In order to prevent any details of its torture record being publicly disseminated, the Bush administration threatened the British government with withdrawal of intelligence sharing if they allowed a court to publish the redacted evidence. Foreign secretary David Miliband denied this on Wednesday, but the letters from the US have been released by Channel 4 News. And their message is unmistakable. The first letter:
Israel is about to make a misjudgement as disastrous – and deadly – as the attack on Gaza. In a few days, it looks as if it could elect Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister once again.
This is a man calling for the violent re-occupation of Gaza to "liquidate" its elected government. This is a man who says he will "naturally grow" the West Bank settlements. This is a man who says he will "never" negotiate over Jerusalem, or the Golan Heights, or control of the West Bank water supply.
This is a man who says establishing a Palestinian state would leave Israel with, "an existential threat and a public relations nightmare reminiscent of 1938 Czechoslovakia". This is a man who Yitzhak Rabin's widow said helped create a climate of hate that led to his murder.
A US warship docked Thursday in Nagasaki to the protests of residents and a boycott by local leaders who said the visit was in poor taste in a city obliterated by a US atomic bomb.
The USS Blue Ridge, which is stationed in Yokosuka near Tokyo, sailed to Nagasaki with a stated goal of promoting friendship between Japan and the United States.
"We don't want to see the US flag flying at this port and this feeling will not change until the United States takes a policy towards the elimination of nuclear weapons," Osamu Yoshitomi, an official at Nagasaki city, told AFP.
TVNL Comment: Only America would send a WAR ship to promote friendship. Open, obvious idiocy.
France paralysed by a wave of strike action, the boulevards of Paris resembling a debris-strewn battleﬁeld. The Hungarian currency sinks to its lowest level ever against the euro, as the unemployment ﬁgure rises. Greek farmers block the road into Bulgaria in protest at low prices for their produce. New ﬁgures from the biggest bank in the Baltic show that the three post-Soviet states there face the biggest recessions in Europe.
Europe's time of troubles is gathering depth and scale. Governments are trembling. Revolt is in the air.
While Israeli academics have grown used to such news from Great Britain, where anti-Israel groups several times attempted to establish academic boycotts, the formation of the United States movement marks the first time that a national academic boycott movement has come out of America. Israeli professors are not sure yet how big of an impact the one-week-old movement will have, but started discussing the significance of and possible counteractions against the campaign.
What if the entire tale of the Jewish Diaspora is historically wrong?
What if the Palestinian Arabs who have lived for decades under the heel of the modern Israeli state are in fact descended from the very same "children of Israel" described in the Old Testament?
And what if most modern Israelis aren't descended from the ancient Israelites at all, but are actually a mix of Europeans, North Africans and others who didn't "return" to the scrap of land we now call Israel and establish a new state following the attempt to exterminate them during World War II, but came in and forcefully displaced people whose ancestors had lived there for millennia?
A top Israeli official has threatened to murder Hamas Premier Ismail Haniya if the group keeps Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in custody.
"As long as Gilad Shalit doesn't see the light of day, you won't see the light of day. As long as Shalit doesn't go free, you and your friends will not be free. We won't hesitate to send you on the way we sent Yassin and Rantissi," Israeli Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz was quoted by Haaretz as saying.
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