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UN human rights expert: US legally obliged to prosecute senior Bush officials for torture crimes

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A U.N. human rights expert said a report that the U.S. Senate released on Tuesday revealed a “clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration” and called for prosecution of U.S. officials who ordered crimes, including torture, against detainees.

Ben Emmerson, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said senior Bush administration officials who planned and authorized crimes must be prosecuted, along with as CIA and other U.S. government officials who committed torture such as waterboarding.

“As a matter of international law, the U.S. is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice,” Emmerson said in a statement issued in Geneva. “The U.S. Attorney General is under a legal duty to bring criminal charges against those responsible.”

The CIA routinely misled the White House and Congress over its harsh interrogation program for terrorism suspects, and its methods, which included waterboarding, were more brutal than the agency acknowledged, a Senate report said on Tuesday.

Emmerson, a British international lawyer serving in the independent post since 2010, welcomed the belated release of the report, commending the Obama administration “for resisting domestic pressure to suppress these important findings”.

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“It is now time to take action. The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy revealed in today’s report must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes,” he said.

International law prohibits granting immunity to public officials who have engaged in acts of torture, he said.

“The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorized at a high level within the U.S. government provides no excuse whatsoever. Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability,” Emmerson said.

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Torture is an international crime and perpetrators may be prosecuted by any other country to which they might travel, he added.

The U.N. Human Rights Committee, which reviewed the U.S. record in upholding civil and political rights in March, called for the release of the report then.

Critics, including independent experts on that U.N. rights panel, say the CIA program set up after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States included harsh interrogation methods that constituted torture banned by international law.

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(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Larry King)


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Trump calls four Dem lawmakers ‘very racist troublemakers’ in latest angry Twitter tirade

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President Donald Trump on Monday once again launched an attack on Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) in an angry Twitter tirade.

"The 'Squad' is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart," the president wrote. "They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!"

The “Squad” is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border...And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!

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Vogue editor Anna Wintour refuses to talk about Melania Trump so she can lavish praise on Michelle Obama

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Vogue editor and fashion doyenne Anna Wintour had little good to say about current First Lady Melania Trump in an interview with the Economist, choosing instead to lavish praise on Michelle Obama as the "best ambassador this country could possibly have."

In the interview, which can be heard below, Anna McElvoy wanted to talk about Melania but Wintour seemed to have no interest in the former fashion model from Slovenia who is currently the third wife of Donald Trump.

“[Melania] I think, very consciously, wanted to see herself as an ambassador for British fashion, in this case, or a transatlantic ambassador,” McElvoy asked, pointing to the first lady's recent trip to the U.K. “I mean, do you value that?”

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‘Offered up for abuse’: Jeffrey Epstein and Charlie Rose conferred about new assistants the PBS host could sexually harass

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Disgraced former PBS host Charlie Rose and accused billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein allegedly had conversations about women whom Rose should hire and whom he would then go on to sexually harass.

New York Magazine reporter Irin Carmon has a bombshell story about Epstein's call logs that show his regular interactions with multiple powerful men during a time when prosecutors say he was running a sex trafficking ring for underage girls.

Of particular interest are his calls with Rose, who was fired by PBS in 2017 after multiple women came forward to accuse him of being a serial sexual harasser.

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