The Pentagon says it's not out of the realm of possibility.
We're talking about teleportation. What Capt. Kirk and his "Star Trek" crew accomplished in virtually every show. Modern man vanishing in Washington and reappearing seconds later in Tora Bora, or wherever else he might need to go.
Fueled by private research in Austria and Italy verifying quantum teleportation (transferring properties of one quantum particle to another, regardless of distance), Uncle Sam has been examining this previously unthinkable mode of transportation.
And why stop with one being? Why not beam entire troop divisions and their tanks to distant places -- or even galaxies? Sound impossible?
Not to the military minds at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, home of stealth and laser technology, and researchers at Edwards Air Force Base in California, which last year completed the Air Force Teleportation Physics Study - detailing theoretical methods leading to the physical teleportation of objects and people.
The other day, The Beltway Beat reviewed the U.S. military's special report on the study, in which lead author Eric W. Davis praises Edwards Air Force Base Air Force Research Laboratory senior scientist Dr. Franklin B. Mead Jr. for his "professionalism and excellent rapport with 'out of the box' thinkers, (which) excites and motivates serious exploration into advanced concepts that push the envelope of knowledge and discovery."
A press conference will be held this week to announce the results of the first private-sector analysis of the military's study, specifically examining post-Sept. 11 national security implications. Speakers will appear - arriving on foot, for now.
LET'S STAY TOGETHER
One of the aggravations when you're the president of the United States and attend a sporting or cultural event is you seldom get to see - or hear - the final score.
Sunday night's Kennedy Center Honors, paying tribute to the likes of Tony Bennett and Robert Redford, was no exception.
"In the evening's only disappointing moment, the pool (White House reporters trailing President Bush) was escorted out of the Kennedy Center just as the Rev. Al Green was launching into his concluding rendition of Tina Turner's 'Let's Stay Together.' We had to sing along on the way to the press van," reads the official White House pool report.
HO, HA, HA
Given a growing "war on Christmas" waged by the American Civil Liberties Union against Americans, one group is enlisting 100,000 people to send "Merry Christmas" cards to the national offices of the ACLU.
The coalition is "calling on the 96 percent of Americans who celebrate Christmas in some fashion to speak up, with a grin on their face, and wish the American Civil Liberties Union a 'Merry Christmas' it won't soon forget," says Kevin McCullough, organizer of the Merry Christmas ACLU Network.
Is there somewhere I can go
That the Santas do not know,
A Santa-free zone
I can call my own
And not hear that "ho ho ho"?
- F.R. Duplantier
Fred Gedrich, a retired senior State and Defense departments official, is one of 35 U.S. foreign-policy and defense analysts who, as Arizona Republican Sen. Jon Kyl puts it, meld their minds into "a broad but coherent strategy for winning our war against Islamist jihadists."
Discussing "War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World," Gedrich tells The Beltway Beat the unique book's lead author is Frank Gaffney, president of the Center for Security Policy, and the foreword is penned by former CIA Director James Woolsey.
Posted by the State Department in Beijing during the Tiananmen Square massacre (Gedrich called on more than 50 U.S. foreign missions during his career, including Beirut and Haiti under hostile conditions), Gedrich contributed to the section on the State Department.
The very first step of "War Footing": Know the enemy.
Written by Alex Alexiev, senior fellow for the Center for Security Policy and a former senior analyst at the Rand Corp., he focuses on Saudi Arabia's principal role in creating and proliferating the Islamofacist ideology that the world is now confronting, and its dangerous implications for the Muslim world and the West.
What needs to be done?
"(1) Islamism, although parading as a religion, is, in fact, a totalitarian ideology; like other such ideologies before it, unless defeated, this one will stop at nothing short of the destruction of our tolerant society and constitutional government.
"And (2) that in virtually all cases, Islamism and its terrorist manifestations have been - and continue to be - state-sponsored."
President Bush might not be able to say exactly when U.S. troops will come home from Iraq. But retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks, who led Operation Iraqi Freedom, says he can provide that answer.
"Our troops will come home when it is over over there," he told a predominantly military audience, including several active and retired generals, attending a Freedom Alliance gala at the Ritz-Carlton at Pentagon City. "Nobody said it was going to be easy."
But rest assured, he stressed, "Iraq will never become what Afghanistan was."
Franks said whenever he thinks about U.S. troops fighting today in Iraq and Afghanistan (the general also led Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan), he gets choked up.
"I get emotional talking about it," he said. "These men and women ask so little and give so much in defending the Constitution of America."
Promoted by President Clinton to four-star general in June 2000, becoming head of the U.S. Central Command, Franks said: "You've heard me called a 'Clinton general.' But I am also a George W. Bush fan."
It was on the "fateful day" of Sept. 11, 2001, he said, "when I realized my country was changed forever. We were 'engaged' that day."
At one point during his off-the-cuff speech, which lasted about 25 minutes, Franks asked whether any members of the "mainstream national media" were in the audience. He then proceeded to call them "suckers." He followed that up by asking whether anybody from France was in the audience, drawing laughter from the crowd.
"The mainstream national media in this country doesn't quite get it," said Franks, who retired in 2003 after 38 years in the military. He took particular aim at U.S. news coverage in Afghanistan, saying the entire story - and the success of the U.S. armed forces in ousting Taliban rulers - has not been reported adequately.
Remember last week when we told you that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was going to erect billboards in the back yards of Republican lawmakers who attack Democrats for speaking out against the war in Iraq - starting with Rep. Jean Schmidt, Ohio Republican?
In fact, the DNC signed a contract with Lamar Advertising to place two billboards near Schmidt's district office in Portsmouth, Ohio. In addition, we learn from Tom McMahon, the DNC's executive director, Democrats were looking into more billboards in and around Cincinnati.
But then the phone rang.
"Unfortunately . . . we got two phone calls - the first came from Lamar's Cincinnati office informing us that because of the content of the ad, they are refusing to continue to work with us," McMahon says.
"The second call came a few minutes later from Lamar's Huntington, W.Va., office, informing us that despite our signed contract, they were also rejecting our ad. This reversal came more than 24 hours after the DNC had signed a contract with Lamar, and 48 hours after they had accepted the artwork for the billboards," he says.
McMahon says the DNC was told by Lamar's regional manager in West Virginia that the ad was "too negative."
Now, the DNC's general counsel, Joseph Sandler, is sending a letter to Baton Rouge, La.-based Lamar, demanding the company - which owns "nearly every billboard in the district," Mr. McMahon says - honor its commitment to run the ads.
Last week's admission by former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, California Republican, that he accepted more than $2 million in bribes demonstrates a complete lack of ethics rules enforcement and accountability in Washington.
So says Common Cause President Chellie Pingree, describing "an 'anything goes' culture in Washington right now in which members of Congress have been encouraged to push the envelope of acceptable behavior and ethical conduct, and the public is sick of it."
She says to "make matters worse, no one in Congress, Democrat or Republican, is even talking about the . . . problem and how to fix it."
Virginia Rep. James P. Moran, a Democrat, is playing matchmaker for his good friend Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, Rhode Island Democrat and the youngest Kennedy family member ever to win public office.
Kennedy, 38, is said to be smitten with Alexandria lawyer Cathy Puskar, to whom Moran introduced him on Capitol Hill.
"He couldn't take his eyes off of her," Moran tells The Beltway Beat of the unmarried Kennedy, who was elected to Congress at 27 and is the youngest child of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, Massachusetts Democrat.
Puskar is the sister of Hollywood actor and improvisor Charles "Chip" Esten of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" fame.