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Al-Jazeera man ‘close to death’ at Guantanamo Bay

By Robert Verkaik An al-Jazeera journalist captured in Afghanistan six years ago and sent to Guantanamo Bay is close to becoming the fifth detainee at the US naval base to take his own life, according to a medical report written by a team of British and American psychiatrists Sami al-Haj, a Sudanese national, is 250 days into a hunger strike which he began in protest over his detention without charge

Israeli point of view on US-Iran confrontation: “The moment of truth is approaching”

By Shmuel Rosner in Washington and Aluf Benn in Jerusalem Standing on the deck of his ship, Vice Admiral Doug Crowder, the senior commander of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, rebuffed the speculations directed at him. No, he said, in reference to the large-scale military maneuvers in the Indian Ocean, there is “no connection between this exercise and any other country” – that is, Iran or China. Nevertheless, this

Ahmadinejad interview with Channel 4 – full transcript

Every question and answer from last night’s Channel 4 News interview with Jon Snow and the Iranian president” Q: Both the UK and the US have accused Iran of fighting a proxy war inside Iraq? A: “I think the Americans and the British, they should correct themselves …. We know that there is a difference between Americans and the British. The British when they moved out of Barsa, it was

Superior Derided Petraeus as Suck-Up, Opposed the Surge

by Gareth Porter In sharp contrast to the lionization of Gen. David Petraeus by members of the US Congress during his testimony this week, Petraeus’ superior, Admiral William Fallon, chief of the Central Command (CENTCOM), derided Petraeus as a sycophant during their first meeting in Baghdad last March, according to Pentagon sources familiar with reports of the meeting. Fallon told Petraeus that he considered him to be “an ass-kissing little

The Guantánamo Transcripts: “Ghost” Prisoners Speak After Five And A Half Years, And “9/11 hijacker” Recants His Tortured Confession

by Andy Worthington In another resounding demonstration of the importance of legally constituted checks and balances on executive power in the United States, the Associated Press, after filing a request to the Pentagon under the Freedom of Information Act, has secured 58 transcripts from the latest round of annual Administrative Review Boards at Guantánamo, convened to assess whether the detainees still pose a threat to the US, or if they

The Coming U.S. Hard Landing

By Nouriel Roubin The utterly ugly employment figures for August (a fall in jobs for the first time in four years, downward revisions to previous months’ data, a fall in the labor participation rate, and an even weaker employment picture based on the household survey compared to the establishments survey) confirm what few of us have been predicting since the beginning of 2007: the U.S. is headed towards a hard

Pigs of War

By Cindy Sheehan “I believe it is imperative that we never lose our voice of dissent, regardless of political pressure. As Martin Luther King, Jr said: ‘there comes a time when silence is betrayal’…However, it is unforgivable that Congress has been unwilling to examine these matters or take action to prevent these circumstances [executive branch crimes] from occurring again.” – Congressman John Conyers (D-MI), Introduction to Constitution in Crisis (2006)

Iran spy post heightens Gulf tension with US

According to The Telegraph, Iran has established a sophisticated spying operation at the head of the Arabian Gulf in a move which has significantly heightened tensions in its standoff with the United States. The operation, masterminded by the country’s elite Revolutionary Guard, includes the construction of a high-tech spying post close to the point where Iranian forces kidnapped 15 British naval personnel in March. The move has forced British and

Hamas on Alert for Israeli Attacks

GAZA, Sept 12–Hamas said on Wednesday its security forces in Gaza have gone on high alert ahead of an anticipated large-scale Israeli offensive in the Palestinian territory. Hamas said in a statement it had obtained “clear information” indicating that the “Zionist forces are preparing to launch a vast air, ground and sea offensive” in Gaza. Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and war minister Ehud Barak decided on the operation following

UN nuclear chief walks out on EU speech on Iran: diplomats

by Michael Adler (source: AFP)Tuesday, September 11, 2007 VIENNA (AFP) – UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei walked out on an afternoon session Tuesday of his IAEA to protest an EU speech which did not fully support his deal for new inspections in Iran, diplomats told AFP. “He walked out because the EU did not support the Secretariat,” a diplomat who was at the meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s

American Economy: R.I.P.

