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)]
In an important reminder that Republicans are entirely capable of stopping Trump when they actually disagree with him, next year’s G7 summit of world leaders will no longer be held at one of his own hotels. President Trump says the White House has abandoned plans to host next year’s G7 summit at his Doral Miami […]
Since the whistle was blown on Trump denying aid to Ukraine unless it “investigated” his political opponents in the U.S., his position has been that there was no quid pro quo. Yesterday, his White House chief of staff Mike Mulvaney admitted there was, and added a sneering “get over it” for good measure. This was, […]
On August 8, 1974, President Richard Nixon delivered his resignation speech to the American public. Moments before this historical event, he was calmly joking around with the TV crew as if this was just any other presser. And then…. “…I have felt it was my duty to persevere, to make every possible effort to complete […]
If you’re a coder, there’s a multitude of avenues for you to take your skills. Whether you’re just jumping into the world of programming or looking to rise up the ranks as an established professional, a wide base of knowledge is key. And this Premium 2020 Learn to Code Certification Bundle is a resource that’s […]
Everybody could use a little improvement, especially those of us on the hunt for new careers. Each job requires a different set of skills, and that list can change from year to year or even month to month as new technologies emerge. When you’re in that race and need to learn fast, the old model […]
In recent years, natural language processing technology and language translation technology have advanced greatly. The trouble is, language translation software typically comes in the form of apps. And while your mileage may vary on their usefulness, they share one thing in common: a serious drain on the battery for your smartphone, the very thing you’ll […]