The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Monday, March 31, 2008

Murat Kurnaz

This story was on 60 Minutes last night. If someone is not convinced that our military was out of control ...no wait...they are under control...of a devious and lying commander in chief who has no concern about human rights or dignity...anyway here is the story of Murat Kurnaz.

You may already know the story of Kurnaz, a German man who was detained in 2001 (shortly after 9-11) by Pakistani police and given to the US for $3000. He was detained because of racial profiling...he was lighter skinned than the Pakistanis that were travelling on the bus with him.

He was bound and shackled and flown in a U. S. military plane to Khandihar, Afghanistan, where he became prisoner number 53.

He was kept in an outdoor pen, in sub-freezing temperatures and interrogated daily. He of course denied the charges that he was a terrorist.

American troops held his head under water, and hit him in the stomach while his head was submerged in an effort to get information from him (Opinion...torture...no wait, that's not an opinion, that is a fact.) They shocked him with electricity, and suspended hinm by his arms for 5 days, while a doctor periodically checked him to determine that he could stand to be suspended for longer periods.

When reminded during the interview that the military will deny his charges, he said "It does not matter whatever they will say. The truth will not change."

Other prisoners describe similar treatment and some troops have admitted to those practices.

Then they transported him to Gitmo, where he was forced to go without sleep for weeks among other techniques our guys used to try to make him confess or give information.

In 2004 the U. S. Supreme Court ruled GITMO prisoners have a right to representation and an attorney surprisingly paid him a visit.

The attorney discovered the military had been making up charges to keep him classified as an enemy combatant. The attorney also found a file written within six months of Kurnaz's arrival at GITMO that said "CITF (Criminal Investigation Task Force) has no definite link/evidence of detainee having an association with al Qaida or making any specific threat toward the U. S."

So even though there was no evidence against him, Kurnaz was kept 3-1/2 more years with invented new charges such as a charge that he was picked up near Osama bin Laden's hide out in Afghanistan while fighting for the Taliban. Strange...the U. S. is the one that took him to Afghanistan...in custody.

A judge ruled that the military tribunals in GITMO were unconstitutional, referring to Kurnaz's case in doing so. He was finally released in 2006, and flown home bound and shackled and blindfolded and denied food and water for the entire seventeen hour flight.

He has written a book "Five Years of My Life, An Innocent Man in Guantanamo". There will be no book signing tour, however, he is still banned from the U. S. and considered by our government to be an "unlawful enemy combatant."

How anyone can support the Bush-Cheney-McCain war is beyond me.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This story doesn't even qualify as news. The disputed story has been well reported as far back as 2005. Kurnaz wrote a 285 page book in 2007. Why 60 Minutes thinks this is now news is inexplicable.

A German resident held by the U.S. for almost five years tells 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley that Americans tortured him in many ways - including hanging him from the ceiling for five days early in his captivity when he was in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The U.S. Pentagon responding by e-mail says, "We treat all detainees humanely… and all credible claims are investigated thoroughly…. The abuses Mr. Kurnaz alleges are not only unsubstantiated and implausible, they are simply outlandish."

Along with making unsubstantiated claims against the German military for abuse, Kurnaz wrote a 285 page book published back in April of 2007. Also see here.

Over the past few weeks, the German Defence Ministry has been at pains to present Kurnaz as a confused person making fantastic claims, while denying any contact between him and German soldiers. Then two weeks ago the ministry suddenly conceded that KSK units were involved in guarding the camp in Kandahar, following a request from the US, and that they had met with Kurnaz.

Evidently, a "man without a country" he just headed off to Pakistan with a digital camera and appears to have sold his cell phone to someone with a dubious reputation. There's only so much to be learned as much of the material and process is classified.

In the initial interrogations he was confronted with details which indicated knowledge of his background: where he purchased his digital camera before setting off for Pakistan, to whom he sold his cell phone, etc. "I had no doubt they were cooperating with German authorities," Kurnaz declared.

Point being, his story has been well documented as far back as 2005. Sixty-Minutes is simply recycling old news from a guy with a two year old book deal.

Joe Openshaw said...

This is news because:
1. Some people have not heard it.

2. Some people are not aware of the atrocities that our government and military commit.

3. Some people still believe in President Bush.

CIARA LEE said...

I HAVE READ THE BOOK AND NOT ONLY IS IT AN AMAZING READ, BUT ITS QUITE INSIGHTFUL AND SHEADS MUCH NEEDED LIGHT ON SUCH HORRIBLE ACTS WHICH OUR COUNTRY LIKE ALL OTHERS WITH SKELETONS IN THE CLOSET NEEDS TO STEP UP AND TAKE BLAME FOR. WHAT HAS TAKEN PLACE (AND IS STILL GOING ON) IS SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE AS IS ANYONE WHO THINKS THAT MR.KURNAZ, THE AWFUL ACTS AT GUANTANAMO, AND THE FACT THAT NO ONE INCLUDING BUSH AND HIS ADMINISTRATION HAVE TAKEN RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LOW MORAL STANDARD DISPLAYED BY U.S. TROOPS- ISNT 'NEWS' OR AT THE VERY LEAST SOMETHING THAT SHOULD ABSOLUTELY BE DISSCUSED AND BROUGHT TO LIGHT. NOW I MAY BE WRONG, HOWEVER, MY GUESS IS ANYONE WHO FEELS THE DISHEARTENING STORY OF MURAT KURNAZ ISNT AN IMPORTANT TOPIC IS MORE THAN LIKELY A BELIEVER IN BUSH
AND WHAT HE "STANDS" FOR. I AM AN AMERICAN BORN IN NYC AND I MUST SAY I HAVE NEVER VEEN MORE ASHAMED.

Anonymous said...

This was truly a deeply moving account. The story is insane - he was imprisoned for 5 years, then released without charges, at the request of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. There are internet posts that claim his story is not true, that he has dubious links, but almost everyone knows that intelligence is as malleable as Play Doh. If he really were guilty, the German Chancellor would know it, and there would be real proof.
For another amazing read, check out Torsten Krol's 'Callisto'. It is sneakingly over the top.