‘Living in hell:’ 14,000 detainees held in secret by U.S.


In the few short years since the first shackled Afghan shuffled off to Guantanamo, the U.S. military has created a global network of overseas prisons, its islands of high security keeping 14,000 detainees beyond the reach of established law.

Disclosures of torture and long-term arbitrary detentions have won rebuke from leading voices including the U.N. secretary-general and the U.S. Supreme Court. But the bitterest words come from inside the system, the size of several major U.S. penitentiaries.

"It was hard to believe I’d get out," Baghdad shopkeeper Amjad Qassim al-Aliyawi told The Associated Press after his release — without charge — last month. "I lived with the Americans for one year and eight months as if I was living in hell."

Captured on battlefields, pulled from beds at midnight, grabbed off streets as suspected insurgents, tens of thousands now have passed through U.S. detention, the vast majority in Iraq.

A case study of principle vs. power

Media General News Service

Look at the way the White House handled Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and the way Senate Democrats are treating Sen. Joseph Lieberman. You will find fresh footprints in the ancient struggle of principle vs. power.

Bush running low on foreign policy options


When President Bush addresses world leaders at the United Nations this week, he will have fewer options and lower expectations on almost every major foreign policy front than a year ago.

The United States is relying more readily on international institutions and alliances for help in Iran, Lebanon, North Korea, Sudan and elsewhere. Yet, according to analysts, the Bush administration has less room to maneuver.

Public financing? They don’t want no stinkin’ public financing


Those three dollars you’ve set aside in your tax returns as a good deed toward clean presidential elections? Forget about it. Nobody wants them anymore.

Strategists from both parties estimate the White House race in 2008 could cost each nominee $500 million — far more than the Presidential Election Campaign Fund can afford. As a result, this next presidential campaign could mark the first time in 30 years that the Democratic and Republican nominees turn down the fund’s millions in both the primary and the general elections.

Bush, GOP Senators continue standoff over terrorism bill

An increasingly defiant President George W. Bush refuses to budge in his battle to get Congress to approve the White House plan for detaining, interrogating, prosecuting and — some feel, torturing suspected terrorists. Rebellious GOP Senators, however, though, aren’t backing away from their plan either.