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URUK Net 26 April, 2009

Last updated: Thursday, April 30, 2009 8:56

Waterboarding Approved Specifically To Justify Iraq War
Craig Murray
I have just learnt something which has convinced me that Bush, Cheney and Rice are indeed evil in the sense that Hitler was evil. I did not actually believe that until today. The excellent and much-respected Marjorie Cohn, President of the National Lawyers Guild of the USA and Professor of Law at the Thomas Jefferson School of Law, has discovered that waterboarding was first approved in July 2002 by Condoleeza Rice, specifically to force confessions of links between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein. Everybody in the intelligence and security worlds knew there were no such links – Bin Laden and Hussein were enemies. Only torture could yield “intelligence” of such links to provide a justification of the invasion of Iraq…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53723

Gaza shifts from a state of war to a state of despair
Jason Koutsoukis
Jason Koutsoukis in Gaza City finds little has changed since the end of Israel’s offensive earlier this year. The prison-camp entry to Gaza remains unchanged since the end of the January offensive. Caged walkways, concrete turrets, remote controlled steel doors, silence. On the Palestinian side, the same group of bored porters offer carriage services of 20 shekels ($6.50) a bag across the 1500 metres to the taxi stand…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53727

Widowed and orphaned by Israeli drone strike
Eva Bartlett, In Gaza
Naama Barbakh stands in the yard beside her farmhouse in southern Gaza’s As Shoka district, east of Rafah. She gestures to the ground and the surrounding area, pointing out where the dead and dying bodies of her husband and three of her sons lay after an unmanned drone missile strike on the morning of January 4th. On January 3rd, the Israeli land invasion had begun, with tanks and troops invading Gaza and occupying areas to the east of Rafah. Barbakh, a mother of eight children, three martyred in the attack, explains what happened that morning…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53721

Seven Palestinian Children
Umkahlil
Tell her Bassem always smiled. Tell her that Bassem was killed because he wanted to live on and tend his own land in Bil’in. Tell her Bassem wasn’t involved in any ‘violent’ protest. Tell her he was telling the soldiers to stop throwing tear gas projectiles because a woman was wounded. Tell her when people ask ‘Where is the Palestinian Gandhi’ that Bassem is one of many Palestinian Gandhis. Tell them the morning that Bassem was killed he gave medicine to Hamis, whose skull was broken because he wanted to live on and tend his own land in Bil’in. Tell her that people from all of the surrounding villages came to Bassem’s funeral. Tell her that Bassem still walks with us…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53735

Pentagon’s Cyber Command to Be Based at NSA’s Fort Meade
Tom Burghardt
The Wall Street Journal revealed April 24 that current National Security Agency (NSA) director Lt. General Keith Alexander will “head the Pentagon’s new Cyber Command.” Friday’s report follows an April 22 piece published by the Journal announcing the proposed reorganization. The Obama administration’s cybersecurity initiative will, according to reports, “reshape the military’s efforts to protect its networks from attacks by hackers, especially those from countries such as China and Russia.” When he was a presidential candidate, Obama had pledged to elevate cybersecurity as a national security issue, “equating it in significance with nuclear and biological weapons,” the Journal reported…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53733

Center for Prisoners’ Studies reports on Gaza family denied prison visits, mother hasn’t seen baby
PNN
Eight children have not seen their mother in two years. The ninth was born in Israeli prison. Mother Fatma Azzak has not been able see him since his birth 15 months ago. Over the phone from Tel Mond Prison 40 year old Azzak says she only knows her last child through photos. “What hurts me so much also is my son six year old son Suleiman. He was just four when I was put in prison, the age when he needs so much care and tenderness,” she tells her husband. Mahmoud Azzak told the Center for Prisoners’ Studies that his wife being away is incredibly difficult…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53732

CLINTON IS ON THE WRONG TRACK
Malcom Lagauche
Hilary Clinton has changed her views on Iraq so many times that she would make a leopard who changed his spots jealous. Let’s look at the quote she made on October 10, 2002 about Iraq: In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence supports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to build his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. The following day, the U.S. Senate voted to give George Bush a green light to use military force against Iraq. Clinton voted “yea” with the majority. Only 23 senators opposed the legislation. After things began to turn sour for the U.S. in Iraq, Clinton became a vocal opponent of the war. However, she never admitted to being wrong on her Senate vote. When asked why she opposed the war while voting for it a few years before, she never gave a coherent answer…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53731

