Michael Isikoff

Probing Or Protecting?

How tough will the House-Senate intelligence panel investigating the 9-11 attacks be on the FBI and CIA? Questions are being raised about Thomas A. Kelley, a former FBI deputy general counsel who is overseeing the panel's probe into the bureau's performance.

The Lindh Case E-Mails

When John Ashcroft announced the indictment of John Walker Lindh, the attorney general said the rights of the 20-year-old "American Taliban" had been "carefully, scrupulously honored." But inside the Justice Department, not everybody was convinced.

The Hijackers We Let Escape

The CIA tracked two suspected terrorists to a Qaeda summit in Malaysia in January 2000, then looked on as they re-entered America and began preparations for September 11. Why didn't somebody try to stop them? Inside what may be the worst intelligence failure of all. A NEWSWEEK exclusive.

Fbi: Rules For Informants

Hoping to make it easier for the FBI to infiltrate terrorist groups, the Justice Department is drafting new rules giving field agents more leeway in how they deal with confidential informants, NEWSWEEK has learned.

The Phantom Link To Iraq

Did September 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta meet with an Iraqi agent in the months before the terrorist attack? Last fall the Czech government provided the CIA with intelligence suggesting that just such a rendezvous had taken place.

Selling The Saudis In A 'Favorable' Light

Concerned about "tracking polls" showing that its "favorable" rating with the American public has yet to climb back to pre-9-11 levels, the Saudi Arabian government has launched a multimillion-dollar ad blitz designed to portray the kingdom as a close partner with the United States in the war on terror. "The People of Saudi Arabia...

Hugo's Close Call

People power it wasn't. Although more than 200,000 antigovernment protesters marched through the streets of Caracas--some to their deaths--the short-lived April 11-12 coup against President Hugo Chavez was secretly hatched by two small but powerful groups: senior military officers and several of the country's richest businessmen.

The Phantom Link To Iraq

Did September 11 hijacker Mohamed Atta meet with an Iraqi agent in the months before the terrorist attack? Last fall, the Czech government provided the CIA with intelli­gence suggesting that just such a rendezvous had taken place.

Should This Man Die?

In the months leading up to September 11, Zacarias Moussaoui was trying desperately to learn how to fly. He went to flight school in Norman, Okla., and when instructors there decided he had almost no aptitude for handling a light plane, he moved on to Minnesota seeking practice time on a flight simulator for a Boeing 747.

Monica Speaks

It seems like eons ago-though it was only four years-when Monica Lewinsky was the biggest story of the day. This Sunday, HBO airs a two-hour documentary, "Monica in Black and White." A fresh look at the Clinton impeachment saga told through the eyes of the world's most famous former intern, it is a surprisingly engrossing recasting of the story.

The Enron Effect

It was like the surgeon general's accepting a public-health award named after Typhoid Mary. Here was Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan, renowned for rectitude, accepting the Enron Award for Distinguished Public Service.

Wen Ho Lee: A Scientist's Secrets

Shy, diminutive and seemingly clueless, Wen Ho Lee sat quietly in the interrogation room as two FBI agents leaned on him to confess. It was March 7, 1999, the day after The New York Times proclaimed a sensational espionage scandal at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The White House Is Divided Over Walker

While President George W. Bush weighs a decision on the fate of American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh, administration officials are sharply divided over what charges to bring against him--and where to bring them, knowledgeable sources have told NEWSWEEK.Attorney General John Ashcroft met with Bush yesterday and recommended that Walker be tried in federal court with providing material support to a terrorist organization--a crime that until recently carried a penalty of 10 years in prison.

The Final Word?

After spending nearly $1 million, a consortium of big news organizations last week rendered what it once thought would be final word on last year's bitterly contested Florida recount.The decision: a split verdict.To the chagrin of Democratic partisans, the consortium proclaimed Bush still would have won the apparently limited statewide recount underway last December 9 even if the U.S. Supreme Court had not swooped in and stopped it.

Student Cleared In Anthrax Case

A 23-year-old Florida Atlantic University student who was being sought for questioning yesterday in the investigation into anthrax contamination in a newspaper building in South Florida has been cleared of any involvement in the case, FBI officials said today.The FBI tracked down the student late Monday on the campus of the Boca Raton, Fla., school after top editors and officials of American Media, the firm that publishes most of the nation's supermarket tabloids, told agents about an e-mail he...

'I Can't Just Sit Back'

The moment is still frozen in Ted Olson's mind. The U.S. Solicitor General was sitting in his office-watching with horror the news of the World Trade Center on TV-and fretting about the safety of his wife, Barbara.

Colombia: Man Without A Plan

Fred Ayres, once an unlikely linchpin for U.S. policy in Colombia, has now become a perfect symbol of Washington's failures there. The owner of a foundering Georgia-based aviation firm, Ayres had just filed for protection under bankruptcy laws last year when the State Department awarded him a $22 million contract to supply nine Turbo-Thrush airplanes badly needed for counternarcotics missions.

The Interview

Newsweek's Michael Isikoff sat down with Rep. Condit and his attorney, Abbe Lowell, in Modesto, California on Aug. 24. Excerpts from the interview follow:NEWSWEEK: What message did you not get across in your interview with Connie Chung?GARY CONDIT: There were a couple of areas.

Condit Fights Back

Frustrated and disheartened about his first prime-time television appearance, a weary Rep. Gary Condit complained today that he never got the chance to tell the country how "saddened and heartbroken" he is over the disappearance of missing intern Chandra Levy.

An Affair To Remember

Gary Condit was, at last, in the mood to talk. Sitting calmly with police investigators in the Washington offices of his lawyer late Friday night, the California congressman spoke the words the police, and the rest of the country, had been waiting to hear: yes, he told them, he and Chandra Levy had been romantically involved.


Despite White House hopes that he would stay longer, NEWSWEEK has learned outgoing FBI Director Louis Freeh has set a firm departure date: June 19. But so far, the White House hasn't settled on a successor, and some aides are not satisfied they've conducted a thorough enough search.

A Plot To Foil The Greens

Only two weeks ago the mood of the Justice Department's environmental lawyers was upbeat. They had just won another big victory--a court-ordered decree forcing Marathon Ashland Petroleum to spend $265 million to install up-to-date pollution-control equipment.