The story is told in a Christian Science Monitor report on Kurnaz's testimony to Congress on Tuesday this week.
This is bad enough, even without the allegations of abuse and torture (see the Washington Post review of Kurnaz's book).
What depresses me almost as much is the lack of "mainstream" news coverage in the US - unlike in Europe, where Kurnaz is apparently a household name. The Kurnaz testimony was on the front-page of the Monitor, but was not reported by (say) NPR, the New York Times, or the Washington Post.
The only silver lining is that Congress is attending to this matter. Even a stalwart Republican and defender of the Guantánamo prison system is reported to have conceded during the hearing that mistakes were made in this case. Regret is no substitute for avoiding shameful behavior in the first place, but it's better than nothing.
Better than regret would be action:
- The United States should compensate those it has detained without reasonable cause at Guantanamo and elsewhere. If they end up using the money to attack the US, too bad; this is about our self-respect and morality as a nation, not a calculus of martial efficiency.
- The Congress should make it clear through legislation that the US rule of law applies to anybody held by any agent of the US government anywhere, regardless of legal niceties like "Guantanamo is not US soil, so the law does not apply," or "the Pakistanis did it, not us."
- The Congress should promulgate clear and uniform rules on interrogation techniques which apply to all agents of the United States; no exemptions for the CIA, special forces, military intelligence etc.