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Hillary’s Navy

First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton made the most of the U.S. Navy
during July 4 celebrations in New York City. She boarded two warships,
including the carrier USS John F. Kennedy, posing for lots of
photographs that can’t help but aid her run for a U.S. Senate seat from
New York.

It turns out there are strict Defense Department regulations that
prohibit political candidates from using military installations as a
campaign stop.

The regulations rule out any statements, press conferences or
photographs.

But Mrs. Clinton was able to take advantage of the great photo-op,
while apparently not breaking the rules. The regulations have a
loophole. If the candidate is an invited guest at an official event, the
person may appear in news photographs as long as he or she remains
silent. In this case, we can’t find any evidence that Mrs. Clinton spoke
publicly.

“I was there aboard the ship and the first lady uttered not one peep
in a public forum,” said a Navy officer on the Kennedy.

The regulations require commanders to tell invited candidates to
remain silent.

“In all cases, commanders will inform candidates that while on a
military installation, all political activities and media events are
prohibited,” the policy states.

The guidance states that if the commander is challenged, he should
reply, “Department of Defense policy has for many years prohibited the
use of military installations for any activity that could be construed
as political in nature, including news media coverage of any portion of
a political candidate’s activities while on a military installation
regardless of the purpose of the visit.”

Mrs. Clinton has not always been as hospitable to the Navy as it was
to her on July 4. She aligned herself with Puerto Rican demonstrators
who want the Navy off Vieques Island. The Navy says the bombing range is
critical to preparing pilots, gunners and Marines for her husband’s
various overseas deployments.

Stonewalling

The stone wall of silence erected around the House investigation of
John Millis, the late staff director of the House Intelligence
Committee, has claimed its first victim. She is Jennifer Millerwise,
press spokeswoman for Rep. Porter J. Goss, Florida Republican and the
committee chairman.

Miss Millerwise abruptly resigned a week ago and the committee staff
has been unable to reach her, according to staff aides to Mr. Goss. She
had been assigned the odious task of refusing to answer repeated queries
on the Millis investigation when questioned by The Washington Times.

Miss Millerwise told us earlier that she, like one CIA spokesman, did
not want to know any details of the circumstances surrounding the House
Intelligence Committee probe of Mr. Millis.

Mr. Millis committed suicide in a Fairfax motel on June 4 after he
had called a friend and said he was distraught over being placed on
administrative leave by Mr. Goss. Both Mr. Millis and Mr. Goss are
former CIA operations officers. Mr. Millis, as the staff director, knew
just about every secret there is to keep in the U.S. intelligence
community.

Rumors circulated widely in intelligence circles that Mr. Millis’
suicide was linked to unauthorized disclosures related to former CIA
Director John Deutch’s mishandling of CIA secrets. Mr. Millis was not a
fan of Mr. Deutch and had expressed his opinions in a speech earlier
this year.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials, however, told us the death was
the result of a “personal tragedy” and not related in any way to Mr.
Deutch, the CIA, intelligence information or U.S. national security.
The focus of the probe by the House Intelligence Committee has not been
disclosed by either Mr. Goss or the House panel.

That’s an order

A Marine Corps officer is challenging an order from his commander to
stay away from a civilian woman friend. His friends say the order is an
example of political correctness gone amok in the military’s constant
battle to regulate the sexes.

Second Lt. Kenneth Nichols, who is single and stationed at the
Quantico Marine base, was suspected of committing adultery. The woman in
question says they are just friends. Her husband, a Marine officer from
whom she is separated, agrees.

Lt. Nichols’ attorney, noted courtroom tactician Charles Gittins, has
filed a petition asking the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed
Forces to lift the order.

“The Marine Corps has no business — and no military justification,
whatsoever — for injecting itself into the personal relations of
persons who have made a considered choice to be divorced. Nor does the
Marine Corps have any business injecting the Marine Corps into the
private off-duty conduct of adults where the conduct at issue does not
violate any provision of law.”

“Simply stated, the order is an effort to act as ‘thought police’
preventing small-minded persons from drawing wrong conclusions.”

The appeals court has ordered the Marine Corps to reply to Mr.
Gittins’ petition by July 10.

The stay-apart order was issued by Col. Mary L. Culver, commander of
the headquarters and service battalion at Quantico.

The woman in question, Lori Andrews Jones, sent a letter to Col.
Culver this week, denying that her friend violated the military’s ban on
adultery.

Mrs. Jones’ estranged husband, 2nd Lt. Paul W. Jones IV, filed a
written statement asking the Corps to end the investigation.

“I have no firsthand knowledge of any physical intimacy between Lt.
Nichols and Lori Jones,” Lt. Jones stated. “Lt. Nichols friendship with
my spouse did not contribute to the dissolution of our marriage as we
had long-standing problems. … In closing, I would appreciate an end to
this investigation that I did not want to take place to begin with.”

Asked why Lt. Nichols and Mrs. Jones should not be kept apart
during the Corps’ adultery investigation, Mr. Gittins said, “They’ve
both been interviewed. There’s no issue of collusion.
There’s no ending date for that order. It could go on forever.”

Xinhua’s connections

How many directors of government-run news agencies hold high-level
security clearances and regularly read classified intelligence reports?

According to well-placed Pentagon sources, the top editor in
Washington for China’s official Xinhua News Agency periodically visits
the seventh floor of the Chinese embassy on Connecticut Avenue to do
just that.

That’s where the embassy has set up a secure room for top officials
to read secret intelligence reports sent by cable from Beijing. The
Xinhua director uses the reports to direct the agency’s news reports.
They also help Xinhua in its covert mission: providing secret reports to
top Chinese leaders.

Xinhua is one of three major intelligence arms of the Chinese
government that provide classified reports on the United States. The
others are the Ministry of State Security (MSS), comparable to the
Russia’s KGB; and the People’s Liberation Army 2nd Department, the
military spy service.

Xinhua often beats its two rivals to the punch on intelligence
reports, we are told. The competition is likely to fuel suspicion inside
the Chinese government that the disclosure of Xinhua’s illegal purchase
of the Pentagon Ridge Apartment building was a deliberate action by
jealous MSS or 2nd Department agents.

The State Department forced Xinhua to put the building back on the
market, rather than use it as a Washington headquarters, after reading
of the purchase in The Washington Times.

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