The Daily Muck


Though war crimes charges against five Guantanamo Bay prisoners were dismissed Tuesday, Mohamed Jawad, the detainee whose case prompted the resignation of a military prosecutor last month, is still being held. The former prosecutor, Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, has accused the government of withholding evidence from the defense that might clear Jawad, who was picked up in Afghanistan as a teenager. (ProPublica/Salon)

The Justice Department has declined
to pursue the prosecution of two former Interior Department officials accused of corruption, citing inadequate evidence. In a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey, John Conyers (D-MI), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, expressed suggested the decision was motivated by a desire to “run out the clock on the many controversies surrounding this administration.” (Washington Post/Press Release)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture inadequately handles discrimination cases, according to a government report out yesterday. The study, issued by the Government Accountability Office, pointed to inaccurate data and a large backlog of complaints, and suggested the creation of an oversight board for the agency. (Washington Post)Long lines at early voting booths in Florida have prompted some to point the finger at the state’s Republican party, which enacted new laws in 2005 that cut back on the number of polling sites and their hours of operation. (McClatchy)

Florida Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart has secured a $2 million government contract for Phoenix Worldwide Industries, a company that delivered intelligence equipment to Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela in 2001. Diaz-Balart, an outspoken critic of Chavez, declined to comment on the earmark or whether he knew of PWI past business. (Miami Herald)

The financial records of Texas legislators are now available online, thanks to Texas Watchdog, a non-partisan organization, which scanned the paper filings. The online availability comes after years of resistance from the Texas state legislature. (AP)

With just 12 days until Nov. 4, a Georgia suit about voting laws remains unsettled. The case, brought by civil rights groups, seeks to stop efforts to match voters to a citizenship database. The practice has already mistakenly flagged at least one person, Jose Morales, who registered this year after becoming a citizen in 2007. (Atlanta Journal Consitution)

The U.S. Treasury is keeping mum on how much it will pay New York Mellon to handle parts of the $700 billion federal bailout plan. (ProPublica)

Sarah Palin’s children represent Alaska when they accompany her to functions, the governor’s aides said yesterday. The statement responded to reports that the governor used more than $20,000 government funds to pay for family travel expenses to events that her children had not initially received invitations. (AP)

Troy Davis, who is scheduled to be executed in Georgia on Monday for the 1989 killing of a police officer, is seeking to file another appeal, after the Supreme Court declined to hear the case last week. Since the Savannah resident’s trial in 1989, seven of the prosecution’s nine witnesses have recanted their testimony. The case has drawn international attention. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Text messages from Christine Beatty,
a former Detroit official accused of having an affair with the city’s ex-mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, can be used in court, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled yesterday. Beatty pleaded not guilty to charges that she lied under oath about the relationship last year. (AP)