Verbatim: Feb. 28, 2005

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"The Iraq conflict, while not a cause of extremism, has become a cause for extremists." PORTER GOSS, in his first congressional testimony as CIA director, on the unintended consequences of the war in Iraq

"I wouldn't answer the marijuana questions. You know why? Because I don't want some little kid doing what I tried." GEORGE W. BUSH, in one of many conversations that were secretly recorded during his first presidential campaign by an old friend and former aide to his father, Doug Wead, who revealed portions of the tapes to the New York Times last week

"If you're going to move to private accounts, which I approve of, I think you have to do it in a cautious, gradual way." ALAN GREENSPAN, Federal Reserve chairman, giving a restrained endorsement of President Bush's plan to overhaul Social Security

"This is a tragedy for the players. Their careers are short, and this is money and opportunity they'll never get back." GARY BETTMAN, National Hockey League commissioner, announcing the cancellation of the NHL season following a protracted labor dispute; a last-ditch effort on Saturday failed to resurrect the season

"The data will, I am confident, reveal that Catholics are substantially underrepresented in investment banking ... that white men are very substantially underrepresented in the National Basketball Association and that Jews are very substantially underrepresented in farming." LARRY SUMMERS, Harvard University president, in a transcript released last week, comparing these groups with women, who he noted are underrepresented in the academic fields of science and math. Summers has drawn fire for suggesting that innate differences--as well as social factors--may account for the gender gap

"All contact with the occult and the esoteric is extremely dangerous." GABRIELE NANNI, exorcist priest who last week started teaching the first class ever offered by a Vatican-recognized university to aid priests and seminarians in understanding the occult; guest lecturers will include psychologists and police criminologists

Sources: Washington Post; New York Times; Washington Post; AP; New York Times (2)