War News StoriesExcerpts of Key War News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of war news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
After speaking [on April 8] at the Lyndon B. Johnson Library in Austin to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, [former President Jimmy] Carter spoke with TIME by phone about his recent [activities] and his recent book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.You say in A Call to Action that Jesus Christ was the greatest liberator of women in his culture. Why was that? One of the examples that he set invariably in every word and deed of his life was to emphasize the equality of women and even to exalt women well beyond any status they had enjoyed in any previous decades or centuries or even since then. What could the U.S. do better to address human trafficking? [In the US] for every brothel owner or pimp or male customer, there are 50 girls who are arrested for being prostitutes. Other countries have tried the other way around, and it works beautifully. Sweden is the No. 1 example that other countries are now emulating, where they bring the charges against the brothel owners and the pimps and the male customers, and they do not prosecute the girls, who quite often are brought into that trade involuntarily. You said last week that “the U.S. is the No. 1 warmonger on earth”. Yes, it is. It has been. You can look at the record: ever since the United Nations was formed after the Second World War, the United States has almost constantly been at war somewhere. There are about 30 countries where we have initiated armed conflict.
Last week, Stanford University and New York University released a major study about the use of drones in the ever-evolving but never-ending war on terror. Drones are terrorizing an entire civilian population. [We] spent weeks in Pakistan interviewing more than 60 people from North Waziristan. Many were survivors of strikes. Others had lost loved ones and family members. All of them live under the constant threat of annihilation. What my colleagues and I learned from these unnamed and unknown victims of America's drone warfare gave the report its title: "Living Under Drones." Drones are a constant presence in the skies above the North Waziristan tribal area in Pakistan, with as many as six hovering over villages at any one time. People hear them day and night. They are an inescapable presence, the looming specter of death from above. And that presence is steadily destroying a community twice the size of Rhode Island. The routines of daily life have been ripped to shreds. Indisputably innocent people cower in their homes, afraid to assemble on the streets. "Double taps," or secondary strikes on the same target, have stopped residents from aiding those who have been injured. A leading humanitarian agency now delays assistance by an astonishing six hours. What makes this situation even worse is that no one can tell people in these communities what they can do to make themselves safe. No one knows who is on the American kill list, no one knows how they got there and no one knows what they can do to get themselves off. It's all terrifyingly random. Suddenly, and without warning, a missile launches and obliterates everyone within a 16-yard radius.
Note: The author of this report, Jennifer Gibson, is a staff attorney with Reprieve, a London-based legal charity that represents dozens of Pakistani drone victims. For an excellent, seven-minute video by professors exploring the tragic reality of drone strikes in Pakistan, click here. For the "Living Under Drones" website where you can read a summary and download this report by Stanford University and the New York Times, click here. To learn about a beautiful movement to place large photos of children's faces in target areas to stop drone operators from killing innocents, click here.
A Senate intelligence committee investigation found that the Central Intelligence Agency employed brutal interrogation methods that turned out to be largely useless and then lied about their effectiveness. The Senate report contradicts the main defenses of the Bush-era torture program: That harsh methods were needed to produce "actionable results," and that the program itself helped save American lives by foiling terror attacks. Instead, the CIA overstated the effectiveness of the program and concealed the harshness of the methods they used. Intelligence breakthroughs credited to the “enhanced interrogation” program by the CIA were instead gleaned through other means, and then used by the agency to bolster defenses of the program. Conservative media figures incessantly hyped former Bush administration officials’ at times verifiably false claims about the efficacy of the program. The Bush administration’s trip to the “dark side” provided pundits, op-ed columnists, and other media personalities an endless stream of satisfaction from talking like the greased up protagonists of 1980s action films.
Note: For an article explaining how even though this report may be declassified, the public will not have access to most of it, click here. For more on the realities of intelligence agency operations, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The US came under sharp criticism at the UN human rights committee in Geneva on [March 13] for a long list of human rights abuses that included everything from detention without charge at Guantánamo, drone strikes and NSA surveillance, to the death penalty, rampant gun violence and endemic racial inequality. The experts raised questions about the National Security Agency’s surveillance of digital communications in the wake of Edward Snowden’s revelations. The committee’s 18 experts [are] charged with upholding the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a UN treaty that the US ratified in 1992. The US came under sustained criticism for its global counter-terrorism tactics, including the use of unmanned drones to kill al-Qaida suspects, and its transfer of detainees to third countries that might practice torture, such as Algeria. Committee members also highlighted the Obama administration’s failure to prosecute any of the officials responsible for permitting waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation” techniques under the previous administration. Walter Kälin, a Swiss international human rights lawyer who sits on the committee, attacked the US government’s refusal to recognise the convention’s mandate over its actions beyond its own borders. The US has asserted since 1995 that the ICCPR does not apply to US actions beyond its borders - and has used that “extra-territoriality” claim to justify its actions in Guantánamo and in conflict zones.
