FBI probes Iraq IG misconduct

The FBI is investigating the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, Justice Department officials said, following allegations of misconduct from former employees.

The investigation of Stuart Bowen involves possible electronic tampering, including alleged efforts by the inspector general to go through e-mails of employees in his office, said two officials close to the inquiry Thursday. It is being handled by the FBI’s Washington field office, according to law enforcement officials, who like the first officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

The gypsy children of Beirut

I grew up in Warwick, R.I., and, while attending elementary school, I was cast as an orphan in a production of the musical “Oliver!”

I can probably speak for most of my cast mates and say the production was our first exposure to Charles Dickens’ novel “Oliver Twist,” about a young orphan by that name.

What’s your carbon footprint?

Carbon is the new guilt.

And if you don’t feel guilty about the carbon you exude, thus threatening the penguins, the polar bears, lower-lying nations, not to mention prime beachfront real estate, do-good groups will soon be around to see that you do.

The alcohol cure

“We are financing a war against ourselves,” writes Robert Zubrin, nuclear engineer and author of a new book responding to the distressing fact that Americans and Europeans are sending trillions of dollars to militant Islamists whose goal is our destruction.

Tolerance cannot be tolerated

From the Department of Flogging Dead Horses, I offer one last thought on Mitt Romney’s JFK moment, when he tried to ease the concerns of conservative voters concerning his Mormon religion. Actually, the horse I want to trot out is of a different stripe than the one much commented upon by some of America’s great pontificators.

Destroying tapes violated court order

The Bush administration was under court order not to discard evidence of detainee torture and abuse months before the CIA destroyed videotapes that revealed some of its harshest interrogation tactics.

Normally, that would force the government to defend itself against obstruction allegations. But the CIA may have an out: its clandestine network of overseas prisons.

While judges focused on the detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and tried to guarantee that any evidence of detainee abuse would be preserved, the CIA was performing its toughest questioning half a world away. And by the time President Bush publicly acknowledged the secret prison system, interrogation videotapes of two terrorism suspects had been destroyed.

Torture doesn’t work

News that the CIA destroyed tapes of interrogations during which al Qaeda operatives were tortured has elicited little public reaction.

How Democrats can win the war

“The Democrats have missed a bet,” said my friend, the Tall Man, as we slurped down some coffee during our weekly political discussion. “They are crazily pretending that the enormous success of the U.S. troop surge in Iraq doesn’t matter when they could be taking credit for it.”

“How so?” I asked.

Most see Iraq war as mistake, failure

Growing numbers of people think the U.S. is making progress in Iraq, but most remain convinced the invasion was a mistake and the war will be judged a failure, an Associated Press-Ipsos poll showed Monday.

With U.S. and Iraqi casualties dropping steadily in recent months amid other signs of progress, 50 percent said this year’s troop increase has not helped stabilize the country and 47 percent said it has. The outlook was noticeably more positive than in September, when 58 percent said the beefed-up forces had not calmed things and 36 percent said they had.

We shouldn’t export torture

Torture — or enhanced interrogation techniques, if you wish — is not part of the American ethos. It is, in fact, forbidden by law and treaty.