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URUK Net 26 July, 2009

Last updated: Tuesday, July 28, 2009 8:03

“A Velvet Revolution “or Lesser Shades of Black?
Layla Anwar, An Arab Woman Blues
…However, I maintain that the majority of the Iranians who have not stopped protesting, risking their lives and those of their families, some being executed, some tortured, some disappeared, are NOT backers for the Reformist camp of Musavi and Co. I believe that within the very limited choice given – they opted to what they perceive to be the lesser evil – maybe not a door for radical change, but just a window of fresh air. I therefore agree to a great extent with both the analyses of Hamid Dabashi and the Iranian blogger Reza Fiyouzat when addressing the current Iranian unrest/revolt and the Left’s stand on this matter. I also think that the Left in general is committing another huge mistake by not supporting the Iranian protests for change and reform. The idiotic conspiracy theories put forward by the leftists that the U.S, Saudi Arabia and even Israel are behind this unrest are ludicrous…

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Hussam Mohammed Amin: Former Iraqi Weapons Monitor Describes U.S. Abuse For First Time
By Michael Bronner, Special to the Huffington Post Investigative Fund
…At Camp Cropper, Amin no longer was beaten, but he found himself in a void. His cell, he said, was fetid, dark and airless, one corner doubling as a urinal. He had no bed for the first five months, only a blanket and a crushed water bottle for a pillow. Detainees weren’t allowed to shower or shave; Amin showed me with a hand how long his beard grew. These descriptions were nearly identical to those of another former Cropper prisoner I’ve interviewed who was detained during that period, as well as those of intelligence personnel who visited the camp. “Cropper was a really, really horrible place, in the early days in particular,” one Iraq Survey Group member acknowledged during a recent background discussion…It would be more than a year before Amin was permitted to mix with or talk to his former colleagues, fellow inmates at Camp Cropper. “When this segregation was lifted…we were congratulating each other as if we were out of the prison itself,” he noted in his diary. Amin then learned he was not the only one to go through Purgatory. “Inside the prison I saw injured colleagues…who were barbarically tortured,” he wrote later, citing several by name. “When I heard my friends’ stories, I felt I was lucky because I stayed [in Camp Nama] only [five] days and the level of torture was less than what they suffered.”..

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Police expose flaws in army’s torture inquiry
The Observer
A military investigation into one of the most notorious incidents of the Iraq conflict, in which British soldiers allegedly murdered and mutilated unarmed Iraqis, has been severely criticised by police called in to assess its credibility. A new inquiry has found that the Royal Military Police – who are responsible for investigating claims of wrongdoing by soldiers – failed to collect forensic evidence, ignored key witnesses and did not ask Iraqi witnesses relevant questions as they investigated the “Battle of Danny Boy” and its aftermath…

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CIA’s ‘ghost flights’ to be made public in UK trial
Daniel Tencer
Large parts of the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program — which sent terrorist suspects to countries and prisons where they would be tortured — could soon become public, thanks to a lawsuit in Britain on behalf of a person who claims he was a victim of the agency’s program. Lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, who spent some seven years in US custody, five of them at Guantanamo, say that Jeppesen UK, a subsidiary of Boeing, has agreed to the presentation of evidence about the “ghost flights” it allegedly operated for the CIA — off-the-grid private jets that transferred terrorist suspects to sites where they would be tortured…

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The Cheney plan to deploy the U.S. military on U.S. soil
Glenn Greenwald
This new report today from The New York Times’ Mark Mazzetti and David Johnston reveals an entirely unsurprising though still important event: in 2002, Dick Cheney and David Addington urged that U.S. military troops be used to arrest and detain American citizens, inside the U.S., who were suspected of involvement with Al Qaeda. That was done pursuant to a previously released DOJ memo (.pdf) authored by John Yoo and Robert Delahunty, addressed to Alberto Gonzales, dated October 23, 2001, and chillingly entitled “Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the U.S.” That Memo had concluded that the President had authority to deploy the U.S. military against American citizens on U.S. soil. Far worse, it asserted that in exercising that power, the President could not be bound either by Congressional statutes prohibiting such use (such as the Posse Comitatus Act) or even by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which — the Memo concluded — was “inapplicable” to what it called “domestic military operations.”…

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US Has New Plan to Hold Afghan Youth
By Jason Leopold
Faced with impending defeat in a U.S. District Court habeas corpus case, the Obama administration devised a new strategy for continuing the detention of Mohammed Jawad, an Afghani who may have been as young as 12 in 2002 when he allegedly wounded two U.S. soldiers with a grenade. Justice Department lawyers announced Friday that they would transform Jawad’s indefinite detention as an enemy combatant at Guantánamo Bay into a criminal case, thus negating the habeas corpus hearing in Washington, D.C., where Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle had accused the government of “dragging [the case] out for no good reason.” Jonathan Hafetz, an attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project and one of Jawad’s lawyers, blasted the Obama administration for its “pathetic attempt to prolong an outrageous case and to manipulate the court system.”..

