Lawyers Reveal Existence of 'Camp 7' Secret Guantánamo Detention Unit --Prisoner says subjected to "state-sanctioned torture" in secret C.I.A. prisons 09 Dec 2007 The first of the so-called high value Guantánamo prisoners to have seen a lawyer claims he was subjected to "state-sanctioned torture" while in secret C.I.A. prisons, and he has asked for a court order barring the government from destroying evidence of his treatment. The request, in a filing by his lawyers, was made on Nov. 29, before officials from the Central Intelligence Agency acknowledged that the agency had destroyed videotapes of interrogations of two 'Qaeda' operatives that current and former officials said included the use of
harsh techniques torture. Lawyers for the prisoner, Majid Khan, claim he "was subjected to an aggressive C.I.A. detention and interrogation program notable for its elaborate planning and ruthless application of torture" to numerous detainees. The documents also suggest that Mr. Khan and other high-value prisoners are now being held in a previously undisclosed area of the Guantánamo prison he called Camp 7.
Inquiry Begins Into Torture Tapes' Destruction 09 Dec 2007 The Justice Department and the Central Intelligence Agency’s internal watchdog on Saturday launched a joint preliminary inquiry into the spy agency’s destruction of hundreds of hours of videotapes showing interrogations of [alleged] top operatives of Al Qaeda. The announcement comes amid new questions about which officials inside the C.I.A. were involved in the decision to destroy the videotapes, which depicted
severe interrogation methods torture used on two Qaeda suspects, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.
'We haven't seen anything like this since the 18½ -minute gap on the tapes of Richard Nixon.' Democrats Call for Inquiry in Destruction of Tapes by C.I.A. 07 Dec 2007 Angry Democratic lawmakers called for investigations today into the Central Intelligence Agency’s destruction in 2005 of at least two videotapes documenting the
interrogation torture of two [alleged] Qaeda operatives in the agency’s custody. Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts accused the C.I.A. of "a cover-up," while Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois said it was possible that people at the agency had engaged in obstruction of justice. Both called on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate.
C.I.A. Was Urged to Keep Interrogation Videotapes 08 Dec 2007 White House and Justice Department officials, along with senior members of Congress, advised the Central Intelligence Agency in 2003 against a plan to destroy hundreds of hours of videotapes showing the interrogations of two operatives of 'Al Qaeda,' government officials said Friday. The chief of the agency’s clandestine service nevertheless ordered their destruction in November 2005, taking the step without notifying even the C.I.A.’s own top lawyer, John A. Rizzo, the officials said. [Yeah, right!]
Bush Does Not Recall Learning of Destroyed CIA Tapes --Senate's Second-Ranking Democrat Calls for Justice Dept. Probe 07 Dec 2007 President [sic] Bush does not recall being informed before yesterday morning about the existence or subsequent destruction of video recordings showing harsh CIA
interrogations torture of terrorism suspects, the White House said today. The recordings, which CIA Director Michael V. Hayden disclosed yesterday had been made in 2002 but destroyed three years later, set off a furor on Capitol Hill today, with the Senate's second-ranking Democrat demanding a Justice Department investigation. Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), the Senate majority whip, called for the probe in a letter to Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey. He urged Mukasey to investigate "whether CIA officials who destroyed these videotapes and withheld information about their existence from official proceedings violated the law." [Well, waterboard him until he *does* recall.]
Military Lost Track of Equipment In Iraq Worth Millions, Audit Says 08 Dec 2007 Pentagon auditors said they could not account for millions of dollars worth of rocket-propelled grenades, armored vehicles, ammunition and other supplies and equipment, because of inadequate paperwork and a lack of oversight personnel. A report released Thursday by the Defense Department's inspector general looked at $5.2 billion in the Iraq Security Forces Fund, which is part of the $44.5 billion U.S. 'reconstruction' effort in Iraq.
State Dept. retains manager of troubled embassy project 06 Dec 2007 A State Department project manager banished from Iraq by the U.S. ambassador and under scrutiny by the Justice Department continues to oversee the construction of the much-delayed new American embassy in Baghdad from nearby Kuwait, State Department officials disclosed Thursday. James L. Golden, a contract employee, is still managing the $740 million project, said Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy, the department's top management official.
