Today's Papers

No Gitmo North

The New York Times leads with Canada’s Supreme Court ruling striking down the use of secret testimony to indefinitely imprison foreigners as possible terror suspects. The Washington Post leads with an aggressive fund-raising push by congressional Democrats. The Los Angeles Times’ lede describes a growing rift over “de-Baathification reform.” The Wall Street Journal’s world-wide newsbox leads with an Iraq catch-all, including the uproar over the detention by the United States of the son of a top Shiite leader.

The unanimous Canadian Supreme Court decision says “before the state can detain people for significant periods of time, it must accord them a fair judicial process.” One of the defendants in the case boiled it down to this: The court “has said no to Guantánamo North in Canada.” The Times emphasizes the “striking difference” from the current legal climate in the United States, where just this week, a federal appeals court upheld Congress’ action stripping the American courts of authority to hear challenges to the indefinite detention of foreign terror suspects at Gitmo.

While the WP stuffs the Canada story on A10, it goes A1 with the Democrats’ early fund-raising blitz, which is designed to bring millions of dollars into party coffers to help keep control of Congress. Several committee chairs are the stars of upcoming big ticket fund-raisers, and late next month—for the suggested contribution of $28,500 per couple—there’s an event featuring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and 10 committee chairs. Sure, the Post points out, Republicans have long and unabashedly trotted out their own powerful committee chairs, and the promise of access to them, to raise big bucks from lobbyists and interest groups. But it was Democrats who campaigned against the “culture of corruption” and “selling access” in the November elections.

The LAT reports the Bush administration is running out of patience with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Shiite parliament’s foot-dragging over legislation that would ease rules barring former members of Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party from government service, an important factor in bringing Iraq’s violence under control. The person in charge of overseeing the de-Baathification plan was Ahmad Chalabi, who Maureen Dowd describes in her NYT column today as “the man who helped goad and trick the U.S. into war.”

The U.S. ambassador in Iraq issued an apology for the seizure and 12-hour detention of Amar Abdul al-Hakim as he crossed the border back into Iraq from Iran, where he was probably been visiting people he knew from his family’s years in exile during Saddam years. Mr. Hakim’s father is the mega-powerful head of Iraq’s largest Shiite party, and generally a supporter of the Bush war effort. The younger Mr. Hakim says the Americans treated him roughly and falsely accused him of having an invalid passport. The NYT explains far better than the other papers today why his apparently mistaken detention was a major misstep for the United States at a critical time in relations with both Iraq’s Shiite majority and Tehran.

Also in the papers:

The Post off-leads with the latest on its own scoop about the squalid conditions and maddening bureaucracy faced by many recuperating soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After seeing the “unacceptable” situation for himself and meeting with wounded soldiers, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates ordered an immediate review, warned of possible punishment for those who had let things deteriorate, and, in very non-Rummy fashion, thanked reporters for bringing the problems to light. The WP fails to mention that Gates undercut the Army’s surgeon general, who just a day earlier had called the paper’s Walter Reed stories unfair.

Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack was first in, and now he’s first out, in the race for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. He couldn’t raise the cash.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell described a planned Democratic effort to repeal the 2002 Iraq war resolution as “trying to unring a bell” and warned it would fail. Democrats are wrestling with whether to use the power of the purse to wind down the war.

Vice President Cheney won’t back down from his charge that the Democratic approach to Iraq would “validate the al Qaeda strategy.” Of Speaker Pelosi, he said, “I didn’t question her patriotism. I questioned her judgement.”

The NYT fronts a look at a new airport security scanning machine that made its debut in Phoenix yesterday. Critics call the head-to-toe X-ray image a “virtual strip-search.”

Are Latino soap operas children’s programming? No, says the Federal Communications Commission, in a decision expected to cost the Univision network a record $24 million dollars in fines.

Almost 50 years after President Eisenhower sent in members of the 101st Airborne to escort nine black children into all-white Central High School in Little Rock, a federal judge has released the city’s school district from federal supervision. Not everybody is happy.

Check out the huge and deadly sink hole in Guatemala City.

Under the Gun: This TP writer admits she’s never heard of apparently very famous outdoorsman Jim Zumbo, but was fascinated by the A3 story in the Washington Post about the spectacular and sudden collapse of his career after he spoke out against the use of military-style assault rifles—terrorist rifles is what he made the mistake of calling them—by hunters. Zumbo’s top-rated cable TV show, his longtime career with Outdoor Life magazine, and his corporate ties to big gun makers, including Remington Arms, have been terminated or are in serious jeopardy. Memo to self: Do not mess with the NRA.

And finally: Beyond Tupperware: The New York Times reports (and includes a slide show) on a new trend in American suburbia: at-home pole-dancing parties for middle-aged women.