The Week: Most Recent Unassigned Posts recent posts.en-usThu, 25 Sep 2014 09:04:00 -0400http://theweek.com Recent Unassigned Posts from THE WEEKThu, 25 Sep 2014 09:04:00 -0400The quiet death of America's worst spy<img src="" /></P><p class="MsoNormal">Chief Warrant Officer John A. Walker, who died in federal prison late last month at the age of 77, was the most consequential spy in American history.<span > </span>Over the course of seven years, from 1967 to 1975, he turned over some of the country&rsquo;s most significant military secrets to the Soviet Union.<span > </span>When he retired, his friend, Jerry Whitworth, continued where he left off.<span > </span>Walker was arrested in 1985. His wife Barbara turned him in.</p><p class="MsoNormal">Walker&rsquo;s motive was money. He spent lots on prostitutes and lots more to try and keep his wife happy. When a woman looked at him crossways, a fellow sailor said...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderThu, 25 Sep 2014 09:04:00 -0400The 3 best books for political junkies coming out this fall<img src="" /></P><p>Forget summer. The best books for political junkies usually arrive with the turning of the leaves. Here are three of the juiciest and most interesting titles that soon will be available for your purchase.</p><p>Next week, the peripatetic <strong>Lawrence Wright</strong> will publish <em><strong>Thirteen Days in September: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David</strong></em>, a sure-to-be riveting, moment-by-moment history of a time when peace was both the means to an end and an end in itself, and when political leaders could be brave and forgo politics, grudges, religious attachments, and even the strong lure of national myth-making.</p><p><strong>Matt Bai...</strong></p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderFri, 05 Sep 2014 10:03:00 -0400U.S. troops are (probably) already in Iraq fighting ISIS<img src="" /></P><p>"There are no boots on the ground."</p><p>I don't care for the phrase. Never did. Wearing boots is what combat forces do in certain circumstances. Using it as synecdoche for "troops in harm's way" warps the scope of what the U.S. military does. It may also give the Pentagon an easy out, because certain forces wear <em>sneakers</em>, not boots.</p><p>A very brave Ford Sypher, writing for <em>The Daily Beast</em>, saw suspiciously Western-looking commandos race by him in their heavy trucks, and was given word by his Kurdish escorts that these were indeed foreigners:</p><p >Contacts in the Kurdish intelligence service and Peshmerga...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderWed, 03 Sep 2014 06:06:00 -0400Why internet voting is a very dangerous idea<img src="" /></P><p>Unless you're one of those ornery folks who believe that only politically engaged Americans should vote, there aren't many good reasons to oppose efforts to expand access to the ballot. Voter fraud is quite rare, and voting fraud &mdash; an organized effort to illegally disrupt elections &mdash; is hard to organize. So you might think that any restriction on the way someone can vote will unfairly marginalize potentially legitimate voters.</p><p>That's true, with one big exception: internet voting.</p><p>No doubt &mdash; nationwide internet voting has an intuitive appeal. It would decrease the costs of elections...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderThu, 28 Aug 2014 08:21:00 -0400Finding beauty in the blur of the past<img src="" /></P><p>To create her vibrant abstractions of the natural world, Alison Jardine had dabbled in most of art's mediums. But in 2010, Jardine's work took a rather personal turn into photography after her brother sent her scans of old family photographs.</p><p ><br /><strong>LEFT:</strong> <em>Time and Place</em>, <strong>RIGHT:</strong> <em>Relative Time</em> | (<em>Alison Jardine</em>)</p><p><br /><br /></p><p>There was her mother, who died in 1974, perched bravely on rocky outcropping. There was her great-grandmother, Bertha, standing sternly in a doorway. There were the legs of her grandparents as they paddled across an English stream in the summertime.</p><p>"My father took several of the photographs...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sarah-eberspacher" ><span class="byline">Sarah Eberspacher</span></a>Mon, 21 Jul 2014 06:10:00 -0400An unusually deadly month for U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan<img src="" /></P><p>Lost in the commotion over ISIS's invasion of Sunni territories in Iraq: the other theater of war, Afghanistan, has seen an upsurge of violence against NATO troops. It is the summer now, but the annual Taliban "spring offensive" continues, with fierce fighting in the Helmand province.</p><p>Yesterday, a NATO soldier died in an as-yet-unspecified combat incident.</p><p>On June 20, three Marines from Camp LeJeune &mdash;</span> one just 19 years old <span>&mdash; died in combat in Helmand province.</p><p>A week before, five special operations forces soldiers operating in Zabul province died during a friendly fire incident;...</p></span> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderThu, 26 Jun 2014 08:34:00 -0400The ephemeral beauty of a lapse in time<img src="" /></P><p>Tatiana Gulenkina spent her final semester at the Maryland Institute College of Art stressing over a culminating photo exhibit. The work was meant to showcase what she had learned, what she aimed to photograph moving forward, and &mdash; of course &mdash; whether she could make it in the competitive world of film and photography. No pressure or anything.</p><p>Gulenkina would escape from her worries to the darkroom where she began experimenting with image creation techniques that were a little more abstract.</p><p ><br />(<em>Tatiana Gulenkina</em>)</p><p ><br /><br /> <br />(<em>Tatiana Gulenkina</em>)</p><p><br /> Ironically, it was this playful, after-hours project...</p> <a href="">More</a>By <a href="/author/sarah-eberspacher" ><span class="byline">Sarah Eberspacher</span></a>Thu, 19 Jun 2014 09:02:00 -0400Should you go diesel?<img src="" /></P><p>The BMW 328d is a pretty damn nice car, the most popular diesel sedan exported by the German auto maker, in fact. It handles beautifully, accelerates quickly &mdash; it booms &mdash; and, most attractively, it has a better fuel economy than many hybrids: 45 mpg on highways. That's the selling point. BMW is marketing the vehicle as a lower-cost hybrid alternative &mdash; a money-saving vehicle, rather than a vehicle that will help save the environment. You'll save thousands on gas. The hybrid versus diesel wars have begun.</p><p>In Europe, there are several different diesel variants of the BMW 3 series...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderMon, 19 May 2014 16:05:00 -0400Foam rolling: it hurts!<img src="" /></P><p>A tubular error of some sort ate about 1,200 words worth of Compass yesterday, rendering a post I'd written about foam rolling fairly useless. Just like foam rollers!</p><p>Rather than reconstructing the whole thing, I thought I'd give readers the summary of my argument, along with links to studies and commentary by those who know the subject better.</p><p>I use foam-rollers. Everyone at my gym does, because the trainers swear by it, and because there is something seemingly magical about a how a basic foam log can "release fascia" and "elongate muscles" and "prime the body" for working out. Except that,...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderSun, 04 May 2014 14:58:00 -0400Inside the Holy Grail of 9/11 documents<img src="" /></P><p>A few months ago, after nearly a decade of contentious litigation and with many conspiracy theories spawned, the Pentagon released the Holy Grail of Sept. 11th, 2001, documents: transcripts from the emergency conference calls initiated by the National Military Command Center.</p><p>For years, the government insisted that the entire conference was classified because the disclosure of any parts could be combined with existing public information to give adversaries a window into how the military responds during an acute crisis, as well as how the government's continuity of government programs work. The...</p> <a href="">More</a>Marc AmbinderWed, 09 Apr 2014 17:20:00 -0400