Faced with increasing push-back from the public, the media, government watchdogs and a bipartisan list of lawmakers, the Department of Justice Thursday agreed to drop a proposed regulation that would have allowed government agencies to lie to members of the public seeking records through the Freedom of Information Act.
Colorado U.S. Senator Mark Udall, a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has been a champion in the post-9/11 era of the need to balance tough national security measures against concerns for civil liberties and privacy protections. Wednesday he sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder expressing “deep concern” over a plan to rework a key regulation tied to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The new regulation, known as 16.6(f)(2), would allow the government to lie to citizens seeking sensitive information.
Colorado Republican Reps. Doug Lamborn and Mike Coffman joined Rep. Michele Bachmann and 83 other members of the House as signers of a letter to the U.S. Senate urging that body to pass an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would prohibit gay members of America’s Armed Forces from using military facilities for marriage ceremonies.
Republican presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) delivered a strong anti-war message at an appearance this weekend in Des Moines, praising whistle blowers like WikiLeaks, questioning the use of drone missile strikes and calling for more information going out to citizens before the military intervenes overseas.
In a speech Thursday at the Commonwealth Club of California, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann batted down suggestions of student loan and debt forgiveness that have come out of the Occupy Wall Street movement, saying the movement isn’t offering permanent solutions.
Two Colorado congressional leaders who opposed the Iraq War in the beginning praised today’s announcement by President Barack Obama that American troops will be withdrawn by the end of the year.
Ousted Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi was killed today by Libyans near his hometown of Sirte. His death comes two months after he was removed from power.
As part of the required National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process, officials from the U.S. Air Force and Clovis’s Cannon Air Force Base held another public hearing last night in Las Vegas about its plans for low-altitude tactical navigation (LATN) training flights over southeast Colorado and eastern New Mexico. As has been the case at other meetings held over the past year, more opponents than supporters showed up. But for the first time, one of the plan’s legislative doubters made an appearance.
Richard Allen Smith, Afghan war veteran and vice chairman of national soldier and veteran advocacy organization VoteVets, on Thursday hand delivered a petition with more than 9,000 signatures asking Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler to drop the lawsuit he filed seeking to prevent counties in the state from mailing ballots to inactive voters, including to soldiers serving away from home. The organization is asking Gessler to accept a decision handed down in district court last week finding insupportable Gessler’s interpretation of election law in the matter.
It is rare that a Colorado Secretary of State makes the news. Correction: It used to be rare. Scott Gessler has a gift for drawing attention to himself and his office. This week, he’s been featured on Rachel Maddow’s national television show, written about in The Wall Street Journal and editorialized against in The Boulder Daily Camera.