The package, slathered in postage, with a phony address and irregular shape, looked like a letter bomb when it arrived at the offices of TOM DOWNEY, the adviser slated to play GEORGE W. BUSH in AL GORE's debate prep. The videotape and documents inside were, in their way, just as explosive. Downey popped in the videotape, and an image of George W. in a mock debate filmed a month ago flickered onto the screen. "Oops. We shouldn't be watching this," Downey said. He shipped the lot off to the FBI and gave up his debate role. Then it was the Bush campaign's turn to say "oops." The tape had been in the possession of only a handful of top campaign aides, and an immediate check of the logs kept by a media adviser showed no tape was missing. The Bush team was dumbfounded. The FBI began fingerprinting the material. It has also interviewed Bush campaign chairman Don Evans and campaign manager Joe Allbaugh and will speak to others who had access to the tapes. The idea that Gore might have a sense of what they're planning was troubling enough for the Bush camp. Even worse was the thought that there might be a mole in their midst.
--By John F. Dickerson. With reporting by Karen Tumulty and Michael Weisskopf