Coast Guard Warned Of Port Deal Intel Gaps
"WASHINGTON - Citing broad gaps in U.S. intelligence, the Coast Guard raised concerns weeks ago that it could not determine whether a United Arab Emirates-based company seeking a stake in some U.S. port operations might support terrorist operations. The disclosure came during a hearing Monday on Dubai-owned DP World's plans to assume significant operations at six leading U.S. ports. It also clouded whether the Bush administration's agreement to conduct an unusual investigation into the pending takeover's security risks would allay lawmakers' concerns."
Cheney Seen Retiring After Midterm Elections (story link)
"The sources reported a growing rift between the president and vice president as well as their staffs. They cited Mr. Cheney's failure to immediately tell the president of the accidental shooting of the vice president's hunting colleague earlier this month. The White House didn't learn of the incident until 18 hours later.
Mr. Cheney's next crisis could take place by the end of the year, the sources said. They said the White House was expecting Mr. Cheney to defend himself against charges from his former chief of staff, Lewis Libby, that the vice president ordered him to relay classified information. Such a charge could lead to a congressional investigation and even impeachment proceedings.
"Nothing will happen until after the congressional elections," a GOP source said. "After that, there will be significant changes in the administration and Cheney will probably be part of that.""
Bush Takes Cheney Out Of The Loop On National Security (story link)
"The sources said the indictment and resignation of Lewis "Scooter" Libby marked the final straw in the deterioration of relations between President Bush and Mr. Cheney. They said Bush aides expect that any trial of Mr. Libby, Mr. Cheney's long-time chief of staff, would open a closet of skeletons regarding such issues as Iraq, the CIA and the conduct of White House aides."
Poll: Bush Ratings At All-Time Low(story link)
"(CBS) The latest CBS News poll finds President Bush's approval rating has fallen to an all-time low of 34 percent, while pessimism about the Iraq war has risen to a new high. Americans are also overwhelmingly opposed to the Bush-backed deal giving a Dubai-owned company operational control over six major U.S. ports.(story link) Seven in 10 Americans, including 58 percent of Republicans, say they're opposed to the agreement. "
From Cash to Yachts, Convicted Congressman Set Bribery Rates
"Feb. 27, 2006 — Prosecutors call it a corruption case with no parallel in the long history of the U.S. Congress. And it keeps getting worse. Convicted Rep. Randall "Duke" Cunningham actually priced the illegal services he provided. Prices came in the form of a "bribe menu" that detailed how much it would cost contractors to essentially order multimillion-dollar government contracts, according to documents submitted by federal prosecutors for Cunningham's sentencing hearing this Friday. "The length, breadth and depth of Cunningham's crimes," the sentencing memorandum states, "are unprecedented for a sitting member of Congress."
Prosecutors will ask federal Judge Larry Burns to impose the statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The sentencing memorandum includes the California Republican's "bribery menu" on one of his congressional note cards, "starkly framed" under the seal of the United States Congress. "
Thousands To Protect Bush In India (story link)
"NEW DELHI (Reuters) - About 5,000 personnel including snipers, commandos and U.S. marines using helicopters, bomb detectors and electronic jammers will protect President George W. Bush during his visit to India this week, officials said on Monday.
The personnel would be part of a three-ring security cordon around the U.S. president and First Lady Laura Bush who are due to arrive in New Delhi for their maiden visit to the subcontinent on Wednesday, they said."
Anti-DeLay Group Target Of IRS Audit (story link)
"WASHINGTON – The Internal Revenue Service recently audited the books of a Texas non-profit group that was critical of campaign spending by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, after receiving a request for the audit from one of DeLay’s allies in the House. The lawmaker, House Ways and Means Committee member Sam Johnson, R-Texas, was in turn responding to a complaint about the group, Texans for Public Justice, from Barnaby Zall, a Washington lawyer close to DeLay and his fundraising apparatus, according to IRS documents."
U.S. Is Settling Detainee's Suit In 9/11 Sweep (story link)
The federal government has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by an Egyptian who was among dozens of Muslim men swept up in the New York area after 9/11, held for months in a federal detention center in Brooklyn and deported after being cleared of links to terrorism.
The settlement, filed in federal court late yesterday, is the first the government has made in a number of lawsuits charging that noncitizens were abused and their constitutional rights violated in detentions after the terror attacks.