The commander of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange may have "blood on his hands." “Meant what I said,” Mullen reiterated on his Twitter feed late Thursday night. In an unrelated report, three U.S. soldiers died yesterday in two separate IED incidents, making the number of Americans killed in Afghanistan in July a record-high 63.
As the top member of the military to advise President Obama, Mullen, 60, was appointed in 2007 by President George W. Bush. According to a Washington Post profile, Mullen is a creative, yet pragmatic problem solver who has restored the influence of the military to the White House, after two of his predecessors were marginalized by former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Mullen is a Harvard Business School graduate whose motto is “The Sea is my business.” Fast Company magazine reported in its April issue that Mullen is the first military commander to approach his job seeking constant feedback, including “economists, entrepreneurs, not-for-profit executives, even a former Disney Imagineer.” Incidentally, Barbara, his wife and the mother of his two children, manages his Twitter account.
At a time when political offspring seek national attention and just about anyone can be a reality TV star, the former first daughter wants to keep her life — and her Saturday marriage to investment banker Marc Mezvinsky — private.
The only child of the former president and current secretary of state, she came to the national spotlight as a 12-year-old with braces and hair issues. In 1998, when her parents’ marriage was damaged by news of the president’s sexual liaisons with Monica Lewinsky, Clinton was symbolized in videotape as the common bond that literally held her parents together.
A Stanford grad, with a master's from Oxford University, Clinton has worked at the McKinsey consulting firm and a New York hedge fund. While fiercely shielded during her teens and 20s, she came out of her private life to stump for her mother’s 2008 presidential campaign. Given high praise for her campaign poise and strategic thinking, the former first daughter didn’t hesitate to draw the line with the media. “I’m sorry, I don’t talk to the press,” she once said to a 9-year-old campaign reporter for Scholastic, “even though I think you’re cute.” She and Mezvinsky, whose mother is a former Pennsylvania congresswoman and father is a former Iowa congressman and investment banker convicted on fraud charges, will probably reside in New York City.
She’ll spend the first anniversary of her brother’s captivity in Iran near her Duluth, Minnesota, home raising awareness and money to help lead to his release. “It’s been one year,” Lindstrom said to the Duluth News Tribune earlier this week. “It’s ridiculous that they’re still holding them with no charges and no movement. Enough is enough already.”
Lindstrom’s brother Shane Bauer, and his fiancée Sarah Shourd and friend Josh Fattal, were arrested by the Iran National Guard in 2009 because the hikers allegedly crossed over the Iranian border. While the hikers’ mothers have maintained a high public profile — even visiting their children in Iran — Lindstrom has been persistent but behind the scenes. This week, however, she reportedly went to New York for network news interviews. On Saturday, she will be joined by Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, singers Tom Waits and Tony Bennett and others as Duluth hosts a “Free the Hikers” march and fundraiser.
“We’re just trying to keep the story alive and in the media so people don’t forget about it,” Lindstrom said. “In today’s society — I’m guilty of this, too — you see something in the news and you don’t think of it any longer than it’s in the news. It’s important to keep putting it out there so people can keep trying to help in any way they possibly can.”
The troubled chairman of the Republican National Committee will address the National Association of Black Journalists today, and he’ll probably have to either confirm or deny if he indeed invited Andrew Breitbart — of the Shirley Sherrod debacle — to participate in the August 12-14 RNC Election Countdown event to be held in Beverly Hills, California.
Steele’s tenure as the first African-American to run the RNC has been plagued with what Newsweek says are "scandals and gaffes." The magazine reported this week that former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman is considering a challenge to Steele. After failing to secure a seat in the U.S. Senate, Steele, a former Maryland lieutenant governor, came to the RNC with plans to give the Grand Old Party a "hip-hop" makeover and promising events that would be "off the hook."
Since then, the problems have mounted. He faces scrutiny over his personal finances and ethics issues, reports Newsweek. Steele has been blamed — unfairly — for an incident in which an RNC staffer took donors to a bondage club. A Coleman-run RNC would be below the radar, though not entirely controversy free, political scientist Steven Schier told Newsweek. “Steele is the gift that keeps on giving.”
The first American to win the Tour de France will testify today in a Los Angeles court that he believes that Lance Armstrong, the most recent American champion, has resorted to illegal doping at some time in his cycling career. The evidence, Lemond told The Denver Post earlier this week, "will be overwhelming."
Three years ago, The Post reported, LeMond was furious with defrocked 2007 Tour champion Floyd Landis because he did not come clean about drug use in professional cycling. Now, LeMond is thrilled with Landis’ detailed accusations of how Armstrong, and even some of Landis’ closest friends and teammates, used blood doping and other techniques to prevail in the sport.
There is no love lost between LeMond and Armstrong. They have feuded for years. LeMond has accused Armstrong of not only using drugs, but using his money and influence to concoct stories about LeMond and threaten Landis’ friends. During the 14th stage of this year’s tour, Armstrong told French television that he would have his day in court and that he looked forward to LeMond telling the truth "about 1989." LeMond won the tour in 1989, and in 1986 and 1990 as well. He is known for his 1986 defeat of Tour legend Bernard Hinault.
LeMond is perhaps the only person to be thrilled to be subpoened in court. As he said to The Post: “I’m hoping it gets as far as it can.”