Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Pegging the credulity meter

Via Digby:
A man once considered a top al Qaeda operative escaped from a U.S.-run detention facility in Afghanistan and cannot testify against the soldier who allegedly mistreated him, a defense lawyer involved in a prison abuse case said Tuesday.

Omar al-Farouq was one of Osama bin Laden's top lieutenants in Southeast Asia until Indonesian authorities captured him in the summer of 2002 and turned him over to the United States.

A Pentagon official in Washington confirmed Tuesday evening that al-Farouq escaped from a U.S. detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan, on July 10. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

An Army lawyer for Sgt. Alan J. Driver, a reservist accused of abusing Bagram detainees, asked Tuesday where al-Farouq was and what the Army had done to find him in time for Driver's court proceedings.

Capt. John B. Parker, a prosecutor, said al-Farouq and three others escaped from the Bagram detention center and have not been found.

"If we find him ... we will make him available," Parker said.

How did such a thing happen?

A video the four men made of themselves after they escaped from Bagram was broadcast on Dubai-based television station Al-Arabiya on Oct. 18, the broadcaster said.

In the video, the four men said they escaped on a Sunday when many of the Americans on the base were off duty, and one of the four ... said he picked the locks of their cell, according to Al-Arabiya.

...

Several razor-wire fences surround the base and areas outside the perimeter remain mined from Afghanistan's civil war and Soviet occupation. Military teams patrol constantly, and the main entrance is a series of heavily guarded checkpoints.

A U.S. military statement issued in August about the breakout said an inquiry had found that "the guards and supervisors did not follow standard operating procedures" on the night it occurred.

"These failures led to the escape of the four detainees on 10 July," it said, adding that "action has either been taken or is in the process of being taken" to fix the problems.

I'm sure all the brass at this fine facility are crestfallen to learn that al-Farouq will not be able to testify. And, tsk, tsk, how heartbroken they must be at the prospect of having to dismiss the charges against the solider accused of abusing him.

1 Comments:

Blogger <-<--esoder<---<----<----- said...

It's probably because it's late and I've been working all night, but when I read this, what popped in my head was an audio-visual image of Colonel Klink shaking his fist at an empty cell saying Hoooogaaannn!!!! And of course Sgt. Shultz saw nothing. This nuts - are we really to believe these guys escaped?

4:46 AM  

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