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Archive for Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Briefly

September 28, 2004

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Denver

Investigation sought in re-enlistment tactics

A Colorado lawmaker called Monday for an investigation into allegations that Iraqi war veterans near the end of their duty were given a choice between re-enlisting or being sent back to Iraq.

Democratic Rep. Diana Degette, in a letter to House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., asked him to look into whether the "White House or civilian Pentagon officials are pressuring the military to use coercive tactics to get soldiers to re-enlist in order to maintain the force levels necessary to fight the war in Iraq and war on terror."

According to reports in the Rocky Mountain News and The Denver Post, soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team were told they faced reassignment to units expected to be deployed to Iraq or Korea if they did not either re-enlist by the end of the month or extend their duty until the end of 2007.

Philadelphia

Letters for sale reveal different side to Reagan

A collection of 41 letters Ronald Reagan sent to a fellow actor-turned-politician has been put up for sale, including several that reveal a harder edge to the late president than he usually showed in public.

In one letter to George Murphy, Reagan dismisses the nation's biggest newspapers as biased liberal distributors of "daily poison."

In others he offers help in "deep-sixing" Sen. Edward Kennedy, "the playboy from Massachusetts" and accuses Walter Mondale of "lying through his teeth."

Reagan and Murphy appeared together in the 1943 screen version of Irving Berlin's musical "This is the Army." Murphy served as a U.S. senator for California from 1965 to 1971. He died in 1992.

The Raab Collection, a brokerage of rare manuscripts, said Monday it hoped the latest letters would sell for nearly $250,000.

Washington, D.C.

Tobacco industry wants memo withheld

Tobacco industry lawyers asked an appeals court Monday to keep a potentially damaging memo out of the federal government's ongoing racketeering trial against cigarette makers.

Justice Department lawyers have been seeking the 1990 memo for two years.

The memo by London-based lawyer Andrew Foyle advises an Australian subsidiary of British American Tobacco Co. on whether the company should keep internal paperwork in light of increasing litigation.

British American Tobacco owns Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp., which recently was acquired by R.J. Reynolds.

The government is seeking $280 billion in earnings cigarette makers allegedly earned through fraud.

Virginia

American to be freed from wartime capture

A U.S. citizen captured in Afghanistan and held without charges since late 2001 as an enemy combatant is scheduled to be released today and flown to Saudi Arabia, where he grew up, his lawyer said.

Yaser Esam Hamdi, whose case led to a Supreme Court decision limiting the president's powers to indefinitely hold wartime combatants, will not be charged with any crime under an agreement with federal officials made public Monday.

The agreement requires Hamdi to give up his American citizenship, renounce terrorism and not sue the U.S. government about his captivity.

Hamdi, who was born in Louisiana in 1980 to Saudi parents, was captured on a battlefield in Afghanistan in 2001.

He contends he had been trying to get out of Afghanistan when he was captured.

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