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Archive: September 2008

Ex-Confidant Testifies Against Stevens

Bill Allen, the eccentric and fabulously wealthy oil executive who started working in Alaska oil fields as a high schooler and rose to become a powerful industry figure, has taken the stand against his one-time close friend, Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens, in the lawmaker's public corruption case.

By Derek Kravitz | September 30, 2008; 6:28 PM ET | Comments (9)

Rezko Might Be Cooperating With Feds

Antoin "Tony" Rezko, the Chicago political influence peddler whose relationship with Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama has been a constant thorn in the Illinois senator's side, might be helping the government mount a corruption case against the state's governor.

By Derek Kravitz | September 30, 2008; 3:04 PM ET | Comments (33)

Bailout Failure, China Milk Scandal, New Special Prosecutor

Bailout Failure » A $700 billion economic rescue package failed to pass in the House yesterday after an uprising among rank-and-file Republicans ... news of the House's rejection sent the market into a freefall, with the Dow setting a single-day point drop record ... presidential candidates John McCain and Barack...

By Chris Matthews | September 30, 2008; 11:28 AM ET | Comments (0)

Air Force Officer Faces Hearing for Theft

An Air Force officer is scheduled to appear before a criminal hearing today on charges he stole a classified nuclear missile launch control device three years ago.

By Derek Kravitz | September 30, 2008; 9:46 AM ET | Comments (2)

Ex-CIA Official Pleads Guilty in Corruption Case

The story of the CIA officer, his mistress and his wealthy businessman friend appears to have come to an end, with the intelligence agency's former executive director likely facing about two years behind bars.

By Derek Kravitz | September 30, 2008; 7:13 AM ET | Comments (42)

Gas Firm Pleads Guilty To Releasing Pollutants in Ocean

A federal judge placed natural gas firm Pacific Operators Offshore Inc. on five years' probation and ordered the California-based company to pay a $450,000 criminal fine after it knowingly released pollutants along the Outer Continental Shelf.

By Derek Kravitz | September 29, 2008; 6:17 PM ET | Comments (1)

Wall Street Criminal Probe Widens

As news of Congress' failure to pass a sweeping $700 billion bailout package for Wall Street sent stocks tumbling, investigators continued today to pursue criminal cases against firms and bankers accused of causing the market collapse.

By Derek Kravitz | September 29, 2008; 3:08 PM ET | Comments (4)

Stevens Judge 'Livid' After Witness Sent Home

The federal judge overseeing the public corruption trial of Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens admonished prosecutors for sending a key government witness back to Alaska, in what defense attorneys say was a deliberate attempt to conceal evidence, The Associated Press reports.

By Derek Kravitz | September 29, 2008; 1:44 PM ET | Comments (0)

Probe: Politics Behind U.S. Attorney Firings

The long-awaited report into the Department of Justice's controversial firings of nine U.S. attorneys paints a picture of several White House staffers deliberately plotting to oust attorneys viewed as politically uncooperative.

By Derek Kravitz | September 29, 2008; 1:16 PM ET | Comments (26)

Bailout Deal, DOJ Firings, Stevens Trial

The Bailout Deal » The House is set to vote today on the financial system bailout plan hammered out over the weekend, with a Senate vote expected Wednesday (the Sunlight Foundation has a full comment version of the bill) ... as President Bush urged swift approval, John McCain and Barack...

By Amanda Zamora | September 29, 2008; 10:45 AM ET | Comments (8)

Picks of the Week: NFL Drug Use, Milwaukee Mortgage Meltdown, Railroad Disability Scam

In a regular feature of Post Investigations, our editors have combed through the in-depth and investigative reports from news outlets across the nation and selected the notable projects of the week.

By Derek Kravitz | September 26, 2008; 3:21 PM ET | Comments (0)

Palin and Gifts: The Mining Connection

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has received about $25,000 in gifts from mining industry executives, visiting dignitaries, municipalities and a nonprofit cultural center. About a quarter of the gift givers had something in common -- Wendy Chamberlain, one of the state's most influential mining lobbyists.

By The Editors | September 26, 2008; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (29)

Wall Street Crisis Mounts, Obama Grant Probed, Stevens Ducks Blame

Hello and welcome to The Daily Read, our recommended reading for Friday. See something we missed? Post your suggestions in the comments below. Financial Crisis » The White House encounters new resistance to its $700 billion bailout package from a bloc of renegade Republicans pushing for alternatives ... Democrats blame...

