CIA 'tortured, sodomized' terror suspect, European human rights court rules

In a landmark ruling for human rights in the war on terror, the European court of human rights this week found that CIA agents tortured German citizen, Khaled el-Masri. The agents sodomized, shackled, and beat him, as Macedonian state police observed.

In a unanimous ruling, it also found Macedonia guilty of torturing, abusing, and secretly imprisoning Khaled el-Masri, a German of Lebanese origin allegedly linked to terrorist organisations.

Masri was seized in Macedonia in December 2003 and handed over to a CIA "rendition team" at Skopje airport and secretly flown to Afghanistan. It is the first time the court has described CIA treatment meted out to terror suspects as torture.

More at The Guardian, and the ACLU website.

We've covered el-Masri's case before here on Boing Boing, including the inclusion of documents related to his case in Wikileaks cable dumps. Also, a documentary from details his story, and the damage to his body and mental health.


  1. sodomized, yes – but the word you are looking for is Rape.  
    US Taxpayers paid the CIA to rape a man.  Let’s be clear about this.

      1. Yeah, but sodomy can be consensual.  I think we can all assume the CIA didn’t enter a loving consensual relationship with this man.  They anally raped him.   For Freedom, Justice and the American Way!

        1. Sodomy can be consensual, but I’ve never heard the term “sodomized” used in a non-rapey context. Maybe I just haven’t been to the right parties.

      2. Not enough specificity, though, as that term can include anal intercourse OR the insertion of a foreign object into the anus (which I’m given to understand is what happened here).  Plus sodomy can be consensual. And then when you consider “sodomy” is also an all around term for screwing animals, I think the term is generalized and confusing.  It’s a “bible certified” word that squeamish people can use to cover all sorts of behavior they deem bad but don’t want to describe.  Easier not to visualize the unpleasant details that way.

        For my money, “anally raped with a foreign object” works just fine to describe what they did to an innocent man to save us from evil.  Fuck vagueness.  Say exactly what they did.

  2. Can’t even stick to torture by the book? Thought water boarding was bad. Where in the CIA training was sodomy?

    1. I’ve got a folder where I save pictures of baby animals for occasions like this. One must be prepared for the ugliness of life.

      I strongly suggest that you go straight to Google image search and search for “baby animal”. You won’t be disappointed.

  3. But hey, he was awarded $78,000*.  That totally makes up for getting kidnapped, tortured for months and having his life turned upside down, right?
    *Not that he’ll necessarily get any of it.

  4. A person who is responsible for this torture, rape, forced disappearance, etc. has just been immortalized in the movie “Zero Dark Thirty” – as a heroine.

    Glenn Greenwald writes in Guardian:

    […] there is ample evidence to suspect that the film’s CIA heroine is, at least in composite part, based on the same female CIA agent responsible for the kidnapping, drugging and torture of Khalid El-Masri in 2003, an innocent man just awarded compensation
    this week by the European Court of Human Rights […]

    How sick is that?

  5. Xeni, could you post how many people are reported to be assaulted, kidnapped, brought to other countries and treated in ways which are consensually banned by the fourth Geneva Convention in this “War on Terror”?


    BTW, I do think your posts do make a difference. Thank you.

  6. Doesn’t the debauchery of Gomorrah merit its own word? Then we could say “sodomized and gomorrized” instead of merely sodomized,

    1. Gomorrahy is the insertion of a non-sexual extremity into a recipient’s vagina or anus. Fisting or footing, in other words.

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