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Torture

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Rawstory

A former U.S. intelligence agent said that terror suspect Abu Zubaydah was subjected to simulated drowning months before the Bush administration’s Department of Justice had written memos approving the use of waterboarding.

The claim strikes a serious blow to repeated Bush administration arguments that no laws were broken in the torture of prisoners because legal guidelines had been closely followed.

 

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Rawstory

The United States is classifying the writings and testimony of an alleged terrorist whom interrogators waterboarded dozens of times, possibly in an effort to keep nettlesome CIA secrets under wraps, his attorneys say.

Lawyers for Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Hussein — known more widely by the name Abu Zubaida — say the Pentagon has capriciously classified their client’s writings and statements to investigators, raising questions of why the government has sought to keep Zubaida’s assertions private. They argue, plausibly, that the US’ penchant for secrecy in Zubaida’s case may be linked to efforts to keep controversial intelligence activities out of the public eye.

 

Article Image Opinion • Global Ray McGovern: My Take

Editor’s Note: Prior to giving a series of talks in Texas later this week, the author offered the following op-ed to the Dallas Morning News and the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram. Both newspapers in George W. Bush’s home state turned it down.

Seldom does a crime scene have so clear a smoking gun. A two-page presidential memorandum of Feb. 7, 2002, leaves no room for uncertainty regarding the “decider” on torture. His broad-stroke signature made torture official policy.

This should come as no surprise. You see, the Feb. 7, 2002, memorandum has been posted on the Web since June 22, 2004, when then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales mistakenly released it, along with other White House memoranda.

The title seemed innocent enough – “Humane Treatment of al Qaeda and Taliban Detainees” – but in the body of the memo President George W. Bush authorized his senior aides to withhold Geneva Convention protections from suspected al-Qaeda and Taliban detain

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Washington Post

Obama administration officials, fearing a battle with Congress that could stall plans to close the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, are crafting language for an executive order that would reassert presidential authority to incarcerate terrorism suspects indefinitely, according to three senior government officials with knowledge of White House deliberations.

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By Diana Gibson and Ray McGovern

Anniversaries can be important. This Friday marks the 22nd anniversary of the U.N. Convention against Torture, ratified and signed under President Reagan. Last Friday marked the 150th day of the presidency of Barack Obama, who is trying to put a definitive end to the torture approved by the Bush-Cheney administration.

That Obama has not been able to do so is our collective shame. Worse still, the president has apparently concluded that he lacks the support to deter future abominations of this sort by launching a proper investigation and holding to account those responsible.

Something evil has seeped into the soul of our nation. Those many years when we looked the other way, choosing to ignore the abuse of detainees in U.S. custody, eroded our morality.

Americans who claim to believe in human dignity and the law do not seem scandalized by this inhumane and illegal activity. Many people of faith appear willing to tolerat

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AP

Holder said officials were discussing how to handle such suspects and whether new legislation would be required to hold them. He said even without a trial, a judge would have to review the basis for holding such detainees.

"The thought we had was that there would be some kind of review with regard to the initial determination and then a periodic review," Holder said.

 

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Rawstory

Mohammed says he told his questioners he didn’t know the location of Osama Bin Laden, and was tortured as a result.

“”Where is he? I don’t know,” Mohammed said. ‘Then he torture me. Then I said, ‘Yes, he is in this area or this is al Qaeda which I don’t know him.’ I said no, they torture me.’”

 

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Washington Post

[ooops, wrong guy, our bad] 

Abu Zubaida: "doctors told me that I nearly died four times" and that he endured "months of suffering and torture" on the false premise that he was an al-Qaeda leader.

He was subjected 83 times to waterboarding. The Palestinian was held at a secret CIA facility after his capture in Pakistan in March 2002.

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London Times

The British Government responded with ill-disguised fury to the news that 4 Chinese Uighurs freed from Guantanamo Bay had been flown for resettlement on Bermuda.
 
 
The Government of Bermuda failed to consult with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the decision to take in the Uighurs – whose return is demanded by Beijing – and it could now be forced to send them back to Cuba or risk a grave diplomatic crisis.

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Washington Post

The Obama administration has all but abandoned plans to allow Guantanamo Bay detainees who have been cleared for release to live in the United States, administration officials said, a decision that reflects bipartisan congressional opposition to admitting such prisoners but complicates efforts to persuade European allies to accept them.

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Reuters

An African detainee held at the U.S. prison camp at Guantanamo Bay since he was a teenager has been released without charge after more than seven years in captivity, his lawyers said. 
 
A Chadian citizen, was freed 5 months after a U.S. federal judge ordered him released having reviewed the evidence against him and ruled that there was nothing to suggest he was ever an "enemy combatant."

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McClatchy News

To the relief of the Obama administration, the South Pacific island nation of Palau agreed Wednesday to take the 17 Muslim Uighurs from China who're still being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, the first major release of detainees since President Barack Obama announced his plan to close the prison by January.
 
The State Department expressed gratitude for the offer, but it said the details haven't been settled. Spokesman Ian Kelly also

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AP

Palau President Johnson Toribiong denied his government's move was influenced by any massive aid package from Washington, saying that the Uighurs have become "international vagabonds" who deserve a fresh start. China said it opposes any country taking them.

It's the first time since 2006 that the U.S. has successfully resettled any of Guantanamo's Uighurs. The U.S. government had determined

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Rawstory

Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-C.T.) threatened to shut down the Senate by blocking any further legislation unless their bill preventing the release of any further detainee abuse photos is passed.

Both men said they fear more disclosure would trigger heightened violence against Americans overseas.

 

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Pubic Record

John Yoo, the former Deputy Attorney General at the agency’s Office of Legal Counsel, who drafted the infamous “torture memos” that gave former President George W. Bush and CIA interrogators the legal cover they needed to torture suspected terrorist detainees, offered some clues behind the genesis of the August 2002 legal opinions.

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AP

"With his appearance in federal court today, Ahmed Ghailani is being held accountable for his alleged role in the bombing of U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and the murder of 224 people," Attorney General Eric Holder said in a press release. "The Justice Department has a long history of securely detaining and successfully prosecuting terror suspects through the criminal justice system, and we will bring that experience to bear in seeking justice in this case."

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