By Amanda Zamora | September 26, 2008; 10:10 AM ET | Comments (0)

Are Nuke Labs 'Vulnerable' to Spies?

The former chief of security for the Lawrence Livermore Nuclear Weapons Laboratory in California said staffing and intelligence problems at the facility could potentially have "catastrophic consequences," according to a letter released today before a congressional hearing on security breaches at the Department of Energy.

By Derek Kravitz | September 25, 2008; 5:04 PM ET | Comments (1)

Stevens 'Didn't Know' His Bills Paid by Friend

The lawyer for Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens said his client did not know that his friend, an oil executive, paid housing renovation bills for him.

By The Editors | September 25, 2008; 3:18 PM ET | Comments (37)

Air Force Colonel Describes New Claims of Iraqi Torture

In September 2003, Air Force Col. Steven M. Kleinman watched as two colleagues stripped an Iraqi prisoner naked, shackled him and forced him to stand, without moving, in a six-foot cement cell for 12 hours.

By Derek Kravitz | September 25, 2008; 12:36 PM ET | Comments (0)

Eight Generals Disciplined in Nuke Case

The decision to punish eight Air Force and Army generals for mistakenly shipping fuses for nuclear warheads to Taiwan is the latest blot on the country's system of safely storing nuclear devices.

By Derek Kravitz | September 25, 2008; 10:44 AM ET | Comments (1)

Lobbyists Camp Out on Hill, McCain Aide's Freddie Ties, Rangel's Ethics Investigation

The Big Bailout ยป Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke urges Congress to approve plan in midst of "grave threat" ... lawmakers look to presidential candidates for an indication of who might inherit Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson's role managing the bailout ... meanwhile, crisis turns into a Capitol Hill camp-out for lobbyists ... and it looks like the FBI has been investigating AIG since March. -- The Washington Post

By Amanda Zamora | September 25, 2008; 9:48 AM ET | Comments (1)

Ivins: 'I Know Who Mailed The Anthrax!'

Bruce E. Ivins, the Army scientist named as the sole culprit behind the 2001 anthrax-by-mail attacks that killed five and sickened 19, apparently was barred from all government labs in March after spilling anthrax on himself and going home to wash his clothes before telling his bosses.

By Derek Kravitz | September 24, 2008; 5:01 PM ET | Comments (8)

Army Probes Possible Toxic Exposure in Iraq

Senior Army officials are investigating claims that National Guardsmen were exposed to a toxin in 2003 while protecting a water pumping plant in Iraq.

By Derek Kravitz | September 24, 2008; 2:42 PM ET | Comments (1)

Oil Traders Subpoenaed After Price Surge

An unusual jump in crude oil prices Monday has prompted federal regulators to subpoena the records of several Wall Street traders.

By Derek Kravitz | September 24, 2008; 12:45 PM ET | Comments (9)

Wall Street Scrutinized for Fraud, Fat Paychecks

The FBI's decision to investigate criminal wrongdoing at four troubled Wall Street firms at the center of the financial market's dramatic shakeup represents one of the bureau's largest undertakings in years, a potentially more daunting task than the five-years-long investigation into Enron.

By Derek Kravitz | September 24, 2008; 11:04 AM ET | Comments (7)

Bailout Debate, McCain's Freddie Mac Ties, CVS Donor Access

Hello and welcome to The Daily Read, our recommended reading for Wednesday. See something we missed? Post your suggestions in the comments below. The Big Bailout » The U.S. financial crisis continues to dominate the news: the White House meets Congressional resistance to its $700 billion bailout plan ... meanwhile,...

By Amanda Zamora | September 24, 2008; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (100)

Stevens Corruption Trial Underway

Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens's public corruption trial is underway, with jury selection scheduled for the rest of the day and opening arguments set for tomorrow.

By Derek Kravitz | September 23, 2008; 5:04 PM ET | Comments (1)

China's Tainted Milk Scandal Grows

China's efforts to overhaul its troubled food-safety policies again pledged new reforms after the country's chief quality supervisor resigned yesterday amid a scandal over tainted milk that has killed four infants and sickened nearly 53,000 people.

