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MONDAY, JANUARY 10, 2011 WASHINGTONTIMES.COM $4.95 NATIONAL WEEKLY The end of ‘business as usual’ — Page
The end of
as usual’
— Page 6
But Tea Party warns:
‘We are watching’
— Page 12
Constitution read,
debated on
House floor
— Page 10

Time Sensitive Publication: Mailed January 7, 2011

America going way of Greece, Persia, Rome / 31 Homosexuals in, values groups out at CPAC / 3 Deciding which ‘True Grit’ was truer / 35

Politics / 3 National Scene/ 16 Geopolitics / 23 Culture / 29 Commentary / 31 Editorials / 38

Letters to the editor Warning: If cornered, they can be very whiny Happy Vanguard of decay
Letters to the editor
Warning: If cornered,
they can be very whiny
Vanguard of decay
How To Spot A Liberal:
own unique vocabulary.
Volume 18, No. 3
A liberal uses hyper-
bole and superlatives to
enhance his projects and
A liberal is quick to im-
press with a recital of his
degrees and accomplish-
ments, real or imaginary.
He feigns personal in-
sult at the slightest provo-
He has an affinity for
the F word.
A liberal frequently re-
verts to name-calling.
A liberal can keep a
straight face when mak-
ing outlandish claims.
A liberal uses projec-
tion, judging others to be
as underhanded as he is.
He embellishes his
points with “Everyone
knows” or “Experts
agree” or Surely, you
can’t deny”, etc.
A liberal tries to control
the argument using politi-
cal correctness and his
When credit is war-
ranted, a liberal uses the
first person singular.
When blame is called
for, the liberal slips into
the passive voice.
A liberal constantly
interrupts or talks over
He has a tendency to
scratch his nose with his
middle finger when
A liberal never com-
mits a crime, only his
opponents do.
A liberal thinks others
are laughing with him
when they are laughing at
A liberal’s gaffes are
just misspeaks, others’
gaffes are horrifying.
So now you have been
warned. Be on the look
Managing Editor
Business Director
Editorial Page Editor
National Advertising
Gene Baumgaertner
Florham Park, New Jersey
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10 a.m. – 8 p.m. EDT
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Underreported suffering
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public first to adult pre-
marital sex, then to illegal
drug use (e.g., “Easy
Rider”), then to teenage
pre-marital sex, then to
homosexuality. And so
many egotistic Hollywood
players have bragged
they’re on the “cutting
edge” (leading rather
than following public
As Hollywood has cor-
rupted society’s morals,
our divorce rate has
soared as has the num-
ber of children from bro-
ken homes. As you might
expect, the suicide rate
of young people has also
risen as has the number
of sexually confused
Now we’ve got Illinois
Democrats okaying ho-
mosexual civil unions and
congressional Democrats
pushing for repeal of the
military’s “don’t ask, don’t
tell” policy. Both despite
the fact that thinking peo-
ple have known for cen-
turies that homosexual
activity is immoral and a
bad legal precedent.
The “Tea Party” revo-
lution must continue. So
many morally compro-
mised Democrats (and
some Republicans) de-
serve to be “unelected.”
Wayne Lela
Internet Web Site:
Woodridge, Illinois
Thank you, thank you for
the acknowledgement of
persecuted Christians in
the Mallard Fillmore
strip on page 39 of the
December 27, 2010 issue.
So many Americans
are unaware that there
are more than 30 coun-
tries in the world where it
is illegal to be a Christian
or own a Bible. Many
dear Christians in those
countries languish in
prison for the “crime” of
loving Christ. Others are
killed, beaten, tortured,
and burned out of their
homes. Some are forced
to live in crowded and
poorly equipped refugee
camps, and have to won-
der whether they will sur-
vive until the next day.
More than 74 million
Christians have been
martyred since the time
of Christ, and over half of
those (40 million) have
been during the last cen-
tury alone. Persecution of
Christians has been
steadily increasing — not
just by militant Muslims,
but also by other hostile
non-Christian sects and
by atheistic governments.
The cited source in the
cartoon is www.persecu-, the web site for
the Voice of the Martyrs.
This is an outstanding or-
ganization that I have sup-
ported for several years. I
hope and pray that more
people will become famil-
iar with VOM and its
work on behalf of those
who suffer in silence.
Democrats apparently
view their losses in No-
vember’s elections as a
mandate to continue to
corrupt the country’s
morals. This helps illus-
trate just how much con-
trol wealthy Hollywood
liberals, no strangers to
immorality, have on the
Democrat Party.
Some relevant history
about Hollywood to pro-
vide perspective: For
decades Hollywood has
been attracting people
who “sleep around”
(prostitute themselves)
for parts in movies and
TV shows. We also know
drugs flow liberally in
Hollywood (probably to
numb the consciences of
actors who lower them-
selves to the level of pros-
Decades ago lucrative
careers were ruined
when actors, actresses,
and their agents were
caught in various indis-
cretions. Of course they
were not happy about
this, and they had huge fi-
nancial incentives to cor-
rupt the country’s morals
so their own particular
indiscretions weren’t as
damaging to their in-
Now, over the last few
decades, Hollywood has
used its movies and TV
shows to desensitize the
We welcome your opinions
on any topic. Letters should
be signed originals. Every let-
ter will be considered for pub-
lication, but we prefer those of
fewer than 250 words, typed
double-spaced.All letters
may be edited for clarity and
length. Please include your
name, address and daytime
telephone number.
Send your opinion to:
How many American jobs
can corrupt pols destroy?
Letters to the Editor
TWT National Weekly
3600 New York Ave., NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
How many politicians
does it take to screw in a
light bulb? Answer: No-
body knows because they
can only stumble in the
dark. They plan to ban in-
candescent bulbs because
seeing is overrated.
It’s ironic that it was
mostly politicians who
were responsible for
“dumbing down” the pop-
ulation for easier control.
Decades later, politicians
with double digit I.Q.’s
are considered brilliant.
Alas, they come from the
general population.
Politicians have de-
clared war on grannies
and five-year-old girls at
airports. These suspected
terrorists can choose to be
fondled or body scanned
and appear naked before
strangers. Internecine
war is politically correct.
Just ask the Fort Hood
troops. We have met the
enemy and he is us. We
will defeat the terrorists
but first we must defeat
America, the Lilliput-
ian giant, has been tied up
by the pygmies of political
correctness and can al-
ways be counted on to es-
chew moderation, reason
and sensible solutions.
We have feminized our
military and made it a
cauldron for insipid and
idiotic social experiments.
Remember, victory in war
is no longer the objective.
We have a higher objec-
tive and that is to make
everyone happy. Isn’t it
strange how angry the
happy people have be-
come? Could political cor-
rectness be overrated?
I remain optimistic be-
cause I can still discrimi-
nate against those with
common sense. Besides,
all they do is complain
about the absurd.
sources, the General
Electric facility in Win-
chester, Va. was slated to
close in September of this
year, taking with it 200
U.S. jobs. I’m glad to see
the voice of the consumer
heard; it’s a shame that it
comes too late.
E-mail: natweekly@
Carolyn Abell
Mike Wojciechowski
Tifton, Georgia
Fairfield, Pennsylvania
Bob Spradlin
Re: “How many lawmak-
ers does it take to change
a light bulb?,” I am sorry
to see that your Dec. 13
cover article on Rep.
Fred Upton’s reversal on
incandescent light bulbs
does not mention that his
change of heart comes
too late for the last U.S.
factory to produce them.
According to other news
Cathedral City, California
For account inquires, please call our
Customer Service Department
between 10am-8pm EST.




Homosexuals in, values groups out at CPAC







Social and economic conserva- tives have worked together under the mantle of the Republican Party since Ronald Reagan made them the core of his 1980 coali- tion, but the alliance may now be fraying. Some of the nation’s most prominent social conservatives are sending a message to their economic brethren by dropping out of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in re- sponse to the decision to include GOProud, a homosexual conser- vative group, as a participating organization. “The base-line reason is that homosexuality is not a conserva- tive value,” said Bryan Fischer, the American Family Associa- tion’s director of issue analysis. “It’s the conservative PAC, not the

libertarian PAC.” Sponsored by the American Conservative Union (ACU), the CPAC gathering traditionally has been a marquee event on the con-

Message to social conservatives: Conservative online media mogul Andrew Breitbart is supporting GOProud’s foray into CPAC. “Oh, by the way. Gonna have a party welcoming Gay conservatives to CPAC. Deal with it,” he said on his Twitter account.

The reply is goodbye: “The base-line reason is that homosexuality is not a conservative value,” said Bryan Fischer, the American Family Association’s director of issue analysis. “It’s the conservative PAC, not the libertarian PAC.”

servative political calendar. This year’s conference is scheduled to run Feb. 10 to 12 in Washington and will feature leading Republi- can presidential contenders Haley Barbour, Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and John Thune. Two CPAC board members contacted by The Washington Times said they were distressed by the departure of key social conservatives and considered it a high priority to have them partic- ipate in the 2012 conference. At the same time, they said, they knew of no plans to downgrade GOProud’s status or otherwise modify the program. “I don’t think it would be ap-

party welcoming Gay conserva- tives to CPAC. Deal with it,” he said on his Twitter account two weeks ago. Groups such as Citizen Link, the political-action arm of Focus on the Family, plan to attend this year’s CPAC, but say the confer- ence is on a short leash. “It’s obvious the influence of social conservatives has been missing and there needs to be more of it,” said Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Citizen Link. “If the ACU can’t manage this problem that they’ve brought upon themselves, we’ll have to

and right,” said Mr. Weidman. “And the bigger the tent, the big- ger the tensions. I don’t think it’s new, and I don’t think it’s surpris- ing.” With the weak economy dom- inating the political scene, eco- nomic conservatism enjoyed the upper hand in the 2010 elections. Economic conservatives point to the rise of the tea party as evi- dence that the GOP needs to spend more time on reducing the size of government and less time on moral issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Indiana GOP Gov. Mitch

that’s for sure. Any truce would be a one-sided truce, and that’s a surrender.” Social conservatives argue that the party can successfully promote both economic- and val- ues-oriented conservatism. They note that while the tea party lead- ership stresses small govern- ment, the overwhelming majority of the tea party rank and file are pro-life and opposed to same-sex marriage. “We are economic conserva- tives, and we believe those issues go hand in hand with social is- sues,” said Penny Nance, presi-

Andy Blom, executive director of the American Principles Pro- ject, called the move to margin- alize values voters self-defeating. “The rather arrogant treat- ment of social conservatives by libertarians is troubling,” said Mr. Blom. “Social conservatives are the foot soldiers of the move- ment. Marriage has never lost an election. Being pro-life does not lose elections. It wins elections. This is not only a serious princi- ple mistake, it’s a serious politi- cal mistake.” Colin Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, said the brouhaha could have been

propriate for me to comment, but I just wish none of this had hap- pened,” said CPAC board mem- ber Cleta Mitchell. “I hope we can have a good CPAC this year and resolve this so that we can bring everyone back into the fold next year.” Other social-issues groups opt- ing to avoid the conference in- clude the Heritage Foundation, the Family Research Council, the Center for Military Readiness, the American Family Associa-

“The rather arrogant treatment of social conservatives by libertarians is troubling,” said Andy Blom, executive director of the American Principles Project.“Social conservatives are the foot soldiers of the movement. Marriage has never lost an election. Being pro-life does not lose elections. It wins elections.This is not only a serious principle mistake, it’s a serious political mistake.”

avoided by downgrading GO- Proud from a participating or- ganization, which is essentially a co-sponsor and plays a role in planning the meetings, to a ven- dor that has no leadership role. The CPAC board reportedly took two votes on whether GO- Proud should be included as a participating organization. The first vote reportedly ended in a tie, and the second must have fa- vored GOProud because the group is now listed on the website

tion, the American Principles Project, the Liberty Counsel and the National Organization for Marriage. “Obviously, those are impor- tant groups and need to be part of CPAC in the future,” said board member Al Cardenas. “It’s re- gretful having great groups pull out. We’ve got to make sure we have the right steps in place so we can have everyone there next year.” Conservative online media mogul Andrew Breitbart is sup- porting GOProud’s foray into CPAC. “Oh, by the way. Gonna have a

make another decision.” The CPAC flap is emblematic of a larger rift between social and economic conservatives over the direction of the Republican Party in the wake of its 2010 elec- toral success. With many inde- pendents swinging Republican in November, the sheer increase in the number of GOP voters means that fissures within the party are bound to be height- ened, said Jim Weidman, Her- itage Foundation director of edi- torial services. “There’s always been these tensions, and it’s true of the left

Daniels articulated that position in June when he was quoted as saying that the next president “would have to call a truce on the so-called ‘social issues.’ ” What annoys social conserva- tives and “values voters” is the implication that such a truce would apply only to them, and that fiscal conservatives and tea party activists don’t face similar pressures to compromise. “When you do that, you’re yielding the field to the forces of homosexual extremism,” said Mr. Fischer. “Because [homosexual groups] aren’t declaring a truce,

dent of the Concerned Women for America. Her organization has con- firmed that it would pull out of CPAC. The Heritage Foundation will be absent from CPAC for the first time in more than a decade. “We’ve obviously got a lot of concerns,” said Mr. Weidman. “It’s unclear what direction CPAC is going, what philosophy they’re going to promote. It looks like it’s becoming more of a cacophony, and we want to focus on the three pillars of conservatism: social, economic and national defense.”

as a participating organization. Economic and social conser- vatives can agree that the tim- ing for such a family feud is un- helpful as the GOP celebrates major gains in Congress and the states after November’s midterm elections. “This is a time when the con- servative movement is on the as- cendant in American politics, and I think it’s very unfortunate this kind of internecine war should be breaking out,” said Mr. Hanna. “We would do well to focus on presenting a conser- vative agenda to the American public.”



