Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hotel staff in Spain take a discreet action against the CIA

Imagine if the CIA were actually held accountable for their mistakes ...

Der Spiegel reports: The US intelligence agents involved in wrongly kidnapping a German citizen of Arab descent could soon face warrants for their arrest. Clues to their identity have turned up from Spanish authorities and German TV journalists.

Al-Masri says he was wrongly abducted on New Year's Eve 2003 in Macedonia and detained in various secret overseas prisons often referred to as "black sites." His five month ordeal finally ended when he was dumped on an abandoned road in Albania.

I never realised but Munich's Süddeutsche Zeitung reported that prosecutors had received a list of names of suspected US kidnappers from Spanish officials. "We now have very specific questions for the Spanish authorities," state prosecutor August Stern told the paper.

They have this list because hotel staff took an action that stunned and delighted me. The list from Spain is key to pursuing al-Masri's abductors since many of the secret CIA flights stopped on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Majorca. Several US intelligence employees were there the day before al-Masri's kidnapping and were booked into a luxury hotel -- albeit under fake names. However, Süddeutsche reported that the hotel's staff made copies of their passport photos, enabling them to be identified.

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