- Teenage detainee released from Gitmo
- C.I.A. report details new torure abuses including mock executions
- Holder appoints special prosecutor to investigate torture in a limited limited probe
- Obama was create a new rendition policy, continuing the Bush policy
- McChrystal wants 45,000 more troops in Afghanistan
- Israel increasing West Bank settlements
- Pittsburgh wants 4,000 for the G-20 Summit in September
19-year-old Mohammed Jawad was released from Gitmo to return home to Afghanistan, almost seven years after his kidnapping by the U.S. government in when he was only 12 (AJE).
New C.I.A. report to be released Monday will detail new abuses, including mock executions. Detainees were threatened with guns and drills to the head while in C.I.A. detention. “It is a violation of the federal torture statute to threaten a detainee with imminent death,” writes Mark Mazzetti (NYT). The inspector general report ‘alluding’ to multiple mock executions at secret “black sites” is being released in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the A.C.L.U. Read the story at Newsweek, where Mark Hosenball and Michael Isikoff broke it.
Atty. Gen. Eric Holder named John Durham as a special prosecutor to investigate and possibly prosecute C.I.A. employees for their participation in its torture program. Mr. Durham is currently investigating if laws were broken by C.I.A. employees in destroying videotaped interrogations in 2005 (NYT). “It is believed that reopening the dozen or so cases has the potential to open C.I.A. and contractor interrogators to criminal prosecution for committing brutal acts against detainees,” writes William Fisher (IPS) See Glenn Greenwald’s comment on the limited probe here.
The Obama Administration with continue the Bush Administration’s kidnap-and-rendition program Rights group say that diplomatic assurances from other countries that they will not torture detainees has “been proven completely ineffective” (NYT).
The Obama Administration is opening a new unit at the F.B.I. called the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group to handle interrogations. The C.I.A. will still have a role, but the National Security Council will be guiding the unit. The plan includes creating a task force to re-write interrogation and rendition policy (LAT).
Pentagon to release identities of detainees at secret prisons in Afghanistan and Iraq to the Red Cross. The Red Cross has repeatedly requested access to the sites, themselves, but that access is still refused. “Dozens of suspected foreign fighters captured in Iraq and Afghanistan are being held at so-called ‘temporary screening camps’ run by U.S. special forces at secret locations in Balad in Iraq and Bagram in Afghanistan.” (BBC). Bagram holds an estimated 600 people and is commonly referred to as, “The Other Guantanamo.”
U.S. Afghan commander Gen. Stanley McChrystal might request another 45,000 in Afghanistan. By the end of the year, Pres. Obama will have increased the troop total to 68,000 from the 32,000 there when he took office. CJCS Adm. Mike Mullen said the situation there is “serious and it is deteriorating”. The majority of the American people oppose the war (AJE).
Afghan Pres. Hamid Karzai has won re-election receiving 68% of the vote, according to the finance minister (NYT).
The U.S. is launching a long term training center at Central Command to supply covert agents, officers, and analysts to commit to the “Af-Pak” war/occupation for at least 10 years (PTV).
‘Iran will continue to cooperate with the United Nations nuclear watchdog (IAEA), the Foreign Ministry said on Monday’. The IAEA will release a report on Iran’s legal civilian nuclear facilities this week. The IAEA has reported that Iran is within the guideline of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (Ha’aretz).
Israel began the construction of 596 new settlement buildings and expanded 10 of the 23 ouposts it pledged to close in the occupied West Bank in the first half of 2009, according to Peace Now, a rights group known for watchdogging Israel’s settlement activity. Yesterday, Israel approved the construction of 104 new housing units. Israel said last week that construction was not expanding as the U.S. has requested (FT). ‘The number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank — home to some 2.5 million Palestinians — has more than doubled since the mid-1990s and now stands at around 300,000’ (Ha’aretz).
In Honduras, ‘an alarming pattern of widespread abuses and restrictions of civil liberties has emerged’ since the June 28 coup, Amnesty International and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights report (FT).
‘Ukrainian troops fought alongside Georgian forces’ in the Five Day War between Georgia and Russia that followed Georgia’s invasion of the South Ossetian republic, Moscow prosecutors say (BBC).
More than 200 people will face Mickey Mouse trials in China for the ethnic clashes between the Muslim Uighurs and Han Chinese in early July, sparked by highly repressive policies by the gov’t against the Uighurs. All but around 20 being tried are Uighurs. China reports 718 people have been detained and only 83 charged (NYT).
The Obama Administration will up its 10-year deficit estimate to over $9tn from its initial $7.1tn assessment in a report to be released next week (Reuters). China has only been willing to buy 9% of the 2009 deficit, down from 22% in 2008, $33% in 2007 and 55% in 2006.
Pittsburgh, PA wants an additional 4,000 police officers to thwart G-20 Summit demonstrations next month. The policing will cost an extra $19m, $10m from the federal gov’t and $6.3m from the state of PA. Demonstrators will be prohibited from using masks and PVC pipe will be prohibited. The city has “promised at least two protest spots ‘within sight and sound'” of the convention center where the Summit is to be held, “avoiding the ‘free-speech cages’ that were set up in some cities far away from, for example, the Democratic and Republican national convention sites”, Sean Hamill reports (NYT). Mr. Hamill gives a plug to our brethren at the Pittsburgh G-20 Resistance Project in the piece.
Police taser sets an Australian homeless man on fire (jonathanturley.org).
A cop in New York state tasered a mother in front of her kids. The officer yanked her out of her car and elected to use the Taser when he clearly could have cuffed, though that was also unjustified. “She has wisely sued for the violation of her Fourth and 14th Amendment rights as well as an array of torts claims, including intentionally inflicting emotional distress, false arrest, assault and battery and malicious prosecution,” comments Jonathan Turley. See the video here.
Mexico eases drug possession penalties. “Mexico is quietly eliminating jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana, cocaine, heroin… LSD and methamphetamine,” reports Tracy Wilkinson and Richard Marosi (LAT). “The permitted amounts include 5 grams of marijuana and 500 milligrams of cocaine — enough for four or five pot cigarettes or four lines of coke — and up to 40 milligrams of methamphetamine and 50 milligrams of heroin.”
Thousands in Venezuela protested a new education law ‘critics fear will lead to political indoctrination in schools’ (AJE). “Officers fired tear gas, a water cannon and rubber bullets to scatter opposition marchers on Saturday in Caracas, the capital, as they tried to break through a police barrier…. The law, approved by the largely pro-Chavez national assembly last week, orders schools to base curricula on ‘the Bolivarian Doctrine’…. Critics say Chavez uses the term ‘Bolivarian’ [intending to] win over hearts and minds through classroom indoctrination.”
Hundreds of 9/11 First Responders have died of cancer. 85% are suffering from lung diseases (RT).