remained immune from lawsuits. Now that “sovereign immunity” protection may be in jeopardy. Federal appeals courts in Kentucky and Oregon ruled recently that the Vatican may be vulnerable. And last month, in a separate action, the plaintiff’s lawyer in the Oregon case sued the Holy See in a Wisconsin court for, among other things, access to the Vatican’s private files on sex offenders.
  • Pakistan Taliban Source: Times Square Bombing Attempt Was 'Revenge Against America'

    A top Afghan Taliban planner and organizer tells NEWSWEEK he wasn't surprised by the attempted car bombing in Times Square. "We were expecting this," says the source, who operates on both sides of the porous Afghanistan-Pakistan border. He says the Pakistani Taliban—formally known as the Tehrik-e-Taliban—was hellbent on revenge after the Predator drone attack that killed its leader, Baitullah Mehsud, last August and the more recent strikes that nearly killed Baitullah's successor, Hakimullah Mehsud, this January. "They were desperately looking for revenge against America inside America," says the source, who declined to be identified by name for security reasons. Hakimullah went deep underground immediately after the Hellfire missile attack in January, disappearing so completely that even his fellow militants thought he was dead. According to the senior Afghan source, he vanished not only for his own safety but also because he wanted to come back with a bang: ...
  • Obama Officials on Shahzad Case: We Did It Right

    Obama administration officials are touting what they say is the continuing cooperation of Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad as evidence that nonaggressive interrogation techniques and procedures that were used in his case can be at least as effective as more controversial—and violent—Bush administration counterterrorism tactics.  A preliminary official account of events following Shahzad’s arrest has been provided to Declassified by a government official who asked for anonymity because the inquiry is continuing. After being taken off his Dubai-bound flight shortly before it was due to leave the gate, Shahzad initially was “questioned extensively” without being read his rights, according to the account. The questioning was conducted under a “publi-safety exemption to Miranda” allowing investigators to question suspects without reading them their rights if they believe the suspects might have information that might help avert an imminent threat to public safety. Obama...
  • Stupak: My Battle Over Abortion

    During the past few months, I often drew strength from a poem taped to my desk in Washington and framed on the wall of my home office in Menominee, Mich. “Bullfight critics ranked in rows,” it begins, “Crowd the enormous plaza full/But only one is there who knows/And he’s the man who fights the bull.”
  • Red Lobster Faring Just Fine in the Post-Spill World

    It remains unclear exactly how much damage BP's oil spill will do to the aquatic life in the Gulf of Mexico, but if you're worried about one of the worst environmental disasters in decades cutting into your $11.99 "festival of shrimp," you can rest easy. It turns out some of the country's most popular seafood restaurants have placed more emphasis on the second syllable of "seafood" rather than the first....