Monday, December 10, 2007

On Capitol Hill This Week - Volume XIV, Number 31

December 10 - 14, 2007

"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." (Psalm 34:17)

On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XIV, No. 31


"A new assessment by American intelligence agencies made public December 3 concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains on hold, contradicting an assessment two years ago that Tehran was working inexorably toward building a bomb," reports the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. "The assessment, a National Intelligence Estimate [NIE] that represents the consensus view of all 16 American spy agencies, states that Tehran is most likely keeping its options open with respect to building a weapon, but that intelligence agencies 'do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons.' Iran is continuing to produce enriched uranium, the report says, a program that the Tehran government has said is designed for civilian purposes.

"The new estimate says that the enrichment program could still provide Iran with enough raw materials to produce a nuclear weapon sometime by the middle of next decade, a timetable essentially unchanged from previous estimates. But the new estimate declares with 'high confidence' that a military-run Iranian program intended to transform that raw material into a nuclear weapon has been shut down since 2003, and also says with high confidence that the halt 'was directed primarily in response to increasing international scrutiny and pressure.'"

Translation: The US is now far less likely to launch a series of pre-emptive military strikes against actual and suspected Iranian nuclear research facilities before the end of this President's term in office, and the current Congressional leadership would be far less likely to support such a strike if one were proposed or made.

Question: Is this intelligence assessment correct? Maybe. And let's hope so. It would be wonderful if Iran is not the immediate nuclear threat that US intelligence agencies have been saying they were right up to this week.

But there is always the possibility that the US assessment is wrong. The accuracy of some of our intelligence reports in the Middle East have certainly been in question in recent years. And we must always remember May 1998, when India and Pakistan conducted multiple nuclear weapons tests, stunning US and Western intelligence agencies who had absolutely no idea either country was so close to getting the Bomb. Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), then the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called this a "colossal failure" of the US intelligence community. God forbid we should have a similar such failure with regards to Iran.

(By Joel Rosenberg,, December 4, 2007) [Reported by: Bridges for Peace]

· Pray that God will guide Israel and the nations through these difficult and confusing days. Pray that those with wisdom and discernment will be anointed to contribute towards negotiations and discussions with His authority and blessing.

· "Now you shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth. And I will be with your mouth and with his mouth, and I will teach you what you shall do." (Exodus 4:15)

{For a detailed report on the problems with the NIE assessment, go here to read John R. Bolton's article in the Washington Post: "The Flaws in the Iran Report."}


Israel does not accept the bottom line of the US National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, and will continue its efforts to halt the Iranian nuclear program, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made clear in a special session of the security cabinet convened on Sunday. Government officials quoted Olmert as saying that Iran was continuing its activities to acquire two necessary ingredients for nuclear weapons: working on its missile capabilities and working on enriching uranium.

Olmert said Iran was continuing its efforts to develop ballistic missiles and its research and development activities to support nuclear weapons. "No one disputes these facts," he said, "and therefore there is no logical reason to change the assessment that we have had until now." Olmert said the ultimate responsibility to prevent nuclear proliferation in Iran rested on the shoulders of the international community, and first and foremost on the US. But, he said, Israel, which is the subject of continuous calls for annihilation from Teheran, "cannot rest and must continue to work for greater international action on the Iranian question."

To this end, it is widely expected that Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and Defense Minister Ehud Barak will do their utmost, relying on the most up-to-date Israeli intelligence information, to convince Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen that Iran has not abandoned its nuclear weapons program, when they meet with him Monday. Mullen, who arrived Sunday for a 24-hour visit, is the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to visit Israel in a decade. (Jerusalem Post)

· Praise God for those faithful Israelis! Intercede over all meetings being held this week, on both sides of the Atlantic, as heads of state work to ascertain the FACTS regarding Iran's nuclear weapons program. Pray that all policies be established in truth, and that all others in authority will seize the moment, not be deceived, and act accordingly.

· "Nothing is hidden that shall not be revealed . . " (Mark 4:22)


Major crude producer Iran has completely stopped carrying out its oil transactions in dollars, Oil Minister Gholam Hossein Nozari said on Saturday, labelling the greenback an "unreliable" currency. "At the moment selling oil in dollars has been completely halted, in line with the policy of selling crude in non- dollar currencies," Nozari was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency. "The dollar is an unreliable currency, considering its devaluation and the oil exporters' losses," he added.

