Quick Takes

Dan Froomkin
Copyright 2010
Sunday, January 9, 2011; 6:11 PM

Via thinkprogress.org, Ian Pannell reports for BBC News: "Allegations of abuse and neglect at a US detention facility in Afghanistan have been uncovered by the BBC. Former detainees have alleged they were beaten, deprived of sleep and threatened with dogs at the Bagram military base. The BBC interviewed 27 former inmates of Bagram around the country over a period of two months. The Pentagon has denied the charges and insisted that all inmates in the facility are treated humanely." I missed this last week, but it's worth a read. Joseph L. Galloway writes in a commentary for McClatchy Newspapers: "There was one thing Obama absolutely had to do, even before tackling an economic meltdown and the Wall Street and big bank rip-offs: He had to reassure Americans that we all live under the rule of law; that no one by virtue of holding the highest offices in the land, or having the biggest bank account, is above the law. It was incumbent on new President Obama to step back and let justice be done. Let the investigators do their job, Not only to let justice be done but let justice be seen to be done. But no. He said he wanted to focus on the future, not revisit the past." Spencer Ackerman writes in the Washington Independent: "The task force charged with fleshing out President Obama???s ban on torture in interrogations is likely to recommend the creation of small, mixed-agency teams for interviewing the most important terrorist targets. Representing an implicit demotion of the CIA, which currently has responsibility for interrogating high-level terrorists, the teams would report jointly to the attorney general and the director of national intelligence, according to officials familiar with the proposal." Spencer S. Hsu writes in The Washington Post: "Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced yesterday that she will kill a controversial Bush administration program to expand the use of spy satellites by domestic law enforcement and other agencies." Scott Wilson writes in The Washington Post: "President Obama has decided to return a U.S. ambassador to Syria after an absence of more than four years, marking a significant step toward engaging an influential Arab nation long at odds with the United States." Lydia Saad writes for Gallup: "Public confidence in the presidency has risen by 25 points over the past year... The percentage of Americans saying they have a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the presidency has in fact doubled since June 2008, from 26% to 51%." ESPN reports: "President Barack Obama plans to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the All-Star Game at Busch Stadium in St. Louis on July 14." Motoko Rich writes in the New York Times: "Vice President Dick Cheney has signed a deal with an imprint of Simon Schuster to write a memoir about his life in politics and his service in four presidential administrations... A person familiar with the negotiations said Mr. Cheney would receive around $2 million for his book."

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