with “a little visit” from “Fox Security.” His crime? Mentioning Keith Olbermann.
Sentence for former Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-CA) for accepting $2.4 million in bribes and evading $1 million in taxes. It’s the longest term that a congressman has been sentenced to in at least four decades.
Last week, it was revealed that the U.S. Coast Guard had warned of “many intelligence gaps” concerning the potential for Dubai Ports World “to support terrorist operations” if it assumed control of U.S. ports.
Bush administration officials insisted the Coast Guard’s concerns had been addressed before the deal was approved. National Intelligence Director John Negroponte testified that DP World had sent a “letter of assurance” pledging to turn over any information that was needed to fill the gaps cited by the Coast Guard.
But in sharply-worded letter written this week, Senate Homeland Security Committee chairs Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT) say the “letter of assurance” did no such thing. The Coast Guard’s concerns over intelligence gaps were never addressed:
A careful review of the “assurances letter” reveals that DP World is not, in fact, bound to provide the U.S. government with the information it would need to close the intelligence gaps the Coast Guard identified. … The language is weak. … Indeed, the assurances appear to amount to little more than a restatement of what the FBI or other law enforcement agency could gather anyway in the course of an investigation.
ThinkProgress has acquired a copy of the letter, which you can read here.
It was only a matter of time. While speaking in India prior to departing for Pakistan, Bush revealed his lack of familiarity with South Asia:
“I believe that a prosperous, democratic Pakistan will be a steadfast partner for America, a peaceful neighbor for India and a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world,” the president added.
Later, White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters that Bush meant to say Pakistan would be a force for freedom and moderation in the Muslim world. Pakistan is not an Arab country.
QUESTION: Can you name the general who is in charge of Pakistan?
BUSH: Wait, wait, is this 50 questions?
QUESTION: No, it’s four questions of four leaders in four hot spots.
BUSH: The new Pakistani general, he’s just been elected–not elected, this guy just took over office. It appears this guy is going to bring stability to the country, and I think that’s good news for the Subcontinent.
QUESTION: Can you name him?
BUSH: General. I can’t name the general. General.
In the global war on terror, Bush needs to win the support of countries like Pakistan. The first step is to learn something about them.
President Bush continues to claim we are winning the war on terrorism. From a February 9 speech:
Despite the violence and the suffering the terrorists are wreaking, we’re winning the war on terror.
Thirty new terrorist organizations have emerged since the September 11, 2001, attacks, outpacing U.S. efforts to crush the threat, said Brig. Gen. Robert L. Caslen, the Pentagon’s deputy director for the war on terrorism.
“We are not killing them faster than they are being created,” Caslen told a gathering at the Woodrow Wilson Center yesterday, warning that the war could take decades to resolve.
Apparently Bush only listens to the experts when they tell him what he wants to hear.
On September 1, two days after the storm hit, President Bush said “I don’t think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees.” Last night on CNN, former FEMA Director Michael Brown said he personally warned President Bush the levees could breach before the storm hit:
MESERVE: In the transcripts of the 29th briefing, you talk about conversations you had that morning with the president. This is the day of landfall…How did the president know to ask about breaches of the levees? Did he have reports in hand at that time already that that had happened in New Orleans?
BROWN: There’s no question in my mind he probably had those reports, because we were feeding in the Homeland Security Operations Center, into the White House sit room, all of the information that we were getting. So he had to have had that information. Plus, I think the president knew from our earlier conversations that that was one of my concerns, that the levees could actually breach.
The White House still maintains that Bush’s September 1 statement was accurate and the media continues to play along.
ThinkFast is a new feature of ThinkProgress. (It’s still a work in progress – let us know what you think.)
The Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation to renew “the sweeping antiterror law known as the USA Patriot Act.” Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), one of ten senators to vote against the bill, said, “This fight is not over, Mr. President. … I am convinced that in the end, the government will respond to the people, as it should.”
Attorney General Gonzales said yesterday “that the administration is not conducting any warrantless domestic surveillance programs beyond the one that President Bush has acknowledged,” contradicting claims by the NSA whistleblower who helped expose the first program.
After furor grew over the reclassification of National Archives documents, Allen Weinstein, the nation’s chief archivist, announced a “moratorium” on the process until an audit can be completed to determine which records should be secret.
“Four years after the Taliban were ousted from power by the American military, their presence [in Afghanistan] is bigger and more menacing than ever,” the NYT reports.
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said yesterday “Dubai cannot be trusted” to manage U.S. ports. He vowed to scuttle the Dubai Ports World deal and push legislation to block a second Dubai company’s efforts to acquire two U.S. plants that manufacture precision components for military aircraft and tank engines. Read more