The war in Iraq, and related government anti-terror policies, continue to dominate debate over freedom of the press in the United States. These include prolonged detentions of reporters in Iraq without charge and government criticism of media outlets that reveal information about sensitive government anti-terror programs. The courts have taken a hard line with reporters who refuse to reveal information about confidential sources. On 29 June 2006, the House of Representatives passed a resolution in support of the international bank transaction surveillance program implemented by the Bush administration in its fight against terrorism. The program was first revealed by the The New York Times, which was the target of vehement criticism voiced by the executive branch and the Congressional majority. Some elected Republican members are now calling for accredited journalists to be prohibited from gaining access to Congress. On September 20th the Bush Administration demonstrated its resistance to a federal shield law drafted to protect journalists from being forced to identify their confidential sources or provide information on them. More than 50% of states have passed shield laws and reporters are lobbying for protection at the federal level. Their justification is that the government has restricted the use of customary methods, such as Freedom of Information Act requests, alleging national security concerns. During the fourth Senate Judiciary Hearing on shield legislation, Sen. Patrick Leahy observed that during the past 12 months 6 journalists have suffered fines or jail for protecting their sources while passage of the bill remained blocked by a group of Republican Senators. Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty responded for the Adminstration stating “There is not one shred of evidence supporting the notion that the Department of Justice is out to get the media”. Raising the issue of national security, McNulty made the case that the bill would “put a thumb on the scale” in favor of the reporter’s privilege.” In March, U.S. military officials in Baghdad and Washington, D.C., outlined a new policy they said would avert the long-term detentions of journalists held without charge. On March 23, Maj. Gen. John Gardner told Reuters in Baghdad that the U.S. military had established a new goal of reviewing cases of detained journalists within 36 hours. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) documented seven cases in 2005 alone in which U.S. forces detained Iraqi journalists for periods of many weeks or months without charge or due process. Six of seven were eventually released without charge. In April, a three-judge panel from Iraq’s Central Criminal Court ordered the release of the seventh, CBS News cameraman Abdul Ameer Younis Hussein, who was held for a year before charges against him were made public. The U.S. military finally accused him of collaborating with insurgents, but an Iraqi court dismissed the charges for lack of evidence. Sudanese cameraman Sami Al-Haj of the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera, remains detained without charge, according to his London-based lawyer, Clive Stafford-Smith. Al-Haj was arrested by the Pakistani army on the Afghan border in December 2001, Al-Haj has been held at the US detention centre at Guantanamo Bay (Cuba) since 13 June 2002. His lawyer says he has throat cancer and is not getting appropriate treatment. The Combat Status Review Tribunal ruled in March 2005 that Al-Haj was an "enemy combatant" on the grounds that he had allegedly run a website that supported terrorism, that he had trafficked in arms, that he entered Afghanistan illegally in October 2001 while US air strikes were under way, and that he interviewed Osama bin Laden. All these claims are disputed by Al-Jazeera. The Pentagon said Sept 18 that an Iraqi photographer working for The Associated Press and held by the U.S. military since April was considered a security threat with "strong ties to known insurgents." Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said there was sufficient evidence to justify the continued detention of Bilal Hussein, 35, who AP said was taken into U.S. military custody on April 12 in the Iraqi city of Ramadi and held since without charge. The Pentagon has declined to elaborate on what that evidence was, saying only that it considered Hussein's activities "were well outside the scope of what you would expect a journalist to be doing in that country." In a letter to the AP, a senior US military officer wrote that Hussein had "has close relationships with persons known to be responsible for kidnappings, smuggling, improvised explosive (IED) attacks, and other attacks on coalition forces." In three "independent" reviews, the Pentagon says it was determined that Hussein was a security threat and recommended his continued detention. AP Associate General Counsel David Tomlin said the Pentagon's comments don't address the U.S.