July 06, 2005

5 Suspected American Traitors Nabbed in Iraq

Update 7/09 (Chad):
Scratch one traitor off of Rusty's list. The lawyer for film-maker Cyrus Kar indicates his client will be released.

If true, send them to the firing squad. Could the American suspected of involvement in a kidnapping be Mohammed Monaf? Mohammed Monaf has been indicted in Romania for alleged involvement in the kidnapping of 3 Romanian journalists. Developing.....WAPO:

The U.S. military is holding five U.S. citizens suspected of insurgent activities in Iraq, a Pentagon spokesman said Wednesday.

They were captured separately and don't appear to have ties to one another, spokesman Bryan Whitman said. He declined to identify them, citing a Pentagon policy that prohibits identification of detainees.

Three of those being detained are Iraqi-Americans; another is an Iranian-American; the fifth is a Jordanian-American, Whitman said. The three Iraqi-Americans were captured in April, May and June, officials said. The Iranian-American was captured May 17, one official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the cases.

One of the Iraqi-Americans allegedly had knowledge of planning for an attack, and another was possibly involved in a kidnapping, Whitman said. The third was "engaged in suspicious activity," he said, declining to be more specific.

Whitman said the Iranian-American was captured with several dozen washing machine timers in his car-- items that can be used as components in bombs.

In Los Angeles, relatives identified him as Cyrus Kar, 44, a U.S. Navy veteran who lives in that city. He was in Iraq to film scenes for a documentary on King Cyrus the Great, founder of Persia, when he was arrested at a checkpoint in Baghdad in mid-May, his family said. They also said he has been cleared of wrongdoing and there is no legal authority for his detention.

They said he called them on May 24 and said he had been detained because of a misunderstanding involving a taxi driver who had been driving Kar and his cameraman around Baghdad. Kar was born in Iran but came to the United States when he was a child, according to reports in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times.

The Jordanian-American was captured in a raid late last year and is suspected of high-level ties to Abu Musab Zarqawi, the Jordanian terrorist and leading al-Qaida ally in Iraq. Officials announced his capture in March.

All five are in custody at one of the three U.S.-run prisons in Iraq-- Abu Ghraib, Camp Bucca or Camp Cropper, Whitman said, declining to provide their precise location. The International Committee of the Red Cross has had access to all five prisoners, Whitman said.

A panel of three U.S. officers rules on whether each prisoner is properly held; that has already taken place for the Jordanian-American. Whitman did not say whether the three Iraqi-Americans or the Iranian-American have been through this process.

I second Eugene Volokh, this is real treason. And Jay Tea's earlier post could not have been a more timely discussion of the misuse of the term treason.

UPDATE I: More on Cyrus Kar from Mercury News:

An Iranian-born U.S. citizen and Navy veteran was detained in Iraq by American forces after troops said they found a common component for improvised explosive devices in his taxi, according to U.S. defense officials.

His family says Cyrus Kar, 44, was in Iraq to film scenes for a documentary on King Cyrus the Great, founder of Persia, when he was arrested at a checkpoint in mid-May. He had also filmed in Iran, Tajikistan, Turkey and Afghanistan and consulted with scholars, they said.

Kar's family first learned of his troubles May 24, when he called them to say he had been detained because of a misunderstanding involving a taxi driver who had been driving Kar and his cameraman around Baghdad. They last heard from him on June 28.

The Defense Department confirmed to both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times that Kar, who lives in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles, was in U.S. military detention outside Baghdad. He has not been charged with a crime and will have a hearing to determine whether he is a security threat, a Pentagon spokesman said.

Kar's relatives, however, told both papers that Los Angeles FBI Agent John D. Wilson told them weeks ago that Kar's story had checked out, that he had passed a government polygraph test and that he had been cleared of any charges.

Unfortunately, lie detectors are almost never used to clear any one of any crime. They are often used on suspects and as ground for further investigation, but rarely are they used to release some one already in custody. Further, Kar is in a war zone, not exactly the type of place the FBI runs around talking to criminals and trying to get a judge to issue an indictment. The FBI is a police force. I find it somewhat hard to believe that the FBI is in Iraq interrogating suspected insurgents.
"He's cleared," one of Kar's aunts, Parvin Modarress, quoted Wilson as saying, according to the New York Times. "They were waiting for a lie-detector machine, but they finally got it. He passed the lie-detector test."

Wilson told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday that he had met with the women but said he could not speak further. Cathy Viray, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles FBI office, said she could not comment on the matter.

Frustrated, Kar's relatives plan to file a federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday that challenges Kar's continued detention in Iraq. The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and other civil liberties lawyers are representing Kar, Modarress and Kar's cousin, Shahrzad Folger, against President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Army Maj. William H. Brandenburg, overseer of military detention operations in Baghdad.

"Mr. Kar is now imprisoned by the United States military in Iraq without the slightest hint of legal authority," said Mark D. Rosenbaum, the ACLU's Southern California legal director.

Possibly the most assinine thing ever to come out of the mouth of an ACLU spokesmen. Seriously, does the U.S. military now need to get an arrest warrant to prosecute military actions in the eyes of the ACLU?
"His arbitrary military detention is unaccompanied by any charge, any warrant, any writ or any process. So far as either the civilian or the military court system is concerned, Mr. Kar has simply disappeared into detention without a trace."
I don't know if Kar is guilty of treason, but surely the ACLU is not trying to argue that a man captured in a war zone in a foreign country ought to have the legal protection of U.S. courts? Oh, wait, that's exactly what they are saying.Trackbacks are iffy today. Sorry. Try resending later if first attempt fails.

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 11:35 AM | Comments |