The clatter of dirty dishes in the sink


B abes and bonhomie replaced


Muskie pres-


ticket of

Pruden on Politics Opinion by Wesley Pruden
Pruden on
Opinion by Wesley Pruden

sure, to cave

speaker is

the chefs say no, the noise from the


bombast for a few minutes last

at the first

kitchen is only the clatter of some-

week in Congress, striking

sound of the

one trying to deal with dirty dishes

dumb with delight the easily


the Democrats left in the sink.

impressed folks who think that all it

1968, blew

The new

“We’ve got this sort of gap period that we’re operating in now to take

takes to solve the nation’s problems is an infusion of civility, making nice and what used to be called good manners. Joe Biden was on his best behav- ior, doing what he does best, charming the children and grand- children of some of his old Senate colleagues. When one little boy told the veep that there ought to be a Lego store in Washington, good old Joe listened as if the lad were his economics guru, and applauded the boy’s suggestion as “thinking about jobs.” Over in the House, Nancy Pelosi made a production of hand- ing over the symbol of speaker power to John A. Boehner (“this is a bigger gavel than some around here”), but only after a long vale- dictory about what a terrific speaker she had been. Mr. Boehner was reduced to tears, which is not difficult, twice reaching into his pocket for a soggy handkerchief to wipe away a teardrop or two. Mr. Boehner is entitled to his emotions, and a manly speaker’s out-of-control waterworks only shows how dramatically the Ameri-

whatever chance he had to win the Democratic presi- dential nomination four years later when he cried on camera — or ap- peared to cry — or at least decried a newspaper’s criticism of his wife. He insisted for the rest of his life that he was wiping snowflakes, not teardrops, from his face, but a widely published photograph of the incident spiked his front-running campaign, and he was soon over- taken by George McGovern. The new speaker has become the object, if not the butt, only of mild jokes, leaving him free to irrigate his eyes at will. But his job over the next two years is to make Democrats cry, and despite the bonhomie of the opening day of the 112th Congress, the lines are drawn for a rowdy showdown with Barack Obama and his wounded Democrats. The speaker’s tea party allies of Novem- ber won’t be impressed by Republi- can tears and soft answers to turn away Democratic wrath. They came to town suspicious of Republican re-

saying all the right things, warning of the “hard work and tough decisions” ahead as the nation recovers in fits and spurts from the worst recession since the Great Depression ended with the outbreak of World War II. “No longer can we fall short,” he said as he took possession of the speaker’s gavel. “No longer can we kick the can down the road. The people voted to end business as usual, and today we begin carrying out their instructions.” But the unexpected intrudes. Rep. Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Re- publican, taking the lead on budget strategy, took a hearty kick at the can when he said the Republican promise to cut $100 billion in spending this year might not be possible after all. The promised cuts have been “compromised” by government spending already in the pipeline, and maybe cutting spending by $50 billion is a more realistic goal. Some of the tea party outriders think this sounds like

care of the next fiscal year,” Rep. Eric Cantor, the new House major- ity leader, tells National Journal. “So it’s just sort of a formulaic chal- lenge.” Mr. Ryan vows to get tough with the big spenders who want to raise the debt limit that never seems to limit the debt. “I’m not in- terested in raising the debt ceiling on the hope that a promise will be fulfilled at a later time. I’m only in- terested in raising the debt ceiling if we get concessions on spending, on real controls to get our fiscal sit- uation turned around and headed in the right direction.” This is where the Democrats and Republicans will collide first. The president, the author of the fix, now invokes raising the debt limit as “responsible” and necessary to pro- tect “the full faith and credit of our government.” Nothing about cutting the size of government, which is what that “shellacking” in Novem- ber was all about. Bonhomie and good manners will have to wait.

can culture is a-changing. Ed Muskie, the other half of the

solve, the tendency of the Grand Old Party to waver in the face of pres-

somebody is already in the Republi- can kitchen, cooking up waffles, but

Wesley Pruden is editor emeri- tus of The Washington Times.

Archives exhibit to present glimpse into private Reagan

B Y J OSEPH W EBER ASSOCIATED PRESS private meeting with Soviet For- and double-spaced “evil




private meeting with Soviet For-

and double-spaced “evil empire”

document in ways big and small


eign Minister Eduard Shevard-

speech, delivered by Mr. Rea-

With the 100th anniversary of his birth just a month away, ad- mirers of former President Ronald Reagan will have a unique opportunity to see rarely displayed artifacts of the Reagan legacy, from a marked-up draft of his 1983 “evil empire” speech to keepsakes from the Gipper’s Santa Barbara, Calif., ranch. The National Archives on Jan.

nadze in September 1985. “I’m still not sure we are communicat- ing with each other effectively.” The four-part exhibit draws from roughly 45 million pages of documents and other items from the extensive Ronald Rea- gan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, Calif. Mr. Reagan, a Democrat- turned-Republican who also served two terms as governor of

gan in March 1983 before the National Association of Evangel- icals in Orlando, Fla. Using a black fine-point marker, Mr. Reagan edits the

— from minor punctuation changes to crossing out entire paragraphs. “So in your discussions of the nuclear-freeze proposals, I urge you to beware of the temptation

5 offered a sneak peak at what

California, died in 1994 at 93. He

] to ignore the facts of history

will be a yearlong rotating ex- hibit of Reagan documents and

was born Feb. 6, 1911, in Tampico, Ill.

and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the

memorabilia. The exhibit, which opened to the public Jan. 7, is part of a major celebration of Reagan’s life and presidency in- spired by the centennial of his birth Feb. 6. Though much of the exhibit fo- cuses on Reagan’s efforts to end

The first part of the exhibit fo- cuses on Reagan’s foreign policy and closes in April. The three other parts highlight his reputa- tion as the “Great Communicator,” his presidential style and his rela- tionship to the American West. Ms. Fawcett and Reagan li-

arms race a giant misunder- standing,” Reagan wrote. Anthony Dolan, the speech- writer widely thought to have crafted that paragraph, said years later he merely created a draft copy from Reagan’s words and their impact came from the

the Cold War, curators also have attempted to show a more com- plete and vivid picture of the for- mer Republican president and

Inside the Gipper: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library archivist Michael Duggan displays original documents and artifacts to be shown at the National Archives.

brary archivist Michael Duggan said the final exhibit could in- clude Reagan’s cowboy boots, a Western belt buckle, diary

president’s powerful 32-minute speech. Mr. Duggan said he helped as- semble the exhibit in part with

conservative icon. The exhibit will also highlight Reagan’s “generous sense of humor and optimism,” said Sharon Fawcett, the Archives’ presidential libraries director. “He prided himself on fulfill- ing a full life,” she said, “and he also was a Western movie star

who could actually ride a horse.” Reagan became known for his amiable disposition, humor and grace under pressure, even joking with doctors and wife Nancy Reagan after a failed 1981 assassination attempt. But the exhibit also shows the

two-term president’s no-non- sense rhetoric in his efforts to end the Cold War. “First, I am determined to do all I can to get our relationship on a more constructive course,” Reagan wrote on a series of “talking points” cards before a

excerpts or perhaps riding gear. “The exhibit is kind of small, so I’m not real sure about a sad- dle,” Ms. Fawcett said. Fragments of the last Soviet SS-20 missile are included in the exhibit, but visitors will likely consider the centerpiece to be several pages of the neatly typed

the idea of trying to show visitors how Reagan moved from con- demning the “evil empire” to ne- gotiating with Soviet leaders to cut nuclear arsenals on the basis of “trust but verify.” But he also acknowledged thinking: “What are the coolest things we have?”

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Boehner takes reins in House New GOP speaker promises end to ‘business as usual’ ASSOCIATED PRESS
Boehner takes reins in House
New GOP speaker promises end to ‘business as usual’
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio.

The 112th Congress
gaveled open Jan. 5 with Re-
publicans taking control of
the House and immediately
rewriting the chamber’s
rules, making it easier to cut
spending and taxes, harder to
add new spending, and more
open to voters who want to
keep tabs on what lawmakers
are doing.
The rules changes, spear-
headed by newly elected
Speaker John A. Boehner,
mark a sharp departure
from recent years, and pave
the way for the Republicans
to pass bills that extend the
Bush-era tax cuts, slash gov-
ernment spending and re-
peal Democrats’ health care
law — at least in the House.
“Hard work and tough de-
cisions will be required of
the 112th Congress. No
longer can we fall short. No
longer can we kick the can
down the road. The people
voted to end business as
usual, and today we begin
carrying out their instruc-
tions,” said the Ohio Repub-
lican, who leads his party’s
biggest House majority in
decades by a margin of 242-
He also acknowledged the
“great deal of scar tissue” he
said has built up over parti-
san fights, presaging the
head-butting he and his
House colleagues will likely
do over the next two years
with the Senate, which also
convened Wednesday as
Vice President Joseph R.
Biden Jr. swore in 35 new
and returning members,
leaving Democrats in con-
trol, but with a much weaker
53-47 majority.
Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid, who survived
his own tough re-election
fight in Nevada to return to
lead Senate Democrats,
called on senators to see one
another as “teammates, not
as opponents.” Democrats
are trying to write rules
changes to curb “abuses” of
Senate traditions he said
have allowed Republicans to
block parts of the Democ-
rats’ agenda.
They hope to hold a vote
on those changes later this
President Obama wasted
no time in pressing for ac-
tion, resubmitting a number
of nominees Republicans
had blocked in the waning
days of the last Congress,
which ended in December
with a flurry of activity.
Mr. Obama also received
calls from congressional
leaders informing him Con-
gress had convened.
Both the House and Sen-
ate were packed for the cer-
emonial parts of the day, in-
cluding the election of Mr.
Members of the House take the oath of office at the opening of the 112th Congress on Capitol Hill on Jan. 5.
Boehner as speaker, which
saw each House member
stand individually and an-
nounce his vote by name.
But just hours later, the
House viewing galleries
were almost empty, and only
a few members were on the
floor as the debate began on
the substantive agenda of
the day, which included
major rules changes that
govern both spending and
House operations.
On Jan. 6, the House con-
ducted a reading of the Con-
stitution, which Republicans
said was meant to underscore
the limits the founding docu-
ment placed on Congress.
One of the new House
rules requires that every bill
lawmakers submit for con-
sideration be accompanied
by a statement in the Con-
gressional Record pointing
to a specific constitutional
power that would justify the
proposed law.
Another new rule re-
quires that bills be available
online for 72 hours before
lawmakers vote on them,
which Republicans said will
give voters the chance to
read legislation and weigh in
with their views.
But the biggest changes
may be on the budget side.
Republicans have taken
Democrats’ pay-as-you-go,
or “pay-go,” rules and
changed them into what the
GOP calls “cut-as-you-go.”
Under those changes, new
spending would have to be
“paid for” by other spending
cuts, but tax cuts would not
need to be offset.
The new rules also would
streamline the process for
repealing the new health
care law by exempting the
repeal bill from budget re-
Democrats said by carv-
ing tax cuts and health care
out of the rules, Republicans
aren’t serious about reduc-
ing the deficit.
“The American people
did not bargain for a plan in
the first 24 hours that would
blow a hole in the deficit and
expand the debt,” said Rep.
Chris Van Hollen of Mary-
land, the ranking Democrat
on the Budget Committee.
Democrats also blasted
Republicans for announcing
that amendments will not be
allowed to the first major bill
the House will debate, to re-
peal the health care law. Re-
publicans had promised a
more open process, but they
said health care repeal was
an exception, since the issue
has already been repeatedly
The new rules also limit
the voting rights of dele-
gates to Congress, including
the District of Columbia’s
representative, Delegate
Eleanor Holmes Norton, a
Under Democratic con-
trol during the past four
years, delegates from the
District and the territories
were allowed to vote when
the House resolved itself
into the committee of the
whole, which can vote to
alter bills. They still could
not vote during the regular
House sessions needed to
pass bills.
Republicans revoked
their ability to vote in the
committee of the whole.
“It is one thing not to have
the vote; it is another to be
stripped,” Mrs. Norton said.
One key test for leaders in
both chambers will be how
well they are able to keep
their troops in line.
Mr. Boehner survived
his first test, winning sup-
port for speaker from all
241 Republicans who voted
But former Speaker
Nancy Pelosi didn’t fare as
well. Nineteen Democrats
defected on the vote, with
18 voting for one of several
other Democrats and one
voting “present.” It’s the
worst showing for a party
caucus’ nominee since
1923, and highlights sim-
mering tensions after
House Democrats’ disas-
trous showing in the No-
vember elections.
A Democratic aide said
the vote was only “symbolic”
and said House Democrats
have taken steps to make
their caucus more open to
dissenting views. Still, the
aide said voting against Mrs.
Pelosi could be seen as a
blow against party unity that
would not sit well with some
groups central to the party,
including unions and minor-
ity rights activists.
Rep. Heath Shuler, a
North Carolina Democrat
who garnered 11 of the
protest votes, said he pre-
sented a middle-ground al-
ternative between Mr.
Boehner and Mrs. Pelosi.
“We need more moderate
voices in Congress — on both
sides of the political aisle —
that represent the majority
of Americans, not just the
fringes on the right and left.
That’s what this campaign
was about,” he said.

MEDAL FOR METTLE Inside the Inside the Maybe things haven’t spiraled out of control completely. The
Inside the
Inside the
Maybe things haven’t spiraled
out of control completely. The
Boy Scouts of America, Boys’
Life magazine, the Congressional
Medal of Honor Foundation and
the Society of America’s living
Medal of Honor recipients have
joined forces to recognize a Scout
with the foundation’s American
Spirit Award for “extraordinary
skill, professionalism and a spirit
of excellence in a challenging
situation” — an honor that previ-
ously went to airline pilot Ches-
ley B. Sullenberger of “Miracle
on the Hudson” fame, among
A quartet of Scouts has been
nominated for deeds that in-
clude some old-school virtue,
heroism — two have saved lives
— and hard work, like cleaning
up Chaplain’s Hill at Arlington
National Cemetery. You can
learn more about these young
men and vote for the winner at:
By Jennifer Harper
“Christie’s blunt talk about
public employees and his aggres-
sive actions on the New Jersey
state budget have made him very
popular both within the Repub-
lican Party and with independ-
ents. His style and appearance
would present quite the contrast
to that of the president,” said
pollster John Zogby.
“He adds not only an alterna-
tive governing philosophy, but
also real efforts at cutting
spending. If he decided to run,
Christie could quickly oust
Romney as the favorite of estab-
lishment Republicans,” Mr.
Zogby adds.
triots, fans of less taxes, smaller
government. You now exist. You
now have a name. So says the As-
sociated Press, which formally
has acknowledged an already fa-
miliar term and given its usage
blessings via a “style update.”
Finally. Along with “911 call,”
“Post-it” and eight other words
or phrases, journalists are now
cleared to use:
“Tea party: Populist move-
ment in the United States that op-
poses the Washington political
establishment and espouses con-
servative and libertarian philos-
ophy, including reduced govern-
ment spending, lower taxes and
reduction of the national debt
and the federal budget deficit.
Adherents are tea partyers. For-
mally named groups in the move-
ment are capitalized: Tea Party
Safety in numbers? Certainly not.
Multiple alarming headlines
warn: “National debt at $14 tril-
lion.” If cosmic astronomer Carl
Sagan had ever been asked to
note such a figure during his life-
time, he most likely would have
used this more precise version
describing that debt as of 11:59
p.m., Dec. 31, 2010, courtesy of
the U.S. Treasury Department:
And, as a popular bumper
sticker advises, “Don’t tell
Obama what comes after a tril-
lion.” The bad news: Our lan-
guage is prepared to assist Pres-
ident Obama to the nth degree,
should the need arise. This is
what comes after a trillion:
Could 2012 be his year? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
quadrillion, quintillion, sextil-
lion, septillion, octillion, nonil-
lion, decillion and undecillion,
which incidentally has 39 zeroes
after it. And after that? Obamazil-
lion, of course.
about his relationship with the
president’s presumed parents
have got to unnerve the president
and his close advisors. Aber-
crombie is remembering a past
that never happened.”
New Year’s Eve.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s
zeal to present final proof to
“birthers” that President
Obama was born in that state 49
years ago has become a dra-
matic tableau in its own right.
Mr. Abercrombie’s insistence
that he is an old friend of the
Obama family has inspired
skeptics to parse the claim,
checking public records and
press accounts for evidence that
Mr. Abercrombie was in the
equation when “that baby was
born,” as he once described.
Other observers are vexed
with the sparse press coverage
regarding Mr. Obama’s citizen-
ship. They point out that news or-
ganizations were more than
happy to endlessly examine for-
mer President George W. Bush’s
military service after then-CBS
anchor Dan Rather used forged
documents in 2004 to accuse Mr.
Bush of compromising his Viet-
nam-era National Guard duty,
aired in the pivotal weeks before
the presidential election.
“Will Obama silence blunder-
ing Abercrombie?” asks Ameri-
can Thinker correspondent Jack
Cashill. “Abercrombie’s boasts
“It’s time to renew the pressure
on Office of Personnel Manage-
ment to pay attention to the back-
log of retirement applications. I
for one have been waiting for
over seven months to have my re-
tirement adjudicated. Outra-
geous. We were told 2-3 months.
I retired in May of 2010. Take
them to task, and the sooner and
louder the better. The major
function of OPM is in failure
mode,” declares a Beltway
reader who tallied things up on
His New Jersey style has res-
onated. Gov. Chris Christie now
leads the pack of hypothetical
contenders for the 2012 Repub-
lican presidential nomination —
and he is the only Republican
who bests President Obama, ac-
cording to a new Zogby Interac-
tive poll of more than 2,000 likely
voters, a group that included 746
Mr. Christie garners 27 per-
cent of Republican support, fol-
lowed by Mitt Romney (17 per-
cent), Sarah Palin (16 percent)
and Mike Huckabee (14 per-
cent). In an Obama vs. Christie
match, the governor leads 43
percent to 40 percent among all
Big house, historic features, river
view, home office, in-law apart-
ment. Indeed, the White House
has multiple appeals for the dis-
cerning homeowner, but esca-
lating value isn’t one of them.
The big fat property at 1600
Pennsylvania Ave. has lost al-
most a quarter of its value since
President Obama took office, ac-
cording to daring estimates by, an online real estate
venture that is well attuned to
pop culture and politics.
The 132-room mansion on 18
acres was worth $331.5 million
when the real estate market was
flush with speculation four years
ago; the price is now $253 mil-
lion, Zillow says. The White
House is not the only one to suf-
fer; the nation’s real estate mar-
ket lost an estimated $1.7 trillion
in 2010.
“Like many of the country’s
houses, it’s not worth what it was
once. Over the last three years
the president’s home has lost
nearly a quarter of its value. In
the last month alone the value
dropped almost $4 million. Does
any of that sound familiar?” asks
Lew Sichelman, a Los Angles
Times real estate analyst.
Zillow also determined that
by popular vote, Sandra Bul-
lock was first on the list for
“most desirable celebrity
neighbor for 2011,” followed by
Sarah Palin, Ellen DeGeneres
and the Obamas.
We are a conflicted nation,
though. The company’s poll also
found that the reality TV cast of
“Jersey Shore” were the “least
desirable” famous neighbors, fol-
lowed by the Obamas, Mrs. Palin
and Kanye West.
“Polarizing politicians make
polarizing neighbors,” reasons
Zillow spokeswoman Amy
He’s rated a snappy Newsweek
profile, and noise in Politico and
the Blaze: That would be U.S.
Ambassador John Huntsman Jr.
— now rumored to be the flavor
of the month as a possible 2012
Republican presidential con-
tender. The well-heeled Mr.
Huntsman — age 48 and a Mor-
mon — looks very presidential
most days and has the gravitas of
experience: He served as a diplo-
mat for former President George
H.W. Bush. The Republican
heavyweight accepted his over-
seas post from President Obama
two years ago, accompanied by
offstage whispers that he was
now safely out of the political
But some press observers
claim Mr. Huntsman has heeded
the siren call of the White House
and is mulling a run; imagine a
Mitt Romney/Huntsman ticket,
vice versa. Tea party folks will
have none of it, though. Mr.
Huntsman is already receiving
grumbles that he is “Republican
in name only,” and heavens, an
“ole” for the White House. More
Hear ye, hear ye. Traditional pa-
Public fury over pat downs? Here
comes delay rage after thousands
languished in airports during
holiday weather delays. But wait.
International airline passengers
— under the 1999 Montreal Con-
vention ratified by the U.S. eight
years ago, and which replaced
the Warsaw Convention — now
have legal rights superior to the
rights of passengers on U.S. do-
mestic flights, reports Flyer-, a consumer group.
International air travel covered
by this treaty includes any tick-
eted trip with stopping, depar-
ture or destination points in two
or more countries.
Airlines can be liable for delay
damages up to $6,640, and $1,640
for damaged or delayed baggage.
U.S. federal district courts could
be involved; the group recom-
mends some reading, as in the
full text of the Montreal Conven-
tion, found here:
● Polite applause,
doggerel to jharper@washington


