Cyrus Kar Released


Readers Keith Biologist and Dynamist write in to inform us that Cyrus Kar, the neighbor of Matt Welch and documentary filmmaker whose arrest Welch wrote about here, has been released. Just as Welch is out of the country—coincidence?

Full story, with picture of Kar looking damn good in a tux, here.


NEXT: Londonistan

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  1. Will a prominent lawyer be suing for damages?

    Reminds me of one my barber told Saturday:
    The price of gasoline is getting so high, OJ and Robert Blake are having to carpool to look for the real killers.

    Apologies and congrats to Cyrus Kar!

  2. I wonder if those bloggers who accused Kar of treason will apologize.

  3. Congrats to Kar and his family.

  4. Charles Oliver wrote, “I wonder if those bloggers who accused Kar of treason will apologize.”

    Ten bucks says that instead of apologizing the warbloggers will accuse the Pentagon of caving to political correctness.

  5. As promised when I suggested the topic…

    Jennifer: I told you so. đŸ™‚
    Kar’s release takes nothing away from the grief he must have gone through. I’m happy that he’s free. The wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, but in our maligned system the result is most often just.

    Now what about the timers in that cab? Who hasn’t been released, and why not?

  6. Ten bucks says that instead of apologizing the warbloggers will accuse the Pentagon of caving to political correctness.

    I believe the usual warblog procedure at moments like these is to declare that the system works.

  7. Jesse: If I followed a warblog, I imagine the response to you would go something like, “How would you do it better, Mr. Smartypants?”

    Do you imply that Kar’s case is evidence of the system’s failure?

  8. There is a middle ground between “The system failed” and “The system worked.” That middle ground is “The system worked damn poorly!”

  9. Dynamist: Many people at this point would wonder how many other cases like this there might be, perhaps with less happy endings. The cliche in certain corners of the blogosphere is to announce preemptively that the system works and to evince no such curiosity at all.

  10. thoreau: Working poorly is the best I expect from the system.

    Jesse: Yes, the rabid righties seem to dismiss out-of-hand tragedies such as the Dilawar case Jennifer introduced me to. I expect tragedy wherever the system operates. There are reasons it is much-maligned.

  11. Jesse- I think the moral of the story is always choose the roadblock option. The other option is less appealing.

  12. . Just as Welch is out of the country?coincidence?

    Yes, that’s what a conincidence is.

    Just remember this, if washing machine timers are outlawed, only outlaws will have working washing machines.

  13. Do you imply that Kar’s case is evidence of the system’s failure?

    Kar’s case is not evidence of the system’s success; it was devoid of any process that we normally attribute to the idea of “democracy,” and it took place in a country to which we’re trying to export that same funny idea. Gen. Alston’s quote implies that the system worked because it followed “well-established procedures”. I’ll bet Big Bad Bob Mugabe uses that line too, as in, “We followed well-established procedures to evict those white farmers. Now send us Bono.”

  14. “with picture of Kar looking damn good in a tux, here.”

    Actually, the knot in his tie is too small: It makes it look like a rental rear-hook.

  15. The system only worked (haphazardly) in Kar’s case because Kar had a determined family which brought a lot of media attention to this case. How many other Cyrus Kars are in our prisons, and we don’t even know about them?

  16. How many other Cyrus Kars are in our prisons, and we don’t even know about them?

    However many there are, those tragic cases are solely the result of a few bad apples, and not in any way indicative of flaws in the overall system.

    What? You don’t believe me? Hey, look over there, a 10 Commandments monument! And look, a woman with a feeding tube! Hey, there’s Bono with the President! And what’s that over there? Why, it’s a few privates and corporals being convicted as the sole culprits behind a massive breakdown in discipline at a military facility! Uh-oh, a missing girl in Aruba.

    Now, what were you worried about again?

  17. thoreau: you’ve got it exactly

  18. Jennifer-I heard several reports on the arrests in Iraq last week. Only one mentioned Kar specifically, and none mentioned that he had been cleared, but was still being held. The only media outlets that bothered to question the government’s line were Reason and the LA Times.

    Sometimes, I’m ashamed of my profession.

  19. There is a middle ground between “The system failed” and “The system worked.”

    That middle ground is currently called “America”

  20. This just goes to show — nobody fucks with Matt Welch, or his neighbors.

  21. I’m glad to hear that Kar’s release has restored Dynamist’s faith in our government; I was afraid it might have the opposite effect. On a thread a few days ago, when I was saying what a travesty it was for our military to continue imprisoning someone when even the FBI had cleared him, this was Dynamist’s response:

    I note that your mistrust of the state doesn’t carry over to exonerations as well as indictments. If the FBI is corrupt, why should I trust their assessment of Kar’s innocence?

    Translation: if our government is corrupt and more than willing to trample over people’s rights in the name of Fighting Islamic Terrorism, why shouldn’t they be equally corrupt and eager to prematurely release people who might, possibly, be Islamic terrorists?

  22. That middle ground is currently called “America”

    Fuck yeah!

  23. Some dude in my neighborhood was imprisoned for DUI but got off in court. they should have known to drop the charges but they didn’t. the entire US system is flawed/corrupt/crap/evidence our rights are being trampled/the world is ending/the reason I’m ashamed/easily dismissed by warbloggers/warmongerers/chickenhawks/blahblahblah we will never win an election.

  24. That’s an easy one, Jennifer. Corrupt or not, the state is biased against the individual. Quick to arrest, slow to release. That it actually follows the contract, eventually, and recognizes the individual is all I hope for.

  25. But Dynamist, if you think the State is biased AGAINST an individual (and I agree with you completely on that), then why would you think the FBI would be equally untrustworthy in regards to both incarcerating an individual and letting him go? With today’s climate, if a Muslim man of Arab or Persian descent is declared to be a non-terrorist by OUR government, that man must be the most trustworthy dusky-skinned person to walk the earth since Jesus.

  26. Quick to arrest, slow to release. They’re not equally untrustworthy. But also, they’re not absolutely untrustworthy in either direction. Most of the individuals in service of the state at least mean well, even as the organization grinds us all.

    And Kar knew that when he went to a war zone for an art project.

  27. Dynamist–
    Kar claims he was tortured during the early days of his captivity. Was this necessary, too?

  28. If so, I support his suit against the USA and the individuals who tortured him. More slow grinding that probably frustrates you. It’s not my ideal, but that’s what we’ve got.

    I’ve lost track in our ongoing discussion…Would you have USA lean toward release in a war zone? It’s great on principle, but sure to lead to missed intelligence opportunities, and avoidable deaths of our players. Same with torture (whatever that actually means). Beating confessions out of a cabdriver in Moose Knuckle County, USA, is clearly against the Constitution, and wrong. Beating confessions out of a cabdriver in Afghaniraq might be stupid, morally wrong, and against the Code of Military Justice, but just doesn’t seem like the same affront to Constitution and the “American way of life”.

    I am genuinely unsure if there’s a logically supportable difference to the feeling I have.

  29. Dynamist-

    As individuals do you believe those who torture can seperate between torturing for the military without violating the letter of the constitution, then returning to the US and abstaining from torture because of constitutional considerations.

    It’s a very fine line even within seperate state organizations , disregarding the fact that many of the guardsmen and reserve serving in Iraq are employed in the prison system here in the US.

    “An injustice anywhere is an injustice everywhere.”

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