By Paul Craig Roberts The US economy continues its slow death before our eyes, but economists, policymakers, and most of the public are blind to the tottering fabled land of opportunity. In August jobs in goods-producing industries declined by 64,000. The US economy lost 4,000 jobs overall. The private sector created a mere 24,000 jobs, all of which could be attributed to the 24,100 new jobs for waitresses and bartenders.

Second direct Iranian warning to the USA

(see the first one here) TEHRAN, Sept 11— The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said on Tuesday that the country has identified US weak points in Iraq and Afghanistan. The comments by Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Jaafari, appointed head of the elite force by the leader of Islamic Revolution just 10 days ago, come amid mounting tensions between Tehran and Washington over Iran’s peaceful nuclear drive and its

Serbia threatens new war

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti political commentator Yelena Shesternina) – In a recent onslaught against the Kosovo Albanians, the Serbian authorities have gone over from strong albeit diplomatic statements to threats. If Kosovo declares independence unilaterally, Belgrade will take extreme measures – seal the borders, impose a trade embargo and return its troops to the province to restore Serbia’s territorial integrity. Dusan Prorokovic, Serbia’s state secretary for Kosovo, said this in an

Changing course on Iran

by Abbas Edalat and Mehrnaz Shahabi Ahead of the crucial meeting of the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) which starts today in Vienna, Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the IAEA, has greeted the recent accord between the IAEA and Iran as “a significant step forward“. Following the July visit of the IAEA to Tehran, agreement was reached on an action plan with defined modalities and timetable

Osama Bin Laden video address to the American people – full transcript

(For your information: This is a full transcript of the video address of Osama Bin Laden to the American people (there might be a second video posted after Sept. 11). I cannot vouch for this translation since I do not speak Arabic. Original post here. VS) “All praise is due to Allah, who built the heavens and earth in justice, and created man as a favor and grace from Him.

DEBKAfile Reports: Two US carrier-strike groups are bound for Persian Gulf region, bringing number back to three

DEBKAfile’s military sources report that from the third week of July, the only American strike force- carrier in the Persian Gulf-Arabian Sea region was the USS Enterprise. By the end of September, it will be joined by the USS Nimitz and the USS Truman Strike Groups. Our sources note that with their arrival, three American naval, air and marine forces will again confront Iranian shores at a time of crisis

Harper’s magazine reports on CIA leaks about an attack on Iran

By Ken Silverstein Until recently, I thought the odds that the United States would attack Iran were less than fifty-fifty, but the chances of a military confrontation are clearly growing (as my colleague Scott Horton has been reporting on for some time). Earlier this year, I asked a former CIA official, who was stationed in the Persian Gulf during the first Gulf War and served in Iraq after the 2003

Reporting From Baghdad

by Scott Ritter It should come as no surprise that the Bush administration’s newest military-man-of-substance-turned- political lapdog, General Petraeus, maintains that the situation in Iraq is not only salvageable, but actually improving, due to the “surge” of U.S. combat troops into Iraq over the past year. All the president and his collection of GI Joe hand-puppets ask for is more time, more money and more troops. There is no reason

Will the US Really Bomb Iran?

by Alexander Cockburn “They’re about taking out the entire Iranian military.” This particular spine-chiller comes from Alexis Debat, excitingly identified as “director of terrorism and national security” at the Nixon Center. According to Debat, the big takeout is what the U.S. Air Force has in store, as opposed to mere “pinprick strikes” against the infamous nuclear facilities. Predicting imminent war on Iran has been one of the top two items

Graziano: Hizbullah has support of 60% of Lebanese and only political settlement can disarm it

Al-Manar TV reports that the consolidated UNIFIL force commander Claudio Graziano said that disarming the resistance can only be done through a political settlement. Speaking at the UN headquarters in New York, Graziano stressed Hizbullah expresses its adherence to UN resolution 1701. “It`s a party that has the support of 60% of the Lebanese,” he said. The UNIFIL chief also said that his force can defend itself even if major