Juan Cole thinks BushCo is pressuring the FBI to hold off on several high-profile arrests — in the Valerie Plame case and in the Larry Franklin (likely Pentagon spy) case — until after the elections… Geez, what a cynic.

Judges are coming to their senses about the Patriot Act —

From today’s NYT:

A federal judge struck down an important surveillance provision of the antiterrorism legislation known as the USA Patriot Act yesterday, ruling that it broadly violated the Constitution by giving the federal authorities unchecked powers to obtain private information.

The ruling, by Judge Victor Marrero of Federal District Court in Manhattan, was the first to uphold a challenge to the surveillance sections of the act, which was adopted in October 2001 to expand the powers of the federal government in national security investigations.

The ruling invalidated one piece of the law, finding that it violated both free speech guarantees and protection against unreasonable searches. It is thought likely to provide fuel for other court challenges…

But the Torture Act marches on —

From the WaPo story:

Under the Hastert bill, U.S. authorities could send an immigrant to any country, regardless of the likelihood of torture or abuse. The measure would shift to the deportee the burden of proving “by clear and convincing evidence that he or she would be tortured” — a burden that human rights activists say is impossible to satisfy. It would bar a U.S. court from reviewing the regulations, which would fall under the secretary of homeland security.

The provision would apply retroactively, to people now in detention and those who may have already been secretly deported under classified procedures to countries with well-documented histories of torture and human rights violations.

It also would allow U.S. authorities to deport foreigners convicted of any felony or suspected of having links to terrorist groups to any country — even somewhere that is not a person’s home country or place of birth, contrary to current practice.

If you’ve got the stomach for it —

The October Vanity Fair has an incredible piece on the theft of the 2000 election. I’ve only been able to skim it so far, which is probably a good thing. I’m sure I’ll have more to say tomorrow. SCOTUSblog provides the article in two PDFs, here and here.

Here’s what we all need to know —

about the forged document story that CBS killed after embarrassing itself over Bush’s Guard documents. It’s the story of how Bush tricked the nation (well, 50% of it, anyway; the other half resisted) into an unjustified invasion of Iraq.

Since it’s all about the post-debate spin —

the DNC has sent out an e-mail providing the URLs of online post-debate polls. Here’s where you can vote/comment on the “performances”:

ABC News

CBS News

CNN

Fox News

MSNBC

USA Today

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