- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 22, 2000

Noble: Washington Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey. Maintaining law and order is always a balancing act. This week D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey was forced to walk that tightrope with thousands of screaming protesters on his back. He performed magnificently, balancing both the right to protest and the rights of the rest of us to remain unmolested for this Chief Ramsey is The Washington Times' noble of the week.

Despite some media reports, the protests in Washington had the potential to teeter into another Seattle tear gas and smashed store fronts. In the end more than 1,200 people were arrested, many protesters were hit with pepper spray and batons and at one point Mr. Ramsey found himself facing down a gaggle of emotionally charged protesters.

It was precisely Mr. Ramsey's on the ground leadership that largely kept the city unmolested. The chief's preparations included buying nearly $1 million worth of crowd control gear and in all spending about $5 million on the event. Although, it is hard to anticipate and organize against a disorganized rabble, Mr. Ramsey managed to keep the protesters off-balance. At least one well-timed raid early on kept protesters from coordinating and planning their efforts. Later, more than a dozen police cars staked out Dupont Circle, foiling a planned early morning meeting of hundreds of protesters.

Without such police leadership the more than 450 groups participating in the protests (many of which did so on the taxpayer's dime, according to the National Taxpayer Union) could have tipped the scales against law and order.

* Knave: Gregory Craig, Juan Miguel Gonzalez's lawyer. Fidel Castro has long been a knave on the international stage, but this week he had an accomplice in stretching the long arm of his authoritarian rule into Bethesda, where Juan Miguel Gonzalez is staying. Gregory Craig, Mr. Gonzalez's attorney, is The Washington Times' knave of the week.

While it is not known if Mr. Gonzalez is trying to bring his son, Elian, back to Cuba because he is simply a good communist or if he is acting out of fear it does seem clear that Mr. Craig sees his real client as Mr. Castro.

Mr. Craig is the driving force behind aligning the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) with the effort to put Elian back under Mr. Castro's control. Mr. Craig, it is well-known, was one of President Clinton's lawyers trying to head-off impeachment. He was also the lawyer who kept disagreements with Mr. Clinton's legal team on how to handle the impeachment from reaching the media. The strength of the friendship with Bill and Hillary Clinton revealed during that drama was cemented way back in law school. Mr. Craig also served as the director of policy planning at the State Department, the agency that issued a visa to Mr. Gonzalez. All of these connections are points of leverage that Mr. Craig seems adept at using to move Janet Reno and the INS to his client's position.

Behind the scenes details like this add more meaning to Juan Gonzalez's disappointment that Janet Reno couldn't live up to her promise of forcing a reunion with Elian a promise she likely made through Mr. Craig.

As a counsel, Mr. Craig, of course doesn't limit his involvement to working his extensive hill connections. He also has a hand in picking Mr. Gonzalez's public appearances and determining what the father should and should not say to reporters.

Mr. Craig is drawing his $100,000 salary for the case from the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church. Bill Clinton is of course a Methodist, but reportedly this payment relationship was coordinated by the National Council of Churches. The council is well-known to support Mr. Castro's position and flew Elian's grandmothers to the United States several weeks ago.

Mr. Gonzalez certainly deserves good legal representation, even if it is from the president's lawyer, but Mr. Craig goes too far. As a federal court in Atlanta pointed out recently, contrary to the position supported by the INS and Mr. Craig, Elian should be given his day in court. His fate should not be manipulated behind the scenes.

Noble: Washington Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey. Maintaining law and order is always a balancing act. This week D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey was forced to walk that tightrope with thousands of screaming protesters on his back. He performed magnificently, balancing both the right to protest and the rights of the rest of us to remain unmolested for this Chief Ramsey is The Washington Times' noble of the week.

Despite some media reports, the protests in Washington had the potential to teeter into another Seattle tear gas and smashed store fronts. In the end more than 1,200 people were arrested, many protesters were hit with pepper spray and batons and at one point Mr. Ramsey found himself facing down a gaggle of emotionally charged protesters.

It was precisely Mr. Ramsey's on the ground leadership that largely kept the city unmolested. The chief's preparations included buying nearly $1 million worth of crowd control gear and in all spending about $5 million on the event. Although, it is hard to anticipate and organize against a disorganized rabble, Mr. Ramsey managed to keep the protesters off-balance. At least one well-timed raid early on kept protesters from coordinating and planning their efforts. Later, more than a dozen police cars staked out Dupont Circle, foiling a planned early morning meeting of hundreds of protesters.

Without such police leadership the more than 450 groups participating in the protests (many of which did so on the taxpayer's dime, according to the National Taxpayer Union) could have tipped the scales against law and order.

• Knave: Gregory Craig, Juan Miguel Gonzalez's lawyer. Fidel Castro has long been a knave on the international stage, but this week he had an accomplice in stretching the long arm of his authoritarian rule into Bethesda, where Juan Miguel Gonzalez is staying. Gregory Craig, Mr. Gonzalez's attorney, is The Washington Times' knave of the week.

While it is not known if Mr. Gonzalez is trying to bring his son, Elian, back to Cuba because he is simply a good communist or if he is acting out of fear it does seem clear that Mr. Craig sees his real client as Mr. Castro.

Mr. Craig is the driving force behind aligning the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) with the effort to put Elian back under Mr. Castro's control. Mr. Craig, it is well-known, was one of President Clinton's lawyers trying to head-off impeachment. He was also the lawyer who kept disagreements with Mr. Clinton's legal team on how to handle the impeachment from reaching the media. The strength of the friendship with Bill and Hillary Clinton revealed during that drama was cemented way back in law school. Mr. Craig also served as the director of policy planning at the State Department, the agency that issued a visa to Mr. Gonzalez. All of these connections are points of leverage that Mr. Craig seems adept at using to move Janet Reno and the INS to his client's position.

Behind the scenes details like this add more meaning to Juan Gonzalez's disappointment that Janet Reno couldn't live up to her promise of forcing a reunion with Elian a promise she likely made through Mr. Craig.

As a counsel, Mr. Craig, of course doesn't limit his involvement to working his extensive hill connections. He also has a hand in picking Mr. Gonzalez's public appearances and determining what the father should and should not say to reporters.

Mr. Craig is drawing his $100,000 salary for the case from the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church. Bill Clinton is of course a Methodist, but reportedly this payment relationship was coordinated by the National Council of Churches. The council is well-known to support Mr. Castro's position and flew Elian's grandmothers to the United States several weeks ago.

Mr. Gonzalez certainly deserves good legal representation, even if it is from the president's lawyer, but Mr. Craig goes too far. As a federal court in Atlanta pointed out recently, contrary to the position supported by the INS and Mr. Craig, Elian should be given his day in court. His fate should not be manipulated behind the scenes.

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