February 26, 2004

Extension for 9/11 Commission Denied. House Speaker Dennis Hastert will not extend the May 27 deadline for the 9/11 Commission to finish its work. From Hastert's spokesman: "He thinks the report is overdue and we need to get the recommendations as soon as possible. He is also concerned it will become a political football if this thing is extended and it is released in the middle of the presidential campaign." Calpundit asks: "Aren't you supposed to at least pretend that you're motivated solely by what's best for the country? But here we have Hastert's spokesman blithely admitting in public that he doesn't want to let the commission do its job properly because it might be politically inconvenient for the president. They don't even have the good grace to lie about this stuff anymore."

George Bush and Dick Cheney "have placed strict limits on the private interviews they will grant to the [Commission], saying that they will meet only with the panel's top two officials and that Mr. Bush will submit to only a single hour of questioning ... Condoleezza Rice, the national security adviser, [has] rejected [the Commission's] request that she testify in public about the intelligence reports that reached her desk before the Sept. 11 attacks." ... Commission member Bob Kerrey (who joined the Commission only recently, replacing Max Cleland) is considering resigning because of the ongoing obstruction from the Bush administration. "I am no longer ... feeling comfortable that I'm going to be able to read and process what I need in order to participate in writing a report about how it was that 19 men defeated every single defensive system the US put up to kill 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11."

"British spies were bugging UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's office in the run up to the Iraq war, former UK cabinet minister Clare Short has claimed. ... From March 2003: "The existence of the surveillance operation, understood to have been requested by President Bush's National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, is deeply embarrassing to the Americans..." (More) ... "Pentagon officials have confirmed that Guantanamo detainees may still be kept in detention, even if they are found not guilty by a military tribunal."

The first Gallup poll conducted on the issue of interracial marriage showed that 94% of whites opposed such unions. That was in 1958, nine years before the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that miscegenation laws were unconstitutional. Someday this country will view same-sex marriage in the same light most of us now view interracial marriage.

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