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Showing posts from December 16, 2008

The Raw Story | Cheney admits authorizing detainee's torture

The Raw Story | Cheney admits authorizing detainee's torture
Monday, outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney made a startling statement on a nation-wide, televised broadcast.

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. &quo…

Israel: UN Rights Envoy is ‘Unwelcome’ | News From

Israel: UN Rights Envoy is ‘Unwelcome’ | News From The Israeli government held UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in the Palestinian Territories Richard Falk for over 20 hours at a Tel Aviv airport, before eventually putting him on an airplane bound for Los Angeles. UN officials complained of the envoy’s treatment, saying “one doesn’t expect a UN special rapporteur to find himself in that position.”

But Israel defended the action, with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni declaring that Falk, a Princeton professor who condemned the Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip, was “unwelcome in Israel.” A later statement from the Israeli Foreign Ministry accused Professor Falk of “legitimizing Hamas terrorism.” Israeli human rights group B’Tselem condemned the move, saying that barring the entry of the professor was “an act unbefitting of democracy.”

Israel was outraged at the appointment of Prof. Falk to the position in March, claiming his history of harsh criticism of Israeli policies m…

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 12/15/2008 | Iraqi who threw shoes covered U.S. bombing of Shiite area

McClatchy Washington Bureau | 12/15/2008 | Iraqi who threw shoes covered U.S. bombing of Shiite area: BAGHDAD — George W. Bush made his last visit to Iraq as president on Sunday. But instead of highlighting progress from the "surge," it became a reminder that many Iraqis see him not as a liberator who freed them from Saddam Hussein but as an occupier who pushed their country into chaos.

As Bush finished remarks that hailed the security progress that led to a U.S.-Iraq agreement that sets a three-year timetable for an American withdrawal, an Iraqi television journalist leapt from his seat, pulled off his shoes and threw them at the president. Striking someone with a shoe is a grave insult in Islam.

"This is a goodbye kiss, you dog," the journalist, Muntathar al Zaidi, 29, shouted.

Bush ducked the first shoe. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, standing to Bush's left, tried to swat down the second. Neither hit the president. Another Iraqi journalist yanked Zaidi…

Muntadar al-Zeidi: The Shoe-Man of Baghdad | News From

Muntadar al-Zeidi: The Shoe-Man of Baghdad | News From
One can scarcely read a newspaper or turn on a television anywhere on the planet without seeing the face of Iraqi Journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi, or failing that seeing one or both of his shoes flying past the head of the President of the United States. But where did this 29 year old journalist, the new-found symbol of Iraqi opposition to the American military presence, come from? More importantly, where is he going?

Western audiences are unlikely to have heard of Zeidi before, or if they have only as a faceless reporter briefly kidnapped in Baghdad and released without incident. Even in Iraq, he is just another journalist for a relatively minor television station, hardly a prominent figure at all in a nation full of reporters looking to make a name for themselves covering the violence of the past several years.

His elder brother Durgham describes Muntadar as a “rather nervous type” who devotes most of his time to his caree…