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    Constitution read on House floor, and debated too

    B Y S TEPHEN D INAN a tremendous interest in this na- sources, including the Govern-



    a tremendous interest in this na-

    sources, including the Govern-

    out of order several times to offer

    President Obama met the birth


    More than 200 hundred years after the first part was written, the Constitution produced stand- ing ovations and strident but re- spectful debate as lawmakers from both parties read the gov- ernment’s founding document on the House floor in its entirety — or nearly so. A snafu caused lawmakers ini- tially to skip over 115 words in Articles IV and V, and lawmakers intentionally omitted parts of the Constitution they said had been repealed or amended and there- fore were no longer relevant. That sparked a debate between Republicans and Democrats, who

    tionwide — I hope it leads to more Americans taking an interest and following what the Constitution does, vis-a-vis constitutional au- thority,” said Rep. Robert W. Good- latte, the Virginia Republican who suggested the reading to his party’s leaders and led the effort. All told, 135 lawmakers read sections, alternating between Re- publicans and Democrats. They skipped over the Eigh- teenth Amendment on prohibi- tion and the three-fifths clause that declared for purposes of de- ciding representation that black slaves would be counted as three- fifths of free whites. Republicans said the docu-

    ment Printing Office’s version, say that ending has been amended, and so it shouldn’t have been read. Matthew Spalding, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for American Studies, said the first Congress debated exactly these issues of whether the Con- stitution should have redactions or additions. “When the question first came up about amending the Constitu- tion, there was discussion about whether the changes should be in the document itself or added to the end of the document as amendments, and they decided to go with the amendments — to

    special honors, including letting Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, Texas Republican, read the opening of Article III, which constitutes the federal ju- diciary, and letting Rep. John Lewis, Georgia Democrat and a civil rights icon, read the 13th Amendment that officially ended slavery. Mr. Lewis drew a standing ovation from the chamber after he completed his reading. Mr. Goodlatte reserved for himself reading the 10th Amendment, which reserves to the states all powers not specif- ically given to the federal gov- ernment — an amendment that

    requirements. Mr. Obama holds a Hawaiian birth certificate, though some of his critics have questioned its authenticity. Mr. Goodlatte said that despite the few hiccups, the exercise went well. He said he even sensed some converts who been wary of the reading. “A lot of people reacted ini- tially in ways that they didn’t seem to adhere to,” he said. “One member who was very critical in the last couple of days came and read.” One convert appeared to be Rep. Tim Walz, Minnesota Demo- crat, who just before the reading was on the floor chanting “Jobs! Jobs!” — seemingly protesting

    said the document is a product of history and should be read in its entirety. House Republicans, who pushed the exercise, said they hoped it would spark a sense of fealty to the document. But just hours after they concluded the reading, they found themselves grappling with a thorny constitu- tional problem — two of their members missed taking the oath of office Jan. 5 but had been vot- ing as if they were properly

    “What this episode shows — the reading, but also the important debates we’re going to have over constitutional citation in legislating — is that Congress’ constitutional muscles are extremely atrophied, and they’re going to have to learn to think again constitutionally,” said Matthew Spalding, director of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for American Studies.

    the exercise. But he took a turn reading, and at the conclusion of the document he was the first law- maker to leap to his feet and applaud. His office didn’t return a mes- sage seeking comment. The reading of the Constitution is just the first step in the GOP’s move to push the founding docu- ment to the forefront of political debates. House Republicans wrote a

    sworn in. Both parties said they will try to patch over the misstep, but not before Democrats blasted Re- publicans for sloppiness. “Are we sure we’re through here? How many other people decided not to take the oath?” asked Rep. Louise M. Slaughter, New York Democrat. Historians said Jan. 6 marked the first time in the history of Congress that the Constitution was read in its entirety on the House floor, and Republicans said they hoped the reading sparked a renewed sense of the limits the Founders intended to

    ment has been amended, so they left out obsolete parts. That drew criticism from De- mocrats, who said the entire doc- ument should be read because it is a matter of history and be- cause it’s sometimes unclear ex- actly what has been changed. “The amendments do not make specific deletions to specific language in the document,” said Rep. Jay Inslee, Washington De- mocrat. “It could be subject to some interpretation which lan- guage has really been moved and which has not.” Indeed, the version the law-

    leave the original text un- changed,” he said. “No amend- ment — with the possible excep- tion of the repeal of the prohibition amendment — tech- nically removes any words from the Constitution. They override but do not strike out the text. It’s not like those words disappear.” In another instance, a law- maker appeared to have flipped too many pages at one time, caus- ing the next reader to skip over the 115 words. Mr. Goodlatte later took to the House floor to read the omitted words into the Congres- sional Record.

    conservatives say has been ignored by Congress. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Ari- zona Democrat, read the First Amendment, and Rep. Frank Guinta, New Hampshire Repub- lican, read the Second Amend- ment’s protection of the right to bear arms, earning the envy of his colleagues. “You got to read the Second Amendment? Everybody wanted to read the Second Amendment,” Rep. Charles Bass, his fellow New Hampshire Republican, told him later. One protester interrupted the

    new rule this year that requires all House bills to state a consti- tutional basis for the proposed action. Mr. Spalding said the debate is welcome, but it also shows how much learning Congress has to do. “The reading of the Constitu- tion on the House floor is signif- icant, and wonderfully sets the tone of the new Congress. What this episode shows — the read- ing, but also the important de- bates we’re going to have over constitutional citation in legis- lating — is that Congress’ con- stitutional muscles are ex-

    place on government. “I hope that not just the mem-

    makers read included a section at the end of Article III, Section 2,

    Bipartisan honors

    reading during the part laying out the qualifications for president,

    tremely atrophied, and they’re going to have to learn to think

    bers of the House — there’s been

    Clause 1. But several other

    During the reading, he went

    seeming to challenge whether

    again constitutionally,” he said.

    GOP faces spending test as debt nears $14.3 trillion ceiling



    ure to raise the limit would pre-

    longer borrow. By seeking a debt-

    choices today onto the backs of

    cies than Mr. Obama’s legislative


    cipitate a default by the United

    limit increase, the White House

    our children and grandchildren.”



    States. Default would effectively

    is asking to be able to borrow

    Asked last week about the per-


    ] are dealing with the

    The Obama administration on Jan. 6 told Congress the govern- ment is about to hit the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling and will need authority to borrow more, kick- ing off the first major test of spending restraint and the strength of Republicans’ new congressional power. Republicans said they won’t agree to a higher debt limit un- less Democrats agree to strict new spending controls. Democ- rats warned the GOP not “to play chicken” with the economy and said hitting the limit could be worse than the financial collapse of 2008. “Never in our history has Con- gress failed to increase the debt limit when necessary,” Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said in a letter to Congress. “Fail-

    impose a significant and long- lasting tax on all Americans and all American businesses and could lead to the loss of millions of American jobs.” The GOP, though, which con- trols the House of Representa- tives and can block a debt-limit raise, said there must be give- and-take. “The consensus is it’s got to be a tandem deal,” said Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican. “We’ve got to have some serious, serious, serious spending cuts and caps — enforceable, not just the gimmicks.” The debt ceiling is akin to the country’s credit card limit. Once it hits that level, it cannot borrow any more money, and since the government is running a huge deficit, it would have to shut down operations if it can no

    more. Debt subject to the limit stood at $13.973 trillion on Jan. 5, al- most $300 billion away from the ceiling, which is $14.294 trillion. Increasing the debt limit, which must be done by law, is typically one of the toughest votes for members of Congress and lends itself to brinksman- ship. As a senator from Illinois, Barack Obama voted against a debt-limit increase in 2006. He argued that the country needed leadership, not more borrowing power. “The fact that we’re here today to debate raising America’s debt is a sign of leadership failure. Leadership means the buck stops here,” Mr. Obama said at the time. “Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad

    ceived inconsistency, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said there was a difference and that Mr. Obama was able to vote against an increase because the outcome of the 2006 vote “was not in question.” “The full faith and credit of our government and our econ- omy was not in doubt,” Mr. Gibbs said of the vote, which was nev- ertheless close at 52-48. “The president used it to make a point about needing to get serious about fiscal responsibility.” That’s just what many conser- vatives opposed to approving the increase are saying now, though, citing the hefty tab of govern- ment spending that Congress ran up in Mr. Obama’s first two years. But Mr. Gibbs suggested that the need to increase the debt is more a result of costly Bush-era poli-

    legacy of decisions that have been made over the past many years — not paying for a pre- scription drug benefit, not paying for wars, not paying for tax cuts — that changed our fiscal situa- tion much more markedly than anything ever had,” he said. In that 2006 debate, Mr. Obama and fellow Senate De- mocrats — including their leader, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada — voted “no” only after their effort to attach spending controls to the measure failed. That’s exactly what Republicans are threatening now. “Clearly, no one wants Amer- ica to default on their debt. But if we’re asked to pay someone else’s bill, we need to cut up the credit cards,” said Rep. Jeb Hen-

