Wednesday, November 15, 2006
U.S. filmmaker describes Iraq imprisonment
Cyrus Kar, an Iranian-American, traveled to Iraq in the middle of the war to shoot a documentary about Cyrus the Great, the Persian conqueror. But the Los Angeles-based filmmaker came back from Iraq with a very different story than the one he set out to tell.

A few days after arriving in Iraq, Kar got into a taxicab that was later stopped at a checkpoint and searched. Iraqi police found three dozen washing machine timers. Those, as you know, are widely used in Iraq to trigger IEDs or roadside bombs. Kar says he didn't know the timers were in the cab and that he has no idea how they got there. He says the cab driver later admitted they were his.

Kar was arrested by Iraqi Security Forces and then handed over to U.S. troops. Even though Kar showed his U.S. passport and his Navy veteran's card to the U.S. troops, he was still taken to the notorious Abu Ghraib prison and then to Camp Cropper, where he was thrown into solitary confinement for nearly two months. (Camp Cropper, by the way, that's the same prison where Saddam Hussein is being held) Kar told me American troops referred to him as the "American Terrorist" and nearly suffocated him by putting a hood over his head. Also, he says he was left to bake for hours in a cage in 120 degree heat.

Here is Kar's question: Why did it take the U.S. government and the FBI 55 days (53 of them in solitary) to figure out Kar was innocent? He is now suing U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other high-ranking military officials for violating his civil rights. It's the first case of its kind.

The Pentagon says Kar was "treated fairly and humanely in accord with the Geneva Convention." Kar begs to differ.
Posted By Randi Kaye, CNN Correspondent: 4:09 PM ET
  82 Comments
Wow... That is one freaky story... Actually it would probably make a great movie... I am mortified that this could happen in this day and age... I am not shocked easily, but this story shocks and horrifies me...
Posted By Anonymous Sherry Sarasota, Fl : 4:27 PM ET
Hi Randi~
Interesting story. I had no idea that washing machine timers were used for IEDs. How cleverly wicked. It is too bad that Kar had to suffer in prison. I would imagine that troops learn to hate the enemy, so I can see where they might be tempted to torture an alleged "American Terrorist". Not that it is the right thing to do. It isn't. I don't blame Kar for sueing Donald Rumsfeld the war monger. I think Rumsfeld is deserving of that. It seems so incredible that Kar stayed in prison 55 days before our government and FBI could figure out that he was innocent. What is wrong with this picture? Looking forward to hearing more on tonight's program!
Posted By Anonymous Betty Ann, Nacogdoches TX : 4:36 PM ET
Hi Randi,
I'm not saying that Mr. Kar doesn't have a case, he sounds like he does. But when has bureaucracy ever run correctly. Let alone in a place as chaotic as Iraq. He's telling his story on CNN tonight, 55 days worth. Democracy is at least still working on some level. I wish him the best, and am hoping he will get his answers..Take Care
Posted By Anonymous Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif. : 4:43 PM ET
Hi Randi,
You can hardly blame the US Military for being overly suspicious the way things sound in Iraq. We hear so much about forged papers and passports it seems only natural to arrest this man especially with the washing machine timers in the vehicle. Probably if Iraqi Security had stopped him he'd have been tortured or even executed if he was suspected to be an American Terrorist. I guess those are the chances you have to take over there. At least they were thorough.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa Scarboro Ontario Canada : 4:57 PM ET
Why does 360 constantly beat their drum of a liberal agenda? It's so obvious. If this isn't an isolated incident, please produce evidence of other such cases in connection with Iraq. People are falsely accused all the time in other realms. The justice system, although imperfect will prove his innocence. My guess is that this one person, being a "filmmaker" knows media type people, hence he's getting converage on the news. The minutiae of some of the stories here ("I had to wait 55 days" and "it was sooooo hot") is tedious and boring. Please, no offense Randi, but aren't there people suffering much greater indignities and injustices; aren't there people in life-or-death situations on which 360 can focus? Thank you.
Posted By Anonymous xtina - Chicago IL : 5:08 PM ET
I really don't know what happened to this guy, but seriously could anyone pick a worse location/timeframe to film a a documentary about Cyrus the Great? Our troops and the Iraqi forces have enough to deal with, could the documentary not have waited? His story seems fishy, why would anyone want to go to Iraq to film something other than current events? Also, you might want to arrange better transportation in the future, i.e. not someone who is a taxi driver by day, and a terrorist by night.
Posted By Anonymous Neil, Green Bay WI : 5:14 PM ET
I'm totally appalled by this story, though it doesn't really surprise me, which is sad to say. Did he 'fall through the cracks', or was this intentional? What about the cab driver? What is his fate? From the little I know at this point it may not be fair to make a harsh judgement, but considering the driver claims the timers were his I hope he feels some responsibility for what occured. Wishful thinking, perhaps...
Posted By Anonymous Sarah Anne, Toronto, Ontario : 5:34 PM ET
Law Enforcement machines, whether they are military or civilian, work like meat grinders; when the unfortunate few who are truly innocent get caught in them the grinders rarely reverse action and "grind" them back out. What happens more often than not is that you get ground quite a ways through before the so-called "System" works. And it doesn't always work.

