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State Dept. Web Site Still Out of the Loop

Falling on a Saturday this year, it probably reduced medical mulligans on the nation's golf courses.

Can an "Avoid Plagiarism Day" in journalism be far behind?

_____In the Loop_____
A Late Development in Fontgate (The Washington Post, Sep 15, 2004)
Harmonizing Energies in Missile Defense (The Washington Post, Sep 13, 2004)
The Electric Slide, OPM Style (The Washington Post, Sep 10, 2004)
Invented: The Standing Column (The Washington Post, Sep 8, 2004)
How to Sweep an Accusation Under the Rug (The Washington Post, Aug 16, 2004)
More In the Loop

Axis of Bush Haters

Senate intelligence committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) was interviewed by CNN's Wolf Blitzer a week ago:

Blitzer: "Before we move on, are you suggesting [Korean dictator Kim Jong Il] would like to see President Bush defeated?"

Roberts: "Well, I think that's probably the case. . . . "

So has Kim joined the list of foreign leaders wanting Bush out that Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) talked about a few months back? We always thought of Kim as more of a Ralph Nader fan.

The Murky Keyser Affair

State Department officials were mum last week about the arrest of former senior official Donald W. Keyser, a China expert who's been accused of concealing a trip last year to Taiwan.

Keyser, who had been principal deputy assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, made the trip in September 2003. The FBI said in court papers that Keyser had been meeting with Taiwanese agents in this area in recent weeks. He and his lawyer are not talking to reporters.

But things are a bit murky. Keyser's boss, Assistant Secretary James A. Kelly, told the FBI Keyser was not allowed to travel to Taiwan because the United States and Taiwan don't have diplomatic relations and Kelly would have vetoed such a trip.

But the Nelson Report, a newsletter for folks interested in East Asia, quotes an unnamed official at the U.S. Embassy in Japan as saying that when Keyser was in Tokyo in July 2003 "we knew he was heading for [Taiwan] -- the unclassified itinerary drawn up" by the Tokyo embassy "clearly says 'July 17, Thursday 940: Depart on China Air for Taipei.' . . . He was clearly making no effort to conceal the trip." There's also the problem of "official" trips vs. "unofficial" trips diplomats often make to a place where Washington maintains a quasi-embassy and which has a quasi-embassy here because of convoluted diplomatic sort-of relations.

Stay tuned.

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