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John McCain and other Republicans say it's time to start drilling for oil off the shores of America.  Barack Obama leads those Democrats who say, not so fast. How soon would gasoline prices be affected? Would just the intent to drill send the right message to the rest of the world?  What about dealing with climate change? Also, a war-crimes trial gets underway in Guantánamo Bay, and the Obama foreign tour in Iraq amid controversy over a timetable for troop withdrawal.

Banner image: The Catalina Channel, near Long Beach, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Making News First Trial Begins before Military Commission at Guantanamo 6 MIN, 7 SEC

America's first war crimes trial since World War II got underway today in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.  The defendant, Salim Ahymed Hamdan, will provide a test case for military tribunals criticized by opponents as legal shams designed to secure convictions. Jerry Markon is covering the proceedings for the Washington Post.

Main Topic To Drill or Not to Drill 33 MIN, 5 SEC

The price of oil crossed the $100-a-barrel threshold at the first of this year. Last week, it hit a record $147, then dropped below $130. But it's creeping up again today. Nobody expects to see $100 a barrel ever again. That means high gasoline prices are here to stay. From President Bush on down, Republicans are advocating an end to the moratorium on off-shore oil drilling. High gas prices are increasing public support, even though there would be no direct impact for decades. We hear from Congressmen on both sides of what's shaping up as a major election-year issue. Would the declared intention to expand domestic supplies send the right message to oil producers and speculators around the world? Should oil companies drill first on land they've already leased? What about seizing the moment to get off oil and deal with global warming?

Mike Conaway, Congressman (R-TX)
Earl Blumenauer, Congressman (D-OR) (@repblumenauer)
Ben Geman, National Journal (@Ben_Geman)
Robert Dillon, Columnist, Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Eric Smith, Professor of Political Science, UC Santa Barbara

Reporter's Notebook Obama Meets Maliki in Iraq, Discusses Troop Withdrawal 9 MIN, 21 SEC

The New York Times reports that an audiotape shows Maliki said this to Der Spiegel, the German magazine: "Obama's remarks that, if he takes office, in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it could be suitable to end the presence of forces in Iraq." When the Bush Administration asked for "clarification," Maliki's office said that's not what he really meant. Today, after his visit to Afghanistan, Obama traveled to Iraq, where he met today with the Prime Minister.

Richard Oppel, New York Times
Mark Benjamin, National Correspondent, Salon.com

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