- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 14, 2004

Former staffer calls Republicans ‘defeatist’

Manuel Miranda, a former Senate staffer in the middle of the investigation into how Democratic computer memos got into Republican hands, says Republicans who back the inquiry are “surprisingly defeatist.”

Mr. Miranda, who resigned last week, was unapologetic yesterday about reading Democratic strategy documents found on a shared Judiciary Committee computer.

“They had an obligation to protect their documents,” said Mr. Miranda, who worked at getting President Bush’s judicial nominations through the Senate for Judiciary Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, Utah Republican, and Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican. “I had an obligation to learn everything possible I could learn to defend my clients.”

Sergeant-at-Arms William Pickle has been investigating the situation since November.

FDA postpones birth-control decision

The government is postponing its decision on whether morning-after birth control should be sold without a doctor’s prescription, saying it needs more explicit information about 16- and 17-year-olds who have used the pills.

The delay comes with the Food and Drug Administration, whose scientists in December approved the concept, under intense political pressure to reject the move. Some lawmakers say easier access to emergency contraception will increase unsafe sex, particularly among teenagers.

The FDA had been scheduled to decide next week on whether Barr Laboratories’ version of emergency contraception, called Plan B, could be sold over the counter, next to the aspirin and cough medicine. Its decision deadline is now May.

Morning-after pills prevent ovulation or fertilization and possibly interfere with implantation of a fertilized egg into the uterus, the medical definition of pregnancy. If a woman already is pregnant, they have no effect.

Arrested guardsman worried about ‘bigotry’

EVERETT, Wash. — A National Guardsman suspected of trying to share military information with al Qaeda is a Muslim convert who complained bitterly in a letter to a newspaper about “bigotry, hatred and mindless rage” in the United States.

Spc. Ryan G. Anderson, 26, was arrested Thursday and was being held at Fort Lewis. The tank crew member from the Guard’s 81st Armor Brigade was taken into custody just days before he was to leave for duty in Iraq.

“In my three years as an observant Muslim, I’ve encountered nothing but kindness, patience, courtesy and understanding from them,” he wrote in a November 2002 letter to the Herald of Everett. “On the other hand, I have experienced bigotry, hatred and mindless rage from so-called ‘educated thinkers’ here in the U.S.”

Harvard withdraws support of magazine

Harvard University yesterday withdrew its support of H Bomb, a student-run magazine that was to include nude photographs of students and sexual material. Officials originally approved the publication Tuesday.

The Committee on College Life said it had approved the magazine “based on the understanding that it would not include material that would be considered pornographic,” and that it will again review the proposal with the student publishers.

On Wednesday, the two female undergraduates who hoped to publish H Bomb told the Crimson, Harvard’s student paper, that they did not dispute that their magazine could be considered “porn.”

The young women revised their description of the magazine, calling it a creative “outlet” once their story appeared in The Washington Times and other print and broadcast news media on Thursday.

ICE official accused of stealing from aliens

A senior Immigration and Customs Enforcement official in Detroit has been accused of stealing from illegal aliens being deported and is under investigation, federal law-enforcement authorities said.

Roy Bailey, the acting director of ICE’s Detroit office of detention and removal, and an unnamed subordinate have been placed on administrative leave during the probe, said Greg Palmore, a bureau spokesman in Detroit.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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