The world's fourth largest oil exporter, Iran has massively reduced its dependence on the dollar over the past year in the face of US pressures on its financial system. The United States has successfully encouraged major European and Asian banks to cut their dealings with Iran in a bid to make the Islamic republic give way on its controversial nuclear programme. Washington has also blacklisted major Iranian banks for alleged support of terrorism and seeking nuclear weapons, charges denied by Tehran.

Iran has reduced its assets in dollars held in foreign banks and urged OPEC to take collective action to price oil in other currencies such as the euro, instead of the US currency which is used across the world at present. The fall of the dollar, which has weakened considerably against the euro and other currencies in the past 12 months, has affected the revenues of OPEC members because most of them price and sell their oil exports in the US currency. (Agence France- Press)

· This economic threat from Iran has been in the works for some time now; but this weekend, it has come to pass. Offer praise to the Lord that HIS OIL trumps any oil of man's! During this week of Hanukkah, when the oil in the Menorah, supposed to last for one day, instead burned for eight, let us turn to the Lord God of Israel, and trust Him for a miraculous supply of "oil." Praise God!

· "No weapon forged against thee shall prosper . . ." (Isaiah 54:17) See also: 2 Kings 4:1- 7: The story of the widow's oil.


House Democratic leaders could complete work as soon as Monday on a half-trillion-dollar spending package that will include billions of dollars for the war effort in Iraq without the timelines for the withdrawal of combat forces that President Bush has refused to accept, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said yesterday.

In a complicated deal over the war funds, Democrats will include about $11 billion more in domestic spending than Bush has requested, emergency drought relief for the Southeast and legislation to address the subprime mortgage crisis, Hoyer explained. If the bargain becomes law, it would be the third time since Democrats took control of Congress that they would have failed to force Bush to change course in Iraq and continued to fund a war that they have repeatedly vowed to end. But it would also be the clearest instance yet of the president bowing to a Democratic demand for more money for domestic priorities, an increase that he had promised to reject.

White House spokesman Tony Fratto said the president's position has not changed. He wants the war funds without strings, and he wants Congress to toe his line on spending. (Washington Post)

· As ever a puzzle about why many Americans cannot understand the need for the war in Iraq, the Democrats continue to push for no funding. Praise the Lord that President Bush is holding the line on what is right. Pray that the right bill can be passed to finance the war; and sacrifices can continue to be made by Americans. · "God is my strength and power: and He maketh my way perfect." (2 Samuel 22:33)


The Justice Department and the CIA announced yesterday that they have started a preliminary inquiry into the CIA's 2005 destruction of videotapes that depicted harsh interrogation of two terrorist suspects. The announcement follows congressional demands Friday for an investigation into the CIA's action despite warnings from the White House and congressional leaders to preserve the tapes. CIA Director Michael V. Hayden disclosed the destruction of the tapes Thursday in a letter to his staff, telling them that the identities of the interrogators in the 2002 sessions needed to be protected. Hayden said in a statement released yesterday that the CIA will cooperate fully with the joint inquiry.

Also yesterday, attorneys for a detainee who had been in CIA custody for three years released documents in which they asked a federal court to prevent the U.S. government from destroying evidence of his torture. The filing, on behalf of Guantanamo Bay detainee Majid Khan, one of 14 "high-value detainees" brought to the military prison from secret sites in other countries, came a week before the CIA acknowledged that it had destroyed the interrogation videotapes. The U.S. government alleges that Khan, 27, who grew up in the Baltimore area and was arrested in Pakistan in March 2003, was part of the al-Qaeda terror network and was scouting ways to attack the United States while living here. Officials and sources have identified the two terrorist suspects on the tapes as Zayn Abidin Muhammed Hussein Abu Zubaida, a close associate of Osama bin Laden, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who was captured in the United Arab Emirates in 2002.

Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of the Judiciary Committee, praised the inquiry as "the kind of quick response the nation" expects and deserves from an attorney general in reference to newly appointed Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. Members of the House and Senate intelligence committees said they either were unaware the tapes existed, had never been briefed about their destruction or had warned the CIA not to destroy them. (Washington Post)

· Is it arrogance for terrorists plotting to destroy Americans to demand the rights granted by America? Only God in His justice has the answer, and thus, we must pray for God's wisdom in dealing with terrorists. Mostly, please pray for the salvation of these terrorists in Jesus Christ and for their interrogators. Christian interrogators can do more than any "torturous" activity in releasing truth. Also, pray that common sense prevails in this CIA inquiry and that it is not used for political exploitation. · "The fear of man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe." (Proverbs 29:25)


President Bush has appealed to Congress to accomplish four things during its short work session: 1) to pass legislation to fund our troops; 2) to pass an extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (to extend provisions set to expire in February, provisions needed to protect Americans); 3) to raise the threshold that triggers the Alternative Minimum Tax, that will, in effect, prevent raising taxes for 25 million middle-class Americans an average of $2000, and 4.) Pass a federal budget without loading it with billions of dollars in earmarks and wasteful spending. America's families need for Congress to heed the President's appeal.

· May Congress lay aside its pet liberal projects and tend to the matters of concern to the American people: supporting the troops, national security, lower taxes, and restraints on federal spending and maintaining our moral bearings in everything we do.

· "And the Lord said, who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his Lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season. Blessed is that servant whom the Lord when he cometh shall find so doing." (Luke 12:42, 43)


After weeks of political wrangling, the Senate finally cried uncle on an unpopular plan to attach "hate crimes" legislation to the Defense Authorization bill. By pulling the proposal before members could even vote on it, Democrats demonstrated just how little real support the legislation enjoyed--even among the party faithful. With Congress a month out from primary season and our troops in desperate need of resources, one Democratic aide told reporters that "hate crimes" had nowhere near the backing it needed to pass. "We're about 40 votes short, not four or six," he said. "Fed up" with the sheer volume of emails they received (which is how one office described your overwhelming response to FRC's alert), the leadership made a wise decision to drop the provision. Had they not, it would have likely caused serious PR problems--not only for them but for a number of their Democratic colleagues running in the presidential primaries next month. For our military, however, the damage may have already been done. The months of delay may not have affected Congress, which operates within the safety and comfort our troops provide, but it has certainly affected the ability of our brave men and women to do their jobs. This should be an embarrassment to the majority. We congratulate Senator Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Reps. Roy Blunt (Mo.) and John Boehner (Ohio), who were instrumental in the provision's defeat--as were those of you who took the time to make your opinions known. Together, we continue to make a major difference! (Family Research Council; The Hill; Religious Freedom Coalition)

· Offer GREAT PRAISE for this report! God has surely heard the prayers of His saints, and He has answered. Remain watchful over this issue, however, as Senator Kennedy has repeatedly said that the Hate Crimes amendment might yet be attached to any bill, at any time. Pray!

· "The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." (Psalm 34:17)


Two leading scientists in the international race to advance human embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) will soon publish high profile papers showing that embryonic-type stem cells can be produced directly from ordinary human cells, such as a skin cell, without first creating an embryo. They DO NOT start with adult stem cells, and they DO NOT produce adult stem cells. These are EMBRYONIC-type stem cells. The technique does appear to hold the ethical line: no embryos created or destroyed, no eggs needed. Coupled with the announcement last month by Ian Wilmut (the "father of Dolly") that he is abandoning cloning as a method, these are huge developments for those who hold human life to be sacred. These scientists are to be congratulated for turning from questionable science that has produced no useable results to focus on more promising scientific methods that also meet the ethical bar. This should lead to a push to ban unethical practices and shift resources to ethical research. Scientists who want embryonic stem cells can have them without embryo creation or destruction. Adult stem cells remain the only type actually benefiting patients or showing any real promise to do so in the near future. (FRC Prayer Targets; November 21, 2007)

In response, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) have introduced H.R. , the "Patients First Act." If passed, H.R. would prioritize funding for this cell research at such time as the research demonstrates potential for patient benefit. Pro-life Members and groups support the "Patients First Act" because it encourages stem cell research that is most likely to provide near term treatments for patients while also respecting the dignity of all human life beginning at the earliest stages. (Religious Freedom Coalition, December 7, 2007)

· Thank God for this wonderful report. May pro-life scientist and policymakers capitalize on this discovery! May those who have fought so hard to advance ESCR, find freedom to change their minds in this new light, and may they wholeheartedly embrace the ethical use of adult stem cells and not the embryonic human cells that require the destruction of human life to be used. May this lead to the establishment of ethical stem cell research as the only research taxpayers will ever be required to fund.

