Democrats Fuming Over Torture Memos

Congressional Democrats are railing against the Justice Department for issuing secret memos that authorized harsh interrogation techniques by the CIA. The New York Times reports that lawmakers want the White House to turn over the documents.

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LUKE BURBANK, host:

Now here's Rachel Martin with the news.

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Hey, good morning everyone. Congressional Democrats today are railing against the Justice Department for issuing secret memos authorizing harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA. The existence of the memos was reported yesterday in the New York Times.

One issued by the Justice Department in 2005 said it was okay to use a combination of painful, physical and psychological interrogation tactics, including head slapping, frigid temperatures, and simulated drowning.

A second memo said the tactics approved for the CIA do not violate pending legislation to prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. White House officials insist the tactics disclosed in the memos do not constitute torture.

The memos could complicate confirmation hearings for Michael Mukasey, the former judge tapped to replace Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales led the Justice Department at the time the memos were written.

A new surveillance video of a woman who died in police custody has been released. The footage shows Carol Anne Gotbaum, running through the airport terminal bowing abruptly as she appeared to yell and then resisting arrest as three police officers tried to control her.

Gotbaum, the 45-year-old stepdaughter-in-law of New York's public advocate, was arrested late last month for disorderly conduct after she was kept off a flight to Tucson where she was supposed to start alcohol rehab. Police said Gotbaum was shackled to a bench and left alone in a holding room where she was later found unconscious and not breathing with the chain from the shackle pulled against the front of her neck.

Police released a video amid allegations from Gotbaum's family that officers manhandled her before her death. Authorities are still investigating that case.

And we told you earlier this week about that case in Minnesota where a 30-year-old mother of two is standing trial for illegally downloading music from her home computer. Well, yesterday, the jury found Jamie Thomas liable for copyright infringement and ordered her to pay $9,250 for each of 24 shared songs named in the suit.

The case is being considered a win for the music industry. There have been more than 20,000 file-sharing lawsuits in the past four years, but most of those have been settled out-of-court and - or have been dismissed or are still pending.

And for everyone out there who tivoed baseball playoff games last night and intends to watch them later today, plug your ears. In baseball playoff action, the Diamondbacks beat the Cubs 8-to-4 in Phoenix. The Indians hits four home runs to crush the Yankees 12-to-3 and the Rockies beat the Phillies 10-to-5, taking a two game lead in the series.

The news is always online at npr.org. I'm Rachel Martin.

Luke and Alison, back to you.

LUKE BURBANK, host:

You know, you can just say the sports out loud and not give that warning because Dan Pashman, our producer, who's, yesterday, tivoed the Cubs game.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Poor Dan.

MARTIN: Yeah.

BURBANK: And went all day and not watching it. He already found that they lost.

MARTIN: I know.

STEWART: Are the Yankees going to win or no?

BURBANK: I sure hope not. Your husband and I sure hope not.

STEWART: Okay.

BURBANK: But they didn't look too hot last night in Cleveland.

STEWART: I just wondered because I - if the Yankees win, Keith Olbermann wants Monday night off to go to the game.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: I have to fill in for his shows. I'm still trying to plan my weekend. Okay, Rachel, thanks a lot.

MARTIN: Thank you, guys.

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