American prisons have their share of innocents locked away, there are a number who have been executed as well. There are many countries with much worse records in this area.

Mr. Kar in my opinion is incredibly lucky. To be stopped by Iraqi police (who are being slaughterd by the hundreds) in a taxi with IED triggers in a war zone and be free and alive 55 days later is nothing short of miraculous.

I hope Mr. Kar wins his law suit, he certainly deserves that and a very big apology as well. It's not a perfect world nor a very fair one and some of us unfortunately get to experience this first hand. We are all glad you're back home Cyrus, good luck.
Posted By Anonymous Lou M., Lake Forest, Il : 5:37 PM ET
bureaucracy is not an excuse. this could be you, me, or one of our loved ones.
Posted By Anonymous John, NY, NY : 5:37 PM ET
It's time for the whole prisoner treatment system to be overhauled in Iraq. If they abused one of our own citizens, then what are they doing to the terrorists that have been captured?
Posted By Anonymous Jared, Somerville, MA : 6:01 PM ET
I know one shouldn't blame the victim, however, it would seem a little fishy to find a man of his descent in a cab with parts to an IED. It's a dangerous time and everyone should think before traveling to Iraq. It was crazy for him to go, work related or not.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 7:25 PM ET
Yeah, ummm he went to Iraq in the middle of a war to film a documentary about Cyrus the Great? Yeah, right. That would be like going to Germany in the late 30's to film a documentary about the Habsburgs. What he's selling, I'm not buying. He needs to come up with a better cover story. What was he really doing in Iraq?

Ah, I do enjoy being a skeptic. ;-)
Posted By Anonymous Em, Toronto, Ontario, Canada : 7:33 PM ET
Put me on the 'dumb list', but given the whole 'terrorist' thing involving international travel I would question how Cyrus got into Iraq during war time? Don't support the torture, suspension of a right to an attorney, etc. but this story has me shaking my head. The documentary thing is a little thin.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista,ar : 8:10 PM ET
Im glad mr Kar is okay. By the way how is Michael Ware holding up.Please let him know we really appretiate the sacrifice he has made to bring us the news from Iraq. We see the frustration he must be enduring trying to make sense of the situation in Iraq. God bless you Michael be safe.
Posted By Anonymous Valerie ,Hesston KS : 10:11 PM ET
Gosh!!!

In times of war where everyone is on hyperdrive, trust in ones word just doesn't count. I feel sorry that the filmmaker got cought like that, but he was in Iraq. He was serached by security and was found with timers that set off IED's. What was the army supposed to do let him off?

