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Saturday, Dec 20th

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U.N. investigator calls for prosecuting Bush-era torture crimes

Bush era criminalsA U.N. human rights expert said a report that the U.S. Senate released on Tuesday revealed a "clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration" and called for prosecution of U.S. officials who ordered crimes, including torture, against detainees.

Ben Emmerson, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said senior Bush administration officials who planned and authorized crimes must be prosecuted, along with as CIA and other U.S. government officials who committed torture such as waterboarding.

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TVNL warned you years ago: The Absurd Debate Over Torture

Dick CheneyAmerica consistently proclaims itself a nation of laws where justice is blind to privilege or class. And yet, as the world watches in disbelief, this country has become inextricably mired in non-stop debates that defy reason.

It is absolutely insane to discuss the possibility that a crime has some Machiavellian validity simply because it ‘works.’ And it is equally incredulous to engage in discussions about the propriety of prosecuting those who have openly admitted their heinous actions.

Something is terribly wrong with this picture.

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U.S. bases, embassies prepare for violence with release of Senate torture report

war criminalsU.S. forces and diplomatic missions overseas braced on Monday for the release of the public version of a long-awaited Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIA’s use of torture after a U.S. intelligence community warning of a “heightened potential” for a “violent response,” U.S. officials said.

The report’s roughly 500-page executive summary, which the White House said would be unveiled on Tuesday, excoriates the CIA, concluding that it didn’t gain significant intelligence or the cooperation of detainees by using the harsh interrogation methods, had wrongly subjected some people to the procedures and misled the White House and Congress about the results.

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Release of Six Detainees After Twelve Years Highlights the Historic Evil of Guantánamo

Gito evilsThe U.S. military overnight transferred six Guantánamo detainees to Uruguay. All of them had been imprisoned since 2002 – more than 12 years. None has ever been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of any wrongdoing. They had all been cleared for release years ago by the Pentagon itself, but nonetheless remained in cages until today.

Among the released detainees is Abu Wa’el Dhiab, a Lebanese-born Syrian national and father of four who was seized by the Pakistani police and turned over to the U.S. in 2002 for what was reportedly a large bounty. He was cleared for release in 2009 – five years ago – and has repeatedly gone on hunger strikes inside the camp to protest his treatment. At the age of 43, he has become physically debilitated. As the human rights group Reprieve detailed:

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US sends 6 prisoners from Guantanamo to Uruguay

6 Gitmo prisoners sent to UruguaySix prisoners held for 12 years at Guantanamo Bay have been sent to Uruguay to be resettled as refugees, the U.S. government announced Sunday — a deal that had been delayed for months by security concerns at the Pentagon and political considerations in the South American country.

The six men — four Syrians, a Tunisian and a Palestinian — are the first prisoners transferred to South America from the U.S. base in Cuba, part of a flurry of recent releases amid a renewed push by President Barack Obama to close the prison.

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IDF launches 8 criminal probes over incidents in Gaza war

IDF investigationThe army’s chief legal officer has ordered the military police to investigate eight new cases from the summer’s operation in Gaza, bringing the total of current criminal investigations to 13, the IDF Magistrate Advocate General said Saturday.

The eight new cases involve the deaths of some 30 Palestinians, including 27 who died in an IDF strike on the home of the Abu-Jama family in Khan Yunis. In all, the 13 cases now being probed — which include the ongoing investigations into a strike on an UNRWA school in which 14 people were killed, and an airstrike that killed four children on a Gaza beach — concern the deaths of close to 50 Palestinians.

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Mark Udall Promises America Will "Be Disgusted" at CIA Torture Report

Mark UdallThe Senate Intelligence Committee, led by Dianne Feinstein of California, is soon expected to release its summary of the so-called CIA Torture Report, the committee’s four-year-long investigation into the CIA’s Bush-era torture practices. Release of the summary is the result of months of wrangling and negotiating with the White House on what would be released to the public and when—and it will likely be heavily redacted.

During an interview conducted on Friday, November 21, by Esquire writer at large Scott Raab, outgoing senator Mark Udall of Colorado, who lost his reelection race on November 4, once again said that if the report is not released in a way he deems transparent, he would consider all options to make it public.

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