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Friday, Mar 06th

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U.S. sends five Guantanamo prisoners to Kazakhstan for resettlement

Gitmo prisonersThree Yemenis and two Tunisians held for more than a decade at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo have been flown to Kazakhstan for resettlement, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, the latest in a series of prisoner transfers aimed at closing the facility.

The transfer of the five men followed a recent pledge by President Barack Obama for a stepped-up push to shut the internationally condemned detention center at the U.S. naval base in Cuba where most prisoners have been held without being charged or tried.

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Meet Alfreda Bikowsky, the Senior Officer at the Center of the CIA’s Torture Scandals

Alfreda Bikowski torturerNBC News yesterday called her a “key apologist” for the CIA’s torture program. A follow-up New Yorker article dubbed her “The Unidentified Queen of Torture” and in part “the model for the lead character in ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’” Yet in both articles she was anonymous.

The person described by both NBC and The New Yorker is senior CIA officer Alfreda Frances Bikowsky. Multiple news outlets have reported that as the result of a long string of significant errors and malfeasance, her competence and integrity are doubted — even by some within the agency.

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1 Worker Dead Every 2 Days in Qatar

Qatar workersNepalese migrants building the infrastructure to host the 2022 World Cup have died at a rate of one every two days in 2014 – despite Qatar’s promises to improve their working conditions, the Guardian has learned.

The figure excludes deaths of Indian, Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi workers, raising fears that if fatalities among all migrants were taken into account the toll would almost certainly be more than one a day.

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ACLU, Human Rights Watch urge Obama to prosecute officials over CIA torture

Torture prosecution demandsPresident Barack Obama should appoint a special prosecutor to determine if former Bush administration and CIA officials broke the law by having suspected terrorists abducted and tortured in secret prisons by waterboarding and other brutal interrogation methods, two leading human rights groups said Monday.

The call by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union was the second proposal for a special investigation issued from a human rights organization since the publication earlier this month of a blistering Senate Intelligence Committee report into the CIA interrogation program that ran from 2002 until 2007.

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New York Times: Prosecute Cheney for Torture

CheneyThe New York Times editorial board has called upon President Barack Obama to prosecute former Vice President Dick Cheney for the torture of terrorism suspects.

The sharply worded editorial, published Monday, comes amid an effort by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch to launch an investigation into U.S. torture practices. The two groups will submit a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday calling for the appointment of a special prosecutor.

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Judge OKs Lethal Injections in Oklahoma

Letal injection OklahomaA federal judge Monday declined to stop a series of upcoming executions in Oklahoma, allowing the state to use the same drug combination it did in the April execution of Clayton Derrell Lockett.

In a ruling from the bench Monday, U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot denied a request from 21 death row inmates asking the court to bar the state from carrying out their lethal injections in a manner they claim presents a high risk for being cruel and unusual.

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The Other Torture Report: The Secret CIA Document That Could Unravel The Case For Torture

PanettaAs the public grapples with the gruesome realities put forth in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s damning report on the CIA’s torture program, the agency has dug in to defend itself. The CIA claims the torture tactics it used in the years following 9/11 were legal and saved American lives. And despite what the Senate study alleges, the agency insists it never lied about the torture program.

One internal CIA document, though, could be key to discrediting this defense. And at this very moment, it’s tucked away in a Senate safe.

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