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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Oh, crap...! Here we go again...! The U.S. holds another German citizen in Bagram without any solid evidence...
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Oh, crap...! Here we go again...! The U.S. holds another German citizen in Bagram without any solid evidence...

oferchrissake... don't we EVER learn (see khalid al masri and murat kurnaz)...? if i was a german high government official, i would be VERY PISSED...!

here's the lead-in...

A German soldier on patrol
near Bagram in Afghanistan

For the past three months, the United States military has detained a German citizen in Afghanistan on suspicion of terrorism. German security experts are convinced that the man, who has a history of psychological problems, is innocent.


An employee of the [ICRC] visited Gholam Ghaus Z., a German citizen, at the US air base in Bagram near Kabul, where he has been held under inhumane conditions since early January. The Americans believe that the 41-year-old man is a terrorist.


Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, has carefully investigated the man, who is from Afghanistan but holds a German passport and lives in the western German city of Wuppertal. They have also investigated the unmarried man's family members and acquaintances, but have not found any evidence of extremist activities or dubious contacts with Islamists.

now, here's the REAL low-down...
Gholam Z. claims that he traveled to the Afghan capital Kabul to visit members of his widely scattered family in early January. While he was there, he heard that Western-quality goods could be obtained in a supermarket on the grounds of a US military base in Kabul, and that he, as a German citizen, could go shopping there without any problems.

Gholam Z. borrowed a relative's car to go on what a security expert has called his "fatal shopping trip," during which he planned to buy a razor, among other items. According to his version of events, he drove up to the military base on Jan. 4, showed the guard his German passport in its red cover and was then allowed to pass through several security checkpoints without incident.

But then US soldiers must have suddenly noticed Gholam Z., and he was detained. To the soldiers, it looked like a terrorist had managed to enter the well-guarded camp by posing as part of a group of visitors. It was the sort of suspicion that would automatically put guards on edge, as the number of suicide attacks in Afghanistan had increased substantially during the year 2007.

The Americans searched Gholam Z.'s clothing and found cash in various currencies, with a total value of about €1,000 ($1,580), as well as telephone cards from several countries. For the US military, these items were strong evidence that they were dealing with an Islamist terrorist who was part of an international network.

Gholam Z. was also carrying a brochure for London's Tower Bridge, fueling suspicions that the landmark could be the target of an attack.

US military interrogators spent hours trying to extract information from the presumed terrorist. They refused to believe his attempts at an explanation. He had not planned an attack on Tower Bridge, he told them, but had merely visited relatives in London and gone on a sightseeing trip that included the landmark. But the man's story seemed confused to the interrogators.

The US military interrogators also considered the suspect's justification for the foreign currency he was carrying to be implausible. He told them that he had stopped in Iran on the way to Afghanistan, where he had sold a large number of used mobile phones from Germany.

The soldiers locked him up and continued to interrogate him, but without yielding any results. They also refused to allow the German to contact a lawyer.


But totally clean apparently isn't clean enough for the US military in Afghanistan, which is under permanent threat of attack. The Americans dealt with the man from Wuppertal in the same way they had proceeded in other cases where innocent people had come under suspicion -- they kept Gholam Z. locked up.

lock 'em up and throw away the key and who cares about evidence, lawyers, speedy trials, or any other vestige of due process... it's the AMERICAN WAY...!

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