John McCaslin

Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, who was commander of coalition forces in Iraq for one year until 2004, made headlines in recent days with his sharp critique of the Bush administration's "catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan" and "unfortunate display of incompetent strategic leadership."

What barely got reported, however, were the general's choice words for members of the press, particularly the "snippets" coverage of the Iraqi war by often-"biased" TV news networks.

"The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations, who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas," Gen. Sanchez charged in his luncheon remarks Friday to reporters and editors who cover the U.S. military. "What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war.

"My assessment is that your profession, to some extent, has strayed from these ethical standards and allowed external agendas to manipulate what the American public sees on TV, what they read in our newspapers and what they see on the Web. For some of you, just like some of our politicians, the truth is of little or no value if it does not fit your own preconceived notions, biases and agenda."

Gen. Sanchez said one highly respected reporter once confided in him that "there are some amongst you who 'feed from a pig's trough.' If that is who I am dealing with, then I will never respond; otherwise, we will both get dirty and the pig will love it. This does not mean that your story is accurate."

Party alligators

What do former Republican House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Texas and Democratic House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. Charles B. Rangel of New York have in common?

Very little, although both outspoken politicians, and numerous other Washington politicos, are scheduled to appear at the Hill's sixth annual Political Book Fair at the Trover Shop on Capitol Hill today, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Here's a partial list of participating authors and titles:

Mr. Rangel: "And I Haven't Had a Bad Day Since: From the Streets of Harlem to the Halls of Congress"

Mr. DeLay: "No Retreat, No Surrender: One American's Fight"

Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe: "What a Party! My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators and Other Wild Animals"

Political commentator Christopher Hitchens: "God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything"

Republican activist Bay Buchanan: "The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton"

H.R. 278?

We see that Congress has passed House Resolution 697, commending Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre for establishing a National Football League record for most career touchdown passes.

The measure was passed prior to Sunday's sloppy game in Green Bay, where the Packers held off the Washington Redskins by a score of 17-14. During the game, Mr. Favre threw a pair of interceptions, moving him past George Blanda to become the NFL's all-time leader in career interceptions with 278.

"I could care less. We won the game," Mr. Favre said of the latest record.

Perhaps D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton should now introduce a resolution for that unflattering milestone.

Al?

"With all due respect for global warming's potency as a change agent, that and nothing else comes close to the formal disclosure of the presence of non-human, intelligent beings for getting the human race's attention. It will and properly should be the most profound event in human history. If you wish for the human race to see itself as a singular species, shepherd to its one and only home planet, helping to end the truth embargo will significantly improve that prospect."

Or so reads a letter sent this week to former Vice President Al Gore from Stephen Bassett, executive director of the Bethesda-based Paradigm Research Group, congratulating Mr. Gore on being awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize and urging him to acknowledge that he was once briefed about "an extraterrestrial presence engaging the human race for at least the past 60 years."

All about $

"The situation here is simple. We are $2.1 million behind."

— 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, acknowledging yesterday the extreme value of the almighty dollar when it comes to getting elected president of the United States.


John McCaslin

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

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