Official Sources, Western Diplomats and Other Voices from the Mission
By Frank Smyth, January 3, 1993, Columbia Journalism Review

On the post-cold war era, ethnic rivalry may have replaced ideology as the most likely cause of conflict, but while all else changes one journalistic habit picked up during the past four decades will, in all likelihood, persist — the habit of relying heavily on the mission, as the U.S. embassy is known, for assessments and information. In an increasingly unfamiliar world, in fact, the temptation to do so will be even stronger…

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Out on a Limb: The Use and Abuse of Stringers in the Combat Zone
By Frank Smyth, January 3, 1992, Columbia Journalism Review

Somewhere just outside of Baghdad, I was blindfolded and led down a corridor into a room where, to judge by the sound of the voices, there were at least half a dozen men. The possibility of being beaten or tortured was on my mind. I was ordered to sit, and waited in the darkness. The interrogator asked me what was my “real job.”

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Jordan Defends Stance in Gulf War
By Frank Smyth, March 6, 1991, The Christian Science Monitor

When United States Secretary of State James Baker III visits the Middle East this week, one leader noticeably absent from his talks will be Jordan’s King Hussein. Although the US and Jordan have in the past cooperated closely on regional issues, the two countries experienced a falling out over the question of Jordan’s neutrality during the Gulf war.

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Release the Jesuit Tapes
By Thomas Long & Frank Smyth, November 13, 1990, The Village Voice

American officials in both San Salvador and Washington claim that they have cooperated “intensely” with the investigation into the murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter last November. Yet even though State Department officials finally yielded to pressure from Congress to turn over…

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The Truth Will Out
By Frank Smyth, July 31, 1990, The Village Voice

SAN SALVADOR- The official purpose given for Assistant Secretary of State Bernard Aronson’s visit here two weeks ago was to express support for negotiations between El Salvador’s U.S.-backed government and the leftist guerrillas. But the real reason the ranking state department policymaker for Latin America…

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Caught With Their Pants Down: Why U.S. Policy – and Intelligence – Failed in Salvador
By Frank Smyth, December 5, 1989, The Village Voice

Original story can be found here. “I DON’T THINK THEY HAVE the capability,” said a U.S. Embassy official as he sipped coffee one Saturday morning in the tropical setting of his patio. I asked him if he thought rumors of an upcoming rebel offensive were true. “We’ve heard some things,” he said. “But ESAF’s [El

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Waiting for Tet: Salvadoran Rebels Have a Plan for Sunday’s Elections
By Frank Smyth, March 21, 1989, The Village Voice

SAN SALVADOR – THE BRIGHT LIGHTS of San Salvador cut the cool night air. Large spotlights beamed from military bases along the perimeter. Closer to the center, more lights glowed atop the heavily fortified walls of the U.S. embassy. Dressed in black and armed with an M-16, one of my guerilla guides stopped along the

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