The other news you won't see

Bush's hurried Supreme Court nomination knocked Plamegate off the front page -- but that's not all.

Published July 20, 2005 1:07PM (EDT)

While Republican strategists have said that the White House accelerated its selection process for a Supreme Court nominee to get Plamegate out of the public eye for a bit, that's not the only story that will be lost in the John Roberts shuffle. Here are a few others that probably aren't on the front page of your local newspaper this morning: In Iraq Tuesday, gunmen assassinated two Sunni Arabs participating in the drafting of Iraq's constitution. A third was assassinated today, prompting the surviving Sunni members of a committee working on the constitution to suspend their membership for now. Meanwhile, a study released by the Oxford Research Group and the organization Iraq Body Count has concluded that almost 25,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed since the United States invaded their country.

In London Tuesday, three British servicemen were charged with the war crime of inhumane treatment of detainees in Iraq in a case involving incidents that allegedly occurred in Basra in September 2003.

In Richmond, Va., Tuesday, a lawyer for Jose Padilla, the American accused of plotting to detonate a "dirty bomb" in the United States, told a federal appellate court that the government must either charge his client with a crime or set him free. A lawyer from Bush's Justice Department told the court that the president has the authority to detain Padilla indefinitely without charges.

And in Washington Tuesday, the Bush administration was preparing to oppose bipartisan legislation aimed at protecting journalists from revealing confidential sources. Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey Jr. will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee today that the legislation would make it more difficult for the government to prosecute cases involving public health, safety and national security. However, as the Washington Post notes, senators have already narrowed their bill so that reporters could be compelled to testify about their sources if doing so would prevent "imminent and actual harm to national security" that outweighs the public interest in unfettered reporting.

Time magazine's Matthew Cooper is expected to testify at today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. The New York Times' Judith Miller will not; she's beginning her third week in jail in Alexandria, Va.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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