By Derek Kravitz | September 23, 2008; 1:36 PM ET | Comments (10)

N.C. Reporting Legend Stith Retires After 37 Years

Scattered throughout the country is a small band of investigative reporters whose names strike terror in the hearts of the lazy, the corrupt and the wasteful in local and state government.

By The Editors | September 23, 2008; 11:49 AM ET | Comments (1)

Timeline: Prince George's Jail Murder Probe

Prince George's County, Md., officials announced yesterday that two corrections officers had been placed on leave in connection with the strangling death of Ronnie L. White, a 19-year-old inmate who was found dead in his jail cell in June, less than two days after being implicated in the murder of a county police officer. While they refused to identify the officers, sources speaking on the condition of anonymity named Anthony McIntosh as an officer who allegedly admitted involvement in the incident more than a week after White's death.

By Derek Kravitz | September 23, 2008; 11:36 AM ET | Comments (4)

Financial Crisis, Sen. Stevens Trial, Iraqi: Aid Wasted

Hello and welcome to The Daily Read, our recommended reading for Tuesday. See something we missed? Post your suggestions in the comments below. The Big Bailout » Democratic leaders and the White House continue to negotiate the terms of a $700 billion economic rescue plan as rank-and-file lawmakers returned to...

By Amanda Zamora | September 23, 2008; 10:35 AM ET | Comments (1)

Two Jail Officers On Leave in Murder Investigation

Two Prince George's County corrections officers have been placed on leave after investigators looking into the June strangling death of a 19-year-old inmate determined they were "the focus of the investigation."

By Derek Kravitz | September 22, 2008; 6:08 PM ET | Comments (0)

Dem Lawmaker's Son Probed in Palin E-mail Case

The FBI is investigating the son of a Democratic Tennessee state lawmaker as part of a probe into the illegal break-in of GOP vice-presidential nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account.

By Derek Kravitz | September 22, 2008; 2:35 PM ET | Comments (106)

Stevens Corruption Trial To Begin Today

The public corruption case against longtime Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is set to begin this week, with the future of the former Appropriations Committee chairman hanging in the balance.

By Derek Kravitz | September 22, 2008; 12:03 PM ET | Comments (22)

Wall Street Bailout, Cheney Documents, Sen. Stevens on Trial

Hello and welcome to The Daily Read, our recommended reading for this morning. See something we missed? Post your suggestions in the comments below. The Big Bailout » As Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson urges Congress to take action on the Bush administration's $700 billion economic rescue package, Democratic lawmakers are...

By Amanda Zamora | September 22, 2008; 9:51 AM ET | Comments (37)

Picks of the Week: Russia-Georgia War; No Help for Workers

In a regular feature of Post Investigations, our editors have combed through the in-depth and investigative reports from news outlets across the nation and selected the notable projects of the week.

By Derek Kravitz | September 19, 2008; 6:43 PM ET | Comments (15)

Foley Probe Ends With No Charges

After an exhaustive two-year investigation that began with the discovery of graphic messages between former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and underage pages, federal investigators have decided not to pursue criminal charges against the ex-congressman, The Associated Press reports.

By Derek Kravitz | September 19, 2008; 3:22 PM ET | Comments (57)

States Battle with Pentagon over Cleanup

a group representing state environmental officials accused the Pentagon at a Senate hearing yesterday of withholding the funds to pressure more than a dozen states to back off enforcement,

By The Editors | September 19, 2008; 2:14 PM ET | Comments (0)

Palin News Roundup

A sampling of some of the recent Palin coverage.

By Derek Kravitz | September 19, 2008; 1:24 PM ET | Comments (6)

Short Sellers: Villains or Victims of 'Witch Hunt'?

the crisis in U.S. finance has poured gasoline on the always-smoldering fire of criticism against short sellers, investors who seek to profit when stocks plunge.

By The Editors | September 19, 2008; 12:47 PM ET | Comments (7)

Autopsy Labels Jail Death a Homicide

The controversy over the death of a 19-year-old inmate in the Prince George's County jail continues, despite a medical examiner's report delivered yesterday declaring the death a homicide, the Post's Aaron C. Davis reports.

