- - Thursday, November 10, 2011

WHITE HOUSE

Obama administration plays down Solyndra emails

The White House is dismissing new email evidence in the Solyndra investigation as trumped-up and “cherry-picked.”

Reporters on Thursday peppered President Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney with questions about new emails, released Wednesday, that appear to show that a major donor to Mr. Obama or his associates lobbied White House officials on the federal government’s $535 million loan to the now-bankrupt energy company.

Mr. Carney would not concede that the emails were proof of any type of lobbying, or anything more than more GOP-led political witch hunts.

“I mean, what the episode in the last 24 hours shows I think reinforces the idea that this is becoming a political football in a partisan effort,” Mr. Carney said. “They cherry-picked some documents and tried to make hay out of something that, when looked in its entirety, only reinforces what we’ve said, which is that there was no political influence in the decision-making progress — process that led to the loan guarantee for Solyndra.”

“In fact, the meeting that they’re referring to, as I’m sure you’re aware, took place almost a year after the loan was approved,” he continued.

The emails in question refer to billionaire fundraiser George Kaiser, whose Kaiser Family Foundation invested heavily in Solyndra, and Mr. Kaiser’s efforts to win a second Department of Energy guarantee that the company sought but never received.

MILITARY

Ex-Gitmo prosecutor suing over firing

The former chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay is suing the Library of Congress for firing him after he wrote opinion columns in two newspapers criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to try some suspected terrorists with military tribunals.

Attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union argued Thursday in federal appeals court in Washington that retired Air Force Col. Morris Davis should be allowed to continue the lawsuit against the supervisor who fired him.

The government argues that Mr. Davis violated his responsibility as a high-level official at the Congressional Research Service, a division of the library that’s responsible for producing objective nonpartisan reports to lawmakers, when he spoke out publicly against the administration’s policy using a “provocative tone.”

ACLU lawyer Aden Fine said Mr. Davis was not speaking as a library employee but as a private citizen with a constitutional right to free speech.

Mr. Davis left the military in 2007 after 25 years of service. In the final two years, he oversaw the prosecution of suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, and that experience led him to think the system was flawed by a lack of defendants’ rights and by political interference.

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