- Making News: Hakim Warns Sunni Arabs on Changes to Constitution
Iraqi Sunnis participated in last month's elections in part because of promises that the new parliament could amend the constitution. Yesterday, Iraq's most powerful Shiite leader rejected such change, a call that top Sunnis say could divide the country. Juan Cole is Professor of Modern Middle East History at the University of Michigan and runs the authoritative website, JuanCole.com.
- Reporter's Notebook: General in Abu Ghraib Scandal Refuses to Implicate Himself
Since the revelations of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib, seven low-ranking soldiers have taken most of the blame, but their lawyers claim they were following orders. Now Major General Geoffrey Miller, who established procedures at the Baghdad prison has declined to testify in the trial of a trainer whose dogs were used to frighten prisoners, invoking his right not to incriminate himself. Josh White reported the story in today's Washington Post.
Presidential Power in Wartime
In today's final round of questions, Senate Democrats pressed Judge Samuel Alito about presidential power, especially in wartime. Torture, domestic spying and the war in Iraq itself raise constitutional issues that could find their way to the US Supreme Court. One issue that hasn't been raised--but which has become part of the public debate--is the power to declare war itself. Does the Constitution really mean that only Congress can declare war or can the President do what he wants to protect the country? Can a President sign a law, but then mitigate its effects by declaring that he intends to enforce it selectively? We'll hear conflicting answers to those and other questions from legal experts, political scientists and a former member of the Reagan and Bush, Sr. Justice Departments.