Iraqi PM: US raid is ‘violation’ of security pact
BRIAN MURPHY
An Iraqi official says the prime minister has called a deadly pre-dawn raid by U.S. forces a “violation of the security pact.” The fallout over Sunday’s raid that killed a woman in southern Iraq is one of the most serious challenges to the agreement that requires American commanders to coordinate raids and other planned strikes with the Iraqi government and military. A statement read by a spokesman’s office says al-Maliki has affirmed that the raid “is considered a violation of the security pact.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53729

Iraq stability is all talk, Baathists say
Phil Sands
The continued presence of US troops and a failure by the Iraqi government to abandon a narrow sectarian agenda are the underlying causes of a recent surge in Iraq violence, according to the outlawed Baath Party. Four suicide bombings two days last week killed about 160 civilians, attacks that underlined the fragile nature of recent security gains and appeared to point to a resurgence of al Qa’eda-style extremists. In an interview in Damascus, a spokesman for the exiled Iraqi Baath Party and allied insurgent groups denied any involvement in the mass-casualty strikes. But he said similar violence would continue until US troops left, and proper national reconciliation had taken place. “There has been so much talk of stability and progress in Iraq but it is all at a surface level,” said Abu Mohammed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53728

Gaza’s separation from the West Bank is Israel’s great triumph
By Amira Hass
The total separation of the Gaza Strip from the West Bank is one of the greatest achievements of Israeli politics, whose overarching objective is to prevent a solution based on international decisions and understandings and instead dictate an arrangement based on Israel’s military superiority. In view of the violent rivalry between the two main movements competing for the upper hand in the Palestinian mock-government, Fatah and Hamas, it’s easy to forget the effort Israel invested in separating families, economies, cultures and societies between the two parts of the Palestinian state “in the making.” All that remained was for the Palestinians to crown the split with their dual regime…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53726

Egyptian media: Israel bombed Iranian arms ship allegedly headed for Gaza
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC
According to a report in the Egyptian newspaper El-Aosboa on Sunday, a recent attack on an Iranian ship off the coast of Sudan was carried out by the Israeli navy, with possible U.S. involvement. After January’s Israeli invasion of Gaza, there have been several incidents of Israeli attacks on what they claimed were arms shipments from Iran bound for Gaza. No Palestinian group has ever claimed a connection with Iran, and the homemade shells fired by Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza are mainly made of homemade materials, lacking any sophistication that would imply Iranian involvement…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53725

Israel to expand largest West Bank settlement
Ma’an News
A special committee in the Israeli Housing Ministry approved a plan on Sunday to expand the illegal West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim by 12,000 dunums (12,000 square meters) in spite of objections from the United States. According to Israeli Army Radio, the plan has yet to be given the green light by Housing Minister Eli Yishai. The plan would link Ma’ale Adumim, the largest settlement in the West Bank, with the nearby settlement of Qedar, seizing the land in between. This expansion, in addition to another planned expansion to the north of the settlement will further isolate the north of the occupied West Bank from the south…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53724

PROSECUTING TORTURE OR GROWING GARDENS?
By Carolyn Baker
… Certainly, the United States could never have been established as a nation without the massive genociding of millions of the continent’s native population and the transporting of millions of African slaves to its shores. When one fully grasps the historical realities of the torture of these populations as fundamental in America’s founding, one can only conclude that torture is a crucial underpinning of the nation’s existence. The progressive wing (CPS) of the Democratic Party is often unwilling to confront the extent to which its own party has been engaged in torture for decades. It was their Madeline Albright who shamelessly stated that killing a half-million Arab children as a result of the sanctions on Iraq was “worth the price”…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53734

