- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Amazing adventures

Let the record show that Jane Fonda was charged with treason — by one congressman, at least.

“I was assigned to the Internal Security Committee,” former Rep. Roger Zion, an Indiana Republican from 1967 to 1975, writes in his new book, “The Amazing Adventures of Congressman Roger Zion.”

“It was the smallest committee in the House,” he says. “We had eight members representing the radical right and the radical left” — from John Ashbrook, Ohio Republican, to Claude Pepper, Florida Democrat.

“After the Vietnam War, I wanted to get even with the dissidents who had given aid and comfort to our enemies,” Mr. Zion writes, pointing out there “was no doubt that Jane Fonda … had done so.”

In a chapter titled “I Charge Fonda with Treason,” the former congressman recalls that Miss Fonda had publicized a photograph of a large bomb sitting outside a Vietnamese hospital, the claim being that it was air-dropped there by the U.S. Air Force.

Suspicious of the photo, Mr. Zion summoned two Air Force officers before his committee and asked how it was possible.

“It isn’t,” he quotes the officers as replying. “A bomb from the altitude we use would either detonate or sink many feet into the dirt. This one had to be brought there for publicity purposes.”

“My case was clear,” Mr. Zion says, who, equipped with additional charges leveled by Miss Fonda during her wartime tour of Vietnam, issued a subpoena ordering her to appear before his committee. And why didn’t she show up?

“The next day the Democrats, who [controlled] the House, met and abolished the committee,” he reveals. “The only committee in the House looking into anti-American activities was gone forever.”

From 6 to 8 this evening at the Capitol Hill Club, a book reception will be held for Mr. Zion, who writes of other “amazing adventures” while in Congress: from helping to trap a fellow congressman’s son who had been stealing money from the pockets of lawmakers, to the hair-raising day he closed his coattail in the door of a small airplane departing Washington National Airport, causing the door to fly open in midflight and forcing an emergency landing.

Men in black

God forbid the unthinkable ever happens, but if it does the U.S. government has a “nuclear SWAT team” ready to roll — on call 24 hours a day to locate and disarm nuclear devices.

More will be learned tomorrow about the highly specialized Nuclear Incident Response Team when the House subcommittee on prevention of nuclear and biological attack hears testimony from FBI Deputy Assistant Director John E. Lewis, head of the bureau’s counterterrorism division, and retired Rear Adm. Joseph Krol, associate administrator for emergency operations at the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Catch and release

Consider these alarming statistics: So far this year, 68,629 illegal aliens — each captured and released with a date to appear in court — have failed to show up.

Hoping to eliminate what he calls a flawed “catch-and-release” policy employed by U.S. immigration officials, House Republican Conference Secretary Rep. John T. Doolittle, California Republican, this week introduced the Immigration and Nationality Act.

If passed, it would require the Department of Homeland Security to expedite the removal of all illegal aliens caught at points of entry in the United States. Under current law, officials can choose whether to place illegal aliens into expedited removal proceedings or simply release them into the United States with a date to appear in court.

Hurricane Haley

That was Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour back in town last evening to thank donors and encourage continued support of “Mississippi Rising.”

The former chairman of the Republican National Committee says the hurricane relief fund he helped establish, which included a recent gala fundraising concert called “Mississippi Rising” featuring dozens of celebrities, helped raise in excess of $15 million for the storm-ravaged state.

Mississippi native Shepard Smith, a Fox News Channel anchor, was master of ceremonies at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce fundraising event.

Green anglers

Vice President Dick Cheney, a Wyoming native, doesn’t mask his disdain for environmentalists.

“They asked me today if I come here to fish, and I explained no, the fishing is better in Wyoming,” Mr. Cheney said during a visit to Colorado this week. “Which is noted by the presence of so many ‘greenies’ in Wyoming taking our fish.”

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

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