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Bush Pleads For Patience in Iraq On War’s Anniversary

President Bush marked the fourth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq on Monday with a stark warning against the temptation “to pack up and go home.”

Bush’s brief speech came in the midst of an increasingly tense showdown with the Democratic-controlled Congress over the constitutional balance of power during war. The House is scheduled to vote Thursday on a Democratic proposal to attach conditions to the president’s $100 million war-funding package that would require American combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq next year, a timetable Bush has said would undercut the troops and aid the insurgents.

Bush’s commemoration of the anniversary, delivered beneath a portrait of Theodore Roosevelt as a Rough Rider, was notable for the sharp change in tone from his speeches in the heady, early days of the war — when it still appeared possible that a quick victory in Baghdad could be followed by a relatively swift withdrawal. In those first few months, Bush argued that he was on the way to spreading democracy throughout the entire Middle East through the contagious euphoria that would surely follow the unseating Saddam Hussein.

Climate Papers Watered Down

A House committee released documents Monday that showed hundreds of instances in which a White House official who was previously an oil-industry lobbyist edited government climate reports to play up uncertainty or play down evidence of a human role in global warming.

In a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the official, Philip A. Cooney, who left government in 2005, defended the changes he made in government reports over several years, saying the editing was part of the normal White House review process and reflected findings in a climate report written for President Bush by the National Academy of Sciences in 2001.

They were the first public statements on the issue by Cooney, the former chief of staff of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Before joining the White House, Cooney was the “climate team leader” for the American Petroleum Institute, the main industry lobby in Washington.

Detainee Says He Was Abused While in U.S. Custody

David Hicks, the first detainee to be formally charged under the new military tribunal rules at Guantanamo Bay, has alleged in a court document filed here that during nearly five years in U.S. custody he was beaten several times during interrogations and witnessed the abuse of other prisoners.

In an affidavit supporting his request for British citizenship, Hicks contends that before he arrived at Guantanamo, his American captors threw him and other detainees on the ground, walked on them, stripped him naked, shaved all his body hair and inserted a plastic object in his rectum.

The abuse, Hicks asserts, began during interrogations in Afghanistan, where he was captured in late 2001. It then continued while he was shuttled between American naval ships, aircraft, unknown buildings and Kandahar before he was taken to the military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in early 2002, according to the affidavit.