    » see DEBT, page 12


    Senators seek data on Gitmo detainee transfers BY ELI LAKE Holder specifically asks for a contained
    Senators seek data on Gitmo detainee transfers
    Holder specifically asks for a
    contained in the Guantanamo
    Senate Republicans are press-
    ing the Obama administration
    for documents that outline proce-
    dures used in releasing terror-
    ism-suspect detainees from the
    prison at Guantanamo Bay,
    Cuba, information the Justice
    Department and State Depart-
    ment have previously withheld.
    In an effort by the GOP to pro-
    vide greater oversight of the ad-
    ministration’s war on terrorism,
    seven members of the Senate Se-
    lect Committee on Intelligence,
    including the presumed next vice
    chairman, Sen. Saxby Chamb-
    liss, Georgia Republican, last
    month signed letters seeking the
    “The transfers of potentially
    dangerous detainees to countries
    with questionable capabilities to
    provide security and monitoring
    has been a matter of significant
    concern for the committee,” the
    senators stated in a Dec. 9 letter
    to Attorney General Eric H.
    Holder Jr.
    “These concerns are bolstered
    by comments from officials in
    the Department of Justice and
    the intelligence community that
    the only way to completely miti-
    gate the threat posed by the re-
    maining Guantanamo Bay de-
    tainees is to keep them in
    Congressional aides said the
    Republicans on the Senate intel-
    ligence panel are working on a
    minority report to be issued this
    year on the handling of the 60 to
    70 detainees from the prison at
    the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo
    Bay, Cuba, who have been trans-
    ferred to foreign countries since
    President Obama took office.
    A recent Defense Intelligence
    Agency study on the recidivism
    rate of detainees found that 150
    of those released from the Guan-
    tanamo Bay prison are con-
    firmed or suspected to have re-
    turned to terrorism. President
    George W. Bush released more
    than 500 suspected terrorists
    from the prison.
    A Justice Department spokes-
    man declined to comment Jan. 5,
    noting that The Washington
    Times was unable to provide the
    full letter for review.
    The Justice Department has
    provided classified briefings on
    the transfer process to members
    of the House and Senate. On Jan.
    22, the Justice Department re-
    leased an unclassified report
    from the task force detailing
    whether 240 detainees would
    face military trial or civilian
    trial, or be detained indefinitely
    or transferred.
    “It’s important to find out what
    criteria the task force used to
    evaluate the threat level posed by
    each individual detainee,” said
    Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow
    at the Foundation for the De-
    fense of Democracies.
    “It is also important to find out
    whether or not President
    Obama’s executive order led the
    task force to be more aggressive
    in approving transfers,” said Mr.
    The Republicans’ letter to Mr.
    2009 memorandum on the de-
    tainee review and transfer
    processes. The senators wrote
    that they thought the memo rec-
    ommended that Mr. Obama’s
    Guantanamo Detainee Review
    Task Force apply a presumption
    in favor of transfer rather than
    continued detention.
    The letter also requests “the
    unredacted recommendations
    Detainee Review Task Force
    evaluation worksheets, or the re-
    views for each detainee on the
    risk he would pose if released.”
    The senators also requested a
    list of the 92 detainees that the
    task force initially approved to
    transfer out of the prison. “Al-
    though your Office of Legisla-
    tive Affairs agreed to make this
    list available, requests for infor-
    mation regarding when the list
    will be provided have gone unan-
    swered,” the letter stated.
    Mr. Obama, on his second day
    in office, pledged to close the
    prison by the end of his first year
    in office — a move designed to
    satisfy civil libertarians who op-
    pose the terrorist detention cen-
    Nearly two years into the
    Obama administration, the
    prison — a destination for de-
    tainees captured in Afghanistan
    and other fronts in the war on ter-
    rorism for Mr. Bush — remains
    The 2011 defense-authoriza-
    tion bill that is awaiting Mr.
    Obama’s signature or veto im-
    poses new restrictions on fund-
    ing the transfer of Guantanamo
    detainees to the United States or
    a foreign country.
    You deserve a factual look at
    11 // POLITICS
    Myths About Israel and the Middle East (2)
    Should we re-examine endlessly repeated clichés?
    In a previous installment in this series of clarifying messages about Israel and the Middle East, we examined certain myths which, by dint of
    constant repetition, had acquired currency and acceptance. We looked at the myth of “Palestinian nationhood,” the myth of Judea/Samaria
    (the “West Bank”) being “occupied territory,” the myth that Jewish settlements in these territories are “the greatest obstacle to peace,” and
    the myth that Israel is unwilling to “yield land for peace.” And we cleared up the greatest myth of all, namely that Israel’s administration of
    the territories, and not the unrelenting hatred of the Arabs against the Jews, is the root cause of the conflict between the Arabs and Israel.
    But those are not all the myths; there are more.
    What are more of these myths?
    Reality: There is no prospect at all that anything resembling a
    ■ Myth: The Arabs of Israel are a persecuted minority.
    Reality: The over one million non-Jews (mostly Arabs) who are
    citizens of Israel have the same civil rights that Jews have. They
    vote, are members of the Knesset (parliament), and are part of
    Israel’s civil and diplomatic service, just as their Jewish fellow
    citizens. Arabs have complete religious
    freedom and full access to the Israeli
    democratic state could be created in the territories. There is not a
    single democratic Arab state – all of them are tyrannies of varying
    degrees. Even today, under partial Israeli administration, Hamas
    and other factions fight for supremacy and ruthlessly murder each
    other. Another Lebanon, with its incessant civil wars, is much more
    likely. The lawlessness and chaos that
    prevail in Gaza since Israel’s
    legal, health and educational systems –
    including Arabic and Muslim
    “It is in our national interest that
    reality, not myths, govern our policy.”
    withdrawal is a good prospect of what
    would happen if Israel – foolishly and
    universities. The only difference
    between the “rights” of Arabs and Jews
    is that Jewish young men must serve three years in the military and
    at least one month a year until age 50. Young Jewish women serve
    for two years. The Arabs have no such civic obligation. For them,
    military service is voluntary. Not too surprisingly, except for the
    Druze, very few avail themselves of the privilege.
    ■ Myth: Having (ill-advisedly) already given up control of the
    Gaza Strip, Israel should also give up the administration of
    Judea/Samaria (the “West Bank”) because strategic depth is
    meaningless in this age of missiles.
    Reality: Israel is a mini-state – about half the size of San
    Bernardino county in California. If another, even smaller mini-state
    were carved out of it, Israel would be totally indefensible. That is the
    professional opinion of 100 retired U.S. generals and admirals. If the
    Arabs were to occupy whatever little strategic depth Israel has
    between the Jordan River and its populated coast, they would not
    need any missiles. Artillery and mortars would suffice, since Israel
    would be only nine miles wide at its waist. Those who urge such a
    course either do not understand the situation or have a death wish
    for Israel.
    ■ Myth: If Israel would allow a Palestinian state to arise in Judea
    and Samaria it would be a democratic state and would be totally
    under the pressure of “world opinion” –
    were to abandon this territory. As for
    demilitarization, that is totally unlikely. Because – with Syria, Iraq,
    Jordan and Saudi Arabia, most of which are in a declared state of war
    with Israel, at its borders – an irresistible power vacuum would be
    created. Despite pious promises, the arms merchants of the world
    would find a great new market and the neighboring hostile Arab
    countries would be happy to supply anything else that might be
    ■ Myth: Israel should make “confidence-building gestures” for
    the sake of peace.
    Reality: What really is it that the world expects Israel to do for the
    sake of peace? Most of the 22 Arab countries consider themselves in
    a state of war with Israel and don’t even recognize its “existence.”
    That has been going on for over sixty years. Isn’t it about time that
    the Arabs made some kind of a “gesture?” Could they not for
    instance terminate the constant state of war? Could they not stop
    launching rockets into Israel from areas that Israel has abandoned
    for the sake of peace? Could they not stop the suicide bombings,
    which have killed hundreds of Israelis and which have made extreme
    security measures – such as the defensive fence and convoluted
    bypass roads – necessary? Any of these would create a climate of
    peace and would indeed be the “confidence-building gestures” that
    the world hopes for.
    Countless “peace conferences” to settle this festering conflict have taken place. All have ended in failure because of the intransigence of the
    Arabs. President Clinton, toward the end of his presidency, convened a conference with the late unlamented Yasser Arafat and Ehud Barak,
    the prime minister of Israel at that time. Mr. Barak offered virtually everything that Arafat had requested, except the partition of Jerusalem
    and the acceptance of the so-called refugees, their descendants having swollen from the 650,000 who fled the nascent state of Israel during
    the War of Liberation, to an incredible 5 million. Arafat left in a huff and started his infamous intifada instead, a bloody war that has cost
    thousands of Palestinian and Israeli lives. Israel is America’s staunchest ally and certainly its only true friend in that area of the world. It is
    in our national interest that reality, not myths, govern our policy.
    This message has been published and paid for by
    Facts and Logic About the Middle East
    P.O. Box 590359 ■ San Francisco, CA 94159
    FLAME is a tax-exempt, non-profit educational 501 (c)(3) organization. Its
    purpose is the research and publication of the facts regarding developments in
    the Middle East and exposing false propaganda that might harm the interests
    of the United States and its allies in that area of the world. Your tax-deductible
    contributions are welcome. They enable us to pursue these goals and to
    publish these messages in national newspapers and magazines. We have
    virtually no overhead. Almost all of our revenue pays for our educational work,
    for these clarifying messages, and for related direct mail.
    Gerardo Joffe, President
    To receive free FLAME updates, visit our website:



    Tea party organizers warn: ‘We are watching’

    B Y S ETH M C L AUGHLIN ASSOCIATED PRESS “All West Virginia tea party




    “All West Virginia tea party


    groups will unite to greet newly

    Eager to dispel the notion that their protest movement is a mere flash in the pan, the na- tion’s tea party activists are preparing to welcome the newest crop of lawmakers to Washington by reminding them of the consequences if they walk away from their campaign promises. One tea party group issued a call for supporters to greet new members of Congress as they were officially sworn in on Jan. 5, and similar scenarios are ex- pected to play out in states across the nation. Tea party or- ganizers say they plan to be- come watchdogs inside state capitals while continuing the grass-roots push to generate po- litical support to cut spending and roll back federal overreach. “We are watching, and we are going to hold them accountable, and it is not too early to start making our target list for 2012,” said Amy Kremer, grass-roots director for Tea Party Express, which is focused on the federal government. “People are definitely thinking long term,” said Jamie Radtke, the head of the Virginia Federa- tion of Tea Party Patriots, who has announced plans to run next year for the seat held by fresh-

    elected officials and send a mes- sage to the legislators that the movement is here, is informed, and will hold them accountable for their words, their promises and their actions,” said Dee Armstrong, a tea party activist in West Virginia who is helping to organize a rally to greet state lawmakers in Charleston on the Jan. 12 opening day of their leg- islative session. Ms. Armstrong said hundreds are expected to attend and that some will be adorned in winter scarves bearing the “Don’t Tread On Me” tea party slogan. Not deterred by their failure in November to capture the seat of the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia tea party leaders say that at least one member from its various local branches will sit in the visitors gallery each day of the legislative session. “We want to show that from all across the state of West Vir- ginia there is somebody there, and they are listening and they are taking notes,” Ms. Arm- strong said. In Texas, Dick Armey, Free- domWorks co-founder and for- mer House majority leader, has linked with local tea party groups to pressure state law- makers in Austin to tap a conser- vative for speaker of the House.

    man Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat. Tea party-backed candidates

    Your performance will be evaluated: House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio

    “You name it, we are doing all the kind of grass-roots activity

    secured dozens of victories in the November elections, helping Republicans seize control of the House of Representatives and gain a half-dozen seats in the Senate. They also helped the GOP take the reins in at least 20 state legislatures, in many cases

    party voters. The tea party influence was clear last week as the five can- didates for chairman of the Re- publican National Committee appealed for the movement’s

    can’t forget it,” said Ann Wagner, a former ambassador to Lux- embourg and former chair- woman of Missouri Republican Party. Now the tea partyers are

    Ms. Kremer said tea party supporters should do whatever they can to stop Congress from increasing the nation’s debt ceil- ing, which White House officials insist must happen for the gov-

    we can do,” said Brendan Stein- hauser, director of federal and state campaigns for Freedom- Works. “There is a ton of activ- ity in the states on taxes, spend- ing, health care, property rights and school choice.” “This movement was never

    giving the party control of the redistricting process. But in recent weeks, as polit- ical focus has shifted from the rhetoric of the campaign trail to the realities of governing, some prognosticators have pondered whether the tea party’s political passion will tail off. Tea partyers brush off the idea. They say the movement’s strength is growing, with their postelection power on display during the lame-duck session in the defeat of Senate Democrats’

    “This movement was never just an anti-establishment, anti- incumbent movement. It was always about ideas, and that was a thing a lot of people failed to realize, especially the Democrats,” said Brendan Steinhauser, director of federal and state campaigns for FreedomWorks.“This movement was about limited government, fiscal responsibility. So, to the extent that these guys follow through on that basic promise, they will be rewarded.”

    just an anti-establishment, anti- incumbent movement. It was al- ways about ideas, and that was a thing a lot of people failed to realize, especially the Democ- rats,” Mr. Steinhauser said. “This movement was about lim- ited government, fiscal respon- sibility. So, to the extent that these guys follow through on that basic promise, they will be rewarded.” Similar ideas are flowing in Virginia, where supporters are calling on lawmakers to elimi- nate the state income tax and to

    proposed $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. GOP leaders also got nearly every member of their party to agree to a tempo- rary ban on congressional ear- marks, a symbol of wasteful Washington spending and a major rallying cause for tea

    support in a forum at the Na- tional Press Club. “Let us not forget the tea party, patriot and grass-roots movement is why we had such victories in 2010. It absolutely is, ladies and gentlemen, and we

    pushing the people they pro- pelled into office to fight for the repeal of President Obama’s health care overhaul, to reduce federal spending and to cut the national debt, which just sur- passed $14 trillion.

    ernment to avoid falling into de- fault on its obligations. Other tea party leaders say they’re working to establish a stronger foothold at the state level by holding rallies and lobbying lawmakers to curb spending.

    adopt an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would hand states the power to repeal any federal law or regulation. Tea party supporters also started a political action committee ahead of state General Assembly elec- tions later this year.

    DEBT tion. Instead, he formed a com- mission and asked it to make ing steps to



    tion. Instead, he formed a com- mission and asked it to make

    ing steps to delay that by some weeks.

    begin that discussion now,” said Sen. Max Baucus, Montana Democrat.

    agree over how to patch the hole. Democrats have proposed raising taxes on upper-income

    From page 10

    recommendations. The commission came up with

    Still, Democrats said acting soon is the best way to signal to

    Republicans said there are a

    taxpayers and to spend money to

    sarling of Texas, chairman of the House Republican Conference. In the budget Mr. Obama sub- mitted in February, he acknowl- edged that deficits and debt were out of control, but passed on proposing a long-term solu-

    a broad set of reforms, but mem- bers were unable to secure the su- permajority needed to forward their report to Congress for action. The Treasury Department said the debt ceiling could be hit by the end of March, though of- ficials can take several bookkeep-

    the markets that the country is serious about protecting its credit. “Rather than waiting until the last minute, we need to work to- gether with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle in a bipar- tisan, responsible manner — and

    range of possible controls, but that they have not reached a con- sensus on which of those must be added. Both sides agree that $1 tril- lion deficits — the annual short- fall in government spending — are unsustainable, but they dis-

    boost the economy. Republicans say spending cuts and tax cuts would do more for the economy than government spending. In last month’s bipartisan deal, they agreed to more spending and more tax cuts, only deepen- ing the projected deficit.


    Republicans to scrutinize Obama’s feats




    gram the administration and the



    being equally enforced.”

    White House felt less pressure


    Democrat-led Congress pursued

    A Justice Department

    to respond to their requests for

    With Congress split this year be- tween Republicans and Democ- rats, the GOP may not be able to pass much of its repeal agenda, but it still expects to play a major role in shaping government through hearings and investiga- tions into much of what the Obama administration has done. Republican committee chair- men say they’re eager to get to work on dissecting government operations and, as one incoming chairman said, pushing lawmak- ers to ask basic questions. “I will ask our committee members to review the agencies

    over the past two years. House Republican leaders are intent on scrutinizing the govern- ment and have even structured their floor voting schedule around giving committees time to work. The White House didn’t return a message seeking comment, but Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who will be chair- man of the Oversight and Gov- ernment Reform Committee, told CNN on Jan. 2 that he thinks the administration shares the GOP’s goal of creating a leaner, more ef- ficient government. “As soon as I got this job, I got

    spokesman didn’t return a call Sunday afternoon, but Mr. Holder told the New York Times two weeks ago that “there is no ‘there’ there.” “The notion that this made-up controversy leads to a belief that this Justice Department is not colorblind in enforcement of civil rights laws is simply not suppor ted by the facts,” he said. “All I have on my side with re- gard to that is the facts and the law.” Mr. Smith also said the Judi- ciary Committee will take a close look at immigration en-

    information. Now, in control, they can call administration officials as wit- nesses, set the hearing agenda and demand that documents be turned over, with the threat of a subpoena if the administration doesn’t comply. “Because of that, which is the ultimate hammer, they will be more willing to release re- ports,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, Utah Republican. Mr. Bishop, who has been tapped to be chairman of the public lands subcommittee of the Natural Resources Committee, said he wants to find out more

    from the top down. Literally, walk around agencies, such as [the Energy Department] and [Health and Human Services Department], and ask simple

    a call from Vice President [Joseph R.] Biden [Jr.]. We had a 45-minute-or-so meeting, and it was a wonderful meeting be- cause he cares about the same

    Rep. Fred Upton, incoming chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, said he “will put a microscope” on EPA, FCC and FDA.

    forcement and whether it’s doing enough to protect jobs for American workers. Aides said the Ways and Means Committee, with Rep. Dave Camp of Michigan as

    about administration plans to re- strict use of federal property. Last year, his office released a Bureau of Land Management document showing preliminary

    questions like, ‘Why is the federal

    things I care about. He cares

    chairman, will take a look at the

    discussions in the administra-

    government doing this?’ “ said Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan Re- publican and incoming chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, whose broad juris- diction makes it one of the most powerful spots for picking over government. “We will be relentless in our efforts to expose and slash waste- ful spending,” he said. Mr. Upton said his committee “will put a microscope” on the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Communi- cations Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, stim- ulus spending and the health care law — in other words, just about every controversial pro-

    about the dollar going further. He has a huge government that needs help,” Mr. Issa said. Aides said his committee is likely to take a look at the broad operations of government, in- cluding regulations, the $814 bil- lion stimulus and the Wall Street bailout packages and the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Other committees with spe- cific jurisdiction will be more targeted. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and the Justice De- partment are likely to face close scrutiny. Rep. Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who will become chairman of the House Judiciary

    Committee, said he will look into charges that the department’s civil rights division failed to fol- low up on race-based complaints — most notably in dropping the voter-intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party in Philadelphia. “It is unacceptable for the Jus- tice Department to determine whether to enforce a law based upon the race of a defendant or victim,” Mr. Smith told The Times. “Allegations that the Civil Rights Division has engaged in a practice of race-based nonen- forcement of federal voting rights law are troubling. We need to make sure that our laws are

    waivers the Obama administra- tion has granted under its health care law and will exam- ine the expansion of the Inter- nal Revenue Service to force compliance. The Education and the Workforce Committee, under the leadership of Rep. John Kline, Minnesota Republican, will take a look at student loans, Mr. Obama’s Race to the Top education program and the health care law’s mandates on employers. Part of what’s driving Re- publicans is the list of ques- tions they’ve drawn up over the past two years when they were in the minority and when the

    tion for moving tens of millions of acres into more protected sta- tus, but Mr. Bishop said he has been unable to see what other agencies have discussed. Meanwhile, Rep. Robert W. Goodlatte, Virginia Republican and a senior member of the Ju- diciary Committee, said he wants to see oversight hearings look at the constitutional backing for what agencies are doing. “It’s my hope that one of the premises on which these hear- ings are held is, OK, the federal government is acting in this area, we’re conducting oversight of that, the first question is should the federal government be acting in that area at all?” he said.

