European Human Rights Court finds CIA Guilty of Torture

For the first time, the European Court of Human Rights has found the US Central Intelligence Agency guilty of torturing and sodomizing an innocent man.

German national Khalid El-Masry (of Lebanese ancestry) was kidnapped (“rendered”) from Macedonia and taken to Afghanistan and placed in the “salt pit.” He was beaten, sodomized and tortured until 2004, when the CIA realized he was a case of mistaken identity and released him. The verdict sheds light on among the darkest routine practices of US intelligence in the past decade.

RT interviews journalist and historian Doug Valentine on the verdict:

Note that no such cases have been brought in US courts, much less verdicts obtained, and that there was a relative blackout on this news in the US mass media.

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10 Responses

  1. “For the first time, the European Court of Human Rights has found the US Central Intelligence Agency guilty of torturing and sodomizing an innocent man.”

    Glad he was innocent. But the narrator, valentine, says the court based its judgment on his illegal removal (kidnapping) and torture, not on his innocence.

  2. Interestingly enough, most of the non-US outlets I read ran leads that the CIA had been found guilty of either “rendering” El-Masri, or of using “enhanced interrogation techniques” on him. Barely a reference to the fact that the verdict specifically found the CIA of torture.

    “Enhanced interrogation techniques”; the euphemism that won’t die.

  3. Dear writer,

    Has there been any proof on similar cases? Or is it assumed that this act is common? I mean are we generalizing or is it really practised by CIA?


    • Unfortunately, the use or support of torture is not new to the US. For example, in “1997 a declassified CIA training manual detailed torture methods used against suspected subversives in Central America during the 1980s.” “The CIA also declassified a Vietnam-era training manual which also taught torture.”
      link to

      • The Phoenix Program in Vietnam was counterinsurgency in nature and presided over by Saigon CIA Chief of Station Ted Shackley. It employed torture and was responsible for the assassination of over 26,000 Vietnamese suspected of Communist leanings.

        After the the U.S. involvement in Vietnam, Shackley headed the CIA’s Operation Condor, which established an intelligence network between the governments of the panhandle of South America. The agencies in this network specialized in abduction and torture of political opponents; over 60,000 persons were killed as a result of this network and it was the subject of the 1983 film “Missing” s starring Jack Lemmon.

        Shackley eventually rose to the rank of Associate Director of Operations of the CIA until his retirement during the Carter Administration. He later played a role in Iran-Contra and also helped George Bush in his 1980 presidential run.

        • You nailed it there: Operation Condor had a presence in the US, as well, to say nothing of those retired whom turned their skill-sets into private enforcement for such industries as extractive mineral corporations, security companies, others.

  4. “….no such cases have been brought in U.S. courts.”

    The CIA, in its “Family Jewels” report commissioned by then-Director of Central Intelligence James Schlesinger to reveal actions taken outside the CIA charter, freely admitted that kidnapping laws may have been violated in the case of Yuri Nosenko, a KGB defector, who was subjected to various types of Agency confinement and torture until he was released in 1969 with the conclusion that he was a bona fide defector.

    Nosenko was compensated by the federal government and lived the rest of his life under an assumed name but no criminal proceedings brought nor any disciplinary action taken against CIA personnel responsible for these admitted actions.

  5. The ACLU filed a suit in El-Masry’s behalf against the CIA in 2005, which was dismissed on the “state secrets” claim , a dismissal upheld by the Supremes in ’07.

  6. It would have been better if they had condemned waterboarding.

    • Good point; who was the smart guy who thought you can get good information by torturing? I can’t believe Jose Rodriguez has the nerve to publish a book. Now comes the movie…T

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