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Still taking heat


Sen. Pat Roberts continues to take heat from Democrats over his decision not to pursue an investigation into the treatment of terror suspects. An article in [The Hill][1] - "the newspaper for and about the U.S. Congress" - today says that frustrated Democats on the "traditionally nonpartisan" Senate Intelligence Committee (Roberts is chairman) may turn it into another Republicans-vs.-Democrats playground."That nonpartisanship gives Republicans only a one-vote advantage over Democrats," writes Alexander Bolton. "But it also gives the majority staff director unique control over almost the entire committee. Some Democrats say sticking to the present arrangement ties them to what they believe is the GOP's feckless oversight of intelligence."Most of the article is devoted to inside-baseball type descriptions of parliamentary maneuvering within the committee. But the reason for those maneuverings is of broader public interest. "Democrats believe Roberts is attempting to stymie an investigation of detainees to shield the administration from embarrassment. Revelations of the treatment of prisoners in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison was a major embarrassment in Bush's first term, and recent reports of the deaths of detainees under CIA control, the rendition of prisoners to countries that use torture as an interrogation tool, and the existence of ghost detainees threaten to become a growing scandal in the second term. The Hill says that Roberts has defended his decision by saying other agencies are investigating."During a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars last month, Roberts defended his decision not to take up a formal investigation of allegations of detainee abuse, saying, 'Congress created the CIA's Office of Inspector General and the Department of Justice to conduct these types of investigations in the first place. Let's allow them to do their work.'" Nonetheless, Roberts role in the matter is attracting attention from around the world. [Aljazeera.com][2] - the sometimes controversial Arab news service - today published a Reuters' wire story taking note of Roberts' resistance to calls for investigation."Republican Senator Pat Roberts, the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, is resisting Democratic demands the committee investigate reports of CIA torture of detainees and says a CIA probe now underway is sufficient," Reuters reported. "They are not torturing any detainee,' he said last month."How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][3] [1]: http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/040505/roberts.html [2]: http://www.aljazeera.com/cgi-bin/news_service/middle_east_full_story.asp?service_id=7754 [3]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed


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