- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 19, 2001

Agent Barr
Cuban President Fidel Castro will never trust Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican — or any other U.S. government "mafia" leader, for that matter — with his life.
From Congress weve obtained the transcript of a speech Mr. Castro delivered earlier this month, broadcast nationally on Cuban television, in which the Cuban leader — long considering himself a target of U.S. hit squads — has choice words not only for Mr. Barrs "Terrorist Elimination Act, " but similar U.S. efforts to destabilize the island nation.
"The U.S. government and its officials know very well the accuracy of my words, " said Mr. Castro. "They, of course, keep quiet. You have to wonder why these people organize assassination plot after plot."
Mr. Castro told the Cuban people that Mr. Barr — "double 'r, just like the bars visited by those who like to tip the bottle" — has introduced a bill seeking to eliminate an executive order issued by the Ford administration in 1976 "that no employee of the U.S. government is to take part or conspire to take part in political assassinations."
"You might remember that Senate commission that investigated and verified a small but highly scandalous part of the assassination plots organized against Cuban leaders during the first years of the revolution, and against me in particular, " Mr. Castro said. "Apparently that resulted in the implementation of certain laws and this was one of those.
"They now want, suspiciously enough — we must see what the mafia does with that little law, or what the administration does with it or what Jesse Helms will do with this little law or if they are to go back to their habits of old. They did eliminate more than one leader. They have all the technology and resources needed to kill living people."
For those requiring proof, Mr. Castro pointed out that Mr. Barr is a "life member of the National Rifle Association, " was once honored by the U.S. Council of Sport Marksmanship, and crowned legislator of the year by the Citizens Commission for the Right to Own and Carry Weapons.
"He has quite a pedigree, " the Cuban leader said.

No policy
With gasoline prices in excess of $2 per gallon in some states, a special symposium on national energy policy will convene in Washington Monday, although this time its a summit of petroleum specialists, not politicians.
Some of the nations leading geologists and energy scientists who have discovered much of the nations energy supply will present their views and recommendations during this particular national energy policy summit at the Washington Army and Navy Club.
"It is time to hear from the experts, " says the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), which is convening the symposium.
Marlan Downey, former president of Shell Oil and Arco International who now heads the AAPG, warns the United States "faces an ever-growing production shortage of domestic oil and ever-increasing imports of foreign oil — a dependence that holds America hostage."
"The fact is, we lack an effective U.S. energy policy, " says Mr. Downey.

Crime to law
The House of Representatives longtime "authority on crime" has joined the law firm of Baker & Hostetler.
Former Rep. Bill McCollum, a Florida Republican who served Congress for 20 years before his retirement in January, has become a partner in the firms federal policy group.
The one-time chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime will work out of both the firms Orlando and Washington offices, representing clients seeking to resolve or avert federal policy-related concerns.

Uncle Sams disguise
Bureaucrats investigating charges of misleading advertising in the milk-mustache campaign are the same government officials overseeing the dairy promotion, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) charges in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission.
The PCRM called for the probe in July, filing a petition with the FTC detailing "false health claims" made by the federally run "milk mustache/got milk?" campaign. The FTC referred the case to the Agriculture Department.
"Its a classic case of the fox guarding the henhouse," says PCRM attorney Mindy Kursban. "No wonder the FTC hasnt suspended these deceptive ads yet. Those in charge of investigating our charges are the very same people who work with the dairy industry to implement the milk-mustache campaign."
The nonprofit health care advocacy group, comprised of 5,000 physicians, wants the probe transferred from the USDA to an independent scientific panel. The FTC so far has refused.
The PCRM says the ads, featuring such celebrities as Elton John and Britney Spears, violate federal law by misleading the public with false health claims, and fail to draw attention to studies linking dairy consumption with higher rates of certain diseases.

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