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Report: Alleged bin Laden aide may soon be freed

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A man accused by the Pentagon of being Osama bin Laden’s logistics chief may soon be released after nearly eight years of incarceration at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, according to published reports.

Fouad al Rabiah, who remains accused before a military commission of providing material support for a terrorist organization and conspiracy, has been moved to the minimum-security wing of the detention center. According to McClatchy Newspapers, the move to Camp Iguana is a sign that he will be released. Prisoners in minimum security can order food from Pizza Hut or McDonald’s and use the Internet.

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Rabiah’s civilian lawyer, David Cynamon says his client was tortured by his American interrogators at Guantanamo and has sent letters to the Senate Armed Forces Committee, the Defense Department and the Justice Department. In his letters, Cynamon notes that U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling in September included “a detailed description of the abusive and coercive tactics used by interrogators to extract patently false confessions.”

Judge Kollar-Kotelly ordered Rabiah released, saying there was no credible evidence he had aided bin Laden. An unnamed intelligence analyst concluded the government witnesses weren’t believable, she said. Supreme Court reporter Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSblog.com called her ruling “the most critical assessment of government evidence” yet.

According to Judge Kollar-Kotelly, frustrated interrogators “began using abusive techniques that violated the Army Field Manual and the 1949 Geneva Convention Relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War.” The Guantanamo testimony was contaminated by a sleep deprivation program, and a confession that came only after Rabiah had been advised he needed to be convicted to go free.

Rabiah, a 50-year old Kuwaiti Airways engineer and father of four, claimed his trip to Afghanistan was for humanitarian purposes. Thirty-one release orders have been issued in response to habeas corpus petitions by Guantanamo prisoners.

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The Obama administration was faced with a dilemma in Rabiah’s case. It had the option of appealing the order dictating his release, after the Judge said, “If there exists a basis for al Rabiah’s indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this court.”

Or set free a man accused of war crimes. The notification required to transfer Guantanamo detainees to a third country is classified. Cynamon told McClatchy he didn’t know if it had been made.

McClatchy has spent much of the past few years investigating related stories in a series called Guantanamo: Beyond the Law.

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Three judges suspended for drunken 3 AM fight at White Castle — that ended with two shot

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Three judges were suspended after engaging in a drunken shooting outside a White Castle.

"Three Indiana judges involved in a Downtown Indianapolis fight in May that ended with two of the judges shot have been suspended without pay after the Indiana Supreme Court determined they committed judicial misconduct," the Indianapolis Star reports. "In an opinion issued Tuesday, the court said judges Bradley Jacobs, Andrew Adams and Sabrina Bell 'engaged in judicial misconduct by appearing in public in an intoxicated state and behaving in an injudicious manner and by becoming involved in a verbal altercation.'"

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What Zelensky knew: The devastating and darkly ironic impact of Trump’s attempt to bribe Ukraine

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In their effort to exculpate President Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry, Republicans put Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s denial that he ever felt pressure from the White House to open up investigations into Democrats at the center of their argument. A new GOP memo says that both leaders have acknowledged “there was no pressure” on the famous July 25 call that sparked the inquiry and thus argues that the allegations made by Democrats that Trump abused his power don’t hold.

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Greta Thunberg says ‘people must finally wake up’ to the fact Trump is ‘so extreme’ on climate change

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Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg said Tuesday that US President Donald Trump's climate change denialism was "so extreme" that it had helped galvanize the movement to halt long term planetary warming.

She spoke in an interview with AFP on the eve of her departure from North America where she has spent almost three months.

"He's so extreme and he says so extreme things, so I think people wake up by that in a way," the 16-year-old said from on board a sailboat preparing to depart from the East Coast town of Hampton, Virginia for Europe early Wednesday.

"I thought when he got elected, now people will finally, now people must finally wake up," she continued.

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