September 14th, 2009
09:52 PM ET

Prisoners held by U.S. in Afghanistan to get help with cases

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Barbara Starr and Adam Levine

The Obama administration is in the process of establishing new procedures that could allow prisoners to challenge their detentions at a U.S. facility in Afghanistan, according to Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman.

For the first time at the Bagram Air Base detention facility, detainees will be given representatives who will help them prepare their cases.

Under the new policy, which was decided in July, a first review of a detainee's status will come within 60 days of detention, Whitman explained. They will have a military person appointed as a "personal representative" who can shepherd them through the process and help gather witness statements, although it's not at all clear how that would happen.

Those already in detention will be given a personal representative to assist them in front of a review board for their appearances every six months.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Adam Levine • Afghanistan • Barbara Starr
February 20th, 2009
04:12 PM ET

Getting the Afghanistan message right

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/02/Obama.afghan/art.afghan.jpg caption="President Obama wants to add troops and increase aid to Afghanistan. "]

Adam Levine
CNN Supervising Producer

A funny thing happened as the White House tried a relatively low-key approach to announcing that it was adding 17,000 troops to Afghanistan. The military didn’t seem to be on board with the message.

The announcement by the Obama administration contrasted with how the Bush administration announced both its increase of troops in Iraq, the “surge,” and even a later addition of troops to Afghanistan last year. Both of those announcements were made in a speech from then president George Bush.

But the new administration was stuck – it knew it needed to get troops to Afghanistan to satisfy the immediate need to stabilize things, but it also knew it was not ready to announce what its strategy for Afghanistan was. You see, the administration has a review underway for a new, comprehensive strategy that looks at both the military and diplomatic needs for the war.


Filed under: Adam Levine • Afghanistan • Pentagon • President Barack Obama
January 27th, 2009
05:01 PM ET

The downside of procrastinating

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/27/gates.pakistan.afghanistan/art.gates2.afp.gi.jpg caption="Robert Gates testifies Tuesday before a Senate panel. He was wearing bandages from surgery he had on his arm."]

Adam Levine
CNN Supervising Producer

Amusing moment in today’s Senate Armed Services committee, Gates admitted that his procrastination on key decisions came back to bite him when he ended up staying on.

“As I focused on the wars these past two years, I ended up punting a number of procurement decisions that I believed would be more appropriately handled by my successor and a new administration. Well, as luck would have it, I am now the receiver of those punts – and in this game there are no fair catches,” Gates noted.

Filed under: Adam Levine • Pentagon • Robert Gates
October 28th, 2008
09:22 AM ET

Voting problems? Call us

Editor’s Note: Share your early voting experiences with CNN. Send your pictures, video, and iReports.

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Adam Levine
CNN Supervising Producer

This election, CNN is running a voter hotline. We are already getting calls from around the country about problems and concerns that voters are having as they try to register, vote absentee, early vote or get information.

The hotline has generated over 10,000 calls so far and we've reported on some of those problems both on CNN and on the CNN Political Ticker

Of the top issues, a third of all of the problems called are about registration issues. After that, the next highest category is integrity issues which pertains to concerns people have about making sure their votes count. Absentee ballot issues make up 15% of the calls, problems with voting machines 9.5% and accessing poll locations have generated 9% of the calls.

We are hearing problems from around the country.

Filed under: Adam Levine • Raw Politics • T1 • Voting issues