"After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence of two classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detention policies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
But CIA lawyers say the documents -- memos from President Bush and the Justice Department -- are still so sensitive that no portion can be released to the public."
"* What will life be like with oversight? We've just gone through not only six years of congressional obedience, but six years of ignorance. Congressional oversight has historically put enormous amounts of important, otherwise secret information into the public domain -- about the government and the private sector alike. If you think bloggers have been a potent political force thus far -- just wait until oversight gives them better material to work with."
* nyt ed:
"When President Bush announced in September that he was transferring 14 men suspected of heinous acts of terrorism to Guantánamo Bay, his aim was baldly political — to stampede Congress into passing a profoundly flawed law that set up military tribunals to try “illegal enemy combatants” and absolved U.S. officials of liability for illegally detaining and torturing prisoners.* wapo:
But that cynical White House move may also have unintentionally provided the loose thread to unravel the secrecy and lawlessness that have cloaked the administration’s handling of terrorism suspects.
Courts are sympathetic to legitimate claims of national security when it comes to intelligence and military operations. But the Bush administration has abused the courts’ — and the nation’s — trust in the indiscriminate way it has tried to hide its policies behind a supposed shield of national security. At the very least, it should now be much harder for government lawyers to do that.
It would be even better if the courts ultimately compelled the release of these and other documents. Americans have a right to know what standards their president has been applying to the treatment of prisoners. The nation’s image is at stake, as well as the safety of every man and woman who is fighting Mr. Bush’s so-called war on terror."
"Congressional leaders requested a secret intelligence assessment of India's nuclear program and its government's ties to Iran in January amid concerns about a White House effort to provide nuclear technology to New Delhi. Ten months later, as the Senate prepares to vote on nuclear trade with India, the intelligence assessment has yet to be seen on Capitol Hill, congressional and intelligence sources say.
The pending nuclear deal with India would reverse years of U.S. policies aimed at preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. U.S. law forbids selling civilian nuclear technology to countries such as India that have refused to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Arms-control experts, concerned that the deal would have major ramifications for U.S. efforts to stop nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea, said yesterday that the White House plan would allow India to rapidly increase its nuclear arsenal.
In July, the House voted in favor of a similar bill. Lawmakers did not know at the time that the Bush administration was planning to sanction two Indian firms for selling missile parts to Iran -- a fact that seemed to undercut administration assurances that India's nonproliferation record is excellent.
Democrats later accused the administration of deception, and Senate and House staff members said yesterday that they are concerned that the White House is still pushing for congressional approval without providing needed information, such as the intelligence report."