Foreign Policy

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  Musharraf Rejects Us Bid To Expand War On TerrorJanuary 28, 2008 10:33 President Pervez Musharraf has rebuffed US proposals to expand any American presence in Pakistan either through unilateral covert CIA missions or by joint operations with Pakistani security forces, according to a report in the New York Times on Sunday.

Two American officials -Mike McConnell, the director of national intelligence, and CIA Director General Michael V Hayden - traveled secretly to Pakistan and met Musharraf in Islamabad on January 9. The two countries are now discussing a series of other joint efforts, including increasing the number and scope of missions by armed Predator surveillance aircraft over the Tribal Areas, and identifying ways in which the US can speed information about people suspected of being militants to Pakistani security forces.
  Bush Oil Price 'Begging' Is 'Pathetic' : ClintonJanuary 17, 2008 08:24 Democratic White House hopeful Hillary Clinton on Tuesday accused President George W. Bush of "begging" for cuts in oil prices in "pathetic" encounters with Gulf leaders.

The former first lady hit out at the US president as he wrapped up a tour of the Middle East, during a 2008 Democratic presidential campaign debate here.

"President Bush is over in the Gulf now begging the Saudis and others to drop the price of oil," Clinton said. "How pathetic."

"We should have an energy policy right now, putting people to work in green collar jobs as a way to stave off the recession, moving us towards energy independence."

Bush earlier urged oil producers to take action over near record-high prices, prompting his Saudi hosts to vow to increase output when justified by the market.

Bush, facing recession fears at home after prices surged to a record 100 dollars at the start of the year, raised the sensitive issue on the second day of a visit to OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia -- the world's largest oil producer.

He said he planned to discuss with King Abdullah "the fact that oil prices are very high, which is tough on our economy."
  UK To Officially Drop The Term 'War On Terror'January 04, 2008 10:46 Finally the US lead terms ‘war on terror’ and ‘islamic terrorist’ have been ditched by the UK government according to The Daily Mail. The terms are now seen as outdated, inflammatory and inaccurate. To quote:

Sir Ken Macdonald said terrorist fanatics were not soldiers fighting a war but simply members of an aimless “death cult.”

The Director of Public Prosecutions said: ‘We resist the language of warfare, and I think the government has moved on this. It no longer uses this sort of language.”

London is not a battlefield, he said.

“The people who were murdered on July 7 were not the victims of war. The men who killed them were not soldiers,” Macdonald said. “They were fanatics, narcissists, murderers and criminals and need to be responded to in that way.”
  Justice Dept. Opens Criminal Probe In Cia Tapes CaseJanuary 02, 2008 15:31 The Justice Department said today that it has opened a full investigation into possible criminal wrongdoing associated with the CIA's destruction of videotaped interrogations of terror suspects.

The disclosure last month that the CIA had destroyed two such tapes in 2005 -- which included footage of harsh interrogation methods -- touched off a political and legal firestorm. The Justice Department and the CIA Office of the Inspector General had been conducting a preliminary inquiry in the wake of those disclosures to see whether there was evidence of potential crimes, and whether a formal investigation should be pursued.

"The department's National Security division has recommended, and I have concluded, that there is a basis for initiating a criminal investigation of this matter, and I have taken steps to begin that investigation," Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey said in a prepared statement, adding that he had appointed John Durham, the first assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to oversee the investigation.

Investigations of the CIA are normally overseen by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. Mukasey said the office was recused from investigating the tapes matter. He said that the move was to avoid the possible appearance of a conflict "with other matters handled by that office" but did not elaborate.

Though the opening of an investigation does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow, it does raise the stakes for the agency and its employees who were either involved in or had knowledge of the tapes incident.

The tapes were destroyed in late 2005 at the direction of Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., then-chief of the agency's clandestine service. Several administration lawyers have reportedly said they were involved in discussions concerning the tapes but recommended that they be preserved. Some officials have said that the tapes were destroyed in order to protect the identity of undercover CIA operatives who were involved in questioning the suspects.