Mysterious Mailings

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Mysterious Mailings

The New York Times has fired former Baghdad bureau chief Susan Sachs (search) — most recently bureau chief in Istanbul, Turkey — for allegedly sending letters to two Baghdad correspondents' wives, suggesting their men were being unfaithful while overseas. According to the New York Daily News, the wives of reporters Dexter Filkins and John Burns received anonymous letters relaying their husbands' alleged infidelities. The Times, then, conducted an investigation and found that the letters' postmarks matched Sachs' purported whereabouts on the Mydates the letters were sent.

Sachs has denied any involvement in the matter, and her lawyer says Sachs has passed a polygraph test. And the Newspaper Guild of New York — which represents Times workers — calls the evidence "circumstantial," insisting Sachs deserves her job back.

Opine On Tom Delay's Future?

Speaking of the New York Times, Former Louisiana Republican Congressman Bob Livingston (search) has received an e-mail from one of its editorial page editors, suggesting Livington write an op-ed on the future of House Majority Leader Tom Delay.

According to Syndicated Columnist Bob Novak, Livingston's office called the Times staffer, Tobin Harshaw, to say Livingston would write a "favorable piece." But Harshaw then balked, saying that while the Times welcomes any thoughts "We are seeking those who would go on the record or state for the good of the party [that Delay] should step aside."

Syrian Government Sent In Operatives?

A Syrian intelligence officer captured in Iraq says the Syrian government sent him to Iraq even before Saddam Hussein's regime fell, with specific orders to distribute money to terrorist networks, and help train recruits.

What's more, Fadi Al-Abdallah (search) said on Al-Iraqiya TV that after kidnapping "collaborators," he would send any ransom money back to the Syrian government. Al-Abdallah says the Syrian Government wanted to unite Iraq and Syria into one, big Arab country, but now has a new goal: "to terrorize the [Iraqi] people and make them hate the Americans and the new government."

Beaten By a Horse Race

And finally, this weekend's wedding between Prince Charles and long-time mistress Camilla Parker-Bowles (search) may have been broadcast live in much of the world including on cable channels inside the U.S., but in England it was beaten in the ratings by a horse race. It turns out more people watched BBC's coverage of the major British horse race the Grand National than coverage of the royal wedding.

An average 7.3 million Britons tuned into the race, compared with 6.2 million who watched the wedding. Nearly five times that many, by the way, watched Prince Charles' first marriage to Diana Spencer.

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report