- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 16, 2002

The bottom-dweller
"He said he was honoring the requests of his adoring fans."
Fox News Channel spokesman Robert Zimmerman, asked by the Fredericksburg (Va.) Free Lance-Star to explain why network correspondent Geraldo Rivera signed autographs on the rear ends of Hooters waitresses while covering the deadly sniper shootings around Washington. Besides, the spokesman said, the Fox news entertainer was not covering a murder story, only a story on the sniper.

The stakes
As deadly as September 11 and the Bali bombings were, a Heritage Foundation seminar in Colorado Springs reminds us that things could get far worse if terrorists unleash weapons of mass destruction.
Besides remarks from former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and Gen. Ralph E. Eberhardt, commander of the newly formed U.S. Northern Command, the conference featured a demonstration of computer software developed by the Defense Department that predicts casualties from nuclear, biological and chemical-warfare scenarios.
In one example, Heritage analyst Dexter Ingram showed that 200 kg (about 440 pounds) of military-grade anthrax released from an airplane over the city of New York would result in a 50 to 90 percent probability of 1.2 million deaths.
"This isn't a crystal ball, but it's a best guess based on past experience," says Mr. Ingram, a former Navy pilot who says he's the only civilian with access to the computer program called Consequences Assessment Tool Set, or CATS, which originated at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.
How did he get access?
"I knew about it, and I just asked for it," he tells The Washington Times.
Asked whether such a program would be useful to a terrorist, Mr. Ingram says yes but adds, "We have a safe and we keep it locked up."
Let's hope so.

Speaking of anthrax
Terrorism and national security are the hot luncheon topics of the day.
The "Lunch With A Leader Online Auction," which ends Oct. 21, features one-hour lunches with more than 50 Americans of myriad backgrounds: actors Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ted Danson to illusionists Siegfried and Roy.
Wouldn't you know, former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger (current bid of $2,000.01), former Defense Secretary William S. Cohen ($1,000), and former U.S. NATO Commander Gen. Wesley Clark ($650) are among the most popular luncheon hosts in the online auction www.lunchwithaleader.com benefiting Communities in Schools.

Reading Reagan
In Peter D. Hannaford's new book, "Ronald Reagan and His Ranch," the nation's 40th president explains to the nation the successful raid on the military headquarters of Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi.
Washington public relations mogul Hugh Newton notes that Mr. Reagan's explanation closely echoes the sentiments today of President Bush toward Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Observed Mr. Reagan: "We tried quiet diplomacy, public condemnation, economic sanctions, and demonstrations of military force. None succeeded. Despite our repeated warnings, Qaddafi continued his reckless policy of intimidation, his relentless pursuit of terror. He counted on America to be passive. He counted wrong.
"I warned that there should be no place on earth where terrorists can rest and train and practice their deadly skills. I meant it. I said that we would act with others, if possible, and alone if necessary, to insure that terrorists have no sanctuary anywhere. Tonight we have."
"Reagan had it right then," Mr. Newton notes. "Bush it seems may have read Reagan's line."

Godly leaders
Discussing the importance of a single vote, former Idaho Republican Rep. Helen Chenoweth-Hage reminds us what a nail-biter it was in the 2000 presidential contest.
"The electorate was split 49-51 and the presidency was decided by 537 votes. At least one congressional district was decided by 33 votes," says Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage, chairman of America 21, which is launching a project to turn out Christian voters for the Nov. 5 congressional elections. She says such votes will determine whether "godly leaders" control the agenda of Congress.
How influential is the Christian vote?
It could be far greater, admits organization President J. Thomas Smith. In the 2000 election, 50 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Christians failed to register to vote, he says. Of those who did register, half never went to the polls. As a result, an estimated 4 million Christians failed to vote in 2000.

Observing Florida
Usually U.S. election monitors are dispatched to Third World and developing democracies. On Nov. 5, the House Administration Committee will post observers in Florida, to be the "eyes and ears" of Congress as the confused state holds its first general election since implementing broad balloting reforms.

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