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The Cobweb

The Cobweb - Neal Stephenson, George F. Jewsbury, Stephen  Bury I believe this was the only novel by Neal Stephenson that I hadn't read, so, in the interest of completism, of course I had to read it.
Sadly, I have to admit, it wasn't that good.
Being dated was part of it - it's a political thriller, and well, we know know more about Saddam and his alleged WMDs than Stephenson did when he wrote it.
Stephenson's main point here is: Foreign grad students in the sciences could actually be plants working for enemy governments, using our labs and resources to create bioweapons right here on US ground.
Discovering this plot is a small-town Iowa Good Cop, who (in an interesting twist) becomes friends with a Turkish militant, and seeks to foil the Iraqis.
From the other side of things, a low-level CIA analyst who's a Good Mormon Girl also uncovers evidence of shady goings on - and for her efforts, nearly loses her job and any hope of a career.
Unfortunately, all the governmental higher-ups are too busy worrying about politics to get things done...
The characterizations in the story are really fun (love the drunken Russian pilots) - but there were too many cliches and too much random paranoia. The other novel published under this pseudonym (Interface) was better.