Last year, FBI Director Robert Mueller told Vanity Fair that he did not “believe” that there had been a case where “any attacks had been disrupted because of intelligence obtained through the coercive methods.” John Miller, a spokesman for Mueller, confirmed that position to the New York Times on Tuesday, saying, “The quote is accurate.”
According to a newly declassified “narrative” of the Bush administration’s advice to the CIA regarding interrogation practices, “the small group of Justice Department lawyers who wrote memos authorizing harsh interrogation techniques were operating not on their own but with direction from top administration officials, including then-Vice President Dick Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice.”
A new AP/Gfk poll shows that, “for the first time in years, more Americans than not say the country is headed in the right direction.” Forty-eight percent of Americans say the country is on the right track while 44 percent said the country is headed in the wrong direction. The right track number is up from 40 percent in February, 35 percent in January and just 17 percent in October, 2008.
General Motors (GM) announced yesterday that it will “temporarily close most of its U.S. factories for up to nine weeks this summer because of slumping sales and growing inventories of unsold vehicles.” The closings will likely be “staggered between mid-May and the end of July,” and may affect “15 of GM’s 21 North American car and truck assembly plants, most of them in the USA.”
As of 8 am this morning, more than 16,000 of you have taken action to urge Congress to begin impeachment hearings against Jay Bybee. Thanks for your support.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was briefed about the Bush administration’s torture program while she served as the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee in 2002, but she insists that “the lawmakers were told only that the C.I.A. believed the methods were legal — not that they were going to be used.” The ranking Republican at the time, Porter Goss, “recalls a clear message that the methods would be used.”
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Jon Wellinghoff told reporters yesterday that “no new nuclear or coal plants may ever be needed in the United States.” Wellinghoff’s position goes beyond other Obama administration officials, “who have strongly endorsed greater efficiency and renewables deployment but also say nuclear and fossil energies will continue playing a major role.”
The IMF released a report yesterday finding that the “global economy will most likely contract this year for the first time since World War II.” The report projects a 1.3 percent decline in global economic activity and a 2.8 percent contraction in the U.S. in 2009, but expects growth to resume in 2010.
ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos was granted an interview this week with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Stephanopoulos writes that the two of them engaged in “some spirited exchanges, as you might imagine, on the nuclear talks, the Holocaust, and who’s really to blame for the breakdown in U.S.-Iran relations.”
And finally: What would Joseph Wilson do? That’s the question that actor Sean Penn has been asking himself in preparation for his role as the ambassador in the upcoming movie about the Valerie Plame leak scandal. Penn has reportedly “spent considerable time at the Wilsons’ home in Santa Fe so the actor can study Wilson, his personality, his mannerisms and inflection. … Penn is so determined to perfectly capture his character that he has even been wearing Wilson’s cufflinks.”
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