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December 19, 2005

Why Oh Why Are We Ruled by These Malignant Incompetents Anyway?

Steve Clemons writes:

The Washington Note Archives: Get this now. [Khaled] El-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese descent... kidnapped while vacationing by American intelligence... "questioned" -- allegedly roughly -- by American authorities in Afghanistan.... [I]nvestigators finally figured out he was innocent and reported back to CIA Director George Tenet. Tenet had him held ANYWAY for another two months. And then... you might ask, could it get worse? Well, yes.

We dumped him blindfolded in the deep forest, mountainous triangle area between Albania, Serbia and Macedonia. He had to walk out with no money, no identification. He got to a border guard station -- and because of his inability to identify himself and because of how "outlandish" his story sounded to the border guards he met, he feared that the entire process would begin.

We dumped him blindfolded in a forest in one of the roughest regions nearby. Were U.S. authorities hoping he'd just be shot by someone else? What were they thinking?...

If you are fighting a dirty war in which you kidnap people and torture them, you are going to make mistakes. What do you do when you figure out that you made a mistake? Do you:

  1. Take him back to his home, apologize profusely, give him lots of cash, tell him that these are desperate times and that while we would appreciate it if he didn't talk we have no wish to constrain him further?

  2. Dump him in the mountains without money, without ID?

  3. Kill him and bury him secretly--underneath a newly-constructed runway, like we used to do in the 1980s?

Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful that the CIA appears to be doing (2) rather than (3).

But impeach George W. Bush. Impeach him now. Impeach Richard Cheney to.

Posted by DeLong at December 19, 2005 11:35 AM