Albright's Secret: Brooch Diplomacy
As a rare woman in the male-dominated diplomatic world, former United Nations Ambassador and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright came to the posts during the Clinton years with a different approach--and wardrobe. And, she tells us, that gave her a new weapon in America's diplomatic battles: her trademark jeweled brooches. The Dame of Foggy Bottom reveals that her secret jewelry box diplomacy was sparked by a little comment made by the deposed Iraqi tyrant while Albright was ambassador to the United Nations. "Saddam Hussein called me a snake," she says. The next time she was on television, she wore a snake pin to show off her new status.
"So then," she says, "I thought it would be fun to send messages with my pins." Word spread fast in the diplomatic community. "When people would say, 'How do you feel?' I'd say, 'Read my pin.' " Butterflies meant happy, bees angry. Some were sarcastic, as with the huge bug she wore to meet a Russian diplomat after a Kremlin recording device was found at the U.N. At another meeting with Russians to talk about the antiballistic missile treaty, she wore an arrow, prompting then Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov to ask, "Is that one of your interceptors?" Albright's clever answer: "Yes, and we know how to make them very small." There's much more to the story. Albright tells us she's planning a book on her brooches.
Putting Hoover Back in a Closet
There's a new effort to scrub J. Edgar Hoover 's name from the FBI building. But the ACLU isn't leading this campaign: It's the idea of Republican U.S. Appeals Court Judge Laurence H. Silberman. He made the pitch last week at a meeting of the secretive Pumpkin Papers Irregulars, a conservative group loosely named for a prop in the Alger Hiss spy case. Group execs say Silberman revealed that he read Hoover's secret papers while a Justice bigwig in the Nixon administration and was appalled by the ethical and legal violations he found. Hoover's name, he said, doesn't deserve to grace the FBI building. Silberman "wants people to band together to remove his name, "says a tipster. Adds an Irregular leader, "The fact that Silberman recommended it to a roomful of Republicans is interesting."
This Time We Know Who the Leaker Is
The biggest oops! of the week goes to career CIA officer Mary Margaret Graham, now the deputy director for national intelligence collection. You see, Uncle Sam is very good at keeping secret how much the CIA and 14 other agencies spend on intelligence, even going to court to prevent the figure from spilling out. But at a conference in San Antonio, Graham let slip that the budget is a whopping $44 billion.
What Next, Feng Shui in War Plans?
This touchy-feely stuff at the Pentagon is getting a bit much. First the new Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, Gen. Peter Pace, urged the brass to duck out each day for some thinking time. Now Deepak Chopra, the spiritual writer who promotes Hindu alternative medicine, is speaking at the Pentagon on "relieving stress in the workplace." Why? "With a global war on terror it is good to give people the skills they need to deal with stress," says Maj. Alan Pomaville, a Pentagon chaplain.