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8 theSun | MONDAY JULY 13 2009

news without borders

‘Cheney ordered CIA to conceal programme’

WASHINGTON: US former vice-
president Dick Cheney ordered the
day later to the Senate and House
intelligence committees, the Times
gramme, which was not identified,
came as lawmakers from both Presi-
“waterboarding,” a simulated drown-
ing method used on terror suspects.
wiretap programme launched after
the Sept 11, 2001 terror attacks in the
CIA to withhold information about a said, citing two people with direct dent Barack Obama’s Democratic The briefing, on whose content United States.
secret counter-terrorism programme knowledge of the matter. Party and opposition Republicans Pelosi and the CIA have disagreed, The report, compiled by the in-
from Congress for eight years, The “Because this programme never fight a bitter dispute over whether the came after accused Al-Qaeda op- spectors general of five government
New York Times reported on its web- went fully operational and hadn’t CIA informed Congress adequately erative Abu Zubaydah was water- agencies, including the CIA and the
site on Saturday. been briefed as Panetta thought it about sensitive programmes. boarded 83 times. departments of Defence and Justice,
Central Intelligence Agency should have been, his decision to kill In May, Democratic House Speak- The disclosure about Cheney’s found that the high level of secrecy
chief Leon Panetta, who ended the it was neither difficult nor controver- er Nancy Pelosi charged that the US involvement came a day after a US of the National Security Agency’s
programme when he first learned sial,” an intelligence official told the spy agency misled lawmakers in government probe highlighted his covert wiretapping had hurt the pro-
of its existence on June 23, revealed newspaper. 2002 about interrogation techniques key role in restricting the number of gramme’s effectiveness to monitor
Cheney’s role in a closed briefing a The allegations about the pro- widely seen as torture, including officials with knowledge of a secret terror plots and activities. – AFP

eastward into Iran, where officials

declared a two-day public holiday US A-G mulls appointing torture prosecutor
Week Ending July 10
because of the unhealthful air quality.
Many Teheran residents were said to WASHINGTON: US Attorney-Gen- concern that such an investigation According to The Post, Holder’s
have taken advantage of the holiday eral Eric Holder is mulling appointing might trigger partisan debates that decision could come within weeks,
El Nino strengthens by leaving the city for provinces that a criminal prosecutor to probe if CIA could overtake Obama’s ambitious when the Justice Department re-
had cleaner air. The fine particles in personnel tortured terrorism sus- legislative agenda, the report said. leases an ethics report on lawyers
AUSTRALIA’S weather agency the atmosphere acted as a colour
cautioned that the El Nino ocean-
pects after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks, a So far, the White House has re- from the administration of former
filter that actually caused a “blue newspaper said on Saturday. sisted efforts by some congressional president George W. Bush who
warming phenomenon is likely to moon” to appear over Teheran.
develop further over the remainder
Citing three unnamed sources Democrats to establish a “truth and drafted memoranda supporting
of the year, affecting weather pat-
close to the matter, The Washington reconciliation” panel, but Holder has harsh interrogation practices.
terns around the world. Bureau of Tropical cyclone Post said such a move could set the recently reviewed new disclosures These documents spell out how
Meteorology senior climatologist Tropical Storm Blanca formed
stage for a conflict with officials in about detainee mistreatment. interrogators were allowed to subject
Andrew Watkins said the tropical from an area of disturbed weather
President Barack Obama’s admin- These include a secret CIA detainees to simulated drowning,
Pacific between South America and about 200 miles south of the lower
istration who want to leave these watchdog report highlighting sev- sleep deprivation, wall slamming
Indonesia is “warming reasonably tip of Baja California, far from any
issues in the past. eral episodes that could be likened and confinement in small, dark
rapidly.” Other weather agencies significant land areas. The second
Top Obama aides have expressed to torture, the Post said. spaces, the paper said. – AFP
have said the recent warming could named storm of the eastern Pacific
soon reverse back to normal, or hurricane season brought pounding
“neutral,” conditions later this year.