    Gates proposes $78 billion in defense cuts over five years



    B Y E LI L AKE
    B Y E LI L AKE

    “This plan represents, in my

    numbers by around 20,000 from

    Corps can function as it has

    from defense over the next five


    view, the minimum level of de-

    the current level of 200,000 in the

    since World War II as a kick-


    The Pentagon on Jan. 6 an- nounced a series of sharp cuts in defense spending over the next five years that senior leaders say will improve efficiencies but leave reduced numbers of Marines, soldiers and key de- fense systems. The cuts will pare the Army and Marine Corps by as many as 47,000 people, reversing a trend since the Sept. 11 attacks of in- creased budgets and more re- cruitment. The new cuts also will eliminate defense systems such as the Surface-Launched Ad- vanced Medium-Range Air-to- Air Missile and the Expedi- tionary Fighting Vehicle, an armored boat designed to move Marines ashore rapidly. The new series of spending cuts will reduce the Pentagon’s budget by $78 billion over the next five years, Defense Secre- tary Robert M. Gates said in an- nouncing the reductions at the Pentagon. He also proposed rais- ing the health insurance premi- ums of military retirees who still receive military health insur- ance. The premiums have not been raised since 1995.

    fense spending that is necessary, given the complex and unpre- dictable array of security chal- lenges the United States faces around the globe — global terror- ist networks, rising military pow- ers, nuclear-armed rogue states and much, much more,” Mr. Gates said. Mr. Gates said some money saved through more efficient spending will be reinvested into programs that reflect the mili- tary’s new emphasis on coun- terinsurgency instead of prepar- ing for war between nation-states. The defense secretary also said the cuts he is proposing are part of a review of unnecessary and wasteful Pentagon programs launched last year. The review followed an earlier round of cuts that capped procurement of the F-22 fighter program at 187 jets. “It is imperative for this de- partment to eliminate wasteful, excessive and unneeded spend- ing, to do everything we can to make every defense dollar count,” Mr. Gates said. The cuts are expected to hit the Marines hardest. The Marine Corps is expected to reduce its

    next five years, and the Expedi- tionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV), under development since the Reagan administration, will be shelved. Mr. Gates also said an aircraft being built for the Marines that would require shorter runways was put on “probation” because the plane faced development problems. Mr. Gates acknowledged that his decision to cut the EFV will be controversial, but he said the cost to build the vehicle would be $12 billion, a figure that equaled the entire Marine Corps vehicle budget. “This decision does not call into question the Marines’ am- phibious assault mission,” Mr. Gates said. “We will budget the funds necessary to develop a more affordable and sustainable amphibious tractor to provide the Marines a ship-to-shore ca- pability into the future.” Thomas Donnelly, a defense affairs analyst at the American Enterprise Institute, disagreed with Mr. Gates. “This really calls into ques- tion the future of the Marine Corps, whether the Marine

    down-the-door force,” he said. “The combined effect of the Ma- rine Corps program cuts, weapons cuts and personnel cuts is to raise the question about whether the Marine Corps can continue this role.” The proposed cuts in defense must be approved by Congress. In the House, the new Republi- can leadership has pledged to try to cut $100 billion from the federal budget for 2012. If Mr. Gates’ proposed cuts are en- acted, they could achieve $20 bil- lion in savings. But already the new chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, California Re- publican, has expressed concern. “I’m not happy,” Mr. McKeon said in statement after a meeting with Mr. Gates. “We went into todays meeting trying to ensure the $100 billion in targeted sav- ings were reinvested back into our national security priorities. We didn’t expect to hear that be- fore these efficiencies can be re- alized, the White House and [Of- fice of Management and Budget] have demanded that the Penta- gon cut an additional $78 billion

    Another possible roadblock for Mr. Gates on the defense budget will be the Virginia con- gressional delegation. The new cuts would end most Navy mis- sions for the service’s Second Fleet, based in Norfolk, Va. Will Jenkins, a spokesman for Sen. Jim Webb, Virginia Demo- crat and the chairman of the Sen- ate Armed Services personnel subcommittee, said: “Sen. Webb holds strong views regarding our national security needs and the vital role Virginia plays in our na- tion’s defense. He intends to care- fully review all the data and cost- savings analysis regarding the latest efficiency initiatives when that information is provided by the Department of Defense.” While the Pentagon is tighten- ing its belt, Mr. Gates said some of the proposed savings would be reinvested in new programs. Likely winners in the defense budget include new funding for intelligence, surveillance and re- connaissance systems, such as communications and drones. Mr. Gates also said the Pentagon would invest in modernizing the radar systems for the F-15 Hor- net aircraft for the Navy.



    Reid unlikely to hold Internet gambling trump card

    B Y J OSEPH W EBER vember heartened the gambling ASSOCIATED PRESS access to U.S. markets.”



    vember heartened the gambling



    access to U.S. markets.”

    makes sense,” he said. “Nobody,

    next 10 years.


    industry, but the overall results

    A Reid spokesman told The

    Industry watchers say Mr.

    Even with the backing of such political high rollers as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the push to expand legal Internet gambling in the United States looks to face much longer odds in the more heavily Republican Congress. Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, came up short last month during the congressional lame-duck ses- sion in his bid to allow U.S. casino companies to establish Internet poker sites and give them a cut of the multibillion-dollar offshore industry.

    presented a mixed bag, industry watchers say. “If 2010 is any sign of what’s to come in the future for online poker, the only thing that is really for certain is that the road is a long, bumpy one and the legaliza- tion of online poker will be very difficult to come by,” reported The Off Shore Gaming Associ- ation, in its year-end policy roundup, noted, “The results cer- tainly weren’t ideal, but the fact that Mr. Reid has remained as Senate majority leader and the fact that the Republicans didn’t

    Washington Times that the ma- jority leader still hopes to enact such a bill, and a leading gam- bling lobby group predicts legis- lation within the next few months. “I fully expect something early next year,” said John Pap- pas, executive director of the Washington-based Poker Play- ers Alliance. Mr. Pappas said supporters of Internet gambling are working with Reid staffers to address concerns raised in the failed legislation. “This is public policy that

    Reid — who once opposed Inter- net gambling — hinted in August that he might change his mind, as tea party-backed GOP Senate candidate Sharon Angle ap- peared poised to keep him from serving a fifth term. They also said his legislation would have granted the first licenses to Nevada and other casino states because they have established regulatory programs. By the time Mr. Reid eked out a win on Nov. 2, he had received at least $650,000 from several Las Vegas casino companies, in- cluding MGM Resorts Interna-

    Mr. Reid is poised to try again

    win control of both houses lends

    Republicans or Democrats, can

    tional, which owns the Bellagio,

    this year, but his path may be blocked by Rep. Spencer Bachus,

    some hope to gambling’s future in the upcoming years.”

    Gambling’s man? Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

    believe the status quo is accept- able — playing [poker] overseas

    and Harrah’s Entertainment, whose holdings include Caesars

    the Alabama Republican who

    A 2006 law essentially banned

    without protection and not real-


    has been named chairman of the House Financial Services Com- mittee, and other GOP lawmak- ers who appear steadfast about keeping online betting illegal in the U.S. “This is a huge priority for Spencer,” said a top House GOP staffer. In fact, if Mr. Bachus ad- dresses Internet gambling in the 112th Congress, such action would focus on examining the effectiveness of existing laws and making them tougher, the staffer said. A wide range of U.S. business interests are scrambling to re- boot in the face of the major power shift on Capitol Hill after the midterm elections. Mr. Reid’s re-election in No-

    banks from transmitting pay- ments between bettors and gam- bling operations. The Democrat- controlled Congress helped delay full implementation of the law until last year. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, pushed a bill during the summer that would have ef- fectively overturned the law by legalizing online poker and other non-sports wagering. The measure never received a full House vote, and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has said he will not support efforts to legalize online gambling. The Obama administration has cited concerns of money laundering and underage betting. Mr. Bachus joined Rep.

    David Camp, Michigan Repub- lican and the incoming chair- man of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Lamar Smith, the Texas Repub- lican who is poised to take over the House Judiciary Commit- tee, in sending a strongly worded letter to Mr. Reid oppos- ing his attempt during the lame- duck session to license and tax Internet gambling and caution- ing the majority leader about future negotiations. The Dec. 1 letter also said that interest groups were reportedly behind the draft legislation be- cause they “have calculated that a secretive, closed-door, unde- mocratic process represents their best opportunity to regain

    izing any of the revenue.” Republicans scoff at the idea that legalizing online wagering could generate significant rev- enue and point to fundraising records for Mr. Reid’s 2010 bruis- ing, expensive re-election cam- paign as evidence of a possible payback. Offshore gambling is an esti- mated $6.2 billion industry. Mr. Reid wants to tax only online poker at roughly 20 percent, which would equal about $1.2 billion. “That’s pretty poor compared to the $700 billion [bank bailout bill],” said one GOP policy staffer. Supporters have estimated that revenue would amount to $10 billion to $40 billion over the

    MGM executives, employees and the company’s political ac- tion committee collectively gave $192,450, making them Mr. Reid’s top campaign contributor. Executives and employees of Harrah’s — now known as Cae- sars Entertainment — and the corporate political action com- mittee gave $83,100 to Mr. Reid, making them collectively Mr. Reid’s fourth-largest donor, ac- cording to the Center for Responsive Politics. “If it brings revenues and jobs into the United States, it’s the right thing to do,” MGM spokes- man Alan Feldman told NBC News in an interview. “As a coun- try, we’ve allowed jobs and tax revenues to be outsourced to Eu- rope and parts of the Caribbean.”

    Starving for cash: RNC sees deep red for 2012 budget

    B Y R ALPH Z. H ALLOW and a supporter of Mr. Steele’s Unable to raise



    and a supporter of Mr. Steele’s

    Unable to raise money from

    Mr. Terpeluk resigned in mid-

    Anuzis is savvy with new media,


    Jan. 14 re-election bid.

    major donors who said they did

    December without a formal an-

    is considered reliably conserva-

    The next chairman of the Re- publican National Committee will face a money-raising chal- lenge of historic proportions. The unreleased official budget of the RNC reveals that the Re- publican Party’s national gov- erning body and premier fundraising apparatus begins the 2011-12 presidential election cycle more than $20 million in the hole. “A record for any year in the past 30 years,” Maria Cino, a can- didate for the RNC chairman- ship and a former deputy trans- portation secretary, told The Washington Times. The budget was approved by RNC Chairman Michael S. Steele’s Budget Committee. The document also reveals that the RNC will enter the 2012 presidential election year at least $10 million in arrears. “That is also unheard of in 30 years for a presidential year — or for that matter, any congressional elec- tion year,” Ms. Cino said. That figure also comes from the same budget approved by Maryland RNC member Louis Pope — Mr. Steele’s hand-picked Budget Committee chairman

    “We’ve never had a debt that big, ever, going into a presiden- tial election cycle,” former RNC General Counsel David Norcross told The Times. Federal Election Commission records show a dismal picture for the next chairman. As of Dec. 29, the RNC had $15,013,443.70 in debts and loans — $12 million more than the deepest RNC fi- nancial hole in at least 14 years. That $15 million in IOUs com- pares with the zero indebtedness in the comparable period before the 2007-08 presidential cycle, the insignificant $1,446 before the 2003-04 period, the $3 million going into the 1999-2000 cycle and the $2.5 million at the com- parable point before the 1995-96 presidential election period. The contrast is even more startling in presidential election years, FEC data show. The RNC began 1996, 2004 and 2008 debt- free. Although the national com- mittee began the 2000 presiden- tial election year with $2 million in debt, it was $8 million less than the Steele budget says will be the case on Jan. 1, 2012. Senior Republican officials ex- pressed astonishment at the extent of the debt.

    not trust the RNC to use the money wisely under Mr. Steele’s stewardship, the na- tional committee voted to bor- row $15 million to help get it through the 2010 midterm election season. “The Steele Budget document calls for $10 million of that debt to be carried forward into 2012 — far more than the RNC has ever had to carry forward in my memory,” Kentucky RNC mem- ber and former national commit- tee Chairman Mike Duncan told The Times. Mr. Steele took six months to find someone who would agree to serve as the RNC’s finance chair- man — a role that requires widely acknowledged probity, the private cell phone numbers of other captains of industry and banking and the ability to recruit them to bundle maximum allow- able contributions from other wealthy prospects. RNC Finance Committee Chairman Peter Terpeluk, cho- sen by Mr. Steele, proved to be not up to the task, especially given the public spanking that successful former RNC finance chairmen have handed Mr. Steele over the past two years.

    nouncement or explanation. Mr. Steele did not respond to a question e-mailed and tele- phoned to his press aide as to whether he would replace Mr. Terpeluk before the Jan. 14 elec- tion or wait until afterward, to fill the post if Mr. Steele wins re- election. If Mr. Steele is replaced, the appointment of a finance chair- man is likely to be a top priority for the RNC boss. Gentry Collins, who quit last year as Mr. Steele’s chief of staff and publicly blasted his leader- ship, said the RNC’s base of major donors has withered with Mr. Steele at the helm. “The choice of finance chair- man is crucial any time, but es- pecially with this unprecedented debt, and obviously I’ve given a lot of thought to who would be ideal for the role,” Mr. Collins, who is running to replace his for- mer boss at the RNC’s helm, told The Times. Mr. Collins, 35, has consider- able experience in top staff posi- tions for Republican committees and candidates, but has accumu- lated the fewest public commit- ments from RNC members. Michigan RNC member Saul

    tive and is popular with many members. However, he lags league leader Reince Priebus when it comes to first-round com- mitted votes for the chairman- ship. Mr. Anuzis, 51, said he has had his mind on things other than finance chairman. “I’m currently planning on co- chairs with a team of regional co- chairs as well,” he told The Times. “It’s going to have to be a ‘team approach’ to make this work. “Besides, it’s too early to be talking to specific fundraisers,” Mr. Anuzis said, “That would be putting the cart before the horse.” Mr. Priebus, 38, is a success- ful Wisconsin Republican chair- man and was RNC general counsel and Steele chief adviser until he, too, resigned abruptly last month. Mr. Priebus won’t di- vulge whom he is considering for the finance post but told The Times that “naming a finance chairman and a top-notch chief of staff would be the very first of priorities.” Asked how long it would take him to name both, he said, “Those activities would be immediate.”


