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Forum Post: CIA Captures and Tortures the Wrong Guy: This is why we're supposed to have due process

Posted 1 year ago on March 9, 2013, 2:17 a.m. EST by TrevorMnemonic (5827)
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A prime example of why skipping due process is unacceptable

European Court: U.S. Extraordinary Rendition “Amounted to Torture”

By Allison Frankel, ACLU Human Rights Program

Almost nine years ago, Khaled El-Masri was abducted, forcibly disappeared, and tortured by Macedonian authorities and the CIA. Until today, his well-documented claims of abuse had yet to be affirmed by any authorities responsible for his mistreatment or by a court of law. In a landmark ruling today, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) ruled that El-Masri’s treatment at the Macedonia airport by U.S. agents in cooperation with Macedonian officials “amounted to torture.” The court also found that while in CIA custody El-Masri was subjected to abuses including sodomy, forced nudity, total sensory deprivation, solitary confinement, force feeding, physical assault, sleep deprivation, inadequate food and water and denial of medical care in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, and that his entire period of captivity constituted a “forced disappearance” in violation of international law. According to ACLU Human Rights Program Director Jamil Dakwar, the ruling represents “a huge victory for justice and the rule of law.” He added:

Today’s landmark decision is a stark reminder of America's utter failure to hold its own officials accountable for serious violations of both U.S. and international law. Continued lack of accountability is turning the United States into an outlier among its European allies.

The ruling makes it harder for the United States to continue burying its head in the sand and ignoring domestic and global calls for full accountability for torture. This remarkable decision will no doubt put greater pressure on European nations to fully account for their complicity in cooperating with the illegal CIA 'extraordinary rendition' program, and to hold responsible those who violated the human rights of El-Masri and those like him.

Mistaken for an Al Qaeda operative with a similar name, El-Masri was abducted at a border crossing while vacationing in Macedonia on New Year’s Eve in 2003 and held incommunicado for 23 days. He was subsequently transferred into CIA custody and, as part of the U.S. “extraordinary rendition” program, flown to Afghanistan where he was secretly held, tortured and abused for four months. At the end of his detention, El-Masri was dropped on a roadside in Albania. He was never charged with any crime, never received an apology, and was never afforded an opportunity for redress.

Film and submit your reading of Khalid El-Masri's statement, "Mistakenly Rendered to Torture," for our Reckoning with Torture film project. The ECtHR today held that El-Masri’s account of seizure by Macedonian authorities and rendition to Afghanistan by the CIA for torture and abuse was “established beyond reasonable doubt,” and that Macedonia violated the prohibition against torture and inhuman or degrading treatment for its role in El-Masri’s abduction. The court awarded El-Masri 60,000 euros (about $78,000). In contrast, the UK government announced today that it had agreed to pay 2.2 million pounds (about $3.5 million) to Sami al-Saadi, a Libyan dissident, and his family, who say MI6 was involved in their illegal rendition.

James Goldston, executive director at the Open Society Justice Initiative, who argued the case before the Court, hailed today’s ruling as “a comprehensive condemnation of the worst aspects of the post-9/11 war on terror tactics that were employed by the C.I.A. and governments who cooperated with them.” El-Masri’s German lawyer, Manfred Gnjidic, said that, “Macedonia was only the henchman of the great powers” and asked, “What is with the big fish, with Germany, with the U.S.A.? All he ever wanted was to know why this was done to him and an apology.”

The ruling highlights the lack of accountability for U.S. officials responsible for the abuse of El-Masri and others. AU.S. federal lawsuit filed by the ACLU on El-Masri’s behalf was dismissed on “state secret” grounds, and the Obama administration has yet to respond to a 2008 ACLU petition filed on El-Masri’s behalf in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. As Dakwar told the New York Times, the case before the commission “gives the Obama administration the opportunity to acknowledge the egregious violations against Khaled, offer an official apology and reparation.”

http://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security-human-rights/european-court-us-extraordinary-rendition-amounted-torture

I know I've shared this before, thought I'd share it again during a time when memos and Holder remarks are coming out.

