Federal Bureau of Investigation

Degree Burns
January 23, 2006

It was early 2003, and the newly created Department of Homeland Security was looking for someone to help oversee its vast computer network. The department soon found a candidate who appeared to be a perfect match: Laura Callahan. Not only had Callahan been working with federal IT systems since the mid-'80s, but she came with outstanding academic credentials: bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science, topped by a Ph.D. in computer information systems.

Religious Protection
December 12, 2005

In September, the world watched the ringleader of the July 7 London terrorist attack, his voice inflected with a West Yorkshire accent, preach jihad in English. Al Jazeera aired the communiqu? of 30-year-old Mohammad Sidique Khan, which Khan recorded to explain why he helped murder over 50 of his fellow Britons on a bus and in the Underground. "Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment, and torture of my people, we will not stop this fight," Khan declared. "We are at war. I am a soldier.

Low Clearance
October 10, 2005

In January 2006, a court in Northern Virginia will hear a case in which, for the first time, the federal government has charged two private citizens with leaking state secrets. CBS News first reported the highly classified investigation that led to this prosecution on the eve of the Republican National Convention. On August 27, 2004, Lesley Stahl told her viewers that, in a "full-fledged espionage investigation," the FBI would soon "roll up" a "suspected mole" who had funneled Pentagon policy deliberations concerning Iran to Israel.

Island Mentality
August 22, 2005

Guantnamo Bay, Cuba The detainee, by all appearances, is resigned to his fate. Throughout his hearing, he remains stoic, not once even shifting in his chair, let alone jostling the restraints that bind his wrists and ankles. His tan jumpsuit indicates his compliance with the camp guards. (The infamous orange jumpsuits are reserved for "problem" detainees.) When the panel of American military officers asks if he wants to submit additional statements on his behalf, he declines.

True Crime: A Different Way of Thinking about Homicide
August 10, 2005

The murder of large numbers of innocent people in a very short time span has become an infuriating and regular feature of contemporary life. Recently, such murders have been carried out by radical Islamists in Israel, Iraq, England, and Egypt. Last month we marked the tenth anniversary of the massacres at Srebenica, and just over a year ago, the tenth anniversary of the Rwanda genocide. Yet there is another kind of killing that receives far less attention as a distinct historical phenomenon.

Correspondence
and
July 25, 2005

POPULAR DEMAND Gregg Easterbrook’s hopeful essay on the possibility that warfare is trending toward obsolescence fails to meet the aspirations of its lofty title (“The End of War?” May 30). Warfare may presently be in decline as a result of increased democratization and prosperity, lack of conflict between superpowers, and improved international peacekeeping. But Easterbrook underplays the threat of nations going to war in order to secure scarce resources in the face of booming population growth.

'Nuff Said
June 07, 2004

In the aftermath of September 11, the FBI hired Sibel Edmonds--and hundreds of others who, like her, were fluent in Middle Eastern languages--to translate thousands of hours of backlogged wiretap transcripts and other documents. Edmonds didn't stay at the FBI for very long, though. In March 2002, after she complained to her supervisor about poor management, slow progress, and even a possible spy within the translators' department, she was fired.

Anniversaries
May 03, 2004

LAST WEEK, THE BIG NEWS from the 9/11 Commission was the disastrous counterterrorism performance of both the CIA and FBI over many years. (With Bob Woodward’s description of CIA Director George Tenet’s declaration to a skeptical George W. Bush in late 2002 that the intelligence on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction [WMD] was a “slam dunk,” Tenet now has the dubious distinction of having utterly failed on the two most important intelligence-related issues of our time.

TRB From Washington: Enemy Within
May 03, 2004

REPUBLICANS SAY THEY ARE dismayed by the partisanship of the 9/11 Commission and, if you define partisanship as criticism of the Bush administration--the working definition on much of the right--they are exactly right. But, if you define partisanship the way it's traditionally understood--as placing party interests above national ones--then the 9/11 Commission hasn't been very partisan at all. And that's what really irks the GOP: They're dismayed that the 9/11 Commission isn't partisan enough.

Devils in America
February 16, 2004

Reds: McCarthyism in Twentieth-Century America By Ted Morgan (Random House, 685 pp., $35)  NEARLY FIFTY YEARS AGO the United States Senate voted to censure Senator Joseph McCarthy. Within three years of his disgrace, McCarthy was dead, his health destroyed by heavy drinking. His time in the limelight had been brief.

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