    Pioneering audiologist invents “reading glasses” for your ears.

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    National Pain at the pump Dramatic spike in gas prices forecast ASSOCIATED PRESS Say so long
    Pain at the pump
    Dramatic spike in gas prices forecast
    Say so long to under $3: Gasoline prices are displayed on a sign at a station in Oakland, Calif. in March, 2010. The former head of Shell Oil has warned that
    gas prices could hit $5 a gallon by 2012 because of fast-growing demand in emerging countries such as China and India.
    NATIONAL // 16

    17 // NATIONAL
    Oil and gasoline prices have
    risen to their highest levels in two
    years, and analysts say prices
    could shoot up dramatically this
    year as the thirst for fuel grows
    in the U.S. and around the world.
    The former head of Shell Oil
    has warned that gas prices
    could hit $5 a gallon by 2012 be-
    cause of fast-growing demand in
    emerging countries such as
    China and India, where more
    and more people are buying
    cars, combined with restraints
    on drilling in the U.S. in the
    wake of last year’s disastrous
    Gulf oil spill.
    Less-worrisome forecasts are
    calling for a rise in gas prices to
    $3.75 a gallon by spring from
    today’s $3.07 average level, with
    premium crude prices easily ex-
    ceeding $100 a barrel this year
    as demand for oil around the
    world returns to pre-recession
    levels last seen in 2007.
    “We’ll definitely see $100 oil,”
    Carl Larry, president of Oil Out-
    look and Opinions, told Platts
    Energy Week TV. “The way
    things are going — the cold
    weather, supply issues — $100
    oil is inevitable and it’s on its
    way.” Higher gas prices will fol-
    low the lead of oil, as they usu-
    ally do, he said.
    Mr. Larry said the spike in
    energy prices is being driven by
    robust growth in oil consump-
    tion in Asia as well as steadily
    rising demand in the U.S., which
    remains the world’s largest con-
    sumer of oil.
    “All signs point to an eco-
    nomic recovery, and that’s going
    to increase demand,” he said.
    Energy consultant Wood
    Mackenzie estimates that devel-
    oping economies pushed world
    oil demand last year to 86.7 mil-
    lion barrels a day — 100,000
    barrels more than in 2007 —
    and will feed further demand
    growth to 88 million barrels in
    Raymond Pereyra, of Attleboro, Mass., pumps gas in Boston.
    of Shell Oil who now heads the
    activist group Citizens for Af-
    fordable Energy. He sees $5
    The Organization of Petro-
    leum Exporting Countries was
    mistaken in blaming the uptick
    in prices on “speculators”
    rather than an unexpectedly
    strong increase in demand in
    the developing world last year,
    and that led the oil ministers to
    put off any increase in produc-
    tion at a meeting last month,
    Mr. Larry said.
    He said that was reminiscent
    of mistakes the oil cartel made
    in 2007 that led to a run-up in
    prices to $147 per barrel in mid-
    2008 — a record high that
    helped throw the world econ-
    omy into recession.
    The return of developments
    similar to those that led to the
    surge in energy prices in 2008 is
    attracting investors and specu-
    lators into the oil market, where
    they see the chance to make
    money by further driving up
    prices, he said.
    Mr. Larry does not see as
    dire an outlook as does John
    Hoffmeister, former president
    gas by 2012 because politicking
    and gridlock over energy is-
    sues in Washington are jeop-
    ardizing access to U.S. energy
    supplies and have virtually shut
    down new production in the
    Gulf of Mexico.
    “If we stay on our current
    course, within a decade we’re
    into energy shortages in this
    country big time,” he said last
    week. “Blackouts, brownouts,
    gas lines, rationing — that’s my
    projection based upon the cur-
    rent inability to make decisions.”
    While the Obama administra-
    tion lifted its moratorium on
    deep-water drilling in the Gulf
    weeks ago, Mr. Hoffmeister said
    huge regulatory barriers to de-
    velopment remain, and will pre-
    vent more than one or two
    “token” wells from being drilled
    in the next two years.
    Analysts attribute the sudden
    jump in energy prices in the
    past month to several develop-
    ments besides growing demand
    and restraints on supply.
    Because oil is priced in U.S.
    dollars, it tends to rise when the
    dollar falls. The dollar has been
    declining recently in response to
    moves by the Federal Reserve
    and Congress to further stimu-
    late the U.S. economy in a way
    that generates enormous budget
    deficits that the Fed is helping to
    finance by printing dollars and
    purchasing Treasury bonds.
    Investors also are starting to
    bid up the price of oil and other
    commodities such as gold and
    copper, as they did in 2007 and
    2008, because those commodi-
    ties hold their values when the
    dollar is falling and are seen as
    good hedges against inflation.
    Speculators also are zeroing
    in on evidence that world oil
    production may not keep up
    with fast-rising demand, creat-
    ing the potential for tight mar-
    kets and oil shortages especially
    if the U.S. starts experiencing
    healthier economic growth.
    With global production nearly
    flat at circa 86 million barrels a
    day since 2004, some analysts
    fear that the world may already
    have reached so-called “peak
    oil” output, thus may be unpre-
    pared for another big run-up in
    demand like that seen in the
    past decade.
    Tom Whipple, analyst at the
    Post Carbon Institute, said the
    International Energy Agency
    appeared to concede recently
    that the world reached peak pro-
    duction of 70 million barrels a
    day of conventional crude oil
    from underground wells in 2004.
    Still, the agency continues to
    predict that technology break-
    throughs will produce new oil
    sources that will replace the
    world’s fast-declining major
    wells because it is under politi-
    cal pressure to do so from the
    United States and other devel-
    oped nations, Mr. Whipple said.
    The world’s political leaders
    do not want to admit that the
    world economy cannot grow
    without oil and any absolute
    limit in supplies means the end
    of growth, he said.
    In the meantime, prices will
    escalate, he predicted.
    “Oil prices are nearing the
    point that, based on what we
    saw in 2008, they will do serious
    to devastating economic damage
    to the global economy,” he said.
    “The idea that oil prices will re-
    main below economically dam-
    aging levels for the next 25 years
    seems far-fetched.”
    David Greenlaw, an economist
    at Morgan Stanley, does not see
    a cataclysmic scenario or energy
    price shock in coming years, but
    agrees that supplies remain tight
    as a result of fast-declining wells
    in Mexico, Alaska, the North Sea,
    Russia and other major produc-
    ing regions.
    Nonconventional sources of
    oil like the Canadian oil sands
    and oil shale deposits in the
    United States will ease some of
    the strain, he said, but will not
    be able to make up for the falloff
    from conventional wells.
    “Some fear that rising energy
    prices will be a chronic head-
    wind for U.S. and global growth,”
    he said. “We recognize the hur-
    dles, but we think such fears
    are overblown.”
    A sudden and sustained surge
    of $30 in oil prices would
    “threaten the U.S. consumer and
    the economy,” he said. But Mor-
    gan Stanley expects to see only
    gradual price increases that will
    not be “a major threat to the
    economy,” he said.



    Monument to heroic Marines in dire need of rescue





    website ( out-

    the drive to improve the monu-


    lining its work and how to con-

    ment in a place full of marble

    Time and weather have con- spired to etch cracks in its struc- ture. The bronze patina that once shone a proud Marine Corps green has dulled to a dingy brown. Water damage has pried loose polished granite panels, and puddles gather at the base. In all — hardly the spit-and-pol- ish shape one expects for a me- morial to the most gung-ho branch of the military. That´s no way to treat a mon- ument honoring the vaunted tra- dition of the few and the proud, say members of the Marine Corps War Memorial Founda- tion, who are marshaling sup- porters for a face-lift on the iconic Iwo Jima war memorial in Arlington, Va. A nonprofit “friends” group has formed to work with the Na- tional Park Service and Marine Corps representatives to raise funds to improve the grounds and monument, which was dedicated in 1954 and pays tribute to U.S. Marines who have died in de- fense of the country since 1775. “What we are hoping to do is work together to raise the funds and awareness of the memorial and its American history,” said James Donovan, founder and ex-

    tribute. The memorial was designed by sculptor Felix de Weldon and features the sailors and Marines who hoisted a second flag over Mount Suribachi on the Pacific Island of Iwo Jima, a pivotal vic- tory and one of the bloodiest bat- tles in the World War II cam- paign against Japan. About 27 Medals of Honor were awarded for heroism in the 36-day fight to capture the Japan- ese island. Adm. Chester W. Nimitz is quoted in an inscription at the memorial: “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” The National Park Service is responsible for upkeep and hopes to work with the Marine memorial foundation on the fundraising project. Jon James, deputy superintendent of the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the National Park Service spokesman for the proj- ect, said efforts and an agree- ment on the deal are in early stages with a memorandum of in- tent signed for the partnership. Mr. Donovan said the govern- ment hopes to have a final deal in place next month. “It’s in a very conceptual stage at this point,” he said. National Park Service conser-

    memorials honoring history and major American figures. “It’s one of the most pho- tographed vistas or scenic views in the U.S. — period,” he said. Marine Col. Roarke Anderson, commanding officer of Head- quarters and Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps at Henderson Hall, said: “It’s one of the most recognizable features in D.C. People look at the Jefferson Memorial and wonder about it, but they look at the Marine Corps memorial and say, ‘Holy cow.’ It’s do or die, one of the most inspir- ing symbols of what the Marines are, a feeling that Marines have. And it serves as an enduring tribute to the Marines in times of war and peace.” Every Tuesday during the summer, visitors to the memorial park are treated to sunset mili- tary parades, offering a place to reflect on the martial pomp and circumstance and the sacrifices Marines make to defend Ameri- can values and way of life. “It’s not just the drill team and drum and bugle corps. Just think about the view that you get,” Col. Anderson said of the park’s vista. “Looking at that monument, looking out over D.C., it’s all right there. If you are patriotic at all,

    ecutive director of the Marine Corps War Memorial Founda- tion, which is leading the preser- vation efforts. Those efforts include a $450,000 museum-grade clean-

    WEATHER-BEATEN: The faces of the Marines on the Iwo Jima war memorial in Arlington, Va., show the problems that the elements have caused over the years. Funds are being raised to make improvements to the monument, including a museum- grade cleaning and wax sealing.

    vators have inspected the me- morial and recommended proce- dures for upkeep, he said. About $60,000 is spent annually to maintain the entire area, includ- ing the grounds, statue and mon-

    it will put pangs in your heart.” He applauded Mr. Donovan’s restoration efforts, saying the former Marine wants repairs to be made the right way. “It’s not a memorial to glorify

    ing and wax sealing of the 32-foot bronze statue, which is based on the famed “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima” photo taken Feb. 23, 1945, by Associated Press pho- tographer Joe Rosenthal. “As far as updates, we haven´t kept pace with the times and its

    needs,” said Mr. Donovan, a for- mer Marine corporal who served at the monument´s Silent Drill Platoon from 1964 to 1968. His organization also is seek- ing replacement of portable toi- lets on the grounds, work on in-

    terior roadways at its Arlington Ridge setting, a reception and visitors center and improved landscaping. Such a preserva- tion effort could take up to 15 years to complete. The foundation has set up a

    ument. Proposals include a flag- pole lift to assist the Marines who raise and take down the flag each day, as well as improving landscaping, replacing trees and refinishing gold-leaf gilding on certain areas. Mr. James said he understood

    war. It’s a memorial to glorify the sacrifices that Marines have made over the years,” Col. An- derson said. “It’s a way to make sure that our history is going to continue for the next generation to see and be an inspiration for us as well.”

    San Diego memorial cross ruled to be unconstitutional

    B Y V ALERIE R ICHARDSON ASSOCIATED PRESS Soledad Easter Cross.” 1980s.”




    Soledad Easter Cross.”



    The court said that the cross’s

    A federal court ruled Jan. 4 that a cross perched atop San Diego’s Mount Soledad for nearly a cen-

    designation as a war memorial came “only after the legal con- troversy began in the late

    tury violates the Constitution, but took no position on whether it should be removed. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected arguments that the 43-foot cross should be preserved as a war memorial, ruling 3-0 that it violated the First Amendment’s “establish- ment clause.” “The use of such a distinc- tively Christian symbol to honor all veterans sends a strong message of endorsement and exclusion,” said Judge Mar-

    The Alliance Defense Fund, which has defended the place- ment of crosses at war memori- als, blasted the decision, insist- ing that the cross should remain to honor the sacrifices made by American troops. “War heroes have earned the right to be remembered,” said ADF senior counsel Joe In- franco. “The memory of those who sacrificed their lives for freedom shouldn’t be dishon- ored because the ACLU finds a small number of people who are

    garet McKeown, who wrote the 50-page decision for the three-

    Alienating modern America? Cross on Mount Soledad


    merely offended.” The monument has seen

    judge panel. “It suggests that the government is so connected to a particular religion that it treats the religion’s symbolism as its own, as universal. To many non-Christian veterans, this claim of universality is

    alienating.” At the same time, she said the decision did not mean that the cross must be removed. “This result does not mean that the memorial could not be

    modified to pass constitutional muster, nor does it mean that no cross can be part of this veter- ans’ memorial,” she said. The judge noted that the site had been used for purposes

    other than those of honoring fallen soldiers. For many years, Mount Soledad has been a des- tination for Easter services, and had been listed on maps until the late 1980s as the “Mount

    three versions of the Christian cross since 1913. The latest cross, erected in 1954 in honor of Korean War veterans, was challenged in 1989 by two Viet- nam War veterans in a lawsuit against the city of San Diego.

