Disputes between the Justice Department and some of its Congressional allies over the Federal Bureau of Investigation's performance, leadership vacancies and management issues are spurring tensions at a time when the department is seeking to remake its antiterrorism operations.
Senator Arlen Specter, Republican of Pennsylvania, the influential chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in an interview on Friday that he was deeply dissatisfied with the pace of reforms at the F.B.I. and that he hoped the national intelligence director's new role in overseeing its terrorism operations would spur greater accountability at the Justice Department.
"Bringing in the director of national intelligence is a firm statement of dissatisfaction with the performance of the bureau and the director," Robert S. Mueller III, Mr. Specter said.
"When you have all these issues where the F.B.I. has not performed, there's no doubt that the director is on the spot," he said in perhaps his harshest criticism to date of Mr. Mueller's performance. "He's not responsible for 9/11 - the problems came before his watch - but that was four years ago, and we've expected a lot of things to happen since then that have not happened."
The above is from Eric Lichtblau's "Complaints Signal Tension Between F.B.I. and Congress" in this morning's New York Times.
We'll note Matthew Rothschild's "Bush: U.S. Troops to Stay in Iraq" (The Progressive):
Bush tried to make nice to Cindy Sheehan, though he did not respond to her central charge that her son died for a war that Bush waged on false pretenses.
Instead, he focused on rebutting her call for pulling out now, saying it would embolden terrorists.
But the terrorists seem pretty emboldened already, and Bush's Iraq War is giving them valuable on-the-job training.
To those who have lost loved ones in the war, Bush insisted that "one way to honor the fallen is to lay the foundation of peace."
But Bush has laid the foundation of chaos, and that’s going to result in more needless deaths and more grieving families.
At the end, in a fit of self-parody, Bush went on about how Iraq is "hard work," using that term three times in two sentences.
But it's more than hard work. It's an impossible task, and the sooner Bush realizes that, the better.
We'll note Bruce Shapiro's "The Grief of Cindy Sheehan" (The Nation):
Pitching her tent on the Texas roadside, Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan has given a face, a voice and a story to the widespread but amorphous disillusionment with George Bush's Iraq occupation. Truck drivers divert from the interstate to blare their horns in support. Dozens of veterans and dead soldiers' families brave the summer heat to join her. Network news programs lead their morning broadcasts with the story of her protest.
The President, unwilling to accede to Sheehan's demand for a meeting and aware of the explosive potential of the war-bereaved, utters a generic statement and leapfrogs by helicopter over the possibility of direct confrontation.
It's easy to dismiss Cindy Sheehan's moment as the product of fortuitous circumstance: the slow news cycle of August, a bored White House press corps stuck in Crawford and desperate for any alternative to yet another shot of the vacationing President hacking down weeds. All of that is true. But there is more to this.
And we'll note Kat's heads up (from The Third Estate Sunday Review's news review):
Kat: If I could, I'd actually like to start with news on John H. Johnson. B.E.T. will have a tribute to Johnson: "Don't miss BET's Mon., Aug. 15 special on the life and legacy of John H. Johnson, 10 p.m. (ET/PT)." They already have a page at their web site offering tributes in video format and text and, to tie this in to music, Nelson George is one of people offering reflections in the video you can watch online.
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