Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Morning copy 11.16.2005

Senate on Iraq

To rebuke, or not to rebuke. Dan Balz's newS analysis says that this was a rebuke of the president:

"I think this is a clear sign that Republicans are walking away from the president, that they're no longer willing to tie their future and political standing to the president and his policy on Iraq," said Ivo H. Daalder, a Clinton administration official now at the Brookings Institution. "They found this was the easy way out -- an implicit rebuke, not an explicit rebuke. But this was a rebuke."

And, but, however. Bush says he is happy to follow the GOP (mostly) backed measure, NBC News 5:

At a news conference in Japan, Bush said the vote is "consistent with" administration efforts in the war.

Does this mean he won't veto it and he won't veto McCain's amendment?

The AP analysis focuses on Russ Feingold (D., Wis.) and his influence on Iraq policy of late:

Although the amendment failed on a mostly party-line vote, the fact that it was front and center on the Senate floor shows how Feingold's idea had moved from the periphery to the mainstream.

"It's real clear to me that people have finally figured out how upset the American people are with this Iraq situation," Feingold, D-Wis., said in a telephone interview.

Tony Blankley in the Washington Times is against this vote:

The Republican Senate leadership, sensing they might lose enough Republican senators (six or more) to let the Democratic amendment pass, decided to quibble with, rather than oppose, the infamous document.

So they scratched out the explicit timeline to desertion and added fine-sounding phrases, such as calling for the president to provide more information and a schedule for reaching full Iraqi sovereignty.

No bureaucratic euphemism can cleanse the air of the stench of defeatism.

Blankley calls for more troops, not less. If you are pro-war or anti-war and place too much on this vote, you make an error. This vote sets up 2006 -- an election year -- for a critical evaluation of Iraqi progress.

Bob Woodward

"Diamond" Jim VandeHei and Carol D. Leonnig in the Washington Post:

Washington Post Assistant Managing Editor Bob Woodward testified under oath Monday in the CIA leak case that a senior administration official told him about CIA operative Valerie Plame and her position at the agency nearly a month before her identity was disclosed.

Read Woodward's statement.

The broader CIA/Plame case (now we have two CIA leak issues)

Eric Lichtblau in the New York Times has a story on the Libby defense strategy:

"That's clearly going to be part of the strategy - to get access to all the relevant records and determine what did the media really know," said a lawyer close to the defense who spoke on condition of anonymity.


Defense lawyers plan to seek notes not only from the three reporters cited in the indictment - Tim Russert of NBC News, Matt Cooper of Time Magazine and Judith Miller, formerly of The New York Times - but also from other journalists who have been tied to the case.


John F. Burns in Baghdad for the New York Times:

BAGHDAD, Iraq, Nov. 15 - Iraq's government said Tuesday that it had ordered an urgent investigation of allegations that many of the 173 detainees American troops discovered over the weekend in the basement of an Interior Ministry building in a Baghdad suburb had been tortured by their Iraqi captors. A senior Iraqi official who visited the detainees said two appeared paralyzed and others had some of the skin peeled off their bodies by their abusers.

Most of the torture victims appear to be Sunnis. This could fuel sectarian tension in the country. The BBC has a story on Sunni leaders calling for an international inquiry.

Cheney, oil and energy policy

Dana Milbank and Justin Blum break this in the Washington Post:

A White House document shows that executives from big oil companies met with Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001 -- something long suspected by environmentalists but denied as recently as last week by industry officials testifying before Congress.

Samuel Alito (Is he Scalito again?)

The Los Angeles Times says the nominee is distancing himself from a memo he wrote 20 years ago (an easy task):

But after he met with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the only woman on the Senate Judiciary Committee and a supporter of abortion rights, the California Democrat said she felt reassured that Alito would strictly interpret the law as he said he had done as a judge on the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals since 1990.

Feinstein said Alito told her: "First of all, it was different then. I was an advocate seeking a job. It was a political job. And that was 1985.

"I'm now a judge, you know. I've been on the circuit court for 15 years. And it's very different. I'm not an advocate. I don't give heed to my personal views. What I do is interpret the law."

The San Francisco Chronicle with a similar story:

Kennedy said Alito told him he is older and wiser now with "a better grasp and understanding of constitutional rights and liberties."

Iraq tactics

Al Jazeera on incendiary weapons:

Pentagon officials have acknowledged that US troops used white phosphorous as a weapon during the battle of Falluja last November.

At the same time, they denied an Italian television news report that the spontaneously flammable material had been used against civilians.

Iraq and Britain

The Guardian:

The government is aiming to begin a phased withdrawal of troops from Iraq as early as the middle of next year, the Guardian has learned. Work on an exit strategy is at an advanced stage and there will be a significant change of approach by the government after the Iraq election on December 15.

Pelosi on tactics

Nancy Pelosi from SF Gate:

Washington -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco, hoping to develop an agenda that will help the Democratic Party retake power in the House, will call today for a "commitment to competitiveness to keep America No. 1,'' in the face of vastly improving education and technology abroad.


Anonymous Jorg said...

Based in Germany, it's difficult to understand what's going on in the Senate these days. Therefore I appreciate all the info, links and analysis you provide.

I just wanted to post a long piece in my blog on the Graham amendment, but then I learned that the Senate completely changed its mind, it seems. In less than a week a complete U-turn, if I understand it correctly, which I probably don't.

The detainees now do have the right to challenge their detention as enemy combatants in a federal court.

Why did they change it? The Graham amendment received enough votes....

6:57 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

It is in the process of change, at least that is what I gathered this morning.

I have not read enough about this aspect of the Senate's vote. My attention has been elsewhere. This morning, I tried to find a few links on Graham's amendment. Bob Novak has a column that I link to as well. Please take a look at what I have and let me know what you find out. Please also give me a heads up -- if you have the time -- when you post your entry.

There is so much NEWS these days. On the one hand, it's exciting to live in a time like this. It is also exhausting on the other hand.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous Jorg said...


This morning I wrote the post
The struggle for the rule of law: Guantanamo and torture

and I even quoted Novak, but also a Slate article that says both Novak and Graham are wrong when they say that "Graham's proposal for the third time in American history would suspend habeas corpus, following Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt."

Slate says the Supreme Court heard cases during the civil war and the second world war.

I found Novaks column in the conservative voice through Obsidian Wings. Somehow I missed it in your blog. Sorry. I will make sure to link to you soon. One has to give credit where credit is due.

I completely agree with you there is indeed sooo much news and soo many great sources, but yes, I also feel exhausted.

Thanks again and keep up the good work!!!

8:23 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

"exhausted" is the best word.

Then add Murtha today...

I'm crashing now... sleeping in to. I look forward to reading your post. Thanks for the kind words. You guys do a great job too.

10:04 PM  

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