The Washington "Game"

March 7, 2001

Dear liberty activist,

How is the game played in our nation's capital?  Please let me share
with you an incident that happened just a few hours ago.

For the first time, Secretary Colin Powell testified before the House
International Relations Committee today. The purpose of the
hearing was to allow Secretary Powell to present his justification for
the Department of State's fiscal year 2002 budget and answer questions
from committee members on a variety of foreign-policy issues.

There are 49 members of the committee -- about 40 were present
during Secretary Powell's appearance. After opening comments by
Chairman Henry Hyde (IL), ranking member Tom Lantos (CA), and Secretary
Powell, questions from the committee's other members began. Each
member had five minutes to make comments and ask questions of Secretary
Powell.  However, not every member was given his opportunity. The
hearing was adjourned just before Congressman Ron Paul had his turn
due to "Secretary Powell's time."

Was this a coincidence?  I truly don't believe it was. There are two
reasons:  1. Congressman Ron Paul is a well-known quantity. He was
denied a seat on the House International Relations Committee when he
first requested it in 1997, after a well-known, foreign-interest lobby
sabotaged his bid. Why? Dr. Paul strictly follows U.S. constitutional
guidelines against foreign entanglements and unconstitutional
interventions -- and that includes all foreign aid.

2.  Immediately after the adjournment was announced, just one turn
before Congressman Paul's time to ask questions, a fellow member sitting
beside him, leaned over to Congressman Paul and said, "Hmm..had a tough
question for them, didn't you." (He knows how the system works.)

Yes, Congressman Paul had many tough questions and comments for
Secretary Powell.

Yes, Chairman Hyde, Secretary Powell and others undoubtedly knew
that Congressman Paul had these questions and comments; tough
questions and comments that are firmly in the minds of so many American

That is why what we do as activists for liberty matters so much.

Kent Snyder
The Liberty Committee


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