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Thursday, May 31, 2007

ACLU Sues Over "Terrorism Suspect" Transfers

H/T to blog @

The reports that a Boeing Company subsidiary has flown "terrorism suspects," accompanied by CIA agents, to "secret overseas locations."

The ACLU is suing a Boeing subsidiary on behalf of three "terrorism suspects," no lawsuit against Boeing or the U.S. government, and the subsidiary is unnamed.

From The
The cases involve the alleged mistreatment of Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian citizen, in July 2002 and January 2004; ElkassimBritel, an Italian citizen, in May 2002; and Ahmed Agiza, an Egyptian citizen, in December 2001,...
The ACLU says the suspects were apprehended under the U.S. government's "extraordinary rendition program...."
There's plenty of information published about these three men. Sifting through it will likely not yield much, as it all depends on who you believe.

The ACLU has had at least one previous failure at attempting to successfully sue due to the Extraordinary Rendition Program - this on behalf of Khaled El-Masri, a German citizen born in Kuwait to Lebanese parents. El-Masri is reported to have relocated to Germany in 1985 and became a German citizen through marriage to a German woman, whom he divorced quickly and then married a Lebanese woman. If Wikipedia's reporting of the marriage and quick divorce, resulting in German citizenship, is correct, the ACLU ignored the first marriage, and reported only his marriage to a Lebanese woman - citizenship and two marriages within the period of one year. From the ACLU:
He became a German citizen in 1995, married in 1996 and has six young children.
It is believed that Khaled El-Masri's name may have been confused with Khalid al-Masri...or is it Khaled al-Masri? Indeed, international reporting on El-Masri's case seems to refer to El-Masri as al-Masri and then there's Khalid al-Masri referred to as Khaled Al-Masri. To further the conundrum, an online search for Khalid al-Masri links to profiling Khalid al-Masri as a recruiter for the al-Qaeda Hamburg cell based in Germany and led by Mohamed Atta - 9/11 hijacker of American Airlines Flight 11, the first plane to crash into the World Trade Towers.

The question is, who isn't confused?

Some accounts of El-Masri's detention credit a German Intelligence Agent with secretly passing an El-Masri file to the U.S - however, these reports also seem to refer to the wrongly detained Khaled El-Masri as Khalid al-Masri. Then WorldPoliticsReview, in February 2007, reports Kahled Al-Masri Accused of Assault.... showing a photo of the person it seems is Khaled El-Masri, at least according to the ACLU. The article says:
...the headline had acquired a certain unintended irony as reports emerged that Masri himself had beaten up a social worker in his hometown of Neu-Ulm, leaving the man hospitalized for three days. The assault occurred on Monday, Jan. 29. According to a Feb. 2 report in the Südwest Presse newspaper, citing the local Neu-Ulm prosecutor's office: "Masri is supposed to have pulled the man by the hair and thrown him against a wall. Then he threw a table at him, punched him in the face and stomped on him."
This failed lawsuit... the ACLU's "landmark" lawsuit, was filed against George Tenet, former CIA Director, as well as the owners of a company providing private jet service to the CIA.

In May 2006 a U.S. Federal District Judge T. S. Ellis dismissed the ACLU lawsuit on El-Masri's behalf. The judge's decision was complicated by the fact that the U.S. seemingly acknowledged that El-Masri was mistakenly detained, but held that national security would be jeopardized by court proceedings.

In March 2007, The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the 2006 dismissal. The ACLU is reported to be considering an appeal.

Back to the current lawsuit against a Boeing subsidiary and the concept of the Extraordinary Rendition Program:

A Google search brings up two ACLU links referring to the Extraordinary Rendition Program. The second link includes this teaser:
...Learn More About CIA Kidnapping..."

These are dire times. To say that life isn't fair, is I know, inadequate. But, isn't fair. Perhaps it's inadequate to suggest asking the families of terrorism victims about things fair and unfair. Freedom isn't as simple as an ACLU lawsuit.

Originally posted at Maggie's Notebook