Note: How sad that it appears this news was not reported in any major US media.
Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein accused the CIA on [March 11] of violating the law and the Constitution of the United States by interfering in a committee investigation into Bush-era torture of terror suspects. Feinstein said the CIA had removed documents provided to the committee through a special, segregated network set up by the agency for the committee to pursue its investigation. Among the documents removed was an internal review of CIA interrogation techniques conducted by then-CIA Director Leon Panetta, which committee members have said corroborated committee findings critical of the agency’s interrogation program. “The CIA just went and searched the committee’s computers,” Feinstein said on the Senate floor. “This was done without the knowledge or approval of committee members or staff, and in violation of our written agreements. Further, this type of behavior would not have been possible had the CIA allowed the committee to conduct the review of documents here in the Senate,” Feinstein said. Feinstein said that the CIA’s activities may have violated the Fourth Amendment, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and executive order 12333, which bars the CIA from conducting domestic surveillance. Feinstein also said the CIA’s activities violated the separation of powers principles in the Constitution by interfering with congressional oversight of the executive branch.
Note: For more on the out-of-control activities of intelligence agencies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden accused Sen. Dianne Feinstein of hypocrisy ... for complaining about alleged CIA spying on U.S. senators while tolerating government spying on private citizens. "It's clear the CIA was trying to play 'keep away' with documents relevant to an investigation by their overseers in Congress, and that's a serious constitutional concern,” said Snowden in a statement to NBC News. “But it's equally if not more concerning that we're seeing another 'Merkel Effect,' where an elected official does not care at all that the rights of millions of ordinary citizens are violated by our spies, but suddenly it's a scandal when a politician finds out the same thing happens to them." Snowden was ... referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s indignation at reports that the U.S. had listened in on her personal conversations, but her failure to condemn the NSA for mass surveillance of communications of German citizens. Both were revealed by the release of documents that Snowden took from NSA computers and distributed to journalists.
Note: For more on the out-of-control activities of intelligence agencies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The confirmation in December that former CIA Director Leon Panetta let classified information slip to "Zero Dark Thirty" screenwriter Mark Boal during a speech at the agency headquarters should result in a criminal espionage charge if there is any truth to Obama administration claims that it isn't enforcing the Espionage Act only against political opponents. I'm one of the people the Obama administration charged with criminal espionage, one of those whose lives were torn apart by being accused, essentially, of betraying [their] country. The president and the attorney general have used the Espionage Act against more people than all other administrations combined, but not against real traitors and spies. The law has been applied selectively, often against whistle-blowers and others who expose illegal, corrupt government actions. After I blew the whistle on the CIA's waterboarding torture program in 2007, I was the subject of a years-long FBI investigation. In 2012, the Justice Department charged me with "disclosing classified information to journalists, including the name of a covert CIA officer and information revealing the role of another CIA employee in classified activities." I had revealed no more than others who were never charged, about activities ... that were hardly secret. I am serving a 30-month sentence. The Espionage Act, the source of the most serious charges against me, was written and passed during World War I and... is so outdated that it refers only to "national defense information" rather than "classified information," because the classification system had not yet been invented.
