The Daily Muck

June 26, 2008 10:40 a.m.

Circumstances should be looking up for Gitmo detainee Huzaifa Parhat: A recent Supreme Court ruling allows detainees at Guantanamo Bay the right to challenge their imprisonment, and an appeals court ruled Parhat was never an “enemy combatant” in the first place and was illegally detained. But despite the apparent good news, Parhat’s lawyer says “I’m not allowed to tell him” of his impending freedom. (Think Progress)

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Iraq are responsible for more U.S.-troop deaths than any other weapon. Since 2003, the Pentagon has spent $10 billion devising ways to disarm them. Though IED attacks are down by 88 percent since May, bureaucratic logjams have caused obstacles to a surefire solution. (Politico)

Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) is taking fire from John McCain for a provision in the 2008 emergency supplemental that appears to be the result of Air Force lobbying. The provision would give a military service secretary or the head of another federal agency the right to veto or postpone a money-saving initiative that would require branches of the military to consolidate. An internal investigation of the Air Force has been requested. (The Hill)A report funded by Congress and the Department of Homeland Security finds the department in charge of counterterrorism is woefully behind in preparation for the upcoming presidential transition. The report warns that the next president must be ready to promptly submit names for aides and other department positions in order to adequately prepare Homeland Security. (Washington Post)

European governments in Sweden, Germany and Italy, among others, have not acted in accordance with international law in the roles they’ve played in covert CIA rendition and detention programs spearheaded by the U.S., says Amnesty International. The human rights organization has released a report bemoaning the various governments for blindly accepting illegal U.S. foreign policy. (Financial Times)

Jack Abramoff’s ex-partner had his prison sentence cut in half yesterday for cooperation with investigators. Adam Kidan worked with Abramoff on his illegal Florida casino boat operation. Kidan will now serve just under three years. (Associated Press)

President Bush’s economic stimulus package promised to U.S. citizens involved rebate checks to boost the lagging economy. Yet about $2 billion in checks have been intercepted by the Treasury Department to pay bills such as child support and back taxes. (USA Today)

California Attorney General filed suit yesterday against Countrywide Financial and its founder following yesterday’s news that the Illinois Attorney General is also planning to sue. Countrywide, which also made news yesterday due to its shareholders backing a merger with Bank of America, is taking heat for its deceptive business practices which have done “great harm to individuals and the community”. (LA Times)

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon, embroiled in a public corruption investigation, is promising she will survive. Prosecutors are looking into the possibility of bribery from a developer in the way of fur coats and airplane tickets funneled to Dixon. The developer, Ronald H. Lipscomb, in turn had a hand in many city projects, though the connections are all alleged. (Associated Press)

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