Reporters on the Job

TOUR OF A SPY SANCTUM: The Monitor's Scott Baldauf says that he's passed by the headquarters of Pakistan's spy agency in Islamabad many times, but never thought he'd go inside (this page).

Scott's Pakistani driver, Ejaz, told him that he wouldn't walk on the sidewalk past the building. He said a friend was arrested when his car stalled in front of the ISI [Inter-Services Intelligence] headquarters. He told Scott: "I wouldn't even look at the building if I were you."

But the inside, with its trimmed lawns and immaculate buildings with pink marble floors, was a surprise. "It looked like something out of a James Bond movie," says Scott. In the entryway there were placards with quotations from famous military leaders, such as Sun Tzu and the KGB leader who led the coup against Mikhail Gorbachev.

"My favorite, however, was a quote attributed to Gen. George S. Patton. 'By way of deception, thou shall do war.' The ISI might not know this, but this quote is also the official motto of Israel's secret intelligence agency, Mossad."

BAGHDAD RUMORS: When the morning alarm goes off, correspondents in Baghdad have little idea where the news will take them throughout the day, says the Monitor's Scott Peterson. Yesterday, he awoke and almost immediately received a call from a colleague that journalists were gathering for a trip out of Baghdad - a rarity these days. Rumors were flying, but the possibilities were polar opposites.

"First we heard that the Iraqis had shot down a US 'spy plane,' a drone," says Scott. "Then we heard that we might indeed be seeing a homemade Iraqi drone."

Which was it? A motorized column of journalists tore through the city at breakneck speed, and past its outskirts to the north - to find Iraq's drone factory (this page).

David Clark Scott
World editor

Cultural snapshot

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