The Torture of an Innocent Man
For those of you who didn’t catch 60 Minutes‘s heartbreaking story and interview about Murat Kurnaz’s, a German national who spent five years detained and tortured by the United States, you can read the print story here. The long and short of it is this:
At the age of 19, Murat Kurnaz vanished into America’s shadow prison system in the war on terror. He was from Germany, traveling in Pakistan, and was picked up three months after 9/11. But there seemed to be ample evidence that Kurnaz was an innocent man with no connection to terrorism. The FBI thought so, U.S. intelligence thought so, and German intelligence agreed. But once he was picked up, Kurnaz found himself in a prison system that required no evidence and answered to no one.
I won’t excerpt the rest, because you really need to read the whole thing to grasp the horror of the five years that Kurnaz, a citizen of one of our most valued allies, went through in U.S. custody. He was tortured, denied counsel for three years, and kept in inhumane conditions, this despite the fact that shortly after he was detained his innocence was already determined. Not that it would have been justified to treat a guilty man this way, either. Due process is one of the cornerstones of America’s founding principles–one that is degrading every year.
(link via Matthew Yglesias)