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Special Report

Jewish Group Fires Back at Chas Freeman

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Firing Back

The American Jewish Committee is strongly rejecting Chas Freeman's comments blaming the pro-Israel community for pressuring him to withdraw his name from consideration for National Intelligence Council chairman.

The group's executive director, David Harris, says: "Apparently Chas Freeman can dish it out but can't take it... he chose to fire off nasty e-mails scapegoating the 'Israel lobby' for his own decision to withdraw. The only 'libels' and 'smears' here are Freeman's tired clichés about a nefarious 'Israel lobby' that stifles debate."

Freeman was picked by President Obama for the post, but became embroiled in controversy over his criticism of Israel and ties to China and Saudi Arabia.

Drug Money

Who says crime doesn't pay? Mexico's most wanted man has made it onto another list: The Forbes magazine tally of the world's richest people. Joaquin 'Shorty' Guzman checks in at number 701, tied with others worth about $1 billion.

Guzman, who is just five-feet tall, runs the Sinaloa drug cartel. He is blamed for thousands of deaths in Mexico's drug war and officials say he changes cell phones daily to avoid being tracked.

The global economic crisis has reduced the Forbes list from 1,125 billionaires in 2008 to just 793 this year.

Cooling Trend

An MIT meteorology expert says many of his colleagues have accepted man-made global warming theories out of self-preservation. Cybercast News reports Professor Richard Lindzen told a New York climate change conference Sunday: "Endorsing global warming just makes their lives easier."

He said political movements corrupt climate science "especially since the issue has been a major motivation for funding."

A new Gallup poll indicates a record-high 41 percent of Americans think global warming is exaggerated.

Flight Trouble

And finally, the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, says it is investigating an incident we reported Wednesday involving Senator David Vitter. The Louisiana Republican set off alarms at Washington's Dulles Airport last week when he opened a gateway door in a rush to catch his flight.

Roll Call newspaper reports he got into a verbal altercation with an airline worker and fled the scene as security was being summoned. Vitter says the report mischaracterized the incident: "I accidentally went through a wrong door at the gate. I did have a conversation with an airline employee, but it was certainly not like this silly gossip column made it out to be."

— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.