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?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?