By The Editors | September 19, 2008; 10:18 AM ET | Comments (2)

Readers' Choice

Hello, and welcome to the "readers' choice" edition of The Daily Read -- also known as, the "TDR editor is en route to Houston to see if the lights have come on yet for her family after Hurricane Ike" edition. Since I'll be away, I leave it to you, our...

By Amanda Zamora | September 19, 2008; 7:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Engineer in Deadly LA Train Crash Was Texting

Less than a week after one of the worst train accidents in recent U.S. history, California officials today issued a temporary order banning train operators from using cell phones on duty.

By The Editors | September 18, 2008; 5:40 PM ET | Comments (85)

Interior: Losses 'Probable' at Oil Office

Interior Department officials acknowledged today during congressional testimony that it is "probable" financial losses would have been found after further investigation of a drug, sex and conflict-of-interest scandal involving employees at a Denver-based oil royalty office. Still, the officials said the beleaguered royalty program had turned a corner and needed to be continued.

By Derek Kravitz | September 18, 2008; 1:15 PM ET | Comments (11)

Experts Predict Election Day Mess

It's been eight years since the disaster of the deadlocked 2000 presidential election, which ended up before the Supreme Court. And it's been six years since Congress tried to prevent a repeat by passing the Help America Vote Act. But election experts across the country say that, despite $3 billion...

By The Editors | September 18, 2008; 10:53 AM ET | Comments (2)

Interior Dept. Hearing, Palin's E-Mails, FEMA's No-Ice Rule

Here are our must-read items of the morning. See something we missed? Post your suggestions for required reading in the comments below. Live Hearing: Interior Dept. Scandal » The House Natural Resources Committee will be holding a hearing today at 10 a.m. ET on the recent scandal involving employees of...

By Amanda Zamora | September 18, 2008; 10:02 AM ET | Comments (4)

Congress: $15 Billion in Failed DHS Contracts

$15 billion in contracts given out by the Department of Homeland Security have been plagued by cost overruns, delays or cancellations, according to data gathered by the House Committee on Homeland Security.

By The Editors | September 17, 2008; 5:01 PM ET | Comments (7)

Senator Doubts Anthrax Scientist Acted Alone

One of the targets of the anthrax panic that gripped the nation after 9/11 said today he does not believe the FBI's assertion that bioweapons researcher Bruce E. Ivins acted alone

By The Editors | September 17, 2008; 3:48 PM ET | Comments (4)

Candidates Duel Over Wall Street Probe

The presidential candidates have sharply different takes on how to deal with the nation's economic crisis.

By The Editors | September 17, 2008; 1:20 PM ET | Comments (4)

D.C. Tax Scam Followed Blueprint

Harriette M. Walters, who masterminded the theft of more than $48 million through the D.C. tax office, took her cue two decades ago from her co-workers, who stole refund checks and created phony property tax refunds, prosecutors revealed Tuesday.

By The Editors | September 17, 2008; 11:47 AM ET | Comments (0)

Podcast: Q&A With Barton Gellman on the Cheney Legacy

While Dick Cheney may be the most powerful vice president in the history of the United states, we may never fully understand the secrets behind his extraordinary influence. That's according to Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman, who sat down recently with washingtonpost.com's Travis Fox to reflect on some of the most revelatory aspects of his new book, "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency."

By Amanda Zamora | September 17, 2008; 10:09 AM ET | Comments (12)

Campaign Mix, Price-Gouging Worries, $15B in DHS Contract Losses

The Campaign Trail » John McCain's use of campaign finance loopholes blunts the impact of record-breaking fundraising by Barack Obama ... both candidates continue the tradition of exclusive, high-dollar fundraising events that undermine their reform platforms ... meanwhile, five Republican lawmakers have filed suit in Alaska to halt the ethics...

By Amanda Zamora | September 17, 2008; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (3)

Behind-Scenes Frenzy Led To Lehman Collapse

The pressure-filled final days of negotiations between the Federal Reserve and Wall Street over the future of the now-bankrupt Lehman Brothers firm largely unfolded behind closed doors, as bankers grappled with whether or not to save the company as they argued for a federal buyout.

By Derek Kravitz | September 16, 2008; 3:08 PM ET | Comments (9)

Key Witness Against Cocaine Cartel Dies of Natural Causes

Max Mermelstein, a former member of the Colombia drug cartel who turned government informant, died Friday at age 65 in Lexington, Ky., felled by cancer of the bone, liver and lung.

