John McCaslin

The Beltway Beat has confirmed that an "incident" is under investigation at the Alexandria Detention Center involving accused terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui and his reported use of a personal cell phone belonging to a jail employee.

A source close to the Alexandria Sheriff's Department tells this column that he was told yesterday that the phone belongs to a sheriff's deputy who has guarded Moussaoui, the so-called "20th hijacker" being held under otherwise-tight security.

"He (the deputy) is accused of allowing Moussaoui to use his cell phone to make personal calls," says our source, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "The guard is being questioned as we speak."

Alexandria Sheriff's Capt. David Rocco confirmed late yesterday that "the incident is under review," but he wouldn't say what the incident was.

Ironically, attorneys for Moussaoui filed a court motion in 2002 objecting to the "overly restrictive" conditions at the Alexandria jail. Among other demands, they asked he be allowed greater telephone access to his attorneys.


On second glance, USA Today didn't care too much for a conservative columnist's rant on last week's Democratic powwow in Boston. But Democrats don't mind publishing what the newspaper tossed away.

"During the Democratic National Convention week, USA Today hired Republican columnist Ann Coulter to write a daily column on the convention happenings," the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's Ann Lewis now writes.

"However, after reading her first submission, USA Today decided against publishing the column, stating it wasn't funny and not usable. After reading excerpts from the column, I can see why.

"I've been a woman in politics for a while, and I'm just not quite sure where she was going with this one: 'My pretty-girl allies stick out like a sore thumb amongst the corn-fed, no make-up, natural fiber, no-bra needing, sandal-wearing, hirsute, somewhat fragrant hippie chick pie wagons they call women at the Democratic National Convention.'"


We've just finished reading "The Meaning of Is: The Squandered Impeachment and Wasted Legacy of William Jefferson Clinton," authored by the one-time senior member of the House Judiciary Committee, former Rep. Bob Barr, Georgia Republican.

During the House debate on impeachment, writes Barr, now a political analyst for CNN and contributing editor of the American Spectator, things started to take on "surreal overtones."

John McCaslin

John McCaslin is a contributing columnist on and author of Inside The Beltway: Offbeat Stories, Scoops, and Shenanigans from around the Nation's Capital .

Be the first to read John McCaslin's column. Sign up today and receive delivered each morning to your inbox.