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Be very afraid...

Unlike today's other story of the Boston bomb scare/hoax/marketing ploy, the story of what the CIA did to Khaled al-Masri is really scary.  If you haven't read this, you should.  Any of us could be next.

It seems like Khaled al-Masri was kidnapped by the CIA because he has a name similar to Khalid al-Masri, a member of al-Qaeda.  Now, if they had detained him, questioned him with some sort of due process, and released him when they figured out that they had the wrong guy, that would be understandable.  How long would that have taken -- days, weeks?  Khaled was detained for five months after being picked up in Macedonia, beaten, drugged, and taken to an Afghan prison.  This guy is a German citizen who happened to have the wrong name! 

I am all for interrogating suspected terrorists.  But, we can't treat anyone like this.  I think that we win in the world if we show everyone our high ideals and regard for human rights (or how my ideal America regards human rights).  Even someone wrongfully detained could understand a mix-up.  But, if they are drugged, beaten, and raped, as Khaled al-Masri claims to be, then our CIA operatives are subject to arrest in Germany.

How do we get Germany to support our anti-terror efforts if we treat one of their citizens like this and then release him only after he agrees not to tell anyone of his detention.  He was dumped in Albania with no money and no apology.  It's a disgrace.

Of course, this story has played out hundreds of times over in Guantanamo Bay.  We need to put the detainees we still have on trial or release them.  Enough is enough.

Commitment to human rights and proper treatment of prisoners and suspected terrorists is one thing I'll be looking for in the next Presidential election.  I am all for being tough on potential terrorists, but we need to do this within the bounds of due process and with respect for himan rights.

I hope that there is no terrorist named Michael Finestine some day.  If there is, I could end up in an Afghan prison, too.


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