Note: The author of this article, John Kiriakou, is a former CIA counter-terrorism officer and former senior investigator on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He is incarcerated in the Federal Correctional Institution in Loretto, Pa. You can read about his case at http://www.defendjohnk.com. For more on the out-of-control activities of intelligence agencies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
In the early morning hours of February 5, a group of armed men – some dressed in Pakistani police uniforms – appeared at Kareem Khan’s home, awoke him and his family at gunpoint, and took him away in an unmarked vehicle. Khan was hooded, shackled around the wrists and ankles, and driven for hours, eventually arriving at a building where he was thrown into a windowless holding cell. There he stayed for more than a week, during which he was subjected to sensory deprivation and physical abuse. Khan says he was repeatedly beaten on the soles of his feet and threatened with death by his captors. He was kept hooded and shackled for most of the day, and fed only dry bread and water. Khan has no doubts about why he was targeted. He is the first person to attempt a legal challenge to the CIA drone program in Pakistan, after his son and brother were killed in a drone strike near his home in North Waziristan on December 31st 2009. His abduction and detention occurred just over a week before Khan was to travel with [his Pakistani lawyer, Shahzad] Akbar and Jennifer Gibson, a lawyer with the UK-based legal charity Reprieve, to speak with European parliamentarians about the CIA drone program. Among the topics of discussion were the extralegal nature of the program, as well as covert intelligence sharing by European spy agencies. While in captivity, Khan was interrogated by men who refused to identify themselves, and who questioned him repeatedly about his plans to speak with the media and about the cases of others who had been killed by drones. Since the start of the “War on Terror” it has been estimated by local human rights groups that as many as 8,000 Pakistani citizens have been “disappeared” by local intelligence agencies, often at the behest of their American counterparts.
Note: The Intercept is the new media source being funded by Pierre Omidyar and featuring Glenn Greenwald and other top reporters known for their independence. For more on the atrocities committed by the US and UK in the illegal "global war on terror", see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
In the years after the end of WWII, CIA and US intelligence operatives tested LSD and other interrogation techniques on captured Soviet spies—all with the help of former Nazi doctors. It was 1946. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were preparing for ‘total war’ with the Soviets. They even set an estimated start date of 1952. U.S. military officers had been capturing and then hiring Hitler’s weapons makers in a Top Secret program that would become known as Operation Paperclip. Soon, more than 1,600 of these men and their families would be living the American dream, right here in the United States. In 1948, Operation Paperclip’s Brigadier General Charles E. Loucks ... was working with Hitler’s former chemists when one of the scientists [shared] information about a drug with military potential ... LSD. Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reveal that the U.S. developed its post-war enhanced interrogation techniques ... under the CIA code name Operation Bluebird. The CIA teamed up with the Army Chemical Corps at Camp Detrick, in Maryland, to conduct further research and development on the chemistry of mind-altering drugs. One [Detrick agent was] Dr. Frank Olson, a former army officer and bacteriologist turned agency operative whose sudden demise—by covert LSD poisoning—in 1953 would nearly bring down the CIA. In one of the rare, surviving official documents from the program, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles sent a secret memo to Richard Helms: “In our conversation of 9 February 1951, I outlined to you the possibilities of augmenting the usual interrogation methods by the use of drugs, hypnosis, shock, etc., and emphasized the defensive aspects as well as the offensive opportunities.”
Note: To read excerpts from incredibly revealing declassified CIA documents on these programs, click here. For more on secret government mind control programs which have had a powerful hidden influence on global politics, see our Mind Control Information Center available here.
The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people. According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone. The former JSOC drone operator ... states that innocent people have “absolutely” been killed as a result. Some top Taliban leaders, knowing of the NSA’s targeting method, have purposely and randomly distributed SIM cards among their units in order to elude their trackers. As a result, even when the agency correctly identifies and targets a SIM card belonging to a terror suspect, the phone may actually be carried by someone else, who is then killed in a strike. The Obama administration has repeatedly insisted that its operations kill terrorists with the utmost precision. Within the NSA ... a motto quickly caught on at Geo Cell: ‘We Track ’Em, You Whack ’Em.’” In December 2009, utilizing the NSA’s metadata collection programs, the Obama administration dramatically escalated U.S. drone and cruise missile strikes in Yemen. The first strike in the country known to be authorized by Obama targeted an alleged Al Qaeda camp in the southern village of al-Majala. The strike, which included the use of cluster bombs, resulted in the deaths of 14 women and 21 children.
Note: For an in-depth interview on this important topic, click here. Would anyone in a developed country tolerate their citizens being killed by the drones of a foreign government? Note also that The Intercept is the new media source being funded by Pierre Omidyar and featuring Glenn Greenwald and other top reporters known for the their independence.
