Monday, December 05, 2005

Where do you go to get your unscarred body back?

After Reagan administration Secretary of Labor Ray Donovan was exonerated of larceny and fraud charges he coined the famous term, "Where do I go to get my reputation back?" One might wonder where, the so far uncounted innocents who have been caught up in the war on terror and in many cases rendered to and tortured by foreign nations in order to garner further intelligence, go to get their lives back?

An article in the Washington Post has reported on dozens of cases in which people who have no connection with terrorism have been swept up and rendered to other nations.
The CIA inspector general is investigating a growing number of what it calls "erroneous renditions," according to several former and current intelligence officials.

One official said about three dozen names fall in that category; others believe it is fewer. The list includes several people whose identities were offered by al Qaeda figures during CIA interrogations, officials said. One turned out to be an innocent college professor who had given the al Qaeda member a bad grade, one official said.
There are a couple of questions I would like to see answered about all this. How many names have been given by suspects after being tortured in a secret CIA prison or in GITMO? It seems to me that if the interrogators are looking for names, the interrogated may be giving them what they want to hear just to end the interrogations. And is it possible that terrorists are using this process to get even over petty personal disputes. It certainly seems to be the case with the unfortunate professor mentioned in the above quote.

The article studies the case of Khaled Masri starting on page three. He is a German citizen who was wrongly imprisoned because his name is similar to an associate of a 9/11 hijacker. Mr. Masri was captured on New Year's Eve 2003, and held until late May of 2004. The story of Mr. Masri and it's implications for other innocent victims of the out of control policies wrought by this administration are simply hard to comprehend. How does an innocent man simply disappear for over one half a year, and how can there be simply be no accountability from the perpetrators of this wrongful imprisonment? Does the birthright of Masri's name alone mean he has zero rights? If this section of the article is true then America, as the great purveyors of freedom and democracy, have created a repressive system that is policed by only... itself:
Unlike the military's prison for terrorist suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- where 180 prisoners have been freed after a review of their cases -- there is no tribunal or judge to check the evidence against those picked up by the CIA. The same bureaucracy that decides to capture and transfer a suspect for interrogation-- a process called "rendition" -- is also responsible for policing itself for errors.
To not be dismayed after 230 years of American struggle to live up to our own message of humanity and freedom, as this one administration has managed to turn back the clock on all that history, is to denounce 230 years of American history as an aberration. George Washington was very particular in seeing to it that British prisoners were treated with dignity. Yet now this administration uses the crisis of the war on terror to argue that America should be given the right to treat detainees with no regard for basic human rights due to the nature of this emergency? I think the far greater crisis for our very existence was faced by Washington, and his example is one to be admired, not disregarded by those who now wish to trample what America has striven to stand for over the course of our history. I'll say it loudly and for any who wish to read this blog. What we see now from this administration regarding the treatment of detainees, while they wave their flags and trumpet their patriotism , is deeply and intrinsically un-American.

Lastly we should consider the case of Maher Arar, who is a Canadian citizen captured while on layover from Tunisia to Ottawa Canada at JFK international in New York. What happened to Maher should really cause any fair minded lover of American ideals to consider what we have become. Mind you Mr. Arar did not arrive in New York as a destination, but merely a layover in a trip between Tunisia and Canada. Yet he was rendered to Syria by American authorities and remained imprisoned there for over a year. Just imagine how you would feel if in the course of traveling from New York to say... Japan with a lay over in say... the Phillipines, the Phillipine government simply disapeared you? You, and freedom lovers everywhere would be shocked and outraged if your case ever saw the light of day. I mean this example should be front page news as each new development is unearthed, but chances are you read about it here for the first time.

We live in dangerous times for our nation, and for all we have stood for over the years. Let us do what we can to end this now. Support John McCains effort to pass legislation to outlaw these un-American practices. If the administration veto's that legislation, (which would be the very first legislation ever vetoed by George Bush) let congress override the veto, and shove the American way right down the throats of this hideous administration!

[Update] Welcome to the Crooks and Liars, Mikes Blog Roundup readers. Maybe it's about time I add a link to C&L eh?

Comments:
If the administration veto's that legislation, (which would be the very first legislation ever vetoed by George Bush) let congress override the veto, and shove the American way right down the throats of this hideous administration!

Here's to hoping that McCain's 90 senator margin stays there. Veto-proof majorities have a way of disappearing, especially when the amendment is buried in a defense appropriations bill.
 
I have to agree with your points here. I can't recall where it happened but, a young child with a name that matched a terrorist's caused all kinds of problems at an airport I think. As for the case of the innocent professor, there will be name drops even in basic interrogations that don't invovle torture. I see the need for follow up but, that was overboard. A profile for the professor could have been constructed to determine likelyhood. Names dropped by known terrorists should also be regarded as suspect anyway. A polite interview of the professor might also be appropriate but, damaging his private life over what a terrorist has alleged is not.

I find it to be disturbing that Cheney, Bush, or anyone else would seek to exempt the CIA from anti-torture legislation. That being the case, just boost the CIA budget and have them torture everybody! This along with the un-"Patriot Act", are steps in the direction of the most free nation on Earth to becoming a total police state.
 
One might wonder where, the so far uncounted innocents who have been caught up in the war on terror and in many cases rendered to and tortured by foreign nations in order to garner further intelligence, go to get their lives back?

The answer is Elsmere, DE.
 
You will not end up as a police state - US is a police state for the moment, and you will see the vasal states of Europe joining in
 
Yeah, I meant to congratulate you on the C&L mention. Was it good for you? When it happened to me it was kind of like a bad one night stand. All kiss and run, but different from being alone.
 
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