Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Terrorist Whiner Wants To Sue America

A lawyer for a German man who was abducted while on vacation in Macedonia and said he was tortured while in C.I.A. custody in Afghanistan urged a federal appeals court on Tuesday to reinstate his lawsuit against the agency, which had been dismissed for national security reasons.

In May, a federal trial judge threw out the suit brought by Khaled el-Masri, who said he was an innocent victim of the Central Intelligence Agency’s program of transferring terrorism suspects secretly to other countries for detention and interrogation. Judge T. S. Ellis III of Federal District Court in Alexandria said that although it appeared a great injustice might have been done to Mr. Masri, he was persuaded by the government that there was no way to even begin a trial without impermissibly disclosing state secrets.

Benjamin Wizner, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, told a three-judge appeals panel on Tuesday that the government’s position was absurd because what happened to Mr. Masri had hardly remained secret. He noted that the German government was openly investigating whether its officials had played a role in Mr. Masri’s ordeal, and numerous news accounts have quoted unidentified American officials as confirming what happened.

Mr. Wizner said the government had not plausibly explained how national security interests might be harmed by a trial. He said President Bush acknowledged the C.I.A.’s program, known as extraordinary rendition, this summer, and it is widely known that other governments have been involved. A trial would not disclose state secrets but would merely involve “confirmation of a fact the entire world already knows,” he said.

Gregory G. Katsas, a senior Justice Department lawyer, told the judges that courts must defer to the executive branch when it invokes the state secrets doctrine, which was first recognized by the Supreme Court in 1953.

Mr. Katsas said Porter J. Goss, who was the C.I.A. director when the suit was brought, filed a secret statement with the court outlining the agency’s case against a trial. Mr. Katsas said the statement provided a detailed account of how seemingly innocuous disclosures “will have a cascading effect that will have devastating consequences” for national security.

Mr. Masri, who was born in Kuwait, was arrested in Macedonia on Dec. 31, 2003, and flown to a prison in Afghanistan, where he was held for five months. During his incarceration, he has said, he was shackled, beaten and injected with drugs.

United States officials have been quoted anonymously in news reports as saying that Khaled el-Masri’s case was one of mistaken identity; intelligence authorities may have confused him with an operative for Al Qaeda with a similar name, Khalid al-Masri.

The officials said Mr. Masri was released in May 2004 on the orders of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, after she learned he had been mistakenly identified as a terrorism suspect. He was freed in Albania, where he was left to make his way home to Germany, which he likened to being treated “like a piece of luggage.”

Mr. Masri, who had earlier been denied permission to come to the United States to attend the hearing, said he has not been able to find a job since his return to Germany. “Both my Arab and German friends keep their distance,” he said.


So... we don't kidnap, illegally imprison and torture people, but we can't let a neutral third party look into the facts because they might discover... uhm, what, exactly? Oh, right, that we kidnap, illegally imprison and torture innocent people.

The BTK Presidency. Brought to you by a complacent citizenry and a Congress of Evil Morons. Bind! Torture! Kill! FOR JUSTICE!