He has a right to sue and clear his name. Hopefully things will work out. A really bright man once said, War Is Hell and he sure caught it for 55 days.

Gosh!!

Look forward to the story.
Posted By Anonymous Madeliene Bolden, Atlanta, Georgia : 10:47 PM ET
This sounds quite typical of what we hear from the White House these days. They cannot explain their actions reasonably and with efffectiveness because if they admit what they do and how, they will be in real trouble. So why has there been no touught of impeachment of Bush yet? These lies and inept handling of the war, including simple process to confirm the identity of an American Citizen, are certainly worse than the lies told by the last President who faced impeachment hearings.
Posted By Anonymous Mike S., Miami, FL : 10:14 AM ET
Why would an Iranian-American filmmaker want to shoot a documentary about a Perian king in a war zone. I am an Iranian-American myself and the last place I would want to be, for any reason, would not be Iraq. He could have waited to do his documentary at a later time. I just can not justify the timing unless he had other reasons for being there.
Posted By Anonymous Morey, Miami, FL : 10:14 AM ET
I'm sure that there is more to this story than has been reported. More to the point, Mr. Kar showed extrordinarily poor judgement by entering an area of armed conflict under the guise of shooting a documentary. I think he should consider himself lucky to be alive.
Posted By Anonymous D. Dusenbery - St. Petersburg, FL : 10:15 AM ET
This war has been based on racism, its being lost
because of racism, they raped and killed because of racism.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Scneider NY : 10:16 AM ET
Luckily he wasn't sent to Gitmo. had that been the case, even if here WERE found to be an innocent, the Government wouldn't have been able to release him as that would jeopardize the secrecy of their interrogation methods. So all things considered, he should consider himself lucky and drop this nonsense of a lawsuit. After all, he was only detained as a means to protect his freedom as an American. Any real American who has nothing to hide would be willing to do the same... right?....
Posted By Anonymous Marvin Francois, Kansas City, Mo : 10:18 AM ET
stuff happens in wartime. It is regrettable that he was treated poorly, however, what was he doing there with 15 timers in the car? I don't buy it was the cab driver's.
Posted By Anonymous Henry, ma : 10:19 AM ET
The fact that this man was arrested and held isn't an issue. The fact that he was held for nearly two months seems long, but considering the war time not out of the question.

The problem is that he was tortured while in being held is a MAJOR problem. And yes leaving him out in 120 degree heat for long periods of time... suffcation is torture. Even if he was guilty it would still be wrong.

Saying that the soilders hate the enemy isn't an excuse we should accept.

I really would like to see what comes of this case and of the war crime charges filled against government officials. The US is better then this or at least we should be.
Posted By Anonymous John : 10:21 AM ET
OK, I am a moron. I go to a country in the middle of a war without pre-registering in case something goes wrong. I get pulled over with IED triggers and suffer indignities for a couple of months before being let go. Now I want a big check, an apology from someone who, at best, was handed a sheet of paper with my name on it along side a notation "Got another one" and maybe some movie royalties. A few seats on talkshows would be nice, too. Maybe my attorney can make a name for himself while we are at it? Its good to be a moron ... in America!
Posted By Anonymous Carl, Dallas, Texas : 10:21 AM ET
It seems to me that the issue here isn't whether or not the filmmaker was arrested in the fist place. Of course he should have been brought in after washer parts were found in the taxi cab he was riding in (along with the cabbie). But the problem is that as an American citizen, with proof of military service on his person, why was he not turned over to the nearest American embassy? How hard could it have been to make a phone call and verify his story? There had to be people on both ends of his trip who were aware of his intensions of making a film. People say, �well why were you there in the first place? You know the risks.� Iraq is not just a war zone. And my company does a lot of business in Middle Eastern countries. Does that mean every time one of my engineers goes over to an office in the Middle East, he should expect to spend a coupla months in a box somewhere, because OUR troops don�t want to be bothered worrying about the rights of someone who �looks like them�? I can�t help but think that if this gentleman was Italian or Irish American, and not Iraqi American, someone would have bothered to give him the benefit of the doubt.
Posted By Anonymous Vikki, Austin Texas : 10:22 AM ET
I hope those who have committed wars crimes are held accountable. We're prosecuting the young boys and girls, let's go to the top and do the same.
Posted By Anonymous Carson, Austin, Texas : 10:24 AM ET
If someone in the United States was found in a vehicle with devices used for mass murder and released within 55 days, the family would be thankful for such an expedited release. The unfortunate experience alleged by this gentlemen reflects the horrific realities of war. War has never been a pretty picture, but I find it a very slippery slope to permit this suit. The next thing you know, if I am object to military operations, I could just go over to Country X where the U.S. is engaged in conflict, carry around something that smells of terrorist activity with a local, have the local claim they belong to his legitimate business operations (perhaps s/he conveniently repairs laundry machines), and then immediately sue the military.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin, Columbia, MD : 10:24 AM ET
This story typifies what I have said all along. Since 9-11 our government is quick to take away our rights as citizens. Rights, which I was taught were garunteed bu the Constitution. After He presented a U. S. Passport the military should have taken all necessary steps to verify his story rather than throw him in a hole.

