August 20th, 2010
01:02 PM ET

Friday's intriguing people

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GEORGE MITCHELL

The former Senate majority leader and current U.S. envoy to the Middle East may not only get Israel and the Palestinians talking, but he also led the special investigation over steroid use in Major League Baseball that contributed to the indictment of Roger Clemens.

According to an extensive profile from The Washington Post’s Whorunsgov website, Mitchell stepped down as Senate majority leader in 1995 to secure universal health care. Previously he had turned down an offer for a Supreme Court nomination from President Clinton. He did, however, accept Clinton’s offer to be a special envoy to Northern Ireland in 1996. He later described the process as “700 days of failure, and one day of success.”

Mitchell was then asked to lead the special investigation into performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. The 400-plus-page report cast light on the so-called epidemic among players and led to Senate hearings that included testimony by Clemens, who was indicted Thursday.

Whorunsgov.com: Why Mitchell matters

IMAM FEISAL ABDUL RAUF

The man who wants to build an Islamic center near ground zero arrived in Bahrain to serve as a U.S. goodwill ambassador to Muslim countries, The New York Times reports.

This is the second U.S. State Department trip for Imam Feisal. He will visit Bahrain, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on a trip that will last until at least September 2. The State Department's sponsorship of the trip has been controversial.

A 20-year resident of the U.S., Feisal is  respected for his interfaith dialogue. NPR reported he believes  the community center will allow New Yorkers to bond over sports and hold lectures that might bridge gaps. The new location would also solve overcrowding at the current mosque, located 12 blocks from ground zero, NPR reports.

Feisal has been criticized since a 2001 “60 Minutes” interview in which he said the 9/11 attacks were not deserved, but U.S. policies “were an accessory to the crime." Asked to clarify, Feisal said, "Because we've been accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the U.S.A."

Iranian-American author Reza Aslan defended Feisal to NPR, saying his comments are the exact findings of the 9/11 report. Regardless, the tape has been aired and vilified by Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and others.

JONATHAN LEE

The 13-year-old “youth environmental ambassador” returned from North Korea on Thursday as part of an eight-day tour to promote peace. Lee, a Korean-American who lives in Ridgeland, Mississippi, went on the trip to present an idea to plant a “Peace Garden” along the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

While a meeting with North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Il never materialized, Lee was able to present a letter to the representatives of “The Dear Leader.” He was told that as long as North Korea and South Korean were still "at war" the plan could not be pursued.

Lee is a CNN iReporter who has called on both sides of Korea, as well as the United States, to make children the priority in the 60-year-old conflict. He has founded a group called ICEY Hope—the International Cooperation of Environmental Youth. He has also created an environmental superhero called “Go Green Man.”

Active since he was 10 years old, Lee has managed to meet with, correspond with or a least shake hands with various global leaders. This includes President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President George W. Bush, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and various members of the U.S. House and Senate. His Peace Forest motto would be:  "Above conflict, above borders, above ideology."

ICEY Hope: Learn about Jonathan's foundation

RUSTY HARDIN

The Houston-based attorney will defend perjury charges against Roger Clemens. When he was hired by Roger Clemens in 2007, The New York Times profiled Hardin saying he "outworks everybody."

As a prosecutor, Hardin prosecuted Karla Fay Tucker’s death penalty case. As a defense attorney, he represented the now-defunct Arthur Andersen accounting firm during the Enron debacle, as well as Anna Nicole Smith’s in-laws during the estate battle. In addition to Clemens, his clientele includes baseball star Wade Boggs and NFL quarterback Warren Moon.

In an oft-repeated 2002 Texas Monthly profile, writer Pamela Coloff said: “He is all things a great defender must be — raconteur, showman, charmer, tactician, egotist — and he has a ferocious charisma that a rival once described as ‘slicker ’n deer guts on a doorknob.' ”

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Filed under: Anna Nicole Smith • Baseball • Bill Clinton • Environment • Gaza • Health Care • Israel • Most Intriguing People • New York • North Korea • On the Radar • Supreme Court
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. ALEX

    So Clemens is indicted for lying to congress. this is just to funny, who is going to indict congress for lying to the American people for years?

    August 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • zac

      i couldn't agree more.....

      August 20, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Right.....

      August 20, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Nick2

    heads I win – tails you lose

    August 20, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    Why the hell was he ever going before Congress?

    August 20, 2010 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  4. James

    Martha Stewart went to prison for lying while under oath. Clemens should do his time too. I'm just sayin.

    August 20, 2010 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. mikeduquet

    The solution to the quandry over the mosque at grand zero is to simply let them build one, but then build the NASCAR Hall of Fame right next to it. "On second thought, we'll build the mosque somewhere else thanks!"

    August 20, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • k

      I'm not getting the NASCAR thing; I'd get something like Playboy, but Nascar?

      August 20, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Reaper

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUkcjAtzzcI&w=640&h=360]

    August 20, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |