Political Web, page A1 … for 10:20 AM ET, February 20, 2006
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Charles Babington / Washington Post:
White House Working to Avoid Wiretap Probe  —  But Some Republicans Say Bush Must Be More Open About Eavesdropping Program  —  At two key moments in recent days, White House officials contacted congressional leaders just ahead of intelligence committee meetings that could have stirred demands …
New York Times:
Facing Pressure, White House Seeks Approval for Spying  —  After two months of insisting that President Bush did not need court approval to authorize the wiretapping of calls between the United States and suspected terrorists abroad, the administration is trying to resist pressure for judicial review …
Wichita Eagle:
EDITORIAL: ROBERTS' CREDIBILITY ON LINE  —  Many Kansans, including members of The Eagle editorial board, have long admired Sen. Pat Roberts for his plainspokenness and reputation for fair brokering of issues.  —  So it's troubling that Roberts, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee …
Bush Didn't Need to Get Court Approval for Wiretaps, Frist Says
Discussion: Sisyphus Shrugged and TalkLeft
Steven R. Hurst / Associated Press:
Bin Laden Vows Never to Be Captured Alive  —  CAIRO, Egypt - Osama bin Laden promised never to be captured alive and declared the United States had resorted to the same "barbaric" tactics used by Saddam Hussein, according to an audiotape purportedly by the al-Qaida leader that was posted Monday on a militant Web site.
Francis Fukuyama / New York Times:
After Neoconservatism  —  As we approach the third anniversary of the onset of the Iraq war, it seems very unlikely that history will judge either the intervention itself or the ideas animating it kindly.  By invading Iraq, the Bush administration created a self-fulfilling prophecy …
Roger L. Simon / Mystery Novelist and Screenwriter:   Fukuyama opts out  —  Francis Fukuyama gives an excellent overview …
Associated Press:
Navy Counsel Issued Warning On Torture  —  The Navy's general counsel warned Pentagon officials two years before the Abu Ghraib prison scandal that circumventing international agreements on torture and detainees' treatment would invite abuse, according to a published report.
Tim Golden / New York Times:
Senior Lawyer at Pentagon Broke Ranks on Detainees  —  One of the Pentagon's top civilian lawyers repeatedly challenged the Bush administration's policy on the coercive interrogation of terror suspects, arguing that such practices violated the law, verged on torture and could ultimately expose senior officials …
Discussion: Norwegianity
Jane Mayer / New Yorker:
THE MEMO  —  How an internal effort to ban the abuse and torture of detainees was thwarted.  —  One night this January, in a ceremony at the Officers' Club at Fort Myer, in Arlington, Virginia, which sits on a hill with a commanding view across the Potomac River to the Washington Monument …
Discussion: TalkLeft
Jimmy Carter / Washington Post:
Don't Punish the Palestinians  —  As the results of the recent Palestinian elections are implemented, it's important to understand how the transition process works and also how important to it are actions by Israel and the United States.  —  Although Hamas won 74 of the 132 parliamentary seats …
Steven Erlanger / New York Times:   Israel Suspends Tax Money Flow to Palestinians
Elisabeth Bumiller / New York Times:
Troubleshooting the Tale of a Hunt Gone Sour  —  WASHINGTON — Mary Matalin, Vice President Dick Cheney's longtime troubleshooter, was sleeping in last Sunday when the phone jangled her awake at 8 a.m. She groggily picked it up to hear, 'The vice president shot somebody, and he's O.K.' "
Arianna Huffington / The Huffington Post:
Russert Watch: The Mary Matalin Horror Show
Richard B. Schmitt / Los Angeles Times:
Privacy Guardian Is Still a Paper Tiger  — A year after its creation, the White House civil liberties board has yet to do a single day of work.  —  WASHINGTON — For Americans troubled by the prospect of federal agents eavesdropping on their phone conversations or combing through their Internet records …
Paris: Gang suspected of killing Jew nabbed  —  Ilan Halimi, 23-year-old Parisian man, found tied to tree, naked, wounded, with burns covering his body; police arrest 13 suspects, say act not motivated by anti-Semitism  —  The French police arrested 13 people on suspicion of kidnapping …
Robert Mayer / Publius Pundit:
RUSSIA SHUTS DOWN NEWSPAPER WITH CARTOON DEPICTING MOHAMMED  —  The municipal government in Volgograd has decided to close down a local newspaper for printing a cartoon showing Jesus, Buddha, Mohammed, and Moses watching a crowd of clashing people while saying, "We never taught them to do that …
Discussion: The Strata-Sphere
Thom Shanker / New York Times:
Elite Iraqi Unit Seeks Footing as It Fills U.S. Boots  —  AREA IV, Iraq — The three helicopters took off after midnight from this Special Operations base outside Baghdad, bound for a rural community where a man suspected of being a ringleader of the insurgency was hiding in a compound marked on military maps as Objective Hades.
Discussion: Rantingprofs
Karl Vick / Washington Post:
A Bomb-Builder, 'Out of the Shadows'  —  Syrian Linked to Al Qaeda Plots Describes Plan to Attack Cruise Ship in Turkey  —  ANTALYA, Turkey — Right up to the hot August night his apartment exploded, Louai Sakka's neighbors took him for a newlywed.  The lanky Syrian was not seen …
Discussion: Rantingprofs
Kevin Drum / The Washington Monthly:
BARTLETT ON BUSH....Bruce Bartlett is not a happy camper these days.  A Reagan-era conservative who thinks that George Bush has betrayed conservatism, he got fired a few months ago from his job at the conservative think tank NCPA because he decided to write a book explaining in detail just why he thinks Bush is a "pretend conservative."
Dennis The Peasant:
Playing The Muslim Card: Dubai Ports World  —  Last Friday was an unusually depressing day for me, in that supposedly responsible politicians ranging from Senator Schumer to Senator Santorum have decided it appropriate to deal our efforts in the War on Terror a setback - perhaps a serious setback …

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More Items:

Robert F. Worth / New York Times:
At Least 17 People Killed in Insurgent Attacks in Iraq
Hindrocket / Power Line:
Discussion: Big Lizards and TigerHawk
Associated Press:
Recruiting Hispanics for Kentucky Coal Mines Raises Debate
Discussion: Right Wing News
TBlumer /
Time and Newsweek: Totally, Out, Of, Touch
Alhamedi / The Religious Policeman:
Emergency Meeting!  —  The motorcades screech to a halt …
The Big Trunk / Power Line:
A CASE STUDY  —  In Minnesota the Democratic Party has undertaken …
John Wilkens / San Diego Union-Tribune:
A breed apart  —  When Japanese-Americans became prisioners …
Discussion: The Heretik
Linton Weeks / Washington Post:
New Orleans Locals Think Katrina's Toll Is Still Rising
Discussion: First Draft

Earlier Picks:

Cornelia Dean / New York Times:
At a Scientific Gathering, U.S. Policies Are Lamented
Discussion: Bad Attitudes
Wersha Bharadwa / Independent:
Fanatics tell Muslim singer: We'll kill you
Discussion: Clarity & Resolve
Agence France Presse:
Hugo Chavez to Condi Rice: 'Don't mess with me, girl'
Los Angeles Times:
Industries Get Quiet Protection From Lawsuits
Michelle Malkin:
Jeff Jacoby / Boston Globe:
When fear cows the media
Jonathan Alter / Newsweek:
The Imperial (Vice) Presidency
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