A series of revelations about the rocket believed to have delivered poison sarin gas to a Damascus suburb last summer are challenging American intelligence assumptions about that attack and suggest that the case U.S. officials initially made for retaliatory military action was flawed. A team of security and arms experts, meeting this week in Washington to discuss the matter, has concluded that the range of the rocket that delivered sarin in the largest attack that night was too short for the device to have been fired from the Syrian government positions where the Obama administration insists they originated. The authors of a report released Wednesday said that their study of the rocket’s design, its likely payload and its possible trajectories show that it would have been impossible for the rocket to have been fired from inside areas controlled by the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. In the report, titled “Possible Implications of Faulty U.S. Technical Intelligence,” Richard Lloyd, a former United Nations weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor of science, technology and national security policy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argue that the question about the rocket’s range indicates a major weakness in the case for military action initially pressed by Obama administration officials. Postol said that a basic analysis of the weapon ... would have shown that it wasn’t capable of flying the 6 miles from the center of the Syrian government-controlled part of Damascus to the point of impact in the suburbs, or even the 3.6 miles from the edges of government-controlled ground.
Note: For more on government lies designed to start wars, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
In early 2003, two senior CIA officers arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw to pick up a pair of large cardboard boxes. Inside were bundles of cash totaling $15 million that had been flown from Germany via diplomatic pouch. The Americans and Poles then sealed an agreement that over the previous weeks had allowed the CIA the use of a secret prison — a remote villa in the Polish lake district — to interrogate al-Qaeda suspects. The Polish intelligence service received the money, and the CIA had a solid location for its newest covert operation, according to former agency officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the interrogation program, including previously unreported details about the creation of the CIA’s “black sites,” or secret prisons. The CIA prison in Poland was arguably the most important of all the black sites created by the agency after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It was the first of a trio in Europe that housed the initial wave of accused Sept. 11 conspirators, and it was where Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-declared mastermind of the attacks, was waterboarded 183 times after his capture. In December, the European Court of Human Rights heard arguments that Poland violated international law and participated in torture by accommodating its American ally. “In the face of Polish and United States efforts to draw a veil over these abuses, the European Court of Human Rights now has an opportunity to break this conspiracy of silence and uphold the rule of law,” said Amrit Singh, a lawyer with the Open Society Justice Initiative.
Note: For more on the realities of intelligence agency activities, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
After a tumultuous year at the war-on-terror detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where the U.S. military's motto is "Safe, Humane, Legal, Transparent," operations are cloaked in secrecy. The prison approaches the start of its 13th year next week with a new reclusive regime that no longer discloses what was once routinely released information. The daily tally of hunger striking detainees — the protest that engulfed more than 100 prisoners at its peak this summer — stopped in December. Guards and other prison camp troops are under orders to withhold their names when talking to reporters. On the witness stand in the war court recently, a lawyer in the uniform of an Air Force officer gave sworn testimony under a curious, unexplained fake name — "Major Krueger." Guantanamo is remote, and what is happening there in this new era has mostly gone unnoticed. The government controls access to everything pertaining to Guantanamo. Journalists have to get the military's permission to go there, navigate censorship of their pictures, wait 40 seconds to hear what happens in court and then wait weeks to see court filings. The current crackdown on information can range from the mildly curious to the outright comedic. At times it seems to signify a gratuitous use of power by troops on rotation with sudden power to [wield] a censor's scissors. At times, it suggests a government bureaucracy whose default is knee-jerk secrecy.
Note: For more on government secrecy, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
[Many questions] have dogged the [CIA] for years. This secret body [is] known to have overthrown governments and installed others, raised armies, staged an invasion of Cuba, spied and counterspied, established airlines, radio stations and schools. Was it in fact damaging, while it sought to advance, the national interest? Former President Truman, whose administration established the CIA in 1947, said In 1963 that by then he saw "something about the way the CIA has been functioning that is casting a shadow over our historic positions." President Kennedy, as the enormity of the Bay of Pigs disaster came home to him, said to one of the highest officials of his administration that he wanted "to splinter the CIA in a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds." In the 19 years that the CIA has been in existence, 150 resolutions for tighter congressional control have been introduced - and put aside. Few persons in or out of the American Government know much about its work, its organization, its supervision or its relationship to the other arms of the executive branch. In 1960, CIA agents in Laos, disguised as "military advisers," stuffed ballot boxes and engineered local uprisings to help a hand-picked strongman ... set up a "pro-American" government. It was the CIA that built up Ngo Dinh Diem as the pro-American head of South Vietnam after the French ... had found him in a monastery cell in Belgium and brought him back to Saigon as Premier. The revelation that CIA agents served among Michigan State University scholars in South Vietnam from 1955 to 1959 has contributed to the fear [of infiltration of universities].