This is extremely dangerous territory. These "new found powers" could easily be turned on ordinary citizens on a regular basis.
Posted By Anonymous Don, Houston, TX : 10:24 AM ET
It is amazing what people will do for attention. 1) going to Iraq at this time to film a non-current event documentary? 2) being in the same car with devices used to kill Americans?

And then inflame the situation, by using the term cage instead of cell. Suing the Secretary of Defense? Why? because a filmmaker with Iranian ancestry expects immunity when found with timers used to kill Americans? He should have been arrested, and, if they cannot prove his guilt he should be released. He was. Many other "innocent" people have spent much longer in jail until they have been released. Fifty-five days is not long at all in comparison.

Would Mr. Kar rather have been in general population with the other terrorists? If I had been in the same situation, I would have preferred to be separated from those who are truly there to kill Americans.

And, in conclusion, he is in Iraq during a time of war and in a car carrying devices used to kill people...what civil rights is he really due? He is lucky to be alive.
Posted By Anonymous Chris Patterson, San Diego, CA : 10:28 AM ET
Well, it is about time that someone who really is responsible for all of this prison mistreatment in Iraq is at least being called out for it. Mr. Rumsfelt, if nothing else, allowed this to go on. The people that the military have charged and convicted of these horrible crimes were mostly following orders. Orders come from the top. And the top people responsible for this war and its ramifications, are getting away with war crimes. Finally someone is calling at least one of the responsible parties out and asking a real court to prosecute.
Posted By Anonymous Ray, Troutdale, Oregon. : 10:28 AM ET
What kind of idiot goes to a war zone to shoot a documentary on a Persian conqueror? Did this man not consider the danger he was putting himself in? Embedded journalists assume a certain risk when covering a combat situation, but this man had no regard for his own safety.

