It was a date that will live in infamy. Just as Dec. 7, 1941, was the day upon which all Americans realized that they are not free from foreign attack, Sept. 11, 2001, will live on in the collective consciousness of the American people as the day they learned they were not safe from terrorism.
Gary Condit learned how to project an image of purity and innocence at a very young age. As a little boy he would stand atop a tree stump at his father's tent revival meetings and sing, in a clear, sweet voice, "Amazing Grace." Then his father, Adrian, a Baptist minister, would step up and deliver a fire-and-brimstone sermon about hell and damnation.
Good thing the founders didn't rely on pollsters. At the time of the Revolution, the American colonists, John Adams recalled, were "about one third Tories"--loyal to the British crown--"and [one] third timid, and one third true blue." Adams was true blue. "Sink or swim, live or die, survive or perish, I am with my country from this day on," he told a friend in 1774. "You may depend on it."By the summer of '76, as Adams cajoled his fellow delegates to the Second Continental Congress in...
It was a private tutorial for the president, in the living room of the White House residence. Condoleezza Rice, the president's national-security adviser and chief tutor on foreign policy, had already trooped a procession of heads of state and foreign ministers through the Oval Office to contribute to the education of George W.
The handshake is vicelike, the stare hard. He owns a Walther PPK pistol--the 1960s James Bond's handgun of choice--and practices martial arts. He smokes pre-Castro Cuban cigars and once, while scuba diving with some macho buddies, he says he punched a great white shark in the jaw, just to show that he could.
It was week one of President George W. Bush's first foreign-policy crisis. The cable-TV news networks were blaring on about "the showdown with China." Talking heads were asking when the 24 American crew members "detained" on Hainan Island were going to be called hostages.
The first hints of something wrong at Potomac Elementary came from the kids. Whispering to one another in the hallways and on the playground, then telling their parents after school, a few fifth graders began describing the peculiar behavior of their principal, Karen Karch, as she supervised the state assessment tests in mid-May.
Frank Snepp was overwhelmed. Like his fellow spooks in Saigon, Snepp, a CIA analyst in the American Embassy, was desperately looking for ways to get his friends and informants out of the country before the South Vietnamese regime collapsed and the communist reprisals began.