Department of Energy

The First Casualty
June 30, 2003

Foreign policy is always difficult in a democracy. Democracy requires openness. Yet foreign policy requires a level of secrecy that frees it from oversight and exposes it to abuse. As a result, Republicans and Democrats have long held that the intelligence agencies--the most clandestine of foreign policy institutions--should be insulated from political interference in much the same way as the higher reaches of the judiciary. As the Tower Commission, established to investigate the Iran-Contra scandal, warned in November 1987, "The democratic processes ...

The 9/10 President
March 10, 2003

It disappeared so quickly that it is easy to forget the bipartisan patriotism and common purpose that existed in Washington immediately after September 11, 2001. Perhaps the most memorable event from that period was the gathering of members of Congress from both parties on the steps of the Capitol to sing "God Bless America." Another such episode--little-noticed, but actually more remarkable--occurred the following month.

Reaganism With A Human Face
November 25, 1981

The Road From Here: Liberalism and Realities in the 1980s by Paul Tsongas (Knopf, 280 pp., $12.95)  In June of 1980, Senator Paul Tsongas delivered his now-famous speech before the Americans for Democratic Action, warning that the liberal movement was in danger of being "reduced to an interesting topic for Ph.D.-writing historians," and calling for "a new liberalism." Four months later, when Tsongas’s prediction seemed to be coming true, he gave a long interview to then-Washington Post reporter Nicholas Lemann, who attempted to discover just what  the "new liberalism" might entail.