FROM Richard Miniter
Petraeus and Crocker: Back on Capitol Hill As a protester chanted, "Bring them Home," General David Petraeus refused to set any timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq. Democrats said his strategy added up to "a plan which has no end to it," while Republicans showed various degrees of support. Ambassador Ryan Crocker insisted there has been "progress" in reconstructing Iraq and reconciling sectarian factions. That led to partisan disagreement, too. We hear what John McCain and Hillary Clinton had to say on the recommendations President Bush will be getting from his command team, differing views on the rhetoric and the realities.
Funding the Troops; Fighting the Enemy in Iraq; Safety in the Green Zone Democratic leaders in the House and Senate hope to send President Bush an Iraq spending bill by the end of this week. It would include political benchmarks for the Iraqi government but not a timeline for withdrawal of troops. A car bomb has killed at least 25 people and wounded 60 or more today in a Baghdad market. Also, Inside the Green Zone , the US is building a complex that will be the largest US embassy in the world. Waiting for it to be finished, US State Department employees are angry over what they call inadequate safety precautions.
Prisoner Interrogations in the War on Terror The US Supreme Court says that the Geneva Conventions apply to suspects in the war on terror. Common Article 3 prohibits "outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment." In a dispute with Republican Senators, including John McCain , President Bush says that's too "vague" to protect CIA interrogators from being sued for abusing prisoners in the war on terror, and says he'll call off the interrogations unless Congress writes "clarity" into the law . In the meantime, the Army's top uniformed lawyer, Major General Scott Black, has written to the dissenting Senators that redefining the Conventions "is unnecessary and could be seen as a weakening of our treaty obligations." What does the President mean by "alternative interrogation techniques?" How are they different from torture? Is the US being tough enough to protect American safety?
What happens when America retreats from the world? Is President Trump taking his "America First" agenda to extremes, withdrawing the country from the international stage on trade and climate change, distancing America from its traditional allies across the Atlantic and even threatening to physically isolate the country through the building of a wall along its southern border? León Krauze guest hosts.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.