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Archive for February 20th, 2010

CPAC 2010 Straw Poll RESULTS: Ron Paul Wins Big

Huff Po– Sam Stein

First Posted: 02-20-10 05:40 PM   |   Updated: 02-20-10 06:00 PM

In a strong reflection of just how strong his standing remains within the die-hard conservative community, Texas Republican and 2008 presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul won the Conservative Political Action Conference straw poll on Saturday, earning nearly one-third (31 percent) of the entire vote. The crowd, however, booed heavily when the results were announced.

Paul was far and away the most widely anticipated speaker at the three-day conference, with his base of “Paulites” streaming into the main auditorium to hear him rail against government overreach and neoconservativism on Friday afternoon. In many respects, his win in the CPAC poll seemed pre-ordained — his band of followers having a well-earned reputation for flooding polls and forums like these.

What it portends for a possible 2012 presidential run is anyone’s guess. Paul had a similar cult-like following during the 2008 election, only to garner a relatively small chunk of the actual vote.

The other potential candidates who scored well and are more “mainstream” picks for the Republican nomination include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who earned 22 percent of the vote, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who came in third with seven percent. Romney had won the last three CPAC polls. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, another talked about 2012 aspirant, tied “undecided” for fourth place at six percent.

The results provide an interesting reflection as to where conservative hearts lie nearly three years before the next presidential elections take place. But with so much time before formal campaigning begins – and with no White House aspirant even officially announcing a bid- its best to resist the temptation to read too deeply into the numbers. For example, last year, disgraced South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford polled at four percent, while Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — no longer even on the straw poll — came in second at 14 percent.

Nevertheless, the CPAC poll can provide a nice boost (or, at the very least, attention) to prospective candidates. In 2007, Romney etched out a win over former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani by a margin of 21 percent to 17 percent. Sen. John McCain, who wound up winning the nomination, came in fifth with 12 percent of the vote.

Several of the candidates polled attended CPAC in the days, and even hours, ahead of the results being released. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was a keynote speaker on Saturday, preceded by former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum (Penn.). Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty spoke on Friday followed by Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) and Paul. Romney addressed the audience on Thursday. All others were not in attendance during the three-day affair.

Here are the official results:

Texas Rep. Ron Paul – 31 percent
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — 22 percent
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — 7 percent
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty – 6 percent
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – 4 percent
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee — 4 percent
Indiana Rep. Mike Pence – 5 percent
South Dakota Sen. John Thune — 2 percent
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels — 2 percent
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum — 2 percent
Mississippi Gov. Hailey Barbour – 1 percent
Other – 5 percent
Undecided – 6 percent

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From The Times February 20, 2010
Frances Gibb, Legal Editor, and Sean O’Neill, Security Editor

Binyam Mohamed: the former Guantánamo Bay detainee's treatment is the subject of a police inquiry (Stefan Wermuth/Reuters)

The Government’s own human rights watchdog has demanded a public inquiry into claims that British intelligence agencies were complicit in the torture of more than 20 detainees in the War on Terror, The Times has learnt.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) says that it can no longer ignore the growing body of allegations against MI5 and MI6.

The commission’s chairman says in a letter to Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, that the Government’s blanket denials are an inadequate response. Trevor Phillips says: “Not enough has been done to reassure the commission and the public that these allegations are unfounded.”

A dossier of 25 cases has now been built up, including complaints of ill treatment, illegal detention and torture. The EHRC is concerned about mounting evidence that these actions were condoned by British agencies.

Mr Phillips told The Times: “Given the UK’s role as a world leader on human rights, it would be inexplicable for the Government not urgently to put in place an independent review process to assess the truth, or otherwise, of these allegations.” He also criticised as “inexplicable” a year-long delay by the Government in reporting to the United Nations Committee against Torture.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article7034456.ece

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Conyers Slams Authors Of Torture Memos, Announces Hearings

TPM Muckraker

Justin Elliott | February 19, 2010, 5:44PM

In a statement this afternoon, [Friday], House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) says that the Justice Department torture memo report released today makes “plain that those memos were legally flawed and fundamentally unsound, and may have been improperly influenced by a desire to tell the Bush White House and the CIA what it wanted to hear.”

Conyers, who posted the DOJ documents on his Web site, continued:

“The Office of Legal Counsel has a proud tradition of providing independent, high quality legal advice to the executive branch. The materials released today make clear that the lawyers who wrote the torture memos did not live up that tradition.”

He announced the committee will hold hearings on the matter.

Here’s the full statement:

“For years, those who approved torture and abuse of detainees have hidden behind legal memos issued by the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel,” Conyers said. “The materials released today make plain that those memos were legally flawed and fundamentally unsound, and may have been improperly influenced by a desire to tell the Bush White House and the CIA what it wanted to hear.”The Office of Legal Counsel has a proud tradition of providing independent, high quality legal advice to the executive branch,” Conyers continued. “The materials released today make clear that the lawyers who wrote the torture memos did not live up that tradition. While the Department ultimately concluded that the lawyers did not breach their minimum professional obligations, I certainly hold top lawyers at OLC to a higher standard than that, as all Americans should.

“Given the serious nature of the issues raised in this report, the Committee intends to hold hearings on these matters in the very near future.”

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