The Note

Stevenson goes on to write, "The documents released Tuesday did little to settle some of the central questions surrounding what happened at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, including whether the administration tacitly or explicitly encouraged military personnel and intelligence officers -- in Afghanistan, at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba and finally in Iraq -- to be more aggressive than the written policies for dealing with detainees would permit."

Mike Dorning of the Chicago Tribune writes that "Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld authorized interrogators to strip and forcibly shave Muslim detainees held at Guantanamo Bay Naval Station in Cuba, threaten them with dogs, and engage in limited physical intimidation such as poking and pushing, according to documents released by the White House on Tuesday." But, he Notes, the White House assured that harsher tactics weren't used, and that the President said he never ordered, and would never order, torture. LINK

The New York Times' Douglas Jehl takes a look at some of the interrogation techniques that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld did approve of for Guantanamo Bay detainees. LINK

The Washington Times reports on the 2-inch-high stack of memos that the White House released yesterday, highlighting that "President Bush decided shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks that terrorism detainees would be treated in accord with the Geneva Conventions, despite legal advice that this was not required, to adhere to 'our values as a nation,' according to a memo he wrote himself." LINK

The politics of HMOs:

The Supreme Court's decision on Monday to restrict the legal rights of patients to sue HMOs could erode relationships between doctors and patients, argued Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va. yesterday. LINK


The Hill reports Democratic lobbyists are giving up whip count intelligence to gain access to private Republican meetings. LINK

Roll Call's Ben Pershing writes, "Fearful of losing on both the symbolic level and the actual vote, House GOP leaders are mulling whether to pull the budget process reform bill before it is scheduled to hit the floor Thursday."

"Researchers at the National Institutes of Health violated federal rules by engaging in lucrative collaborations with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and not reporting those arrangements to ethics officials as required, according to documents released yesterday as part of an escalating congressional investigation into conflicts of interest at the agency," reports the Washington Post's Rick Weiss. LINK

Texas continues to be at the center of the growing ethical war as a Texas district attorney, who has long been investigating one of DeLay's PACs, announced that he is looking at similar allegations against former DCCC chair Martin Frost, according to Roll Call's Chris Cillizza.

The conventions:

The Boston Globe looks at how "Party conventions, no longer contests to pick a presidential nominee, have over the last dozen years turned into trade shows for the political world and major entertainment venues for corporations and special-interest groups." LINK

The Boston Herald reports that a local e-mail survey (yes, we know, not scientific) determined that those heading to Boston for the Democratic National Convention will not be getting their full taste of Boston, as three out of four "Greater Bostonians" will be skipping town. LINK

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