I am not defending the alleged actions of US troops; if he was abused, someone needs to be held accountable. Did this man report his arrival in the country to the State Department or deployed US military personnel? If not, I beleive he assumed a risk and put himself an a situation that he could not control. He should be thankful that he was not abducted by an insurgent group, if he had been, he would have begged the media to broadcast his story so the US military could come to rescue him.
Posted By Anonymous Brian McDonald, MT Home Idaho : 10:30 AM ET
what did we expect ? the congress winked and essentially gave the executive blank check, for at least 2 years. Dems were afraid of the ' soft on def.' charge, were missing in action.
I was hoping republicans would maybe gain a seat or two in election,- they're such incompetent, lying idealogues, maybe after a couple more years there woulda been a revolution, or at least total rejection of the far right, like ' liberal' has become almost automatic slur . . .
Posted By Anonymous Rick Cole Plainsboro NJ : 10:30 AM ET
violations of individuals rights like this happen all the time over there. The fact he holds an American passport is all that makes this newsworthy.
Posted By Anonymous Alan Thompson, Nottingham, UK : 10:32 AM ET
hmm...why did it take the Federal government 55 days to do a background check and process an application? Has anyone applied for a passport recently? I would recommend that Mr. Kar quit whining and revise his expectations with a realistic fram of reference. And quit wasting the court system's time and resources!
Posted By Anonymous Freddy, New York City : 10:35 AM ET
I would say, due to all the facts here, he did look pretty suspicious and still does. We should sue him for wasting tax payers money suing the government for doing their job and for him not using common sense. Although I dont agree with torture, I dont think 55 days was that long. Lets all use some common sense and stop being so quick to criticize our own government whom WE voted into office.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon T, Tampa, FL : 10:36 AM ET
I think this is overblown. I feel bad that the guy lost 55 days of his life. But, citizens of Iraq (and Cuba and Mexico) have to sit in 120 degree heat regularly. Also, right to an attorney is not a priveledge granted by the Geneva Convention.

The bottom line is that this guy was essentially caught with contraband, looks the part (sorry, but its true), and was in the middle of a war zone!

How could you possibly sue Rumsfeld. That would be like me suing the head of the treasury department if my accountant (his taxi driver) made a mistake on my taxes.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin, Virginia Beach, VA : 10:37 AM ET
He should be glad he is alive since he never should of gone to Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Don Lynch Brooklyn, NY : 10:38 AM ET
Just as was the case with the Canadian jetted off to be tortured, our military obviously chose the wrong guy to terrorize this time. He should do a documentary about this, too (as I imagine he will; does CNN own the rights?). These are impeachable offenses, in my opinion, and I'm sure the president knew what was going on, too. Bush fired Rumsfeld (too late) � will congress have the resolve to fire him as well?
Posted By Anonymous Bob Hash, Chicago, Illinois : 10:39 AM ET
Mr. Kar evidently experienced a great deal of mental and physical angiush...a truth lived by millions every day. We must embrace stories like this and think about the mear fact tht Mr. Kar is a journalist and was able to tell his story. The much less lucky will never be given this privilege. Ex-Sec Rumsfeld has no doubt committed war crimes in the highest degree and should consider it a blessing that he has not yet faced the grim future that awaits him in a cell. Will it be justice-no. All it can do is hopefully discourage future leaders and influential people of all countries to exercise real judgment rather than push an agenda that harms the world.
Posted By Anonymous Tamer, San Diego, CA : 10:42 AM ET
Under normal circumstances, I would be saddened by this story. HOWEVER, there is nothing that happened to Kar that he didn't bring upon himself. He knew it was dangerous to visit Iraq. He knows that his US rights don't follow him to every corner of the world. He knew the risks. He could have just as easily been picked up by some very bad people and tortured or even killed. It's just like when people go out into the ocean and get bitten by a shark and then they want to announce to everyone how violated and injured they are. If you want to be treated like an American, then my suggestion is to stay in America.
Posted By Anonymous Angela, Sterling, VA : 10:42 AM ET
Good sue Bush while you are at it. They should move to impeach Bush as soon as possible for lying the world.
Posted By Anonymous Robert Nemo, Toronto, Canada : 10:43 AM ET
I sincerely hope more and more of these cases come forward. Although his arrest was probably justified given the evidence, I assume it should also have been clear based on investigation (had there been one) that he was innocent and the timers belonged to the cabbie.

Are there cases exactly like this where the individual wasn't an American filmmaker that we will never hear about?

