[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/15/pelosi.waterboarding/art.gingrich.gi.jpg caption="Newt Gingrich says Nancy Pelosi is a 'trivial politician, viciously using partisanship for the narrowest of purposes.' "]
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is engaging in a "despicable, dishonest and vicious political effort" to withhold what she knew about the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques, former Speaker Newt Gingrich said Friday.
Gingrich said Pelosi "lied to the House" when she earlier claimed that the CIA had never briefed her about the Bush administration's use of interrogation methods like waterboarding, which is considered torture by the current administration.
"I think that the House has an absolute obligation to open an inquiry, and I hope there will be a resolution to investigate her. And I think this is a big deal. I don't think the speaker of the House can lie to the country on national security matters," the Republican leader said in an interview with ABC Radio.
Pelosi has been under fire from critics who say she was fully briefed on the techniques in 2002 and 2003. On Thursday, the California Democrat accused CIA officials of misleading her, reiterating a claim that she was briefed on such techniques only once - in September 2002 - and that she was told at the time that the techniques were not being used.
They called themselves "Special" and ran their Northeast Baltimore drug operation with the precision of a Swiss watch, according to a federal prosecutor, who outlined the group's "absolutely unrelenting violence" Wednesday during opening statements in the trial of three city men accused of drug conspiracy and multiple murders – including that of a government witness.
"Special doesn't tolerate snitches," Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Dwyer said, then she promised to bring down the alleged gang by the very thing they supposedly hate: cooperators.
To prove their case, the government will rely largely on the testimony of Baltimore criminals, including Van Sneed, a convicted Bloods gang member who once appeared in the infamous underground DVD Stop Snitchin'. In the video, he calls snitches "cowards." He's facing life in prison for participating in a "racketeering enterprise," though his sentence could be reduced if he provides substantial cooperation.
Defense attorneys for the three defendants – Melvin Gilbert, 34; James Dinkins, 37; and Darron Goods, 24 – one by one pointed out the credibility issues with that kind of witness and what they said was a simple fact: There is no physical evidence linking the men to the crimes in the case.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/05/15/myanmar.swimmer/art.yettaw.jpg caption="Officials in Myanmar say this self-portrait was found on John Yettaw's digital camera."]
Three charges have been filed against a Missouri man who is accused of swimming across a lake and sneaking into the home of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi while she was under house arrest, a U.S. Embassy official said Friday.
A hearing for John Yettaw was held Friday at Insein Prison near Yangon, where Suu Kyi also is being held. The official said Yettaw is charged with immigration violations, trespassing into a restrictive area and contributing to Suu Kyi violating the conditions of her house arrest.
Yettaw's trial is scheduled for Monday.
On Thursday, a spokesman for Suu Kyi's political party said Yettaw was charged with two criminal counts: entering the country illegally and staying at a resident's home without government permission. Both charges would carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
It was not immediately known why there was a discrepancy in the charges.
Chuck Donovan and Teresa Donovan
Family Research Council
President Obama will be making his much-anticipated address at Notre Dame this weekend. As graduates of the University of Notre Dame (1974 and 1986), we look forward to hearing what he has to say. We hope, however, that the President, who has taken listening tours overseas, will be open to hearing from members of the Notre Dame community, like us, who strive to speak for a particular group of voiceless Americans.
Besides the two of us, four additional siblings, three brothers and a sister, also graduated from Notre Dame. As a close-knit family that shares the Catholic faith and deep personal values, we've talked about the Obama invitation and, to a man and woman, we regret that it was tendered to a politician whose agenda on life issues is diametrically opposed to those values and the faith that informs them. The bestowing of an honorary doctorate on the President aggravates the disappointment, as the university clearly could have foregone this recognition even as it continued its tradition of hosting American presidents at commencement exercises.
University officials rightly point out that Notre Dame is not a partisan institution. It is also true that the election of President Obama represents, both symbolically and substantively, a step forward and away from the history of racial bias that has long divided this nation. If the President speaks to Notre Dame students, as we hope he will, about the role Catholics played in the civil rights movement alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, he will both echo a profound theme of engagement that Notre Dame embraces and encourage others who, in our day, carry on the struggle. Such encouragement is especially needed among those who labor for the civil rights of unborn children.
Gene P. Bloch
CNN New York
CNNMoney.com was the first to report this morning that General Motors has notified 1,100 dealerships targeted to be shut down. The company has indicated up to 2,600 of its dealerships – or 42% – will be closed over the next year. Unlike Chrysler’s announcement Thursday which detailed a list of 789 dealers as part of filing in bankruptcy court, GM says it will not put out a master list of dealers that are hearing from the company today. As CNNMoney reports, metro area and suburban dealers are expected to feel the biggest hit.
GM has a conference call to discuss its strategy on noon today – it’s headed toward a June 1 restructuring deadline, and a Chapter 11 filing is looking increasingly likely.
No relief at the gas pumps – AAA reports regular unleaded rose 9-tenths of a cent to $2.29 a gallon, the 17TH straight increase. The average price is still 44% lower than last July.
In today’s Energy Fix, gas prices should go down if electric cars hit the market in large numbers. When that times comes, car shoppers will find the new vehicles look different than what’s on the road right now. The GM and Ford designers we talked to said that taking out the internal combustion engine and the cooling system that goes with it, a whole new world of design possibility opens up. Ford is even taking it’s inspiration from nature… fish and other animals!