Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Get in Line
Facing a firing squad for leaking government secrets? That is the implication in a training manual for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The online manual leaked to the Washington Times features a picture of an old-fashion firing squad on the same page it describes the consequences for leaking sensitive information.
The National Whistleblower Center is not pleased, saying the Justice Department is ignoring the First Amendment and the image creates a -- quote-- "chilling effect on legitimate speech. This is a campaign to silence and intimidate whistleblowers."
Justice Department officials said the training manual image was used as a joke and the ATF has agreed to remove it. The ATF was at the center of the gun tracking scandal -- Operation Fast and Furious-- which came to light largely because of whistleblower accounts.
Spy vs. Spy
A Hezbollah website claims militants have captured an Israeli spy in Lebanon. The identity of the secret agent? An eagle.
The Jerusalem Post reports Hezbollah claims the bird was equipped with an implanted receiver and a brass ring around its foot. A bird with a similar ring was detained for espionage over the summer in Turkey.
Is it an Israeli conspiracy? Likely not. One Israeli bird expert says he was tracking the eagle as part of his research and is not happy that Hezbollah guerrillas are the newest threat to the endangered bird.
Pope Francis is giving up his Harley Davidson motorcycle. Yes, the pope had a Harley.
It was given to him as a gift from the motorcycle company over the summer when the pope blessed about 800 bikers in Saint Peter's Square.
The National Catholic Register reports the Pope donated the bike to be auctioned off in support of a local soup kitchen.
The pope has called on clergy to be simple in their transportation choices and follows that advice himself, choosing to use a car with almost 200,000 miles on the odometer.