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"Declaring that the CIA is 'not torturing detainees,' the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Thursday that he saw no reason for the panel to investigate allegations that the agency abused prisoners or transferred them to countries that engage in torture," the [Los Angeles Times][1] - and a host of other media - reports this morning.That chairman? Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, of course."'Let me assure you the Senate Intelligence Committee is well aware of what the CIA is doing overseas in the defense of our nation and they are not torturing detainees,' Roberts said in a speech in Washington. "He described documented cases of abuse as isolated incidents, saying that 'a small group of individuals may have acted on their own in violation of the rules.' Roberts said the committee would open its own inquiry only if it found 'any shortcomings' in investigations already underway at the CIA and the Justice Department."Roberts made all kind of news during his speech at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. He also suggested that a probe into whether the Bush Administration misused prewar intelligence about Iraq -- a probe that had been promised before the Nocember election -- was no longer a priority for his committee.[Financial Times][2] reports: "Senator Pat Roberts, who heads the committee, said on Thursday he was satisfied administration officials had accurately portrayed what turned out to be flawed intelligence claiming the regime of Saddam Hussein possessed mass destruction weapons. "'The bottom line was they believed the intelligence, and intelligence was wrong,' the Kansas Republican told an audience at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. "The closing of the Senate investigation will effectively leave all blame for the failures with the professional intelligence community, rather than with political appointees. "'What they have done is a bait-and-switch,' said Steven Aftergood, an intelligence expert with the Federation of American Scientists. 'I think it's a betrayal of the oversight process.'More about Roberts' speech can be found at [The Washington Times][3] and [Reuters.][4]Other links today:Sam Brownback links [(New York Daily News) Pols' purity XXX'd out:][5] "Some lawmakers who slam porn as a scourge to society got big bucks from corporations that profit from adult videos and phone sex, a watchdog group said yesterday. Among the biggest recipients of such campaign contributions were some of the best-known champions of moral values, including Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and House Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Texas), according to Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington."[(Reuters) Evangelicals See 'Religion Gap' for Democrats:][6] "In a show of political muscle, the evangelicals attracted speakers from the Senate -- Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, and Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat -- to a luncheon where the group's broader agenda was emphasized. ... Brownback spoke of reaching across partisan lines for universal topics, such as rights for the disabled."[(St. Petersburg Times)Schiavo's case lands in Congress:][7] "Just eight days before the court-ordered deadline to remove (Terri) Schiavo's feeding tube, Republicans on Capitol Hill rallied around the case that has become the cause celebre of conservative and religious groups. ... Sen. Sam Brownback, a Kansas Republican, said he hopes for Democratic support and has heard no direct opposition. He said recent Democratic attempts to reach religious voters, who overwhelmingly voted Republican in the last election, could translate into Democratic cooperation."[(New York Times) Some GOP Senators Resist Proposed Medicaid Cuts:][8] "President Bush's request that Congress slow the growth of Medicaid, a centerpiece of the White House budget for 2006, is drawing opposition from some Senate Republicans, who are caught between their desire to support the president and pressure from home-state governors resisting the cuts. ... "'I am not sure this is the right one, but you are going to have to have some cuts to entitlements,' said Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas. 'We do have a top line number that I think we need to get down. I think there will be reallocation efforts.'"Dennis Moore links [(BET.com)Defense Misses Deadline for Troop Payback Plan:][9] "Several congressional leaders want to know why the U.S. government has not reimbursed troops who purchased protective armor, safety equipment and other items they needed while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. ... Others who have called Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to task for his failure to establish a plan for reimbursing the troops include Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-Minn.), Rep. Dennis Moore (D-Kan.), and Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.)"Jerry Moran links [(eTrucker.com) U.S. House OKs permanent agricultural exemption:][10] "The U. S. House of Representatives passed an amendment today, March 10, that would make permanent the agricultural exemption to the federal hours of service regulations. ... The amendment was offered by U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., and was attached to H.R. 3, the Highway Reauthorization Bill, by a 257-167 vote." How to contact As always, you can find information to contact members of the Kansas congressional delegation [here.][11] [1]: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-abuse11mar11,1,3467986.story?coll=la-headlines-world [2]: http://news.ft.com/cms/s/9aeaab52-91ba-11d9-8a7a-00000e2511c8,dwp_uuid=c1a5b968-e1ed-11d7-81c6-0820abe49a01.html [3]: http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/20050310-060505-9514r.htm [4]: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=7871541 [5]: http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/288974p-247250c.html [6]: http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=politicsNews&storyID=7870449 [7]: http://www.sptimes.com/2005/03/11/Tampabay/Schiavo_s_case_lands_.shtml [8]: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/11/politics/11budget.html [9]: http://www.bet.com/News/tlscott_reimbursement.htm?wbc_purpose=Basic&WBCMODE=PresentationUnpublished&Referrer=%7B03CE5360-2620-42CB-AD7E-77E4249C5FB7%7D [10]: http://www.etrucker.com/apps/news/article.asp?id=46654 [11]: http://ljworld.com/extra/where_to_write.html#fed


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