- The Washington Times - Monday, October 1, 2001

Outsmarting Osama
The Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Defense Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation should all get a much-needed financial boost this week as Congress moves forward on its national security agenda.
The Intelligence Authorization Act will authorize funding well into next year for intelligence-related activities at the various federal agencies, all of which claim to have been caught off-guard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"In the war aganst terrorism, intelligence is the secret weapon," says House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Texas Republican, vowing the House this week will "arm" the nation with "cutting-edge intelligence capability to outsmart the enemy and stay one step ahead of terrorists."

Arianna surfaces
Two of Washington's leading conservative operatives are calling for a boycott of ABC's "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher," whose acerbic host, they say, has "brought his threshold of tastelessness to a new low."
On the show's Sept. 17 broadcast, Mr. Maher described the American military as cowardly "lobbing cruise missiles from 2,000 miles away. That's cowardly. Staying in the airplane when it hits the building [as the terrorists did], say what you want about it, it's not cowardly," he said.
"This is also the man who in 1998 described former President Ronald Reagan this way: 'He ran up the debt, he lied about something much more important than sex and he's nuts,' knowing he suffers from Alzheimer's Disease," L. Brent Bozell of the Conservative Victory Fund, and Craig Shirley, president of the public affairs firm Craig Shirley & Associates, write in a mass mailing.
"This outrageous behavior cannot continue to be supported by conservatives," the two say. "Therefore, we call on all conservatives to boycott 'Politically Incorrect' by refusing to appear on the show with Bill Maher
"P.S. If his comments don't speak for themselves, knowing that Arianna Huffington has begun an on-line petition to support Maher's continued irresponsible comments should be enough to commit you and your organization to this cause."
Miss Huffington, a regular guest on "Politically Incorrect" who calls herself a "recovering Republican," has rushed to Mr. Maher's defense, saying he was only exercising his right to free speech.
Tell that to the families of the flight attendants and pilots whose throats were slit by the "uncowardly" terrorists, as Mr. Maher calls the suicidal hijackers.

Scared to travel?
The Tourist Office of Spain says it's "shocked" to learn that the American Society of Travel Agents has canceled its plans to hold its 2001 Congress in Seville, apparently due to the recent acts of terrorism.
"We are dismayed, as should the entire travel industry be, that an organization which was once considered a pacesetter for international travel has chosen to give the message that international travel is no longer safe," says Alvaro Renedo, director of the Tourist Office of Spain in New York.
A report in Travel Agent Magazine says ASTA has decided to hold its convention in New York instead.
"Nonetheless," says Mr. Renedo, "Spain continues to support President George Bush in the United States' commitment to show its strength by returning to normalcy, and that includes the freedom to travel."

Acts of war
It wasn't the most cheerful of weekends for a reunion of Pan American World Airways flight attendants, who spent Saturday laying a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate another fateful flight Pan Am Flight 103, blown up Dec. 21, 1988, over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 persons.
"The Lockerbie memorial was placed in Arlington because the bombing, perpetrated by terrorists, constituted an 'act of war,'" explains former Pan Am flight attendant Maria O'Leary, who lives in Alexandria. "The wreath-laying is particularly timely given the events of September 11th."

America's backbone
Linda McMahon, president and CEO of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), has been named to the board of the National Foundation for Women Legislators.
"I think the message I'm bringing here is that we all have to be strong at what we're doing," Mrs. McMahon tells Inside the Beltway. "Women in America are part of the backbone of this country. It starts at home with our children and family, what we do in our communities, in business, in politics, being good citizens everything really begins with the local aspects and spreads."
Mrs. McMahon says she'll continue to oversee the WWF's efforts to register young Americans to vote. In a recent two-month effort, the WWF registered more than 150,000 new voters, many from its audience.

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