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Guantanamo detainees were tortured to death, say families

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WASHINGTON — The families of two detainees who died in Guantanamo Bay in 2006 on Monday challenged the government’s assertion that the prisoners committed suicide, saying they were tortured to death.

Relatives of Saudi national Yasser al-Zahrani and Yemeni Salah al-Salami demanded the federal appeals court reconsider their cases in light of new information, including eyewitness accounts from four US military guards.

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“They have direct eyewitness accounts of a cover-up of the actual circumstances of the deaths” their attorney, Padriss Kebriaei, said, adding that both the Bush and Obama administrations maintain they were suicides.

At the time of their deaths, Al-Zahrani, 21, and Al-Salami, 33, had been detained without charge and held incommunicado for about four years at the US base in southeastern Cuba.

The Pentagon maintains that the two men, along with a third detainee whose family is not party to the complaint, committed suicide by hanging themselves in their cells.

But Joe Hickman, a US soldier who was on guard duty in a watchtower the night of their deaths, said he had seen three detainees escorted by van to a secretive site outside the main compound known as “Camp No.”

“Guards nicknamed the facility ‘Camp No’ because anyone who asked if it existed would be told, ‘No, it doesn’t,'” the families’ petition said.

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The van later dropped off the the three bodies at a medical facility, where Hickman was told the prisoners had swallowed rags.

Last November the Justice Department concluded that “the gist of Sergeant Hickman’s information could not be confirmed.”

But Talal al-Zahrani, the father of one of the inmates, said that when he was invited to retrieve the body he saw “all the traces of torture, on his face, on his chest, on his head.”

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“I refused to sign the form that was given to me by the authorities claiming falsely that he had committed suicide. It was very clear he didn’t.”

A subsequent medical exam revealed that his son’s esophagus had been ripped out and his body bore signs of torture, including several injection marks on his hands, according to Zahrani.

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‘Possibly the craziest and scariest thing he has done’: Conservative blasts Trump for DNI Richard Grenell

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Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot blasted President Donald Trump's new appointee Richard Grenell to take over as acting director of national intelligence.

Previously, Trump was furious at his acting DNI when he learned that Democrats were given an intelligence briefing. The source speaking to the Post said that Trump gave Maguire a “dressing down” that left the former acting DNI “despondent.”

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FBI investigating Erik Prince for arms trafficking after attempt to modify crop dusters into attack aircraft: report

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly investigating prominent Donald Trump supporter Erik Prince for violating arms trafficking laws.

"Prince, an heir to a billion-dollar fortune who is widely viewed as a shadow adviser to the president, is under federal investigation for his 2015 attempt to modify two American-made crop-dusting planes into attack aircraft — a violation of arms trafficking regulations," The Intercept reported Thursday, citing "two people familiar with the investigation."

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‘This is not how words work’: Trump trashed after ranting that Roger Stone will be ‘exonerated’

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President Donald Trump went off on a strange rant after the sentence was handed down in the Roger Stone case.

Trump was supposed to be speaking about his new system of pardons which would pass down recommendations, but instead, he wanted to talk about those he felt should be prosecuted instead of Stone.

"But it happened to Roger Stone, and it happened to Gen. Flynn. and it happened to -- I won't name names," Trump continued during his Hope for Prisoners commencement address. "I know Roger but a lot of people know Roger. Everybody sort of knows Roger. And what happened to him is unbelievable. They say he lied. But other people lied, too. Just to mention [James] Comey lied. [Andrew] McCabe lied. Lisa Page lied. Her lover Strzok, Peter Strzok, lied. You don't know who these people are? Trust me. They all lied."

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