Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
In response to a question by Republican Senator John Cornyn (search), the Pentagon reports that detainees have provided valuable information in the War on Terror — including the locations of terrorist training compounds and safe houses, as well as routes used for smuggling men and equipment.
Detainees have also identified numerous Al Qaeda operatives (search), provided insight into training techniques, and helped decode the terrorist financing network. What's more, the Pentagon says one Guantanamo Bay detainee told interrogators, "The people who died on 9/11, 2001 were not innocent." Another said, "There is no need to ask for forgiveness for killing a Jew." And a third detailed his plans upon release, telling his captors, "I will arrange for the kidnapping and execution of U.S. citizens living in Saudi Arabia...they will have their heads cut off."
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi (search) now says citizens who don't stick close to the Italian military in Iraq are on their own. Berlusconi told the Italian Senate that the government will not guarantee the safety of any Italians who operate in Iraq without military protection and co-operation.
The pronouncement comes one week after Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena's rescue convoy came under fire from U.S. troops after negotiating her release — and is seen as a suggestion that Italy will no longer negotiate with terrorists for the release of Italian hostages.
Setting a Date
Liberal action group Progressive Democrats of America (search) is urging activists to voice their opposition to the latest appropriation request for Iraq, saying there should be no more funding until the administration sets a firm date for withdrawal. The PDA, which calls itself a "counterbalance" to the moderate Democratic Leadership Council, has designated "National Call In Day" — asking members to phone congress to demand "public hearings, debate and amendments linking the funds to a strict timetable for military withdrawal and support for Iraqi sovereignty."
The PDA says it hopes to surpass the success of their earlier e-mail campaign, which called for an investigation into election fraud in Ohio.
The NCAA has asked the University of North Carolina (search) at Pembroke to stop calling its sports teams the "Braves,“ saying the nickname is racially offensive to Native Americans. But it turns out the university was founded exclusively for American Indians, who called themselves the Braves.
UNC Pembroke is still 20 percent Native American and the school's Athletic Director says they plan to keep the name as a tribute to their heritage. Meanwhile, the head of the region's Lumbee tribe tells the NCAA, "We don't have to have you tell us what's offensive."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report
With more than 35 years of journalism experience to draw from, Brit Hume currently serves as a senior political analyst for FOX News Channel (FNC) and contributes to all major political coverage. Hume also is regular panelist on FOX's weekly public affairs program, "FOX News Sunday" on Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET. Click here for more information on Brit Hume.