- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 2, 2002

Noble: Former NFL strong safety and newly minted infantryman, Specialist Pat Tillman.
Pat Tillman recently matriculated with honor from the Army's Infantry Training Brigade at Fort Benning, having, in the course of his training, the privilege of serving as the standard-bearer for B Company of the 1st Battalion of the 19th Infantry Regiment.
The honor was appropriate. Spc. Tillman has become a standard-bearer of patriotism since May, when he left the Arizona Cardinals to enlist in the Army. He is believed to be the only individual since World War II to voluntarily walk away from a starter's stance for the sake of a military stint.
Spc. Tillman didn't enlist for the money or the publicity or even the potential glory. Before he signed up, he didn't consult with his agent, which is probably just as well, since his rejection of a three-year contract worth $3.6 million for a three-year hitch worth an estimated $54,000 would have almost certainly caused the likes of Robert Wuhl's "Arliss" to rupture a blood vessel or two. Nor has he talked to the media, at least partially out of fear that his career change would be interpreted as a publicity stunt. He even refused the chance to go through the Army's officer-training program he told his soon-to-be superiors that he wanted to start from the bottom.
Spc. Tillman made his selfless decision simply for the sake of serving his country in the way he saw fit of acting in the right as God gave him to see the right. He heard and followed what his commencement speaker, Col. Joseph Votel, commander of the 75th Ranger Regiment, called "the nation's silent call to arms." It was an honorable and even an enviable decision.
Spc. Tillman will probably enjoy catching up with his new wife (it was shortly after his honeymoon that he enlisted) and take a moment to catch his breath. He'll need all of it for where he is headed next Ranger training school.

Knaves: Prosecutors in Maryland, Virginia, Alabama and Washington for their ghoulish fight over the trying of suspected snipers, John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo.
Mr. Muhammad and Mr. Malvo, if found guilty, will die for their crimes that's almost a certainty. But the prosecutors' rush to Judgment Day has given everyone (including the undead spirits out and about at this time of year) the creeps.
And that's exactly how prosecutors have been behaving. Douglas Gansler, Montgomery state's attorney, was the first to fire, er file. This prosecutor with excuse the wild redundancy statewide political ambitions, filed six murder counts a week ago Friday timing that was, coincidentally enough, almost impeccable for ensuring that he would be booked on every Sunday talk show. Prosecutors in Alabama were pretty quick on the trigger, too they filed their murder charges the same day. Then, in rapid-fire order, Virginia prosecutors in Prince William, Hanover and Spotsylvania counties shot out charges. And, to top it all off, federal prosecutors fired 20 charges, including the claim that Mr. Muhammad violated the Hobbs act by extortion and threats of violence.
It's worth pointing out that it is not yet clear who pulled the trigger in any one of the shootings. However, that hasn't stopped the ballistic bickering, not to mention the grandstanding and grouching. A local law enforcer complained that federal agents had taken custody of Messrs. Muhammad and Malvo just as their interrogation was getting good, a charge disputed by U.S. Attorney Thomas DiBiagio. Then, prosecutors in Maryland said that they were surprised and bewildered by how the feds were handling the case.
It's almost difficult to recall the long-ago time when state, federal and local authorities were all cooperating in an effort to catch Mr. Muhammad and Mr. Malvo. Now, every prosecutor is apparently out for his own television booking, his own book deal, and, oh yes, his own death-penalty conviction. It can only be hoped that their frightening pursuit of the former will not bring a prematurely terminal end to the latter.

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