U.S. Government

ICE Wins by Failing with "Scheduled Departure"

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) "Scheduled Departure" program"I think this proves the only method that works is enforcement," concluded U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official Jim Hayes. He was referring to "Scheduled Departure," a controversial ICE program that encouraged undocumented immigrants to deport themselves.


Meet the Candidates: Congressional primaries in Florida and Alaska Tuesday

In Alaska (see all candidates), two members of Congress, both Republicans and both under federal investigation, face formidable primary challenges Tuesday. Down in Florida there are primary candidates running in each of Florida's 25 congressional districts (see all candidates).

Alaska Rep. Don Young is facing two Republican challengers: State Representative Gabrielle LeDoux and Lieutenant Governor Sean Parnell, who is backed by the much of the state party's establishment. On the Democratic side, former State House Minority Leader Ethan Berkowitz and Diane Benson, who nearly beat Young in 2006, are running.

It's a little unclear, but Young may be under a Department of Justice investigation for a $10 million earmark benefitting one of his campaign contributors in Florida that was mysteriously inserted into a bill after it was passed. However, Young is definitely under federal investigation for his connections to the same oil company bribery scandal that ensnared Sen. Ted Stevens (R) in corruption charges earlier this month.

Stevens is facing his own tough primary challenge from a raft of Republican candidates including Dave Cuddy, Jerry Heikes, Rick Sikma, Ray Metcalfe and Vic Vickers. On the Democratic side, running are Nels Anderson, Rocky Caldero, Frank Vondersaar and Mark Begich, the front runner. And we'd be remiss to leave out Libertarian David Hase, Veterans Party of Alaska candidate Ted Gianoutsos and Alaska Independence candidate Bob Bird.

Turnout appears light in Florida, which is still enduring Hurricane Fay-caused blackouts and has no statewide races on the ballot.

Documents Reveal Intelligence "Fixing" Before Iraq War

Prior to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Bush administration officials exaggerated what U.S. intelligence agencies were reporting about Iraqi weapons, according to Congressional investigations. But even before that exaggeration, the intelligence reports had been skewed by an administration eager for war, according to recently declassified documents.


Meet the Candidates: Winners of the Congressional Primaries in Washington and Wyoming

(For a full list of candidates, see the Washington and Wyoming portals.)

By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas

Washington’s controversial new primary system was put to the test yesterday, as voters across the state could vote for candidates from any political party. The top two finishers will advance to the general election, and in every congressional district voters chose one Republican and one Democrat. Those results set up a rematch for one of the most closely watched races in the country. Wyoming voters, meanwhile, used traditional primary elections to try to define the November ballot for two Senate races and the state’s only House seat. However, one race was almost too close to call.

In Washington’s 8th congressional district, Rep. Dave Reichert (R) will once again face Darcy Burner on November 4, following their close election battle in 2006. Under the state’s new primary system, the top-two finishers are placed on the general election ballot, regardless of party affiliation. About 93 percent of district 8 voters picked either Reichert or Burner, with three other candidates receiving the remaining votes. Reichert pulled in 45 percent to Burner’s 42, and the slim margin ensures the race will continue to be a battle through November.

Wyoming’s voters had three federal races on the ballot Tuesday: both Sens. Mike Enzi (R) and John Barrasso (R) are up for election, and the seat being vacated by Republican Rep. Barbara Cubin is being contested as well. Enzi will face Democrat Chris Rothfuss come November, while Gary Trauner will take another shot at the House seat he narrowly lost to Cubin in 2006; he faces former state treasurer Cynthia Lummis (R) this year.

Click through the jump for complete primary results.

Jed Babbin: The Pentagon's Most Prolific Pundit

Jed BabbinThe morning of June 20, 2006, an email message circulated amongst U.S. Defense Department officials.

"Jed Babbin, one of our military analysts, is hosting the Michael Medved nationally syndicated radio show this afternoon. He would like to see if General [George W.] Casey would be available for a phone interview," the Pentagon staffer wrote. "This would be a softball interview and the show is 8th or 9th in the nation."

Why would the Pentagon help set up a radio interview? And how did they know that the interview would be "softball"?

From early 2002 to April 2008, the Defense Department offered talking points, organized trips to places such as Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, and gave private briefings to a legion of retired military officers working as media pundits. The Pentagon's military analyst program, a covert effort to promote a positive image of the Bush administration's wartime performance, was a multi-level campaign involving quite a few colorful characters.

Flipping through the over 8,000 pages of documents released in connection with the program, one Pentagon pundit arguably steals the spotlight: Jed Babbin.


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