Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Steaming Senator

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter has written an indignant letter to < a href="javascript:siteSearch('Vice President Cheney');">Vice President Cheney, who Specter accuses of trying to undermine an inquiry into the National Security Agency's database of domestic phone calls.

Specter claims the Vice President lobbied Republican committee members to oppose any hearings on the subject, writing, "I was surprised, to say the least, that you sought to influence, really determine, the action of the committee without calling me first." Specter adds, "this was especially perplexing since we both attended the Republican senators caucus lunch yesterday and I walked directly in front of you on at least two occasions en route from the buffet to my table."

Prison Report

A Swiss senator investigating alleged secret CIA prisons in Europe has released yet another critical report, claiming that at least seven countries worked with the CIA to abduct and secretly detain terrorists. But while Dick Marty says he has every indication that the prisons exist, he admits he has no hard evidence, saying, "Proof, in the classical meaning of the term, is not as yet available."

Marty claims flight logs and satellite photos show the transport of high-level terror suspects to airports in Poland and Romania — both of which deny any involvement. The report is scheduled to be debated in June.

Critical Compromise

The co-founder of Internet giant Google, Inc., admits compromising the company's principles by caving into the Chinese government's censorship demands, but says he has no plans to pull out of the country.

Sergey Brin told reporters that China imposed "a set of rules that we weren't comfortable with," but that the company filtered controversial results from its popular search engine after authorities blocked the uncensored version — and after rival firms also acceded to the demands.

Brin says he thought that even a compromise site could make a difference in information-starved China, and while he understands critics who call for the company to take a principled stand, says, "it's not where we chose to go right now."

Refusal to Serve

An army officer at Fort Lewis in Washington State is refusing to lead his troops in Iraq because he believes the war is illegal. First Lieutenant Ehren Watada was scheduled to make his first deployment to Iraq this month, but tells the Seattle Times, "we have been lied to and betrayed by this administration," calling it every officer's obligation "to evaluate the legality, the truth behind every order — including the order to go to war."

Watada faces a possible court martial for refusing to deploy, and anti-war groups have already begun raising money for his defense.

—FOX News Channel's Aaron Bruns contributed to this report.