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    19 //
    The Justice Brothers
    “Jesse Gets Cancelled”
    I Am Barack
    Blazing Liberal
    Kerry’s Not Our Favorite
    Dem Primary Debate #1
    Arnold Schwarzenegger’s
    Carville’s Visit To Santa
    Leave It To Barry
    The Justice Brothers
    Ms. America
    “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie
    12 Days Of Clinton
    We Hate The Usa
    The Day After
    True Washington Story
    Yellow Really Tight Bikini”
    Billy Snacktime Doll
    Kim Jung II “First 100 Days”
    Al Gore’s Norwegian
    Tomorrow’s Election
    Really Ready
    He Needs Gravitas
    She’s Always A Hillary
    Moose Research
    The Party’s Over
    Born To Be Mild
    The Island Of Dr. Perot
    The Night Before
    Hillary Clinton Dialect
    New York Times
    They’re Coming To Take
    The Funeral
    Accuracy Update
    Ross Away
    The Candidates’ Song
    I Can Talk Like A Coal
    Gay Wedding A-Go-Go
    Clinton For Davis
    Tickle Me O.J.
    McCain Straight Talk
    Pull the Plug on Granny
    Miner’s Daughter
    Osama Obama
    I Am So Beautiful
    Hometown Girl
    Express Holiday Fun
    The Gift
    Message From Kim Jung Il
    Big Oil
    Uncle Ted
    Simpletons: Minimum
    California Spanking PSA
    Viva McCain!
    Arnold Schwarzenegger’s
    Tom Daschle Show
    How Much Is Too Much?
    Sneakin’ In America
    “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie
    Old Ted (Kaczynski)
    Holiday Special
    What’d Joe Say?
    Your Momma’s So Fat
    Yellow Really Tight Bikini”
    Our Strength
    A Jimmy Carter
    Dan and Chris
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    Pro-democracy activists arrested after ‘reset’



    B Y E LI L AKE
    B Y E LI L AKE


    Other opposition figures who


    were arrested include Ilya

    Russian authorities detained one of the country’s leading opposi- tion figures less than two weeks after the U.S. Senate ratified a key arms-control treaty that the White House promised would help reset ties with Moscow. Over the Jan. 1-2 weekend, members of Russia’s FSB inter- nal security service disrupted demonstrations in St. Petersburg and Moscow, arresting nearly 130 pro-democracy activists and reversing a policy of tolerating political protests once every 60 days by a coalition of democratic opposition figures in the country. Among those arrested was Boris Nemtsov, a former deputy prime minister and the leader of the United Democratic Move- ment, a political party that favors Western political reforms. “I understand that this is an at- tempt to frighten the opposition and frighten my family,” Mr. Nemtsov said in a statement from jail. “I understand that the authorities are enraged and nervous and don’t know how to deal with the opposition. I also understand that we have no right to retreat. And we shall not retreat.” These arrests followed the sentencing two weeks ago of Russian businessman Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a key political op-

    Yashin, Kirill Manulin, Konstan- tin Kosyakin and Eduard Limonov. David Kramer, the executive director of Freedom House, said he thought some members of the Obama administration be- lieved that human rights issues were a part of the reset policy with Russia. “I don’t think the Russian government views human rights issues as a part of the reset. We might; they don’t,” Mr. Kramer said. Mr. Kramer noted that Mr. Obama has not been vocal about supporting human rights in Russia. “Since a very good trip in July of 2009 to Moscow, Obama’s si- lence on human rights issues in Russia has been striking,” Mr. Kramer said. In that July 2009 trip, Mr. Obama met with Mr. Nemtsov. “What we’re trying to do is work with Russia on Iran and other key issues, but at the same time promote our values, rule of law and democracy in Russia,” said an administration official fa- miliar with the White House view of the Russia reset. “We think we can do both at the same time. The relationship has matured in such a way that overreaction and linkage across issues is less likely, especially

    ponent of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The sentencing

    Riot police detain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov during a rally in Moscow on Dec. 31.

    between the two presidents,” the official said, speaking on the con-

    of Mr. Khodorkovsky to six more years in prison culminated a two- year trial that observers criti- cized as politically motivated. “Everyone, including the ad- ministration, saw this harsh sen- tence for Khodorkovsky coming from a mile away,” said Rep.

    Moscow reverse its policy on the political demonstrations. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said “we were pleased that Moscow authorities had reversed their previous pol-

    tecting universal values, includ- ing freedom of expression and assembly — they’re enshrined in the Russian Constitution — as well as international agreements that Russia has signed.”

    the sale of components of S-300 air-defense systems to Iran, de- spite signing a contract during the Bush administration to do so. Russia also supported the final passage last year of sanctions

    dition of anonymity. Tom Malinowski, Washington director for Human Rights Watch, said if START had been voted down, the effect may have been worse for human rights in Russia. “I do think a defeat of START

    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Re- publican and incoming chair- woman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “This is yet another reason why it is so perplexing that the administration insisted on ram- ming through New START dur- ing the lame-duck session of Con- gress and has also insisted on making concession after conces- sion to Russia despite Russia’s obvious backslide in the direc- tion of tyranny,” she said. “The ‘reset’ has been a total one-way street of concessions from the U.S. to Russia with nothing to show for in return.” Ms. Ros-Lehtinen was refer- ring to the passage last month of

    “This is yet another reason why it is so perplexing that the administration insisted on ramming through New START during the lame-duck session of Congress and has also insisted on making concession after concession to Russia despite Russia’s obvious backslide in the direction of tyranny,” said said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican and incoming chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “The ‘reset’ has been a total one-way street of concessions from the U.S. to Russia with nothing to show for in return.”

    under these circumstances would have made it easier for Putin and his faction to make the argument that satisfying U.S. concerns on human rights or anything for that matter was use- less,” he said. “That said, the START agreement is not a human rights instrument and it’s not a substitute for a strong pub- lic and principled U.S. policy of opposing political repression.” Recent disclosures of classi- fied U.S. diplomatic cables from WikiLeaks suggest that the Bush and Obama administrations have been less than candid about the decay of freedoms in Russia under Mr. Putin. A cable dated Dec. 30, 2009,

    the New Strategic Arms Reduc- tion Treaty (START), an arms- control agreement that President Obama said was critical to efforts to reduce tensions with Russia. The White House, in a state- ment, condemned the arrests and said it was surprising to see

    icy and decided to allow peace- ful demonstrations. So we regret that these arrests have taken place, both in Moscow and St. Pe- tersburg.” Mr. Crowley noted “the im- portance of embracing and pro-

    However, Mr. Crowley would not say whether Russia’s treat- ment of political opposition fig- ures is part of the U.S. reset of re- lations. More tangible gains for the United States from the reset include Russia’s cancellation of

    against Iran at the U.N. Security Council. Mr. Nemtsov and nearly 130 other activists were sentenced to 14 days in jail, according to fig- ures provided by Mr. Nemtsov’s party and local media reports.

    from the U.S. Embassy political counselor in Moscow stated that the trial of Mr. Khodorkovsky showed “the great lengths that the [Russian government] is willing to go in order to place a ‘rule of law’ gloss on a politically motivated trial.”



    Army will evaluate suspect in WikiLeaks







    The Army is assembling a spe- cial board to evaluate the mental state of Pfc. Bradley Manning,


    “[Pfc. Bradley Manning’s] cell is approximately six feet wide and twelve

    feet in length. The cell has a bed, a


    who is being held on charges that he illegally obtained thousands of classified documents and turned

    they will continue to move for-

    drinking fountain, and a toilet.

    ] At

    them over to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks in what might be the biggest security breach in U.S. history. Lt. Col. Robert Manning, an Army spokesman, said Jan. 3 that no further legal proceedings will happen until Pfc. Manning is evaluated by what is called a “706 board” and a recommendation is made on his fitness to stand trial. The Army charged the 23- year-old private in May while he was assigned as an intelligence analyst with a combat brigade in Iraq. Since July, he has been held in solitary confinement in the

    5:00 a.m. he is woken up (on weekends, he is allowed to sleep until 7:00 a.m.). Under the rules for the confinement facility, he is not allowed to sleep at anytime between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. If he attempts to sleep during those hours, he will be made to sit up or stand by the guards.”

    brig at Marine Corps Base Quan- tico in Virginia. “What’s happening right now, they are convening a 706 board, which is a board to determine his mental fitness, which was re- quested by the defense,” Col. Manning said, who is not related to the prisoner. “Because of the

    engage in conversation with PFC Manning. “At 5:00 a.m. he is woken up (on weekends, he is allowed to sleep until 7:00 a.m.). Under the rules for the confinement facility, he is not allowed to sleep at any- time between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00

    “I greatly appreciate every-

    remember those who are sepa- rated from their loved ones at this time due to deployment and important missions. Specifically, I am thinking of those that I de- ployed with and have not seen for the last seven months, and of the staff here at the Quantico Con-

    nature of the charges, that board is being screened. Once that board meets and determines Pfc. Manning’s mental fitness, then

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has called Army Pfc. Bradley Manning a “political prisoner.” The secrets-spilling website founded by Mr. Assange was used to leak more than 150,000 downloaded State Department cables.

    p.m. If he attempts to sleep dur- ing those hours, he will be made to sit up or stand by the guards.” Mr. Coombs said the prisoner

    finement Facility who will be spending their Christmas with- out their family.” The Army’s official charging


    gets one hour of exercise a day,

    document accuses Pfc. Manning

    ward with the Uniform Code of Military Justice process. That’s the first thing that needs to hap-


    is overseeing the case against Pfc. Manning.

    have asserted that his treatment amounts to torture and want the

    which consists of walking in a room. He is allowed a 15- to 20- minute shower each night.

    of accessing the military’s vast Secret Internet Protocol Router Network and downloading more

    pen, this 706 board.

    ] I don’t

    David E. Coombs, an Army

    United Nations to investigate.

    The lawyer said he has raised

    than 150,000 State Department

    have a timeline on that.” The 706 refers to a section of the Manual for Courts-Martial. The board must answer two questions: Was the accused suf- fering from a mental disease that made him unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of the conduct? Is the accused mentally compe- tent to stand trial? Col. Manning is a spokesman for the U.S. Army Military Dis- trict of Washington, whose com- mander, Maj. Gen. Karl R. Horst,


    Reserve officer who is Pfc. Man- ning’s defense attorney, has chronicled his client’s treatment at Quantico on his law firm’s web- site. The treatment includes de- nial of sheets and a pillow and constant observation by guards. Col. Manning said Pfc. Man- ning is not on a suicide watch. “The classification is ‘maximum custody detainee under constant observation,’ ” he said. “But he has not been on suicide watch.” Pfc. Manning’s supporters

    The Army says he is being treated humanely. In a Dec. 18 posting, Mr. Coombs described his client’s living conditions: “His cell is ap- proximately six feet wide and twelve feet in length. The cell has a bed, a drinking fountain, and a toilet. The guards at the confinement facility are profes- sional. At no time have they tried to bully, harass, or embarrass PFC Manning. Given the nature of their job, however, they do not

    Pfc. Manning’s strict confine- ment conditions with the chain of command. “Our efforts, unfortu- nately, have not resulted any in positive results,” he said. The law office also released a “holiday statement” from Pfc. Manning:

    one’s support and well wishes during this time. I am also thank- ful for everything that has been done to aid in my defense. I ask that everyone takes the time to

    cables. WikiLeaks, the self-described whistleblower network, is releas- ing more than 250,000 secret ca- bles, but has not acknowledged Pfc. Manning as its source. WikiLeaks founder Julian As- sange has called Pfc. Manning a “political prisoner.” Various press reports have quoted Pfc. Manning as telling a hacker that he downloaded the files while pretending to listen to music at a computer station.

    Government computers hacked by fake Christmas e-mail

    B Y S HAUN W ATERMAN stored on computer hard drives computer from the inside, allow-


    B Y S HAUN W ATERMAN stored on computer hard drives computer from the inside, allow-

    stored on computer hard drives

    computer from the inside, allow-

    Another security specialist

    there were “dozens” of victims,


    and upload them to a server in

    ing hackers access. Zeus is de-

    who accessed the server said he

    including many working for U.S.

    Malicious software disguised as an e-mailed White House Christ- mas greeting and sent to federal and state government officials netted its authors a huge haul of potentially sensitive data, includ- ing passwords and documents, according to computer security analysts. The malicious software, or malware, was designed to collect log-in and password data for banks, commercial services or fi- nancial websites such as eBay and PayPal as well as other sites such as MySpace and Microsoft, according to Alex Cox of Netwit- ness, a computer forensics firm based in Herndon, Va. Mr. Cox said the malware also was designed to steal documents


    Belarus. Researchers were able to access the server, but what they found there likely was just a small fraction of the hackers’ haul, Mr. Cox told The Washing- ton Times. “They were clearing that stuff out every day” and moving it to a more secure location, he said. “That’s fairly standard.” Mr. Cox said the attack em- ployed a technique known as “phishing,” in which victims are sent an e-mail containing a link to a Web address. When they click it, their computers can be- come infected with malware, in this case a well-known program called Zeus. Such packages are known as Trojans because they effectively open the doors of the infected

    signed to steal passwords and other log-in data. “As you and your families gather to celebrate the holidays, we wanted to take a moment to send you our greetings” reads the e-mail, which purports to come from the Executive Office of the President. Mr. Cox said clicking on the fake Christmas greeting down- loads a second kind of Trojan, in addition to Zeus, that searches the infected hard drive for doc- uments and uploads them to the server in Belarus. He cautioned that the attack- ers could be anywhere in the world. “Just because the server is there, it doesn’t really tell us anything about the [location of the] attackers,” Mr. Cox said.

    found “several gigabytes” of data there, including records of court- ordered wiretaps, apparently from the computer of an intelli- gence analyst with the Massa- chusetts State Police, and hun- dreds of grant applications from the National Science Foundation’s Office of Cyber Infrastructure. “This activity is unusual be- cause most criminals using Zeus are interested in moneymaking activities — such as swiping passwords and creating bot- nets” rather than collecting gov- ernment documents, wrote Brian Krebs on his blog Krebs on Security. Mr. Cox said he did not know who or how many had received the fake greeting. Mr. Krebs said he was “reasonably confident”

    or state governments. Department of Homeland Se- curity spokeswoman Amy Kudwa said the department was aware of the attack and was “monitoring this latest Zeus event as we do with all these crime-ware attacks.” In reality, the White House does not send out e-cards or elec- tronic Christmas greetings. Pres- idential holiday cards go out the old-fashioned way, by mail, and are sent by the Democratic Na- tional Committee. Last year’s card, according to to committee spokesman Hari Sevugan, bore a picture of the White House under a blanket of snow and read, “May your holi- day be filled with all the simple gifts of the season.”




    John “Jack” Wheeler III, here in 1994, finds the name of a friend engraved in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Wheeler’s body was discovered Dec. 31. It had been left in a trash bin in Newark, Del. His death has been ruled a homicide.

    John “Jack” Wheeler III, here in 1994, finds the name of a friend engraved in the


    China’s stealth jet

    The Pentagon is scrambling to explain what appears to be an in- telligence failure after Internet photos made public recently showed a faster-than-estimated advance of China’s new fifth-gen- eration warplane. U.S. intelligence estimates previously concluded the jet,

    dubbed the J-20, will not be de- ployed until 2020. Vice Adm. David Dorsett, di- rector of Naval Intelligence, told a group of defense reporters on Jan. 5 that the new Chinese fighter program was not a sur- prise, but “the speed at which


    [. .

    they are making progress

    we underestimated.” “Across a broad array of weapons systems, they are making progress,” the three- star admiral said. Progress on the J-20 is among several other Chinese military developments that U.S. intelligence agencies have been accused of missing over the past decade. Others include the failure to detect a new class of Chinese submarine called the Yuan and shortcomings related to Beijing’s long-range cruise missiles and a new anti-ship ballistic missile. Pentagon spokesman Marine Col. Dave Lapan confirmed to Inside the Ring that recent pho- tos of a new Chinese jet show “taxiing tests” on a prototype air- craft apparently photographed by people who saw it pass by. “This is evidence that a fifth- generation fighter program is proceeding,” Col. Lapan said. “However, progress appears to be uneven: Open-source re- ports show that China has been seeking jet engines for its fourth- generation fighter from Russia, indicating that they are still en- countering some difficulties in working toward fifth-generation capabilities,” he said. The faster development of the J-20 was first discussed by Chi- nese Gen. He Weirong, deputy commander of the Chinese air force last year. He predicted de- ployment as earlier as 2017. The jet is expected to rival the U.S. F-22 superfighter whose production was canceled by De- fense Secretary Robert M. Gates after 187 jets were built. In scrapping the F-22, Mr. Gates stated publicly that one reason for his decision was that the Chi- nese would not deploy a compa- rable jet until 2020, thus more F- 35 jets would be built instead of the more capable F-22. Richard Fisher, a military an- alyst with the International As- sessment and Strategy Center who was among the first to spot the J-20 photos months ago, said the aircraft is manufactured by the Chengdu Aircraft Co. “Chengdu’s goal is to beat the F-22 and then build their own F- 35 when the 18-ton thrust en- gine is ready. It is a full challenge to the U.S. strategy for air power,” Mr. Fisher said. Both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations are to blame for not continuing produc- tion of the F-22, which is needed if there is ever a conflict with China over Taiwan, he said. “Absent a better combat air- craft, this constitutes one of the

    most serious U.S. intelligence and leadership failures since the end of the Cold War,” Mr. Fisher said. Mr. Fisher said the images of the jet reveal that China is ad- vancing rapidly toward fielding a credible and competitive fifth- generation fighter. The photos show a large fighter with radar- evading stealth features, an ad- vanced electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and “super- cruise” — the ability to fly at su- personic speed for long distances using less fuel, he said. “With refueling, this fighter can carry the fight out to Guam,” Mr. Fisher said. As for the Pentagon’s claim that the Chinese are having prob- lems developing an advanced en- gine for the jet, Mr. Fisher said China is ground-testing a new, more powerful jet engine and, as a result, could deploy the new jet by 2017. “If the United States wishes to remain an Asian power capable of deterring Chinese aggression, or preventing future generations from becoming victims of China’s dictates, it is essential that an improved version of the F-22 be put into crash develop- ment, as well as putting a sixth- generation fighter into formal development,” Mr. Fisher said.

