Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Gitmo Proclaimed 'Humane'
The head of an Afghan delegation to Guantanamo Bay has dismissed rumors of appalling conditions, proclaiming the prison "humane." Interior Ministry representative Abdul Jabar Sabhet was sent to the camp to check on the treatment of Afghan prisoners and says he was given the chance to speak freely with all 96 without American intervention, noting only "one or two" complaints."
The assessment comes five days after three inmates committed suicide at the prison, but Sabhet believes the deaths should not be blamed on living conditions, saying, "It is a situation where they didn't want to surrender themselves."
PATV's False Impressions
Palestinian Authority Television has repeatedly broadcast video of an Israeli missile boat firing at Gaza juxtaposed with images of seven Palestinians who died on a Gaza beach Friday — giving the impression that Israelis caused the deaths.
Israel has denied responsibility, saying the deaths more than likely resulted from Hamas explosives. The doctored images show the boat firing on a Gaza beach, while audio of sirens is added to suggest ambulances were already on the scene. Palestinian Media Watch says the Israeli naval video was clearly unrelated, having been released to the media and on the Internet at 4 p.m. on Friday, an hour prior to any of the deaths.
Falsified Financial Reports?
West Virginia Democrat Alan Mollohan — who stepped down from the House Ethics Committee after federal officials launched an investigation into claims that he falsified financial reports and improperly benefited from his office — now admits making "a limited number of inadvertent errors" in financial disclosure forms over the last 5 years.
Among the mistakes? Failing to report a $35,000 loan from a business partner who also heads a foundation that benefits from budget appropriations sponsored by Mollohan, and a 2.3 million-business loan. But Mollohan strongly denied any charges of impropriety explaining that his personal assets grew from $500,000 to more than $6 million over five years due to aggressive real estate investments.
Liberal Activists at MoveOn.org have responded to the refusals of a number of TV stations to run their attack ads against Republicans by soliciting more money to keep the ad campaign going.
The ads claim four GOP lawmakers have been "caught red-handed" taking money from special interest, then voting to support bills that helped the big donors at the expense of the American people. But stations in Ohio and Virginia have pulled the ads, saying MoveOn was unable to back up the accusations.
MoveOn is blaming the Republican Party for intimidating the stations and e-mailed supporters asking for $500,000 to keep the ads on the air, saying, "We want to show that playing dirty doesn't pay."
—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.