Friday, March 31, 2006

In the News - Mar. 31

Censure Bush? Nixon aide testifies - 31 Mar 2006 at 12:30pm - Nixon White House counselor John Dean told a Senate hearing Friday that President Bush?s domestic spying exceeds the wrongdoing that toppled his former boss from power.
"And, incidentally, my book is 10% off right now on Amazon dot com."

Rice Concedes Errors in Iraq, Elsewhere - 31 Mar 2006 at 12:29pm - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice conceded Friday that the United States probably has made thousands of "tactical errors" in Iraq and elsewhere, but said it will be judged by its larger aims of peace and democracy in the Middle East.
Thank you, Dr. Mushroomcloud. I wonder whether warnings of immininent nuclear attacks fit into the "tactical-error" category.

Dire Prediction From Osama's Bodyguard - 31 Mar 2006 at 12:10pm - Osama bin Laden's former personal bodyguard is certain the al Qaeda leader is planning an attack against the United States. Abu Jandal shares with correspondent Bob Simon first-hand details about the most-wanted man in the world.
"I don't know if he's alive or dead. One thing I do know: he's on the run." -GWB

Many Iraqis Rely on Neighborhood Watches - 31 Mar 2006 at 2:06pm - Many Iraqis Have Set Up Neighborhood Watch Groups to Protect Themselves From the Militias
And critics say Iraqis aren't stepping up.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

In the News - Mar. 30

Russia denies Pentagon Iraq intelligence allegations - 30 Mar 2006 at 10:46am - Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Mikhail Kamynin said in a statement that Moscow had looked into the assertions but that they were wrong.

Judge says FEC failed to curb soft money - 30 Mar 2006 at 11:58am - WASHINGTON -- The Federal Election Commission failed to give a good reason for refusing to rein in nonprofit political groups that spent huge sums in the 2004 presidential elections, a judge has ruled in a case brought by President Bush's campaign and lawmakers.

Freed hostage: I was 'never threatened' - 30 Mar 2006 at 11:51am - Freed after nearly three months in captivity in Iraq, U.S. journalist Jill Carroll said today she was treated "very well" by her captors and never threatened with harm. President Bush, in Mexico for a summit, told reporters he was pleased. "I'm really grateful she was released and thank those who worked hard for her release, and we're glad she's alive," he said.
I certainly hope he wasn't thanking anyone who negotiated with terrorists. Because. We don't do that.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

In the News: Mar. 29

Judges back court review of eavesdropping - 29 Mar 2006 at 9:21am - WASHINGTON -- Five federal judges gave a boost Tuesday to legislation that would bring court scrutiny to the Bush administration's domestic spying program.
Shouldn't legislation already on the books be sufficient to have brought court scrutiny to the program?

US bans contacts with Hamas-led government - 29 Mar 2006 at 10:03am - JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The United States has ordered its diplomats and contractors not to have any contacts with Palestinian ministries once a Hamas-led government is sworn in on Wednesday, U.S. officials said. They said the directive was sent to U.S. officials by email.
Bush strikes another blow against democracy.

Bush blames Saddam for Iraq instability - 29 Mar 2006 at 1:25pm - WASHINGTON -- President Bush said Wednesday that Saddam Hussein, not continued U.S. involvement in Iraq, is responsible for ongoing sectarian violence that is threatening the formation of a democratic government.
Damn that Saddam. We have just got to do something to remove him from power. And the world will be much safer after we do, don't you think?

Afghan Christian convert granted asylum in Italy - 29 Mar 2006 at 3:06pm - ROME/KABUL (Reuters) - An Afghan Christian convert who had faced the death penalty for abandoning Islam arrived in Italy and was granted asylum, Italy said on Wednesday.
It was reported that he had been in an Undisclosed Location; now that he's relocated to Italy, I suppose Cheney will once again be alone there.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

In the News - Mar. 28

Iraqis demand US cede control after mosque assault - 27 Mar 2006 at 4:36pm - Iraq's ruling parties have demanded US forces cede control of security as the government launched an inquiry into a raid on a Shiite mosque that ministers said involved "cold blooded" killing by US-led troops.