By The Editors | September 16, 2008; 2:32 PM ET | Comments (5)

Rangel's Money Woes, FBI's Anthrax, Palin's Ethics

Rangel Watch » Facing fresh questions about his financial dealings, Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) is hiring a forensic accountant to evaluate his error-prone records ... meanwhile, House Ways and Means Democrats are backing Rangel as pressure mounts from Republicans for Rangel to step down as chairman of the powerful...

By Amanda Zamora | September 16, 2008; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (2)

FBI Director To Testify On Anthrax Case

FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III is scheduled today to appear before the House Judiciary Committee to defend the government's case against an Army researcher accused of launching a deadly anthrax-by-mail attack in 2001.

By Derek Kravitz | September 16, 2008; 9:55 AM ET | Comments (1)

Cheney Misled GOP Leaders, New Book Says

A GOP congressional leader who was wavering on giving President Bush authority to wage war in late 2002 said Vice President Cheney misled him by saying that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had direct personal ties to al-Qaeda terrorists and was making rapid progress toward a suitcase nuclear weapon. That's one...

By The Editors | September 16, 2008; 8:02 AM ET | Comments (54)

Second Official Pleads Guilty In Oil Office Scandal

A second official from the U.S. Interior Department program that collects oil and gas royalties from private companies drilling on federal land has pleaded guilty to a felony for his part in helping design and award contracts that benefited him after his retirement.

By The Editors | September 15, 2008; 10:34 PM ET | Comments (0)

White House Cut China Reference from NASA Talk

The heavy editing of a NASA administrator's prepared comments before Congress is the latest in a string of high-profile spats between White House censors and public officials.

By Derek Kravitz | September 15, 2008; 5:24 PM ET | Comments (0)

Ex-White House Aide: 'Surge' Wasn't Just About More Troops

Meghan O'Sullivan, the former national security adviser to the Bush administration and a chief architect of the president's surge strategy for the Iraq War, said the United States should use its influence "to encourage, cajole, urge Iraqis to move in the direction of reconciliation," in an online chat today with Post readers.

By Derek Kravitz | September 15, 2008; 3:23 PM ET | Comments (0)

Exclusive Book Excerpts: Cheney Stance Drove White House Crisis

The Washington Post has been publishing exclusive excerpts from Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency, Bart Gellman's book detailing how the most powerful vice president in U.S. history exerted his influence over government and policy. The Post excerpts Sunday and today tell for the first time the full details of the...

By The Editors | September 15, 2008; 2:30 PM ET | Comments (0)

'Preventive Journalism' Prize Finalists, Online Journalism Winners Announced

Understanding Government, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, announced last week its 10 finalists for the new $50,000 Prize for Preventive Journalism and the Online News Association announced its annual winners for the best web journalism.

By Derek Kravitz | September 15, 2008; 10:29 AM ET | Comments (0)

Campaign Mix, Metrolink Probe, Lead Limits

The Campaign Trail » Defense contractors and financial services firms are making the most political contributions this campaign ... Alaska state records show that Sarah Palin has made $453 million in earmark requests as governor, contrary to earlier claims by the McCain campaign ... as the campaign heats up, so...

By Amanda Zamora | September 15, 2008; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (1)

Sneak Preview: New Book of Cheney Revelations

Beginning this Sunday, The Post will publish a two-part excerpt from Barton Gellman's new book "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency."

By The Editors | September 12, 2008; 6:04 PM ET | Comments (3)

Editor's Note

Update, 6:50 p.m. ET: Comments are back are back in business, and so is the blog! We hope you'll take a look around. We've implemented new tags and categories to make it easier for you to find your way around, and better labeled our RSS feeds so you can keep...

By Amanda Zamora | September 12, 2008; 3:26 PM ET | Comments (0)

Picks of the Week: Afghan Cell Phone Images and Cleveland Firms Siphoning Public Cash

In a regular feature of Post Investigations, our editors have combed through the in-depth and investigative reports from news outlets across the nation and selected the notable projects of the week.

By Derek Kravitz | September 12, 2008; 1:59 PM ET | Comments (0)

Days Before Scandal, Interior Got Ethics Award

A day before the Department of Interior's inspector general finalized reports that laid bare what it called "a disturbing chapter" in the history of a federal oil royalty collection office, where employees allegedly were plied with alcohol and expensive gifts from industry representatives, the department won an annual award from the federal Office of Government Ethics.

