May 17, 2005

Khaled El-Masri: Too Incredible To Be True?

Or can we not handle the Truth?

Yet another Google Search on "Khaled el-Masri" shows this blog, amazingly, is currently rated the #2 resource on the Web for this story:
"Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | G2: Khaled el-Masri ...... James Meek hears Khaled el-Masri's account of life in America's secret ... that he is a German citizen, born in Lebanon, called Khaled el-Masri. ...,12271,1390256,00.html - 44k - Cached - Similar pages

Bush Out (by Gandhi)... A Google News Search on 'Khaled el-Masri' today brings up just a handful of ... The officials said that when Khaled el-Masri was taken from a bus on the ... 04/khaled-el-masri-wheres-media-am-i.html - 24k - Cached - Similar pages
So is this story true or not? In an effort to determine the facts, the German government is apparently analyzing the DNA of a single strand of el-Masri's hair.
Scientists at the Bavarian archive for geology in Munich are currently using a method called isotope analysis, which can search for trace elements such as sulphur, to roughly determine where in the world el-Masri has been in recent months.
And yet a previous New York Times article on this story claimed that Condoleeza Rice's department had admitted the error:
A German citizen detained for five months in an Afghan prison was released in May 2004 on direct orders from Condoleezza Rice, then the national security adviser, after she learned the man had been mistakenly identified as a terror suspect, government officials said.
That NYT story is already moving to the archives, so you will have to pay to access it!

This is in spite of the fact that MSNBC confirmed the NYT report, revealing that CIA head George Tenet had knowingly kept el-Masri is detention for months:
Macedonian officials arrested El Masri first and told the CIA that El-Masri’s German passport was fake. His name set off bells because it matched someone who had trained in Osama bin Laden’s camps.

A CIA "black renditions" team swept into Macedonia and then flew El-Masri to a prison in Afghanistan nicknamed the "Salt Pit."

In February, CIA officers in Kabul began to suspect he was the wrong man, and they raised the red flag. They sent his passport back to the agency’s headquarters in Langley, Va. In March, sources say, the CIA finally finished checking his passport and found it was not a fake. The Macedonians had been wrong. The CIA realized it had the wrong man, a genuine German citizen, in custody.
The prestigious German Der Spiegel has also confirmed the story.

60 Minutes interviewed el-Masri and confirmed that the plane alleged to have "rendered him left Skopje, Macedonia, and went to Baghdad and then Kabul on the day in question

The very thought that this blog is just about the last place where this explosive story is still being reported is, quite frankly, simply astonishing. Is this an example of the US media doing what their goevernment tells them is their patriotic duty? Will the German government report the truth, if they find that DNA samples prove el-Masri's story? Stay tuned...

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