Evan Thomas

The General's Lady

On her husband's last night before leaving for a second i tour of duty in Vietnam, Alma Powell asked to be taken out to dinner. Mrs. Powell, who had grown up in Birmingham, Ala., at a time when blacks weren't allowed to drink from the same water fountains as whites, wanted to dine at Birmingham's fanciest hotel, the Parliament House.

Can Peace Survive?

Yitzhak Rabin wanted to linger, to relish the moment. In Kings of Israel Square in central Tel Aviv last Saturday night, 100,000 had gathered to celebrate peace with songs and speeches, and the Israeli prime minister seemed to be enjoying the happy buzz.

Spooking The Director

Spies are supposed to be known for their sang-froid. At the CIA, SWASP reserve has always been the preferred demeanor. So old hands in the clandestine service were a little taken aback when the newly appointed director began hugging them.

Now, Clinton's Choice

President Clinton has long treated Bosnia as the crazy aunt in the attic: he just wishes those cries and banging sounds would go away. But this week the Bosnia struggle will move closer to home, to the United Nations in New York, where the warring parties will try to work out a peace settlement.

Decline And Fall

There Was Bob Packwood, meandering on about his favorite squash games as a U.S. senator. As his colleagues shifted uneasily at their desks on the Senate floor, Packwood dreamily reflected back on the "camaraderie [that] is unbelievable," the "friendships beyond count." Then he quoted General MacArthur's farewell address at West Point ("duty, honor, country") and tearfully announced his resignation--"not with malice, but with love." A few old members of the club tried to buck him up.

Why We Did It

In August 1945, the GI's waiting to invade Japan had no doubt about the wisdom of obliterating Hiroshima and Nagasaki with nuclear weapons. Upon hearing the news, "we whooped and yelled like mad, we downed all the beer we'd been stashing away," one dogface later recalled. "We shot bullets in the air and danced between the tent rows." Paul Fussell, a 21-year-old second lieutenant leading a rifle platoon, remembered that "for all the fake manliness of our facades, we cried with relief and joy.

Rethinking The Dream

Few white men have civil-rights credentials. The old newspapermen who had gathered for an informal reunion at the Atlanta airport Holiday Inn on a recent Saturday night had been thrown in jail and chased out of dusty delta towns during the Movement Days of the 1950s and '60s.

An American Hero

It was the stuff of which legends are made. Shot down Bosnia, Capt. Scott O'Grady spent six days living off bugs and rainwater, and was then rescued by a daring band of young marines.

Cleaning Up 'The Company'

Veteran CIA spooks have long tried to protect their secrets, not only from the Russians but sometimes from Congress and the executive branch -- and even, on occasion, from the Director of Central Intelligence.

On The Bombers' Trail

Zeroing in on a handful of alleged conspirators, the Feds are piecing together the bombing's financing and logistics.Michael Fortier quits his job at True Value Hardware in King-man, Ariz.

Inside The Plot

The bombing had apparently been in the works for months. Last December Tim McVeigh and his army buddy Mike Fortier cased the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

Cracking Down On Hate

For a few hours, it looked like the FBI had its man. Gary Land, 35, bore a passing resemblance to the FBI sketch of "John Doe No. 2," and he and his sidekick, Robert Jacks, had lived near Tim MeVeigh ("John Doe No. 1") for a time in Kingman, Ariz.

The Plot

It is a world where loners are never alone, where delusion and fantasy echo back as conspiracy and fact. It has its own language and code and demonology. It is a peculiarly American world, met in the woods where grown men play with real guns, in greasy spoons where an angry farmer can buy a lonely serviceman a cup of coffee and earnestly discuss how best to resist the global Zionist plot.

Cleverness--And Luck

THEY WERE SMART ENOUGH -to build a bomb that gutted a nine-story building and left hundreds dead or missing. But getting away with it was harder. Tim McVeigh was tooling along 1-35, about 60 miles north of Oklahoma City last Wednesday morning, when a state trooper pulled him over because McVeigh's yellow 1977 Mercury Marquis didn't have any license tags.

