Historic Documents of 2008

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    Thematic Table of Contents

    American Life

    Pope Benedict XVI on His Visit to the United States (April 15 and 20, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Personal Right to Possess Firearms (June 26, 2008)

    FBI Report on Crime in the United States (September 15, 2008)

    California Passes Proposition 8 Banning Same-Sex Marriage (November 4 and 5, 2008)

    Business, the Economy, and Labor

    Congressional Debate on the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 (February 5 and 6, 2008)

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Placed in Federal Conservatorship (September 7, 2008)

    World Leaders and the IMF on the Global Economic Crisis (September 18, October 7, and October 30, 2008)

    Passage of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (October 1, 2, and 3, 2008)

    U.S. Governors on the Economic Outlook in the States (October 1, October 9, and December 1, 2008)

    Federal Reserve and Economists on the U.S. Financial Crisis at Year-End (December 1 and 16, 2008)

    President Bush Authorizes Bailout Funds for U.S. Automakers (December 4, 11, and 19, 2008)

    U.S. Government Charges Madoff for Multibillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme (December 11, 2008)

    Energy, Environment, Science, Technology, and Transportation

    California Sues the EPA over Emissions Standards (January 2, 2008)

    The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (May 21, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Damages from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (June 25, 2008)

    Congressional Debate on the Ban on Offshore Drilling (September 16, 2008)

    Scientists Announce the Sequencing of a Cancer Genome (November 5, 2008)

    Government and Politics

    2008 Democratic and Republican Presidential Primaries (January 8, March 18, and September 4, 2008)

    State of the Union Address and Democratic Response (January 28, 2008)

    Resignation of New York Governor and U.S. Political Corruption Probes (March 12, July 29, September 4, and December 9, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Indiana's Voter Identification Law (April 28, 2008)

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Placed in Federal Conservatorship (September 7, 2008)

    Governor Palin and Senator Biden in the Vice Presidential Debate (October 2, 2008)

    Senators Obama and McCain in the Final Presidential Debate (October 15, 2008)

    2008 Presidential Election Victory and Concession Speeches (November 4, 2008)

    Health and Social Services

    President Bush on His Five-Nation Tour of Africa (February 14, 2008)

    American Legion on the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Legislation (May 9 and 22, 2008)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Study on HIV Estimates (August 6, 2008)

    President Bush Signs Mental Health Parity Law (October 3, 2008)

    Scientists Announce the Sequencing of a Cancer Genome (November 5, 2008)

    International Affairs
    Africa

    President Bush on His Five-Nation Tour of Africa (February 14, 2008)

    Kenyan Leaders Agree to Power-Sharing Agreement (February 28, 2008)

    Zimbabwe Leaders Sign a Power-Sharing Agreement (July 21 and September 16, 2008)

    Resignation of South African President Mbeki (September 21, 2008)

    United Nations on the Intensification of Violence in the Congo (November 25 and December 23, 2008)

    United Nations and World Leaders on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (December 11 and 16, 2008)

    International Affairs
    Asia

    Nepal Election Replaces Monarchy with Constituent Assembly (April 6, 10, and 11, 2008)

    Burma's Military Leaders Bar Relief Workers after Cyclone (May 9 and 20, 2008)

    UNICEF and Chinese Earthquake Committee on Disaster Aftermath (June 5 and September 4, 2008)

    Concerns over the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games (July 10, July 28, and August 8, 2008)

    Resignation of Pakistani President Musharraf (August 18, 2008)

    Resignation of Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda (September 1, 2008)

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Situations in Iraq and Afghanistan (September 10, 2008)

    United States and India Sign Nuclear Cooperation Agreement (October 10, 2008)

    North Korea Removed from U.S. List of State Sponsors of Terrorism (October 11, 2008)

    Thailand Officials on the Growing Political Crisis (November 28 and December 1, 2008)

    U.S. and Indian Officials on the Terrorist Attacks in Mumbai (December 3 and 11, 2008)

    International Affairs
    Canada

    Canadian Officials on the Shutdown of Parliament (December 1 and 4, 2008)

    International Affairs
    Europe

    Kosovo Declares Independence from Serbia (February 17, 2008)

    Serbia Forms a New, Pro-Western Government (July 7, 2008)

    International Affairs
    Latin America and the Caribbean

    Resignation of Fidel Castro as President of Cuba (February 19, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Powers of the President and the International Court (March 25, 2008)

    Colombian President Uribe on Hostage Rescue (July 15, 2008)

    U.S.–Mexican Initiative to Fight Drug Violence in Mexico (October 23, 2008)

    International Affairs
    Middle East

    United Nations Imposes Sanctions on Iran (March 3, 2008)

    U.S. and Israeli Officials on Violence in Lebanon, Peace Talks with Syria (May 9 and 21, 2008)

    Senate Select Intelligence Committee Report on Iraq (June 5, 2008)

    Resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Olmert (July 30, 2008)

    Timetable for Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Iraq (August 21, 2008)

    Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Situations in Iraq and Afghanistan (September 10, 2008)

    Charges Brought Against Blackwater Guards for Iraqi Civilian Deaths (December 8, 2008)

    United Nations and Israel on Hamas and Renewed Violence in Gaza (December 27 and 29, 2008)

    International Affairs
    Russia and Former Soviet Republics

    Medvedev on His Inauguration as President of Russia (May 7, 2008)

    United States, Czech Republic, and Poland Agree to a Missile Shield (July 8 and August 20, 2008)

    Georgian, Russian, and U.S. Officials on the Conflict in South Ossetia (August 7, 12, and 13, 2008)

    International Affairs
    Global Issues

    United Nations Imposes Sanctions on Iran (March 3, 2008)

    World Food Programme Requests Assistance for Global Food Crisis (March 20, 2008)

    Concerns over the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games (July 10, July 28, and August 8, 2008)

