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Special Report

Is Government-Sanctioned Torture Ever Acceptable?

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Ticking Bomb Scenario

At one point in Wednesday night's Democratic debate, Senator Clinton was asked if she would authorize torture in questioning a top Al Qaeda official with knowledge of an imminent bomb attack on the U.S. Mrs. Clinton told moderator Tim Russert that torture "cannot be American policy, period."

Russert then revealed that the scenario he had cited came from none other than Bill Clinton, who had told Russert there should be authority for torture under such extreme circumstances.

And it turns out that Senator Clinton used to agree with that and said so more than once during the past year, at one point telling The New York Daily News there should be a, "very, very narrow exception within very limited circumstances."

False Pretenses?

On MSNBC Monday reporter David Shuster brought on Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee supposedly to discuss the MoveOn.org ad attacking General David Petraeus.

Shuster caught the congresswoman off guard when he asked her to name the last American soldier from her district killed in Iraq. When she couldn't, Shuster took her to task at length, identifying the fallen soldier by name and demanding to know why she cared more about an ad than the lost serviceman.

But it later emerged that the soldier Shuster named did not come from Blackburn's district, but from a neighboring one. When a blogger sent Shuster an e-mail pointing this out, he got a reply saying name didn't matter because the story was about Blackburn's hypocrisy and besides, "she didn't know the name, period."

Finally, after complaints to MSNBC from Blackburn's office, Shuster read a terse and narrow apology on Wednesday night.

Policy Switch

A change of policy at Georgetown University Law School will permit the nation's oldest Catholic university to give grants to students who work for organizations that promote abortion.

LifeSiteNews.com says the policy change resulted from criticism the law school received for refusing to fund a student who wanted to intern at Planned Parenthood. The school's student newspaper reports Georgetown will no longer consider the mission of organizations in determining such grants.

The head of the school's pro-life group says the policy change means Georgetown will now be funding abortion advocacy and called it a dishonest and legalistic compromise.

Worse Than Gasoline?

There is more information that raises serious questions as to whether biofuels are the answer to global warming and reliance on oil. Cybercast News cites a study from a team led by Nobel Prize winner Paul Crutzen that concludes most biofuels cause more damage than ordinary gasoline, because the crops they come from require high levels of nitrogen in fertilizer and the resulting nitrous oxide emissions are far more harmful than carbon dioxide.

Also, noted primate scientist Jane Goodall says the race to grow crops for biofuels is damaging rain forests in Asia, Africa and South America and adding to emissions blamed for global warming.

FOX News Channel's Martin Hill contributed to this report.