· "For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous. and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil." (I Peter 3:12)


Sen. Samuel Brownback [R-KS] has introduced S. 2417: A bill to amend title 31, United States Code, to require the inscription "In God We Trust" to appear on a face of the $1 coins honoring each of the Presidents of the United States. This legislation will move the inscription, "In God We Trust" from the edge of the new one dollar coins to the front of them. Brownback said, "Since the colonial beginnings of the United States, citizens of this nation have officially acknowledged their dependence on God. It is important that our national motto, 'In God We Trust,' is prominently displayed on all of our currency." Brownback earlier this week met with officials from the United States Treasury to discuss moving the national motto from the side of one dollar coins to the face. Presidential one dollar coins are the only U.S. coins currently being issued by the National Mint that have inscriptions along the edge. (Congressional Quarterly; Office of Senator Sam Brownback)

· Praise the Lord for the ever alertness of Sen. Brownback on issues that are essential to the foundations of America, issues not so politically important to many other senators. Pray for the quick bringing of this bill to the floor of the Senate for a vote and for its unobstructed passage. The enemy is ever ready to remove God from our culture. · " When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19)


House Democrats excoriated the FAA on Wednesday for not doing enough to improve runway safety, after the GAO released a bruising report indicating that runway near-misses are getting worse. In the same week that congressional investigators released a report on an investigation that found air travelers face a high risk of a catastrophic collision on U.S. airport runways, a near-collision occurred at Baltimore- Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Also, two Continental Airlines planes nearly collided Thursday in Newark (WRC,; Congressional Quarterly)

· As we head into another busy holiday travel season, pray that the faltering federal leadership, malfunctioning technology and overworked controllers would be overcome and that all air travel would be safe. · "Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world." (1 John 4:4.)

· Ask God to provide Congress and the FAA with real long-term solutions to our significant air traffic control problems. · "And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him." (1 John 5:14- 15.)


Five participants have been kicked out of the coveted House of Representatives page program for youths on Capitol Hill over alleged incidents involving sexual misconduct, shoplifting and fighting. House officials say the incidents did not involve members of Congress. Now two lawmakers have resigned from the page oversight board in protest of the latest problems. The House Page Board oversees about 70 pages, high school juniors from around the country, who assist lawmakers in message delivery and other tasks in the House. The Senate has its own page program, and it is not under scrutiny.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday issued a statement calling for an immediate review of the policies by the House page board. "Since enacting our bipartisan reforms unanimously in January, the House enforces a zero tolerance policy for page misconduct. That is why the House pages involved in each of these serious incidents were immediately expelled and sent home," Pelosi said.

The information follows the resignation Thursday and Friday of two Republican lawmakers sitting on the House board that oversees the page program, Reps. Ginny Brown-Waite of Florida and Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia. Brown-Waite told FOX News that she did not believe the program was being properly supervised. She said that others in the page program did not feel comfortable talking to the dorm director about problems there, and "They had to be shocked; they absolutely had to be shocked." Brown- Waite also warned others about sending their children to the program in its current shape. (

· The page programs in the Congress are incredible opportunities for high school juniors to learn about the workings of the government and to make valuable contacts that aid in college and careers. However, those juniors must be mature enough to live far away from home for a session. Please pray for the right people to oversee the program in the House and to be the parents in locus. Pray that mature, Christian juniors are chosen to participate. · "Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established." (Proverbs 16:3)


"So they served him [Joseph] by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because the Egyptians could not eat bread with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians" (Genesis 43:32; emphases ours).

The verse above was included in the Torah Reading for this week, and released in us a corresponding note to a bizarre happening at the recent "Annapolis" conference. Referring to her childhood as an African American girl in the segregated American South, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was quoted as saying, "I know what it is like to hear that you cannot go on a road or through a checkpoint because you are a Palestinian. I understand the feeling of humiliation and powerlessness." Yet at the conference, bowing to Saudi demands, the Americans refused to allow the Israeli delegation to enter the hall through the same door as the Arabs. The Israeli Foreign Secretary Tzipi Livni was reportedly required by Rice to instead enter the conference hall through the service entrance. At a meeting of foreign ministers, Livni was driven to explain, "Why doesn't anyone want to shake my hand? Why doesn't anyone want to be seen speaking to me?" This at a conference to which Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries had been invited for "contributions" they might have towards furthering peace between Israeli Jews and Palestinian Arabs.

