Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Quick take headlines, December 14
The situation with Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota gets critical. He suffered some sort of episode, which originally looked like a stroke, and underwent surgery overnight. Everyone is trying not to be morbid, but if he were to be unable to serve out his term, the Republican govenor of his state could appoint a Republican in his place. If that happens, you can kiss Pat Leahy's promise to subpoena the torture memo goodbye, among other things, and welcome back the ultimate presidential butler, Pat Roberts of Kansas, to the head of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Two-thirds of Americans believe the Bush administration is spying on U.S. citizens. Chances are, they're right.

And another poll says Americans trust the Dem controlled Congress more than they trust the president to handle the pressing issues of the day.

Senator Bill Nelson says if the Bush administration won't negotiate with Syria, he will. And now, the me-toos, Kerry, Dodd and Specter, are headed to Damascus, too.

Tom Tancredo's speech in the Third World city of Miami is cancelled. And he says that proves that Miami is a Third World city after all. Here's Tancredo's statement, and here's the speech he would have given today at the Rusty Pelican.

The Bush administration seeking to strip the ACLU of a document on the war on terror that the civil rights group says could embarrass the Bushies. So what's behind the government's determination to get its hands on what the ACLU says is a relatively innocuous, even if embarrasing, document?

The novelty in the government’s approach is in its broad use of a grand jury subpoena, which is typically a way to gather evidence, rather than to confiscate all traces of it. But the subpoena issued to the A.C.L.U. seeks “any and all copies” of a document e-mailed to it unsolicited in October, indicating that the government also wants to prevent further dissemination of the information in the document.

The subpoena was revealed in court papers unsealed in federal court in Manhattan yesterday. The subject of the grand jury’s investigation is not known, but the A.C.L.U. said that it had been told it was not a target of the investigation.

The subpoena, however, raised the possibility that the government had found a new tool to stop the dissemination of secrets, one that could avoid the all but absolute constitutional prohibition on prior restraints on publication.
Meanwhile, the Joint Chiefs limp into the West Wing to tell the president what he wants to hear they think he should do. Watch for the contradiction in the fourth and fifth paragraphs:

The nation's top uniformed leaders are recommending that the United States change its main military mission in Iraq from combating insurgents to supporting Iraqi troops and hunting terrorists, said sources familiar with the White House's ongoing Iraq policy review.

President Bush and Vice President Cheney met with the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff yesterday at the Pentagon for more than an hour, and the president engaged his top military advisers on different options. The chiefs made no dramatic proposals but, at a time of intensifying national debate about how to solve the Iraq crisis, offered a pragmatic assessment of what can and cannot be done by the military, the sources said.

The chiefs do not favor adding significant numbers of troops to Iraq, said sources familiar with their thinking, but see strengthening the Iraqi army as pivotal to achieving some degree of stability. They also are pressing for a much greater U.S. effort on economic reconstruction and political reconciliation.

Sources said that Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the top U.S. commander in Iraq, is reviewing a plan to redefine the American military mission there: U.S. troops would be pulled out of Iraqi cities and consolidated at a handful of U.S. bases while day-to-day combat duty would be turned over to the Iraqi army. Casey is still considering whether to request more troops, possibly as part of an expanded training mission to help strengthen the Iraqi army.
So the JCS don't favor adding more troops, but Casey, who is competing with Dick Myers for title of wimpiest Joint Chief ever, is looking into the possibility of requesting more troops? Whatever.

And John McCain continues to ensure that he will never be president.

Tags: News, News and politics, Current Affairs
posted by JReid @ 8:55 AM  
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"I am for enhanced interrogation. I don't believe waterboarding is torture... I'll do it. I'll do it for charity." -- Sean Hannity
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