"Today, the House Judiciary Committee passed H.Res. 819, calling on the President and the Justice Department to disclose its role in approving massive telephone call databases maintained by the NSA and others. This is the first time a Committee has approved a Resolution of Inquiry demanding information from the Administration this Congress."* froomkin:
"Al Kamen writes in The Washington Post: "Rumblings are that the White House is looking for ways to keep controversial U.N. Ambassador John R. Bolton in his post well beyond the expiration of his recess appointment at the end of this year. . . .
"The White House can re-recess-appoint Bolton. But federal law would bar him from being paid. He could work for free, though.""
* greg sargeant on the NYT's disgraceful A1 hit-piece on Kerry et al:
"This is really cheap stuff -- thinly sourced, factually questionable and bordering on snide -- and it's truly surprising that it got past any Times editor."
"Republican Congress members claimed late today that evidence of weapons of mass destruction hidden by Saddam Hussein had at last been identified in Iraq.
Speaking at a late afternoon press conference, Michigan Rep. Pete Hoekstra, Chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence, spoke with Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. They claimed that 500 chemical weapons shells allegedly containing degraded sarin or mustard gas have been recovered by coalition forces since 2003, and that other filled and unfilled munitions have been found."
* gareth porter:
"News coverage of the U.S. National Security Strategy (NSS) issued Mar. 16 emphasised its reference to the doctrine of preemption. But a careful reading of the document reveals that its real message -- ignored by the media -- was that Iran will not alter its nuclear policy until after regime change has taken place.Porter argues that because the goal is regime change, not the nuke weapons, then there will not be a military strike. Seems he might have missed the alternative argument: that regardless of what Iran does re nukes, the egadministration will try to force regime change, including a militray attack.
The NSS takes pains to reduce the significance of Iran's obtaining a nuclear capability. "As important as are these nuclear issues," it says, "the United States has broader concerns regarding Iran. The Iranian regime sponsors terrorism; threatens Israel; seeks to thwart Middle East peace; disrupts democracy in Iraq; and denies the aspirations of its people for freedom."
Then the NSS states, "The nuclear issue and our other concerns can ultimately be resolved only if the Iranian regime makes the strategic decision to change these policies, open up its political system, and afford freedom to its people. This is the ultimate goal of U.S. policy."
This carefully worded statement thus explicitly makes regime change -- not stopping Iran's progress toward a nuclear capability -- the goal of U.S. policy toward Iran."