Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Questionable Picture Posted

An Islamist Web site has posted a photo of what it claims is an American soldier held hostage, with a gun pointed at his head, with a threat that he’ll be killed in 72 hours unless Iraqi prisoners are leaving. The Web site says, "Our Mujahedeen heroes of Iraq’s Jihadi Battalion were able to capture American military man, John Adam, after killing a number of his comrades and capturing the rest."

But the thing is, the U.S. military says no American soldier have been reported missing. And an American toy maker, Dragon Model USA, notes the soldier bares a striking resemblance to it Special Ops action figure named Cody. Pentagon officials say terrorists are "getting really desperate."

Dean DNC Chair?

With the AFL-CIO now declining to endorse a chairman for the Democratic Party and former Texas Congressman Martin Frost now dropping out of the race, Howard Dean seems on his way to victory.

Dean, by the way, said over the weekend that he "hates Republicans and everything they stand for." Speaking at a party forum in New York, he strongly urged Democrats not to adopt Republican viewpoints saying, "Democrats need to be people of conviction. We can talk about our faith, but we cannot change our faith. Dean, quoted by The New York Daily News says what Democrats need is not new ideas but new and better organization.

U.S. Troops Targeting Journalists?

And CNN’s top news executive Ethan Jordan has found himself called to account by none other than Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Barney Frank. This after Jordan seemed to suggest that the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland last week, that American troops were deliberating targeting and killing foreign journalists in Iraq, including Western journalists.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Jordan said that of 60 or so journalists killed in Iraq, 12 were killed by coalition forces. Frank then asked Jordan if U.S. forces had actually killed these journalists on purpose? Jordan said, "There are people who believe there are people in the military who have it out for journalists." CNN tonight said though that Jordan does not believe U.S. soldiers are trying to kill journalists.

Opponents Back To Old Selves?

Opponents of the war in Iraq having had time to collect their thoughts about Iraqi elections are beginning now to sound like their old selves. Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, who early last year called the war a great mistake, now insists weekend elections in Iraq were "fake." He says, "I don’t think these elections will be of any use. They may even have a negative impact. Democracy cannot be imposed with guns and tanks."

And left wing Boston Globe columnist James Carroll says, "Iraq is a train wreck. Tens of thousands of Iraqis are dead. An Arab nation is humiliated. There is only one way in which the grand claims made by Washington over the weekend voting will be true. And that is if the elections empower an Iraqi government that moves quickly to repudiate Washington."

— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report