Thu Dec 8th, 2005 at 11:08:50 AM EST
Imagine for a moment that an innocent U.S. American citizen...
...would be arrested without any court order in a country where he plans to spend his holidays.
...would be transferred to a German military base in Afghanistan, without any information for his relatives.
...would be beaten and tortured for 5 months on that base.
...then would be recognized as wrongly identified.
...would then be dropped off in the middle of nowhere on the Balkans (you can also imagine a random carribean country) at night.
Imagine further that the German ambassador would then visit the U.S. home secretary, confessing the mistake, but ask the U.S. government to keep it secret, while the poor innocent civilian is sueing, but can't get offical recognition of his story.
How do you think, the U.S. government and Congress would react?
In fact, all things described above happend to poor German citizen Khaled al-Masri. He was arrested in Macedonia, tortured in Afghanistan and drooped of at the Macedonian-Albanian border because "no one would believe him anyway".
At the same time, the U.S. confirms that the ICRC has been limited in its access to detainees
The State Department's top lawyer on Thursday acknowledged the International Committee of the Red Cross does not have access to all detainees held by U.S. forces, but refused to discuss alleged secret detention centres. John Bellinger, the State Department's legal adviser, also said some allegations about covert CIA prisons in Eastern Europe were "so overblown as to be ludicrous".
Bellinger said that the ICRC had access to "absolutely everybody" at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where some 500 foreign terror suspects are held.
But asked whether the ICRC had access to all detainees held elsewhere in a similar situation by U.S. forces, he replied: "No", declining to give details.
There have been reports about Dr. Rice's attempts to attempts to regain trust with the European allies.
But I am done with these words. The United States government chose to abduct and torture an innocent citizen of the Federal Republic of Germany. When the chancellor Merkel mentioned that Mrs. Rice had confirmed the "mistake", U.S. officials even managed to call the chancellor a liar or an idiot in public.
U.S. officials said Rice had made no such admission and suggested the German chancellor was mistaken. One told reporters: ``We are not quite sure what was in her head.''"
I tend to believe Mrs. Merkel.
Anyway, it is shame, and I still cannot believe that the majority of the American electorate (at least the ones allowed an willing to go to the polls) supported a regime that spread torture throughout the world.
Cross-posted at dailykos.com (small adjustments made here to make sense)