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It appears that no one in Washington has bothered to ask why it is that the Republican National Committee is leading the defense of Karl Rove. But it's a good question.

If Rove is really the president's deputy chief of staff in charge of policy, as opposed to a political hack operating within the White House and using taxpayer money to do the work of the Republican Party, wouldn't it make sense that his defenders would be current and retired policy specialists? And since the controversy in which he is embroiled has something to do with national security, wouldn't it be at least a little more assuring if a former Secretary of Defense, National Security Adviser or chief of the Central Intelligence Agency were to speak up on his behalf?

But, no, as the controversy about his leaking of classified information heats up, Rove is being defended, for the most part, by RNC chair Ken Mehlman, a political operative who has never been seriously involved in policy matters – let alone national security issues.

Is the FBI's Franklin/AIPAC case about spying--or clamping down on leaks?

Reviews of War of the Worlds, Dark Water and Land of the Dead

Machete Season is an attempt to trace what went on in the minds of the Hutus who helped exterminate their Tutsi fellow citizens in Rwanda.

William Faulkner makes Oprah's Book Club this summer.

Two new books examine what went wrong in the planning and conduct of the war in Iraq.

Oil exploration in Ecuador has transformed the national consciousness.

What's necessary to protect reporters' sources and the public's need to know?

Union leaders weigh in on the future of the AFL-CIO.

Exiled Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide attributes his falling-out with Washington to a disagreement over privatization.

Should pro-choicers just give up and let Roe go?

Any deed or disclosure that sabotages the CIA's capacity for covert operations deserves praise.

DEPLETED URANIUM TOLL IN IRAQ

Never before has a war aroused this level of protest on a global scale--first to prevent it, then to condemn its conduct.

The stand Democrats take on Bush's Supreme Court nominee may well define their legacy.

Team Bush has hunkered down and ignored press inquiries, hoping the storm surrounding Karl Rove will pass.

Friends in the States seemed to assume that this was London's 9/11--it wasn't.

The London bombings are another reminder that Bush's invasion of Iraq was a counterproductive response to 9/11.

Contemporary politicians who are struggling to determine when the time will be right to start talking about withdrawing troops from Iraq would do well to borrow a page from former U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson, D-Wisconsin.

In the spring of 1964, when only about 16,500 U.S. troops were present in the country as "advisers," and when no one had heard of the Gulf of Tonkin, Nelson was asked by a television reporter to discuss the U.S. presence in southeast Asia. Nelson responded by suggesting that President Lyndon Johnson should reconsider the decision to commit troops to the region, arguing that the time had come to "set some timetable for withdrawal from the situation."

The Wisconsin senator completely rejected the notion that any good would result from an escalation in the U.S. role in the troubled country.

A POX ON BOTH YOUR HOUSES

Woburn, Mass.

"The fact is, Karl Rove did not leak classified information." So said Ken Mehlman, head of the Republican Party.

"I didn't know her name. I didn't l...

Articles on the estate tax, college Republicans and patriotism attract comments and questions.

Twenty-five years after the gender gap first appeared as a factor in American politics, it's worth reflecting on whether as some in the GOP said after last November's election the gap has shrunk to the vanishing point.

Let's be clear: The gender gap didn't disappear in 2004, but it diminished significantly. John Kerry narrowly won the women's vote last year when he defeated Bush by a margin of 51 percent to 48 percent. Contrast this to the 2000 presidential election, in which Al Gore ended up with an 11-point margin over Bush among women voters.

Which begs the question: Is the gender gap a thing of the past? The short answer is a resounding "no."