Sunday, June 6, 2004

Sunday Forum

Hot Corner: Nipping at the heels of the newsmakers

Good politics to blame CIA

Ahmad Chalabi, once seen as a likely prospect to head Iraq's government as America's new best friend, then accused of leaking American secrets to Iran, blames outgoing CIA Chief George Tenet for all his troubles. He seems willing to capitalize on his dislike for Tenet in an effort to get votes in Iraq if U.S.-style democracy ever takes root there.

As a source of much of the now-dubious "intelligence" about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, Chalabi was a darling of the Pentagon before the war. The U.S. State Department and the CIA, on the other hand, have never thought much of him. Now the FBI is looking for loose lips among his Pentagon pals, who may have told him we broke an Iranian secret code - information investigators say he passed on to Iran. Chalabi on Thursday said Tenet is "behind the charges against me." That makes a good sound bite among many Iraqis these days.

Speaking at the United Nations Thursday, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said, "We are sorry to hear all these difficulties, all these rumors, all this investigation going on. Chalabi still in my view will have a role to play."

Rules are rules

Ohio State University officially canceled Hempfest Saturday, a tradition at the school since 1996, because the organizers, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, didn't give the school 10 days notice or get written permission from a faculty sponsor. The cancellation on the campus' south Oval had nothing to do with the fest's lectures, literature, bands and vendors, said a school spokesman, who invited the group to try to reschedule. Of course school is ending and there isn't any room left on the calendar ...

Trail Mix: News and notes from the political campaign

With five months to go before the presidential election, observers predict the race might be as close as 2000's cliffhanger between Al Gore and George W. Bush. A swing of a state or two from 2000 would make the difference But are the states swinging? Here's how this year's candidates fare compared to the 2000 vote in several key states, according to the latest polls:

• In Ohio, which Bush won by 4 percent in 2000, Bush is ahead of John Kerry by 6 percent.

• In Illinois, which Gore won by 12 percent, Kerry leads Bush by 16 percent.

• In Minnesota, which Gore won by 2 percent, Kerry leads by 3 percent.

• In Connecticut, which Gore won by 17.5 percent, Kerry leads by 10 percent.

• In Louisiana, which Bush won by 2.7 percent, Bush leads by 6 percent.

Gore won the 2000 nationwide popular vote, 48.4 percent to 47.9 percent, but lost the Electoral College tally of the states that constitutionally determines the winner, 266 votes to 271.

Sound bites

Standing invitation

"And I told them ... they're welcome anytime as long as I'm police chief."

Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher, after receiving a supporting memo by six City Council members, re-inviting the 'Cops' TV show to film his officers when it's done riding with Norwood, Hamilton County and Covington officers


Good news

"For the first time, we are turning the corner in the lung cancer epidemic in women."

Ahmedin Jemal of the American Cancer Society on an optimistic scientific report published this week in the journal 'Cancer'


We've heard this one before

"It was a personal decision and had only one basis in fact: the well being of my wonderful family, nothing more and nothing less."

George Tenet, announcing his resignation Thursday as director of the Central Intelligence Agency


Medical miracle

"When I was secretary of state ... I had all my partisan instincts surgically removed. They have really grown back."

Madeleine Albright, former secretary of state, on speaking out about current events


Don't we all

"I was just hoping that I got a word I studied."

David Tidmarsh of South Bend, Ind., who won the National Spelling Bee on Thursday by correctly spelling "autochthonous"

The ethics of science
For: Stem research is legal, useful
Against: Research not ethical practice
'No Child' act should be fully funded
Sunday Forum
Cicada limericks: This week's winners
ONLINE EXTRA: More cicada limericks

More needed to avert blackouts
D-Day+60 years: We will not forget
More letters: D-Day
We must work to preserve our home
Letters to the editor