June 05, 1999

Virtual Politics
12:00 AM

CINCINNATI In a dark basement somewhere beneath downtown Cincinnati, Rick Segal presents the attack plan. "The fact of the matter is it's war," he is telling a group of followers, who scribble notes. "It's a black-and-white world of wins and losses." He flashes war-movie clips on the screen and discusses the techniques of today's smartest warriors: Hamas, the Mexican Zapatistas, Asian triads, and other amorphous, stealthy networks. "Bastions, redoubts, and empires are subject to implosive attacks and ambush," Comrade Segal tells his men.

May 24, 1999

The Hero Myth
12:00 AM

David Grann profiles then U.S. Republican Presidential candidate, John McCain.

May 17, 1999

A Personal Journey
12:00 AM

The first place at which Sa'id Ghazali and I stop to give out our questionnaires is the Al-Wiheda Driving School in East Jerusalem. The four men and one woman in the office check off their answers carefully. "Never!" scowls a man when he reaches the last question, which asks if he prefers to live with Israelis in a single binational state. "The Jews think of us only as their slaves."In Abu-Raja's coffeehouse down the street, the narghile pipes catch their breaths as we enter. "Ahlayn!" says Sa'id to a red-haired man, slapping him on the back. The red-haired man makes a friendly reply.

April 26, 1999

Steele Trap
12:00 AM

Ordinarily, a witness who changes her story in a way that makes herself an object of ridicule or disgrace is viewed as more credible rather than more suspicious: the law of evidence calls this a statement against interest.

Force Without Force
12:00 AM

Last week was the week in which the United States fought a war with Serbia and lost. As of this dejected hour, there are almost half a million refugees around Kosovo's borders, and the magnitude of the slaughter inside Kosovo is unknown, though it is certainly what SeNATOr Nickles would have to call "a very significant massacre"; but NATO is delighted to announce that it has destroyed a second bridge in Novi Sad, and that two significant buildings in Belgrade are in flames. No, wait, the clouds have cleared. An appliance factory in Cacak is also a ruin.

April 19, 1999

The Stasi and The Swan
12:00 AM

In the spring of 1995, Jim Clark, who had spent half his life spying on others, was sure someone was spying on him. He first noticed the person when he got off the plane in Germany. Now, at the train station in Bonn, he could see the man's reflection in the ticket counter window.

April 12, 1999

Premium Idea
12:00 AM

If the liberals on the just-dissolved National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare are to be believed, the reform plan pushed by its chairman, Democratic Senator John Breaux, and backed both by commission Republicans and by Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey, is about as evil as health policy can get. "They're jeopardizing the health and welfare of frail old people," says former Medicare program chief Bruce Vladeck. "These guys don't want to protect senior citizens from the industry," says Democratic Representative Jim McDermott of Washington.

Lady in Waiting
12:00 AM

Being arrested is never pleasant, but, when your detainers are wearing flip-flops and sarongs, it's somehow less threatening. I had already given my exposed rolls of film to an acquaintance to smuggle out of Burma, so the police had to settle for an unexposed one left in the camera. My notes, in Polish, were briefly examined, then ignored.

February 15, 1999

Unspecial Olympics
12:00 AM

Jason Zengerle on acts of corruption reported in the Olympic Games.

February 08, 1999

Material Girl
12:00 AM

The witnesses are coming! In their opening arguments during the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton, the House managers seemed to convince a majority of senators to call witnesses to resolve disputed factual questions. The president's lawyers responded that witnesses are unnecessary because "you have before you all that you need" to conclude that there was no basis for the House to impeach the president or the Senate to convict him.