No Thanks for the Memories

A Senator's diary prompts questions of crime, propriety and privacy

The writings were to have served as Bob Packwood's monument, to be published years after his death. For more than two decades, every morning for 30 minutes, he scribbled his recollections of the day before, thoughts both philosophical and quotidian, ranging from political ruminations to juicy gossip. As he described it, the writings contained "the hopes and the dreams and the despairs of all of us."

The diaries, in fact, may turn out to be Packwood's greatest despair. After allegations erupted last November that the Oregon Republican had made uninvited sexual advances to 10 female staff members, Packwood first denied any...

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