-based agency's central concern that Hussein was being denied due process. A freelance video blogger was jailed after losing an appeal in a U.S. federal court in San Francisco in September. Joshua Wolf was jailed August 1 after being held in contempt of court for refusing to turn over video footage to a federal grand jury of a 2005 protest by anarchists against the Group of Eight economic conference. A two-judge panel for the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered his release on bail on August 31 while his appeal was pending. However, on September 11, a three-judge panel for the same appellate court ruled against him. The same panel granted a petition by prosecutors to revoke Wolf’s bail and return him to jail on September 20. Wolf taped clashes between demonstrators and San Francisco police during a June 2005 protest by anarchists against a Group of Eight economic conference. A police car was damaged during a clash between protesters and police. The grand jury is investigating possible criminal activity, including an alleged attempt by protesters to burn a police vehicle. Wolf, 24, sold footage of the protest to San Francisco television stations and posted it on his Web site. Investigators are seeking portions of his videotape that were not broadcast. Although Wolf has always denied having footage of the damaged car, a federal judge ordered him to hand over all of his unedited footage to a grand jury investigation. A Californian appeal court ruled on 26 May 2006 that online journalists and bloggers have the same right to protect their sources as other kinds of journalists. The ruling was issued in a case between the US electronics manufacturer Apple and websites that posted confidential information about some of its products. In his ruling, the appeal court judge refused to make a distinction between "legitimate and illegitimate" news reports, warning that any attempt to go down this road would jeopardize the goals of the First Amendment. He rejected Apple's petition, on the grounds of California's so-called shield law, which protects the confidentiality of journalists' sources. Apple was concerned about the confidential information about its products that was posted on two websites, Powerpage and Appleinsider, and it was trying to identify the employees responsible for these leaks. Two California journalists, Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada of the San Francisco Chronicle, were ordered jailed Sept. 21 for refusing to disclose their sources for a series of articles in 2004 about the use of steroids by Major League baseball players. The two reporters were ordered on 15 August to disclose who leaked them secret grand jury testimony from Barry Bonds and other elite athletes about the doping inquiry. A judge ordered them to jail for a maximum 18 months, pending an appeal. Williams and Fainaru-Wada published a series of articles and a book based partly on the leaked transcripts of the testimony of Bonds, Jason Giambi and others before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative (BALCO), a nutritional supplement company exposed as a steroid ring two years ago. Federal prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White to send the reporters to prison for the full term of the grand jury investigating the leak, or until they agree to testify. Both sides agreed to stay the ruling pending an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In June the Inter American Press Association protested the expulsion of three reporters from the United States naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, saying the action amounted to censorship. Carol Rosenberg from The Miami Herald, Miami, Florida, Michael Gordon from The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Carol Williams from the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, California, went to the prison camp to look in into reports that three men being held there had committed suicide. The U.S. Department of Defense ordered them to leave the base before they could finish their investigations. A Florida police association posted the name of WFOS TV-CBS 4 reporter Mike Kirsch in the "Be On the Look-Out" (BOLO) section of its website, which is normally reserved for fugitives from justice and missing persons. This was done after Kirsch used a hidden camera to produce a report about the difficulty of filing a complaint against a police officer in South Florida police stations. Kirsch produced his report at the beginning of 2006 with the help of the Police Complaint Centre, a police watchdog group. Equipped with a concealed camera, volunteers tried to file complaints in 38 police stations in Miami-Dade and Broward, two neighboring counties in South Florida. Most of the time they met with hostility. According to CBS 4, only three police stations cooperated. The Broward County Police Benevolent Association reacted by posting Kirsch's details in the BOLO section of its website. It was temporarily withdrawn when CBS 4's lawyers protested. But Kirsch's name and photo were put back on 17 March, along with the address and mobile phone number of Gregory Slate, one of the Police Complaint Centre's volunteers. An accompanying warning says the two men could try to entrap police officers and could be driving a red and black Ford Mustang car, the license number of which is given.