German Plaintiff Appeals Court Ruling in Torture Case A German man who is suing the United States says he was detained in Afghanistan and tortured by the CIA, which mistakenly identified him as a terrorist. But the U.S. government says there is no way for a court to hear Khaled El-Masri's case without compromising national security. A federal district court has dismissed the case, but El-Masri is asking the appeals court in Richmond to overturn the ruling.
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German Plaintiff Appeals Court Ruling in Torture Case

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German Plaintiff Appeals Court Ruling in Torture Case

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German Plaintiff Appeals Court Ruling in Torture Case

German Plaintiff Appeals Court Ruling in Torture Case

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A German man who is suing the United States says he was detained in Afghanistan and tortured by the CIA, which mistakenly identified him as a terrorist. But the U.S. government says there is no way for a court to hear Khaled El-Masri's case without compromising national security. A federal district court has dismissed the case, but El-Masri is asking the appeals court in Richmond to overturn the ruling.

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MICHELE NORRIS, Host:

NPR's Ari Shapiro reports from Richmond.

ARI SHAPIRO: This is Khaled El-Masri's first visit to the United States. After the arguments in his case, he stood in front of the federal courthouse with construction equipment rumbling around him. Clean shaven with rimless glasses and a curly ponytail, he described through an interpreter the treatment he endured at the hands of the CIA.

KHALED EL: (Through translator) I was humiliated, I was beaten, I was drugged, and I was taken to Afghanistan against my will. And there they made it clear right from the onset, they said you are in a country where there is no rule of law.

SHAPIRO: The most prominent public discussion of those prisons came from President Bush himself. He made this announcement at a press conference last September.

GEORGE W: In these cases, it has been necessary to move these individuals to an environment where they can be held secretly, questioned by experts and, when appropriate, prosecuted for terrorist acts.

SHAPIRO: Standing in front of the courthouse, Wisner said there is one point on which he agrees with the government attorney.

BEN WISNER: The world is watching this courtroom, but they're not watching to learn the secrets of our intelligence methods, they're watching to see if the United States of America can give justice to an innocent victim of its anti-terror policies.

SHAPIRO: Ari Shapiro, NPR News, Richmond, Virginia.

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