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Saturday, Aug 23rd

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Report: Over 4 percent of U.S. death row inmates innocent

lethal executionsOver 4 percent of people sentenced to death are innocent, according to what authors of a report published Monday say was a “conservative,” statistics-based estimate.

Advocates against the death penalty told Al Jazeera that number is astoundingly high. But for one exonerated death row inmate, the figure seems incredibly low — and he believes he’s more qualified to estimate the number of innocents on death row than professors and analysts.

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Guantánamo Bay detainees' release upon end of Afghanistan war 'unlikely'

Gitmo detaineesTypically, when a war ends, so does the combatants’ authority to detain the other side’s fighters. But as the conclusion of the US war in Afghanistan approaches, the inmate population of Guantánamo Bay is likely to be an exception – and, for the Obama administration, the latest complication to its attempt to close the infamous wartime detention complex.

In December, when President Barack Obama and his Nato allies formally end their combat role in Afghanistan, US officials indicate there is unlikely to be a corresponding release of detainees at Guantánamo who were captured during the country's longest conflict.

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Can the US Government Confiscate a Citizen's Passport for No Apparent Reason? It Just Did

Nader el DajaniWhen two FBI agents called Nader el-Dajani in August 2012 and asked if he could meet at Starbucks for a chat, he instead invited them to his home in Fort Wayne, Indiana, for coffee and tea. The 55-year-old businessman, who lives in Bahrain for most of each year, hadn't been charged with a crime, and the FBI agents never explained why they were interested in him. Dajani didn't have to tell the agents anything. But he did.

He explained that, a few months earlier, he'd been stopped and questioned by Department of Homeland Security officers at a London airport because he was carrying multiple cellphones, which he uses during his international travels. He readily answered the agents' questions about his travels in the Middle East—where he owns several businesses—and his knowledge of the region. He thought it was the right thing to do. "I told them everything," he says. "I was open." He assumed that cooperating with the bureau would make his life easier.

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Window Opens On Secret Camp Within Guantanamo

camp  7 guantanamoAttorney James Connell has visited his client inside the secret Guantanamo prison complex known as Camp 7 only once, taken in a van with covered windows on a circuitous trek to disguise the route on the scrub brush-and-cactus covered military base.

Connell is allowed to say virtually nothing about what he saw in the secret camp where the most notorious terror suspects in U.S. custody are held except that it is unlike any detention facility he's encountered.

"It's much more isolating than any other facility that I have known," the lawyer says. "I've done cases from the Virginia death row and Texas death row and these pretrial conditions are much more isolating."

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CIA’s harsh interrogation tactics more widespread than thought, Senate investigators found

CIA torture widespreadThe CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques on foreign terror suspects – a practice that has provoked international condemnation – was more widespread than the agency has publicly acknowledged, Senate investigators have learned.

Moreover, the CIA’s own internal documents confirm the agency’s culpability in the hypothermia death of one Afghan captive – an incident that also has never even been publicly discussed, McClatchy was told.

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Dick Cheney: 'If I would have to do it all over again, I would'

Dick CheneyFormer Vice President Dick Cheney says if he had to make the same decisions and actions regarding the waterboarding of prisoners, he would.

Cheney was speaking to students at American University in Washington, D.C. when he said he had no regrets about the U.S. use of enhanced interrogation techniques such as waterboarding on terrorism suspects.

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US human rights record chastised in UN report

US human rights recordThe UN has delivered a withering verdict on the US's human rights record, raising concerns on a series of issues including torture, drone strikes, the failure to close Guantánamo Bay and the NSA's bulk collection of personal data.

The report was delivered by the UN's human rights committee in an assessment of how the US is complying with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [ICCPR], which has been in force since the mid 1970s.

The committee, which is chaired by the British law professor Sir Nigel Rodley, catalogued a string of human rights concerns, notably on the mass surveillance exposed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden.

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