    World Leaders and the IMF on the Global Economic Crisis (September 18, October 7, and October 30, 2008)

    Ahtisaari on Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize (December 10, 2008)

    United Nations and World Leaders on Piracy Off the Coast of Somalia (December 11 and 16, 2008)

    National Security and Terrorism

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Charged for His Role in the 9/11 Attacks (February 11, 2008)

    President Bush Vetoes Congressional Bill Banning Torture (March 8, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Guantánamo Bay Detainees (June 12, 2008)

    Congress Overhauls Federal Rules on Electronic Surveillance (June 20, July 7, and July 10, 2008)

    United States, Czech Republic, and Poland Agree to a Missile Shield (July 8 and August 20, 2008)

    Salim Hamdan Sentenced on Terrorism Charges (August 6 and 7, 2008)

    North Korea Removed from U.S. List of State Sponsors of Terrorism (October 11, 2008)

    Rights, Responsibilities, and Justice

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Charged for His Role in the 9/11 Attacks (February 11, 2008)

    President Bush Vetoes Congressional Bill Banning Torture (March 8, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Powers of the President and the International Court (March 25, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Use of Lethal Injection in Death Penalty Cases (April 16, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Indiana's Voter Identification Law (April 28, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Guantánamo Bay Detainees (June 12, 2008)

    Congress Overhauls Federal Rules on Electronic Surveillance (June 20, July 7, and July 10, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on the Death Penalty for the Rape of a Child (June 25, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Damages from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (June 25, 2008)

    U.S. Supreme Court on Personal Right to Possess Firearms (June 26, 2008)

    Salim Hamdan Sentenced on Terrorism Charges (August 6 and 7, 2008)

    FBI Report on Crime in the United States (September 15, 2008)

    California Passes Proposition 8 Banning Same-Sex Marriage (November 4 and 5, 2008)

    Charges Brought Against Blackwater Guards for Iraqi Civilian Deaths (December 8, 2008)

    U.S. Government Charges Madoff for Multibillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme (December 11, 2008)

    List of Document Sources

    Congress

    Congressional Record, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., 2008, S10890-S10891. “[Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on the] Automobile Crisis,” December 11, 2008.

    Congressional Record, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., 2008, S10904-S10909. “[Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) on the] Domestic Automobile Industry,” December 11, 2008.

    Office of House Republican Leader John Boehner. “Boehner Blasts Democratic Leaders for Refusing to Give Americans Equal Time on Energy.” September 16, 2008.

    Office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Democratic Response by Governor Kathleen Sebelius.” January 28, 2008.

    Office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Pelosi Floor Statement on FISA.” June 20, 2008.

    Office of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Pelosi: It's Time for an Oil Change in America and the Energy Bill Represents That.” September 16, 2008.

    Office of Rep. Patrick Kennedy. “Congressman Kennedy Commends Congress for Final Passage of Mental Health Parity Legislation.” October 3, 2008.

    Office of Sen. Edward Kennedy. “Senators Praise Final House Passage of Mental Health Parity, Look Forward to Enactment.” October 3, 2008.

    Office of Sen. Richard Burr. “Burr Calls for Open Debate on G.I. Bill.” May 22, 2008.

    U.S. Congress. Private and Public Laws. Government Printing Office. “An Act to Prohibit Discrimination on the Basis of Genetic Information.” May 21, 2008.

    U.S. House Armed Services Committee. “Admiral Mullen, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff Testimony.” September 10, 2008.

    U.S. House Armed Services Committee. “Hunter Statement on Salim Hamdan GITMO Decision.” August 6, 2008.

    U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. “Testimony [by Acting Comptroller General Dodaro] Before the Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, United States Senate. Auto Industry: A Framework for Considering Federal Financial Assistance.” December 4, 2008.

    U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. “Testimony of Mr. Alan Mulally.” December 4, 2008.

    U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. “Testimony of Mr. G. Richard Wagoner, Jr.” December 4, 2008.

    U.S. Senate. Floor Statement by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). “Economic Stimulus Package.” S684-685. February 6, 2008.

    U.S. Senate. Floor Statement by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “Economic Stimulus.” S655. February 5, 2008.

    U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. “Report on Whether Public Statements Regarding Iraq by U.S. Government Officials Were Substantiated by Intelligence Information.” June 5, 2008.

    Executive Departments and Agencies

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. “Federal Open Market Committee Cuts Key Rate.” December 16, 2008.

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Estimates of New HIV Infections in the United States.” August 2008.

    Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. Federal Housing Finance Agency. “Statement of FHFA Director James B. Lockhart.” September 7, 2008.

    U.S. Department of Defense. Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense. “Hamdan Sentenced to 66 Months.” August 7, 2008.

    U.S. Department of Defense. “Sept. 11 Co-Conspirators Charged.” February 11, 2008.

    U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 2007. September 15, 2008.

    U.S. Department of Justice. “Five Blackwater Employees Indicted on Manslaughter and Weapons Charges for Fatal Nisur Square Shooting in Iraq.” December 8, 2008.

    U.S. Department of Justice. “Investment Adviser and Former Chairman of NASDAQ Stock Market Arrested for Multibillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme.” December 11, 2008.

    U.S. Department of Justice. “Letter from Attorney General Mukasey and DNI McConnell on the Amendments Offered to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act of 2008.” July 7, 2008.

    U.S. Department of Justice. “U.S. Senator [Stevens] Indicted on False Statement Charges.” July 29, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State. http://America.gov. “John McCain's Concession Speech.” November 4, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State. http://America.gov. “Red Cross Makes Inroads in Region Struck by Cyclone Nargis.” May 20, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State Archive. “Press Conference in New Delhi, India.” December 3, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State Archive. “Recent Events in Georgia.” August 13, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State Archive. “Situation in Somalia.” December 16, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State. “Briefing on North Korea with Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks Ambassador Sung Kim, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Sean McCormack, Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance, and Implementation Paula DeSutter, and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Patricia McNerney.” October 11, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State. Embassy of the United States in Baghdad, Iraq. “Remarks: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.” August 21, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State. “Remarks by Secretary Rice on Violence in Lebanon.” May 9, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State. “Remarks with Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg at Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement Signing Ceremony.” July 8, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State. “Remarks with Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Patricia Espinosa.” October 23, 2008.

