Alex Massie

Washington, You Have a Problem

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The invasion of Iraq may have been deeply unpopular in much of the world, but this is the sort of horrific story that has done the United States much more damage than the initial decision to topple Saddam Hussein's regime. And, alas, it's hard not to think that this damage is entirely deserved. The shame of it.

At the age of 19, Murat Kurnaz vanished into America's shadow prison system in the war on terror. He was from Germany, traveling in Pakistan, and was picked up three months after 9/11. But there seemed to be ample evidence that Kurnaz was an innocent man with no connection to terrorism. The FBI thought so, U.S. intelligence thought so, and German intelligence agreed. But once he was picked up, Kurnaz found himself in a prison system that required no evidence and answered to no one.

Five years later he was finally released from Guantanamo. Naturally he'd been tortured. Do read the whole thing.

Or you can watch the full 60 Minutes video here:

Also: if you haven't seen it yet but have the opportunity to do so, I unreservedly recommend that you watch the Oscar-winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side.

Outside the Beltway

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

Topics in this articleInternationalafghanistantorture