Wikileaks revelations, CIA Rendition, Khaled el Masri and the History of the World Since 9/11

For various reasons I’m reluctant to get into the Wikileaks issue but one of the site’s recent releases is relevant to those interested in A History of the World Since 9/11. A cable leaked by the site on December 9 details a conversation between German and US authorities regarding the alleged wrongful rendition of a German citizen, Khaled el Masri. This rendition forms the basis of my chapter 6 – ‘The Egyptian’. The Wikileaks document essentially confirms the chapter’s stance on the issue.

The cable, classified SECRET-NOFORN [‘no foreign eyes’], is a summary of a meeting between the US Deputy Chief of Mission, Berlin (John M Koenig) and the German Deputy National Security Adviser (Rolf Nikel) that took place on 6 February, 2007 regarding el Masri, and appears to contain a series of veiled warnings to the German administration not to demand the extradition of CIA agents and officers involved in the rendition operation.

During the course of the meeting, Koenig warned Nikel that issuing arrest warrants for those implicated in the rendition would ‘have a negative impact on our bilateral relationship’ – and ‘reminded’ the German of ‘the repercussions to US-Italian bilateral relations in the wake of a similar move by Italian authorities last year’ [this refers to the case of Abu Omar, rendered and allegedly tortured by the CIA in 2003; arrest warrants for the CIA staff involved there were issued shortly afterwards]. Koenig pointedly tells the German that ‘our intention was not to threaten Germany but rather to urge that the German government weigh carefully at every step of the way the implications for relations with the US.’

For legal reasons, Wikileaks tends to move around on the internet but you can find the leaked cable at: http://213.251.145.96/cable/2007/02/07BERLIN242.html. If that fails, enter the Wikileaks site and search for 07BERLIN0242

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