Tweedy Guy Steals Albright's Papers

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WASHINGTON: Call it the purloined paper chase. There are red faces at the State Department Monday after TIME exclusively revealed one of the most embarrassing security breaches of recent times: The tale of the man in the brown tweed jacket. This mysterious stranger apparently walked right into Madeleine Albright’s inner sanctum last month, and proceeded to empty a pouch marked Sensitive Compartmented Information into his briefcase before casually strolling out -- in full view of two secretaries.

The FBI has leapt into action and launched a full-scale investigation. Trouble is, they don’t even know what was taken. “The exact nature of what the papers were and whether anything is missing is the subject of the investigation,” said a State Department official who -- understandably -- preferred to remain anonymous. Next question: Could the brown tweed man be tied to a Washington Times report that the feds are also investigating the passing of information to an Iraqi agent? The spy, according to the Times, procured information about U.S. air strikes, then imminent. However, given the trumpeting of attack plans at the time, it’s hard to see what Iraq could have picked up from the desks of the State Department that it couldn’t have read in the newspapers.