Thursday, December 11, 2008

Un-Justice for a Contractor in Iraq

There's something about this story that compels me to post it here at the Missing Man.

It may be that the unidentified contractor was essentially kidnapped and held against his will for months - his family assuming he was dead. Or that the contractor worked with intelligence personnel during the course of his work. Or that the military personnel charged with the authority to investigate seemed to have abandoned the responsibility given to them. Or that he and his family have suffered financially - his employer still owes him wages.

More than likely, it's the similarity - basic accepted principals of American justice based on forensic evidence and cold hard facts stood ignored while prejudice, jealousy, innuendo and gossip found favor.

Former U.S. Contractor Alleges 9-Month Detention in Iraq
By Emma Schwartz, ABC News, December 11, 2008
For months, he worked closely with American soldiers, ferreting out threats to the troops and forging a relationship with a key sheikh who went on to lead the Sunni awakening. But when this 52-year-old translator and veteran of the U.S. Army headed for his annual leave as a contractor in Iraq, he claims he was wrongfully imprisoned for nine months by American forces, with no access to a lawyer and no contact with his family for months.

The allegations are laid out in a lawsuit against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, recently filed in federal court in Washington where the former contractor for Titan, and a naturalized U.S. citizen, alleges that his due process rights were violated when he was detained and held in "torturous conditions." "There was no justice in what happened to me," the translator said in an exclusive hour-long phone interview with "There was no justice involved in it."

The translator's suit is filed under an alias, John Doe, because he fears for his safety and his family. But through his lawyer, Michael Kanovitz, the translator agreed to an interview about the details of his imprisonment. His case is the fourth known example of a U.S. citizen held in Iraq without a formal trial. Two other former contractors, Donald Vance and Nathan Ertel, have filed a similar suit in Chicago over their three month long detention at Camp Cropper. Another U.S. citizen, filmmaker Cyrus Kar, also filed suit over his arrest and several-week long detention, but a judge recently dismissed his suit on the grounds that the military officials had immunity.

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