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Interrogation techniques' efficacy wasn't scrutinized

The CIA used an arsenal of severe interrogation techniques on Al Qaeda prisoners for nearly seven years without seeking a rigorous assessment of whether the methods were effective or necessary, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the matter.

The failure to conduct a comprehensive examination occurred despite calls to do so as early as 2003. That year, the agency's inspector general circulated drafts of a report that raised deep concerns about the use of waterboarding and other methods, and recommended a study by outside experts on whether those techniques worked.

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CIA official: no proof harsh techniques stopped terror attacks

The CIA inspector general in 2004 found that there was no conclusive proof that waterboarding or other harsh interrogation techniques helped the Bush administration thwart any "specific imminent attacks," according to recently declassified Justice Department memos.

That undercuts assertions by former vice president Dick Cheney and other former Bush administration officials that the use of harsh interrogation tactics including waterboarding, which is widely considered torture, was justified because it headed off terrorist attacks.

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Al-Qaeda Chief In Iraq: Captured, Killed, Never Actually Existed, Now Captured Again

The announcement of al-Baghdadi’s capture today jars with multiple previous reports from up to two years ago, detailing his arrest, his death and even questioning his existence altogether.

In March 2007, the Interior Ministry of Iraq claimed that al-Baghdadi had been captured in Baghdad. This was reported by AP and picked up by the likes of  CNN, whose report stated that another insurgent had positively confirmed al-Baghdadi’s identity.

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Are UFOs real? Famous people who believed

The former NASA astronaut Edgar Mitchell has claimed that aliens exist and their visits are being covered up by the United States government. Mitchell is in good company in his beliefs. Here we highlight 12 other public figures who believe that extraterrestrials may have been visiting our planet over the last 100 years.

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CIA official: no proof harsh techniques stopped terror attacks

The CIA inspector general in 2004 found that there was no conclusive proof that waterboarding or other harsh interrogation techniques helped the Bush administration thwart any "specific imminent attacks," according to recently declassified Justice Department memos.

That undercuts assertions by former vice president Dick Cheney and other former Bush administration officials that the use of harsh interrogation tactics including waterboarding, which is widely considered torture, was justified because it headed off terrorist attacks.

Read more...

Drowning in plastic: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of France

There are now 46,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre of the world's oceans, killing a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year. Worse still, there seems to be nothing we can do to clean it up. So how do we turn the tide?

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What do you expect? It's talk radio, court says

A federal appeals court had some advice Friday for anyone whose reputation gets trashed on talk radio: Don't bother suing for slander, because no one reasonably expects objective facts from the typical talk show host.

"Millions of people do listen to talk radio," she said. "A lot of talk radio hosts do make an effort to be accurate. ... People believe them and rely upon them, particularly in consumer cases."

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Military agency: warned "torture" methods unreliable

The military agency that provided advice on harsh interrogation techniques for use against terrorism suspects referred to the application of extreme duress as "torture" in a July 2002 document sent to the Pentagon's chief lawyer and warned that it would produce "unreliable information."

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Appeals court rules Gitmo detainees are not 'persons'

A Court of Appeals for the Washington, D.C. Circuit ruled Friday that detainees at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are not "persons" according to it's interpretation of a statute involving religious freedom.

The ruling sprang from an appeal of Rasul v. Rumsfeld, which was thrown out in Jan. 2008.

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