US officials tasked with helping rebuild Iraq as part of President George W. Bush’s new strategy for the war-ravaged country admitted it will take “a very long time” to finish the job.
Bush’s plan, unveiled last week, focused on a twin “surge” of fresh US troops to tamp down rampant violence and of US civilians to man an expanded network of “Provincial Reconstruction Teams” (PRTs) around the country.
Two weeks after the U.S. Senate convened with Democrats and Republicans vowing to work together for the public good, they bitterly split on Wednesday over how to clean up the scandal-rocked U.S. Congress.
The Democratic-led Senate failed to end a Republican procedural roadblock that has stalled a bipartisan bill to revamp the Senate’s ethics and lobbying rules.
On a 51-46 vote, the Senate fell 14 short of the 65 votes needed to end more than a week of debate and move toward a vote on passage of the sweeping measure.
One of the 14 “high value” detainees transferred last year from secret CIA prisons to the U.S. military camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, says in a letter to his wife she should not dwell on the thought of his return, The Washington Post reported on Thursday.
“If I come back, it will be a miracle of God,” terrorism suspect Majid Khan, 26, says in the handwritten letter to his Pakistani wife, published on an Urdu language Web site operated by the BBC, the newspaper reported.
The opposition-controlled US Congress is to hear from retired generals on military options in Iraq, as sentiment against the war mounts following President George W. Bush’s announcement that more troops are going to the region.
The retired generals testifying at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Thursday include Joseph Hoar, who headed the US Central command in the 1990s, former National Security Agency director William Odom, and former NATO chief Wesley Clark.
Clark, a 2004 Democratic Party presidential hopeful, and Odom have been critical of the Bush policies in Iraq.
The Bush administration has agreed to shift course and let a secret but independent panel of federal judges oversee the government’s controversial domestic spying program.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court will have final say in approving wiretaps on communications involving people with suspected terror links, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said Wednesday in a letter to the leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee.