This column has learned that the Defense Intelligence Agency, given "extraordinary demands placed upon agency personnel" in fighting the U.S.-led war on terrorism, is affecting a "mandatory deployment policy" that could soon deploy DIA civilian employees to Iraq.
An unclassified bulletin from DIA Deputy Director and Chief of Staff William W. Thompson to DIA staff, obtained by this column on Monday (Sept. 1), explains to employees that the DIA is engaged in support of combat and national security operations at an "unprecedented level."
"The extraordinary demands placed upon agency personnel warrant dynamic policies and exercise of command discretion in ways heretofore rarely implemented," Thompson writes. "Due to the volume and persistent demand for DIA expertise and the corresponding strain on our skill base, it has become necessary for DIA to affect a mandatory deployment policy.
"Consistent with his authorities, the Director (of) DIA may direct assigned military or civilian employees to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, or other operations as required by our mission," the memo continues. "The norm for DIA deployments will be 179 days."
The DIA is the Pentagon's combat support agency and member of the U.S. intelligence community, employing over 7,000 military and civilian employees.
The unprecedented memo concludes: "The agency is committed to ensuring that assigned military members or civilian employees identified for deployment are notified as early as possible such that personal affairs, training, and other preparations can be made. Information on employee responsibilities when directed to deployed assignments will be forthcoming."
One DIA civilian employee we spoke to Monday reacted: "Seems like they are running out of military personnel . . . to go to Iraq. When the United Nations and relief agencies are pulling civilians out of Iraq, these guys are prepared to send civilians with no military training over there. Amazing."
"Wheel of Fortune" host Pat Sajak is the special guest of a Sept. 24 reception for conservative author and lawyer Ann Coulter at the McLean, Va., home of Tom and Randall Phillips.
And for those guests who don't get enough of Sajak's conservative spin at the reception, they can hope to win the evening's door prize: Dinner for four with the popular TV host.
Welcoming remarks for the dinner reception, hosted by the National Conservative Campaign Fund and, among others, former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr, will be delivered by former Attorney General Edwin Meese III.
The Russians certainly have Bill Clinton pegged.
It wasn't too long ago, during Clinton's farewell address as U.S. president to the Russian parliament, that the London Times reported Clinton's power of persuasion fell far short of charming the State Duma.
In fact, Russian deputies who bothered to show up (there were many empty seats) for the embattled president's 2000 address in Moscow calmly read newspapers or stared at their watches, the newspaper reported.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky, deputy speaker of the Duma, acknowledged that apart from the deputies, the audience was packed with "cleaners and security guards" who were instructed to clap when Clinton arrived and departed.
But the real action was in the corridors, the Times reported, when Clinton was ambushed by a woman shouting: "Bill, drop your trousers and show us what a sex boss you are."
Now we learn that the Russians have tapped Clinton to be featured narrator of the latest CD from the Russian National Orchestra, or RNO. The former president narrates a brand-new composition entitled "Wolf Tracks," engagingly delivering its modern environmental message to cherish and protect natural resources.
The RNO commissioned French composer Jean-Pascal Beintus to write the score, and selected American writer Walt Kraemer to create the accompanying text.
Clinton says he is donating royalties from his narration role to the International Aids Trust, which he co-chairs.
The CD's two additional narrators are former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and screen legend Sophia Loren, the latter narrating Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf."
Asked about Clinton's narration of "Wolf Tracks," Gorbachev says: "In Prokofiev's classic, man dominates. But 'Wolf Tracks' expresses quite different values of balance and tolerance. All of us hope for a future where these values are lived every day."