Iraqi Oil: Black Gold or Black Hole?
Nawar Alsaadi
Investors and global oil companies such as Shell Petroleum (RDS.A), Eni (E), China National Petroleum, and Exxon Mobile (XOM) who are betting on Iraq are surely to be disappointed. Ever since the fall of Baghdad in April 2003, we have heard about the unlimited potential for the Iraqi oil, often news reports would mention that Iraq has the 3rd largest oil reserves in the world and the country oil ministry often mentions its goal of having Iraq produce 6 million barrels of oil over the medium term. However, six years after the fall of Baghdad the country is nowhere close to producing 6 million barrels – as a matter of fact the country is still not producing at the same level it did before the war (2.2m barrels vs 2.5m barrels before the war)…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53736

UK campaigners score victory towards arms embargo
Yasmin Khan, The Electronic Intifada
It came as no surprise to campaigners in the United Kingdom to hear the British Foreign Minister David Miliband reveal this week that components supplied by Britain were “almost certainly” used by Israel in its recent military assault on Gaza. Despite Israel’s continued human rights abuses, the UK government has licensed millions of pounds’ worth of military equipment to Israel over the last few years including components for tanks and combat aircraft, in direct conflict with its own arms policy…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53718

Anger at deadly U.S. military raid in southern Iraq
REUTERS
Hundreds of Iraqis protested against U.S. forces on Sunday after U.S. soldiers killed a man and a woman in an overnight raid that was condemned by the provincial governor. The U.S. military said it targeted “special groups” fighters, or elite Shi’ite militiamen the United States says are funded and armed by Iran, in a raid on their house early Sunday in the city of Kut, 150 km (95 miles) southeast of Baghdad…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53717

A message to the world: The apartheid wall will collapse one day
PIC
Palestinian youths, and foreign activists have decided to send a unique message to the entire people of the world, objecting the racist, separation wall that the Israeli occupation authorities had built in the West Bank, and telling them that the “oppression” wall would, one day, collapse. The message is composed of 2000 words, and written on the apartheid wall, stretching three kilometers along it, and carrying one meaning that the racist wall wouldn’t stay forever, and that it would fall one day, the activists confirmed…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53716

Obama, Democrats move to block torture investigation
Tom Eley
In the face of mounting opposition from the Republican Party and the national security apparatus, President Obama and leading Democrats have indicated they will block any independent commission to investigate the widespread torture of prisoners under the Bush administration in “the war on terror.” In meetings with top Congressional Democrats on Wednesday and Thursday, Obama told lawmakers that he would oppose any investigation, including one carried out by an independent commission. This marked yet another shift by Obama, who on Tuesday had indicated that he might accept the creation of a blue ribbon panel along the lines of the 9/11 Commission that investigated—and whitewashed—the events leading up to the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. in 2001…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53714

Musavi promises change in dealing with Obama
Tehran Times
The main challenger in Iran’s looming presidential race Thursday sent a message of conciliation to President Obama and the West… Mir Hossein Musavi, a former prime minister and now the main reformist candidate for president, told The Tehran Times Thursday night that he would be prepared to meet Mr. Obama if relations between the two countries improved and that he intended to pursue a very different style in his dealings with the outside world… Asked if he would be prepared to meet Mr. Obama, he said: “Yes I would meet him if things go according to plan.” He insisted that it was not up to the president to take strategic foreign policy decisions, which under Iran’s constitution are decided by the national security council…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53712

Straight to the Top
Scott Horton
The torture trail starts and ends in the White House. That is perhaps the most inescapable conclusion to be drawn from the flurry of documents released in the last week—first the OLC memoranda, then a newly declassified report of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and finally an amazing document that Attorney General Eric Holder released yesterday, which has still gained little attention. The Holder note presents a summary of CIA interaction with the White House in connection with the approval of the torture techniques that John Yoo calls the “Bush Program.” Holder’s memo refers to the participants by their job titles only, but John Sifton runs it through a decoder and gives us the actual names…

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53711

Iran wants preconditions for US talks: Ahmadinejad
AFP
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said his country was not ready to talk to the United States without preconditions, in a television interview broadcast Sunday. “No, no,” Ahmadinejad said on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” program when asked if he was ready to talk to the United States without preconditions. “We should just have a clear-cut framework for talks,” he added. “The agenda should be clear.”..

Read the full article / Leggi l’articolo completo: www.uruknet.de/?p=53720

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