By Derek Kravitz | September 12, 2008; 12:53 PM ET | Comments (96)

The Daily Read

Inside Cindy McCain's Addiction Story » While Cindy McCain has been very vocal about her addiction to painkillers in the early 1990s — "I don't want anyone to wind up in the shoes that I did at the time," she has said — her journey through the crisis has been...

By Amanda Zamora | September 12, 2008; 10:52 AM ET | Comments (2)

A Fall From Grace: Follieri's Guilty Plea

Raffaello Follieri, the Italian entrepreneur who worked his way into the inner circles of the very wealthy, pleaded guilty this week in federal court in Manhattan to conspiracy, money laundering and fraud.

By The Editors | September 12, 2008; 8:00 AM ET | Comments (12)

Cold War Spy Testimony Revealed

Today the National Archives added substantially to the public history of the case with the release of hundreds of more pages of grand jury testimony that had been secret for more than 50 years.

By The Editors | September 11, 2008; 5:25 PM ET | Comments (3)

Oil-and-Sex Scandal Spawns Criticism, Hill Hearing

A steady stream of lawmakers and watchdog groups are calling for hearings and further action related to an ethics scandal involving the Department of Interior's Denver royalty office.

By Derek Kravitz | September 11, 2008; 3:31 PM ET | Comments (28)

The Daily Read

The Campaign Trail » The McCain campaign is using "hybrid" television ads that take shots at Congressional Democrats and are funded in part by the GOP ... Gov. Sarah Palin's lawyer claims a conflict of interest by the Alaska investigator leading the probe into potential ethics violations by Palin ......

By Amanda Zamora | September 11, 2008; 10:04 AM ET | Comments (2)

Report: U.S. Oil Program Rife with Conflicts, Favoritism, 'Promiscuity'

Government officials in charge of a program that collects royalties from firms drilling on federal land attended raucous parties with oil and gas executives, accepted lavish gifts including ski trips, sports tickets and golf outings and steered contracts to favored companies, according to a two-year Interior Department investigation released today.

By The Editors | September 10, 2008; 3:27 PM ET | Comments (142)

New Tactics in the Hunt for Bin Laden

Seven years after the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, U.S. officials and Pakastani officials are stepping up air strikes in western Pakistan, targeting al-Qaeda leaders in hopes it will lead to Osama bin Laden, the Post's Craig Whitlock reports.

By The Editors | September 10, 2008; 2:23 PM ET | Comments (10)

The Daily Read

Palin Scrutiny Continues » A Republican activist in Wasilla, Alaska, is pushing for Gov. Sarah Palin to release more than 1,100 e-mails she withheld from a public records request ... unraveling fact from fiction ... Palin aides defend the governor's practice of "per diem" billing. — Washington Post, New York...

By Amanda Zamora | September 10, 2008; 10:19 AM ET | Comments (2)

Woodward Book: Bush Reflects on War, Legacy

The fourth installment of Woodward's excerpted series from his new book, "The War Within: A Secret White House History, 2006-2008," examines the lasting legacy of the Iraq War on Bush's presidency and the reflections of a leader described by the author as having "become the most divisive figure in the country."

By Derek Kravitz | September 10, 2008; 10:06 AM ET | Comments (0)

House Criticizes VA for Destroying Specimens

A fight over the destruction of thousands of biomedical specimens on Leginnaires' disease and other infectious diseases spilled over into Congress today, as lawmakers criticized the decision to destroy more than 25 years' worth of samples, The Associated Press reports.

By Derek Kravitz | September 9, 2008; 4:02 PM ET | Comments (4)

Woodward: Secret Influence of a Retired General

A retired Army general, Jack Keane, became an informal military adviser to the White House and so powerful that in September he hand-delivered a note from President Bush to Gen. David H. Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, offering the commander-in-chief's unflinching support in him and the new counterinsurgency strategy.

By Derek Kravitz | September 9, 2008; 10:56 AM ET | Comments (1)

The Daily Read

Palin's Per Diem » According to travel documents, Gov. Sarah Palin billed the state of Alaska $16,951 in "per diem" money for time spent at home in Wasilla; officials say the allowance was permissable because her official "duty station" is Juneau. — Washington Post C Is For Counterterrorism » A...