Moussaoui says he was to hijack 5th plane - 27 Mar 2006 at 3:58pm - ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- Al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui testified Monday that he and would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid were supposed to hijack a fifth airplane on Sept. 11, 2001, and fly it into the White House.
Did Moussaoui explain what part Reid's midflight attempt to blow up his own shoes played in the greater strategy to fly an airplane into the White House? NPR this morning described Moussaoui's testimony as a great vindication of the prosecution's decision to pursue the death penalty. I think it may just as strongly support theories that Moussaoui is a) nuts, b) bent on making a martyr of himself, or c) both.

And, speaking of nuts...

Rumsfeld: U.S. Losing War Of Ideas - 27 Mar 2006 at 3:50pm - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the United States deserves a grade of "D" or "D-plus" for the way it makes its case to the rest of the world on the war on terror.
Maybe the United States could get better grades if it would stop referring to everything as a "war". Why not simply call things what they are? For example: "war on terror" = attempts to justify imperial ambition and pretty-much-whatever-we-feel-like-doing as self-defense; "war of ideas" = propaganda.

White House chief of staff Card to resign - 28 Mar 2006 at 8:18am - WASHINGTON -- White House chief of staff Andy Card has resigned and will be replaced by budget director Josh Bolten, an administration official said Tuesday.

Voinovich warms to U.S. ambassador to U.N. - 28 Mar 2006 at 3:05pm - WASHINGTON -- The Republican senator who upset the White House last year by opposing President Bush's choice for U.N. ambassador now says John Bolton is "a changed man" whom he might support should Bush try to renew the appointment.

A million French protest against youth job law - 28 Mar 2006 at 3:03pm - PARIS (Reuters) - At least one million people marched in French cities and unions staged a one-day national strike on Tuesday, urging the government to scrap a youth jobs law in one of France's biggest protests in decades.
A million Frenchmen can't be wrong?

Monday, March 20, 2006

In the News - Mar. 20

FBI agent: warnings obstructed in Moussaoui case - 20 Mar 2006 at 2:31pm - ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (Reuters) - An FBI agent testified in the sentencing trial of September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui on Monday his superiors at the agency repeatedly blocked his efforts to warn of a possible terror attack.

Iraq War Protesters March Near Pentagon - 20 Mar 2006 at 1:59pm - AP - Marchers protesting the Iraq war tried to deliver a mock coffin to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Monday, but police kept them off Pentagon grounds during a largely peaceful demonstration marking the war's third anniversary.

Friday, March 17, 2006

In the News - Mar. 17

Witness tampering cited in Moussaoui case - 17 Mar 2006 at 7:38am - WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for two airlines being sued by 9/11 victims prompted a federal attorney to coach witnesses in the Zacarias Moussaoui death penalty trial so the government's case against the al-Qaida conspirator would not undercut their defense, victims' lawyers allege.

WP: GOP irritation at Bush brewing for long time - 17 Mar 2006 at 7:28am - President Bush's troubles with congressional Republicans, which erupted during the backlash to the Dubai seaport deal, are rooted in policy frustrations and personal resentments that GOP lawmakers say stretch back to the opening days of the administration.

Rumsfeld steadfast as unyielding Iraq war defender - 17 Mar 2006 at 11:44am - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the craftsman and unyielding defender of the Iraq war, was recently asked how he thought history would treat him.

Military Investigating Deaths of 15 Iraqis - 17 Mar 2006 at 11:41am - The military will investigate allegations of potential misconduct by Marines during a bombing and firefight last November that left 15 Iraqi civilians dead, a top U.S. commander in Iraq said Friday. Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli, the number two U.S....

NAFTA panel again sides with Canada on softwood - 17 Mar 2006 at 12:06pm - U.S. lumber producers immediately complained that the ruling could eventually end duties on Canadian softwood, which they argue is subsidized. They called on Washington to fight the decision.

Judge accepts compromise deal on Moussaoui - 17 Mar 2006 at 3:05pm - ALEXANDRIA, Va. -- The federal judge in the death penalty trial of al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui accepted a government compromise Friday that will allow prosecutors to present new witnesses about aviation security.

US-Iraqi forces find few rebels in air assault operation - 17 Mar 2006 at 2:31pm - AL-DAWR, Iraq (AFP) - Under the watchful eye of drone spy planes, joint US-Iraqi patrols surrounded and entered hamlets near Samarra on the second day of a major operation to root out insurgents.

