Give This ‘Attic’ A Story To Tell

According to its director, the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History needs new plumbing, new wiring and better lighting. So desperately does the building require renovation, in fact, that there is talk of shutting the whole place down for a year or two, of bringing in some fresher architecture, even of designing a “museum for the …

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Amnesty’s Amnesia

A few years ago I spent several days sitting in the back of a library in London, reading through newsletters, pamphlets and other accounts of Soviet prison conditions published in the 1970s and ’80s by Amnesty International. Sometimes these reports were remarkably detailed, testifying to the extraordinary ability of prisoners to smuggle out their stories.

Democracy Under The Veil

She looked nice, Laura Bush, in her black veil and modest dress, touring the Dome of the Rock, smiling sweetly at the protesters outside. She sounded nice, too, in her keynote speech at the Dead Sea in Jordan.

Blaming the Messenger

“It’s appalling that this story got out there,” said the secretary of state. “Shaky from the very get-go,” thundered the White House spokesman. “We’ve not found any wrongdoing on the part of U.S. servicemembers,” declared the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Outrage filled the airwaves this week as administration officials took turns denouncing Newsweek’s brief …

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Saying Sorry

“It just offends me that the president of the United States is, directly or indirectly, attacking his own country in a foreign land.” That was 1998. The speaker, Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), was then House majority whip. The president was Bill Clinton, who had “attacked his own country” while in Uganda.

Runaway Story

To the British reading public of the mid-19th century, the story was a shocking one: A woman left her fiance standing at the altar after an unexpected revelation, ran away without a penny, threw herself on the mercy of strangers — and then ultimately returned.

Opting for Truth Over ‘Triumph’

Try, if you can, to picture the scene. A vast crowd in Red Square: Lenin’s tomb and Stalin’s memorial in the background. Soldiers march in goose step behind rolling tanks, and the air echoes with martial music, occasionally drowned out by the whine of fighter jets.

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