By Amanda Zamora | September 9, 2008; 9:32 AM ET | Comments (0)

Palin Per Diem, Travel Expenses Scrutinized

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin used a government "per diem" allowance to charge the state for more than 300 nights spent at home (graphic) and spent another $43,490 on travel for her children and husband, The Post's James V. Grimaldi and Karl Vick report today.

By Derek Kravitz | September 9, 2008; 9:08 AM ET | Comments (117)

Michelle Obama's Hospital Job, Part III

The Chicago Tribune writes about the debate over programs linked to Michelle Obama that steer patients with non-urgent illnesses out of the emergency room at the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Obama is a vice president, and into local clinics.

By The Editors | September 8, 2008; 5:46 PM ET | Comments (16)

Former Hill Aide Indicted in Abramoff Scandal

Former congressional aide Kevin A. Ring was arrested this morning at his home in the Maryland suburbs and charged with conspiracy, fraud and obstruction of justice for allegedly providing lawmakers and officials with gifts to win favors for lobbying clients.

By The Editors | September 8, 2008; 4:01 PM ET | Comments (0)

Videos Challenge U.S. Version of Afghan Casualties

Two videos, apparently recorded using a cell phone and obtained by several news agencies, including The New York Times and The Associated Press, shows bodies of women and children after a U.S.-led attack last month that Afghan and United Nations officials say resulted in the deaths of 90 civilians.

By Derek Kravitz | September 8, 2008; 3:48 PM ET | Comments (0)

Woodward Book: Doubts About Iraq Strategy

The divisions over strategy are described in journalist Bob Woodward's most recent book on the Bush White House, excerpted in The Post Sept. 7 - Sept. 10.

By The Editors | September 8, 2008; 1:40 PM ET | Comments (0)

Palin's 'Troopergate' Investigation Facing Obstacles

The inquiry into the controversial firing of a state police commissioner in Gov. Sarah Palin's home state of Alaska has led to a highly politicized fight, observers say, including calls for subpoenas of Palin's staff and accusations that involved lawmakers are trying to sway the final report's findings.

By Derek Kravitz | September 8, 2008; 10:55 AM ET | Comments (20)

The Daily Read

Cheney Documents » A group of open-government advocates and historians is filing suit to prevent Dick Cheney from destroying or withholding key documents from his two terms as vice president. — Washington Post Subpoenas for Palin Staffers? » Alaska lawmakers investigating Gov. Sarah Palin's dismissal of the state's public safety...

By Amanda Zamora | September 8, 2008; 10:14 AM ET | Comments (0)

'Troopergate' Trooper Regrets Bad Blood

The state trooper at the center of Gov. Sarah Palin's "Troopergate" scandal denies that he ever threatened to kill Palin's father and expresses regret that his case has exploded into the national media

By The Editors | September 6, 2008; 8:02 PM ET | Comments (13)

Palin Investigation To Be Released Next Month

The Alaska legislative committee investigating Gov. Sarah Palin said today it would issue its report Oct. 10, moving up release of its findings.

By The Editors | September 5, 2008; 4:20 PM ET | Comments (11)

New Woodward Book: 'The War Within'

In his fourth book examining the Bush White House, Post journalist Bob Woodward reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and others in his government have been the subject of extensive U.S. spying operations, and that new techniques allowing the United States to find and kill insurgent leaders, not primarily the surge in troops, led to the drop in violence in Iraq.

By The Editors | September 5, 2008; 10:03 AM ET | Comments (29)

The Daily Read

This morning's look at investigative news across the Web. Did we miss something? Drop us a line. The Iraq War » The fact that the Bush administration has spied on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is among several revalations about the White House's handling of the Iraq war, as told...

By Amanda Zamora | September 5, 2008; 9:51 AM ET | Comments (1)

Exclusive: Palin 'Experienced a Lot Frustration' With Family Feud

Excerpts of e-mails written by GOP vice-presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to a former state police commissioner show Palin "experienced a lot of frustration" over the continued employment of her former brother-in-law, an Alaskan state trooper embroiled in an ongoing family feud.