15 Comments

15 Comments


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[-] 3 points by ZenDog (20562) from South Burlington, VT 1 year ago

Thanks for posting. El-Masri is entitled to an apology, and a great deal more. The nation can ill afford to refuse. It is an obligation, not just to El-Masri, but to ourselves as well.

It is a difficult concept to grasp - but it is true. It becomes an obligation to ourselves to set this matter straight. Ultimately we are the ones who will suffer if we fail.

[-] -2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

As an apology, they should make Bush bow down and kiss his boot. Along with Cheney and the rest of Congress that voted for these provisions and refused to impeach... and the CIA.

That and Bush should be in prison with the rest of these warmongers violating the law and basic human rights.

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

And they want to trust this system on Americans. Well they're not considered Americans once they call them enemy combatants, and that's the Holder/Graham/Obama/McCain loophole. Because allegations trump due process in their opinion.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

"It's a big club, and we ain't in it."

[-] -1 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

right. I don't know why you got downvoted.

[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 1 year ago

That's the "other club" we have around here. Inclusionman/VQ/imagine40/repubsRtheproblem and all the other aliases that fixated fool uses to upvote himself and downvote others here. Kinda sad, really, when you realise he must have a few 'puters going to get some points for himself.

[-] -2 points by imagine40 (383) 1 year ago

Repeal AUMF!!

So you're blaming Holder and Obama for this 9 year old act.?

Why not Bush & Ashcroft.?

Repeal AUMF!!!! That is the key to ending all these rights violationsand to end the worldwide phony war on terror.

[-] -2 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

I actually hold all of them to blame.

Also in this post I'm more specifically talking about the provisions in the NDAA of 2012 that further apply this crap to Americans.

AUMF was fucked too. I'd need to list a few hundred people to get the proper list of where the blame should go for that and for the NDAA of 2012. I listed the 4 people I did because they have been the loudest and more important voices on this issue. Next to those trying to repeal these provisions of course.

You should check out Hedges V Obama. It's an important court case. Especially since all the ACLU court cases have been thrown out on this issue.

[-] -1 points by imagine40 (383) 1 year ago

Well aware of Hedges V Obama. I KNOW where the blame is. I KNOW when it began.

repeal AUMF!!! That is the key. We can argue who is responsile for it if you must but lets agree to focus energy on repealing it, NOW, TODAY!!

[-] -3 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

How many accounts do you have on this forum?

What exactly are you arguing here in regards to responsibility? Didn't realize we had a disagreement on this issue.

[-] 1 points by imagine40 (383) 1 year ago

The neocons began this obscenity after 9/11 remember.? They are still at the root of it.

NOW!!! TODAY!!! We MUST agitate ALL pols to repeal AUMF, NDAA, Patriot act and more.

That is what I am arguing.

You wanna talk about accounts.? Then you are talkin to the wrong guy. your friend OTP will talk about that, maybe DSamms as well.

My discussions are about substance. Not bullshit. You choose.

[-] -3 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 1 year ago

the 2 party system began this obscenity when they sold out to corporate rule in the 80's, 90's, and 2000's. The nationalist rhetoric has been marching ever since.

AUMF - 2 party majority vote

Patriot Act - 2 party majority vote

NDAA - 2 party majority vote

The majority are all neocons. So yah the neocons are behind this obscenity.

[-] 2 points by imagine40 (383) 1 year ago

End the duopoly!!

movetoamend.org,

nationalpopularvote.com

opendebates.org.

Support these efforts to break the grip of the corp controlled duopoly and to get 3rd parties fair access.

[-] -3 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 1 year ago

Enough to make the entire site look like amateur hour...

[-] 2 points by imagine40 (383) 1 year ago

It is your childish insistence of talkin about accts, personal attacks, & anything but the substance of a given thread topic that makes YOU look like the amateur you are.

The site is bigger than you or me so it looks just fine.

That's just more of your meaningless useless, distractions.