- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MoveOn’s ad

“With its full-page ‘General Betray Us?’ ad in the New York Times, MoveOn.org has once again put itself at the forefront of the antiwar movement. And if past patterns are any guide, a number of Democrats are embarrassed, and even angered, by MoveOn’s actions, but are afraid to reveal the true extent of their feelings,” Byron York writes at National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).

“MoveOn simply has too much fundraising clout — and a fear-inducing inclination to attack Democrats who stray from the MoveOn line — for many in the party to take it on,” Mr. York said.

He added: “But the thing that should trouble party leaders is not that MoveOn is capable of silly stunts. It’s not even that MoveOn is capable of making slanderous comments about U.S. military officials. And it’s not that MoveOn is against the war in Iraq, which polls show many Americans believe was a mistake. Rather, MoveOn’s latest campaign is a continuation of a drive to oppose not just the action in Iraq, but the war on terror in general, and, in a larger sense, America’s use of military power in its own defense.”

Due process

Republican presidential contender Fred Thompson said yesterday that although Osama bin Laden needs to be caught and killed, the terrorist mastermind would get the due process of law.

In his first campaign trip to South Carolina, the lawyer and former Tennessee senator answered questions about his recent statements about the man responsible for the September 11, 2001, attacks that killed nearly 3,000 Americans. Last week, a new video with bin Laden surfaced, the first in three years.

On Friday, Mr. Thompson told reporters in Iowa that bin Laden is “more symbolism than anything else” and said his presence in the “mountains of Pakistan or Afghanistan is not as important as there are probably al Qaeda operatives inside the United States of America.”

The remarks drew criticism from some Democratic rivals and later in the day, Mr. Thompson adopted a tougher line, saying bin Laden “ought to be caught and killed.”

Yesterday, Mr. Thompson said he wasn’t suggesting that bin Laden’s death would happen immediately after his capture, the Associated Press reports.

“No, no, no, we’ve got due process to go through,” depending on the circumstances, he said. “I’m not suggesting those things happen simultaneously.”

Later, a Thompson spokesman said the former senator meant “the same rules ought to apply to him as to everyone at Guantanamo Bay, and there ought to be due process through a special military court or commission.”

“For anyone to suggest that we shouldn’t squeeze out every last bit of intelligence information has absolutely no understanding how to fight a long-term global war on terrorism,” spokesman Todd Harris said.

Burglarized

The campaign headquarters of Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney was burglarized over the weekend, and a television and computers were stolen.

A campaign spokesman for the former Massachusetts governor described the crime as “a routine burglary” and did not think it was politically motivated.

“Several laptops and a TV were stolen,” campaign spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom said. “All the computers are password-enabled, and the hard drives are encrypted. The only thing they’re good for is parts.”

The Boston Police Department was called to the scene, an office building overlooking Boston Harbor in the city’s North End, but a report was not available, Officer Eddy Chrispin said.

The incident is the third of its kind recently involving a presidential contender.

Last month, a man was arrested and charged with breaking into a Hartford, Conn., office belonging to Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. The suspect lived in a city shelter and had a lengthy arrest record, and a city police official said that crime likely was committed to support a drug habit.

In July, the Davenport, Iowa, presidential-campaign headquarters for Sen. Barack Obama, Illinois Democrat, was burglarized. Two laptop computers and campaign literature were reported stolen.

Spitzer lashes out

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer scolded a local TV journalist who asked about his political troubles during a press event on the opening day of classes last week at a Binghamton-area high school.

“Get a life, buddy,” Mr. Spitzer snapped at WBNG-TV anchor and reporter Justin Mossafter the last of three questions about fallout from the scandal involving Spitzer aides who schemed to discredit his main political rival.

“It caught me off-guard, for sure. What do you say to that?” Mr. Moss said. “I kind of backed off.”

Mr. Spitzer spent part of the morning at Vestal High School lecturing a class about preparing for careers in the global economy and then spoke about the state’s commitment to education funding.

At a question-and-answer session, Mr. Moss asked about the future of top Spitzer aide Darren Dopp, recently returned to the state payroll after a suspension for his role in using the state police to compile travel records on New York Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, a Republican.

“I don’t know,” Mr. Spitzer replied.

Mr. Moss asked whether the governor is worried about Mr. Dopp’s upcoming testimony in investigations of the incident.

“Not in the slightest bit,” the governor said. “Any other questions? Any about education? Anything about something that matters?”

Mr. Moss took one more shot, asking whether the scandal has been a distraction from the main business of government.

That prompted Mr. Spitzer’s caustic reply, the Associated Press reports.

License woes

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court took a step yesterday to suspend the law license ofI. Lewis “Scooter” Libby Jr., the former White House aide convicted of lying and obstructing justice in a probe into the leak of a CIA operative’s identity.

The court issued a “rule to show cause” Friday directing Libby, a former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, to show why his license should not be temporarily suspended in the wake of his federal convictions. The order was posted on the court’s Web site yesterday.

President Bush commuted Libby’s 30-month prison sentence in July. Libby paid a $250,000 fine and must serve two years’ probation.

The order was expected, and Libby will be suspended from practicing law while his appeal is pending, Libby attorney Bill Jeffress told the Associated Press.

Greg Pierce can be reached at 202/636-3285 or gpierce@washingtontimes .com.

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