Tuesday, December 06, 2005

To err is human. To torture insane!

We need look no further than the case of Khaled al-Masri to understand why the U.S. has absolutely no business subverting its own democratic ideals in this insane "war on terror."

Al-Masri (pictured), a Lebanese-born resident of Germany, was kidnapped, tortured and held in an Afghani prison for five months. He had no access to a lawyer. He had no charges levied against him. He was held against his will. He was presumed guilty. Who did this to him? We did. And now the United States has admitted it erred in a case of mistaken identity.

Al-Masri and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in Washington today seeking damages from the CIA and former CIA director George Tenet. I hope he wins his case. Perhaps it will serve as an important lesson why the United States should not be engaging in this type of activity. It's un-American. And it underscores the precise reason why we have certain individual rights and protections in this country to avoid what al-Masri, an innocent man, had to endure.

We must not subvert what we believe in. If that happens, then we've lost everything for which our forefathers fought in establishing this nation over 200 years ago. And it puts to shame the effort expended and the many lives lost in trying to maintain our freedoms ever since then.

Do our leaders understand this? I'm not so sure that they do.


At 10:49 PM, Blogger Neil Shakespeare said...

What amazes me about this is that the guy got out! In fact, I'm surprised the government even admitted they had him.


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