By Derek Kravitz | September 4, 2008; 5:15 PM ET | Comments (13)

Abramoff Letter to Judge: 'I Am Not a Bad Man'

Jack Abramoff, the now-disgraced lobbyist behind a corruption scandal that ensnared several prominent lawmakers and Washington power brokers a few years ago, pleaded with a federal judge to reduce his sentence in a letter sent yesterday, apologizing for his "blundering" but saying he is not a "bad man."

By Derek Kravitz | September 4, 2008; 4:35 PM ET | Comments (146)

Ex-White House Aide's Re-Trial Set for December

Former White House aide David H. Safavian, whose lying and obstruction convictions connected to the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal were tossed out by a three-judge panel in June, will go back to court in December for a new trial, according to court documents.

By Derek Kravitz | September 4, 2008; 2:45 PM ET | Comments (3)

Embattled Detroit Mayor Resigns: 'Yes, I Lied'

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick (D) pleaded guilty this morning to two felony perjury charges and agreed to resign from office, a stunning fall for a politician who was once considered one of Michigan's most promising leaders, The Post's Peter Slevin reports. Kilpatrick agreed to serve four months in jail, pay...

By The Editors | September 4, 2008; 1:32 PM ET | Comments (11)

The Daily Read

Today's look at investigative news across the Web. Did we miss something? Drop us a line. The Campaign Trail » As Gov. Sarah Palin makes an electrifying GOP convention debut, questions continue regarding the dismissal of Alaska's public safety commissioner (The Washington Post) ... Palin has asked for a separate...

By Amanda Zamora | September 4, 2008; 11:01 AM ET | Comments (0)

Questions Surround Palin as Speech Nears

Hours before Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is set to take the stage and speak at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, questions are still swirling for Sen. John McCain's new running mate.

By Derek Kravitz | September 3, 2008; 4:32 PM ET | Comments (87)

Gonzales 'Couldn't Remember' Combo for His Safe

Former Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales failed to keep classified documents in a secure location in his Alexandria home, claiming that he simply "couldn't remember the combination" on an in-home safe three years ago.

By Derek Kravitz | September 3, 2008; 1:16 PM ET | Comments (10)

More on Michelle Obama's Hospital Work

The Obama campaign continues to take issue with statements by Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking minority member of the Senate Finance Committee about the University of Chicago Medical Center, where Michelle Obama works.

By The Editors | September 3, 2008; 12:29 PM ET | Comments (4)

The Daily Read

Today's look at investigative news across the Web. Did we miss something? Drop us a line. The Campaign Trail » The trail is still focused very much on the candidacy of Sarah Palin: Campaign aides confirm Palin was not interviewed at length until the day before she was picked (The...

By Amanda Zamora | September 3, 2008; 9:45 AM ET | Comments (0)

The Housing Bubble, Still Burst

With the summer drawing to an end, we figure it's time to update the three-part series we published in June on how the housing bubble grew and popped. The Post's Zachary Goldfarb offers a follow up on the aftermath over the credit crisis.

By The Editors | September 3, 2008; 8:10 AM ET | Comments (11)

Sen. Grassley Seeks Records from Michelle Obama's Employer

The ranking minority member on the Senate Finance Committee is seeking information from the non-profit University of Chicago Medical Center about jobs held by Sen. Barack Obama's wife and one of his best friends, The Post's Joe Stephens reports.

By The Editors | September 2, 2008; 6:20 PM ET | Comments (6)

Palin Coverage Focused on Daughter and 'Troopergate'

Questions swirling about some of the latest revelations from Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's camp -- the much-discussed "Troopergate" scandal in her home state and her 17-year-old daughter's pregnancy -- have reached a fever pitch.

By Derek Kravitz | September 2, 2008; 5:24 PM ET | Comments (95)

Palin's Embrace of Earmarks

Republican Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, selected by Sen. John McCain as his running mate, has largely burnished her reformer image by repudiating big government and wasteful spending.

By Derek Kravitz | September 2, 2008; 12:10 PM ET | Comments (75)

The Daily Read

Today's look at investigative news across the Web. Did we miss something? Drop us a line. The Campaign Trail » A day into the Republican National Convention, questions arise over the vetting of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (The Washington Post, New York Times) ... Palin has obtained a private...

By Amanda Zamora | September 2, 2008; 9:41 AM ET | Comments (1)

 

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