States Win Suit to Stop New EPA Standards - 17 Mar 2006 at 2:27pm - ALBANY, N.Y. -- A federal appeals court sided with 14 states Friday and blocked the Environmental Protection Agency from going forward with new regulations activists say would lead to more air pollution from the nation's power plants and factories.

Senate panel to OK ANWR drilling bill by mid-May - 17 Mar 2006 at 1:03pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will approve legislation by mid-May to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling, according to the panel's chairman.

'Rendition flights' landed in UK - 17 Mar 2006 at 12:57pm - Six US planes linked by campaigners to "extraordinary rendition" used UK airports, the government confirms.

General denies political motivation behind Iraq offensive - 17 Mar 2006 at 11:53am - U.S. and Iraqi troops scour the countryside around Samarra in their search for insurgents and foreign fighters. The U.S. military says "Operation Swarmer" is its largest air assault since the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

In the News - Mar. 16

Bush Sticks With Strike-First Policy - 16 Mar 2006 at 7:54am - In report to Congress, President Bush says diplomacy is the first choice, but the U.S. reserves the right to launch an attack on a nation that hasn't attacked the U.S. - if necessary to curb nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction.

White House alters security rules for gays - 16 Mar 2006 at 7:15am - WASHINGTON -- The White House said Wednesday a revised policy on granting security clearances to gays and lesbians does not reflect a change in how the government will treat sexual orientation.

Libby's lawyers subpoena New York Times - 16 Mar 2006 at 8:42am - NEW YORK -- Lawyers for I. Lewis Libby Jr., the indicted former chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, have subpoenaed The New York Times Co. and former Times reporter Judith Miller for documents concerning the disclosure of an undercover CIA agent's identity.

First declassified Iraq documents released - 16 Mar 2006 at 9:54am - WASHINGTON -- Iraqi documents collected by U.S. intelligence during the Iraq war and released by the Bush administration show Saddam Hussein's regime was investigating "rumors" that 3,000 Iraqis and Saudis had traveled unofficially to Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks to fight U.S. troops.

U.S.: Largest air strike targets insurgents - 16 Mar 2006 at 10:45am - The U.S. military said on Thursday it had launched its biggest air offensive in Iraq since the 2003 invasion of the country.
I thought Rummy said the U.S. wouldn't join an Iraq civil war. Oh, that's right, it isn't a civil war yet. Funny, though: the Bush administration's insistence on the use of the term "insurgency" in preference to "resistance" implies it has been a civil war pretty much since the fall of Baghdad, no?

Bolton compares Iran situation to 9/11 attacks - March 16, 2006 at 11:27 a.m. - UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) -- United Nations negotiations about Iran's nuclear program shift to the full Security Council on Thursday, after the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. said Iran posed a threat comparable to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

In the News - Mar. 15

Rice: U.S. 'pleased to stand down' in Iraq - 15 Mar 2006 at 8:05am - Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged patience as Iraqis work through political differences and said the United States will be leave once it can safely stand on its own.
Yes, then it will be leave; but until then, it be jammin'.

UAE minister to visit U.S. after ports furor - 15 Mar 2006 at 7:41am - Economy Minister Sheikha Lubna al-Qassimi will meet U.S. officials, the official news agency WAM said on Wednesday, but a UAE government source said she would not meet legislators who had stirred up the ports row.
I guess that will put them in their place.

11 People Reported Killed In US Raid South Of Samarra - 15 Mar 2006 at 7:28am ISAHAQI, Iraq (AP) Eleven people _ most women and children _ were killed when a house was bombed during a US raid north of Baghdad early Wednesday, police and relatives said.

Canadian soldiers fatally shoot taxi driver - 15 Mar 2006 at 7:24am - Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan fatally shot a taxi driver who came within less than a metre of their patrol, military officials said on Wednesday.

Democrats: Bush rejects needed storm loans - 15 Mar 2006 at 7:09am - WASHINGTON -- The White House has rejected hurricane disaster-recovery loans at a higher rate than any other administration in the last 15 years, according to a congressional study by Democrats.

UN creates new rights council over US objections - 15 Mar 2006 at 12:37pm - UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday created a new U.N. human rights body, despite objections from the United States.