House Democrats Close to Deal on War Funds --DemocRATs Would Drop Iraq Timeline 08 Dec 2007 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 [sic] Bush has refused to accept, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said yesterday. If the bargain were to become 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.
Now and Forever By Bob Herbert 08 Dec 2007 A report prepared for the Democratic majority on the Joint Economic Committee of the House and Senate warns that without a significant change of course in Iraq, the long-term cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan could head into the vicinity of $3.5 trillion. The vast majority of those expenses would be for Iraq... President [sic] Bush’s formal funding requests for Iraq have already exceeded $600 billion... Youngsters who were just starting high school when the U.S. invaded Iraq are in college now. Their children, yet unborn, will be called on to fork over tax money to continue paying for the war. Seriously. How long do we want this madness to last?
Blackwater probe narrows focus to guards 08 Dec 2007 Federal prosecutors investigating the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians have narrowed their focus on as few as three Blackwater Worldwide bodyguards and have given others immunity for cooperating in the case, The Associated Press has learned. Blackwater is paying one law firm to represent as many as 10 guards, raising concerns that their stories could be coordinated.
State Dept. Inspector General Resigns --Krongard was accused of impeding Blackwater investigation 07 Dec 2007 The State Department's embattled inspector general, Howard J. Krongard, announced today that he is resigning effective Jan. 15, ending a tumultuous tenure in which he was accused of impeding investigations of the Blackwater security firm and construction problems at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.
Suicide bomber strikes Iraqi oil hub 08 Dec 2007 A suicide bomber driving an explosives-laden truck filled with sand struck a police station north of Baghdad on Saturday, the latest in a week of bombings that have killed nearly 80 people. The truck was allowed through the main gate of the complex in Beiji, the site of Iraq's largest refinery, after the driver told the guards he was delivering the sand to a construction site inside.
Bomber Kills 11 at Police Station in Northern Iraq 09 Dec 2007 A suicide truck bomber killed 11 people in an attack on a police station in the northern Iraqi town of Baiji, Iraqi security forces said on Saturday. Seven of the people killed in the 9 a.m. attack Saturday were policemen. The explosion wounded 44 other people, damaged 15 houses and set fire to 13 vehicles, said Capt. Sherzad Abdullah Zinga, of the Iraqi Army’s Fourth Division.
Iran: U.S. used spies to get nuke info 08 Dec 2007 Iran has sent a formal protest note to Washington for "spying" on Iran's nuclear activities, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said Saturday. The note was handed over to the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, which looks after U.S. interests in Iran in the absence of diplomatic relations between Tehran and Washington, the state IRNA news agency said.
Iran drops dollar from oil deals: report 08 Dec 2007 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. [A(nother) illegal Bush invasion is surely on the way.]
Gates says Iran still a threat [Never as big of a threat as Bush, though.] 08 Dec 2007 Iran poses a threat to the United States and the Middle East despite a U.S. intelligence assessment that Tehran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003, Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Saturday.
Gates says Iran seeks to cause chaos 08 Dec 2007 Pentagon chief Robert Gates lashed out at Iran on Saturday for seeking to cause chaos "everywhere you turn" regardless of the blood spilled and said its neighbors must demand that Tehran renounce any intention of pursuing nuclear weapons.
Review of Iran Intelligence to Be Sought --As Conservatives Reject New NIE, Republican Senators to Urge Congressional Panel 07 Dec 2007 Senate Republicans are planning to call for a congressional commission to investigate the conclusions of the new National Intelligence Estimate on Iran as well as the specific intelligence that went into it, according to congressional sources. The move is the first official challenge, but it comes amid growing backlash from conservatives and neoconservatives unhappy about the assessment that Iran halted a clandestine nuclear weapons program four years ago.
And then there was one: four British residents freed from Guantánamo --Foreign Office took up cases after policy change --Amnesty questions why one man must stay in jail 08 Dec 2007 Four British residents held without charge at the American detention camp for suspected terrorists at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba are to be released, reducing the UK involvement with the camp to just one inmate.
42-day detention plan attacked as constitutionally illiterate 08 Dec 2007 Proposals to extend the limit for pre-charge detention to 42 days are "constitutionally illiterate" as well as dangerous, critics warned yesterday, because proper parliamentary scrutiny would confuse the roles of MPs and judges. The home secretary would have to notify parliament within two days of granting the 42-day limit, with MPs approving the decision within 30 days.