    U.S. Department of State. “Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Indian Minister of External Affairs Pranab Mukherjee Sign the U.S.-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.” October 10, 2008.

    U.S. Department of the Treasury. “Paulson Statement on Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.” October 3, 2008.

    U.S. Department of the Treasury. “Statement by Secretary Henry M. Paulson, Jr. on Treasury and Federal Housing Finance Agency Action to Protect Financial Markets and Taxpayers.” September 7, 2008.

    U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. “SEC Charges Bernard L. Madoff for Multibillion-Dollar Ponzi Scheme.” December 11, 2008.

    International Nongovernmental Organizations

    Amnesty International. “Chinese Authorities’ Broken Promises Threaten Olympic Legacy.” July 28, 2008.

    China Internet Information Center. Press Conferences. “Speech by Ma Zongjin, Chairman of the National Wenchuan Earthquake Expert Committee.” September 4, 2008.

    Council on Foreign Relations. Essential Documents. “President Musharraf's Resignation Speech.” August 18, 2008.

    Granma International. “Message from the Commander in Chief [Fidel Castro].” February 19, 2008.

    International Monetary Fund. “IMF Sees Heightened Risks to Global Financial Security and Urges Comprehensive Action.” October 7, 2008.

    Liberal Party of Canada. “Opposition Parties Deliver Petitions to Governor General.” December 4, 2008.

    Liberal Party of Canada. “Statement by the Honourable Stéphane Dion, Leader of the Official Opposition, on the Prorogation of Parliament.” December 4, 2008.

    Movement for Democratic Change. “Agreement Between the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the Two Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Formations, on Resolving the Challenges Facing Zimbabwe.” September 16, 2008.

    Nepal Election Portal. “Obstruction at Poll Booths Nationwide: A Summary.” April 10, 2008.

    New Democratic Party of Canada. “Coalition for Change: Statement by Jack Layton.” December 1, 2008.

    Nobel Foundation. “Nobel Lecture by Martti Ahtisaari.” Oslo, Norway. December 10, 2008.

    Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. “Press Conference: Beijing Air Quality.” August 8, 2008.

    Official Website of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. “Senior Leader: China to Ensure Media Freedom During Olympics.” July 10, 2008.

    United Nations Children's Fund, China. “More than 10,000 Schools in Sichuan Badly Damaged.” June 5, 2008.

    United Nations. Department of Public Information. “Demanding Immediate Ceasefire in Gaza—Secretary General Urges Avoidance of Civilian Casualties, End to ‘Inflammatory Rhetoric.’” December 29, 2008.

    United Nations. Department of Public Information. “Press Conference on Myanmar Humanitarian Appeal.” May 9, 2008.

    United Nations. Department of Public Information. “Press Conference on Situation in Gaza.” December 29, 2008.

    United Nations Mission in Nepal. “A Historic Day—Now for the Count.” April 11, 2008.

    United Nations Mission in Nepal. “Conditions for the Constituent Assembly Election on 10 April 2008.” April 6, 2008.

    United Nations Organization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. “MONUC Calls on CNDP and Other Armed Groups to Refrain from Threatening Actions.” December 23, 2008.

    United Nations Organization Mission in Democratic Republic of the Congo. “MONUC Condemns the Ceasefire Violations by the CNDP and Acts of Looting by the FARDC.” November 25, 2008.

    United Nations Security Council. “Resolution 1803 (2008).” S/2008/141 (2008). March 3, 2008.

    United Nations Security Council. “Security Council Authorizes States to Use Land-Based Operations in Somalia, as Part of Fight Against Piracy Off Coast, Unanimously Adopting 1851.” December 16, 2008.

    United Nations World Food Programme. “WFP Letter of Appeal to Government Donors to Address Critical Funding Gap.” March 20, 2008.

    Vatican Office of the Holy Father. “Farewell Ceremony at John Fitzgerald Kennedy Airport of New York.” April 20, 2008.

    Vatican Office of the Holy Father. “Interview of the Holy Father During the Flight to the United States of America.” April 15, 2008.

    Judiciary

    Supreme Court of the United States. Baze v. Rees. April 16, 2008.

    Supreme Court of the United States. Crawford v. Marion County Board of Elections. April 28, 2008.

    Supreme Court of the United States. District of Columbia et al., Petitioners v. Dick Anthony Heller. June 26, 2008.

    Supreme Court of the United States. Exxon Shipping v. Baker. June 25, 2008.

    Supreme Court of the United States. José Ernesto Medellín v. Texas. March 25, 2008.

    Supreme Court of the United States. Kennedy v. Louisiana. June 25, 2008.

    Supreme Court of the United States. Lakhdar Boumediene et al. Petitioners, v. George W. Bush, President of the United States, et al. June 12, 2008.

    Non-U.S. Governments

    Embassy of Colombia. “Statement of President Álvaro Uribe Vélez Regarding ‘Operation Jaque.’” July 15, 2008.

    Government of Canada. Office of the Prime Minister. “Statement by the Prime Minister of Canada.” December 4, 2008.

    Government of Georgia. Press Office of the President. “The Special Address of the President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili.” August 7, 2008.

    Government of Japan. Office of the Prime Minister of Japan and His Cabinet. “Press Conference by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.” September 1, 2008.

    Government of the United Kingdom. Office of the Prime Minister. “Press Conference with Angela Merkel.” October 30, 2008.

