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By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
In mid-June 2003, when former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's criticism against the White House's use of pre-war Iraq intelligence started to make national headlines, Vice President Dick Cheney told his former chief of staff and close confidant I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby to leak classified intelligence data on Iraq's nuclear ambitions to a legendary Washington journalist in order to undercut the charges made against the Bush administration by the former ambassador.
From Tomdispatch today, Dahr Jamail's "Tracing the Trail of Torture, Embedding Torture as Policy from Guantanamo to Iraq" http://www.tomdispatch.com/index.mhtml?pid=65894
In just the last few weeks, there has been a cascade of torture news as the latest Abu Ghraib photos were released, administration lawyers went to court to fight for a "torture exemption" for detainees at Guantanamo, military officials organizing the administration's trials at that prison refused to ban testimony induced by torture, and the New York Times revealed that at Bagram Air Base we now have a second Guantanamo, totally beyond the reach of the law. And that's just been the tip of the iceberg.
By Mark Mazzetti, Los Angeles Times
The ranking US general there says a Pentagon review found the program does not violate policy. It could be replicated elsewhere.
Washington - The U.S. military plans to continue paying Iraqi newspapers to publish articles favorable to the United States after an inquiry found no fault with the controversial practice, the top U.S. general in Iraq said Friday.
A Kuwaiti man being held at Guantanamo Bay has told the BBC in a rare interview that the force-feeding of hunger strikers amounts to torture.
Fawzi al-Odah said hunger strikers were strapped to a chair and force-fed through a tube three times a day.
A senior US official denied the use of torture in Guantanamo Bay.
Mr Odah's comments, relayed by his lawyer in answer to BBC questions, came as another inmate launched a legal challenge to the force-feeding policy.
By Nicolas J. S. Davies
Over a year ago an international team of epidemiologists, headed by Les Roberts of Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, completed a "cluster sample survey" of civilian casualties in Iraq. Its findings contradicted central elements of what politicians and journalists had presented to the US public and the world. After excluding any possible statistical anomalies, they estimated that at least 98,000 Iraqi civilians had died in the previous 18 months as a direct result of the invasion and occupation of their country. They also found that violence had become the leading cause of death in Iraq during that period. Their most significant finding was that the vast majority (79 percent) of violent deaths were caused by "coalition" forces using "helicopter gunships, rockets or other forms of aerial weaponry," and that almost half (48 percent) of these were children, with a median age of 8.
By Murray Waas, National Journal
Two highly classified intelligence reports delivered directly to President Bush before the Iraq war cast doubt on key public assertions made by the president, Vice President Cheney, and other administration officials as justifications for invading Iraq and toppling Saddam Hussein, according to records and knowledgeable sources.
The first report, delivered to Bush in early October 2002, was a one-page summary of a National Intelligence Estimate that discussed whether Saddam's procurement of high-strength aluminum tubes was for the purpose of developing a nuclear weapon.
By Media is a Plural
Sources close to the ongoing Department of Defense investigation into the controversial Able Danger data mining intelligence program, which purportedly identified Mohammed Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers a year before the worst terror attacks in US history, say the mystery person who actually obtained a much-disputed photograph of Atta for the Able Danger team has now been identified.
By MARGARET EBRAHIM and JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press
WASHINGTON Mar 1, 2006 (AP)— In dramatic and sometimes agonizing terms, federal disaster officials warned President Bush and his homeland security chief before Hurricane Katrina struck that the storm could breach levees, put lives at risk in New Orleans' Superdome and overwhelm rescuers, according to confidential video footage.
Extent of Eavesdropping May Go Beyond NSA Work
By Charles Babington and Dan Eggen, Washington Post
Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales appeared to suggest yesterday that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance operations may extend beyond the outlines that the president acknowledged in mid-December.
In a letter yesterday to senators in which he asked to clarify his Feb. 6 testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Gonzales also seemed to imply that the administration's original legal justification for the program was not as clear-cut as he indicated three weeks ago.
BY JAMES GORDON MEEK, New York Daily News
WASHINGTON - Handwritten notes taken by the CIA show Vice President Dick Cheney's top aide knew the name of CIA spy Valerie Plame Wilson a month before her cover was blown.
Former UN Human Rights Chief in Iraq Says US Violating Geneva Conventions, Jailing Innocent Detainees
The Washington Post is reporting 1,300 Iraqis have died in violence since
Wednesday¹s bombing of the Askariya shrine in Samara. In his first interview
since returning from Iraq, John Pace, the human rights chief for the the
By David Swanson
So, the word Anthrax is back in the news, but only because a man contracted it through what is reportedly a freak accident, not because Saddam Hussein's vast stockpiles have been found, not because Bush has apologized for inventing those vast stockpiles, not because Forest Whitaker has agreed to play Colin Powell in "The Sting II: Hustling the United Nations," not because impeachment proceedings have begun, and especially not because the U.S. corporate media has revealed any memory of the fact that somebody mailed anthrax to the U.S. Senate less than five years ago.
This urgent book by the Center for Constitutional Rights presents four Articles of Impeachment: warrantless surveillance, lying to Congress about Iraq, torturing prisoners, and subverting the Separation of Powers. Buy a copy and send one to your Representative - $9.95 can change America!