Dog-handler recounts Abu Ghraib conditions - 15 Mar 2006 at 12:32pm - FORT MEADE, Md. -- A senior military dog-handler testified Wednesday that he was deeply troubled when he and his dog were thrust into the loud, chaotic environment of an interrogation at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Bush spokesman defends White House staff - 15 Mar 2006 at 1:15pm - WASHINGTON -- President Bush's spokesman defended the White House staff Wednesday as "a smart, capable and experienced team" despite rising complaints from Republicans about administration mistakes and GOP calls for a shakeup.
Maybe they should think about having at least one team member who's smart, capable, and experienced in something besides saying "Yes, sir, Mr. Cheney. Excellent idea, Mr. Cheney."

Activated Guard, Reserve troop numbers dip - 15 Mar 2006 at 3:04pm - WASHINGTON -- The ranks of National Guard and Reserve troops on active duty for Iraq and the global fight against terror has fallen to just under 118,000, the lowest level since before the U.S. invasion of Iraq three years ago.

U.S. boosting Iraq forces by the hundreds - 15 Mar 2006 at 3:02pm - WASHINGTON -- Buffeted by continuing violence and the approach of a Shiite Muslim holiday, U.S. military authorities have reinforced troop strength in Iraq, moving several hundred soldiers to the Baghdad area from a base in Kuwait.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

In the News - Mar. 14

Feingold Draws Little Support for Censure - 14 Mar 2006 at 7:48am - Feingold's Effort to Censure Bush Referred to Seante Judiciary Committee

E-mail casts doubt on DP World's plans - 14 Mar 2006 at 7:15am - WASHINGTON -- The Dubai-owned company that promised to surrender its U.S. port operations has no immediate plans to sell its U.S. subsidiary's interests at Miami's seaport, a senior executive wrote Monday in a private e-mail to business associates.

Judge to Order Google to Give Up Some Data - 14 Mar 2006 at 2:07pm - A federal judge said Tuesday he intends to require Google Inc. to turn over some information to the Department of Justice in its quest to revive a law making it harder for children to see online pornography.

N.Y. Times' Iraq detainee story challenged - 14 Mar 2006 at 9:22am - NEW YORK -- The New York Times is investigating questions raised about the identity of a man who said in a Page 1 profile that he is the Abu Ghraib prisoner whose hooded image became an icon of abuse by American captors.

New panel to investigate Iraq war policy - 14 Mar 2006 at 12:08pm - WASHINGTON -- Ten prominent Americans, including former Secretary of State James A. Baker III, are forming a bipartisan group to assess the Bush administration's policies in Iraq and political and economic developments in the troubled country.

US general says no proof Iran behind Iraq arms - 14 Mar 2006 at 2:38pm - President George W. Bush said on Monday components from Iran were being used in powerful roadside bombs used in Iraq, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said last week that Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel had been inside Iraq.

Monday, March 13, 2006

In the News - Mar. 13

Report: Britain to cut troops in Iraq - 13 Mar 2006 at 9:19am - At least 10 people were killed in fresh attacks in Iraq on Monday as BBC television reported that Britain will shortly announce that it is withdrawing about 800 troops from Iraq, roughly 10 percent of its force.

Iraq's president warns of civil war after bombings - 13 Mar 2006 at 8:42am - BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraq's president pressed political parties on Monday to accelerate efforts to form a broad government to arrest a slide into civil war after bomb blasts in a Baghdad Shi'ite slum killed 52 people.

Judge Unexpectedly Halts Moussaoui Trial - 13 Mar 2006 at 10:36am - An angry federal judge unexpectedly recessed the sentencing trial of confessed al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui on Monday to consider whether government violations of her rules against coaching witnesses should remove the death penalty as an option.

Sheehan Cancels Trip to Europe - 13 Mar 2006 at 10:16am - Peace activist Cindy Sheehan has canceled a trip to Paris and other European cities because of injuries she allegedly sustained a week ago while being arrested in New York, organizers said Monday.

Top commanders approved use of dogs at Abu Ghraib - Monday, March 13, 2006 at 12:00am - WASHINGTON — When Army Sgt. Michael J. Smith faces a court-martial today on charges that he used his military working dog to harass and threaten detainees, one of the prime examples of that alleged misconduct will be a photograph of Smith holding the dog just inches from the face of a detainee. It is one of the notorious images to emerge from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

Actor faults Democrats for failure to speak out before Iraq war - 13 Mar 2006 at 11:56am - Actor George Clooney faulted Democrats Monday for their timidity in the months before the start of the Iraq war, saying many party leaders muted their criticism of the Bush administration rather than risk being branded as unpatriotic.

