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Friday, Apr 18th

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US soldier sentenced to 7 months in prison over Iraq killings

A U.S. military judge says a soldier who pleaded guilty to involvement in the slaying of four bound and blindfolded Iraqis will be jailed for seven months and dishonorably discharged from the Army.

Spc. Belmor Ramos, 23, had faced a possible sentence of life in prison for conspiracy to commit murder but worked out a plea agreement.

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Intelligence officer claims CIA was complicit in torture in Uzbekistan

Ikrom Yakubov, a former major in the National Security Service (SNB), accused the CIA of involvement in torture sessions in the central Asian republic in an exclusive interview with the Sunday Herald, during which he made a series of startling claims. These include claims that:

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Andover law school convenes Bush War Crimes Conference

Saturday morning, the dean of Massachusetts School of Law at Andover will convene a two day planning session with a single focus: To arrest, put to trial and carry out sentence on criminals in the Bush Administration.

The conference, arranged by Lawrence Vevel, cofounder of the Andover school, will focus on which of Bush's officials and members of Congress could be charged with war crimes. The plan also calls for "necessary organizational structures" to be established, with the purpose of pursuing the guilty "to the ends of the Earth."

"For Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and John Yoo to spend years in jail or go to the gallows for their crimes would be a powerful lesson to future American leaders," Velvel said in a media advisory.

In a published document entitled "The Long Term View" (PDF link), Vevel argues, at the very least, "there is no question" George W. Bush is guilty of conspiracy to commit torture, a war crime.

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Torture Supporter Dershowitz Says Not to Prosecute Bush, Cheney, et alia

It's not the results of an election that could determine who is prosecuted. It's the reslts of an election that could -- in a dreamy optimistic fantasy anyway -- determine whether laws are enforced. The Justice Department is right now a branch of a political party, hiring and firing on that basis, and - yes - prosecuting on that basis. Any future president must undo that, and must prosecute openly criminal predecessors, regardless of party. But rather than asking McCain to make that commitment, you choose to ask Obama NOT to. Which side of the law are you on? I repeat: Bush is not a candidate this year. He cannot win or lose. Your acceptance of the idea that party loyalty must supercede all else, including both the rule of law and the significance of elections, that it must go completely unquestioned, just like your fantasies about the utility of torture, is the root of the difficulty here.

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In the occupied territories, there's a new weapon: the video camera, detailing the violence meted out to Palestinians

"It's very easy for the Israeli public to believe that Palestinians are lying when it's just their word against the word of a soldier or settler", explained B'Tselem's spokesperson, Sarit Michaeli. The Israeli human rights group has brought several high-profile cases to the public's attention this summer, providing vital video evidence of the scale of the violence meted out by settlers and soldiers alike. In the process the footage has seriously dented efforts to smear Palestinians complaining of assault. According to Michaeli, "[The video evidence] makes it much easier for us to demonstrate the reality on the ground, and to show Israelis what is being done in their names in the occupied territories."

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Video Shows US Carnage In Afghanistan

The grainy video eight-minute footage, seen exclusively by The Times, is the most compelling evidence to emerge of what may be the biggest loss of civilian life during the Afghanistan war.

These are the images that have forced the Pentagon into a rare U-turn. Until yesterday the US military had insisted that only seven civilians were killed in Nawabad on the night of August 21.

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Heathrow Plot Ends With No Conviction on Key Charges

A lengthy trial centering on what Scotland Yard called a plot to blow up trans-Atlantic airliners ended on Monday with the jury convicting three of eight defendants of conspiracy to commit murder. But the jury failed to reach verdicts on the most serious charges, involving an alleged conspiracy to have suicide bombers armed with soft-drinks bottles filled with liquid explosives destroy seven airliners headed for the United States and Canada on the same day.

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