    Kingdom of Thailand. “Government and Private Sector Discuss the Impact of the Closure of Suvarnabhumi Airport.” December 1, 2008.

    Kingdom of Thailand. “Ministers Join Hands to Assist Thai Nationals and Foreign Tourists Affected by Airport Closure.” December 1, 2008.

    Kingdom of Thailand. “On 27 November 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Held a Briefing for Members of the Diplomatic Corps and Representatives of International Organizations Based in Thailand About the Situation at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.” November 28, 2008.

    Republic of India. Press Information Bureau. “HM Announces Measures to Enhance Security.” December 11, 2008.

    Republic of India. Press Information Bureau. “Strengthening Security Measures for Tackling Sea Piracy.” December 11, 2008.

    Republic of Kenya. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Acting Together for Kenya: Agreement on the Principles of Partnership of the Coalition Government.” February 28, 2008.

    Republic of Kosovo. Assembly of Kosovo. “Kosovo Declaration of Independence.” Pristina, Kosovo. February 17, 2008.

    Republic of Poland. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Declaration on Strategic Cooperation Between the United States of America and the Republic of Poland.” August 20, 2008.

    Republic of Serbia. “Keynote Address of Prime Minister Nominee Mirko Cvetkovic.” July 7, 2008.

    Republic of South Africa. “Address to the Nation by President Thabo Mbeki.” September 21, 2008.

    Republic of South Africa. “Memorandum of Understanding Between the Zimbabwe African National Union (Patriotic Front) and the Two Movements for Democratic Change Formations.” July 21, 2008.

    Russian Federation. Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Press Statement Following Negotiations of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the Kremlin, Moscow.” August 12, 2008.

    Russian Federation. Office of the President. “Beginning of the Meeting on Economic Issues.” September 18, 2008.

    Russian Federation. Office of the President. “Speech at Inauguration Ceremony as President of Russia.” May 7, 2008.

    State of Israel. Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. PM Olmert Press Briefing on IDF Operations in the Gaza Strip.” December 27, 2008.

    State of Israel. Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Responding to Hamas Attacks from Gaza—Issues of Proportionality.” December 2008.

    State of Israel. Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Statement by PM Olmert Regarding Negotiations with Syria.” May 21, 2008.

    State of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister's Office. “Personal Announcement by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.” July 30, 2008.

    U.S. Nongovernmental Organizations

    2008 Republican National Convention Web Site. “Remarks by John McCain.” September 4, 2008.

    American Civil Liberties Union. “Legal Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Proposition 8, Should It Pass.” November 5, 2008.

    American Legion. “American Legion to Congress: ‘Pass a Clean GI Bill.’” May 9, 2008.

    America's Health Insurance Plans. “AHIP Commends Congress for Passage of Bipartisan Mental Health Parity Legislation.” October 3, 2008.

    Barack Obama Campaign for President. “Remarks of President-Elect Barack Obama—Election Night.” November 4, 2008.

    Barack Obama Campaign for President. “Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: ‘A More Perfect Union.’” March 18, 2008.

    Blackwater Worldwide. “Blackwater Statement on Indictment of Former Contractors.” December 8, 2008.

    Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Church Responds to Same-Sex Marriage Votes.” November 5, 2008.

    Commission on Presidential Debates. “The Biden-Palin Vice Presidential Debate.” October 2, 2008.

    Commission on Presidential Debates. “The Third McCain–Obama Presidential Debate.” October 15, 2008.

    Hillary Clinton for President. “Remarks Following the New Hampshire Primary.” January 8, 2008.

    National Bureau of Economic Research. “Determination of the December 2007 Peak in Economic Activity.” December 11, 2008.

    Washington University in St. Louis. Medical News Releases. “Washington University Scientists First to Sequence Genome of Cancer Patient.” November 5, 2008.

    U.S. State and Local Governments

    Illinois Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and His Chief of Staff John Harris Arrested on Federal Corruption Charges.” December 9, 2008.

    Office of the Governor of California. “Governor Schwarzenegger Announces EPA Suit Filed to Reverse Waiver Denial.” January 2, 2008.

    Office of the Governor of California. “Governor Schwarzenegger Sends Letter Updating U.S. Department of Treasury on California's Current Financial Situation.” October 9, 2008.

    Office of the Governor of Florida. “Governor Crist Continues Focus on Florida Economy in ‘Accelerate Florida’ Meeting with Tallahassee Business Leaders.” October 1, 2008.

    Office of the Governor of Michigan. “Governor Granholm's Statement from the Bench.” September 4, 2008.

    Office of the Governor of New York. “Statement from Governor Eliot Spitzer.” March 12, 2008.

    Office of the Governor of Ohio. “Governor Discusses Impact of National Economic Deterioration on Ohio Budget.” December 1, 2008.

    Office of the Secretary of State of California. “Official Voter Information Guide.” November 4, 2008.

    White House and the President

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Address Before a Joint Session of Congress on the State of the Union.” January 28, 2008.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008.” March 8, 2008.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. Office of Management and Budget. “Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 6899—Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act.” September 16, 2008.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks Following a Meeting with Business Leaders on Economic Stabilization.” October 2, 2008.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on African Development and Upcoming Visit to Africa.” February 14, 2008.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on Economic Stabilization Legislation.” October 3, 2008.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on Signing the FISA Amendments Act of 2008.” July 10, 2008.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Remarks on the American Auto Industry.” December 19, 2008.

    U.S. Executive Office of the President. “Statement on Senate Action on Economic Stabilization Legislation.” October 1, 2008.