Bush calls on Iraqis to embrace compromise - 13 Mar 2006 at 1:50pm - WASHINGTON -- President Bush called on Iraqis Monday to embrace compromise as they negotiate a new unity government and asked Americans to show patience with the war even after weeks of "images of violence and anger and despair."
So it's not the actual violence and anger and despair we should be concerned with as much as it is the images of violence and anger and despair?

"Remember what Mr. Hallorann said. It's just like pictures in a book, Danny. It isn't real."

Bush launches PR offensive on Iraq - 13 Mar 2006 at 1:57pm - WASHINGTON - President Bush launched a new public relations drive Monday to counter growing American opposition to the Iraq war, saying "We will not lose our nerve.".
No, he's got plenty of that.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

In the News - Mar. 9

Dubai firm gives up plan to control U.S. ports - 9 Mar 2006 at 3:10pm - United Arab Emirates-owned DP World says it will transfer its operations of American ports to a U.S. "entity." The announcement comes after congressional leaders reportedly told President Bush that the firm's takeover deal was essentially dead on Capitol Hill.

U.S. To Shut Down Abu Ghraib Prison - 9 Mar 2006 at 3:04pm - The U.S. military says it will empty out and shut down operations at Abu Ghraib in two to three months, as soon as a new facility for its prisoners is completed. The prison will be returned to Iraqi authorities.

Rights groups ask courts to end domestic spying - 9 Mar 2006 at 1:48pm - The requests for court-ordered injunctions filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in Detroit and by the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York were an extension of legal challenges the two groups had filed in January.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

In the News - Mar. 8

Vermont town backs Bush impeachment - 7 Mar 2006 at 3:34pm - NEWFANE, Vt. -- In a white-clapboard town hall, circa 1832, voters gathered Tuesday to conduct their community's business and to call for the impeachment of President Bush.

GOP, White House Near Deal On Spying - 8 Mar 2006 at 10:05am - Republicans on a key Senate committee say they've reached agreement with the White House on a deal that would impose new limits on the president's domestic surveillance program but still allow warrantless wiretaps for up to 45 days.
"New limits"? Increasing the grace period from 72 hours to 45 days constitutes the imposition of new limits???

U.S. criticizes Arab allies on rights - 8 Mar 2006 at 11:19am - WASHINGTON -- The State Department called the human rights records of key Arab allies poor or problematic on Wednesday, citing flawed elections and torture of prisoners in Egypt, beatings, arbitrary arrest and a lack of religious freedom in Saudi Arabia, and floggings as punishment for adultery or drug abuse in the United Arab Emirates.

Senate panel drops Bush's spending cuts - 8 Mar 2006 at 11:41am - WASHINGTON -- With many Republicans nervous about cutting popular programs in an election year, a key Senate panel is prepared to drop President Bush's proposals for politically painful cuts to Medicare, farm subsidies and food stamps.

Senate defeats Democrat's ethics proposal - 8 Mar 2006 at 12:47pm - WASHINGTON -- Debating how best to clean up lawmaker ties to lobbyists, the Senate on Wednesday defeated a Democratic proposal to prohibit all gifts, including meals, and to ban acceptance of almost all privately funded travel.

Colo. teacher's dad cites death threats - 8 Mar 2006 at 3:45pm - DENVER -- The father of a teacher who made a classroom comparison between President Bush's State of the Union address and speeches made by Adolf Hitler says he and his family have received at least 12 death threats.

U.S. setting up special ops in embassies - 8 Mar 2006 at 3:35pm - WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military command in charge of counterterrorism campaigns is putting small teams of special operations troops in U.S. embassies to support the global war on terror, officials said Wednesday.

House panel votes to block port deal - 8 Mar 2006 at 10:22pm - In a double-barreled repudiation of President Bush, House Republicans pressed legislation Wednesday to block a Dubai-owned firm from taking control of some U.S port operations while Democrats clamored for a vote on the issue in the Senate.

Texas prosecutors seek more DeLay records - 8 Mar 2006 at 9:40pm - AUSTIN, Texas -- Prosecutors pursuing conspiracy and money laundering charges against Rep. Tom DeLay on Wednesday sought campaign finance documents from a decade-old congressional campaign in East Texas.

