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    Tuesday, December 06, 2005

    Wrongfully Detained and Tortured???

    Stardate 4969.3

    A German man named Khaled al-Masri is suing the CIA for wrongfully detaining him and subjecting him to torture and other inhumane treatment. He was mistakenly identified as an associate of the 9-11 hijackers and was held for 5 months without trial or lawyers. The ACLU is representing him in his case where he is suing the CIA for at least $75,000 in damages, though his ultimate goal is to have the US government admit it's mistakes and apologise.

    Khaled was entering Macedonia on a holiday when he was arrested and flown to Afghanistan.

    How many others are in the same situation. Suspected terrorists... insurgents... This case is of monumental importance with regard to the CIA prisons and treatment of prisoners. If the CIA pays him off, how many others will step up for cash? They can't pay him off and in my view, must fight this in court. They cannot win, unless the court is as biased as the rest of the Administrations views on this. Looking back now, the CIA has asked for exemption with regard to the treatment of detainees (in other words, they can define torture as they see fit and use what means they want to interrogate detainees) and they have also been exposed with regard to the secret prisons in ex-Soviet Europe.

    My previous poll was based on whether or not the CIA should be allowed to torture detainees, and the results were pretty lop-sided... According to 63 voters, 70% believe that the CIA should NOT torture detainees.

    I think the bigger issue is still whether or not the CIA should be able to detain citizens of other nations (or even American citizens for that matter) without charges, lawyers or trial. I mean the gulags at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib are well documented now, and of all of those detainees, how many actually fired on US troops... or are proven to be members of terrorist networks? Not amny I would wager. In fact, if they were insurgents in Iraq, then they are POWs and should be granted POW rights. Oh I forgot... It's only a "War" on one side of the story.

    This has happened in the past. Maher Arar, A Syrian-born Canadian citizen, was held by US officials without charges or lawyers and deported to Syria where he was imprisoned, tortured and made to confess to lies for many months. His accounting of the events is chilling, and I wonder how many others suffer the same fate at the hands of US prisons and detention centers now. He was tortured to the extent that he admitted travelling to Afghanistan and training with Al Qaeda, even though he had never been to Afghanistan in his entire life.

    Perhaps in their holy zeal to contain the scourge of terrorists all over the globe, the CIA and other agencies have forgotten that a lot of middle-eastern nationals have fled their countries for reasons other than blowing up Americans... like religious persecution, political asylum and just plain hoping for a better lifestyle...

    All opinions shared on this site are strictly my own. Some people may disagree and that is fine, but rude comments or overzealous debate will be curtailed. I enjoy civil discourse, and encourage independent thought. I oppose George W. Bush and his Wars based on lies.

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