    Preface

    A historic U.S. presidential election, the worsening global financial crisis, China's successful, but not uncontroversial Summer Olympic Games, piracy off the coast of Somalia, and landmark rulings from the Supreme Court on gun control and capital punishment are just a few of the topics of national and international importance chosen for discussion in Historic Documents of 2008. This edition marks the thirty-seventh volume of a CQ Press project that began with Historic Documents of 1972. This series allows students, librarians, journalists, scholars, and others to research and understand the most important domestic and foreign issues and events of the year through primary source documents. To aid readers in their research, many of the lengthy documents written for specialized audiences have been excerpted to highlight the most important sections. The official statements, news conferences, speeches, special studies, and court decisions presented here should be of lasting public and academic interest.

    Historic Documents of 2008 opens with an “Overview of 2008,” a sweeping narrative of the key events and issues of the year that provides context for the documents that follow. The balance of the book is organized chronologically by month. Each article comprises an introduction entitled “Document in Context” and one or more related documents on a specific event, issue, or topic. The introductions provide context and an account of further developments during the year. A thematic table of contents (page xvii) and a list of documents organized by source (page xxi) follow the standard table of contents and assist readers in locating events and documents.

    Over time, as events, issues, and consequences become more complex and far-reaching, these introductions and documents yield important information and deepen understanding about the world's increasing interconnectedness. As memories of current events fade, these selections will continue to further understanding of the events and issues that have shaped the lives of people around the world.

    How to Use This Book

    Each of the seventy entries in this edition consists of two parts: a comprehensive introduction followed by one or more primary source documents. The articles are arranged in chronological order by month. Articles with multiple documents are placed according to the date of the first document. There are several ways to find events and documents of interest:

    By date: If you know the approximate date of an event or document, browse through the titles for that month in the table of contents. Alternatively, browse the monthly tables of contents that appear at the beginning of each month's articles.

    By theme: To find a particular topic or subject area, browse the thematic table of contents.

    By document type or source: To find a particular type of document or document source, such as the White House or Congress, review the list of document sources.

    By index: The five-year index enables researchers to locate references to specific events or documents as well as entries on the same or related subjects. The index in this volume covers the years 2004–2008. A separate volume, Historic Documents Index, 1972–2005, may also be useful in tracing developments.

    Each article begins with a section entitled “Document in Context.” This feature provides historical and intellectual contexts for the documents that follow. Documents are reproduced in these pages with the spelling, capitalization, and punctuation of the original or official copy. Ellipsis points indicate textual omissions (unless they were present in the documents themselves to indicate pauses in speech). Bracketed words within documents indicate editorial insertions to clarify text.

    The excerpting of Supreme Court opinions has been treated somewhat differently from other documents. In-text references to laws and other court cases have been removed to improve the readability of opinions. In these documents, ellipses are used only to indicate when sections of narrative text have been removed.

    Full citations appear at the end of each document. Most documents are available on the Internet, but if a document is not available on the Internet, this too is noted. For further reading on a particular topic, consult the “Other Historic Documents of Interest” section at the end of each article. These features provide cross-references for related articles in this edition of Historic Documents as well as in previous editions. References to articles from past volumes include the year and the page number for easy retrieval.

    Overview of 2008

    The economic crisis that began in late 2007 dominated the news in 2008. Signs of the failing economy were pervasive throughout the United States. Mass layoffs, foreclosures, bank failures, and the threat of recession took over the headlines and were the main topics of debate in the historic presidential campaign that culminated in the election, on November 4, of Barack Obama, the first African American president.

    The economic turmoil was due in large part to the troubled state of the housing market, which began breaking down in 2006. Declining housing prices and decreased demand were brought on by lax lending policies used during more flush economic times. When demand for homes was high and interest rates were low, banks developed policies that encouraged more and more buyers to enter the market. These sometimes questionable lending practices caused banks to give out loans to people who typically would not have qualified for mortgages. When demand for houses began falling, and interest rates began climbing, buyers with adjustable rate mortgages were unable to afford higher interest rates and began defaulting on mortgages and facing foreclosure. Banks quickly began losing money, and the liquidity in the economy stalled as money stopped changing hands both from banks to borrowers and between banks. Wall Street financial firms, which often traded funds back and forth and were closely tied together, were all put at risk.

    In March 2008, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that Bear Stearns, a global financial institution on the brink of collapse, was “too big to fail” and urged Congress to help bring the company back to solvency. Instead of providing an infusion of money, the federal government made a deal with JPMorgan Chase to take over Bear Stearns at a discounted price. In September, Lehman Brothers and insurance giant AIG (American International Group) announced, in the same week, that they were having similar financial problems. Lehman Brothers received no assistance from the federal government and was unable to find a buyer. On September 15, Lehman Brothers became the largest company in American history to declare bankruptcy. As these financial giants crumbled, the Dow Jones industrial average went into a free fall. On the day Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, the Dow Jones lost 500 points; it fell another 440 points later the same week.

    In the case of AIG—one of thirty stocks that made up the Dow Jones average—the federal government had to intervene to prevent a collapse of the stock market through panicked sell-offs. The government gave AIG an $85 billion line of credit to help it regain solvency, while acquiring an 80 percent equity interest in the company.

    Both casual and serious investors, affected by the downward trend in the economy, began pulling money out of the stock market and out of money market funds, once considered as secure as savings accounts, and invested in U.S. Treasury bills, which are backed in full faith by the federal government. Financial services groups saw their stock prices decline because of the sell-off by investors.

    On October 3, Congress made another attempt to salvage the failing banks and passed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, the largest bank bailout in history. The act empowered the Treasury to spend up to $700 billion to buy troubled financial assets. The first $250 billion of the plan was spent immediately; the next $100 billion would be used if the president called for it, and if Congress would appropriate the remainder of the funds. Given the heated debate over the program in Congress, and the fury of taxpayers, building in oversight of the bailout program was of key importance. Four levels of oversight were to encompass representatives from all levels of government. Any firm that received bailout money was required to give the government equity in the company through warrants to buy nonvoting stock. This provision meant that over time the government might be able to recoup at least part of its investment.

