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Bernie Sanders isn’t a democratic socialist. He is a social democrat - quartz

Bernie Sanders isn’t a democratic socialist. He is a social democrat

Democratic socialism and social democracy are two different things, and he is proposing the latter.
quartz - 57 minutes ago
Palestinians launch rocket attack on southern Israel (VIDEOS) - rt

Palestinians launch rocket attack on southern Israel (VIDEOS)

Air raid sirens sounded across southern Israel as a wave of rockets were launched from Gaza. The barrage came hours after the Israeli military killed a "terrorist" it said was planting explosives near the border fence.
rt - 1 hour ago
Israeli soldiers BULLDOZE body of slain Palestinian, cause uproar - rt

Israeli soldiers BULLDOZE body of slain Palestinian, cause uproar

Israeli soldiers who killed a Palestinian suspected of planting explosives near a border fence didn’t even try to remove his body manually, using a bulldozer instead. The bone-chilling action raised the ire of locals.
rt - 2 hours ago
Germans say far-right MORE DANGEROUS than Islamists, but is Merkel’s shaky govt there to take on growing threat? - rt

Germans say far-right MORE DANGEROUS than Islamists, but is Merkel’s shaky govt there to take on growing threat?

Far-right terrorism is more of a danger than Islamism in the eyes of nearly a half of Germans, while almost the same number blamed the AfD party for fueling extremism – and authorities for sitting idly as the threat grows.
rt - 2 hours ago
Party masks off, medical on: Venice shutters famed carnival as coronavirus gains foothold in Italy - rt

Party masks off, medical on: Venice shutters famed carnival as coronavirus gains foothold in Italy

Italian authorities have decided to end Venice’s carnival two days early, in an attempt to stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus that has infected more than 100 in Italy.
rt - 3 hours ago
OSCE media freedom rep calls on UK not to extradite Assange due to ‘excessive’ US prison sentence - rt

OSCE media freedom rep calls on UK not to extradite Assange due to ‘excessive’ US prison sentence

The UK should not extradite Julian Assange, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has argued, because he faces an excessive prison sentence in the US and his publications were in the public interest.
rt - 4 hours ago
Diane Abbott to quit shadow cabinet when new Labour leader is elected - metro

Diane Abbott to quit shadow cabinet when new Labour leader is elected

She will be stepping down as Shadow Home Secretary.
metro - 6 hours ago
Several dead, 1000+ collapsed buildings after earthquake rocks eastern Turkey - rt

Several dead, 1000+ collapsed buildings after earthquake rocks eastern Turkey

An earthquake in eastern Turkey wreaked havoc on local infrastructure, resulting in deaths and injuries as emergency workers scramble to assist residents.
rt - 7 hours ago
Tommy Robinson locks horns with RT’s ‘Worlds Apart’ as the British activist brings his ‘Rape of Britain’ lecture to Russia - rt

Tommy Robinson locks horns with RT’s ‘Worlds Apart’ as the British activist brings his ‘Rape of Britain’ lecture to Russia

Tommy Robinson had a lively exchange with RT about his campaign to stop Muslim grooming gangs in the UK. The firebrand activist arrived in Russia to give a presentation about the “Rape of Britain.”
rt - 8 hours ago
Foreign media ‘didn’t miss the slightest opportunity’ to keep people from voting in nationwide election – Iran’s supreme leader - rt

Foreign media ‘didn’t miss the slightest opportunity’ to keep people from voting in nationwide election – Iran’s supreme leader

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei took aim at foreign media outlets, claiming they did their utmost to “discourage” Iranians from voting this Friday in the parliamentary election.
rt - 9 hours ago
US bases ‘lead to stability’?! Tripoli govt invites Pentagon to redeploy troops to NATO-ravaged Libya… to ‘deter RUSSIA’ - rt

US bases ‘lead to stability’?! Tripoli govt invites Pentagon to redeploy troops to NATO-ravaged Libya… to ‘deter RUSSIA’

Nine years after the US helped bomb the once wealthiest African nation into stone ages, the Tripoli-based government would happily welcome American troops on Libyan soil, for more ‘terrorism fighting’ and to ‘deter’ Russia.
rt - 12 hours ago
Italy becomes Europe’s largest coronavirus hot spot with 76 cases & 2 deaths - rt

Italy becomes Europe’s largest coronavirus hot spot with 76 cases & 2 deaths

The number of confirmed Covid-19 coronavirus cases has soared to at least 76 in Italy, forcing authorities to introduce increasingly strict containment and quarantine measures in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.
rt - 17 hours ago
Tesla has defeated “tree pirates” and resumed plowing down a forest in Germany - quartz

Tesla has defeated “tree pirates” and resumed plowing down a forest in Germany

It's clearing the land for a new Gigafactory.
quartz - 19 hours ago
Warren Buffett just explained the problem with today’s corporate boards - quartz

Warren Buffett just explained the problem with today’s corporate boards

For starters, board members are paid too much.
quartz - 21 hours ago
Sharp rise in coronavirus cases alarms world health officials - channel 4

Sharp rise in coronavirus cases alarms world health officials

World health officials are growing alarmed by the new cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran.
channel 4 - 22 hours ago
Coronavirus outbreak has been ‘politicised’ by some countries, says China state TV correspondent Zhou Jiaxin - channel 4

Coronavirus outbreak has been ‘politicised’ by some countries, says China state TV correspondent Zhou Jiaxin

