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Inside the Beltway
Stephen Herbits— the openly homosexual crusader and Washington insider who has served Republican presidents going back to Richard Nixon— is making waves again after throwing his support behind Sen. Hillary RodhamClinton’s presidential campaign.
Some in Washington, including Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, expect Mr. Herbits to influence debate surrounding the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which the New York senator opposes in favor of full acceptance of homosexuals in the military.
“Stephen Herbits‘ role as campaignadviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on gay issues highlights the poor judgment of former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, as well as the homosexualist agenda of Hillary Clinton,” Mrs. Donnelly told Inside the Beltway yesterday. “For a number of years, Secretary Rumsfeld allowed Herbits, a well-known gay activist, to play a key role in selecting high-level policy-makers for the Department of Defense.”
Reached yesterday at his Florida home, Mr. Herbits downplayed his role in Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, telling Inside the Beltway he’s one in a long list of representatives from the homosexual community who agreed to serve on her “advisory committee.”
“I do not have the position of ‘liaison,’ as one reporter initially wrote, who was trying to get me into trouble,” Mr. Herbits said. “But I have been a contributor to Mrs. Clinton, and I’m trying to generate some funds for her, and I’m not embarrassed about it. She’s the best of the [presidential] candidates so far. And I think she’d make a terrific president.”
Since leaving the Pentagon in 2004, Mr. Herbits has been secretary-general of the World Jewish Congress, although he told us yesterday that he’s in the process of stepping down: “I’m in the short-term, the process of transition,” he said.
Mr. Herbits has worked on and off in the White House, Congress and Defense Department since the late 1960s. During an earlier stint at the Pentagon, he wrote the strategy and helped implement the nation’s transition from a military draft to an all-volunteer force.
Cooling their heels
President and Mrs. Bush yesterday escaped the blistering Washington heat by jetting off to the Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, Maine, where tomorrow they will host a private lunch for French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Cecilia.
Mr. Sarkozy has cooled off himself since erupting in anger earlier this week after a pair of American news photographers got a little too close while covering his family’s vacation on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. He went so far as to jump into the photographers’ boat, at which point he loudly lambasted them in French.
During the past few years, while serving as the French interior minister, Mr. Sarkozy requested that the press show “respect of his private life,” particularly during a period when he acknowledged he and his wife were having “troubles.”
Indeed, when it comes to the press and his private affairs, Mr. Sarkozy doesn’t hesitate taking matters into his own hands. His influence made headlines last year when Paris Match magazine editor Alain Genestar was “forced out” of his job after publishing pictures of Mr. Sarkozy’s wife in the company of another man. Arnaud Lagardere, who owns the million-plus circulation magazine, is a close friend of Mr. Sarkozy.
Lake Winnipesaukee, where the French president and his family have been staying in a home owned by former Microsoft Corp. executive Michael Appe, is only 50 miles from Kennebunkport, where the president’s parents, George and Barbara, own the seaside compound Walker’s Point.
White House spokesman Tony Snow says tomorrow’s lunch is “not something with an agenda. The agenda is: ‘Come by and let’s visit.’ ”
By Tom Fitton
New photos confirm the attack's coordination and its cover-up
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