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Wednesday, Sep 02nd

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Is The CIA's Case For Torture Unraveling?

Osama bin LadinIn the immediate aftermath of Seymour Hersh’s winding narrative on the killing of Osama bin Laden and an alleged cover-up by the U.S. government, officials, spies and even other journalists have been quick to label the story a sham.

But now, multiple news sources are backing up at least one aspect of Hersh’s controversial account on the 2011 raid: It was a Pakistani tipster who ultimately led U.S. special forces to the fugitive’s Abbottabad compound, not the courier Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, whose identity was supposedly revealed by CIA detainees.

Which, if true, would mean the key to bin Laden’s location was not, as the agency tells it, torture.

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Gaza war policies favored safety of soldiers over civilians, Israeli veterans group says

Gaza war policiesIsraeli troops who served in last summer’s war in Gaza were ordered to shoot people on sight, shelled homes and reduced neighborhoods to rubble as part of a deliberate policy of force protection that cost the lives of Palestinian civilians, according to soldiers’ testimonies published Monday by an Israeli veterans group.

The Gaza testimonies, taken from 60 soldiers who took part in the fighting, provide an insight into the tactics the Israeli military employed during the 50-day war against the militant Islamist group Hamas that left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead and destroyed large swaths of the Gaza Strip.

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American Psychological Association helped Bush justify torture

APA helped justify tortureThe American Psychological Association is accused of secretly collaborating with former President George W. Bush's administration to justify torture.

The All the President's Psychologists report, written by doctors, professors and human rights activists, accuses the APA of working to keep psychologists involved with interrogation programs after the public saw the graphic photos of prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib Iraqi prison by U.S. military personnel.

The APA's actions coincided with efforts by senior Bush administration officials to keep the programs alive.

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Meet The Only Person Being Punished After The Senate Torture Report

alissa starzakFive months after the Senate Intelligence Committee released its gruesome report on the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program, someone is finally paying steep professional consequences. Except it’s not the former torturers. Or their superiors. Or even the CIA officials who improperly searched the computers that Senate investigators used to construct the study.

It’s the person who helped expose them.

Alissa Starzak, a former Democratic majority staffer on the Senate Intelligence Committee, played a critical and controversial role during her time on the panel: She was a lead investigator for the torture report, and was one of two staffers involved in an ongoing feud over damning internal CIA documents obtained by the committee.

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Israel struck Gaza shelters - UN report

Gaza shelters hit by Israel during Gaza strikeAt least 44 Palestinians were killed by "Israeli actions" while sheltering at seven UN schools during last summer's war in Gaza, a UN inquiry has found.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said he deplored the deaths and stressed that UN facilities were "inviolable".

The inquiry also found that three empty UN schools were used by Palestinian militants to store weapons, and that in two cases they likely fired from them.

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The CIA’s black marks on humanity

CIA tortureOne recent afternoon in Arlington, Virginia, I found myself doing pushups alongside a host of military and civilian attorneys, paralegals and other employees of the Office of the Chief Defense Counsel. It is part of the Defense Department’s Office of Military Commissions, which oversees war court proceedings for detainees at Guantánamo Bay, and I was visiting at 1 p.m. — designated pushup time.

That wasn’t my original plan: I’d been scheduled to attend April pretrial hearings in Guantánamo for five high-value detainees (HVDs) accused of involvement in 9/11, but when the hearings were canceled by the case’s military judge, Arlington seemed to be the next best destination.

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100 Years Ago, 1.5 Million Christian Armenians Were Systematically Killed. Today, It's Still Not A 'Genocide'

Armenian genocideOn April 24, 1915, Ottoman Turkish authorities hauled off Daniel Varoujan, a leading Armenian poet of the time, along with over 200 other intellectuals in the capital Constantinople. To the crumbling Ottoman Empire, the poets, painters, writers, booksellers and politicians at the beating heart of the Armenian community posed too much of a threat.

Soon, much of the empire’s Christian Armenian population would be targeted and nearly wiped out, accused of conspiring against the empire with the Russians. Many Armenians say the genocide was collective punishment for the actions of a few.

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