The Senate Armed Services Committee is investigating a Blackwater subsidiary's role in the shooting of two Afghans last year. The panel also criticized the Army for not properly supervising the company. Despite a dreadful track record, Blackwater, now called Xe, continues to have contracts with the U.S. government.
A bipartisan report released by Sens. Carl Levin and John McCain blames former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high-level officials for interrogation abuses. Based on an 18-month investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the report determined that prisoner abuse "was not simply the result of a few soldiers acting on their own," as the administration has claimed.
Gen. David Petraeus dug in his heels during a Senate hearing Tuesday, refusing to give specifics about additional U.S. troop withdrawal plans after July, recommending a "pause" instead and taking heat from congressional opponents like Carl Levin and Hillary Clinton in the process. Meanwhile, John McCain spoke of "real hope and optimism" for Iraq's future.
In another of his stirring commentaries, the "Countdown" host suggests that the story of Daniel Levin, who was fired from the Justice Department after he experienced waterboarding and called it torture, reveals that "the presidency of George W. Bush has now devolved into a criminal conspiracy to cover the ass of George W. Bush."
Senate Republicans managed to block debate Monday on the anti-surge resolution offered by John Warner, R-Va., and Carl Levin, D-Mich. Joe Lieberman, who is fast becoming the president's most loyal lapdog, argued that debate would hurt troop morale. Chuck Hagel retorted that he would have welcomed debate while serving in Vietnam, where he was wounded.