- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 7, 2002

By all means, profile
The anonymous author of an eye-opening terrorism "quiz" making the rounds might be interested to learn that his five simple questions have crossed the desks of some of the nation's highest officials.
The quiz's introduction states: Intent on not offending anyone, airport screeners will not be allowed to profile people. Rather, they will continue random searches of elderly women, children, airline pilots, Secret Service agents, and 85-year old congressmen with metal hips. With that in mind, answer these five multiple-choice questions:
"1. In 1979, the U.S. Embassy in Iran was taken over by?
"2. In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by?
"3. In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by?
"4. In 1998, the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by?
"5. On September 11, 2001, four airliners were hijacked and destroyed by?"
Each question has four possible answers, ranging from the Swedish bikini team to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. But the correct answer to each question is (d): "Muslim male extremists, mostly between the ages of 17 and 40."

Zoe's back
Hiring illegal aliens might have kept Clinton attorney general nominee Zoe Baird from that post, but they're not stopping her from co-chairing a new independent task force to advise the U.S. government on how the effective handling of information and technology in times of national crisis can enhance national security and still protect civil liberties.
The Task Force on National Security in the Information Age has been formed in alliance with the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Brookings Institution, both based in Washington. Task force participants will include a host of industry and government leaders, among them Utah Republican Gov. Michael O. Leavitt and former National Security Agency Deputy Director Bill Crowell.
"Information is the key to a more secure society," says Mrs. Baird, president since 1997 of the charitable Markle Foundation. "As we expand the role of information collection and sharing, let's be sure we also protect the democratic freedoms that make our society worth securing."

Hooray for Hollywood?
Hollywood since September 11 has made a concerted effort to produce movies with patriotic, wholesome and uplifting themes. The question is, are we watching a real change of heart or just a marketing ploy?
"No one can say for sure just yet, and may not be able to for years. But there are reasons for optimism," writes Focus on the Family's Gary Schneeberger, in the group's publication, Citizen.
He observes that in the months following the terror attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Hollywood's studios not only delayed or scrapped films with violent content, but movie executives actually sat around conference tables with White House aides in hopes of boosting the nation's morale.
"[E]ven liberal stars the likes of George Clooney and Rosie O'Donnell have had nice things to say about President Bush and the leadership he's shown in taking on Osama bin Laden and others of his ilk," notes Mr. Schneeberger.
Violent action films in various stages of production that had their plugs pulled include "Deadline," an airline-hijacking thriller from "Titanic" Oscar-winner James Cameron; "WW3.com," which called for a Boeing 767 to crash into New York City; and Jackie Chan's "Nosebleed," which surrounded a plot to blow up the now-blown-up World Trade Center.

Real heroes
Monday marks the six-month anniversary of September 11, and what better day to focus on the country's future.
Tomorrow's American scientists will be gathering in Washington on Monday 40 finalists of this year's Intel Science Talent Search, one of whom will be awarded a $100,000 scholarship in an annual competition that has established itself as the Junior Nobel Prize.
"Past winners have become Nobel laureates," boasts Intel's Sue Richard. "We believe it is extremely important to reward achievement in science. But equally important, we must call attention to these kids and honor them as heroes."
"They are as deserving of that distinction as any gold medalist or football star," she says. "They are important role models for their peers."
Two of the science finalists this year happen to be from Stuyvesant High School, just a few blocks from New York's ground zero. The school's students watched in horror as the second hijacked airliner hit the nearby World Trade Center tower, and when it collapsed a short time later, the school shook and its lights went out and remained out for a month.
It's also worth noting that the school with the most finalists this year is Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, just outside Washington.



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