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Reporter reflects: 'Their grief is my last remembrance of Iraq'

I saw a lot of people cry while I was in Iraq, but I think of the hugging soldiers and the rocking civilian most often. Maybe it was the strangeness of seeing uniformed soldiers in tears. Maybe it's because they're the last sad scene I saw before I flew away. Or maybe it's the way they made me feel: guilty, because I got to leave.

Whatever the reasons, I'm glad that I think about them, glad that their grief is my last remembrance of Iraq. Because for all the stories of reduced violence and political and social successes there, Iraq remains, for the most part, a devastated country.

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Justices Take Case on President’s Power to Detain

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide the most fundamental question yet concerning executive power in the age of terror: Can the president order the indefinite military detention of people living in the United States?

In a brief filed three weeks ago, lawyers for Mr. Marri, who has been held without charge in isolation for more than five years, said the court should not delay consideration of the case.

“Since the nation’s founding,” the brief said, “persons lawfully residing in this country have correctly understood that they can be imprisoned for suspected wrongdoing only if the government charges them with a crime and tries them before a jury.”

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AIG May Double Some Salaries With Retention Payments

Some executives among 130 recipients will get more than $500,000, about 200 percent of their salaries, to stay through 2009, said the person, who declined to be named because the information hasn’t been publicly disclosed. An undetermined number of lower-paid employees will also get cash awards to dissuade them from quitting, the person said.

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The Mythology of the War on Terrorism

An even more insidious myth of the War on Terrorism has been the notion that terrorist acts against the United States can be explained, largely, if not entirely, by irrational hatred or envy of American social, economic, or religious values, and not by what the United States does to the world; i.e., US foreign policy. Many Americans are mightily reluctant to abandon this idea. Without it the whole paradigm – that we are the innocent good guys and they are the crazy, fanatic, bloodthirsty bastards who cannot be talked to but only bombed, tortured and killed – falls apart. Statements like the one above from the Bali bombers blaming American policies for their actions are numerous, coming routinely from Osama bin Laden and those under him.

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White House documents found to be altered

Scott Althaus, professor of political science and communication, and Kalev Leetaru, coordinator of research in the Cline Center for Democracy, recently found that the U.S. White House Web site has modified, and in some cases, deleted key documents in the public record.

When the U.S. invaded Iraq, the U.S. government released a statement on the White House Web site listing the nations involved in the "Coalition of the Willing." However, over a period of several years, different versions of the three releases all appear to be originals. In the case of two releases from the U.S. government Web site, the original document is completely missing from the site.

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Suit claims Halliburton, KBR sickened base

A Georgia man has filed a lawsuit against contractor KBR and its former parent company, Halliburton, saying the companies exposed everyone at Joint Base Balad in Iraq to unsafe water, food and hazardous fumes from the burn pit there.

“Plaintiff witnessed the open air burn pit in operation at Balad Air Force Base,” the lawsuit states. “On one occasion, he witnessed a wild dog running around base with a human arm in its mouth. The human arm had been dumped on the open air burn pit by KBR.”

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US mulls unusual tactic as Blackwater charges loom

Blackwater Worldwide guards involved in the deadly 2007 Baghdad shooting of Iraqi civilians could face mandatory 30-year prison sentences under an aggressive anti-drug law being considered as the Justice Department readies indictments, people close to the case said.

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CPJ's 2008 prison census: Online and in jail

Reflecting the rising influence of online reporting and commentary, more Internet journalists are jailed worldwide today than journalists working in any other medium. In its annual census of imprisoned journalists, released today, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that 45 percent of all media workers jailed worldwide are bloggers, Web-based reporters, or online editors. Online journalists represent the largest professional category for the first time in CPJ's prison census.

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Hitler was the perfect boss: Former maid breaks her silence on the 'charming' dictator

And her verdict on her former master: 'He was a charming man, someone who was only ever nice to me, a great boss to work for. You can say what you like, but he was a good man to us.'

Rosa's remembrances of life at the court of the tyrant make gripping reading. She saw leading Nazis come and go. Himmler, the evil party secretary; Bormann, whom she described as a 'dirty pig'; and the club-footed, sexually-obsessed propaganda minister Goebbels.

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