Regarding Miss Rice's remarks, we would point out that all such roadblocks and checkpoints in Judea and Samaria would not be in place were it not that people from these areas have continually been sent out of them with the purpose of murdering Jews in Israel. (Prayer News Alert)


· That Condoleezza Rice would become aware of the 'blind spot' which allowed her bowing to the humiliation of her Israeli counterpart based solely on the racial prejudices of other guests invited to the summit.

· That as racial hatred in the Muslim world towards Israel increases, that Believers in the Land will allow the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and cleanse us of any trace of it, otherwise, as conflicts increase, it will manifest to betray us and will not work the righteousness of God.


On January 9, 2008, United States President Bush will make his first official visit to Israel as commander-in- chief and leader of the free world.

This is an excellent development. As readers of "Flash Traffic" know, I have been saying for the last 18 months-including just last week-that President Bush should make this historic visit to Jerusalem to show solidarity with the people of Israel. He has traveled repeatedly to Iraq and Afghanistan, and visited Jordan last summer. But until now, the only time Mr. Bush has visited the Jewish State was in 1998 as Governor of Texas.

· The President should be applauded for this bold move. Let us also pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for safety of the President and his team, and for a new era of quiet and calmness in the epicenter. (By Joel Rosenberg,, December 4, 2007)

From: Jerusalem Prayer Team:<br>
President Bush will be in Jerusalem on January 9th to push his "Palestinian State in '08" proposal forward with East Jerusalem as the capital. This is President's Bush first trip to Israel since becoming president. His goal is to convince the Israeli public that a Palestine State with East Jerusalem as its capital is in their best interest and he has the support of the American people.

· "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem . . ." (Psalm 122:6)

Voices from Colorado . . .

Please Pray: YWAM and New Life


"Please join us in praying for those affected by today’s shooting at the Youth with a Mission base in Denver. Below is the official statement from YWAM concerning the shooting. The tragedy hits close to home because..." [continued at]

All of us were horrified to learn the news here of the shootings at two Christian sites in and near Colorado Springs, Colorado yesterday: New Life Church and a base of Youth With a Mission. Today, five people have died in these shootings (including the gunman) and several others have been injured, some critically.

The gunman has now been identified as Matthew Murray, 24, son of prominent Englewood, Colo., surgeon. Only God knows why this deranged young man went on such a rampage. Tonight we pray that all who were afflicted in these incidents would find the peace of God that passeth all understanding.

In closing this week's edition of the OCAP, we want to allow the voices of two saints in Colorado to be heard. May our Lord comfort all who grieve today, in Colorado and across our land.

First message from Jean Kaye Wilson:

Please pray for us in Colorado, and for our nation. The blood of our youth has now been spilled on our own land again, but this time it is believers. Plead the Blood of Jesus over our land from the middle of the land outward, and please pray for all the families that are involved in this attack. These are true martyrs for Jesus.

This far, but no further. . . We claim life for our young people through the Word of God.

Thank you for standing with us in this hour.

Second message from Jason Williams:

Please, be praying for friends & family of those involved in these 2 shootings.

The first shooting was in Arvada (where I used to live when I was younger) at the YWAM base that sends out mainly young Christian missionaries. 2 young adults, Tiffany - 26 and Phillip - 24 were killed and the 2 others injured & in the hospital are Dan - 24 & Charlie - 22

The second shooting was at the New Life Church. This morning 1 church goer was killed & 4 others injured before church security killed the gunman.

Please, be praying for God's Holy Spirit to be their Comforter during this difficult time.

Thank you,

Jason Williams

"Father God, we lift before You all who have been affected by these tragedies, and we ask You to bring comfort to the bereaved, and hope to all. Yes, Lord, this far, and no further, and here shall the proud waves of the enemy be stopped."

"In Jesus' Name, Amen."

This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

GOD OF ISRAEL (Ehlohay Yisrael)

Primary Old Testament names for God

Additional Old Testament names for God

New Testament names for Father

New Testament names for Son

New Testament names for Holy Spirit

The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:31)

You, the God of Israel, are the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank You for Your divine guidance in my life, O God of Israel. He that keeps Israel (and me) neither slumbers nor sleeps. What a comfort You are.

"I will sacrifice a freewill offering to You; I will praise Your name, O Lord, for it is good." (Psalm 54:6)

(Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)

On Capitol Hill This Week (the "OCAP") is published by Capitol Hill Prayer Partners. All scriptures are quoted from the King James Version of the Bible, unless otherwise noted. For further information about legislative matters on Capitol Hill, you may call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected to the representative or senator of your choice.

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