And now the most captivating two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
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The Source Behind the Interview
CBS News is acknowledging that anchorman Dan Rather had help in getting his exclusive interview with Saddam Hussein from none other than Ramsey Clark, the onetime U.S. attorney general who has since been on the outer fringe of the American left. Clark, who bitterly opposed the Gulf War in 1991, has since accused the United States of war crimes in that conflict. Clark recently compared Jesus Christ a terrorist. He visited with Saddam Hussein over the weekend, as he has done several times before, and, according to CBS News, put in a good word for Rather, whom he has known for a long time.
Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio Democratic congressman now running for president, has reversed himself on sanctions against Iraq. Only last November, Kucinich wrote in the left-wing political journal The Progressive, "The time has come for us to end the sanctions against Iraq because those sanctions punish the people of Iraq." But in an interview on Meet the Press this Sunday, Kucinich said he favors regime change in Iraq.
Tim Russert: "How would you do it?"
Kucinich: "I think the way that you do it is continue to use the sanctions which thwart his efforts to grow."
Critics of the Bush administration say there's no evidence of Saddam's link to terrorists, but there is certainly evidence of a close relationship to Yasser Arafat and his organization. The Middle East Media Research Institute has produced a translation of a telegram from Arafat to Saddam sent on Feb. 5, an Islamic feast day. It says, among other things, "Any kind of support from you in these difficult times will enable us to continue our persistence and resistance until we put an end to the occupation." It includes "our heartiest brotherly wishes...may Allah the powerful protect our brother Iraq from the great dangers and evils that loom over him."
Clearing up Confusion in Crowd Count
The San Francisco Chronicle, in an effort to clear up the confusion over the number of people attending anti-war demonstrations in that city, tried to get an accurate crowd estimate the only scientific way known: It took aerial photos, which were sharp enough that when enlarged, would allow actual head counts. They used this technique for the anti-Iraq war protest on Feb. 16. Police and the protesters said the crowd was about 200,000, but The Chronicle photos, taken at the early afternoon height of the event, showed only 65,000. Now anti-war readers are complaining that the paper is contributing to the march toward war.