    In an effort to shore up the economy, the federal government also attempted to help citizens in distress from the financial crisis. During his last State of the Union address in January 2008, President George W. Bush had called on Congress to develop a stimulus package that would inject money into the economy by giving rebate checks directly to taxpayers. There was considerable argument among lawmakers and financial experts as to whether such a stimulus package would help boost the economy. Some economists believed that many Americans would save the money given to them by the federal government, or use it to pay off debt, rather than spending it. A previous attempt at reviving the economy with rebate checks in 2003 showed that only two-thirds of Americans spent their stimulus checks within the first year of receiving them. With the current failing economy, a divided Congress managed to garner bipartisan support for the Economic Stimulus Act, and it was signed into law in February. Approximately $152 billion of the $168 billion, two-year package was to be used in 2008 to provide rebate checks to American families. As long as they met minimum standards, individual taxpayers would receive $300 per person, and married couples could receive up to $600. Parents also were to receive a rebate of $300 for each child. Approximately 128 million households received rebate checks from the stimulus package in 2008.

    In addition to strengthening consumer spending, the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 expanded on earlier efforts by the Bush administration to help stall the foreclosure crisis. The Federal Housing Administration was empowered to insure larger mortgages than it had been able to do in the past. In September 2008, when the Bush administration saw that its earlier plans had not been strong enough to stall the housing crisis, it intervened again to keep liquidity in the housing market by placing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under conservatorship. These two quasi-governmental companies guarantee approximately 70 percent of all new home loans in the United States, and they either own or guarantee half of all home mortgage debt. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, nearly 10 percent of mortgages were at least one month overdue in the second quarter of 2008, the highest percentage in the past thirty-nine years. By being brought under conservatorship rather than having to file for bankruptcy, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could continue lending with stronger backing from the federal government. Whether the conservatorship arrangement works will depend on how easily buyers are able to obtain mortgages offered at competitive rates.

    In December, with the economy continuing its downward spiral, came the announcement that the United States was officially in a recession and had been in one since 2007. Martin Feldstein, president of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the group charged with declaring recessions, made the announcement on December 1, after earlier speculation that, under any financial standards, the country was in recession. According to the NBER, there were many reasons for the declaration. Among them were the declining labor market, which saw more than 2.5 million jobs lost in the United States during the first ten months of 2008, and the slowing growth in personal income, industrial production, and retail sales.

    Also in December, with the market already in a state of panic, the Department of Justice arrested New York investment banker Bernard Madoff for running a Ponzi scheme in which he swindled investors out of billions of dollars. Madoff had quietly been running his asset management scam for years out of the seventeenth floor of the Manhattan office building in which his legitimate investment security company was run (on the eighteenth and nineteenth floors). Madoff's arrest shocked his investors as well as the financial world and was one more symbol of the financial turmoil.

    Unemployment rose in December in every state, with some states, such as Michigan and Rhode Island, hitting double-digit unemployment rates. The federal government offered little hope of a turnaround, expecting another two million jobs to be lost in 2009. All areas of the economy were affected by job loss—the manufacturing industry was hurt by Detroit's moribund auto sales, the construction industry was hit by the decline of the housing market, and reductions in consumer spending led to many business closures. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of mass layoffs, indicated by more than fifty people being laid off by one company at one time, topped 21,000, and included layoffs at some of the nation's biggest companies.

    Automakers, one of the hardest hit groups, asked the federal government for billions of dollars to keep their companies operational, while promising to reform the way they do business. The situation for automakers, and a possible collapse of the auto manufacturing industry, would have a detrimental effect on all areas of the economy. According to the Center for Automotive Research, it was estimated that if General Motors filed for bankruptcy, more than two million jobs would be lost. When GM came before Congress to ask for assistance, U.S. sales were down 22 percent for the year. President Bush stepped in on December 19, using Emergency Economic Stabilization funds to provide $13.4 billion to automakers. The loan came with strings attached. Automakers would have to restructure the way they operate by, among other things, increasing the focus on developing more-energy-efficient cars.

    In mid-December the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve responded to the economic situation by setting the key interest rate to between zero and 1/4 percent. This was the lowest the target range—a rate which dictates how much interest banks pay when lending to each other and borrowing money from the federal government—had ever been, and it reflected the scale of the crisis. Lending, however, was still at a standstill at the end of 2008, and the incoming president faced daunting economic challenges.

    The 2008 Presidential Election

    The presidential election of 2008 featured neither an incumbent nor a vice presidential candidate, as had been the case for the past fifty-six years, and from the outset, the race promised to be historic. The contest for the 2008 election began in 2007 and for both parties lasted for months. In 2007 eight Democrats declared their candidacy for the nomination of their party—Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware, Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, Chris Dodd of Connecticut, and Barack Obama of Illinois; former senators John Edwards of North Carolina and Mike Gravel of Alaska; Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio; and New Mexico governor Bill Richardson. On the Republican side, eleven candidates conducted nationwide campaigns—Sens. Sam Brownback of Kansas and John McCain of Arizona; former senator Fred Thompson of Tennessee; former governors Jim Gilmore of Virginia, Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, and Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin; Reps. Duncan Hunter of California, Ron Paul of Texas, and Tom Tancredo of Colorado; and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.

    The candidates battled into 2008, with McCain claiming victory on the Republican side in early March. Democrats Clinton and Obama fought it out until June, when Clinton ended her campaign and threw her support to Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden.

    On the Democratic side, the victory of either Clinton or Obama in the national election would be historic: If Clinton won she would become the first woman president, and if Obama won he would become the first African American president. Both candidates fought hard, facing the issues of race and sex on the campaign trail. Obama was forced to confront the issue of race head-on when sermons containing heated remarks about race in America that were given by his former pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, were circulated. Obama responded with his “More Perfect Union” speech in March, stating that he understood the basis for Wright's remarks but that the inflammatory statements only stood to further racism.

