When Wikileaks released thousands of classified US diplomatic cables this week, a familiar criticism was repeated by the project's foes: these leaks could harm innocent people. There's no evidence of that yet, but within the documents there is evidence the American government has harmed innocent people.
One of them is Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent, and a victim of so-called "extraordinary rendition." He was a car salesman in Germany, a father of six. The CIA kidnapped him by mistake (his name sounds and looks identical to that of an actual terror suspect), and sent off to receive months of torture in Afghanistan.
When the CIA realized he was innocent, he was flown to Albania and dumped on a back road without so much as an apology.
El-Masri's futile efforts at receiving justice in the U.S. are well-known, but the cables published this week by Wikileaks include revelations the U.S. also warned German authorities not to allow a local investigation into his kidnapping and abuse.
The nearest he's gotten to justice is an arrest warrant for 13 CIA agents issued by prosecutors in Spain, which they entered on forged passports.
In this video, originally part of the Witness.org documentary OUTLAWED, El-Masri relates his experiences. Boing Boing presented a portion of this documentary on our video channel back in 2008; the documents brought to light by Wikileaks provide an opportunity to revisit the story with new context.
[Video Link; Photo:
(Photo: Khaled el-Masri with his family in Germany, 2005. Dieter Mayr for The New York Times)]
Ladies and gentlemen, the US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development says you’re poor largely because you have the wrong mindset. The retired neurosurgeon oversees a department that manages housing for the country’s low-income population. His comments quickly drew sharp criticism on social media. “I think poverty to a large extent is also a state […]
Greg Gianforte, the Republican candidate in Montana’s congressional election, attacked a reporter from UK newspaper The Guardian, body-slamming him and breaking his glasses. In audio recorded by Ben Jacobs, who covers the U.S. political beat, you can hear Gianforte getting shirty, then, when pressed, the muffled sounds of what Jacobs said was “the strangest thing […]
The best way to fight gerrymandering is to prove to courts that electoral districts have been unfairly formed, a tactic that’s been used successfully in places like North Carolina; but for this to work, you need good demographic data to show that the district is unfair, and for that, you need an accurate census.
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]