- Making News: Patriot Act Renewal Fails to Pass
President Bush lobbied hard for re-authorization of Patriot Act provisions scheduled to expire at the end of the year, but Republicans failed to stop a threatened filibuster and the bill died today in the Senate. Bobby Block is Homeland Security Correspondent for the Wall Street Journal.
- Reporter's Notebook: Report of NSA Spying Prompts Call for Probe
Last night the New York Times reported that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on people inside the US without court-approved warrants. We hear more about this allegation and about a recent Pentagon promise to investigate reports of the military gathering information on legal peace protesters who pose no threat to US security, from former investigative reporter James Bamford, author of Body of Secrets and the Post's Bill Arkin, who has revealed some 1500 incidents on his Early Warning blog and on NBC News.
Post-Election Iraq and the Future of Iraqi Oil
Long before September 11, and the Bush Administration's assertion that oil had nothing to do with the invasion that led to "regime change in Iraq," US policy makers were saying that Saddam Hussein's use of oil as a diplomatic weapon made that country a destabilizing influence to the flow of oil to the industrialized world. Controlled by American, French and British oil companies until they were nationalized in 1972, Iraq's oil reserves--still the second or third largest in the world, remain easily accessible. A recent report claims that some of Iraq's new leaders are already making deals that could lead to massive profits for US and British oil companies. Will Iraqis get a fair deal? Will the oil companies tie up their most important resource for years to come, or is Iraq too dangerous and unstable to interest foreign investors?