Massimo Calabresi

Massimo Calabresi joined the Washington bureau of TIME in 1999 and has covered the CIA, State, Justice, Treasury, Congress and the White House. He covered the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo as TIME's Central Europe bureau chief from 1995 to 1999 and the collapse of the Soviet Union as a freelancer in Moscow in 1991.

Articles from Contributor

The (Smart) Politics of Punting on Entitlements

Everyone seems to be outraged that President Obama has broken his promise to tackle entitlement reform and turned in a 2012 budget that ignores two main factors in ruinous fiscal outlays, Social Security and Medicare. Obama’s budget proposes cuts in discretionary spending, but in his State of the Union address in January he declared, …

Grossman, AfPak and Scooter Libby

Hillary Clinton will announce later this week that veteran diplomat Marc Grossman will replace Richard Holbrooke, who died in December, as Special Envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Grossman is an accomplished career diplomat who will do his job in a discreet and reliable way. He’s not a bone-crusher like Holbrooke, but that approach …

Dept. of Big Thinkers

Some people are having a debate about whether social media are playing an important role in political unrest in the Middle East. Two of the people involved in the debate share the goal of being important public thinkers, so the issue is getting more attention than it should. But if you’re still reading, here’s the score.

First, …

Mubarak Out

VP Omar Suleiman just announced curtly on Egyptian TV that Mubarak has stepped down and transferred power to the supreme council of the armed forces.

The contrast with Mubarak’s statement of last night is telling: Mubarak went on and on, made as if he was only transferring some power, and again defended his record–the crowds on the …

What Now? U.S. to Provide New Aid to Egypt’s Opposition

As Hosni Mubarak clings to power in Egypt, President Barack Obama and his foreign policy aides face two problems. First, with diminishing influence over Mubarak, they have to try to ensure the dictator fully relinquishes control. Obama took a stab at this problem Thursday evening after Mubarak’s oblique and seemingly insufficient

Kyl Retiring

Politico reports that Jon Kyl won’t seek re-election in 2012.

If true, this is a big loss for the GOP in the Senate, as Kyl is one of their toughest cross-aisle knife fighters. It’s also a loss for conservatives, as Kyl has overtly and covertly advanced their cause as effectively as any Senator over the last 15 years.

Re-election …

AP Shames CIA

AP has a powerful new report out this morning on the CIA’s failure to hold employees accountable for misdeeds. For example:

When a suspected terrorist froze to death in a CIA prison in Afghanistan in 2002, the CIA inspector general faulted Matt, the spy running the prison, and expressed concerns about Paul, the top officer in the

Hillary Clinton Makes It Clear

Through luck or skill or a combination of the two, the Obama administration has seen things go its way over the last week in Egypt. With limited influence, a huge amount at stake and a variety of potential outcomes that ranged from bad to disastrous, the White House and State department have watched as events unfolded along the path onto …

Watch Tunisia

The ouster of Ben Ali went comparatively smoothly back in mid-January, but things have taken a turn for the worse. Violence broke out over the weekend, the coalition government’s interior ministry froze the activities of Ben Ali’s political party, and the White House is keeping a wary eye on developments. Which raises again the question …

U.S. Urges Talks As Mubarak Eyes The Exit

President Hosni Mubarak apparently told ABC’s Chrisiane Amanpour today that he’s fed up with leadership and would step down if he could, but that he fears for his country’s safety. Mubarak and his son Gamal, who had been rumored to have left the country, met with Amanpour at the Presidential palace in the Heliopolis neighborhood of …

Enter the Thugs


Human Rights Watch, which has had observers on the ground in Tahrir Square today, supports the emerging view: that the anti-government protesters there had remained peaceful until the arrival of pro-Mubarak forces and that violence was initiated and continues to be instigated by the pro-Mubarak forces. HRW’s observers “saw men …

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