Iraqi Police Are Tied to Abuses and Deaths, US Review Finds - New York Times - 8 Mar 2006 at 9:36pm - WASHINGTON, March 8 — Iraqi police units, often infiltrated and even dominated by members of sectarian militias, continue to be linked to arbitrary arrests and to the torture, rape and sometimes death of detainees, the State Department reported Wednesday.

Gonzales: NSA program doesn't need a law - 8 Mar 2006 at 9:26pm - WASHINGTON -- Attorney General Alberto Gonzales made clear Wednesday that the White House is not seeking congressional action to inscribe the National Security Agency's monitoring into U.S. law, even as members of Congress negotiate with the Bush administration about legislation.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

In the News - Mar. 7

Gonzales defends conditions at Guantanamo - 7 Mar 2006 at 9:17am - LONDON (Reuters) - The U.S. government's leading lawyer defended the Guantanamo Bay prison camp on Tuesday, saying detainees there were granted state-of-the-art health care, good food and "unprecedented legal protection".

Compromise proposed on ports deal - 7 Mar 2006 at 9:09am - Two Republican lawmakers have submitted compromises to the White House aimed at ending a dispute over a deal that would give a United Arab Emirates-owned company control of several U.S. port terminals.

Cindy Sheehan Arrested At NYC Protest - 7 Mar 2006 at 9:04am - Cindy Sheehan, the anti-war activist who drew attention when she camped outside President Bush's Texas ranch, has been arrested again, this time during a demonstration in New York demanding the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Rumsfeld rejects reports of Iraq civil war - 7 Mar 2006 at 12:03pm - WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday rejected suggestions Iraq is engulfed in a civil war and claimed media reports have exaggerated the violence since an attack on a revered Shiite mosque.

CIA fights Libby's request for information - 7 Mar 2006 at 12:20pm - WASHINGTON -- The CIA signaled Tuesday it likely will fight the release of highly classified presidential intelligence briefings that Vice President Cheney's former top aide wants to use in his defense against perjury charges.

Colo. teacher defends lecture on Bush - 7 Mar 2006 at 12:50pm - DENVER -- A high school social studies teacher who was put on leave after comparing President Bush's State of the Union address to speeches made by Adolf Hitler defended his lecture on Tuesday, saying he was trying to encourage students to think.

'Strict timetable' on Iraq denied - BBC News - 7 Mar 2006 at 12:57pm - There is no strict timetable for British troops to quit Iraq, No 10 has insisted after the UK's top commander there said they could withdraw by 2008. Lt Gen Nick Houghton reportedly said there was a fine line between "staying too long and leaving too soon".

Monday, March 06, 2006

In the News - Mar. 6

Blacks Spurn Military Service - 6 Mar 2006 at 11:34am - The unpopularity of the Iraq war has contributed to a 14 percent decline in black enlistments since 2000. The numbers are higher for the services doing most of the fighting: 26 percent for the Marines and 19 percent for the Army.

Treasury Dept. moves to avoid debt limit - 6 Mar 2006 at 11:29am - WASHINGTON -- Treasury Secretary John Snow notified Congress on Monday that the administration has now taken "all prudent and legal actions," including tapping certain government retirement funds, to keep from hitting the $8.2 trillion national debt limit.
The administration wouldn't consider it "prudent and legal" to cut spending on the unnecessary and illegal war in Iraq?

Campus Military Recruiting Law Upheld - 6 Mar 2006 at 11:26am - The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that colleges that accept federal money must allow military recruiters on campus, despite university objections to the Pentagon's policy on gays.

Bush says seeking line-item veto power - 6 Mar 2006 at 10:55am - Bush said the proposal would be designed "to meet Supreme Court standards" and would "give me the authority to strip special interest spending and earmarks out of a bill and then send them back to Congress for an up or down vote."
Is new legislation required for a President to say he/she isn't signing a bill, and why not?

Two different Paces in Iraq - Christian Science Monitor - 6 Mar 2006 at 11:43am - Gen. Peter Pace says things are going 'very well' in Iraq; John Pace, former UN-Iraq human rights chief, say abuses are as bad now as under Saddam Hussein. Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs

Judge refuses delay in Abramoff sentencing - 6 Mar 2006 at 12:40pm - MIAMI -- A federal judge Monday refused to allow a lengthy delay in the sentencing of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, even though a defense lawyer said the move could jeopardize a federal corruption investigation involving Congress and the Bush administration.