Steaming surprise
surf and gales to Isla Socorro in the
remote Mexican outpost. The men, the lives, the waste
LONDON: The Ministry of Defence
OBSERVERS monitoring a unique Earthquakes (MoD) on Friday began releasing the A handout picture made available
geothermal area in Russia’s Far A RELATIVELY strong earthquake names of some of the latest casualties on Saturday and released by the
East were startled by the sudden caused a brief panic across much of at the end of a week of unprecedented United States Marines shows
emergence of a new geyser that has Panama and caused cracks to ap- bloodshed in combat for British troops Afghans raising their national
been dubbed “Prikolny” or peculiar pear in two high-rise buildings. in Afghanistan. flag for the first time on Khan
in Russian. The new geyser is the • Earth movements were also felt In only 10 days, 15 British soldiers Neshin castle in Helmand Province
first to appear on the Kamchatka in Nicaragua, central Chile, Mexico, lost their lives in a conflict that experts Afghanistan.
Peninsula since the 1960s. A ranger and in eastern Afghanistan and parts increasingly say is “unwinnable”. Eight
at the Kronotsky Nature Reserve was of Pakistan and India. were killed in a single day: five were
the first person to spot the column trapped in a Taliban bomb ambush on a
of boiling water, which shoots up to Solar pause ends foot patrol and a further three lost their
10 feet into the air. lives in fighting.
A NEARLY two-year “drought” of Their deaths sealed the bloodiest 24
sunspots during an unusually long
Blinding sandstorm pause between sunspot cycles ap-
hours since a Nimrod plane crash killed
12 in September 2006 and took the
A MASSIVE sandstorm that spread pears to have ended. A new dark death toll of British forces to 184 – five
across much of Iraq and Iran sent cluster formed on the sun’s surface more than during the Iraq conflict.
hundreds of Iraqis to clinics with and has grown to be nearly as wide T wo of the soldiers killed on Thurs-
complaints of sore throats, clogged as the solar system’s largest planet, day were named as Rifleman Daniel
eyes and acute asthma. Local news Jupiter. Dubbed sunspot 1024, it Hume, 22, from 4th Battalion The Rifles,
reports said that many Iraqis con- is the first big sunspot of the new and Private John Brackpool, 27, of The
sidered the storm to be the worst Solar Cycle 24 and ends the longest Princess of Wales Royal Regiment.
in living memory. The massive cloud absence of such features since 1913. Rifleman Hume was killed in what
of desert sand eventually spread – Universal Press Syndicate the MoD called a contact explosion on

Thursday afternoon while he was on His commanding officer, Lt-Col On Friday, five soldiers from the
a foot patrol near Nad e-Ali, Helmand Rupert Jones said he was a “true pro- 2nd Battalion The Rifles were killed in
province. Pte Brackpool was shot dead fessional” with “boundless energy” and two separate explosions in the same
while on sentry duty, guarding a com- “exceptional motivation”. He had been patrol near Sangin, Helmand Province
pound. He was on attachment with the the epitome of the “thinking rifleman”. in the morning. A soldier from the 2nd
1st Battalion Welsh Guards. The incident Lt-Col Jones said: “He was an exception- Royal Tank Regiment was also killed as
took place as part of Operation Panchai ally gifted young man who wanted to a result of an explosion during an op-
Palang (Panther’s Claw) during fighting genuinely do something with his life and eration near Nad-e-Ali, central Helmand
with insurgent forces near Lashkar it would have been a brave man to bet province.
Gah, Helmand province, on Thursday against him to achieve his ambitions.” Already July 2009 has proved to be
evening. Secretary of State for Defence, Bob one of the deadliest in Britainis opera-
Rifleman Hume, from Maidenhead Ainsworth MP said, “The loss of this tions in Afghanistan. British casualties
in Berkshire, had only arrived in the soldier comes as terrible news for eve- have escalated since troops became
Battalion at the end of April having just ryone in the Armed Forces, and I was involved in Panchai Palang, a major
passed out from Catterick where he very saddened to learn of the incident. British assault against the Taliban
was the top student. In a statement, Rifleman Daniel Hume gave his life fight- in Helmand ahead of next month is
Rifleman Humeis parents Adrian and ing bravely to protect British national Afghan elections. The UK army have
Wendy said his death had left “a huge security and to make life better for the been joined by about 4,000 US and 650
void” in their lives. ordinary Afghan people.” Afghan troops.
“Daniel passed out of Catterick as Lt-Col Charlie Sykes, commanding Tributes flowed in for the fallen sol-
top recruit and since joining the Army officer of the 1st Battalion The Princess diers yesterday. Lt-Col David Rhodes,
he was the happiest we had known of Walesis Royal Regiment, said the commanding officer of 4th Battalion
him. He had truly found his place in the recent toll of British deaths was up- The Yorkshire Regiment, said yesterday:
world”, they said. permost in many soldiers’ minds. He “Our hearts go out to all the families of
“He believed in what the British Army said: “We have gone through a torrid those who have died since the conflict
was trying to achieve and was confident. time in Afghanistan in the last week began. The important thing is that the
He was proud to serve his country and or so, there is no shadow of a doubt. troops out there are getting on with
was planning to move battalion when A very good friend of mine was killed the job.
he returned, so that he could guarantee recently, the commanding officer of “This was a difficult and dangerous
a speedy return to Afghanistan. the Welsh Guards. On top of that was task and there was the ever-present
“We have lost a son and a best friend. announced the death of someone who threat of roadside bombs and suicide
His death has left a huge void in our was a member of this battalion, serving bombers in the city. I am proud of each
lives. We are fiercely proud of him.” with the Welsh Guards. and every one of my soldiers.
Colleagues described him as “ex- “There was a personal aspect to the “The majority of these soldiers have
ceptionally gifted” and said they were deaths that have happened recently civilian jobs and they put these and
“robbed of a future leader”. Before join- both for me and the battalion. Therefore their family lives on hold for six months
ing the Army he was a keen downhill when I spoke to the battalion this morn- to serve their country. They richly de-
mountain biker, and in 2002 had been ing I said that we need to remember serve this honour and their friends and
ranked third in the country for the sport, that although we are celebrating, we families are justly proud of them for the
with six wins to his name. are also commemorating.” role they played.” – The Independent