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Report: Islamic State waterboarded James Foley and other captives in Syria

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Washington (AFP) – At least four Western hostages held by the Islamic State in Syria, including murdered American journalist James Foley, were waterboarded in the early part of their captivity, The Washington Post said Thursday.

Foley, whose recent execution at the hands of the extremists provoked revulsion, and the other kidnapped Westerners were waterboarded “several times,” the newspaper said, citing people familiar with their treatment.

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Sources involved in trying to free the hostages have confirmed to AFP that waterboarding was used on at least one hostage.

Waterboarding, which was used by the CIA during interrogations of suspected terrorists after the September 11, 2001 attacks, is a widely condemned form of torture that simulates drowning.

The Post quoted one person with direct knowledge of what happened to the hostages as saying the Islamists, who last week released a grisly video showing Foley’s beheading, “knew exactly how it was done.”

The captives, including Foley who was kidnapped in northern Syria in November 2012, were held in Raqa — the heartland of the “caliphate” IS has declared — the Post said.

It quoted a second person familiar with Foley’s time in captivity as saying that the American, who contributed reports to GlobalPost, Agence France-Presse and other media outlets, was tortured, including by waterboarding.

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The black-masked militant seen in the video holding Foley, 40, by the scruff of the neck, said the journalist’s killing was to avenge American airstrikes against the IS in Iraq.


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Conservative attorney dismantles GOP arguments against impeachment: ‘Trump’s abuse threatens your freedom’

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A conservative attorney knocked down Republican arguments against impeachment one by one in a viral tweet, and urged others to support the removal President Donald Trump.

Bryan Gividen, an appellate attorney from Dallas, touted his conservative bona fides by describing himself as a "pro-religious liberty, pro-life, would snort Cocaine Mitch’s judicial confirmations" if he could -- but still said he supports Trump's impeachment.

"At this point, there is no question that President Trump directed U.S. officials to withhold security funding to the Ukraine so Ukraine would investigate the Bidens," Gividen began. "That is the kind of abuse of the President’s authority we should not tolerate."

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Trump turns bizarre handwritten notes into all-caps Twitter rage spasm: ‘I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO!’

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday wrote down his impeachment inquiry talking points in sharpie marker.

While leaving the White House for a visit to Texas, Trump read his notes to reporters, but refused to take questions.

During the flight, Trump then tweeted out his notes to his 66.9 million Twitter followers.

https://twitter.com/samstein/status/1197200696044654593

....”I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO! TELL PRESIDENT ZELENSKY TO DO THE RIGHT THING!” Later, Ambassador Sondland said that I told him, “Good, go tell the truth!” This Witch Hunt must end NOW. So bad for our Country!

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John Dean says Gordon Sondland just had his ‘John Dean moment’ by flipping on Trump: ‘The truth has come out’

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Former White House aide John Dean on Wednesday compared his testimony against President Richard Nixon to the testimony of European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

"This has been called by some commentators a John Dean moment," CNN host Jake Tapper noted during a break in the testimony. "And there is no person I can think of who is better qualified to weigh in on that than John Dean."

"Is he the John Dean of this impeachment inquiry?" Tapper wondered.

"His statement certainly caught the Republicans off guard," Dean replied. "They didn't pick away -- just a few little picky points."

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