Thursday, June 16

Week in Review

Well, I have to hand it to the Bush Administration - it got one right. Agreeing to Debt relief for African countries is a no-brainer that people have been wanting for years. Glad they finally got around to it.

Unfortunately, that was the only one. The House, in a surprising show of bipartisan intelligence, overwhelmingly supported a provision to the budget to exempt libraries and bookshops from being subject to a provision of the Patriot Act. Make no mistake - the FBI can still find out what you're reading, it just needs to go through legal channels to do so. The Patriot Act goes further to allow "fishing": warrentless searches which are supposed to generate possible terrorist suspects based on reading habits alone. So the House did the right thing - which is why the White House today insisted that Bush would veto the budget if the provision was included.

In other news, the Republican effort to end government oversight of corporations proceeds at a dizzying pace. Over his objections, the Bush EPA deliberately misconstrued the findings of a new report on Selenium to allow companies to dump more (the report called for less.)

And in response to questioning during the Guantanemo hearings today, a spokesperson for the army stated that it was fully legal to hold prisoners there for life without having to file any formal charges. And a military lawyer testified that he was appointed to represent a client, but only allowed to see the client on the condition that he force a guilty plea to "unspecified war crimes."