Some time ago, a restaurateur made a bet with Leon Panetta, then head of the CIA, that if the U.S. found Osama bin Laden, he would open a bottle of wine from 1870. Panetta said this week that he has collected on the bet. After the raid, Panetta sent word to Ted Balestreri to watch TV and prepare to deliver the $10,000 bottle of wine.
Maker's Mark, the Kentucky bourbon, comes in a bottle sealed using red wax. The company considers that a trademark, even though no two bottles are exactly the same. So Maker's Mark was not happy when the makers of Jose Cuervo tequila tried to sell bottles the same way.
Inside palace walls built by Saddam Hussein, U.S. generals plotted the war's course, tracked the mounting death toll and swore in new American citizens under gaudy glass chandeliers.
Just outside the palace, American troops whacked golf balls into man-made lakes or fished for carp while others sat down with a cigar and a can of nonalcoholic beer hoping for a respite from incoming rockets or mortar shells.
Along another lake some distance away, a jailed Saddam tended to tomatoes and cucumbers in a small, walled-off enclosure with guards patrolling overhead.