Hill-bullies May Bring US Four More Years of GOP Rule --The Rec Report Revised! --By Michael Rectenwald 08 Mar 2007 Hill-bullies are not exclusive to Faux and Raunch. Chris Matthews, the otherwise floundering middleweight chameleon, has a special, heavyweight hankering for Hillary hate. His animus appears to be especially personal, as if she's somehow slighted him, or refused him a date... If we continue to join in all those rein-in-Hillary games of the right, we might just end up with Rudolph or Huckabee.
'We need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague.' Huckabee wanted to isolate AIDS patients 08 Dec 2007 Mike Huckabee once advocated isolating AIDS patients from the general public, opposed increased federal funding in the search for a cure and said homosexuality could "pose a dangerous public health risk." As a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 1992, Huckabee answered 229 questions submitted to him by The Associated Press. Besides a quarantine, Huckabee suggested that Hollywood celebrities fund AIDS research from their own pockets, rather than federal health agencies. "If the federal government is truly serious about doing something with the AIDS virus, we need to take steps that would isolate the carriers of this plague," Huckabee wrote.
White House threatens budget veto 08 Dec 2007 The White House on Saturday threatened to veto a massive spending bill being assembled by congressional Democrats, saying it's unacceptable to add billions of dollars to domestic programs. [Right, if the money is not for Bush's torture and slaughter of people all over the world, it's a no-go. --LRP]
Bush's Bad Mortgage Medicine By Liz Moyer 07 Dec 2007 The Bush Administration's plan to rescue the housing market and keep the economy from slipping into recession took flak yesterday for freezing interest rate hikes for a mere fraction of subprime, adjustable-rate borrowers. But there's a bigger risk: It could deepen and lengthen the credit crisis. According to analysis by Barclays Capital, the "freezer-teaser" plan applies to just 240,000 subprime loans.
Edwards condemns NAFTA 08 Dec 2007 Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards said Saturday he wants to replace the empty promise that NAFTA would create millions of jobs with his own promise to be a tough negotiator on trade deals.
Thousands join climate march 08 Dec 2007 Thousands of climate change protesters took their campaign to cut carbon emissions to the streets as they issued a stark warning of impending catastrophe to global leaders. The activists demonstrated across the UK to highlight a UN convention on climate change being held in Bali, Indonesia.
Leave animals alone, Inuit hunters tell scientists --Half the polar bear population of Davis Strait has been bothered over the last three years, Inuit hunters say 06 Dec 2007 ...Glenn Williams, a former wildlife officer and consultant to Nunavut Tunngavik Inc., says over the last three years, polar bears in the Davis Strait were tranquilized 2,371 times. About half the entire population of 2,100 bears was at one time chased down by helicopter and shot with a dart containing a small explosive charge that drives the drug into the bear.
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[Previous lead stories:] Israel considering strike on Iran despite US intelligence report 07 Dec 2007 Senior Israeli officials warned today they were still considering the option of a military strike against Iran, despite a fresh US intelligence report that concluded Tehran was no longer developing nuclear weapons. Although Israel argues that it wants to see strong diplomatic pressure put on Iran, it is reluctant to rule out the threat of a unilateral military attack. Matan Vilnai, Israel's deputy defence minister, told Army Radio today: "No option needs to be off the table."
Israeli officials reject U.S. findings on Iran 04 Dec 2007 Israeli officials, who've been warning that Iran would soon pose a nuclear threat to the world, reacted angrily Tuesday to a new U.S. intelligence finding that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons development program in 2003 and to date hasn't resumed trying to produce nuclear weapons. Defense Minister Ehud Barak directly challenged the new assessment in an interview with Israel's Army Radio, and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the new finding wouldn't deter Israel or the United States from pressing its campaign to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapons capability.
Pentagon plans unchanged by Iran report: general 07 Dec 2007 A U.S. intelligence assessment that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 has had no effect on Pentagon planning, a senior U.S. military officer said on Friday. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. John Sattler, director for strategic plans and policy on the U.S. military's Joint Staff, said officials were still digesting the National Intelligence Estimate released on Monday.
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