    Bill Gertz the Ring Inside
    Bill Gertz
    the Ring

    So far, no U.S. military or de-

    Russia’s military is working to deploy an “impenetrable” mis- sile-defense shield by 2020, ac-

    cording to Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the Russian armed forces staff. Gen. Makarov was quoted in Russian news reports on Jan. 3 as saying “the state will have an umbrella over it which will de- fend it against ballistic missile at- tacks, against medium-range missiles, air-based cruise mis- siles, sea-based cruise missiles, and ground-based cruise mis- siles, including missiles flying at extremely low altitudes, at any time and in any situation.” “Of course, this is a long process that requires a signifi- cant financial investment. But the foundation for this system will be established as early as 2011,” he said. The general’s statement raises questions about the testimony last year by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who told Con- gress while lobbying for the rat- ification of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty that the Russians “hate” missile de- fenses, based on their constant opposition to U.S. defenses and efforts to limit U.S. defenses in the arms treaty. Based on Gen. Makarov’s comments, what the Russians re- ally hate are U.S. missile de- fenses because they could be ex- panded to counter Moscow’s


    Gates’ quest

    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is being offered a visit to

    China’s Great Wall during his much-anticipated visit to the Middle Kingdom set to begin this week that pro-China officials in the Obama administration hope will jump-start stalled military exchanges. Trip planners in the Pentagon and Beijing are working on the

    itinerary for the visit, which is

    expected to be the first clear re- flection of whether China’s mili- tary, the bastion of anti-U.S. sen-

    timent within the communist leadership, is willing to sign on to U.S. efforts to build trust. The test will be whether the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) generals who have refused to allow U.S. leaders to visit sensi- tive military sites in the past will give Mr. Gates more access than past secretaries. In 2005, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was the first to visit the headquarters building of the Second Artillery Corps, the strategic missile forces in 2005. That was hailed as a break- through, even though no missile sites or warhead storage facilities were included. If Mr. Gates goes to the Great Wall and is denied access to a never-before-seen PLA base, the visit will likely be dismissed by critics as an example of “military tourism.” That’s what happened back in the late 1990s, when then-De- fense Secretary William S. Cohen was shown an aging mis- sile defense facilities in what of- ficials at the time said was a propaganda effort by the Chi- nese to show the United States how backward their military was — all the better reason the United States should lift the em- bargo on military sales and loosen advanced technology controls.

    Hills near Beijing. China’s mili- tary has prohibited all U.S. mili- tary personal from the site, al- though there have been reports that Russian military visitors have seen it.

    fense leader has been allowed to

    visit the real Chinese Pentagon — a vast underground command center known as the Western

    Russian missile defense

    Mysterious murder

    The FBI has joined Newark,

    Del., police in probing the mys- terious murder of John “Jack” Wheeler III, a former Penta- gon official and West Point graduate who was among a group of advocates in Washing- ton leading the fight in recent years over how the U.S. govern- ment should conduct computer- based cyberwarfare. Baltimore FBI spokesman Rich Wolf confirmed the bureau’s assistance but declined to dis- close details about the aid. “Right now, we’re treating this as a homicide,” Mr. Wolf said by tele- phone. Mr. Wheeler, 66, was found murdered Dec. 31 in a landfill near Wilmington. Investigators

    said his body had been left in a trash bin in Newark, Del. Investigators are said to be looking into several theories for the motive behind the killing, in- cluding a legal dispute with a neighbor or a robbery. Mr. Wheeler held a security clearance and had worked as a contractor for the McLean, Va. office of the Mitre Corp., a de- fense contractor. Mitre spokeswoman Jennifer Shearman said Mr. Wheeler worked on “outreach activities aimed at promoting discussions among government, industry, and academia on cyberdefense topics.” Mr. Wheeler, who was known as a fierce political infighter, in recent years helped set up a blue- ribbon panel of experts to study the issue of cyberwarfare. Mr. Wheeler sided with the U.S. military and defense advo- cates who want cyberwarfare to be dominated by military war- riors rather than intelligence of- ficials, who have sought to make cyberwarfare more oriented to- ward gathering intelligence and conducting espionage. The dispute over the military- versus-intelligence orientation of cyberwarfare and the legal authorities for each currently has slowed the U.S. government’s cyberwarfare efforts. Mr. Wheeler was an Army vet- eran of the Vietnam War and helped set up the Vietnam Veter- ans Memorial on the Mall. “America was blessed to have a ‘few great captains’ in the Army Air Corps who were vi- sionaries on the use of air power before World War II,” said Ed- ward Timperlake, a technology security official at the Pentagon during the George W. Bush ad- ministration and a friend of Mr. Wheeler’s. “Jack Wheeler will go down as one of our ‘great captains’ on fighting in cyberbattle space,” he said. “Jack knew the value of being prepared for offensive combat and he was driving home that lifetime lesson he learned over four decades ago at West Point.” Bill Gertz can be reached at



    Obama weighs Netanyahu call for Pollard pardon




    “That the country he spied for is

    January 1993 and turned down

    But over time, Israeli leaders

    In a 2000 debate during her


    The White House is reviewing a new pardon request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Ne- tanyahu in the case of former Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard, who is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel. The request came in a letter to President Obama from Mr. Ne- tanyahu, who read it aloud dur- ing a session of the Israeli par- liament on Jan. 4, noting that the case “unites us all.” “We have received the letter and will review it,” White House spokesman Thomas Vietor said,

    seeking clemency is not only un- precedented, it is a joke.” According to court documents and former intelligence officials close to the case, Pollard was re- jected for a post at the CIA in 1977 and two years later went to work as a civilian intelligence analyst for the Navy. He began spying for Israel in May 1984 and was arrested on Nov. 21, 1985, after he and his wife, Anne, were turned away by guards at the Israeli Embassy in Washington after they sought asylum. He pleaded guilty to spying in a plea bargain in June 1986 and

    a direct request from Mr. Ne- tanyahu, during his first term as Israeli prime minister, at a sum- mit at Wye River, Md., in Octo- ber 1998. Supporters of Pollard, includ- ing Reagan administration Pen- tagon official Lawrence Korb, said the life sentence was unfair because Pollard agreed to coop- erate with authorities in con- ducting a damage assessment. The life sentence was based on a still-secret letter to the court from then-Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger outlining the damage. Mr. Korb said in an address to

    admitted that the case was offi- cially sanctioned and pressed for his release. The first to do so was Yitzhak Rabin, the first Is- raeli prime minister to try to ne- gotiate an independent Palestin- ian state. Mr. Netanyahu has been par- ticularly persistent in seeking Pollard’s release. In 2007, the Israeli leader visited Pollard in prison, and during his most re- cent campaign for prime minis- ter, he promised to secure Pol- lard’s release. Despite opposition from in- telligence leaders, some U.S. politicians have expressed sym-

    U.S. Senate campaign in New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton said she had questions about due process in the handling of the Pollard case. “The question for me is around the due process is- sues concerning the way that he was sentenced,” she said. In 1999 in a letter organized by Sen. Richard C. Shelby, Al- abama Republican, a bipartisan group of 58 senators wrote to Mr. Clinton opposing a pardon for Pollard. Mr. Shelby, at the time chair- man of the Senate Select Com- mittee on Intelligence, said of the case: “It doesn’t matter who you are working for. It’s illegal.

    declining further comment. In the past when Israel re- quested a pardon for Pollard, a U.S. citizen who was convicted of espionage in 1986, U.S. intelli- gence community leaders pri- vately opposed several clemency appeals. Last month, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said he was unaware of discus- sions between the president and Mr. Netanyahu on the issue and noted that he was “not

    “By the time he was caught, he caused enough damage to U.S. intelligence that, according to the Defense Department, it cost between $3 billion and $5 billion to fix because of what he compromised,” said Joseph DiGenova, the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case. “That the country he spied for is seeking clemency is not only unprecedented, it is a joke.”

    Espionage is espionage, whether for friend or foe.” The spy case soured the close intelligence relationship be- tween U.S. and Israeli spy agen- cies for many years. Israeli Mossad officer Rafael Eitan, whose career was cut short by the case, stated in 1997 that the case caused a “big fuss,” but that the risk was part of the espionage game. “That is the lot of an intelli- gence officer who runs complex

    aware that that’s something that the president is looking at doing.” Joseph DiGenova, the former U.S. attorney who prosecuted the case, said Pollard was a spy who was paid and who tried to entice others to join his operation. Mr. DiGenova said Pollard re- ceived about $500,000 a year plus expenses for giving intelli- gence documents to Israeli agents. “By the time he was caught, he caused enough damage to U.S. intelligence that, according to the Defense Department, it cost between $3 billion and $5 billion to fix because of what he com- promised,” Mr. DiGenova said.

    was given a life prison term in March 1987. Pollard was able to walk out of his office with thousands of pages of classified intelligence documents because of poor se- curity at the Naval Investigative Service headquarters in Suit- land, Md. Officials said at the time that the documents revealed infor- mation about the identities of U.S. and allied agents and elec- tronic eavesdropping programs, as well as data that compro- mised codes used in secret com- munications. President Clinton rejected a pardon appeal from Israel in

    the Israeli Knesset on Dec. 20 that the Weinberger memoran- dum exaggerated the damage from the case and that Pollard should be released after serving 25 years because he has paid his debt. A former intelligence official close to the case, however, said the Weinberger statement iden- tified 19 categories of damage and that Pollard’s prison time is not the issue. “The real issue is the truth, not the claims of Pol- lard apologists,” he said. The Israeli government said at the time of Pollard’s arrest that his spying activities were part of a rogue operation.

    pathy for Pollard. Mr. Clinton wrote in his mem- oir that “for all the sympathy Pollard generated in Israel, he was a hard case to push in Amer- ica; he had sold our country’s se- crets for money, not conviction, and for years had not shown any remorse. When I talked to [Na- tional Security Adviser] Sandy Berger and [CIA Director] George Tenet, they were adamantly opposed to letting Pollard go, as was [Secretary of State] Madeleine Albright.” Mr. Tenet at one point threat- ened to resign if Pollard was granted clemency, according to Mr. Tenet’s memoir.

    intelligence operations. When you work a lot and do a lot, espe- cially in the intelligence field, you win some and you lose some,” Mr. Eitan told the news- paper Yediot Aharonot. Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said Pol- lard should be released because of the length of the term so far and Pollard’s repeated expres- sions of remorse. “I think it is a matter of justice and compassion that he be re- leased,” he said. “This does not dismiss what he did, but he has paid a disproportionate price for his crime.”

    Emirates asked U.S. to help find killers of Hamas weapons dealer



    B Y E LI L AKE
    B Y E LI L AKE

    telligence service.

    including fake passports, to ob-

    Mabhouh could dampen the

    A former Mossad operations


    The assailants were video-

    tain employment/compensation

    willingness of the Dubai emi-

    officer who goes by the pseudo-

    Documents made public re- cently show the United Arab Emirates sought U.S. govern- ment help in tracing prepaid credit cards used by those linked to the assassination of a Hamas arms dealer last year. A Feb. 24 cable from the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi and dis- closed by WikiLeaks stated that Anwar Gargash, a senior For- eign Ministry official, formally asked the U.S. ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Richard Olson, for U.S. assis- tance in tracking down the cards used by the assailants in the Jan. 20, 2010, killing of Mah- moud al-Mabhouh in Dubai. Al-Mabhouh, a senior opera- tive in the Hamas terrorist group, was killed in a room at the Al Bustan Rotana Hotel as part of an apparent intelligence operation widely thought to be the work of Israel’s Mossad in-

    taped by hotel cameras and later traced to false passports. On Feb. 23, Abdullah bin Zayed, foreign minister of the United Arab Emirates, asked Secretary of State Hillary Rod- ham Clinton for assistance in the matter, according to the cable. The Abu Dubai police inves- tigation said several plotters in the killing used prepaid cards from the Iowa-based MetaBank. U.S. companies often use the cards to pay employees over- seas by placing salary and other expenses into the accounts through direct deposit. A statement from MetaBank provided to The Washington Times in March said the bank was investigating the allega- tions and the prospect of iden- tity theft in this case. “We have been informed by authorities that the suspects ap- parently used stolen identities,

    from U.S. companies and ac- quire bank cards issued by Meta and other banks,” said the March 2 statement. “Standard- ized steps were taken in accor- dance with applicable regula- tions and industry standards to validate cardholder identities prior to card issuance.” The disclosures could expose a rift between the United States and one of its closest allies in the Persian Gulf. The United States has had close counterter- rorism cooperation with the federal United Arab Emirates government in Abu Dhabi, but not as much cooperation with local authorities for the emi- rate of Dubai. Dubai is the Switzerland of the Middle East, a neutral city where Western businesses and Iranian interests conduct bank- ing. Any perception that the United States may have aided the Israelis in the killing of al-

    rate to provide financial intelli- gence on Iran and al Qaeda. The killing of al-Mabhouh created a diplomatic stir for Is- rael. Nine days afterward, the Dubai police chief publicly ac- cused the Mossad of killing the Hamas operative and released video taken from the hotel where he was slain showing one person putting on a disguise after exiting al-Mabhouh’s hotel room. Dubai authorities also re- leased what they said were forged passports used in the op- eration, leading the United Kingdom and the European Union to launch formal reviews of the incident. Hamas leaders have claimed credit for some of the bloodiest terrorism against Israeli civil- ians in the past 20 years, in- cluding a 1994 van bombing in Afula that killed nine people and wounded more than 50.

    nym Michael Ross said the Mossad would never use an American bank for a sensitive operation without at least noti- fying the CIA. “The fact that this team used cash cards from a bank in Iowa tells me that this was a joint op- eration, or the Dubai police are forging the evidence,” he said. The statement from Meta- Bank said the individuals who used the prepaid cards did not appear on the Treasury’s list of people who are barred from doing business with U.S. companies. “No other readily apparent method existed for Meta to de- termine that identity theft had been perpetrated on valid gov- ernments and their citizens,” the statement said. The United Arab Emirates Embassy in Washington de- clined to comment for this report.



    Taliban benefits as Afghans’ anti-drug efforts stall





    poppy fields.


    The Russians also have been

    Afghan efforts to eradicate opium-yielding poppy crops that fuel the Taliban-led insurgency


    critical of a U.S. and NATO de- cision not to spray herbicide over poppy fields because of concerns that such action would

    have stalled as a result of a lack of incentives and adequate secu- rity for farmers who may be in- clined to cut ties with the Taliban, according to Afghan and Western officials. Money from the illicit drug trade is used to finance insurgen- cies within and outside Afghanistan. “Eradication has been stalled because of insecurity, a lack of al- t