- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 30, 2001

White war

Rep. Cynthia A. McKinney, the Georgia Democrat who caused quite a stir when she apologized to Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal after his $10 million check for U.S. terrorism victims was declined by New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, is now blasting the U.S. news media for disseminating only "white noise" in the war in Afghanistan.

"They don't want you to hear these other voices out there," Mrs. McKinney, in her fifth term on Capitol Hill, warned a public forum in Clarkston, Ga. "Help me come up with a strategy to get through this white noise that's been put out 24 hours a day."

Develop your own strategy, replies William Fielder, of Peachtree City, Ga.

"Only Cynthia McKinney could characterize the united voices of resolute Americans of all ethnic backgrounds supporting their national goal of eliminating terrorism as 'white noise,'" Mr. Fielder tells Inside the Beltway.

Mr. Giuliani turned down the prince's money after the Saudi saw fit to blame U.S. foreign policy, in part, for the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and Pentagon.


Boosting morale

Could it be that the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Population Affairs actually held a "retreat" last Friday that consisted of chartering a bus and visiting the Cherry-Crest Farm in Paradise, Pa., where among the morale-building exercises was finding one's way through a cornfield maze?


Stifle thyself

Former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright's contention in this space yesterday that the Clinton administration never had the public support or the proper intelligence it needed to root Osama bin Laden from his terrorist training grounds in Afghanistan has raised the ire of one CIA veteran.

"This [Bush] administration has the support to go forward in a way we did not," insisted Mrs. Albright, adding that the Clinton administration lacked the intelligence to link bin Laden's network to repeated terrorist attacks against the United States.

"You got my blood boiling this morning with the excerpt from Madeleine Albright," reacts CIA career veteran Anne Allen. "Albright didn't happen to mention, did she, Clinton's disastrous Executive Order, prohibiting the CIA from dealing with shoddy informants.

"As a 37-year CIA veteran, recently retired, I see that as the most devastating blow to intelligence gathering in decades. And she didn't happen to mention, did she, the many steps short of military action, which could have been taken to prepare this country for unknown but certain threats linking FBI lists with airline manifests, providing for vaccines against bio threats, securing our borders, linking intelligence information to visa issuance, to name only a few.

"These are not steps known only in retrospect; we had repeated and ignored warnings throughout the 90s," the CIA veteran counters. "National security is the primary job of a federal administration. This was a disaster in the Clinton administration, and now they don't even have the grace to keep their mouths shut."


Divided Hill

Suffice it to say, the House is still sore at the Senate for first agreeing to close Congress in response to the anthrax attacks, then changing its mind, then bragging about it.

"The reality is that the House of Representatives is awaiting Senate action on virtually all of this year's appropriation bills and the economic stimulus package," Rep. Charles H. Taylor, North Carolina Republican, tells his constituents in writing. "Possibly a little less time in front of the cameras and more time at the hard work of legislating would serve the nation better."

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, as we reported in this newspaper, recently told a closed-door meeting of House Republicans that Senate bragging about staying on the job while the congressmen fled town was "unacceptable."

The speaker went so far as to liken the Senate to a Cold War adversary, saying he would "trust but verify" in his future dealings with the other body.


Not Brock

Our apologies to Audie Bock, the progressive Democrat from California who in the March primary will challenge Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee the lone member of Congress to vote against granting President Bush authority to use force against terrorists.

"Enjoyed your Inside the Beltway column noting the progression of Ms. Lee, from warning that we were about to become evil to saying she supported force all along," writes Miss Bock. "However, there was one minor thing."

Namely, the name Bock contains no "r."

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