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Video: Palestinian Child Prisoners
DCIPS

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Where should the Iranian left stand?
Reza Fiyouzat, Revolutionary Flowerpot Society
It is now clearer than ever that the opposition movement in Iran has two heads. One is the official loyal opposition within the regime, the reformists, and the other is the opposition movement of the people on the streets, which has its own diversity of lines of thinking. The opposition movement among the people is clearly more radical and is determined to go much farther than the Mousavi-Khatami-Karroubi faction and their cohorts will ever, EVER be willing to go. In all this, we must not forget that Rafsanjani is a third column within the regime, and has his own agenda…

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Israeli soldiers told to ‘open fire and don’t ask questions’
Guardian
Israeli human rights organisation Breaking the Silence has collected revealing testimonies from soldiers who fought in the recent offensive in Gaza.

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CIA pressued Britain to cover up its use of torture
Inky99
The CIA has been secretly pressuring the British Government to help it cover up its use of torture, documents filed in the High Court have revealed. The documents, to be discussed at a hearing this week, suggest that the UK authorities did everything they could to accede to the CIA’s wishes while at the same time trying to conceal the fact they were talking to the agency. It is the latest twist in the saga of Binyam Mohamed, 30, the Ethiopian UK resident released from Guantanamo Bay in February after seven years in US captivity. Binyan Mohammed was the guy who wasn’t waterboarded, but had his genitals mutilated instead. That’s right, the United States sliced up this guy’s penis…

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Settlers take over a Palestinian owned house in East Jerusalem, police kidnaps 12 people
Ghassan Bannoura
A group of Israeli settlers attacked and took over on Sunday afternoon a Palestinian owned house in East Jerusalem, while police provided them with protection and kidnapped 12 activists who tried to stop the attack. The group of settlers arrived at the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheik Jarrah eescorted by Israeli troops, the residents told media. When home owners and their international supporters tried to stop them, soldiers attacked the residents, witnesses added…

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Murdoch: A Cultural Chernobyl
John Pilger
…Such relentless inhumanity forms the iceberg beneath the Guardian’s current exposé of Murdoch’s alleged payment of £1m hush money to those whose phones his News of the World reporters have criminally invaded. “A cultural Chernobyl,” is how the German investigative journalist Reiner Luyken, based in London, described Murdoch’s effect on British life. Of course, there is a colourful Fleet Street history of lies, damn lies, but no proprietor ever attained the infectious power of Murdoch’s putrescence. To public truth and decency and freedom, he is as the dunghill is to the blowfly. The rich and famous can usually defend themselves with expensive libel actions; but most of Murdoch’s victims are people like the Hillsborough parents, who suffer without recourse…

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British parliament committee urges Hamas talks
Ma’an News
The British parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee urged the UK to open dialogue with moderate Hamas officials, arguing that the embargo against the group had failed. Most Western states refuse to talk to Hamas, designating it as a “terrorist organization” in part for its refusal to recognize Israel. “We conclude that there continue to be few signs that the current policy of non-engagement is achieving the Quartet’s stated objectives,” the committee said, according to Reuters…

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GI Special 7G19: Boiling Point [ 26 July 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
Boiling Point: “The First Time A Senior Iraqi Commander Has Sought To Detain U.S. Soldiers”. “They Kill The People In The Street, Even If They Are Civilians Or Children. This Is An Old Habit Of The U.S. Army”. “The Father Of One Of The Victims Began Chanting ‘Tha’ar, Tha’ar,’ Which Means Revenge In Arabic”. “A Senior Iraqi Army Commander Concluded That The Americans Had Fired Indiscriminately At Civilians And Ordered His Men To Take The U.S. Soldiers Into Custody”.

