- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 6, 2001

Return to sender
Former FBI Agent Robert P. Hanssen, jailed on federal charges of passing highly classified U.S. secrets to the Russians, apparently was keeping up with the latest trends in eavesdropping technology by attending private security expos held annually by the Manassas-based Security and Investigations Group, or SAIG.
As the SAIG's Privacy and Security 2001 bulletin states: "We're losing one of our regular interested attendees at expo. We really appreciated his loyalty in attending year after year, but we cannot see any sense in mailing an invitation to Robert P. Hanssen … because we doubt he'll ever see it."

Coupla cowboys
Praise continues to pour in for Sen. Phil Gramm, the Texas Republican who this week announced his retirement after spending more than two decades in Congress.
"He's leaving a big pair of boots to fill," says fellow Texan Dick Armey, the GOP House Majority Leader.
But what most impressed Sen. Bill Frist of Tennessee, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, is that Mr. Gramm over the years "has shown us that true leaders speak their minds."
Which is how this column will remember Mr. Gramm. Take the occasion in 1994 when we asked the Texas senator about the likelihood that George W. Bush — mostly known then as being the eldest son of former President Bush — would unseat Ann Richards as governor of Texas.
"I think George W. is an excellent candidate," Mr. Gramm replied. "It's hard to believe that someone can be Barbara Bush's son and still be a redneck."

No longer King
"For more than 20 years I have loved writing my column for USA Today and I will dearly miss my loyal readers," says Larry King, host of "Larry King Live" on CNN, whose column is being dropped by the national newspaper in favor of "trendier" features and celebrity interviews.
Just what Mr. King, the father of 1- and 2-year-old sons, Cannon and Chance, was afraid of.
"I hope your years will not be a time where anything goes," Mr. King wrote to his sons in the dedication of his latest book, "Anything Goes."
Asked for a clarification during an interview with World, a magazine that combines current events with a perspective committed to the Bible, Mr. King replied:
"It's such a world in which things change so fast and fads come in and fads go out. I never thought I'd hear cursing on television, now I do. So this 'anything goes' aspect is an error that I'm glad I missed. Even though I was able to observe it, it didn't affect me as much as it might affect my kids. There's a lot of innocence in an 'anything goes' society. There's a lot to be said for some old values."

Dennis the Menace
Recess period over, the House of Representatives is getting back to the business of the nation, as reflected by this news release posted yesterday by House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Illinois Republican.
"House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, a former wrestling coach, has been named Honorary World Team Member for this month's World Wrestling Championships. Speaker Hastert, a former high school and college wrestler himself, will attend the championships at Madison Square Garden in New York, which will take place from Sept. 26-29.
"Speaker Hastert is honored to receive the title as honorary member for this year's championships, and is pleased to take part in the activities surrounding the highly-regarded event. This year marks the first time that the event will be held in the United States, as well as the first time that all three Wrestling World Championships — Freestyle, Greco-Roman and Women's Wrestling — will be hosted together."
It should be pointed out that Mr. Hastert last year was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in Stillwater, Okla.

Go figure
As Democrats on both sides of Capitol Hill prepare to eviscerate President Bush's request for missile defense funding, the Center for Security Policy (CSP) in Washington is tracking anti-missile invective spewing forth from every conceivable outlet.
Consider: Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and other left-wing organizations have filed a lawsuit aimed at compelling the Bush administration to "reassess … the environmental damage" that would be caused by a planned missile test facility in Alaska.
"The problem is," the CSP points out, "that the Clinton Pentagon actually did produce a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement for an Alaska missile defense system — albeit one far larger (100 interceptors) than the modest test facility President Bush proposes to build (5 interceptor silos)."


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