The lines are blurred:
"THE story of Khaled Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent kidnapped by masked CIA agents and held in isolation for five months, gives an extraordinary insight into how "rendition" works."
Extraordinary is one way of looking at it.
"The story began on New Year's Eve 2003, when the Macedonian police picked up Mr Masri as he crossed the border from Serbia into Macedonia."
Indeed, we just can’t abide by those nasty Islamic folk wandering across borders. We’re the world police!
"He said he was travelling for private reasons after a quarrel with his wife. But the police noticed that his name was similar to a known associate of a September 11 hijacker and insisted that his passport was forged."
Why did they think that his passport was forged? Because his name was similar to a known ‘associate’ of a terrorist. Think for a second to where the obvious conclusion of this logic leads.
"After 23 days... He was taken from his room, blindfolded and drugged by men in masks and black clothes. He was flown to Afghanistan, where he was held for five months."
Taking an innocent man from his country, drugged and blindfolded, and taking him to a country known for its terrorists and violence. So, who are the real terrorists?
"Unfortunately for the CIA, two months after his transfer to Afghanistan they concluded that his passport was genuine: they had the wrong man.
Another heated debate ensued at the CIA. Should the agency admit the mistake to the German Government? Should it just do a "reverse rendition" and dump him back in Macedonia?"
A ‘reverse rendition’? It sounds very much like they’re talking about a bank transaction, not a human life.
‘Eventually after Condoleezza Rice, then Mr Bush's national security adviser, argued that the Germans should be told, he was flown to Albania and abandoned on a narrow country road at dusk.
"They asked me not to look back when I started walking," he told the Post. "I was afraid they would shoot me in the back."’
I think it was very generous of them to dump this innocent man on a narrow country road and not shoot him in the back. He should think himself lucky. I wonder how much other ‘baggage’ has been dumped on random Albanian roads?
‘Stephen Hadley, Mr Bush's National Security Adviser, said yesterday he did not know how many cases there were of mistaken renditions.
"The folks who are fighting the war on terror have a difficult job," he told CNN. "They are charged to be both aggressive to defend the country against attack and at the same time to comply with the US constitution, law and treaty obligations."’
Yep, folks, if you want to make an omlette you’ve got to crack a few eggs.