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Barack ObamaWhile Representatives Tom Tancredo, Ron Paul, and Duncan Hunter were in the presidential race, immigration and border security were pushed to center stage.

Sen. Carl LevinA Senate Armed Services Committee hearing held on June 17 made public several documents from the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including a chart that outlined the use of “coercive management techniques” by military interrogators. Subsequent information revealed by the New York Times on July 2, after the newspaper had been tipped off by “an independent expert on interrogation who spoke on condition of anonymity,” indicated that the chart used at Guantanamo had been copied from a 1957 article, “Communist Attempts to Elicit False Confessions From Air Force Prisoners of War.” The article had been written by Alfred D. Biderman, a sociologist then working for the Air Force. Authorities at Guantanamo dropped the chart’s original title: “Communist Coercive Methods for Eliciting Individual Compliance.”

George BushIn a June 18 White House meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev, President Bush announced that “today because of the Prime Minister’s hard work, there has been a breakthrough on the visa waiver, as an important step toward achieving the same status as other countries in the EU.” The Montenegro Times reported that “Bulgarian Foreign Minister Ivaylo Kalfin and US Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff signed an interim declaration” under the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, which outlines the “requirements Bulgaria must meet to join the 27 Asian and European countries currently in the program.” Citizens of visa waiver countries are allowed to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa.

Dept. of Homeland Security In the face of a widespread rebellion among the states against the unfunded Real ID mandate, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on June 20 demonstration grant awards totaling nearly $80 million to assist states in implementing Real ID for their driver’s licenses.

Henry KissingerFormer Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was in Moscow on June 17 to meet with newly installed Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, making Kissinger the first American to have an audience with Vladimir Putin’s protégé and personally selected successor. “I have followed with great interest your becoming president and the plans you have put forward in some of your speeches,” the Russian press reported Kissinger as saying to Medvedev. “I wish you every success. It is important for Russia and important for the world.” Although it has not been reported, Dr. Kissinger undoubtedly also met with former President Vladimir Putin — who has now assumed the position of prime minister — and Yevgeny Primakov, the former foreign minister, prime minister, KGB chief, and supervisor of Soviet Mideast terrorism operations.

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