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

“De-scoping” Afghanistan

On Sunday McClatchy dropped its months-long investigation of U.S. construction projects in Afghanistan. The picture is not pretty and an unsettling metaphor for the nine-year war effort emerges:

A McClatchy investigation has found that since January 2008, nearly $200 million in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction projects in

Will New Start Be Kyl-led?

Last Thursday, Veterans Day, Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona to try and convince him to support the New Start treaty, which the administration is trying to get ratified in the Senate by the end of the year, administration officials familiar with the discussion tell Time. The treaty, a cornerstone of …

Obama, Bush and America’s Limits

The release of George W. Bush’s memoirs and his successor’s ten-day trip to Asia complemented each other in a sobering way this last week. Bush’s book, “Decision Points,” brought back the folly of his early unilateralism. At the same time, President Barack Obama’s troubled Asia trip showed the limits of America’s influence …

Spy Story

If true, the defection of Col. Shcherbakov would be a very unusual human intelligence coup for the U.S. against Russia. Traditionally the Russians better Americans on humint, while the U.S. has the upper hand on signals and other technical intelligence. That match-up didn’t always work in Washington’s favor, as when Robert Hanssen

Pelosi and the Debt, Part 2

Speaker Pelosi offered the following on-the-record response to the post below, by way of denying that she is backing off her opposition to the proposal presented yesterday by the chairmen of the President’s Fiscal Commission:

“Any viable proposal from the President’s Fiscal Commission must achieve the goals of reducing the …

Pelosi Backpedaling on Debt?

Is Nancy Pelosi backing off her opposition to the proposal by the chairmen of the President’s debt commission? Pelosi aides are trying to send that message. “In the end I think we’re going to be OK with it,” one top Pelosi aide told me this afternoon.

Politically speaking, the most striking thing about the draft proposal floated …

Barn Door Officially Closed

DHS announced new restrictions on air freight Monday. Cargo from Yemen and Somalia will be blocked, and large printer cartridges will be banned from domestic passenger flights and from international passenger flights coming into the U.S.

I wrote a news story for the current print and IPad editions of the magazine on the Yemen-based …

The W. Show

The hardest part of covering the White House is portraying the banality of the human being presiding at the heart of the sprawling executive branch of American government. In the case of George W. Bush, the caricature of incompetence accepted by much of the country by the end of his second term obscured as much about the daily work of …

No Shelter Offshore for Obama

It is a sign of how desperately Democrats are searching for a silver lining to the Nov. 2 midterm elections that some have suggested President Barack Obama, facing two years of implacable opposition on domestic policy, may be able to score some foreign policy victories to boost his accomplishments as he heads into the 2012 reelection …

Monday Double-Take

Days after we learned that the bailout of America’s government-backed mortgage orgy is likely to surpass $150 billion, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is peddling a strikingly counterintuitive idea: fund $20-$30 billion in improvements in public housing by taking out government-guaranteed mortgages on its housing …

When a Bank Fails

I have a longer piece in this week’s print and IPad editions on how the failure of a community bank in Cornelia, Georgia, has undermined the town’s confidence in government, the economy and itself.

While the big banks have largely stabilized, small bank failures are still growing, and the piece addresses a few issues that come with …

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