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Ramblings from the oldest continually-licensed hotel in Scotland. Mostly knitting, some weather (I am Scottish after all) and local events....
This week, the unthinkable happened to the untouchables. German prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 13 CIA agents in connection with the alleged abduction of a German citizen. Khaled al-Masri says he was kidnapped in Macedonia in 2003, taken to Afghanistan and accused of having ties to al Qaeda. After five months of interrogation, during which he claims to have been beaten, his captors realised they had lifted the wrong man and dumped him in Albania.
The German warrants are not the first. Italian prosecutors want to charge 25 CIA agents over the "extraordinary rendition", as the process of snatch and despatch to secret prisons is known, of a cleric from Milan. The German charges are more significant because of the country's strategic importance to the US, and the weight of evidence al-Masri, with the help of his lawyer and journalists, has been able to amass.
From being a lone voice telling a strange tale that few believed, al-Masri has the attention of the German public, media, parliament and prosecutors. Questions are being asked of ministers.