Why isn’t Haydar Zammar in the news over here in Germany, too?

Haydar Zammar, like Khaled El-Masri, is also a German citizen (you can tell by the names). He, too, was also extraordinarily renditioned by CIA counterterrorism agents. But while everybody was thrilled to death and busy padding themselves on the back when German prosecutors decided to press charges against 13 CIA agents involved in the El-Masri case the other day, poor little Haydar Zammar sat and still sits unnoticed in a Syrian jail facing the death penalty.

Hmmm, let’s study this phenomenon. Could it be that nobody is interested in him because of that unsightly beard he has grown? Nah, the Germans are crazy about Murat Kurnaz and his beard is even groadier. Or could it be because of that way cool Palestinian scarf thingy he’s wearing? Hardly. A whole generation (or two) of Germans wore those things themselves out of solidarity with the poor Palestinian victims who are currently victimizing themselves down south again, this time without anybody else’s help. The solidarity paid off, you see.

No, the difference with the indifference here lies in the fact that German agents were directly involved in the Zammar case. They provided the CIA with the crucial travel information its agents needed to capture Zammar when he disappeared from public view five years ago. German agents made a secret trip to Syria to interrogate him after he reappeared in prison there. And after insisting for years that they couldn’t confirm his whereabouts, German diplomats in Damascus have now had to scramble to provide him with a defense attorney and consular assistance.

German journalists have yet to do any such scrambling here, though. They are all too busy covering the El-Masri and Kurnaz cases. The German public still has a burning need to know how America could have done such a despicable thing. Get it?

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