We spoke this afternoon to Zhou Jiaxin in Wuhan, a correspondent for the China Global Television Network, which is owned by the national broadcaster. I began by asking him what the WHO had learned on their visit to the city.
channel 4 - 22 hours ago
The Mongolian metal band taking throat singing global - channel 4

The Mongolian metal band taking throat singing global

They've even been awarded Mongolia's highest state award for promoting national culture.  
channel 4 - 22 hours ago
Yorkshire Dales hit by further floods as government pledges £4bn for defences - channel 4

Yorkshire Dales hit by further floods as government pledges £4bn for defences

The Government has pledged to spend another £4 billion over the next five years on flood defence schemes.
channel 4 - 22 hours ago
Meteorite illuminates skies over northern Russia with mysterious blue light (VIDEO) - rt

Meteorite illuminates skies over northern Russia with mysterious blue light (VIDEO)

Residents of a small Russian town in the northern Republic of Karelia marveled at a bright blue sphere lighting up the town with an otherworldly blue light as a meteorite fell in the area.
rt - 1 day ago
Amazon is already scrambling to prevent a coronavirus hit to Prime Day—in July - quartz

Amazon is already scrambling to prevent a coronavirus hit to Prime Day—in July

Amazon and its third-party vendors rely heavily on China's factories.
quartz - 1 day ago
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vice
The Psychologist Who Tortured Accused 9/11 Plotters for the CIA: ‘I Would Do It Again’

The Psychologist Who Tortured Accused 9/11 Plotters for the CIA: ‘I Would Do It Again’

vice - 1 month ago

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When James Mitchell started crafting the CIA’s so-called “torture program” more than a decade ago, he knew he’d eventually end up in front of a military court. But that doesn’t mean he was happy when that day finally arrived.

“I suspected from the beginning that I would eventually end up here,” Mitchell, a psychologist and retired Air Force contractor, told a military commission at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba on Tuesday.

“I think the CIA was representing America at the tip of the spear,” he continued. “You may feel differently, but I don’t.”

In his first public testimony about the program, Mitchell struck an amiably defiant tone, jousting with the defense counsel and encouraging the courtroom to buy more copies of his book. He also described a desperate, post-9/11 mindset that sent the CIA grasping for fresh tactics, even ones that crossed moral and legal lines. And he universally defended those actions in court.

“It felt at the agency like we were in a running gun battle,” said Mitchell, claiming he was told al-Qaeda had obtained biological and possibly nuclear weapons.

“I never thought of it as a ‘Dr. Mitchell’ mission,” he said. “I didn’t even think of it as a CIA thing; I thought of it as an America mission, because we were trying to stop that next attack.”

The grey-haired Mitchell appeared at the notorious military prison on Tuesday, where five accused al-Qaeda members stand charged with helping to plan and finance the 2001 tragedy that left nearly 3,000 dead. If convicted, they face the death penalty. Mitchell — to his admitted surprise — appeared for the defense, which argues that because the defendants were tortured at CIA “black sites” around the world, their statements are irrevocably tainted.

“We were trying to stop that next attack.”

Mitchell, one of two CIA psychologists scheduled to testify this week, set the mood early. James Connell, the attorney who led the questioning, opened by thanking Mitchell for voluntarily coming to testify. “I actually did it for the victims and families, not for you,” Mitchell responded. He offered spiky answers to basic questions, while also declaring his eagerness to help.

“I’m happy to talk about my role in the program and what the program did,” he said. Later, Mitchell added: “You folks have been saying untrue and malicious things about me and Dr. Jessen for years. For years.”

Connell offered Mitchell a chance to correct the record, particularly around the prevalence of detainee torture. “Dr. Mitchell is sometimes portrayed as a rogue actor,” Connell said.

In reality, he was a contractor, part of a much larger system involving the CIA, FBI, and others. He personally waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who’s accused of planning the 9/11 attacks alongside Osama bin Laden. On Tuesday, the two sat just feet apart, facing each other across the courtroom.

All five defendants in the case were tortured, according to the defense; lawyers argue that because the practice was so widespread, with no clear lines drawn between agencies that did and didn’t use extreme techniques, any statements obtained in that environment can’t be considered “voluntary.” Under the military commission rules established for trials at Guantánamo Bay, coerced information can’t be used.

Mitchell — who often referred to detainees as “subjects” and “clients” in his testimony — acknowledged the torture program extended far beyond his purview. He too described himself as a contractor, who offered recommendations but had no power to implement them or any control over how his advice spread to other areas of the system.

“I was a green badger,” he said, referring to the badge given to non-employees. “Green badgers don’t run the CIA; blue badgers [government employees] do.”

Yet when pressed by his colleagues to perform interrogations and told he was the only one who could do them, Mitchell agreed. Hel teared up while describing staying up late in a hotel room, pouring over what he saw as imminent threats. He made his decision.

“I thought of my moral obligation to protect American lives against the temporary discomfort of terrorists who took up arms against America,” he said. “I decided I would just live with it.”

Later, he added, “Let me tell you just so you know. If it were today, I would do it again.”

Mitchell may portray himself as a small cog in a larger machine, but his testimony, along with that of his partner, Bruce Jessen, could change the direction of the trial.

If the judge decides the torture program undermines statements given by the defendants, the government’s case could be in serious jeopardy the most consequential trial to come out of Guantánamo Bay could be at its most precarious point yet — after decades of legal wrangling in both civilian and military courts.

Cover image: In this photo reviewed by U.S. military officials, a hospital bed is shown inside the converted Camp V detention facility, Wednesday, April 17, 2019, in Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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