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Monday, August 24, 2009

Blackwater's dark heart, CIA report into Bush Administration’s treatment of suspects released, Spook U,

The links below have been sent in by FK ~t

In the meantime, Blackwater faces some of the most serious allegations yet. A group of Iraqis, aided by the Centre for Constitutional Rights, a New York-based human-rights pressure group, is suing Blackwater for war crimes, wrongful death and more. In sworn statements submitted for the case on August 3rd, two former employees allege that Mr Prince may have helped to murder at least one person who had divulged, or was about to divulge, damning information to the government. He denies the claims. The affidavits also claim that Mr Prince smuggled weapons into Iraq and that he “views himself as a Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe”.

With these cases plodding through America’s courts, security contractors continue to work abroad. Blackwater no longer has an operating licence in Iraq—local officials refused to renew it—and the firm has lost a big contract to defend diplomats. But many former employees of Blackwater are now working for the new holder of that contract, Triple Canopy. And Blackwater has rebranded itself as Xe Services. Blackwater's dark heart

The alleged crimes and abuses carried out under the Bush Administration will take centre stage today with the release of a report detailing brutal CIA interrogations, a document that could trigger criminal investigations later this week. The 2004 report, which has been suppressed until now, documents in grim detail interrogations of terror suspects at secret CIA “black site” prisons between 2002 and 2004, including mock executions, such as threatening a prisoner with a gun and power drill. The release of the report by the CIA’s former inspector general comes as Eric Holder, President Obama’s Attorney-General, is expected to make clear whether he will appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate alleged abuse where CIA officials exceeded their legal authority. CIA report into Bush Administration’s treatment of suspects released

Gen. David H. Petraeus plans to open an in-house intelligence organization at U.S. Central Command this week that will train military officers, covert agents and analysts who agree to focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan for up to a decade. The organization, to be called the Center for Afghanistan Pakistan Excellence, will be led by Derek Harvey, a retired colonel in the Defense Intelligence Agency who became one of the Gen. Petraeus' most trusted analysts during the 2007-08 counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq. Mr. Harvey distinguished himself in Iraq by predicting that the Iraqi insurgency would spiral out of control, at a time when it was widely underestimated by the Bush administration, in 2003 and 2004. Petraeus to open intelligence training center

Iran can be a game-changer. But it takes two to tango. The big question on the Afghan chessboard today is whether Obama will sidestep the pro-Israeli lobby within his administration and the US Congress and reach for the door that opens into vistas of engagement with Maleki's superiors in Tehran. Maybe Obama should pluck a leaf out of Karimov's chronicle. US steps up its Central Asian tango.


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