- The Washington Times - Monday, September 12, 2005

Bork recall

Inside the Beltway received a one-line note from Robert H. Bork Jr., son of the former Supreme Court nominee, encouraging us to view a political merchandise Web site and one T-shirt in particular.

The hilarious shirt features a picture of a seated Judge Robert H. Bork, his hands clasped tightly in front of him, and is inscribed: “Renominate Bork! He’s tanned, rested and ready.”

CafePress.com delivers the Bork shirt in two business days — plenty of time to get his message out before Congress considers the all-important vacancies to the nation’s highest court.

Bork byline

Not familiar with Robert H. Bork Jr.?

The namesake of the one-time Supreme Court nominee is well-known in Washington as head of the Bork Communications Group, a firm specializing in litigation and legal policy. Before that, he toiled extensively in the Fourth Estate, covering international economics at U.S. News & World Report and working as managing editor of the quarterly journal Regulation and as reporter at Forbes, the Detroit Free Press, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram and Miami Herald.

Somehow in between it all, he was special assistant to U.S. Trade Representative Carla A. Hills and held a similar position with Sen. Gordon Humphrey, New Hampshire Republican.

Talk about tenure

He was appointed ambassador to the United States when President Reagan was in his first term. Now, after 22 years, Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar and his family are going home.

President Bush took a rare break from mopping up Hurricane Katrina and bid farewell to Prince Bandar, thanking him on behalf of past presidents for many years of service and counsel.

Speaking of the latter on the fourth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks, carried out by 15 Saudi hijackers and four others, we won’t forget Prince Bandar scolding the United States and the West for not accepting their share of the blame for the attacks. After all, he said, the West has a bad habit of providing political refuge to “bad people.”

It was during a question-and-answer session with the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington in January 2003 that Prince Bandar was asked: “How would you feel if 15 or 19 Americans would go to Saudi Arabia and cause the damage that was caused on September 11 by Saudi citizens to the United States?”

His response of such terrorists and their ilk: “They always go to London, Berlin, Paris, sometimes here [in the U.S.]. And when we report to our counterparts, ‘Look, these are bad people. Will you please help us with them?’ we are told they are dissidents and that if we only give them the right to speak, they would not have problems.”

“When they spoke, it was ugly,” he concluded. “And the result of their thinking and speaking is what you saw on 9/11.”

Fear the Turtle

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has the future of the United Nations on his breakfast plate this morning, as he plays host to an early-morning dialogue at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research featuring Dick Thornburgh, a former attorney general; Richard Haass, a one-time ambassador; and Sen. Norm Coleman, Minnesota Republican.

The high-level panel will discuss this month’s convening of the U.N. World Summit — the largest gathering of heads of state in history — to review and debate Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s plans of reform for Turtle Bay.

The four men will draw up a blueprint of reform “priorities” for John R. Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, to consider, albeit while posing the question: If so many past attempts at U.N. reform failed, is there any reason to hope that the current effort will prove any different?

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

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