Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:57 PM
bemildred (90,060 posts)
Sweeping Torture Under the Rug
In Strasbourg, France, a 17-judge panel of the European Court of Human Rights ruled unanimously on Thursday that U.S. intelligence did in fact kidnap a German citizen in Macedonia. The court said he was locked in a hotel room for 23 days, then handed over to a C.I.A. rendition team at an airport, where he was “severely beaten, sodomized, shackled and hooded.” Later he was sent to Afghanistan and illegally detained for months. The German citizen, Khaled el-Masri, had no connection to terrorism, unless you count the fact that U.S. officials were seeking an Al Qaeda operative with a similar name. The court ordered Macedonia to pay Mr. Masri $78,000 in damages.
Meanwhile, in Washington, officials still won’t acknowledge Mr. Masri’s kidnapping and torture, which was just one example of President George W. Bush’s “extraordinary rendition program.” He has been refused a day in American courts on flimsy claims of national secrets (that the names of the men who broke the law brutalizing him might be revealed).
No official has been held accountable for his illegal detention and torture – or for that matter for the similar beastly treatment of other prisoners.
On Thursday the Senate Intelligence Committee finally approved, by a 9-6 party-line vote, a 6,000-page report on C.I.A. detention and interrogation—but it remains classified. Among other things, the report reviews claims that tortured prisoners provided vital intelligence that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden – claims Republicans make to this day to justify the brutality they supported for years, but which virtually everyone else disputes, including those how actually conducted those interrogations.
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