For independent journalists, a breed apart known for irreverence and persistence, silence is one loud telltale shriek.
Not long ago, when fate still ruled the world, when providence, not scheme, molded man's destiny, two groups vied for the truth and both held it for a while.
What if history was drawn not from verifiable facts but from the opinion pages of newspapers? What if the sum total of human knowledge was distilled from letters to the editor and the blogosphere - that mighty soap box the idle and the surly so impetuously scale to orate, often with shameless fatuity?
In the beginning, comes inexperience. Armed with little more than snippets of lore and a zest for life, my nephew Eli, soon to graduate from college, is looking for work. Finding a job that harmonizes with his grades, aspirations, self-view and crass earthly needs won't be easy. He is a fount of erudition but he lacks "experience." Take heart, I reassure him, life's lessons guiding my words. Inexperience translates into "under-qualification." The underqualified always find ...
Last in a series "You've just got to trust us. We're honorable men." - Richard Helms, former CIA director Missing chapters in an old ghoulish tale freshly re-exhumed add new dimensions of barbarity to revelations in the press, and subsequent admission by the U.S. government, that thousands of Americans were exposed to radioactive, chemical and biological agents in the '40s and '50s. But the government's swift and uncharacteristic confession of past trespasses implies more than ...
Complex, delicate and scarce, snake venoms are not weapons of choice. But genetic engineers may have found a way to transform their individual components into formidable killers.
From the start, the CIA spearheaded biochemical weapons research. CIA-funded projects grew like weeds in the 1950s.
Trapdoor spiders are formidable and cunning predators. They lie in wait, the tip of their fangs glistening with venom, poised to strike at anything that moves.
What evil lurks in the heart of men; what single brew is deadlier than 10? Ricin. Ricin received widespread attention in 1978, when it was determined to be the poison that killed Bulgarian dissident broadcaster Georgi Markov, then living in London. A KGB operative used an "umbrella gun" to inject a pin-sized metal sphere containing ricin into Markov's right thigh. Markov died three days later from a catastrophic drop in blood pressure. Another Bulgarian defector ...
Arsenal of death: turning nature into doomsday weaponry At first, Kinfumu thought it was the flu. A day later, doubled over with severe abdominal cramps, burning with fever but suspecting little more than a bad case of dysentery, Kinfumu, a 36-year-old lab technician, checked into the hospital in Kikwit, Zaire. Doctors knew this was no ordinary case of dysentery but a gruesome miscreation feasting on their patient from the inside. Within hours, Kinfumu's capillaries became ...
An air of pious exultation wafts over the elegant Baroque city of Turin, Italy. Its most illustrious relic, the Shroud of Turin, which some Christians believe is Jesus' burial cloth, went on display last week for the first time since it was "restored" in 2002.
Relations between Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe hit rock bottom last October. Intelligence sources in Bogotá quote Colombian officials as saying that the risk of an armed clash with Venezuela by mid-2010 is real.
American troops made their habitually flamboyant entrance in the earthquake-ravaged Haitian capital to distribute aid and provide security in one of America's most-spirited military deployments since the 2003 Battlestar Galactica-style invasion of Iraq.
Last December, spurning the raw feelings and grievances of world Jewry, Pope Benedict XVI signed an edict proclaiming Pope Pius XII, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, "venerable." The pre-beatification formality is intended to hype the late pontiff's "heroic virtues."
On June 28, 2009, as half the world awoke to a new round of fiscal woes, civil unrest and war, in another part of the globe, under the cover of darkness, a constitutionally elected leader was rudely stirred from bed and, still in his pajamas, abducted at gunpoint and flown out of the country.