WaPo wants high-level Bush officials not investigated for torture; Third party emerges strong in Kurdish election; U.S. is continuing and will continue to supply Israel with advanced weapons, unconditionally; Afghanistan wants a “new contract” with the U.S. occupation; Leonard Peltier parole hearing Tuesday; Denver cop demands faster McDonald’s service at gunpoint; and more…

The Washington Post Editorial Page — keeper of all establishment Washington wisdom — today advocates that low-level CIA interrogators who went beyond John Yoo’s torture guidelines, and only them, be criminally investigated and prosecuted by the Justice Department.” Glenn Greenwald writes today (Salon).

78.5% of Kurds voted in their election over the weekend in the semi-autonomous region of Iraq. “Change mounted a spirited challenge to the monopoly on power of the two main parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan,” gaining around 25% of the vote, the LAT reports. (PTV – 5:05):

U.S Secy. of Defense Robert Gates in Israel: “We are contributing both financial and technical assistance to strengthen Israel’s defence against the growing threat posed by rockets and missiles, and we will continue to ensure that Israel has the most advanced weapons for its national defence.” (AJE) Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, insists it has no nuclear weapons program, and havecleared every inspection of its facilities by international agencies. Iran’s foreign minister again called for Israel to dismantle its hundreds of nuclear weapons.

Israel Defence Minister Ehud Barak says Israel is ‘leaving no options off the table’ for Iran (FT). “I don’t think that it makes any sense at this stage to talk a lot about it,” Mr. Barak said. PM Bibi Netanyahu pressed Mr. Gates to use “all means” against Iran (NYT).

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu will visit the Gaza Strip in August with a group including Fmr. U.S. Pres. Jimmy Carter, Fmr. Brazil Pres. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and businessmen Richard Branson and Jeff Skoll (Ha’aretz). A group of legal experts from Israel’s Foreign Ministry are compiling a ‘defense brief’ to preempt the report to be released by the U.N. probing the Gaza Massacre. Israeli soldiers have recently blown the whistle on Israel committing war crimes in Gaza.

Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai “said the presence of U.S. and international forces… should be ‘based on a new contract’ that would minimize civilian casualties, limit searches of private homes and restrict detaining Afghans indefinitely without charge.” (AP and AJE –  3:02):

U.K. Foreign Minister David Miliband is urging the Afghan gov’t to negotiate with the “Taliban”. 67 U.S.-led coalition troops have died in the Af-Pak War in July, 223 this year (BBC).

A parole hearing for political prisoner Leonard Peltier is to be held Tuesday (DN!5:45):

Costa Rica President Oscar Arias brokered a deal to allow ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya’s return to power, but with his powers reduced (FT).

“[U.S. Secy. of State Hillary Clinton is] on Lanny Davis’ side. Davis, you’ll recall, was her chief attack dog during the presidential primary campaign, and now he’s sold his services to the Honduran branch of CEAL, the Central American business alliance, which supports the coup,” writes Justin Raimondo (AntiWar.com). “He has always been very close to Hillary, and he was her priapic husband’s defense counsel during the impeachment hearings. This time he’s taken on a similarly indefensible client and is working his public relations skills prettifying a brazen coup d’etat as a valiant attempt to ‘preserve’ the Honduran constitution and ‘the rule of law.'”

A Denver police officer drew his gun to get faster service at McDonald’s (Jonathan Turley).

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