Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Will American justice have the courage to do justice?

Click here for the video. From an email message by Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU.
[Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen] was forcibly abducted in Macedonia while on vacation, handed over to the CIA and flown to a secret interrogation center in Afghanistan where he was beaten, drugged and repeatedly denied legal counsel. After two months, CIA operatives informed director George Tenet that they were holding an innocent man. But it still took two more months before he was released -- flown in secret to Albania and left alone on a hillside in the middle of the night.

People need to hear his story, and the agencies and private companies responsible must face real justice for their violations of U.S. laws as well as universal human rights laws.
In a legal maneuver that is now familiar, the government is trying to use the veil of secrecy to avoid accountability for its actions. But yesterday, we argued that the government's official recognition of the program and information already available about this case show that the lawsuit does not jeopardize national security and must be allowed to continue.

Our government would rather you didn’t hear his story. The last time Mr. El-Masri tried to come to the U.S. -- to hear his own court case -- he was denied entry because he did not have a visa, even though German citizens don’t actually need visas to enter the U.S. This week, Mr. El-Masri witnessed his court proceedings and will also be meeting in person with members of Congress to share his story. As he told the Washington Post today, “I never thought badly of the United States. I do think badly of the foreign policy aspects and the sitting government.”

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