Wednesday, February 22, 2006
The Political Landscape
- "WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence agencies have been secretly removing from public access at the National Archives thousands of historical documents that were available for years, The New York Times reported on Monday.
- The restoration of classified status to more than 55,000 previously declassified pages began in 1999, when the CIA and five other agencies objected to what they saw as a hasty release of sensitive information after a 1995 declassification order signed by President Bill Clinton, the Times said on its Web site.
- The secret program accelerated after the Bush administration took office and especially after the September 11 attacks, according to archives records, the paper said.
- It came to light after intelligence historian Matthew Aid noticed dozens of documents he had copied years ago had been withdrawn from the archives' open shelves, the Times said.
- Under existing guidelines, government documents are supposed to be declassified after 25 years unless there is a particular reason to keep them secret.
- Some historians say the program is removing material that can do no conceivable harm to national security and note that some of the documents have been published by the government, the Times said.
Bipartisan opposition to the proposed deal to permit a firm from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, take over management of six major U.S. sea ports means a problem for the president. No wonder he has threatened a veto. If he fails to twist the arms of Republican lawmakers to support the deal then he might be forced to exercise his first veto. Would it be sustainable?
The AAAS Comes Out in Support of Evolution
The American Association for Advancement of Science, at its annual meeting in Missouri,aligned itself on the side of evolution. "Teaching the idea threatens scientific literacy among schoolchildren, it said." The fundos are sure to counterattack and they have a friend in the White House.
The Chasm between What We Say and What We Do
Where is the moral high ground? Almost 100 prisoners have died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since August 2002, according to US group Human Rights First.