FUBAR

An election of issues or skills?

As we’ve been celebrating this month what remarkable people our country’s founders were, it’s tempting to wonder what they would think of how we’re handling their legacy.

They would undoubtedly be thunderstruck that a man of color is in serious contention to be the next president, although some of them might think it certainly has taken us a long time to get to this point.

Mandela no longer a terrorist

For four decades, the United States officially branded Nelson Mandela a terrorist because of his association with the African National Congress in the fight to end apartheid in South Africa.

No privacy at Passport Agency

As America celebrates its birthday, new disclosures showcase just how disposable privacy has become in what used to be the home of the brave and the land of the free.

An investigation into practices of the U.S. Passport service show government employees routinely snoop into the private files of celebrities, sports figures and other prominent Americans.

Should marriage be saved?

Modern journalism should adopt the acronym NAOS (Not an Onion Story), to identify actual news that can’t otherwise be distinguished from outright satire. A perfect candidate is the report that Sens. Larry Craig and David Vitter have co-sponsored the Marriage Protection Amendment.

Fireworks are a Constitutional right

With patriotism at high ebb around the Fourth of July, and the Second Amendment with perfect timing having been confirmed as an individual right to own guns, I believe it is the hour when we the people must assert our ancient right to keep and bear fireworks.

U.S. taught Chinese torture techniques

American military trainers taught Chinese Communist torture techniques at a glass at Guantanamo Bay in 2002, using a chart that was copied verbatum from a 1957 Air Force study of techiques used by the enemy during the Korean war.

Disclosure of the class shows just how accepted the use of torture has become in U.S. treatment prisoners and shows the Bush Administration continues to lie when it claims such techniques are not authorized.

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin said every American would be "shocked" at the revelations.

No longer a ‘person of interest’

After almost seven years, former biological warfare scientist Steven Hatfill is finally, in the words of one of his lawyers, "an ex-person of interest." He and his legal team will also collect a cash payout of $2.825 million from the Justice department and the department will also buy Hatfill an annuity that will pay him $150,000 a year in recognition of the fact that its heavy-handed

A giant step backward

I often wonder if Antonin Scalia might not be more comfortable in another century, past not future, one not touched by the miseries and dangers of urbanization. I certainly think we would be if he were.

U.S. steps up convert ops in Iran

U.S. congressional leaders agreed late last year to President George W. Bush’s funding request for a major escalation of covert operations against Iran aimed at destabilizing its leadership, according to a report in The New Yorker magazine published online on Sunday.

‘Poor planning…lack of vision’

US military operations in Iraq following the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein suffered from poor planning and lack of vision, according to an army report released Sunday.

The 696-page report, called "On Point II: Transition to the New Campaign," is the army’s historical account of the 18 months following President George W. Bush’s declaration of the end of major combat in May 2003.

Military leaders and civilian officials were fixated on military triumph and removing Saddam from power, but paid too little attention to the phases that would follow, said the report posted on the army’s combined arms center website.