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Statement of Independent Union of Print Shop Workers of Tehran to July 25 International Day of Solidarity Rallies
The Independent Union of Print Shop Workers of Tehran and its Environs
On the occasion of Iran Solidarity Day, we men and women members of the Independent Union of Printshop Workers of Tehran (IUPWT), would like to extend to you, halfway across the globe, our deep appreciation for your support and solidarity with our cause…Dear friends, at this point, allow us to speak freely to you. There are some dangerous misconceptions about the democratic movement in Iran that must be addressed urgently: One of these misconceptions is that the Green Wave movement is a rich man’s movement, whereas Mahmood Ahmadinejad’s government is a pro-working class and pro-poor people’s movement headed by a humble man of the people. This is a gross and blatant lie. Our movement is supported by millions of the poor and the working people. Ahmadinejad is a demagogue who has surrounded himself with ex-Revolutionary Guards, present-day multi-millionaires who care absolutely nothing for the poor. If he is pro-working class, why did he want to end 70% of all subsidies last year? Why did he change the labor law against the workers’ interests? Why does he systematically arrest, imprison and torture labor activists? ..

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Netanyahu: ‘We Will Not Raze the “Security Fence”’
Palestine Monitor
Israelis Prime Minister Netanyahu stood before the Knesset Wednesday promising that “The separation fence will remain in place and will not be dismantled (…as it is…) a critical component of Israel’s security.” If one were to only read Ha’aretz they might just agree. According to the Newspaper: “There has been a dramatic drop in the number of attacks in Israel over the past several years, a decrease security experts attribute to the barrier, Israeli and Palestinian Authority security steps and a change of tactics by some militant groups. No suicide bombers have struck this year […] “ Though the numbers may be accurate, the casual assumption that the Wall has played any role is far too simple. Attributing credit to a drop in violence due to the presence of a hideous 10 meter concrete, unfinished, monster scarring the land both sides love is not only fool hardy, but dangerous. It gives Israelis a false sense of security while undermining the ongoing efforts by the PA to provide the situation in which the Wall would not be needed for physical and psychological protection…

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The True Height of Insecurity
“The War is With the Arabs”
By HANNAH MERMELSTEIN
…This kind of strength is seen remarkably often in Palestine, and indicates a deeper security that comes in part from faith. Faith in God, sometimes, but also faith in each other, in the justice of one’s cause, in the tide of history that has shown that no single occupation in Palestine lasts forever. This, of course, is also Israel’s deepest fear. That no matter how many walls they build, how many people they imprison, how many homes they destroy, how many signs they erase, and how many people they expel, true security will remain elusive, and eventually, Zionism will fail. As many older Palestinian people have said to me, with security, “We have lived through many occupations. This too shall pass.”..

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Syria ready to ‘play role’ in solving Iran-West disputes
Tehran Times
Syria’s Foreign Minister says Damascus can mediate between the Islamic Republic and the West to settle most debated disputes including Iran’s nuclear program. “We support (a) political solution for issues standing between Iran and the West,”” the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said at a new conference on Friday…

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GI Special 7G18: Charlie Mike? [ 25 July 2009 ]
Thomas F. Barton
Outside the military, not much attention is paid to the personal problems of families caught up in the endless rotational deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan that mark serving in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. Last Friday, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates dealt with a handful of those problems in a town hall meeting at Fort Drum, N.Y., in front of Army units that either were coming from Southwest Asia or preparing to go there. With 130,000 troops remaining in Iraq through the end of the year and 68,000 more scheduled to be in Afghanistan during the same period, pressures on military family life have grown.

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Son of Iranian politician’s aide dies in prison
By Borzou Daragahi
The son of a top aide to Mohsen Rezai, a prominent conservative politician, died while in Tehran’s infamous Evin Prison after being swept up in the recent unrest, news websites reported today, in the latest sign of the extent the discord unleashed by the June 12 presidential election has shaken the country’s establishment. High-ranking clerics from both sides of Iran’s political spectrum stepped up sharp warnings against each other’s camps, while hard-liners continued to simmer over the appointment of a controversial aide to the inner circle of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But a majority of the Assembly of Experts, a powerful committee that oversees the office of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a statement today declaring support for him and Ahmadinejad’s presidency, a blow for moderate cleric Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who is a supporter of the opposition camp and hoped to rally clerical support against hard-liners…

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Iraqi Kurds vote count begins
Aljazeera.net
Vote counting has begun in presidential and legislative elections in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, despite the opposition claims of widespread fraud. Final results are not expected for several days as ballots must be collected in Irbil, the regional capital, before being flown to Baghdad to be counted. The polls closed at 7pm (16:00GMT) on Saturday, after electoral officials extended voting by an hour to accomodate residents that had flocked to cast their ballots in the local presidential and parliamentary elections…

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