The Killing Machines

How to think about drones

The Body in Room 348

The corpse at the Eleganté Hotel stymied the Beaumont, Texas, police. They could find no motive for the killing of popular oil-and-gas man Greg Fleniken—and no explanation for how he had received his strange internal injuries. Bent on tracking down his killer, Fleniken’s widow, Susie, turned to private investigator Ken Brennan

The Professor of War

At 57, General David Petraeus has revolutionized the way America fights its wars, starting with the surge in Iraq and continuing into his current command, with responsibility for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Yemen. Charting Petraeus’s relentless challenge to the institution he reveres—the U.S. Army—and to himself, the author hears about the unceasing drive, groundbreaking methods, and darkest moments of a four-star rebel.

The Man Who Broke Atlantic City

Don Johnson won nearly $6 million playing blackjack in one night, single-handedly decimating the monthly revenue of Atlantic City’s Tropicana casino. Not long before that, he’d taken the Borgata for $5 million and Caesars for $4 million. Here’s how he did it.

Echoes from a Distant Battlefield

When First Lieutenant Jonathan Brostrom was killed by Taliban fighters in 2008, while attempting a heroic rescue in a perilously isolated outpost, his war was over. His father’s war, to hold the U.S. Army accountable for Brostrom’s death, had just begun. And Lieutenant Colonel William Ostlund’s war—to defend his own record as commander—was yet to come. With three perspectives on the most scrutinized engagement of the Afghanistan conflict, one that shook the military to its foundations, Mark Bowden learns the true tragedy of the Battle of Wanat.

The Dark Art of Interrogation

Sheikh Mohammed is a smart man. There is an anxious, searching quality to his expression in that first post-arrest photo. It is the look of a man awakened into nightmare. Everything that has given his life meaning, his role as husband and father, his leadership, his stature, plans, and ambitions, is finished. His future is months, maybe years, of imprisonment and interrogation; a military tribunal; and almost certain execution. You can practically see the wheels turning in his head, processing his terminal predicament. How will he spend his last months and years? Will he maintain a dignified, defiant silence? Or will he succumb to his enemy and betray his friends, his cause, and his faith?

The Case of the Vanishing Blonde

After a woman living in a hotel in Florida was raped, viciously beaten, and left for dead near the Everglades in 2005, the police investigation quickly went cold. But when the victim sued the Airport Regency, the hotel’s private detective, Ken Brennan, became obsessed with the case: how had the 21-year-old blonde disappeared from her room, unseen by security cameras? The author follows Brennan’s trail as the P.I. worked a chilling hunch that would lead him to other states, other crimes, and a man nobody else suspected.

The Angriest Man In Television

How David Simon’s disappointment with the industry that let him down made The Wire the greatest show on television—and why his searing vision shouldn’t be confused with reality.

The Enemy Within

When the Conficker computer “worm” was unleashed on the world in November 2008, cyber-security experts didn’t know what to make of it. It infiltrated millions of computers around the globe. It uses an encryption code so sophisticated that only a very few people could have deployed it. For the first time ever, the cyber-security elites of the world have joined forces in a high-tech game of cops and robbers.

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