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Sunday, Apr 20th

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Former Guantánamo chief prosecutor petitions Obama to close prison camp

Guantanamo prison A former chief prosecutor for the controversial American prison camp at Guantánamo Bay has called for the prison to be closed, launching an online petition that has gathered some 60,000 signatures in less than 24 hours.

Col Morris Davis served for two years as the chief prosecutor for terrorism trials at Guantánamo. He decided to campaign for the closure of the camp in the wake of a hunger strike that now involves more than 100 prisoners, including some 21 who are being force fed to keep them from starving to death.

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Former State Department Official: Team Bush Knew Many at Gitmo Were Innocent

Bush knew Gitmos prisoners innocentRetired Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson, who served the Bush Administration as a senior official in the State Department with access to classified documents and the most senior White House officials, was willing to testify, and formally declared under penalty of perjury, that many of the prisoners detained at Guantanamo Bay were taken into custody "without regard for whether they were truly enemy combatants, or in fact whether many of them were enemies at all."

His declaration, filed in the spring of 2010 in a D.C. federal court, asserted that "of the initial 742 detainees that had arrived at Guantánamo, the majority of them had never seen a U.S. soldier in the process of their initial detention and their captivity had not been subjected to any meaningful review."

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Life under lockdown at America’s hunger-striking prison camps

Gitmo With nearly every one of the 166 Guantánamo prisoners now under lockdown — back in solitary existence after years of communal living — the military has reverted to a battle rhythm reminiscent of the Bush administration.

Pre-cleared captives awaiting political change are confined for long stretches to 8-by-12 cells, each man praying behind his own steel door, deciding for himself whether to eat a solitary meal.

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To whom does Wounded Knee belong?

Wounded KneeThe administration of President Benjamin Harrison praised the military tactics used by the 7th Cavalry and awarded 20 of the soldiers Medals of Honor.

The New York Times told a different story, writing contemporaneously that the Native Americans had been "robbed when at peace, starved and angered into war, and then hunted down by the government."

At Wounded Knee, as many as 300 unarmed men, women and children were killed. And official reports from some in government criticizing the massacre were simply buried.

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Palestinian Christians battle Israel barrier route

Palestinian ChristiansPalestinians in this Christian village are hoping the new pope can succeed where others have failed — pressing Israel to drop plans to build a stretch of its West Bank separation barrier through their picturesque valley.

Since Vatican properties are affected, residents have appealed to the Roman Catholic Church to use more of its significant influence in the Holy Land to reroute the barrier, even as local Catholic leaders hold a special protest Mass in threatened orchards each week.

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‘Four little girls’ of Birmingham remembered 50 years later

Birmingham bombingIt’s been nearly 50 years since four young girls were killed after members of the Ku Klux Klan planted a bomb at their Sunday school in Birmingham, Ala., simply because of the color of their skin.

But five decades later, lawmakers have moved one step closer to posthumously awarding the “four little girls,” as they are known by some, with the Congressional Gold Medal, proving that their memory remains seared into our national consciousness.

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US condoned torture after 9/11, must close Guantanamo: report

Gitmo must closeAn independent task force issued a damning review of Bush-era interrogation practices on Tuesday, saying the highest U.S. officials bore ultimate responsibility for the "indisputable" use of torture, and it urged President Barack Obama to close the Guantanamo detention camp by the end of 2014.

In one of the most comprehensive studies of U.S. treatment of terrorism suspects, the panel concluded that never before had there been "the kind of considered and detailed discussions that occurred after 9/11 directly involving a president and his top advisers on the wisdom, propriety and legality of inflicting pain and torment on some detainees in our custody."

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