George is being proved correct! He speaks to Haspel’s power and how to check it!
I will update this throughout the day. Please check back.
* * *
Lavrov said at a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday that Israel’s statement about dozens of “peaceful” protesters killed on the Gaza border by Israeli forces on Monday was an act of blasphemy.
“I cannot agree with the fact that dozens of peaceful civilians, including children and infants, who were killed in these incidents were terrorists. This is a blasphemous statement,” Lavrov said.Israeli forces killed at least 62 Palestinians during protests near the Gaza fence on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds.
More than 2,700 Palestinians were also wounded as the Israeli forces used snipers, airstrikes, tank fire and tear gas to target the demonstrators.
Palestinian authorities on Wednesday urged United Nations to condemn the killings of the protesters at the Gaza border was war crimes.
“Of course, this massacre is taking place at the same time when the United States of America illegally and unilaterally and in a provocative way is opening its embassy,” said the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, in an address to the UN Security Council.
The occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald Trump on December 6, 2017, announced Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said the United States would move the US embassy to the city. Click article title to continue reading.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has held a meeting with the Syrian leader Bashar Assad in Sochi, the acting presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. The two leaders conducted “extensive” negotiations, he added.
As the two presidents talked about the conditions that would facilitate the peace process development, the Syrian leader said that he had decided to send a delegation to a committee tasked to rewrite Syria’s constitution, which was championed by the UN.
The agreement on the creation of the constitutional committee was one of the major results of the Sochi peace congress held in January this year. The participants of the congress agreed on January 30 to set up the constitutional committee in Geneva, and to hold democratic elections in Syria.
US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that NATO members that do not contribute fully to the group would be “dealt with,” and singled out Germany as a country he said was not doing enough.
At a Cabinet meeting attended by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, Trump listed countries he said had paid the amount “they’re supposed to be paying.”
“We have some that don’t and, well, they’ll be dealt with,” Trump said.
He added Germany “has not contributed what it should be contributing and it’s a very big beneficiary.”
“In particular Germany must demonstrate leadership in the alliance by addressing its longstanding shortfall in defense contributions,” Trump said.
Despite often disagreeing with Trump in other areas, German Chancellor Angela Merkel agrees that Germany should contribute more and wants her country to boost military spending to meet the NATO target of 2 percent. She told senior military officers on Monday more spending is needed in light of changing security requirements in the world.
Stoltenberg praised Trump’s work on shoring up NATO, whose continued purpose Trump questioned while campaigning in the 2016 election.
Sitting on Trump’s right, Stoltenberg said: “Your leadership on defense spending has really helped to make a difference.”
“It is impacting allies because now all allies are increasing defense spending,” he said. “No allies are cutting their budgets.”
* * *
* * *
Now, journalist Paul Sperry reports that “IG Horowitz has found “reasonable grounds” for believing there has been a violation of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ’s handling of the Clinton investigation/s and has referred his findings of potential criminal misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution.”
Gina Haspel is the new director of the CIA, after getting confirmed in the US Senate. Several Democrats crossed the aisle and gave her the green light, despite objecting to Haspel’s role in the CIA’s torture program.
A number of Republicans also voiced their opposition to Haspel before the Senate vote on Thursday, with Senator Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) joining John McCain (R-Arizona) and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) against her on Wednesday. McCain did not cast a vote as he is fighting brain cancer.
On Wednesday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted 10-5 to send Haspel’s nomination to the floor. She faced tough questioning from the committee about her running a controversial black site in Thailand during the era of extraordinary renditions and enhanced interrogation of suspected terrorists under President George W. Bush. She was also asked about a her role in destroying some 90 tapes evidencing torture of detainees.
Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia), the highest ranking Democrat on the committee, said he thought Haspel would be able to stand up to US President Donald Trump. Senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) also voted for her in committee.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) didn’t voice his view on the issue, allowing the rest of the party to vote as they wish. Democrats who voiced their approval for Haspel before the confirmation hearing drew ire from their base, however.
Here are the 5 Democratic senators (thus far) who have made clear they don’t give a shit about accountability for torture and instead have announced their support of Gina Haspel for CIA director: Mark Warner, Heidi Heitkamp, Bill Nelson, Joe Manchin and Joe Donnelly.
A doctor who examined Abdal Rahim al-Nashiri, a prisoner tortured under the supervision of Haspel told The Intercept she privately urged Warner to oppose her confirmation.
“I am one of the only health professionals he has ever talked to about his torture, its effects, and his ongoing suffering,” Dr. Sondra Crosby wrote to Warner’s legislative director on Monday. “He is irreversibly damaged by torture that was unusually cruel and designed to break him. In my over 20 years of experience treating torture victims from around the world, including Syria, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mr. al-Nashiri presents as one of the most severely traumatized individuals I have ever seen.”
Crosby highlighted the known acts of torture committed against Nashiri, which included waterboarding, mock executions, anal rape and threatened to sexually assault his mother.
The children of the Senate Intelligence Committee certainly were treated to some ripping yarns on Wednesday, when Gina Haspel came to tell them the scary bedtime stories that qualify her to run the CIA. We had shadow warriors, and far-flung outposts, brush passes, dead drops, and dusty alleys, and dark moonless nights. If the hearing had gone on 10 minutes longer, John le Carré’s attorneys might have dropped in with an intellectual property action. Then, of course, they all went into executive session, where they could all talk about the really cool, really super-secret spy stuff that the rest of us can’t know about, but are obligated to pay for. And, ultimately, there was one basic message to come out of this hearing to the world.
The United States is a country that tortures people. It is also a country that arranges for other countries to torture people. We did in back in the Bush administration and we’ll do it again, if you scare us deeply enough and there are enough hack lawyers in the Department of Justice and the White House Counsel’s office to draft memos to cover our asses. The United States is a country that tortures people, and we’ll do it again, under the right circumstances. We’d just rather it not make the papers, is all. Click article title to continue reading.
* * *