Published January 25, 2017
Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
U.N. vs. U.S.
The United Nations has drafted a report accusing the United States of torture at Guantanamo Bay. The report calls for the detention facility to be closed and recommends that detainees be tried on U.S. soil. But Bush administration officials are dismissing the report, saying it lacks credibility.
It was drafted by five U.N. envoys, who compiled information from interviews with former detainees, their families, and their lawyers. But the team never visited Gitmo, declining an invitation by the administration to take a tour last November because they wouldn't have been allowed to interview detainees.
Another Attack From Al
Former Vice President Al Gore took his political attacks to foreign soil Sunday when he accused the United States government of committing "terrible abuses" against Arabs after the September 11th attacks.
Speaking at the Jiddah Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia, Gore said the Bush administration was playing into Al Qaeda's hands by blocking Saudi visa applications and said Saudis were rounded up and held under conditions that were "just unforgivable." He went on to criticize the current visa laws suggesting that they're damaging to U.S.-Saudi relations.
The vice president of the Gary, Indiana, chapter of the NAACP was forced to resign over his comments about the shooting of an unarmed teenage burglar by a local police officer. Willie Julkes said on a radio talk show that if he had encountered a burglar he would've shot too.
Meanwhile, a Florida state GOP leader got booed by an audience of ACLU members when he compared attacks on the state's school voucher program to slavery.
Sid Dinerstein compared Dred Scott — the Virginia slave whose failed attempt at freedom became a landmark Supreme Court case — to parents who are unable to transfer their children from failing public schools to better private and parochial schools.
Coca For Kids?
Bolivia's Foreign Minister wants school children to reap the nutritional benefits from one of the country's most revered crops — coca — which is of course the stuff used to make cocaine. David Choquehuanca says there's more calcium in coca plants than in milk and therefore the former should be included on school breakfast menus.
Bolivia's president Evo Morales, himself a coca farmer whose presidential victory was helped in part by local coca growers, has spent the last month advocating the legal uses of coca and vowing to protect local farmers.
— FOX News' Dominique Pastre contributed to this report