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Tuesday, Jul 29th

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Guantanamo guards struggle with hunger striker

Three years ago, the man known as Internment Serial Number 669 stopped eating. Ahmed Zaid Zuhair, a father of 10 children in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, had been held at Guantanamo Bay since 2002 without charges and decided to join a mass hunger strike in protest. The U.S. military was determined not to let him succeed.

Since then, according to court documents reviewed by The Associated Press, guards have struggled with him repeatedly, at least once using pepper spray, shackles and brute force to drag him to a restraint chair for his twice-daily dose of a liquid nutrition mix force-fed through his nose.

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Ex-generals: Review Bush's detention authority

Former generals and U.S. Justice Department officials filed briefs Thursday urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Bush administration's authority to indefinitely detain the only suspected enemy combatant held on U.S. soil.

"This unprecedented expansion of executive authority within the borders of the United States is not only at odds with more than 200 years of history, but it is wholly unnecessary," argued former judges and officials, including former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and former FBI Director William Sessions. "The federal government is eminently capable of both protecting our nation's security and safeguarding our proud tradition of civil liberties."

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Federal judge weighs key issue in detainee cases

Lawyers sparred Thursday over how close a suspected terrorist must be to attacking the United States before he legally can be held without charges as an enemy combatant.

The federal judge overseeing the legal debate, which largely will decide the fate of hundreds of men being held at the U.S. Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, said the issue "should have been resolved a long time ago."

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High court condemns US refusal to disclose torture evidence

The high court yesterday condemned as "deeply disturbing" a refusal by the US government to disclose evidence that could prove a British resident in Guantánamo Bay was tortured before confessing to terrorist offences.

The court said there was "no rational basis" for the US failure to reveal the contents of documents essential to the defence of Binyam Mohamed, who faces the death penalty.

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U.S. drops charges against 5 detainees

The Pentagon said Tuesday it has dropped war-crimes charges against five Guantanamo Bay detainees after the former prosecutor in their cases complained that the military was withholding evidence helpful to the defense.

None of the men will be freed
, and the military said it could reinstate charges later.

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Bush Decides to Keep Guantánamo Open

Despite his stated desire to close the American prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, President Bush has decided not to do so, and never considered proposals drafted in the State Department and the Pentagon that outlined options for transferring the detainees elsewhere, according to senior administration officials.

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The Bush administration's approval of the abuse of detainees is a toxic legacy for the next US president

New evidence has emerged in Congressional inquiries that throw more light on the extent to which early knowledge and approval of the abuse went to the highest levels. What does a country do when compelling evidence shows its leaders have authorised international crimes?

Buried away in this testimony lies the most dangerous material of all: evidence which may establish that abuses on detainees in Iraq in September 2003, in the period perhaps including the events at Abu Ghraib, were the result of decisions taken at the highest levels of the administration.

At the very least, the next US president must ensure the full facts are established. It will then be for others to decide what follows. But if the US doesn't get its own house in order and restore its reputation for the rule of law, others will surely step in. 

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