Friday, August 20, 2004

Politicians in glass houses.

So, it seems that New Jersey Democrats have rediscovered the value of solidarity, and they've decided to support James McGreevey's decision to remain in office until November 15, as he had planned.

Why? Perhaps because someone put the fear of God into one of their leaders, Robert Menendez:

On Wednesday, six days after Mr. McGreevey said he would resign because of an extramarital affair with another man, Channel 2 reported that an unnamed administration official was warning United States Representative Robert Menendez to stop criticizing Mr. McGreevey because Mr. Menendez himself had engaged in an affair. The official cited in the Channel 2 report accused Mr. Menendez of setting the woman up in business and referring clients to her.

Guess Menendez learned what Bret Schundler already knew: politicians in glass houses should not throw stones.

Meanwhile, it seems that Donald DiFrancesco is still peddling his story that Golan Cipel was chosen over Louis Freeh for . . . something:

DiFrancesco said that following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, putting together a homeland security team was his most urgent task. That is why in his last days in office in 2002, DiFrancesco said he was trying to bring in Freeh, the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation under President Bill Clinton. Freeh, a New Jersey native, offered to chair the commission at no charge.
"I thought this was a home run with the bases loaded, quite frankly. Don't forget, we not only had 9/11, we had an anthrax situation, so we had terror everywhere," DiFrancesco said.
McGreevey declined to take Freeh up on his offer.
"I finally talked to him. He said, 'I have somebody else in mind,'" DiFrancesco explained.
That somebody else turned out to be Cipel, the man sources in the governor's office say was McGreevey's lover.

Far be it from me to question the vigilance of the media, but I have to ask: if Cipel's position was added immediately before he entered it, removed immediately after he left it, and existed for only a few weeks, how could it possibly be so important that Louis Freeh might be considered for it?

Let's look at the facts: When McGreevey entered office, he created the Office of Counter-terrorism by executive order. It is "the State's primary agency responsible for combating terrorism" with the responsiblity "to administer, coordinate and lead New Jersey's counter-terrorism and preparedness efforts with the goals of identifying, deterring and detecting terrorist-related activities." Its director is responsible for homeland security.

Notably, Golan Cipel never held that position. In fact, the Office of Counter-terrorism had only two directors since its inception in January 2002: Kathryn Flicker and Sid Casperson. If anyone was chosen over Louis Freeh for anything, Flicker was, thus bolstering the statement of the governor's office, that "Cipel was just an adviser, who scheduled appointments and shuffled papers for the two months he was in homeland security from January until March 2002."

Not that DiFrancesco - or the media - would allow the truth to stand in the way of a juicy lie.