Wednesday, March 12, 2008
posted by @netwurker at 9:34 am
"The use of torture to extract evidence from detainees held at the US military jail in Guantanamo Bay has tarnished the image of the US legal system and alienated allies in the war on terror, a human rights group says.

"The use of evidence tainted by torture and other inhuman treatment is pervasive and systematic in the cases of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, and has already infected legal judgments made there," Human Rights First said in a report titled 'Tortured Justice'.

By hearing testimony extracted under torture when trying Guantanamo detainees, the United States is "tainting the legitimacy of the proceedings, both at home and in the eyes of the international community; alienating US allies and empowering terrorists", it said.

'Tortured Justice' was released two days after US President George W Bush vetoed legislation on intelligence funding because it called for interrogation methods to be limited to techniques outlined in a US military manual.

That would have excluded waterboarding, a method of controlled drowning, widely seen as a form of torture.

In vetoing the bill on Saturday (local time), Mr Bush called hardcore interrogation methods "one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror", and praised them for preventing another attack on the United States, such as those on September 11, 2001."

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posted by @netwurker at 7:37 am
'The war in Iraq will cost US taxpayers at least three trillion dollars, a respected, Nobel Prize-winning economist wrote in a new book which was excerpted in the US press this week.

Joseph Stiglitz's book "The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict," concluded that US military operations in Iraq already have exceeded the cost of the 12-year war in Vietnam and is more than double the cost of the Korean War.

"The only war in our history which cost more was the Second World War, when 16.3 million US troops fought in a campaign lasting four years, at a total cost (in 2007, inflation-adjusted dollars) of about five trillion dollars," he wrote in the work co-authored with Harvard professor Linda Bilmes.

"With virtually the entire armed forces committed to fighting the Germans and Japanese, the cost per troop (in today's dollars) was less than 100,000 dollars in 2007 dollars. By contrast, the Iraq war is costing upward of 400,000 dollars per troop."'

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