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Israeli link possible in US torture techniques

Islamic Center of Jersey City

CHICAGO, Illinois - The head of the American defense contracting firm implicated in the torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib prison has close ties to Israel and visited an Israeli "anti-terror" training camp in the occupied West Bank earlier this year.

Jack London, chairman, president and CEO of CACI International Incorporated, traveled to Israel in January this year as part of a high-level delegation of US Congressmen, defense contractors and pro-Israel lobbyists, sponsored and paid for in part by the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah, a pro-Israel lobbying and fundraising group, and Greenberg Traurig, LLP, a prominent Washington law and lobby firm.

The purpose of the visit, according to a CACI press release, was "to promote opportunities for strategic partnerships and joint ventures between US and Israeli defense and homeland security companies."

Delegates spent several hours in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights with Housing and Construction Minister Effie Eitam, a former Israeli general, who is notorious for his view that Israel should "transfer" - that is, expel - all the Palestinians.

According to the official itinerary for the Jan. 11-17 Defense Aerospace Homeland Security Mission, obtained from the Jerusalem Fund of Aish HaTorah, London's trip included a visit to Beit Horon, "the central training camp for the anti-terrorist forces of the Israeli police and the border police," in the occupied West Bank. The visitors were also "briefed by top experts," and were able to "witness exercises related to anti-terror warfare."

Although no evidence has emerged directly linking CACI's involvement in the Abu Ghraib atrocities to Israel, it has long been known that the US military has been interested in "learning" from Israel's experience attempting to suppress the Palestinian uprising. In March 2003, for example, the AP reported that the "the (US) military has been listening closely to Israeli experts and picking up tips from years of Israeli Army operations in Palestinian areas and Lebanese towns."

This cooperation has included briefings of US personnel by Israeli officers, and, according to AP, "In January and February (2003), Israeli and American troops trained together in southern Israel's Negev Desert ... Israel has also hosted senior law enforcement officials from the United States for a seminar on counter-terrorism."

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