- The Washington Times - Monday, March 22, 2004

Pass the ketchup

Don’t believe everything you eat.

Located just one block from the White House is the Center for Consumer Freedom, which amid mounting litigation against caloric-heavy fast-food restaurants is blasting filmmaker Morgan Spurlock’s new documentary, “Super Size Me.”

“The main attraction of ‘Super Size Me’ is watching Spurlock put on weight while he gorges on nothing but McDonald’s food for a month,” notes CCF Executive Director Richard Berman. “But eating 90 meals in a row at the same restaurant is no more realistic than so-called reality shows like ‘Average Joe.’”

Plus, Mr. Berman points out, conspicuously absent from Mr. Spurlock’s “blame-the-burger” publicity stunt is any mention of his physical activity or a nutritional definition of what weight gain really is — calories in versus calories out.

In other words, you can get fat from gorging on Brussels sprouts, too.

“Just ask Don Gorske,” says Mr. Berman. “He’s in the Guinness Book of Records for eating 19,000 Big Macs. Gorske is 6 feet tall, 180 pounds, and his cholesterol is a healthy 155.”

Sufficient reason

During the same week former White House national security official Richard A. Clarke is condemning the Bush administration for marching on Baghdad to dethrone Saddam Hussein, every member of Congress is opening “Iraq’s Legacy of Terror: Mass Graves,” a report highlighting the worst human rights atrocity of Saddam’s regime.

“Hundreds of thousands of murdered Iraqis, including women holding their children with bullet holes, lie in at least 270 mass grave sites around the country,” says Rep. Joe Wilson, South Carolina Republican, who has seen fit to mail each member a copy of the report.

“Saddam’s mass graves represent a crime against humanity surpassed in scope only by the World War II Nazi Holocaust, Pol Pot’s Cambodian communist killing fields in the 1970s, and the Rwandan genocide in 1994,” the congressman educates.

Shepherd and flock

“What I do not support is this misleading Bush administration and this House … that follows them like sheep.”

—Rep. Corrine Brown, Florida Democrat, who cites one report claiming President Bush and senior White House officials made 237 misleading statements about threats posed by Iraq in 125 public appearances.

Become No. 30

Keep your eye open for any al Qaeda terrorist cells in this country. It could make you extremely wealthy.

In the past seven years, 29 persons who provided credible information about terrorists to U.S. authorities have received rewards in excess of $49 million, including one tipster whose information led to the arrest and conviction of Ramzi Yousef for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York City.

And look for the reward pot to grow. Last week, by a vote of 414-0, the House passed the Counter-Terrorist and Narco-Terrorist Rewards Program, which expands rewards even further to help prevent acts of terrorism against U.S. citizens.

For example, under provisions of the USA Patriot Act of 2001, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has been authorized to pay up to $25 million for information leading to the capture of Osama bin Laden and other key al Qaeda leaders. The just-passed House bill raises the reward for bin Laden’s capture to a whopping $50 million.

Meanwhile, Rep. Mark Steven Kirk, Illinois Republican, reveals that bin Laden slowly has been changing his own source of financing.

“He used to depend on Wahhabi [Saudi Islamic sect] donations, his personal fortune and donations from Europe, but those sources of funding have largely dried up under a series of United Nations legal orders,” the congressman says. “Today, Osama bin Laden stands as one of the world’s number one sellers of heroin.”

Mr. Kirk says the heroin group Haji Bashir Noorzai, based in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, provides 2,000 kilograms of heroin every eight weeks to bin Laden’s lieutenants in Pakistan, worth $28 million a year.

In December, the U.S. Navy intercepted boats in the Arabian Gulf loaded with methamphetamine, hashish and heroin worth $10 million — “an attempt by bin Laden to move from the Pakistani market where he gets $2,000 per kilogram of heroin to the United Arab Emirates, where he would get $10,000 per kilogram,” the congressman says.

John McCaslin, whose column is nationally syndicated, can be reached at 202/636-3284 or [email protected].

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