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Ten Questions: #8
Last month, when the United States had its human rights record reviewed by the United Nations in Geneva, U.S. State Department legal advisor Harold Koh assured the world that all alleged abuses of detainees in the custody of the U.S. military “have been thoroughly investigated and appropriate corrective action has been taken,” and that Special Prosecutor John Durham is actively investigating allegations of torture by the CIA and other civilian agencies.
Drawing largely from material we have covered so far in the The Torture Report, I have come up with a list of 10 follow-up questions that the press and public at large—indeed, all of us—should be asking the Obama administration about the status of U.S. compliance with its domestic and international commitments on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment. Today we ask question #8.
Maher Arar and Khaled El-Masri were concededly innocent individuals mistakenly swept up into the CIA's rendition program. Canada has publicly acknowledged the mistake and partially compensated Maher Arar for its role in his torture, and a case is proceeding against Macedonia at the European Court of Human Rights for collaborating with the United States in the rendition and torture of Khaled El Masri. By contrast, in the United States , Arar's and El Masri's lawsuits have been thrown out of court before ever getting to the merits. What investigations have been conducted in the United States into their torture, and who has been held accountable?