The cover-up in Washington of possible Saudi ties to Al Qaeda and 9/11 continues.
The Treasury Department is now refusing to release the names of Saudi individuals and organizations that the U.S. has investigated for possible links to Al Qaeda and other similar groups.
Just a week ago the Treasury Department promised to give Senators the information, but yesterday the Department reversed itself and announced the data had become classified.
Yesterday Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, a Republican, threatened to subpoena the Treasury Department for the information.
The White House recently classified a 28-page section of the Congressional 9/11 report that dealt with Saudi ties to the Sept. 11 attacks.
It has also been revealed that a top Treasury official last week told Senate staff members that the State Department had intervened on a number of occasions to keep the Treasury Department from adding certain Saudi entities to its watchlist of terror suspects.
At least 10 people are dead and 70 more are injured in the Indonesian capital Jakarta after a car bomb exploded outside the American-run Marriott hotel. Police said it was likely the work of a suicide bomber.
The bombing occurred two days before a court was expected to issue a verdict in the trial of the key suspect in last fall’s bombing in Bali that killed over 200.
A senior Indonesian general, Adam Damiri, has been sentenced to three years in prison for “committing gross human rights violation in East Timor.”
In 1999 soldiers under Damiri’s command massacred at least1,000 Timorese shortly. The mass killings occurred at the time of East Timor’s vote for independence from Indonesia.
Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday dismissed as “gossip” reports that he and his deputy Richard Armitage planned to resign at the end of this term even if President Bush is elected. Powell however did not outright deny the reports that first appeared in the Washington Post.
The leader of the Philippines main Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, has died. The announcement was made yesterday even though Salamat Hashim died two weeks ago. Peace talks between the group and government are expected to continue.
This news from the campaign trail: Presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman yesterday warned against the Democratic Party from supporting extremist candidates such as former Vermont governor Howard Dean.
Citing Dean’s opposition to the war and his opposition to Bush’s tax cuts, Lieberman said Dean represents a “”ticket to nowhere.”
Largely unknown nationally a year ago, Dean has emerged as a surprise front-runner in the race. Dean’s photo graces the cover of both Time and Newsweek.
Lieberman’s comments mirror the message of the Democratic Leadership Council.
The chair of the council, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, said last week, “The administration is being run by the far right. The Democratic Party is in danger of being taken over by the far left.”
California Gov. Gray Davis yesterday asked the state’s Supreme Court to delay the gubernatorial recall until March to coincide with the primary election. Meanwhile with Davis’s approval rating below 25 percent the state’s Democratic Party leadership is now considering putting forward a candidate within the party in case voters oust Davis. Saturday is the deadline for candidates to enter the race.
The City of New York is launching a new program to review hundreds of unsolved sex crimes using DNA profiles in a program titled the “John Doe Indictment Project.”
The City plans to file charges against sex abusers based on the DNA evidence even before they have linked the DNA to a suspect or before they have arrested a suspect in the crime. This will allow the city to potentially try hundreds of cases before the 10-year statute of limitations runs out.
The city will begin by reviewing 600 cases from nine years ago.
Critics of the plan, including criminal defense attorneys, say the program would essentially skirt statute of limitations regulations.