Whatever Happened to That Massive Taliban Spring Offensive?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Crushed Morale

British military sources say the predicted spring offensive by the Taliban in Afghanistan has stalled because so many middle-ranking commanders have been killed in the past year.

The London Telegraph reports last week's killing of key Taliban leader Mullah Dadullah by American Special Forces crushed morale so much that local commanders are telling their men to "remain professional" despite the loss.

The paper reports more than 1,000 Taliban have been eliminated by British troops in the last year — and that has left few mid-level leaders to coordinate the planned spring offensive.

Prostitution Ring

Law enforcement officials in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area busted a major prostitution ring over the weekend, arresting more than two dozen people — many of them illegal immigrants.

The investigation was coordinated by federal agencies, Minnesota's Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and the Saint Paul police.

But even though most of the brothels were in Minneapolis — that city's police did not take part in the investigation or arrests — staying outside the buildings and helping only with security.

That's because Minneapolis has a policy forbidding its officers from participating in immigration cases. Mayor R.T. Rybak says he remains, "absolutely committed to our policy of separating our police from immigration."

And he is upset that some federal agents wore shirts saying "Police" during the raids. He has asked them not to do that — but they have refused — saying "police" is a universal term for law enforcement officers.

CIA Plan

Colorado Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo is calling for an investigation into an ABC News report on an alleged CIA operation to destabilize the Iranian government.

The network reported this morning that President Bush has authorized a covert operation using propaganda, disinformation and financial measures.

Both the CIA and the White House refused to discuss the report. Tancredo says he wants the attorney general to look into who leaked the information — and ABC's decision to air it.

Tancredo says — "When foreign governments and terrorist groups can simply watch the news to find out about potential U.S. intelligence operations, we have a problem on our hands. I hope Democrats and the media show as much interest in this as they did over Valerie Plame."

Lightweight Disappointment

Veteran Democratic political consultant Bob Shrum is portraying John Edwards as a

political lightweight who was a major disappointment to John Kerry when the two of them ran against President Bush and Vice President Cheney in 2004.

Shrum characterizes Edwards in a new book as, "a Clinton who hadn't read the books." He says Kerry — "wished that he'd never picked Edwards, that he should have gone with his gut," and selected Dick Gephardt.

Shrum is a former campaign aide for Edwards — and their relationship soured when Shrum left the Edwards team to work for Kerry in 2003. This is not the first time he has attacked Edwards.

—FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.