    The race took another historic turn at the Republican National Convention in early September, when McCain, in a surprising decision, called on Alaska governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate.

    The general election campaign, which went into high gear after the national conventions, was often negative and bitter. McCain decided to take public campaign financing, which limited his fundraising efforts to $84 million. Obama, who chose not to accept public financing, was able to surpass McCain in spending, with a record-breaking fundraising total of $745 million. The Obama campaign, with the funds to afford what McCain could not, took out a thirty-minute advertisement on the major networks that aired a week before the general election and gave voters an idea of how Obama's campaign promises would affect the lives of Americans. The ad, which cost over $3 million, was dismissed by the McCain campaign as “a glossy feel-good commercial” that was “paid for with broken promises.” Obama used his additional capital to launch campaigns in traditionally Republican states, such as Colorado and New Mexico, which the Democratic Party had rarely bothered to compete in.

    On Election Day, November 4, news of voters standing in lines for hours waiting to cast their votes was reported across the country. Shortly after polls closed on the West Coast, Obama was declared the winner. What was predicted to be a close race turned out to be heavily in Obama's favor. Obama won 53 percent of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes, while McCain won 46 percent of the popular vote and 173 electoral votes. McCain gave his concession speech at his headquarters in Phoenix, Arizona, that night. Obama declared victory in Chicago before a crowd of 100,000 people who chanted his campaign slogan, “Yes we can.” Exit polls released after the election showed that Obama garnered his greatest support from young and minority voters. An Obama victory brought hope that more doors would be opened to minorities, while also bringing hope that Americans would remain engaged in politics.

    Supreme Court Decisions

    The Supreme Court completed its 2007–2008 term in late June 2008. During this session it ruled on some of the nation's most challenging issues, including environmental safety, gun rights, the death penalty, and the rights of enemy combatants at the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

    It had been nearly twenty years since the Exxon Valdez tanker spilled millions of gallons of oil into the water off Alaska's coast. By the time Exxon Shipping v. Baker, the case that would determine punitive damages for the incident, came before the Supreme Court, nearly 20 percent of the original plaintiffs had died, while hundreds of others had gone into bankruptcy. Nearly 30,000 gallons of oil from the spill remained in the water, threatening to do further ecological damage and cause further harm to Alaska's fishing industry. On June 25, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5–3 decision that the punitive damages awarded to those affected by the oil spill were excessively high. In the ruling, the Court cut the $2.5 billion punitive damage award, reducing the compensation given to each plaintiff in the case from $75,000 to $15,000. Alaskans, including Gov. Sarah Palin, were angered at the decision, decrying the lost income and livelihood of people in the fishing industry who use the now-polluted waters to make a living.

    Gun rights, a perennially controversial issue in American politics, found its way to the high court's docket in a challenge to the gun ban in Washington, D.C., one of the nation's strictest. On June 26, the Court ruled 5–4 in District of Columbia v. Heller to overturn the D.C. ban. In the majority ruling, the Court found, for the first time in American history, that the Second Amendment of the Constitution grants individuals a right to own guns for personal defense rather than just for the purpose of forming and maintaining a well-armed militia. Gun-rights advocates celebrated the decision, anticipating that other gun bans would also be overturned. Although this decision was significant, it left many questions unanswered including questions on whether weapons can be carried outside the home, what types of permits or licenses on guns can be required, and whether bans will apply to all types of weapons. These questions leave the door open for further Supreme Court decisions. In response to the decision some cities across the United States overturned long-standing weapons bans rather than wait to see whether they, too, would be brought to court.

    The Court also took up two cases pertaining to the death penalty. In Kennedy v. Louisiana, the Court ruled in a 5–4 decision that rape cannot be punished by the death penalty. The question before the Court, brought by a man sentenced to death in Louisiana for the rape of his eight-year-old stepdaughter, was whether the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, could stop the use of the punishment of death in cases where the victim does not die. The Court ruled against Louisiana on June 25, saying that, in this case, the rape of a child did not warrant the death penalty. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, the Court went further in its decision saying that no rape could be punished with the death penalty.

    Earlier in the term, in Baze v. Rees, the Supreme Court examined whether the three-drug lethal injection procedure used in Kentucky violated that same principle of the Constitution—that which prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. The last time this type of case was heard had been in 1878, when the constitutionality of firing squads was called into question. On April 16, the Court ruled in a 7–2 decision that Kentucky's three-drug method was constitutional. Although the decision was heavily weighted in one direction, seven of the nine Supreme Court justices wrote separate opinions, and none of those opinions had more than three justices joining.

    On June 12, the Supreme Court ruled 5–4 in Boumediene v. Bush that foreigners held at Guantánamo Bay Naval Base have constitutional habeas corpus rights to challenge their detention in U.S. courts. The detention facility at Guantánamo had been controversial since it was set up after the attacks of September 11, 2001. Boumediene was the third ruling by the Supreme Court on the Bush administration's detention policies at Guantánamo, and also the third time the Court had rejected the arguments of the administration that the detainees, as unlawful enemy combatants of the United States, did not have any rights to trial. It was the first time, however, that the Court ruled that “noncitizens detained by our government in territory over which another country maintains de jure sovereignty have any rights under the constitution.” After the Court's ruling, the case of Lakhdar Boumediene and five other Algerian detainees went to a federal judge who had ruled in 2005 that those held in Guantánamo had no habeas corpus rights. On November 20, 2008, the same judge, Richard Leon, ruled that five of the six Algerians, including Boumediene, must be freed because they were unlawfully detained on the basis of the allegations of one source. At the end of 2008 more than 200 lawsuits by Guantánamo detainees who were challenging their detentions were still pending. Obama, during his campaign, promised to close Guantánamo, and there was an expectation that he would do so during his first year as president.

