And now the most interesting two minutes in television, the latest from the wartime grapevine:
Saddam's Bomb Maker Spills the Beans
An Iraqi defector who was once part of Saddam Hussein's nuclear bomb program says Iraq still has the ability to process nuclear materials and has likely been hard at work doing just that for the past four years. The man, Khidir Hamza, says Iraq smuggled in a nuclear processing device known as a centrifuge from Germany, and that a German scientist showed them how to duplicate it back in 1989. Weapons inspectors took the first one, but Hamza told the Washington Times the Iraqis have been able to build hundreds more and use them to enrich uranium for bombs. And he says Iraq has enough uranium for between one and three bombs.
Al Qaeda More Dangerous?
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the rout of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the scattering of the Al Qaeda network into other countries may actually have made Al Qaeda more dangerous. The Times says, "with no base of operations, and even less of a structure than it had before, bin Laden's network is becoming more difficult for intelligence services to track and may be even more dangerous." And that is because, according to a source, they have "broadened their sphere of operation."
Front Page News When Opposing Bush
When former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft wrote a few weeks ago that President Bush was on the wrong track in his pursuit of Saddam Hussein, the New York Times made his objections the centerpiece of a front-page lead story. But since the president has brought the United Nations into the picture, Scowcroft has completely changed his tune and on Sunday television said, "I think the president is pursuing a brilliant bit of diplomacy now. I think his speech was terrific. I think he's put the ball exactly where it belongs." And if the United Nations won't authorize force, "I think then I would not object to us going alone." Not a word about this in the New York Times.
Didn't Sway Many Voters?
Meanwhile, over at NBC News, officials are explaining that they made "exception for a special case ... an exception for a family member." They were talking about the decision to let correspondent Maria Shriver, Teddy Kennedy's niece, campaign for her brother Mark in last week's Democratic House primary in Maryland's eighth district. For the record, she campaigned, but he lost.