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Archive for August 31st, 2009

White House: Cheney has his facts wrong

Raw Story
By David Edwards and Stephen Webster
Published: August 31, 2009 Updated 6 hours ago

The Obama White House is pushing back against former Vice President Dick Cheney’s allegation that a probe of unsanctioned CIA torture of terror war prisoners is politically motivated.

“This is the same song and dance we’ve heard since literally the first day of our administration,” said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on Monday, speaking to reporters in the briefing room.

“I don’t have a lot to say,” he added. “I think [Cheney], if you watched some of his interview, was clearly, uh, clearly had his facts on a number of things wrong.”

Chief among them, though not pointed out by Gibbs, is Cheney’s allegation that the torture techniques were designed to be “safe” and were carried out by “trained professionals.” As RAW STORY reported last week, some of those “professionals” had little more than two weeks of training.

An unnamed Obama administration official further told CNN that Attorney General Eric Holder, not President Obama, made the decision to investigate torture “based on the facts and the law.”

The network’s source also corrected Cheney’s claim that the president is “the chief law enforcement officer in the land.”

“That’s not true,” they told CNN. “It’s the attorney general.”

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Phil Collins- In The Air Tonight (LIVE)

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Jack Straw has admitted the Government caved in to Libyan demands that the Lockerbie bomber be included in a prisoner transfer deal with Britain.

Telegraph.co.uk | By Simon Johnson, Scottish Political Editor
Published: 5:10PM BST 30 Aug 2009

The release of Megrahi, who is suffering from prostate cancer, on compassionate grounds and his return to Libya provoked a storm of provoked a storm of international condemnation. Photo: Reuters

The release of Megrahi, who is suffering from prostate cancer, on compassionate grounds and his return to Libya provoked a storm of provoked a storm of international condemnation. Photo: Reuters

The Justice Secretary said he originally wanted Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi omitted from the agreement, but relented and agreed the bomber should be eligible.

He said the Libyans deserved “something” in return for giving up their nuclear weapons programme but vehemently denied striking a “backdoor deal” over Megrahi.

Shortly after the reversal of Britain’s stance, a multi-billion pound oil exploration deal between Libya and BP was rubberstamped.

Mr Straw insisted on Sunday that the disclosures were a “red herring” as Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister, made the final decision on Megrahi’s release.

Alex Salmond, Scotland’s First Minister, stressed that Libya’s PTA application had been rejected, and the terminally-ill bomber was freed on compassionate grounds.

But Opposition parties increased their demands for a full inquiry into suspicions that the PTA was a “terrorist-for-trade” deal.

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Lockerbie and the conspiracy theories

Long standing theories about who was behind the bombing of a Pan Am jet over Lockerbie in 1988 have now been joined by a batch of new claims about the reasons behind the moves to release Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi.

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Doug Bandow, The Huffington Post, Aug 24, 2009

Buzz up!

Attorney General Eric Holder is appointing a special prosecutor to review CIA interrogations of terrorist suspects. However, the investigation shouldn’t stop at the agency. No one should be above the law, especially top policymakers.

Investigating Bush administration policies and officials is bound to be controversial. President George W. Bush and his aides undoubtedly did what they thought was right. However, much of it was wrong. The Iraq war was foolish and unnecessary.

Continues >>

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