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All Right -- I'll Vote for Me, Too
Some folks were certain that Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, the commission chairman, and two other dissenters on the 12-member bipartisan panel had maybe forgotten to put in a handful of pages in an advance copy of the 258-page report, both online and printed. Maybe a zealous printer ripped them out.
Conspiracy theories last week were apparently sparked by the contentious nature of the panel's disagreements over the proper role of government, free-market strategies, taxes and other matters, with Peters strenuously holding out in the minority.
But in the end, according to one member of the majority, Vice Chairman Jack Schenendorf, there were "no changes made and nothing done deliberately by DOT staff or the White House" to alter the recommendations.
"We're trying to figure out what happened," Schenendorf told us yesterday, but there's "always a glitch and mistakes" in these efforts. The omitted material will be inserted into the final version. "Everyone has calmed down," he said.
Vigilance Rewarded, Belatedly
Remember that Minnesota flight instructor who suspected in August 2001 that Zacarias Moussaoui was up to no good? There were odd things. Such as the way Moussaoui paid his $6,800 tuition in $100 bills. Or maybe his saying he wanted to know only how to fly a big jet but didn't care about takeoffs or landings?
The flight instructor urged his bosses to alert the FBI. Moussaoui later pleaded guilty to being involved in an al-Qaeda hijacking plot, though not the Sept. 11 attacks.
At a closed State Department ceremony yesterday, the instructor, Capt. Clarence "Clancy" Prevost, was rewarded with $5 million for his alertness. The money comes from the department's Rewards for Justice program for people who supply information that helps track down terrorists.
Look Who's Not Talking
Meghan O'Sullivan, the former Bush deputy national security adviser, sparked a bit of a kerfuffle Tuesday night at Indiana University when a speech she was scheduled to give was canceled after the student newspaper refused to agree to demands that the public event would be off the record.
O'Sullivan, who left the administration last fall and is now at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, told the Indiana Daily Student that it is a "common practice for people who leave government for a certain period." She said she'd "spoken widely off-the-record" and her request has been "respected."
A faculty adviser for the Student Alliance for National Security, which contracted with her to speak at the school, said the speech was canceled because O'Sullivan wasn't feeling well -- bad tummy, we hear. But later that night, she attended a private dinner and spoke with professors, "campus leaders" and Student Alliance members.
It's considered poor form -- though a lot of fun for the media -- to leave a government job and immediately begin trashing your former employers. O'Sullivan's policy always has been to speak off the record. And it's most unclear what negative things a Bush loyalist such as O'Sullivan would say.
Still, some of the 70 or so people who showed up for her talk said they were disappointed it was canceled.