And now the most telling two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
The new edition of Time magazine is able to report the arrest of the alleged Al Qaeda terror mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, but apparently the magazine was put to bed before the editors saw the latest photo of him taken after his capture. Time describes Mohammed this way: "In some ways, he was Al Qaeda's agent 007: suave, well educated, a trilingual globe-trotter who mixed easily in other cultures, who engaged women and intrigue with savoir faire." One FOX News viewer, Jim Ferguson of Raleigh, N.C., wrote of the picture, "My first thought was 'What in the name of heaven is Joey Buttafuoco doing in Pakistan?'"
Speaking of Al Qaeda, it has reportedly targeted American military facilities at Pearl Harbor for an attack similar to the 9/11 atrocities. The Washington Times says the intelligence reports that led to the recent increase in the terror alert contained information that terrorists were planning to hijack planes from the commercial airport at Honolulu and fly them into submarines or ships docked at Pearl Harbor. The Times report said the terrorist plans also included Hickam Air Force Base, located adjacent to the Honolulu airport. No additional security was added because of the threat, officials said, because security at those facilities was already high.
Pleased with Himself
Publicly, White House spokesman Ari Fleischer has not faulted CBS News and Dan Rather for their interview with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein last week, though Fleischer has complained that Saddam's answers were lies and propaganda. Privately, though, the Washington Post reports that administration officials "disparaged Rather's questioning of Hussein as too soft." Meanwhile, the New Yorker magazine reports that the Iraqi leader "came across so well that he decided to broadcast the interview on Iraqi television shortly after it aired here."
Those double-decker buses that brought peace activists from Britain to Baghdad to Iraq to act as human shields are headed home, full. The Times of London says the would-be human shields are leaving for two reasons. The activists have either run short of money or they have become "concerned for their safety." The problem, it seems, is that Saddam would not let them guard such targets as schools and hospitals, but planned instead to station them at power plants and oil refineries, which they were afraid might actually be hit.