- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 22, 2003

Decorated vet returns medal to French
A World War II veteran who was decorated by the French government for his D-Day bravery returned his medal yesterday to protest what he called France's cowardice for opposing the war in Iraq.
"I did my share, my part, to liberate the country from Hitler, and this is the way that they repay me," said George Wilson, 80, laying down the rainbow-ribboned Jubilee of Liberty medal at the gate of the French Embassy.
Mr. Wilson, who lives in Bethlehem, Pa., was wounded in the arm as allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944. He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war for more than four months.
He and other D-Day veterans were given the French medal in 1994 to mark the 50th anniversary of the invasion.
Embassy officials yesterday refused to accept Mr. Wilson's medal but invited him inside to talk to Ambassador Jean-David Levitte. Mr. Wilson said he would not go unless accompanied by reporters, which embassy spokeswoman Agnes Vondermuhll would not allow.

Smart probe uncovers knives and hide-outs
Investigators found knives at campsites where Elizabeth Smart said she was held captive, as well as a hole in the ground where she and her abductors hid from authorities, a source close to the investigation said yesterday.
Police are trying to determine which of the knives self-styled prophet Brian Mitchell is accused of using to abduct the girl in June, said the source, who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
The source said Mr. Mitchell kept a knife at each of several hidden camps, moving among the hide-outs to avoid thousands of volunteers who searched the Wasatch foothills for Elizabeth, now 15. The knives were recovered after the girl pointed out the camps, some recognizable only by a fire ring, from a helicopter last weekend.

Terror commission set to meet in New York
Eyewitnesses, lawmakers and relatives of victims are among those invited to speak at the first public hearing of the independent commission on the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The hearing will be the first public action of the 10-member National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. The commission has held four meetings so far, most recently on Thursday, but all have been private.
The hearing will be held March 31 and April 1 at the former U.S. Customs House in New York City, half a mile from the site of the World Trade Center.
Congress and the White House created the panel last year to explore the causes of the September 11 attacks, preparations for terrorism and the response to the airline hijackings that killed more than 3,000 at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Indian activist cites 'rain dance' remark
Utah Sen. Bob Bennett suggested a way to avoid serious forest fires in the drought-gripped West: Have the only American Indian senator do a rain dance.
Mr. Bennett, Utah Republican, said the comment was not meant to be offensive, and Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, the subject of the remark, said he took no offense. But an American Indian activist said Mr. Bennett was insensitive to make light of a ritual sacred to many tribes.
During a hearing Thursday on next year's forest firefighting budget, Mr. Bennett noted the drought in much of the West and told Forest Service chief Dale Bosworth, "Aside from doing a rain dance and making it rain we'll assign that to Senator Campbell I'm not sure what you can do."
Mr. Campbell, Colorado Republican, said he believed that the comment came in a moment of levity and that Mr. Bennett may not have understood the significance of rain prayers and dances to American Indian tribes.

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