ThinkFast: September 22, 2006

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"ThinkFast: September 22, 2006"

The “compromise” on detainee policy reached yesterday “means that U.S. violations of international human rights law can continue as long as Mr. Bush is president, with Congress’s tacit assent,” the Washington Post notes. ABC News reports that CIA Director Michael Hayden “praised the deal…that, in effect, would permit CIA interrogators to use harsh techniques critics call torture.”

A national black conservative group is “running a radio advertisement accusing Democrats of starting the Ku Klux Klan and saying the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican, a claim challenged by civil-rights researchers.”

Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage threatened to bomb Pakistan “back to the stone age” if it did not cooperate with the U.S. after 9/11. “I think it was a very rude remark,” Musharraf said.

Genocide update: Sudan’s army continues to bomb villages in Darfur, UN human rights workers report, “killing and injuring civilians, and driving hundreds of people from their homes.”

Meanwhile, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) introduced legislation in the House to bar companies receiving government contracts from doing business with Sudan.

$11 billion. The cost of implementing the Real ID Act over five years, according to a new report. “The days of going to the DMV and getting your license on the same day are probably over,” said one National Governors Association representative.

Stress on Guard and Reserve may worsen. “Strains on the Army from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become so severe that Army officials say they may be forced to make greater use of the National Guard to provide enough troops for overseas deployments.”

1,137. The number of laptops lost by the Commerce Department since 2001. Hundreds “contained personal information.”

$4. Cost for a one month supply of certain generic drugs at Wal-Mart under a program the chain announced yesterday. It could mean significant savings for some consumers. But the special pricing only applies to “fewer than 150 products” which is only a small fraction “of the estimated 2,100 generic products available.”

And finally: No Spin Zone an Al Qaeda Free Zone? It is, at least according to federal law enforcement. Bill O’Reilly told Barbara Walters, “[T]he FBI came in and warned me and a few other people at Fox News that al Qaeda had us on a death list.” But one official responded, “I’m not aware of any FBI agents warning anyone at Fox News of their presence on any list.” “That sounds like absolute bulls**t to me – it’s typical O’Reilly,” added an exec from a rival cable news network.

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