Below the Fold for March 2

Let's check out some political stories we found Below the Fold:

Silence of the Critics?

United Nations weapons inspectors are unlikely to receive help from Iraq's top missile expert anytime soon.

General Muhammad Sa'id al Darraj was called to one of Saddam's presidential palaces last week, ostensibly for a confab to discuss ways of misleading Hans Blix and company about the placement and capabilities of scud missiles. The general then returned home, where he died - but not before telling his family he had been poisoned, and hence, silenced.

The $2 Billion Man

Left-wing opponents of Saddam Hussein now have a reason to speak out against the Iraqi leader. Saddam, it turns out, is filthy rich. Forbes magazine estimates his net worth at about $2 billion.

Ninety million of that bundle comes from Hachette Filipacchi, which publishes many magazines in the U.S., including Premiere, and has backed a number of motion pictures in Hollywood and France.

No comment yet from Martin Sheen.

Feeling the Heat

Nine of the first 11 British human shields in Iraq decided to leave the country after Abdul Hashimi, head of Iraq's Friendship, Peace and Solidarity organization asked them to take positions at sensitive sites around Iraq.

Godfrey Meynell, a former high sheriff of Derbyshire, was among the departing. He confessed feeling "cold fear" upon hearing that Iraq actually wanted him to become a human shield rather than an ideological tourist.

Check the Fine Print

State Farm Insurance has announced that it will not replace automobiles melted or otherwise destroyed by nuclear blasts.

Company spokeswoman Ana Compain-Romero informed the Philadelphia Inquirer that, "A nuclear event could have very serious, catastrophic implications for society."

Come Again?

Caroline Parrish, a Liberal Member of Parliament in Canada, has apologized after saying on camera, "Damn Americans … I hate those bastards."

She later claimed she had misled herself: "My comments do not reflect my personal opinion… and they certainly do not reflect the views of the government of Canada."