    Foreign Affairs

    In 2008 the Summer Olympic Games were held in China, a nation notorious for its often secretive government and human rights violations. There were concerns from the outset that the Chinese would not allow foreign journalists to cover all of the Olympic events, or that journalists would be restricted as to what they could report on while in China. There were also fears that the air quality in Beijing, where most events would take place, was dangerous for athletes to breathe. China had made many promises to the International Olympic Committee to get the Olympic bid, and it followed through on some, cutting back on pollution by closing factories and restricting driving. Although the chance to showcase its accomplishments before the world proved beneficial for China, there were lingering questions after the games as to whether the nation would adhere to its new pollution-offsetting policies and continue its more open standards.

    Governmental power shifted in many countries in 2008. Vladimir Putin stepped down from his position as president of Russia, taking on the position of prime minister, as his long-time protégé Dmitri Medvedev was installed as president. An ailing Fidel Castro resigned as president of Cuba, handing the reins over to his brother, Raúl. Elsewhere Japanese prime minister Yasuo Fukuda, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, South African president Thabo Mbeki, and Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf all resigned. In Eastern Europe, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia, and Russia tested its military might against Georgian forces.

    In the Middle East, the announcement on May 22 of peace talks between Israel and Syria through a Turkish mediator brought a glimmer of hope that the Arab-Israeli crisis, which has spanned five decades, might be improving. Israel asked Syria to sever ties with Iran, which has helped fund Hezbollah, a militant political force in Lebanon, and Hamas, a Sunni Muslim Palestinian resistance group based in the Gaza Strip. Hamas, by the time of the peace talks, was in control of most of Gaza and was gaining ground in the West Bank, two Palestinian-claimed territories occupied by Israel. Syria asked for the return of the Golan Heights, which had been occupied for years by Israel. The talks were stalled when Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert resigned from his position, leaving open the question of whether the next prime minister would want talks to continue.

    While Israel and Syria sought peace, Lebanon saw its eighteen-month political crisis come to a head. Violence broke out in the country over the Lebanese government's decision to force Hezbollah to shut down its telecommunications system, which Hezbollah argued was essential for its fight against Israel. The Lebanese central government and Lebanese army were weak, and Hezbollah forces were able to declare an easy victory.

    A six-month ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came to an end in December, when war broke out one week after the ceasefire expired. During the twenty-three-day conflict, which included air strikes in Gaza by the Israelis, more than 1,400 Palestinians and 11 Israelis were killed.

    In Africa, President Bush started the year with a trip to the continent, promising U.S. aid on programs to help fight HIV/AIDS and poverty. The Kenyan government agreed to a power-sharing agreement in February, as did Zimbabwe, whose economy was in a free fall caused by astronomic levels of inflation. However, there was no indication that these events in either country would lead to political stability. Toward the year's end, increasing attention was given to gangs of pirates operating off the shores of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. The number of pirate attacks in this region doubled in 2008 over the previous year, with more than sixty ships attacked and many held for ransom. Without an official sitting government, Somalia had to rely on help from other countries and international organizations to combat piracy.

    Political instability was not the only crisis in 2008, as natural disasters struck around the world. Food prices soared to an all-time high in many countries, and increased demand from a growing middle class and a decrease in food donations left citizens in many nations hungry. The Chinese government came under fire in May for its slow response to a major earthquake that caused hundreds of schools to collapse, killing many, including students. According to the parents of the students, their children would have lived if the government had invested more in the structural integrity of the schools. In Burma, a cyclone in May led to international criticism of the ruling junta, which was slow to accept international aid and unwilling to allow outside workers into the country.

    Iraq and Afghanistan

    The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued making headline news in 2008. The war in Iraq, which was entering its seventh year, was set to become the longest war in American history. The increasing number of insurgent attacks in Afghanistan prompted calls for more American troops, while in Iraq a timetable for withdrawal of troops was discussed. President Bush had called for a troop surge in Iraq in 2007, and it seemed to be working—the number of American troop deaths and insurgent attacks had fallen. Pressure built on the president to do something to alleviate or end the war before he left office in early 2009. After the surge brought positive results, Bush pulled thousands of troops out of Iraq and sent additional troops to Afghanistan, where the outlook was worsening. According to Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the situation in Afghanistan would deteriorate even further without more resources and intervention. Mullen told the House Armed Services Committee that the United States was not winning in Afghanistan, but that it could win with additional resources and a greater focus placed on rebuilding the country and helping it survive on its own once American troops had left. By December, Mullen was calling for 20,000 to 30,000 more American troops to be sent to Afghanistan. He said, however, that after this injection of troops no more would be necessary because Afghanistan would have to focus its own resources in order to build a strong central government and fix its economic situation to prevent the insurgency from strengthening.

    In Iraq, the Bush administration worked with the Iraqi government to form a tentative timeframe for withdrawal of American troops. The administration resisted setting any firm dates for withdrawal, but the Iraqi government was growing impatient with the seemingly endless occupation. On August 21, U.S. secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari announced a timeframe for withdrawal that would take American combat troops out of Iraq by the end of 2011. Although nothing definite was decided, and no draft of the timeframe was released, the announcement was a breakthrough after seven months of negotiation. Whether members of the U.S. military could be tried in Iraqi courts and whether American forces would be allowed to stay in Iraq if the situation deteriorated were among the issues that remained unresolved at the time.

    A report from the Senate Select Intelligence Committee in June, however, dampened the encouraging news on Iraq. The committee found that the Bush administration had misled the public in order to make its case for war with Iraq. According to the committee's report, the White House, along with other senior officials, misrepresented some of the information it had received from the intelligence community. Although some of the claims made by the administration accurately reflected the information contained in intelligence reports, they often did not go far enough to explain that data from different analysts were conflicting.

    —Heather Kleba

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