John McCaslin

What job isn't Colin Powell rumored to be filling when he leaves the State Department? Whether he's destined for the World Bank or back to college as president of William & Mary, everybody wants the secretary of state in their court.

Don't jump too fast, Powell is told by Rep. Vito Fossella, New York Republican.

The congressman wants the secretary of state to cap his nearly four decades of public service by answering the call of duty one last time: Return home to New York and run for the Senate in 2006.

In a letter to Powell, he writes: "Now more than ever, New York needs your leadership. As a native New Yorker, a proud son of Harlem and first-generation American, you have a unique insight and great understanding of the challenges facing our state.

"On behalf of the people of New York, I respectfully request that you consider returning home and running as the Republican nominee for the United States Senate in 2006."


Washington-based public-relations firm Levick Strategic Communications is being paid $40,000 a month to "humanize" and give a "voice in the U.S. media" to a dozen Kuwaitis jailed by the U.S. military at the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Kevin McCauley, editor of the public affairs Web site, says the firm is being paid the big bucks by the families of the captives.

Gene Grabowski, who leads the account, likened the Kuwaitis to Mormon missionaries, saying Muslims are obligated by their religion to do works of charity.

Grabowski said his clients heeded the call of Islamic authorities to rebuild Afghanistan after the U.S. rout of the hard-line Taliban regime, McCauley writes. They had planned to build houses in Afghanistan, but were rounded up by Pakistani military officials and handed over to the United States as terror suspects.

Grabowski said U.S. forces and CIA agents paid bounties ranging from $10 to $200 for the men, ages 20 to 45. He says the captives were handed over with their "hands tied behind their backs."

The Levick executive stressed that the families aren't demanding that their "sons, brothers and husbands" be released. "They just want the detainees to be tried," Grabowski told McCauley.


If you didn't already suspect, a new Media Research Center study confirms that George W. Bush received twice as much negative press coverage as Sen. John Kerry during the 2004 presidential campaign.

Anybody on Capitol Hill surprised?

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 .

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