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Behind the Longreads: Dan Zak on the Nun and the Nukes

We asked Washington Post reporter Dan Zak how he stumbled upon “The Prophets of Oak Ridge.” Here’s his account.
PUBLISHED: May 1, 2013

Resurfaced: Peter Perl's 'The Spy Who's Been Left in the Cold' (1998)

We're excited to introduce this new recurring series, in which we work with publishers to dig up notable stories from their archives that were previously unpublished on the web. We're especially excited to kick this off with The Washington Post

Today's piece is "The Spy Who's Been Left in the Cold," a 1998 Washington Post Magazine story by Peter Perl, who just announced he's retiring from the paper after 32 years.

PUBLISHED: Feb. 19, 2013


In 2007, Eric Fair wrote an article in the Washington Post describing his experience as an interrogator in Iraq. He has had trouble finding a way to move on.

"I tell my professor I am sick. I put away verb charts, participles, and lexicons, board a train for Washington, D.C., and meet with Department of Justice lawyers and Army investigators in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol. I disclose everything. I provide pictures, letters, names, firsthand accounts, locations, and techniques. I talk about the hard site at Abu Ghraib, and I talk about the interrogation facility in Fallujah. I talk about what I did, what I saw, what I knew, and what I heard. I ride the train back to Princeton. I start drinking more. Sarah takes notice. I tell her to go to Hell.

"I sit for my final Greek exam in August. It is a passage from Paul’s letter to the people of Thessalonica.
You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition.
"I am not one of the believers in Thessalonica. I am one of the abusers at Philippi."
AUTHOR:Eric Fair
PUBLISHED: April 1, 2012
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2653 words)

Lap Dogs of the Press

A 2006 essay by White House reporter Helen Thomas, who died Saturday at 92, on how the press failed to do its job in the run-up to the Iraq war. She recalls one exchange with former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan:

"'Did we invade those countries?'

"At that point McClellan called on another reporter.

"Those were the days when I longed for ABC-TV's great Sam Donaldson to back up my questions as he always did, and I did the same for him and other daring reporters. Then I realized that the old pros, reporters whom I had known in the past, many of them around during World War II and later the Vietnam War, reporters who had some historical perspective on government deception and folly, were not around anymore."
SOURCE:The Nation
PUBLISHED: March 27, 2006
LENGTH: 6 minutes (1515 words)