by Sam Kornell

• President Bush agreed last week to a so-called compromise bill
on the rules governing the interrogation and prosecution of
terrorists. The bill, hammered out between Bush and Senate
Republicans including John McCain (R-Ariz.), drops the
administration’s original call for the redefinition of U.S.
obligations under the Geneva Convention. But despite some claims
that the administration bowed to the rebellious senators by
agreeing to require military interrogators to adhere to the Geneva
conventions, the bill still allows CIA interrogators to employ
techniques that do not coform to the legal limits set for the U.S.
military. Emily Kryder, a spokesperson for Rep. Lois Capps, said
that Capps was “skeptical” about the compromise, saying, “The
legislative language on the so-called deal between the White House
and Senate Republicans has yet to be circulated.”

• The Army’s top officer told Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
last month that the Army could not continue to function in Iraq and
maintain its other global commitments without a substantial boost
in funding. A story in the Los Angeles Times revealed that the
Army’s chief of staff, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, took the
unprecedented step of withholding the 2008 budget plan from
Pentagon leaders after telling Rumsfeld that, barring significant
troop withdrawals, the Army needs $138.8 billion in 2008, almost
$25 billion more than budget limits set by Rumsfeld. Emily Kryder,
a spokersperson for Rep. Lois Capps, said Capps believes
Schoomaker’s request should be rejected, stating that Capps “does
not endorse rewarding the Bush administration’s failed policy by
writing repeated blank checks to continue the war in Iraq.” Kryder
reiterated the Capps position that American troops should be
withdrawn as soon as is safely possible.

• A National Intelligence Estimate completed in April found that
the Iraq War is fueling global terrorist activity, the New York
Times and Washington Post revealed on Sunday. The report — the
first of its kind — found that the war is metastasizing Islamic
radicalism, and that the longer it continues, the more likely it is
to provide fresh training for future terrorist plots. The Bush
administration sharply criticized the intelligence
assessment — which represents a consensus view of all 16 U.S.
intelligence agencies — as “naïve.” On Tuesday, President Bush
released substantial portions of the assessment, including this
passage: “The Iraq conflict has become the ‘cause célèbre’ for
jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the
Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist

• The chances that a top Bush administration
priority — legalizing the president’s warrantless wiretapping
program — will be approved before the November elections appeared
weak as of press time. Because there are separate and divergent
House and Senate versions of the bill, which would confer legal
status on the program, it seemed unlikely there would be unified
congressional legislation to vote on before the end of this week,
when Congress recesses until after the November 7 elections. The
House version of the bill is reportedly more stringent than its
Senate counterpart in calling for restrictions on the president’s
ability to wiretap suspects communicating by telephone or email
from the U.S. to other countries.


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