By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | Report
The White House turned over last week 250 pages of emails from Vice President Dick Cheney’s office. Senior aides had sent the emails in the spring of 2003 related to the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald revealed during a federal court hearing Friday.
Julian Borger in Washington, The Guardian
Hours after a commercial plane struck the Pentagon on September 11 2001 the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was issuing rapid orders to his aides to look for evidence of Iraqi involvement, according to notes taken by one of them.
By Olivier Bertrand, Libération
Mourad Benchellali, who left France in 2001 for a Taliban camp, recounts the horror of his detention by the Americans in Kandahar, then at Guantánamo.
Mourad Benchellali left Vénissieux in June 2001. He was 19-years-old when he left for Afghanistan. Four and a half years later, he has just come back, after several successive Hells. Two months in a Taliban training camp, then capture in Pakistan - to be handed over to the Americans. And torture - in Kandahar, then at Guantánamo. Upon his return, the French justice system kept him in detention for eighteen months before freeing him last month. His profile has filled out. Mourad wears his frizzy hair long, in a pony tail. No one recognizes him and he prefers that. He wants to turn the page. But first, to relate what he saw in Guantánamo. He testifies at length for Libération: about the channels he used to get to Afghanistan, about training with the Taliban, about the tortures he endured. His recitation is precise, since the many interrogations, he says, have "engraved" the slightest details into his memory. It is impossible to verify what he says, but his testimony is corroborated by that of other Guantánamo "lodgers."
By Nigel Morris, The Independent UK
An award-winning film director who reconstructed scenes of torture and abuse at Guantánamo Bay has called for the immediate closure of the US-run camp.
In April 2004, the United States launched its first assault on Fallujah, the
Sunni town west of Baghdad that had come to symbolize Iraqi resistance to
the U.S. occupation. The siege was one of the bloodiest assaults of the US
CONTACT: National Priorities Project 413.584.9556
NORTHAMPTON, Massachusetts - February 21 - The administration submitted to Congress a $72.4 billion request for additional war-related funding last week. The National Priorities Project (NPP) concluded that total spending on the Iraq War will rise to more than $315 billion.
By the BBC
Report probes US custody deaths
Almost 100 prisoners have died in US custody in Iraq and Afghanistan since August 2002, according to US group Human Rights First.
The details were first aired on BBC television's Newsnight programme.
By Jay Bookman, Atlanta Journal Constitution
A hundred years from now, historians will still be regaling readers with the all-too-true tales of ignorance, arrogance, dishonesty and outright incompetence that drove our nation to invade Iraq. As stories go, nothing in our country's previous 225 years of history quite matches it. And for our children's sake, we better hope that nothing in our future comes close to it, either.
By Richard Hoffmann, World Socialist Web Site www.wsws.org
On January 19, 2006 the US Department of Justice released a 42-page memorandum purporting to set out a legal justification for the spying activities of the Bush administration that have been undertaken by the National Security Agency (NSA).
Like statements made by the White House and the attorney general since the government’s domestic surveillance operations were revealed, the Justice Department’s legal brief is an aggressive, but spurious, attempt to establish that these operations have a basis in law. Its central plank is the contention that, since the United States is in a state of war with Al Qaeda, the president has unfettered power to conduct military operations against Al Qaeda, including spying on US citizens and legal residents within the United States.
CNN PRESENTS: The Intelligence Failures Which Provided Support for the Bush Admninisration to Pursue War on Iraq
Aired February 18, 2006 - 15:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN CORRESPONDENT, CNN PRESENTS: Marshals say Gregory and Jeffrey Rose had enough explosives to bring down a building. Agents link them to anti-government groups.
By Jason Leopold, t r u t h o u t | www.truthout.org
The investigation into the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson is heating up. Evidence is mounting that senior officials in the office of Vice President Dick Cheney and the National Security Council conspired to unmask Plame Wilson's identity to reporters in an effort to stop her husband from publicly criticizing the administration's pre-war Iraq intelligence, according to sources close to the two-year-old probe.
Dahr Jamail's Iraq Dispatches, http://dahrjamailiraq.com
In an effort to keep the videos and footage of abuse and torture of
Iraqis by American and British forces in Iraq available despite U.S.
government and Pentagon censorship efforts, we have decided to post them
By Larisa Alexandrovna, http://rawstory.com
The unmasking of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson by White House officials in 2003 caused significant damage to U.S. national security and its ability to counter nuclear proliferation abroad, RAW STORY has learned.
Says Iraq data distorted to sway public
By Cam Simpson, Chicago Tribune
WASHINGTON -- The former CIA official charged with managing the U.S. government's secret intelligence assessments on Iraq says the Bush administration chose war first and then misleadingly used raw data to assemble a public case for its decision to invade.
Believing the evidence fell short, Bush discussed with Blair the possibility of inciting a conflict with Iraq, British author says.
By John Daniszewski, Los Angeles Times
LONDON — It was the end of January 2003. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell was five days away from giving a critical speech at the U.N. Security Council, laying out the case that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction and posed a danger to world peace.