Friday, March 03, 2006

In the News - Mar. 3

Gonzales Denies More Extensive Domestic Spying - 3 Mar 2006 at 12:00am - Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales told a key House Democrat yesterday that the administration is not conducting any warrantless domestic surveillance programs beyond the one that President Bush has acknowledged, the Democrat said in an interview.

Lawyers in CIA Leak Case Tangle Over Sharing of Information - 3 Mar 2006 at 12:00am - Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in a court affidavit released yesterday that indicted former White House official I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is not entitled to know everything that government investigators learned about other leaks to reporters regarding Valerie Plame's employment as a...

U.S. Cites Exception in Torture Ban - 3 Mar 2006 at 12:00am - Bush administration lawyers, fighting a claim of torture by a Guantanamo Bay detainee, yesterday argued that the new law that bans cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody does not apply to people held at the military prison.

Guantanamo prisoner claims torture when force fed - 3 Mar 2006 at 2:27pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. authorities at Guantanamo Bay strapped Mohammed Bawazir's legs, arms, head and midsection into a chair for as long as two hours each time they force fed him during his hunger strike, the Yemeni said.

Blanco Wrong on Levees, Video Indicates - 3 Mar 2006 at 12:32pm - AP - As Hurricane Katrina loomed over the Gulf Coast, federal and state officials agonized over the threat to levees and lives. Hours after the catastrophic storm hit, Louisiana's governor believed New Orleans' crucial floodwalls were still intact.

Some National Archives documents removed - 3 Mar 2006 at 4:01pm - WASHINGTON -- Intelligence officials will meet with the county's top archivist early next week to discuss the withdrawal of historical documents from the National Archives' public shelves, Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein said Friday.

Iraq violence may alter U.S. troop plans - 3 Mar 2006 at 2:51pm - WASHINGTON -- President Bush is expected to meet with top U.S. military commanders next week, just as the escalating violence in Iraq threatens to complicate the administration's goal of withdrawing more troops this year.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

In the News - Mar. 1

Bush was warned before Katrina struck - 1 Mar 2006 at 6:52pm - In dramatic terms, federal disaster officials warned Bush and his homeland security chief before Katrina that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in the Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, footage shows.

US thinks UN will delay new rights body for months - 1 Mar 2006 at 6:39pm - UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. members may delay consideration of a crucial Human Rights Council for several months rather than reopen negotiations on the text the United States has rejected, U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said on Wednesday.

Lawmaker: Port deal never probed for terror ties - 1 Mar 2006 at 6:28pm - A review of a United Arab Emirates-owned company's plan to take over operations at key U.S. ports never looked into whether the company had ties to al Qaeda or other terrorists, a key Republican lawmaker told CNN on Wednesday.

Court: Redrawn map hurt Texas minorities - 1 Mar 2006 at 6:25pm - WASHINGTON -- A key Supreme Court justice said Wednesday that Texas Republicans appeared to hurt minority voters when they redrew congressional boundaries that helped the GOP entrench its power in Congress.

Use of torture to be weighed in Guantanamo evidence - 1 Mar 2006 at 7:20pm - GUANTANAMO BAY U.S. NAVAL BASE (Reuters) - The military judge presiding over four of the Guantanamo war crimes tribunals said on Wednesday he would consider whether torture was involved when deciding what evidence could be admitted in the trials.

Supreme court tackles politics in Congress - 1 Mar 2006 at 7:09pm - WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Supreme Court justices appeared unimpressed on Wednesday with arguments that politics was behind a plan engineered by Republican U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay's plan to redraw Texas congressional boundaries.

Senate OKs limiting Patriot Act powers - 1 Mar 2006 at 7:07pm - WASHINGTON -- The Senate on Wednesday cleared the path for renewing the USA Patriot Act, swatting aside objections while adding new protections for people targeted by government investigations.

NSA spying gives terrorist cause to appeal - 1 Mar 2006 at 7:44pm - An Ohio truck driver and al Qaeda operative who pleaded guilty in 2003 to participating in a plot to blow up the Brooklyn Bridge wants to rescind that plea if the National Security Agency ever eavesdropped on him without a warrant.