The Note

On Saturday, Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) will speak at the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party's state convention in Duluth, Minn.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) visits Washington state, where he will campaign with Washington Senate candidate Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wash.) in Seattle and Tri-Cities, Wash.

In Plainfield, N.J., former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) attends a fundraiser for Senator Kerry.

Rep. Marty Meehan (D-Mass.) attends the New Hampshire Democratic Party's state convention breakfast as the keynote speaker.

In Detroit, Mich., the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network holds an event at the Fox Theatre.

On Sunday, Senator John Edwards (D-N.C.) campaigns with North Carolina Senate candidate Erskine Bowles in Raleigh, N.C.

Former Gov. Howard Dean (D-Vt.) attends a campaign fund-raiser for Pennsylvania Senate candidate Rep. Joe Hoeffel in Montgomery County, Pa.

Prison abuse scandal:

The Washington Post 's Josh White, Christian Davenport, and Scott Higham detail the scenes depicted in as-yet-unreleased photos and videos of alleged prison abuse and misconduct at Abu Ghraib prison. LINK

Higham and Joe Stevens of the Washington Post report new allegations arising from statements of 13 Abu Ghraib prisoners, saying they were "ridden like animals, sexually fondled by female soldiers and forced to retrieve their food from toilets." LINK The New York Times ' Johnston and Shanker report "interrogators at the Guantánamo Bay prison camp received Pentagon approval to use special, harsher interrogation procedures on a Saudi Arabian detainee who was believed to be the planned 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11 terror plot." LINK NBC's Tim Russert told Katie Couric this morning that the video "continues a string of very bad news for the Bush Administration … When you observe these today, I think it's going to have an enormously powerful effect on the American people."

Russert also said the abuse story is beginning to shake Republicans' faith in the administration's handling of the war. "These pictures are perceived by many Republicans I speak to as a metaphor for the mismanagement of the war," Russet said. " … They know in the absence of no weapons of mass destruction, the reason we are using for saying we went into Iraq was to do good for the Iraqi people. These pictures are just devastating when you try to make that claim."

The politics of Iraq:

The New York Times ' David Sanger on Ahmad Chalabi's "open political warfare with the Bush administration.". LINK Per the Wall Street Journal 's Cloud, Fields and Fassihi, "U.S. intelligence agencies believe" Chalabi, "once strongly backed by some Bush administration officials, may have passed classified information on the American occupation of Iraq to the government of Iran."

The Washington Post 's Robin Wright writes that the standing of Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi exile once championed by the Bush Administration as a leader of the new democratic government, has fallen to a new low, both in the region and in terms of his standing among high-level Administration officials — as evidenced by yesterday's raid on his compound. LINK "Throughout much of its relationship with him, the United States has been willing to shrug off Chalabi's past as a convicted felon disliked and mistrusted by many in the Arab world. . . . But Chalabi's close relationship with Iran, the only neighboring state that regularly deals with him, is now a further cause of concern in Washington."

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