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The Daily Muck

Private security firms in Iraq should brace themselves for unannounced house guests. Iraq’s interior minister just announced that will authorize raids on the security firms to ensure compliance with weapons licensing. This decision follows Blackwater’s massacre in September and General Petraeus’ inability to account for more than 190,000 guns that disappeared under his command. (NY Times)

Social and government agencies are predicting a “surge” in homeless vets from the Iraq war. Whereas it took almost a decade before the problem of homeless Vietnam war vets became a visible part of the nation’s homeless population, some experts assert that the present war will unleash a "tsunami" sooner rather than later. (USA Today, NY Times)

The Bush administration has silenced a Marine Corps lawyer seeking to present evidence of “severe techniques” used to interrogate (sub. req.) a terrorist. Not only would the exposure of the harsh interrogation techniques be embarrassing, but their use is said to have derailed the suspect's prosecution. (Wall Street Journal)

The Bush administration is looking for a “slam dunk” in the first contested case at the war crimes tribunal. However, the trial of a Canadian citizen who was sent to Guantanamo at the age of fifteen can’t even proceed until it is decided whether the defendant is merely an “enemy combatant” or an “unlawful enemy combatant.” (LA Times)

The Department of Defense continues to sprawl. Now, thanks to an earmark from Rep. James Clyburn (D-SC), the Department is putting (sub. req.) $3 million to a golf tournament. Actually, the money goes to a non-profit that hosts a series of tournaments, but its nice to see the DoD supporting athletics. (Roll Call)

The House ethics task force has been notably silent (sub. req.) about its overhaul recommendations, despite the fact that the group's suggestions are already six months overdue. But reform advocates are already disappointed with the little bit of information that has leaked out, which suggests that reform will fall short of meaningful change. Notably, it looks like the task force will not recommend subpoena power for the new, outside ethics body or the ability for outside organizations to bring complaints. (Roll Call)

Progress overnight on deployment of new commenting system. We hope to move into a short beta-testing phase shortly.