A remarkable ceremony took place in the Pentagon last month. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld swore in the civilians who will be reviewing the judgments reached by military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Here is their oath of office: “Does each one of you swear that you will faithfully and impartially perform, according to your conscience and the rules applicable to the review filed by a military commission, all the duties incumbent upon you as a member of the review panel, so help you God?”
Not a mention of the Constitution. The secretary's appointments swear to recognize no higher authority, under God, than the secretary himself.
Florida. Trailing narrowly in most state polls, John Kerry is breaking out liberal bête noir Joe Lieberman to help solidify support among south Florida Jews. Lieberman spent Wednesday in town-hall meetings in Miami and West Palm Beach touting Kerry's positions on Medicare and Israel while reminding voters of his own failed bid for the vice presidency in 2000. Lieberman's communications director, Matt Gobush, meanwhile, is on loan to the Democratic effort in Florida (he's been assigned to Fort Myers). And Teresa Heinz Kerry spent Tuesday in the Fort Lauderdale area pitching her husband's virtues to Native Americans. She said John Kerry would ensure increased funding for social programs directed at Indians and instill a greater respect for tribal sovereignty.
Seven months after he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination and less than three weeks before the election, John Kerry on Wednesday night finally turned his attention to what must be his largest constituency: women.
Missouri. The last poll, taken two weeks ago by the firm Research 2000, showed Democratic state auditor Claire McCaskill and Republican Secretary of State Matt Blunt running neck and neck, with 46 percent for McCaskill, 45 for Blunt, and 9 undecided. Little has happened in the race itself in these last two weeks to indicate a shift in the dynamic one way or another. But the dynamic of the presidential race could be significant in this campaign, and that might not be good news for McCaskill.
Alaska. This soap opera of a race will likely hang in the balance until November 2. Too bad it has to end then, though, because the campaign ads just keep getting funnier -- and dirtier -- up in The Last Frontier.