Note: For a longer, even more revealing summary of this very lengthy article, click here. To see a full copy of this article, click here. For more on the secret and illegal activities of major intelligence agencies, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
It may seem strange to greet with relief a book [A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier] that chronicles the brutal life of a former child soldier, but given what our society considers printworthy, it is refreshing that the memories and reflections of 26-year-old Ishmael Beah receive attention. Beah was born in 1980 in rural Sierra Leone. "The only wars I knew about," Beah writes, "were those that I had read about in books or seen in movies such as Rambo: First Blood, and the neighbouring Liberia that I had heard about on the BBC news." But Beah was to find out about war in the worst way. In 1991, when he was 11, his country descended into a brutal and chaotic civil war between Foday Sankoh's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the largely ineffective and corrupt Action Peoples Congress (APC). At the centre of the conflict were issues of representation and control over Sierra Leone's diamonds. The conflict was to last through most of the 1990s and, in common with the civil war in Liberia, became intimately linked with the use of child soldiers. According to the United Nations, there are 300,000, if not more, child soldiers around the world. The majority of these children - some as young as six - live and fight in sub-Saharan Africa, and their plight has largely been ignored by the west. Beah's book stands as a vivid testament to his time as one of the nameless and faceless 300,000. After fleeing from rebels who sacked his village, getting separated from his older brother and friends, surviving alone in the forest and evading execution, Beah - at 12 - was inducted into a government corps of boy soldiers. Beah's life became a series of violent spells where killing was "as easy as drinking water".
Note: For more on the ravages of modern war, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Whenever I read comments by politicians defending the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Predator and Reaper program – aka drones – I wish I could ask them a few questions. I'd start with: "How many women and children have you seen incinerated by a Hellfire missile?" Few of these politicians who so brazenly proclaim the benefits of drones have a real clue of what actually goes on. I, on the other hand, have seen these awful sights first hand. What the public needs to understand is that the video provided by a drone is not usually clear enough to detect someone carrying a weapon, even on a crystal-clear day. This makes it incredibly difficult for the best analysts to identify if someone has weapons for sure. One example comes to mind: "The feed is so pixelated, what if it's a shovel, and not a weapon?" I felt this confusion constantly, as did my fellow UAV analysts. We always wonder if ... we destroyed an innocent civilian's life all because of a bad image or angle. I know the feeling you experience when you see someone die. Horrifying barely covers it. When you are exposed to it over and over again it becomes like a small video, embedded in your head, forever on repeat, causing psychological pain and suffering. UAV troops are victim to not only the haunting memories of this work that they carry with them, but also the guilt of always being a little unsure of how accurate their confirmations of weapons or identification of hostile individuals were. The UAVs in the Middle East are used as a weapon, not as protection, and as long as our public remains ignorant to this, this serious threat to the sanctity of human life – at home and abroad – will continue.
Note: For more on war crimes committed by the US and UK in the illegal "global war on terror", see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh accused the Obama administration ... of having “cherry-picked intelligence” regarding the Aug. 21 chemical attack in Syria that served as evidence for an argument in favor of striking President Bashar Assad's government. Though President Barack Obama eventually decided not to strike Syria, the administration made a public case for war by saying that Assad’s regime was responsible for a poison gas attack in the outskirts of Damascus. The U.N. later concluded the attack had involved the nerve agent sarin. In his piece -- titled "Whose Sarin?" -- Hersh reported that al-Nusra, a jihadi group fighting in Syria’s long-running civil war, had also "mastered the mechanics of creating sarin and was capable of manufacturing it in quantity.” Therefore, he wrote, “Obama did not tell the whole story” when stating with certainty that Assad had to be responsible, crossing a so-called "red line" that would trigger U.S. retaliation. Hersh is a freelancer, but he's best known these days for his work in The New Yorker, where he helped break the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004. In an email, Hersh wrote that “there was little interest” for the story at The New Yorker. Hersh then took the story to The Washington Post. Hersh wrote that he was told by email that Executive Editor Marty Baron decided “that the sourcing in the article did not meet the Post's standards.” Hersh [then] sent the Syria story to editors at the London Review of Books, LRB Senior Editor Christian Lorentzen [said]. Lorentzen said the piece was not only edited, but thoroughly fact checked by a former New Yorker fact checker who had worked with Hersh in the past.
