Bushites ignore Terror victims Testimony

Ex-Guantanamo inmate finds distracted audience at US Congress
by Fanny Carrier
May 21, 3:53 AM ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A handful of US lawmakers gave only half an ear to the testimony on Tuesday of a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba who spent nearly five years in prison before being released without charge.

Murat Kurnaz, a Turk who was born in Germany, was arrested during a trip to Pakistan in autumn 2001 and delivered to US authorities in exchange for a payment of 3,000 dollars.

Kurnaz spent several nightmarish weeks at the US base in Kandahar, Afghanistan before being transferred to the US "war on terror" camp at Guantanamo.

US authorities determined in 2002 that Kurnaz had no terror links, but claimed that he remained a danger because one of his friends had committed a suicide attack -- even though the friend in question is alive, and has never been found to have terror ties.

Kurnaz was not released until mid-2006, and only after pressure on Washington from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs invited Kurnaz to testify via video conference as part of a hearing on Guantanamo detainees who are being considered for release but cannot find a host country to take them.

Taking into account the difference in time between the United States and Europe, it was already late in Germany by the time committee speaker Democrat Bill Delahunt gave Kurnaz an opportunity to speak.

Kurnaz, his hair trimmed short and dressed in a black suit, gripped his notes and began to speak, but a technical difficulty prevented the audio from reaching Washington.

Some reporters and members of the public gave up waiting, but after around a half hour Kurnaz was able to be heard -- and he recounted some of the horrific details of his travail.

"I did nothing wrong and I was treated like a monster," he said, describing acts of torture such as being suspended by his wrists for hours on end, receiving electrical shocks and enduring simulated drowning.

"I know others have died from this kind of treatment," he said.

"I suffered from sleep deprivation, solitary confinement, religious and sexual humiliations. I was beaten multiple times," he said.

"There was no law in Guantanamo."

Many of the details are included in his book, "Five Years of My Life: An Innocent Man in Guantanamo," recently released in the United States.

Facing the screen, the majority of seats for committee members sat empty. Barely half a dozen lawmakers came to listen to the former detainee, and most were unable to remember his name, with one even calling him "Mr. Karzai."

The first to speak after Kurnaz was finished was ranking member on the committee, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who expressed doubts about the testimony and recalled that the United States was "at war" and needed to protect itself even at the price of making some errors.
Article Continues


Dan F said...

And Canada hands over the torturers who grow a conscience.

Canada to deport U.S. army deserter
May 21, 2008 12:36 PM

Ottawa has decided that an American soldier who fled the army over the Iraq war will not face the risk of abuse or mistreatment if returned to the U.S.

That means Corey Glass can now be deported to the United States, where he faces possible jail time for desertion.

Glass, of Fairmount, Ind., was a sergeant in military intelligence who spent five months in Iraq.

Based on what he saw and did there, he decided the war was illegal and decided he couldn't go back.

He spent seven months in hiding before seeking asylum in Canada, which he knew had been sympathetic to Vietnam draft dodgers.

Glass, who lives in Toronto, maintains that when he signed up for the U.S. National Guard, he thought he was joining a humanitarian organization
Original Story

Anonymous said...

PM's chief of staff leaving: reports
Last Updated: Thursday, May 22, 2008 | 12:39 AM ET Comments11Recommend5CBC News
Ian Brodie has been Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff since February 2006. (Tom Hanson/Canadian Press) There are suggestions of an impending shuffle at the highest levels of the Prime Minister's Office.

The CBC's Keith Boag reported Wednesday night he is hearing that Ian Brodie, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's chief of staff, is about to step down.

There are indications from Conservative insiders that Brodie will be replaced by Guy Giorno, a key aide to former Ontario premier Mike Harris. Brodie had been named as being responsible for the original leak in March in the so-called Naftagate issue involving U.S. presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Brodie allegedly told reporters that Obama advisers had privately assured Canadian diplomats that Obama's tough talk on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement was essentially rhetoric.

The story caused an uproar in the United States and came in the final days of the Democratic primary in Ohio, which Obama ended up narrowly losing to Hillary Clinton.

Brodie has served as Harper's chief of staff since he became prime minister more than two years ago.

The bearded academic is widely credited with being the disciplinarian who brought order and rigour to an office that was seen as chaotic in the early days.

As Harper's gatekeeper, he had the absolute confidence of his boss and used it to corral an inexperienced minority cabinet.

look like the Government is trying to get Hillary Clinton in.

David Raymond Amos said...

Methinks somebody is riding on my coat tails EH Danny Boy?