How's He Doing?

TREASURY SECRETARY ROBERT RUbin likes to pace, but not anxiously, mind you. As a securities trader on Wall Street for nearly 20 years, he had walked in a tight little square behind his desk on the Goldman, Sachs trading floor, coolly choosing the precise moment to bet his clients' fortunes.

A Guide To The The First 100 Days

On Wednesday for the first time in half a century, the Republicans take control of Congress. They will celebrate, not with fireworks or parties, but by reducing the size of Hill staffs and declaring that the laws of the United States apply to members of Congress as well as to ordinary people.

The Tricks Of Memory

YOU CAN SEE TWO WASHINGTONS FROM THE Hillside in Arlington Cemetery where Jacqueline Kennedy was buried last May, alongside her husband. There is the heroic Washington, as it was laid out by L'Enfant and carved in marble: the Mall, the monuments, the Capitol dome shining a few miles distant in the early winter light.

Goodbye Welfare State

IT TOOK ABOUT 60 YEARS TO ERECT THE MODERN WELFARE STATE. NEWT GINGRICH wants to dismantle it in a hundred days. The Republicans' "Contract With America" would be the most significant reversal of direction by the United States government since the New Deal.

The Old Boys' Club Fights For Its Existence

Protecting and promoting incompetents is not unique to the CIA. In the military, the practice is known as "pass the trash." But judging from the details that emerged last week in the case of Aldrich Ames, the now infamous Soviet mole, the CIA's clubby Operations Directorate acted more like a mutual protection association than a spy agency.

Under The Gun

If his troops had gone into Haiti "hot," said Special Forces Gen. Richard Potter, this was supposed to have been the hottest place of all. Camp d'Application is the headquarters of Haiti's coup makers, the Heavy Weapons Company.

No Ordinary Couple

Imagine what the modern media could do with this scenario: the president has not slept with his wife for 20 years. He prefers the company of his secretary, who lives in the White House residence, wears exotic nightgowns as evening dresses and hosts her boss's poker games late into the night.

Grace &Amp; Iron

IT'S NOT CLEAR FROM THE PICTURE WHO IS more doting, the throng of reporters and photographers, or her proud husband, the president. Jackie Kennedy was a national treasure, and almost everyone, even jaded members of the press, felt a little proprietary.

Trial By Unfriendly Fire

POLICYMAKERS LIKE TO THINK of air power as a precise instrument. Ground troops still have to slog it out the old-fashioned way-slow and messy, too many body bags-but the air force-can swoop in with a surgical strike" of "smart" bombs.

Deadly Mole

IN THE SPY TRADE, COUNTERINTELLIGENCE OPERATIVES are sometimes called "spiders" for the webs they weave. The greatest of all spiders, the black widow of the cold war, was James Jesus Angleton.

Sins Of A Paranoid Age

In 1949, when most Americans wanted nothing more than to "go to the movies and drink Coke," as W. Averell Harriman once put it, the Soviets exploded a nuclear bomb.

The Real Cover-Up

In Washington, in the early afternoon of Nov. 22, 1963, the phones went dead. Cars swerved, ignored red lights, honked angrily. In a taxicab, Assistant Secretary of Labor Daniel Patrick Moynihan anxiously watched people "leaving the city as fast as they could.

Who Shot Jfk?

CIA: A trove of government documents brings out the conspiracy buffs again. They're right about a cover-up, but it wasn't a plot to kill the president. Waring white cotton gloves, they pored over the murky pictures of "the Umbrella Man" of Dealey Plaza, read the top-secret CIA report allegedly placing Lee Harvey Oswald at a raucous twist party in Mexico City just before the shooting and recoiled from the gruesome autopsy close-ups of Oswald's wounds.