- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 19, 2003

Pilot not in danger, U.S. commander says
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, La. A U.S. pilot who mistakenly bombed Canadian troops in Afghanistan was under no threat of attack from small-arms fire before or after the 500-pound bomb was released, an Air Force commander testified at a military hearing yesterday.
Lt. Col. Richard Anderson II, who was in charge of all coalition pilots' combat orders, said the pilot and his mission commander were also under "extremely tight" restrictions on weapons use.
Standard procedure would have been to evade surface-to-air fire, not attack, he said.
However, Col. Anderson indicated under cross-examination that he was not aware that the pilot who dropped the bomb, Maj. Harry Schmidt, had been briefed that Taliban forces had rocket launchers powerful enough to put Maj. Schmidt's mission commander, Maj. William Umbach, in danger that night.
The defense has argued that Maj. Schmidt had good reason to believe he was under attack because the gunfire he saw coming from the Canadians appeared to be aimed at Maj. Umbach's F-16.
The Air Force charged Maj. Schmidt and Maj. Umbach with involuntary manslaughter in the spring bombing that killed four Canadian soldiers and wounded eight.

Plot on governor eyed in man's arrest
OLYMPIA, Wash. Federal agents say the one-time leader of an anti-government group, arrested for purported firearms violations, may have been plotting to assassinate Gov. Gary Locke.
The FBI was tipped about a purported plot nearly two years ago, according to court papers.
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Hartingh on Friday refused to release further details or say whether officials believed there was a credible threat.
James D. Brailey Jr., 43, was charged with federal weapons violations Thursday, a day after authorities converged on a home near Olympia and arrested him after learning he had acquired a weapon, according to the complaint filed against him. Because Mr. Brailey has a domestic-violence conviction, he is prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm.
Mr. Brailey has not been charged in the purported plot to kill the governor.

City considers ban on cat declawing
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. In a city known for its progressive stands on social issues, officials are championing the rights of a different breed of residents cats.
They want the city to become the first in the nation to ban the declawing of the popular pets.
If the City Council approves the ban as expected Tuesday, West Hollywood would join 13 European nations that have outlawed the procedure condemned by many as inhumane because it involves cutting off part of the animal's toes.
The operation is performed on thousands of cats every year mainly to protect people and furniture from slashing.
"You wouldn't dig out a human's nails," said resident Karen Stith, who adopted a 1-year-old tabby this week. "Declawing is a cruel abuse."

Actor Richard Crenna dies at age 76
LOS ANGELES Richard Crenna, the Emmy award-winning character actor who starred as a lovesick teenager on "Our Miss Brooks" and Sylvester Stallone's Green Beret mentor in the "Rambo" films, has died. He was 76.
Mr. Crenna, whose credits also included "Wait Until Dark," "The Flamingo Kid" and television's "The Real McCoys," died Friday of pancreatic cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, daughter Seana Crenna said yesterday.
"This came very sudden," she said.
Mr. Crenna's role on the CBS drama series "Judging Amy" was recently put on hold as he battled cancer.
"He was one of the brightest, nicest, funniest and most talented actors I've ever worked with," Mr. Stallone said yesterday.
Mr. Crenna is survived by his wife and three adult children.


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