“There is almost no scientific evidence to back up the U.S. intelligence community’s use of controversial interrogation techniques in the fight against terrorism, and experts believe some painful and coercive approaches could hinder the ability to get good information, according to a new report from an intelligence advisory group.”
“The U.S. military has sold forbidden equipment at least a half-dozen times to middlemen for countries — including Iran and China — who exploited security flaws in the Defense Department’s surplus auctions,” the AP reports.
“Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said in an interview that Taliban attacks surged by 200 percent in December, and a U.S. military intelligence officer said that since the peace deal went into effect Sept. 5 the number of attacks in the border area has grown by 300 percent.”
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “conveniently ignored Egypt’s internal problems during her visit, which include charges of corruption and torture, to name a few. Rice basically thanked Egypt for its cooperation in the region making it clear that, for the United States, ‘stability, not democracy‘ is the priority.”
34,452: Number of Iraqi civilians killed in 2006, according to the United Nations. More than 36,000 Iraqi civilians were wounded last year.
Rebellion is brewing among conservatives over President’s Bush’s attempt to “impose” Sen. Mel Martinez (R-FL) as “general chairman” of his political party due to Martinez’s support for “amnesty” for illegal aliens.
Under an ethics reform proposal the House is likely to take up and pass this week, “lawmakers who commit crimes in office may no longer be able to rely on a federal pension to pad their fall from grace.”
Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and others argue the Bush administration is “using a little-noticed clause in the Patriot Act to circumvent Senate confirmation” of federal U.S. attorneys. Senators are working to overturn the provision, which “for the first time gave the attorney general, rather than local federal courts, authority to appoint interim U.S. attorneys.”
And finally: The Decider still really likes making decisions. In his interview with 60 minutes, President Bush said “decision” twenty-four times in nine minutes. The chart here “shows how often he said the word during each of the interview’s nine minutes, including two times when he practically shouted it.”