I do not remember a time outside of the period in and around 9/11 that has bigger, more interesting stories breaking then the ones we are handling Thursday morning. We needed all three hours and maybe could have bribed Jon Scott for an extra 15 minutes just to get it all in.
Let me run it down for you:
Major operation in Najaf (search) as our coalition tries to neutralize the chubby, 30-something cleric Al Sadr. I have always been of the belief that our military men and women are the most skilled in our history, but this is now hardcore proof. To wipe out these dead end insurgents in their own city with all their weaponary — thanks Syria and Iran — is simply astounding. Lets get this straight: these militias can convert their mosques into an armory, shoot at us all day and we have to respect the holy site? What am I missing here? How holy can it be if you feel comfortable using it as a fortress and a big safe house in a life and death game of tag.
Secondly, we have the major Al Queda (search) arrests in Pakistan — this news sure to hurt tourism — and word of a new tape from Usama bin Laden ready to surface. The release of this tape could be a not so secret "go" command to his sleeper cells in and around the United States.
Oh yeah, here's a quick update about the Queens man arrested as a potential terrorist. His name is Kamran Akhtar and he loves to use his new video camera according to his brother. He was caught in North Carolina taping office buildings. It turns out he also taped significant sites in six cities along with subways and trolley cars and dams. This sounds like a fascinating way to use a camera. Well, upon further review, he has stayed in this country six years after he was told to leave and got here by snaking in over the Mexican border in 1991. So far no proven terror ties, but I have heard enough.
In court, Kobe looks like he is off the hook, as his accusers' case seems to be too much for her to bear. Amber Frey has been let loose on the stand armed with 300 recorded phone conversations. If this case didn't involve the vile death of a wonderful women and her baby, you'd have to almost be amused by the craziness of this relationship. Two people on the phone pretending to be people they are not: Amber crying, singing and pretending like she does not know Scott is married and likely killed his wife; Scott acting like fertilizer sales led him to Paris on New Years Eve.
Now the biggest story has been the arrest of 86-year-old Mike Wallace. He was accused of being disrespectful and lunging at a peace officer who was giving his driver a hard time. Wallace gets busted with his to-go container of meatloaf. If Mike Wallace needs to be arrested because he presents a physical threat to this officer, can I just say I have a bad feeling about how this guy will handle the GOP convention and the dozens of protests set for this city in two weeks. Mike Wallace, although a great youthful looking 86, has not been a physical threat since 1967. The only thing less threatening then Wallace with a meatloaf would be a red faced Larry King armed with a foot long tuna hero.
Two quick items worth mentioning: Rosie O'Donnell's gay cruise has been less then a hit. She shoved off 40 percent full and I am sure deep in the hole. Worse news: In Sync may have broken up for good! The boy band will not have Justin Timberlake in the fold. His solo cd was a hit, so he has no need to go back and be one of the boys. Will girlfriend Cameron Diaz be labeled the modern day Yoko Ono?
Finally, it’s good to see Suzanne Summers. She was the first celebrity to watch us go and we are forever in her debt. She and her husband make such a great team in and out of business. I'm sure her book on sex after menopause will be a big hit, but I'll focus on her thigh master.
Kiran has done a great job filling in for E.D. this week and Steve and I now look forward to Juliet Friday and Monday. E.D. will be back on Tuesday.
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