Monday, May 12, 2008

Wiretapping gives not much & McCain's favorite TV show...

From American Progress:

Think Fast...

While "the number of Americans being secretly wiretapped" or having their records reviewed by the government continues to increase, "the number of terrorism prosecutions ending up in court" has declined. Experts say that the trends are evidence that "the government has compromised the privacy rights of ordinary citizens without much to show for it."

On Friday, a military judge barred Gen. Thomas Hartmann, the legal adviser at Guantanamo Bay, "from participating in the case against Salim Hamdan, Osama bin Laden'ss former driver." Hamdan's lawyer, Lt. Cmdr. Brian Mizer, said that Hartmann's "dual role of supervising the prosecution and providing legal advice to the commissions administrator, who must make impartial rulings," constituted a "conflict of interest."

The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere "has reached a record high, according to new data published by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Scientists say the new figures confirm that CO2 "is accumulating in the atmosphere faster than expected."

In a sign of Iran's growing influence in Iraqi politics, violent clashes between militias loyal to Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr and the Iraqi government "came to a halt this weekend after Mr. Sadr agreed to a truce brokered by Iran." Iran's scope of influence has widened" in Iraq, putting "the Iraqi government at a precarious position between two important friends, the U.S. and Iran."

The Los Angeles Times reports that the U.S.'s evidence of Iranian weapons flowing into Iraq showed some cracks recently. "A plan to show some alleged Iranian-supplied explosives to journalists last week in Karbala and then destroy them was canceled after the United States realized none of them was from Iran."

Bloomberg writes that President Bush's promised Mideast agreement is still mission unaccomplished. Bush's habit of "delving into Middle East peacemaking in fits and starts" has produced little progress. Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad said that talks "have not proceeded at a pace that’s consistent to obtain the objectives set forth at Annapolis."

A joint Washington Post-60 Minutes investigation, has found disturbing evidence that immigrants are suffering from neglect and some don't survive detention in America. Post reporter Dana Priest said the investigations showed an immigrations and customs bureaucracy "that offers many immigrants no care or slow care or poor care...and they also show that the employees inside are panicked about this."

And Finally: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has such a "fondness for 'The Office'" that at a recent gala sponsored by Time magazine "he seemed slightly star-struck upon meeting B. J. Novak, a writer and actor on the show." When he was introduced to Novak, McCain "started rattling off the details of 'Dinner Party,' a recent episode that he apparently enjoyed and remembered."


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