Saturday, March 29, 2008

The "torture files" redux

We had the cases of Maher Arar and Khalid el-Masri before. Here <*surprise, surprise!*> is another one:
A German resident held by the U.S. for almost five years tells 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley that Americans tortured him in many ways - including hanging him from the ceiling for five days early in his captivity when he was in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Even after determining he was not a terrorist, Murat Kurnaz says the torture continued. Kurnaz tells his story for the first time on American television this Sunday, March 30, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

Kurnaz, an ethnic Turk born and raised in Germany, went to Pakistan in late 2001 at age 19 to study Islam and wound up in Pakistani police custody. It was three months after 9/11, and Kurnaz says the U.S. was offering bounties for suspicious foreigners. Kurnaz says he was "sold" to the Americans for $3,000 and brought to Kandahar as terrorist suspect.

He claims American troops tortured him in Afghanistan by holding his head underwater, administering electric shocks to the soles of his feet, and hanging him suspended from the ceiling of an aircraft hangar and kept alive by doctors. "Every five or six hours they came and pulled me back down and the doctor came," he recalls. "He looked into my eyes. He checked my heart and when he said 'okay,' then they pulled me back up," he tells Pelley.
Imagine my surprise. Here's the real kicker:
He says he was then brought to Guantanamo as one of the first "enemy combatants."


After a landmark Supreme Court ruling in 2004, Kurnaz was visited by an American lawyer, who successfully sued the U.S. government to release his classified file. That file contained information from the FBI, German Intelligence and even the U.S. military pointing to his innocence. But after a series of Kafkaesque military tribunals and review boards, he remained in Guantanamo until 2006.
So we have full confidence that the CSRTs and military commissions are going to get to the truth, eh?


More on the Kurnaz story and the "60 Minutes" piece here, along with video and references. Please check it out!


At 1:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Due to the fact that not ONE of the people at gitmo have been tried in an open court for ANY crime, it is my conclusion that there are absolutely no guilty persons at gitmo and my country has once again failed as a decent county. No CONVICTIONS equals lies, lies and more lies. I hope bushco go to gitmo. I weep for my country.


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