Note: For more on government lies to provide pretexts for war, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
[In] Miram Shah, the frontier Pakistani town that has become a virtual test laboratory for drone warfare, ... residents paint a portrait of extended terror and strain within a tribal society caught between vicious militants and the American drones hunting them. Their claims of distress are now being backed by a new Amnesty International investigation that found, among other points, that at least 19 civilians in the surrounding area of North Waziristan had been killed in just two of the drone attacks since January 2012 — a time when the Obama administration has held that strikes have been increasingly accurate and free of mistakes. Miram Shah ... has become a fearful and paranoid town, dealt at least 13 drone strikes since 2008 — more than any other urban settlement in the world. Even when the missiles do not strike, buzzing drones hover day and night, scanning the alleys and markets with roving high-resolution cameras. The strikes in the area mostly occur in densely populated neighborhoods. The drones have hit a bakery, a disused girls’ school and a money changers’ market, residents say. The constant presence of circling drones — and accompanying tension over when, or whom, they will strike — is a crushing psychological burden for many residents. Sales of sleeping tablets, antidepressants and medicine to treat anxiety have soared, said Hajji Gulab Jan Dawar, a pharmacist in the town bazaar. Women were particularly troubled, he said, but men also experienced problems. State services have virtually collapsed. At the local hospital, corrupt officials are reselling supplies of medicine and fuel in the town market, doctors said.
Note: For more on the illegal killing worldwide of innocent men, women, and children by missile strikes from US drones, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Europe’s human rights court shone a rare public light [December 3] on the secret network of European prisons that the CIA used to interrogate terrorism suspects, reviving questions about the “extraordinary renditions” that angered many on this continent. At [the] hearing, attorneys for two terrorism suspects currently held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, accused Poland of human rights abuses. The lawyers say the suspects fell victim to the CIA’s rendition program, in which terrorism suspects were kidnapped and transferred to third countries; they allege that the two were tortured in a remote Polish prison. All the prisons were closed by May 2006. Interrogations at sea have replaced CIA “black sites” as the U.S. government’s preferred method for holding terrorism suspects and questioning them without access to lawyers. One of the cases heard [concerns] 48-year-old Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who faces U.S. terrorism charges for allegedly orchestrating the al-Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in 2000, a bombing in the Yemeni port of Aden that killed 17 sailors. The second case involves 42-year-old Abu Zubaida, a Palestinian also held in Guantanamo who has never been charged with a crime. Both men say they were brought in December 2002 to Poland, where they were detained and subjected to harsh questioning at a Polish military installation in Stare Kiejkuty, a village in the country’s remote northeast. There they were subject to mock executions, waterboarding and other tortures, including being told their families would be arrested and sexually abused, said Amrit Singh, a lawyer representing Nashiri.
Note: For more on war crimes by the US and UK in the "global war on terror", see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Twelve years ago, on 13 November 2001, President George W Bush signed an order authorizing the detention of suspected al-Qaida members and supporters, and the creation of military commissions. A total of seven detainees out of the 779 men ever held at Guantánamo have been convicted and sentenced. Five of the seven are no longer at Guantánamo creating a paradox: you have to lose to win. Those lucky enough to get charged and convicted of a war crime have good odds of getting out of Guantánamo, but those who are never charged could spend the rest of their lives in prison. Since nearly all of the men held at Guantánamo have been there since long before 2006 and most were at best low-level flunkies, the government's inability to charge them with providing material support for terrorism means they likely will never face a military commission for a trial that might have enabled them to find a way out of Guantánamo. In September 2006, 14 high-value detainees held in CIA black sites were transferred to military custody at Guantánamo. Only one has been tried and convicted. The law that has evolved from Guantánamo has been a black eye for the country: from the Supreme Court ruling that President Bush's military commissions were illegal to the Washington DC circuit ruling [that] all of the men convicted in military commissions were charged with an offense that was not a legitimate war crime. America's enemies and allies alike, in their criticism of US war on terrorism practices, cite Guantánamo as an example of failed leadership.
Note: For more on military corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
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