Weeks after reports that Wen Ho Lee, a Chinese-American scientist at Los Alamos, may have leaked secret nuclear-weapons designs to Beijing in 1988, some in the U.S. intelligence community are asking: was the FBI deliberately slow to investigate? The bureau certainly had a reason to be embarrassed about the investigation: NEWSWEEK has learned that Lee's wife, Sylvia, was an FBI informant. According to senior intelligence officials, from 1985 to 1991, Sylvia Lee--a Los Alamos administrator who arranged lab tours for Chinese delegations and attended academic conferences in Beijing--covertly helped the FBI keep tabs on prominent Chinese scientists.
In fact, her role may have been more complicated than some at first realized. Intelligence sources say that in the late 1980s, officials in Beijing took a special interest in Sylvia Lee, inviting her to attend an academic conference in China. The advances were unusual. A nonscientist, she seemingly had little to contribute to the meeting, and presented a videotaped lecture prepared by the lab. Lee's boss at Los Alamos at the time was a leading expert on laser technology, and the Feds believe the Chinese may have been trying to use her to obtain the lab's laser research. The FBI briefly worried that Sylvia Lee might have been a double agent. When Energy Department investigators first surmised the Chinese had stolen secrets from Los Alamos, they concluded that both Wen Ho and Sylvia were likely suspects.
The FBI does not now consider Sylvia Lee a suspect. She was taken off the FBI payroll in 1991, because the bureau no longer believed she was providing useful intelligence. Intelligence officials still have doubts about whether they will ever gather enough evidence to prosecute Wen Ho Lee, who, sources say, knew about his wife's relationship with the FBI. Lee maintains he is innocent.
Earlier this month the FBI sheepishly revealed Sylvia Lee's FBI connections to top intelligence officials, who are furious that the bureau kept critical information from them. According to government officials, FBI Director Louis Freeh, Attorney General Janet Reno and CIA Director George Tenet were also kept in the dark. This week Freeh will appear before angry senators on the Intelligence Committee. It won't be an easy sell.CUBAFidel's Infidel
When Fidel Castro left the Dominican Republic last week after the summit of the Association of Caribbean States, he was short one top bodyguard. Capt. Lazaro Betancourt sought asylum at the U.S. Embassy April 11, said a member of the Dominican National Investigations Department, the country's secret service. Last weekend Betancourt was housed in a U.S. diplomatic residence in Santo Domingo, where U.S. officials were questioning him before sending him on to Washington. The defection appeared to take a visible toll on Castro, who did not utter a word in public and failed to attend a press conference after the summit's closing ceremony. His mood posed a sharp contrast with his enthusiasm last August when he visited the Dominican Republic for the first time. American and Cuban officials would not confirm or deny the reports.THE BUZZWait, You Mean There's Life After Lucas?
It's tempting to believe "star wars" will be this summer's only release, but it'sjust not so. Remarkably, several other movies have the gall to scavenge the Lucas scraps. Who are these upstarts, how will they do and what's the buzz on Hollywood's big season?Highly Scatological
Lewdness abounds: "American Pie," "South Park" and the new Adam Sandler. Gross profits.
The studios bet "Star Wars" will lure guys to theaters--and guys will keep coming back. Guy-geared comedy and action rule, save for...
She'll clean up in two big chick flicks: "Notting Hill" (going head to head against "Star Wars") and "Runaway Bride" (with Richard Gere).
New "Austin Powers" will be shagadelic, baby, spawning... AP3? Oh, behave!
Dark? Maybe NC-17? No matter: Cruise/Kidman/Kubrick sports something for everyone.Mild, Mild West
Will Smith, but no ID4 or MIB. Web buzz says "Wild, Wild West" lacks plot, and Kevin Kline's miscast.RUSSIACyber Wars
The Kremlin may be abstaining from the war in Kosovo, but a new CD-ROM allows Russian hackers to join in. "Hackers Bomb NATO," available in Moscow's pirate CD markets for $2.10, allows even the minimally skilled to deploy a formidable array of online weaponry. Most deadly is a South African-designed "cyber-bomb" that can put a whole server out of action by blitzing it with bogus e-mails. Another is a program for cracking access passwords and generating false credit-card details. Russian hackers' biggest victories so far: crashing the official NATO Web site and replacing the Albanian government site with a pageful of anti-NATO slogans. So far NATO has not reported any break-ins to its computer systems--but you can be sure that plenty of Russian hackers are trying.STYLESBad Hair Day? Not With These Guys Around.
Is an accent required to cut hair well? probably not, but all four of these upscale hairstylists (prices: $100 to $290) spoke in lovely European lilts. They also sprinkled their sentences with "sexy," "happening" and other frisky adjectives. Nice guys all; we'd sit in their chairs any day.Laurent Dufourg
Most Famous Cut: "I cut Gwyneth Paltrow's hair very short for 'Sliding Doors.' It got lots of press and changed my career. It was great because she trusted me with such a radical change."
Tip: "Always trim your split ends."
Price: "In L.A., $150. In New York, $185."Cristophe
Theory: "I use hair to change the face's volumes and angles."
Tip: "When you shampoo, use less lather."
Celeb Clients: President Clinton, Steven Spielberg, Nic Cage.Frederic Fekkai
New Work: "I just cut Brooke Shields's hair short. Very sexy, cool and happening."
Technique: "I let women open up and tell me who they are, then help put it all together. That makes the sexiest hairstyle."Seamus McAllister
Emergency: "One client, a famous actress, accidentally dyed her hair pink. I had to fix it fast."
Philosophy: "Nobody has bad hair. It's just how it's cut."