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The Electability Canard

Ari Berman takes a look at the Democrats’ premiere non-issue as the campaign in Iowa draws closer to a conclusion: electability. He concludes that, their propaganda aside, all of the top candidates have positives and negatives that cancel each other out, but that probably doesn’t even matter. As Bill Clinton himself said: “This electability thing is a canard.”

Posted on Dec 11, 2007 READ MORE


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Kiriakou

Ex-CIA Agent: White House Authorized Torture

Former CIA agent John Kiriakou, who witnessed the waterboarding of top al-Qaida operative Abu Zubaida, has said that the practice is indeed torture and “a policy made at the White House, with concurrence from the National Security Council and the Justice Department.” Kiriakou added during an interview with NBC that the destruction of video evidence of the technique was “a terrible mistake.”

Posted on Dec 11, 2007 READ MORE


Congress Summons CIA Director

CIA Director General Michael Hayden has been summoned by Congress and will appear Tuesday and Wednesday before the Senate and House Intelligence committees to answer questions about the destruction of secret CIA videotapes that documented the abuse of detainees. The White House counsel, meanwhile, has ordered press secretary Dana Perino to keep quiet on the matter.

Posted on Dec 10, 2007 READ MORE


Libby
time.com

Scooter Libby Cries Uncle

I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby has made the “tactical” decision to drop his appeal. After all, why spend millions of dollars in legal fees when you still have friends in high places? President Bush earlier commuted Libby’s sentence, keeping the former Cheney aide out of prison but leaving him with a criminal record and a fine. The White House won’t comment on whether Bush intends to pardon Libby.

Posted on Dec 10, 2007 READ MORE


Supreme Court
supremecourtus.gov

Supreme Court Rules Against Mandatory Minimums

The Supreme Court decided on Monday that federal sentencing guidelines, a kind of back seat judging considered by many to be racist, should be treated as “advisory” and not at all mandatory. Justices Alito and Thomas, to no one’s great surprise, were the only dissenters.

Posted on Dec 10, 2007 READ MORE


Jamie Leigh Jones
abcnews.com

Gang-Rape Victim Accuses Halliburton/KBR of Cover-Up

Over two years ago, Jamie Leigh Jones was working for Halliburton/KBR in Baghdad’s Green Zone when she was gang-raped, allegedly by several co-workers.  According to Jones, instead of attending to her injuries and bringing her assailants to justice, KBR officials held her for 24 hours in a shipping container without food or water and then told her she would lose her job if she left Iraq.  Now, it’s unclear whether the case will go to trial, and her attackers may escape punishment due to a legal loophole regarding U.S. contractors working abroad.

Posted on Dec 10, 2007 READ MORE


Justice to Investigate Destruction of CIA Tapes

The Justice Department and the CIA inspector general have launched a joint inquiry into the agency’s destruction of video recordings of so-called harsh interrogation techniques. Color us skeptical, since Attorney General Michael Mukasey couldn’t be bothered to take a position on torture—or harsh interrogation techniques, if that’s the term you want to use—during his confirmation.

Posted on Dec 9, 2007 READ MORE


waterboarding
abcnews.com

Waterboarding Was OK With Top Dems

A bipartisan group of top lawmakers, including current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was briefed on the details of waterboarding and other interrogation techniques as early as 2002. According to several U.S. officials, over the course of roughly 30 private briefings only one objection to the practice was raised.

Posted on Dec 9, 2007 READ MORE


Ted Kennedy
washingtonpost.com

Capitol Hill Dems Push for CIA Tape Inquiry

A day after The New York Times released its explosive report that at least two videotapes showing CIA agents using severe interrogation tactics (that most nefarious of euphemisms) on terror suspects, congressional Democrats are registering their extreme displeasure and calling for an official investigation into what Sen. Edward Kennedy slammed as a “cover-up.”

Posted on Dec 7, 2007 READ MORE


huckabee
msnbc.msn.com

Huckabee v. Huffington

The gloves are off in a throwdown between Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and Huffington Post creator Arianna Huffington over a low point in Huckabee’s career as governor of Arkansas.  The controversy concerns the Huffington Post’s coverage of the part Huckabee played in the release of serial rapist Wayne Dumond, whose time in prison clearly didn’t rehabilitate him.

Posted on Dec 7, 2007 READ MORE


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