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Thursday, Dec 18th

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Israeli Human Rights organization declares settlement illegal

All the settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international humanitarian law, whether or not they are officially recognized by the Israeli government. The various governments of Israel ignored this prohibition and established more than 130 recognized settlements throughout the West Bank and on the territory it annexed to Jerusalem.

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Number of Gaza siege victims reaches 271

Mohammed Saad, 40, has died late on Monday evening after a "long battle with cancer" and after the Israeli occupation authority's siege blocked him from travel abroad for treatment, Palestinian medical sources said on Tuesday.

The IOA is tampering with the lives of one and a half million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Khudari said, adding that what the IOA allowed into Gaza over the past few days before closing the crossings today anew would suffice the Strip for a day or two.

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Amnesty International Urges New Administration to 'Close Guantanamo and Open the Door to Truth'

Today, Amnesty International released a recommended timeline for investigating the U.S. government's violations of domestic and international law in its counterterrorism actions. The human rights organization urges that there must be a thorough investigation of the abuses committed in the war on terror through an independent commission. Amnesty International's recommendations provide a timeline and conditions necessary to best attain truth and accountability.

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Settlers to Ethiopian troops: Niggers don't expel Jews

Not only do they serve long and tiring hours in the reserve forces, and not only are they forced to deal with violent clashes with settlers, but now, Border Guard officers of Ethiopian descent are also faced with rising racism.

During the violent clashes between Israeli forces and settlers in Hebron on Tuesday "a bunch of veiled people started yelling at us: Who are you to expel us from our home? An Ethiopian does not expel a Jew! A nigger does not expel a Jew!" one Border Guard officer of Ethiopian descent recounted. 

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Cheney Admits Authorizing Detainee's Torture

When asked by ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl whether he approved of interrogation tactics used against a so-called "high value prisoner" at the controversial Guantanamo Bay prison, Mr. Cheney, in a break from his history of being press-shy, admitted to giving official sanctioning of torture.

"I supported it," he said regarding the practice known as "water-boarding," a form of simulated drowning. After World War II, Japanese soldiers were tried and convicted of war crimes in US courts for water-boarding, a practice which the outgoing Bush administration attempted to enshrine in policy.

"I was aware of the program, certainly, and involved in helping get the process cleared, as the agency in effect came in and wanted to know what they could and couldn't do," Cheney said. "And they talked to me, as well as others, to explain what they wanted to do. And I supported it."

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Iraqi group files 200 lawsuits against Rumsfeld, US security firms for torture

A Jordan-based Iraqi rights group said on Monday it has filed 200 lawsuits against US former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and American security firms for their alleged role in torturing Iraqis.

Ali Qeisi, head of the group the "Society of Victims of the US Occupation in Iraq," said the cases, relating to torture and abuse of Iraqi prisoners, have been recently filed in federal courts in Virginia, Michigan and Maryland.

"Around 30 lawsuits have been accepted so far," Qeisi told AFP. The others are still under consideration.

"The torture was systemic, and those responsible for it should be punished and the victims should be compensated," he said.

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The Torture Presidency

The report concluded that Donald Rumsfeld and other high-level officials of the administration consciously adopted a policy for the torture and abuse of prisoners held in the war on terror. It also found that they attempted to cover up their conduct by waging a P.R. campaign to put the blame on a group of young soldiers they called “rotten apples.” Lawyers figure prominently among the miscreants identified. Evidently the torture policy’s authors then enlisted ethics-challenged lawyers to craft memoranda designed to give torture “the appearance of legality” as part of a scheme to create the torture program despite internal opposition. A declassified summary of the report can be read here; the full report is filled with classified information and therefore has been submitted to the Department of Defense with a request that the materials be declassified for release. (Don’t expect that to happen before January 20, however).

This report sums up all you need to know about George W. Bush’s eight years of leadership.

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