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Wednesday, Aug 24th

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The real reason Bill Clinton pardoned Marc Rich

During Eric Holder's confirmation hearing, Arlen Specter scolded the attorney general-designate, but no one mentioned Israeli pressure.

Even now, the true machinations behind the Rich pardon cannot be discussed honestly -- perhaps because they implicate the government and the security services of the state of Israel.

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Video: Keith Olbermann - 8 years in 8 minutes

Obama And Conservatives Break Bread At George Will's House

The president-elect arrived at the Chevy Chase, Md., home of syndicated columnist George Will shortly after 6:30 p.m., according to a press pool report. Greeting him at the residence were other luminaries of the conservative commentariat, including the Weekly Standard's William Kristol, New York Times columnist David Brooks, and Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post.

The odd-couple gathering led to speculation that Rush Limbaugh, who said that he was in D.C. for a "secret meeting," was also in attendance. "I'm just offering, a personal trip, nobody even has to know about this," the notorious and combative talk show host wrote on his website.

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Bush appointee saw Justice lawyers as 'commies,' 'crazy libs,' report says

He was referring to the career lawyers in the Justice Department's civil rights and voting rights divisions. From 2003 to 2006, Schlozman was a Bush appointee who supervised them. Along with several others, he came to symbolize the mid-level political appointees who brought a hard-edged ideology to the day-to-day workings of the Justice Department.

"My tentative plans are to gerrymander all of those crazy libs right out of the section," he said in an e-mail in 2003. "I too get to work with mold spores, but here in Civil Rights, we call them Voting Section attorneys," he confided to another friend.

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VIDEO: 9/11, two wars, Katrina: 'We had fun', says Bush

His final appearance before the White House press corps could not even muster a full house. The door into the White House briefing room - which will be bulging next week for the first briefing under Barack Obama's administration - opened to reveal a sombre-looking president who quickly switched on a smile for the cameras.

He made a few jokes, often at his own expense, but he also revealed how much he has been hurt by the criticism that he was the worst president in recent US history. He admitted to some disappointments, but was generally unapologetic.

Most of the 48 minutes of what Bush described as the "ultimate exit interview" was spent trying to persuade his audience, both in the room and the public watching on television, that he did not deserve to be labelled the worst president in recent US history.

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Bush ordered ceasefire retreat at UN

Condoleezza Rice, the US Secretary of State, was forced to step back from voting in favour of the Gaza ceasefire resolution at the UN Security Council after orders from Washington, diplomatic sources said yesterday.

The US abstention on the resolution vote early yesterday, which clearly weakened its impact, was the final twist in a tumultuous three-day marathon of negotiations in New York.

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U.S. judge revives lawsuit over Bush wiretap program

A defunct Islamic charity in Oregon that says it was illegally wiretapped by federal authorities can pursue its lawsuit challenging President Bush's clandestine eavesdropping program, a federal judge in San Francisco ruled Monday.

Now that the group has found that nonclassified evidence, Walker said he will examine the classified evidence and decide whether the group could proceed with its claims that Bush's program of conducting surveillance without a court warrant violated federal law or the U.S. Constitution.

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