According to the German magazine Der Spiegel, German citizen Gholam Ghaus Z., 41, had been held since January in Afghanistan after he tried to buy a shaver in a U.S. military supermarket. The four-months of confinement that followed has not been justified by the U.S. government and has become a matter of tensions between the two countries. This follows the case of German Turk Murat Kurnaz who spent almost five years in US military camps in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay despite a lack of evidence of terrorism, in the view of the Germans. The Bush Administration, however, is holding the line it appears at keeping our shavers out of the hands of Al Qaeda to avoid an escalation to nose clippers and that quintessentially American product, the Thigh Master.
The newspaper reports that the only suspicious thing cited about this man is that he was carrying money from different countries — not a strange occurrence in this part of the world.
Once again, despite the Bush Administration’s concerted effort to avoid review of real judges and courts, these cases show the value of such procedures — if nothing else, to stop our officials from committing uniquely stupid acts that further isolate and embarrass the country. If the military has incriminating evidence against this man, beside a desire to be clean shaven, four months should be enough to release it.
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