- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 20, 2004


The International Spy Museum in Washington, the only museum in the country dedicated to espionage, will enforce a minimum age of 18 for its July 14 seminar on one of the oldest tricks of the trade: sexpionage.

Those of a mature age will learn that spies, counterspies and even terrorists conduct undercover activities “under the covers,” using seduction as a tool to attract and manipulate, coerce and compromise.

Authentic KGB sexual-entrapment videos and newly released technical details of the infamous Russian “honey traps” will be shown. Not that there haven’t been similar shapely traps in this country.

Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhowprofessed during the Civil War: “God gave me both a brain and a body, and I shall use them both.”

Closet comic

“Please be seated, unless, of course, you don’t have a seat.”

—President Bush, speaking at a campaign rally Saturday in Reno, Nev.

Passing the baton

He has performed with “The President’s Own” for 36 years, including a decade at its helm. But Col.Timothy W. Foley’s relationship with America’s oldest music organization actually began as a young boy watching the band play for the 1955 National Christmas Tree lighting in Washington.

“[A]nd there was the Marine Band all bundled up in these big blue coats,” said the 58-year-old colonel, who started playing the clarinet at age 9. “I remember hearing the band and thinking, ‘They’ve got to be cold, but wow, what a beautiful sound.’”

Founded in 1798, the President’s Own has performed for every U.S. president since John Adams. It got its title from Thomas Jefferson.

“It is tremendously challenging and very important to be the ‘keeper of the flame’ — to carry on the music of our predecessors, most importantly John Philip Sousaand the traditions he helped to create,” Col. Foley said.

Now there will be a new keeper of the flame as of July 17, when Col. Foley passes the Sousa baton to Maj. Michael J. Colburn, who becomes its 27th director. Col. Foley said he takes with him myriad musical memories, such as the evening President Clinton and his wife hosted a dinner for Russian PresidentBoris Yeltsin.

“For the occasion, I had prepared a little-known piece by Russian composer Anton Arensky,” he said. “My back was to the East Room entrance as I conducted the chamber orchestra that night, and as we were playing the piece, I noticed the orchestra becoming slightly distracted.”

When they finished the piece, the colonel heard someone applauding behind him. It was Mr. Yeltsin.

“He was standing there alone, listening to our performance,” he said. “He gave a thumbs-up, then was whisked off to join the rest of the guests at dinner.”

On September 11, 2002, the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the Marine Band was setting up to play at ground zero, “the bottom of the massive chasm where the World Trade Center once stood — I had never seen anything quite like it — and a relentless swirling wind … was so great we had to bring in sandbags to anchor our music stands.

“As the dirt and dust blew in our eyes and ears, we could barely communicate with each other, or hold on to anything before the wind carried it off,” Col. Foley recalled. “How those musicians performed, I will never know. But they sat there and played as if they were sitting in Carnegie Hall, with the most extraordinary refinement and musical sensitivity, under conditions that were indescribably difficult and emotional.”

Asked about life after the Marine Band, the colonel said: “I don’t know how I could do this anywhere else. But I know for sure — there is no life without music.”

Mock election

The news isn’t good from the Leon & Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, where a poll conducted on college campuses reveals that only 35 percent of students think voting can bring about substantial change.

Only 19 percent of American college students think politics is very relevant to their lives, and fewer than one in 10 say they have or will volunteer for a political campaign during the 2004 elections.

“Obviously, candidates, educators and all the rest of us need to do a better job of promoting political and civic involvement if we hope to restore our trust in our democracy,” says Leon Panetta, who served President Clinton as White House chief of staff.

In a trial run of the upcoming presidential election, the survey of 800 students showed Sen. John Kerry leading President Bush by 42 percent to 30 percent. But will the underclassmen bother to vote?

Half a star

“Flight back was uneventful, although the movie, ‘House of Sand and Fog,’ was awful. Beef fajitas for dinner.”

—White House pool report covering the June 19 Air Force One journey from Reno, Nev., to Andrews Air Force Base.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide