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Special Report

Why Congressman David Obey Says Violence Has Been Reduced in Iraq

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Credit Due?

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey thinks the troop surge and the accompanying counterinsurgency operations in Iraq have had little to do with the decline in violence. The Wisconsin Democrat took a question during an appearance at the National Press Club about whether the surge was working — and said the issue has never been military — but political — in getting Iraqis to work together.

And he added —"One of the reasons that we've had incidents of sectarian violence go down is because they are running out of people to kill. They've killed so many in so many areas, that there are fewer opportunity targets, if you want to put it that way, for each side."

Information Please

The Clintons' ability to withhold information from the public extends not just to Clinton Presidential Library, but also to the University of Arkansas library as well. Four enormous binders of data about the Clinton presidency — and Hillary Clinton's role in it — apparently will not be released to the public by the university library before next year's election.

ABC News reports the information was compiled by Clinton friend Diane Blair for a book — but Blair never wrote it and passed away in 2000. The Clintons have one copy of the papers. The other is at the university.

Last month the library said the papers would not be made public until 2009 because they were not yet processed. But the library's annual report for 2005-2006 says the processing is "nearing completion." And one year later the library newsletter said the Blair papers were "previously processed."

The Hillary Clinton campaign says it has not had any contact with the University of Arkansas about delaying the release of the papers.

Village Vandalism

Police, the FBI and local security at George Washington University have spent the last couple of weeks trying to learn who has been painting swastikas around the Washington D.C. campus. Several of the symbols were reported by Jewish freshman student Sarah Marshak — and the incidents were investigated as possible hate crimes.

Now media reports say hidden camera video has implicated Marshak. After initially denying it — she later admitted drawing at least three of six swastikas on her door.

Marshak says she did that — in order to highlight what she characterized as the school's inaction over her original complaint. She could face federal and local charges as well as discipline from the school.

Growing Stronger

And a longtime ally of Hugo Chavez says new constitutional amendments allowing the Venezuelan president to run for reelection indefinitely — and broadening his powers — amount to "a coup d'etat."

Former Defense Minister Raul Baduel helped Chavez return to power after an attempted coup in 2002 — and served in his cabinet until last July. The new constitutional changes have passed the National Assembly and will be voted on next month. Baduel says they are — "carrying along the people like sheep to the slaughterhouse."

Chavez responded by calling Baduel "one more traitor," and says, "It's the end of Baduel — the moral end."

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