Friday, March 03, 2006

Other Items

After complaints from historians, the National Archives directed intelligence agencies on Thursday to stop removing previously declassified historical documents from public access and urged them to return to the shelves as quickly as possible many of the records they had already pulled.
Allen Weinstein, the nation's chief archivist, announced what he called a "moratorium" on reclassification of documents until an audit can be completed to determine which records should be secret.
A group of historians recently found that decades-old documents that they had photocopied years ago and that appeared to have little sensitivity had disappeared from the open files. They learned that in a program operated in secrecy since 1999, intelligence and security agencies had removed more than 55,000 pages that agency officials believed had been wrongly declassified.

The above is from Scott Shane's "Archivist Urges U.S. to Reopen Classified Files" in this morning's New York Times and Erika, who noted the article, reminds everyone that Linda Lavin
managed to balance "the silliness of Alice" with "serious work later on like Broadway Bound and The Diary of Anne Frank." Let's hope Shane can juggle as well if he intends to serve on or dabble with the Timid's Elite Fluff Patrol . Speaking of the Elite Fluff Patrol, squad leader Elisabeth Bumiller has an "article" that Micah just e-mailed, I'm not seeing it in the paper, that tells you Bully Boy defends outsourcing jobs overseas:

"People do lose jobs as a result of globalization and it's painful for those who lose jobs," Mr. Bush said at meeting with young entrepreneurs at Hyderabad's Indian School of Business, one of the premier schools of its kind in India. Nonetheless, the president said, "globalization provides great opportunities."

No doubt that's the same "logic" ABC would offer for Czech Republic's Funniest Videos, formerly known as America's Funniest Videos.

Martha asks that we note this case that Rebecca noted last night, from Pete Yost's "Lawyers Nix Plea for Abu Ghraib Testimony" (Associated Press via the Washington Post):

Lawyers for a dog handler facing a court martial in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal inexplicably withdrew their request that an Army general involved in the affair be called to testify.
Without explanation, Army Capt. Mary McCarthy told a military judge during a 15-minute hearing Thursday at the Navy Yard that she might renew her request for the testimony of Army Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, but was abandoning her motion for now.

McCarthy's client, Army Sgt. Michael Smith, goes on trial later this month and could face up to 29 1/2 years in prison if convicted of setting his dog loose on inmates at Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

Rebecca also noted that "betty has a new chapter." Zach notes Robert Parry's "'Torture Boy' Signals More Spying" (Consortium News):

Correcting misleading testimony to Congress, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales has signaled that George W. Bush's warrantless surveillance of Americans went beyond the known eavesdropping on communications to suspected terrorists overseas.
In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Feb. 28, Gonzales recanted testimony he gave on Feb. 6 when he declared that Bush had only authorized a narrowly constructed warrantless wiretapping program by the National Security Agency against Americans in touch with foreign terror suspects.
Referring to a part of his testimony in which he said Bush had approved the NSA program "and that is all that he has authorized," Gonzales withdrew that language, saying "I did not and could not address … any other classified intelligence activities." [Washington Post, March 1, 2006]
The strained wording of Gonzales's letter -- and the fact that he deemed it necessary to correct his testimony -- suggest that other warrantless surveillance programs exist outside the framework of the NSA program, which began shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and was exposed by the New York Times in December 2005.
Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, the committee's Republican chairman, didn't put Gonzales under oath at the Feb. 6 hearing, but false statements to Congress still constitute a potential criminal offense.
Close Questioning
The dubious testimony came during close questioning by Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, the committee's ranking Democrat. Leahy pressed Gonzales on the administration’s claim that Congress gave Bush the power to wiretap without a court warrant when it authorized use of force against al-Qaeda after the Sept. 11 attacks.

No, Specter didn't put Gonzales under oath, despite the fact that he made misleading remarks (also known as "lies" in the real world) when testifying before the Senate previously (during his confirmation hearing for attorney general). The press took a pass on that. Wait, the New York Times did cover it. Briefly. For a few hours on their website before pulling the article about how Russ Feingold argued Gonzales should be under oath, a vote was taken (Repubes standing together) and Specter claimed to hold proxies for Repubes not present (which was also questioned).

Meanwhile Lloyd notes "an early birthday present for Ruth." What's that? His highlight, Andrea Lewis' "Winter Olympic dreams limited to wealth, access"(Progressive Media Project, The Progressive):

It's not unusual to hear the word "race" during the Olympic Games. But the term has taken on a particular sharp edge during the 2006 Winter Games.
Long-time news and sports journalist Bryant Gumbel shocked many viewers when he offered a terse dismissal of the Winter Olympics during a commentary at the end of the February edition of his HBO program, "Real Sports." He said: "Count me among those who don't care about them and won't watch them," expressing annoyance at everything from ice skating's "kiss and cry" area to the lack of connection the winter games have to original Greek competitions.
But Gumbel really raised some eyebrows when he added, "Try not to laugh when someone says these are the world's greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention."
Conservative commentators and bloggers responded at record-breaking speed, calling Gumbel a racist and arguing that the games are open to anyone who works to make their Olympic dream a reality. Unfortunately, few managed to look at the truth behind Gumbel's claim.
Unlike the Summer Games, which brings together athletes from 200 nations around the globe, the Winter Olympics spotlights a much smaller slice of the planet. With only 87 nations currently participating -- the most of any Winter Games -- 57 percent of the countries of the world are left out in the cold.
You might think that the American melting pot would thaw some of that ice, and indeed the United States sent its most multiracial team ever to this year's competitions in Turin, Italy.

Andrea Lewis, with Philip Maldari, co-hosts KPFA's The Morning Show which is one of Ruth's favorite programs.

Remember to listen, watch or read Democracy Now! today:

As Bush wraps up his three day visit to India, we got to New Delhi tospeak with famed Indian activist and author, Arundhati Roy.

The e-mail address for this site is

[C.I. note: "If" changed to "is" -- caught by Shirley.]