Political Web, page A1 … for 4:40 AM ET, December 17, 2005
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Hilary Bok / The Washington Monthly:
Above The Law, Take 2  —  I just wanted to echo what Shakespearer's Sister said about the report that Bush signed an order allowing the NSA to spy on US citizens without a warrant.  —  This is against the law.  I have put references to the relevant statute below the fold; the brief version is …
Katherine Shrader / Associated Press:
Bush Approved Eavesdropping, Official Says  —  WASHINGTON - President Bush has personally authorized a secretive eavesdropping program in the United States more than three dozen times since October 2001, a senior intelligence official said Friday night.  —  The disclosure follows angry demands …
Michelle Malkin:
RED ALERT: CHICKEN LITTLES ON THE LOOSE  —  ***scroll for updates...The ACLU wants a special prosecutor (but not for the leakers)...Some on the Left aren't happy with the Times, either...Arlen Specter says the Judiciary Committee will investigate (the Bush administration, not the leakers)...***
Katherine Shrader / Associated Press:
Shocked Lawmakers Demand Spy Program Probe  —  WASHINGTON - Dismayed lawmakers demanded on Friday that Congress look into whether the highly secretive National Security Agency was granted new powers to eavesdrop without warrants on people inside the United States.
Washington Post:
On Hill, Anger and Calls for Hearings Greet News of Stateside Surveillance
Hindrocket / Power Line:
Discussion: Mia Culpa and The Huffington Post
Rudolph W. Giuliani / New York Times:
Taking Liberties With the Nation's Security  —  YESTERDAY the Senate failed to reauthorize the USA Patriot Act, as a Democratic-led filibuster prevented a vote.  This action - which leaves the act, key elements of which are due to expire on Dec. 31, in limbo - represents a grave potential threat to the nation's security.
Jeff Bliss / Bloomberg:
U.S. Senate Rejects Bush Plea to Advance Patriot Act (Update1)  —  Dec. 16 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. Senate, rejecting pleas from its Republican leaders and President George W. Bush, refused to end debate on legislation to renew the anti-terror USA Patriot Act.
Discussion: ACSBlog
David Stout / New York Times:   Supporters of Patriot Act Suffer a Stinging Defeat in Senate
Fox News:
Senate Blocks Vote to Extend Patriot Act
Discussion: ACSBlog and
Charles Babington / Washington Post:
Senate Deals Setback to Bush on Patriot Act
Anti-terror Patriot Act renewal blocked in Senate
Byron York / The Corner on National Review Online:
Associated Press:
Patriot provisions set to expire
Discussion: JunkYardBlog and protein wisdom
Nico / Think Progress:
Video: Feingold Convinces Senators to Block Patriot Act Extension
Discussion: AMERICAblog
New York Times:
Lawmakers Back Use of Evidence Coerced From Detainees  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - House and Senate negotiators agreed Friday to a measure that would enable the government to keep prisoners at Guantánamo Bay indefinitely on the basis of evidence obtained by coercive interrogations.
Discussion: Balkinization
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Stepping Back From Torture  —  It's not about who our enemies are, it's about who we are.
Evan Vucci / Newsweek:   Torture or Coercion?  —  Sen. John McCain scored a victory …
New York Times:
Columnist Resigns His Post, Admitting Lobbyist Paid Him  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - A senior scholar at the Cato Institute, the respected libertarian research organization, has resigned after revelations that he took payments from the lobbyist Jack Abramoff in exchange for writing columns favorable to his clients.
Eamon Javers / Business Week:
Op-Eds for Sale
Constant Brand / Associated Press:
Iran Could Be Sanctioned for Riling Israel  —  BRUSSELS, Belgium - Iran could face sanctions if it keeps provoking Israel and the West, European leaders warned Saturday, even as the Tehran regime's interior minister said the Iranian president's remarks had been "misunderstood."
Nicholas Paphitis / Associated Press:
EU Threatens Sanctions Over Holocaust Flap
Discussion: Jihad Watch and Secular Blasphemy
David Bauder / Associated Press:
Robert Novak Leaving CNN for Fox News  —  NEW YORK — Commentator Robert Novak, who hasn't been seen on CNN since swearing and storming off the set in August, will leave the network after 25 years and join Fox News Channel as a contributor next month.  —  Novak, 74, said Friday he probably …
Scott Shane / New York Times:
Behind Power, One Principle as Bush Pushes Prerogatives  —  WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 - A single, fiercely debated legal principle lies behind nearly every major initiative in the Bush administration's war on terror, scholars say: the sweeping assertion of the powers of the presidency.
Discussion: Concurring Opinions
White House:
Personnel Announcement  —  President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate four individuals to serve in his Administration:  —  The President intends to nominate Robert D. Lenhard, of Maryland, to be a Member of the Federal Election Commission, for the remainder of a six-year term expiring April 30, 2011.
In survey of ten US presidents, Bush fares badly  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush ranks as the least popular and most bellicose of the last ten U.S. presidents, according to a new survey.  —  Only nine percent of the 662 people polled picked Bush as their favorite among the last 10 presidents.
Iraq vote 'met global standards'  —  International observers have praised the organisers of Iraq's parliamentary election, which they said generally met international standards.  —  A spokesman for the International Mission for Iraqi Elections conceded that there had been minor problems, but said the vote had generally gone well.

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