Absolutely.
Posted By Anonymous Jeffrey Pensacola, FL : 10:53 AM ET
Okay, Civilian went on his own accord to Iraq (War Zone) to film a documentary and gets caught with timers used for IEDs. Oh the horror to think he got stuck in Jail and in solitary confinement. Let's be realistic, why would you go to a warzone to film a documentary that has nothing to do with current events? Not only that, why didn't he coordinate with US Officials in Iraq (we do have an embassy you know). And now he wants to get paid for getting busted. There's too many holes in his story and it's a shame that some of you don't see it..
Posted By Anonymous Jose, Middle TN : 10:53 AM ET
The Pentagon says Kar was "treated fairly and humanely in accord with the Geneva Convention."

I never knew bush administration was in accord with the geneva conventions. if they were, then iraq would never have happened.

All the best for the persons being sued. they definitely going to need that.

(i know these comments do not get posted. the reason i dont not understand but its worth a try)
Posted By Anonymous Damith, Colombo, Sri Lanka : 10:59 AM ET
Oh, um, hey, I didn't read anything about a trial or anything like that. So . . . I'm just wondering, how could he have been found innocent? FOUND, in a car with timers, a car that would be REGULARLY SEARCHED as a taxi cab. I think what happened was that the U.S. forces decided not to charge him, which, of course, is not the same thing as being "found innocent." Who in their right mind travels to Iraq in a time like this? An American business man would have had his head cut off. I wonder why Mr. Kar didn't fear this happening to him? Rumsfeld is obviously the most incompetent Sec. of Defense in our history, but he had nothing to do with this specific security situation on the ground in Iraq. Mr. Kar is an attention hungry apologist. He should face charges here in the United States. Yank his citizenship.
Posted By Anonymous Redleg, Washington, DC. : 10:59 AM ET
Don't go to a "war zone" to film a movie! We have no idea who or how many terrorist live amongst us here in the the U.S. (to include Canada) and you can bet that in Iraq no one knows. To Mr. Kar, you should have known better!!
Posted By Anonymous Craig Grand Forks ND : 11:02 AM ET
Don't go to a "war zone" to film a movie! We have no idea who or how many terrorist live amongst us here in the the U.S. (to include Canada) and you can bet that in Iraq no one knows. To Mr. Kar, you should have known better!!
Posted By Anonymous Craig Grand Forks ND : 11:02 AM ET
He was being held by US troops and is a US citizen. There is no reason why he should not have been afforded the same rights and protections that the constitution grants to all Americans.
Posted By Anonymous Joseph, New York, NY : 11:03 AM ET
Wow, will someone finally win against the government. I think his right were clearly violated and people should be held accountable. Terrorists might as well all use taxi cabs to persue their crimes, either way, it's the passenger who'll get the blame.

President Bush, what do you have to say for yourself?
Posted By Anonymous Jonathan, Quebec City, Canada : 11:04 AM ET
Interesting that someone from the US experienced what Iraqis deal with every day. Maybe this could be used as a positive; to make people aware of the injustices.

Just how much of it is fair? Just how much of the innocent are suffering? More Iraqis have died as a result of the war than Kansas City, KS, and Kansas City, MO put together. When did we forget that they are human? That we should not fear difference? That Iraqi civilians did not ask for terrorist attacks? That much of the media interprets actions completely differently, according to which country is watching? When did we forget?

And when did politics or religion become an acceptable excuse for murder?
Posted By Anonymous Catherine Wolkers, Kansas City, MO : 11:09 AM ET
It is absolutely amazing to me to read the comments stating he should have known better than to ride in the taxi with a terrorist. How well do you know the cab drivers in your city?
Posted By Anonymous Greg Denton, Tx : 11:10 AM ET
Why should I be shocked? He voluntarily went into a war zone and was found with suspicious items. Items used in weapons targeted to kill U.S. Military personnel. Sorry, I am not going to join his little pity party and to be honest, I doubt half his story.
Posted By Anonymous Charles Cranford, Richmond VA : 11:11 AM ET
Nobody's mentioned the fact that Cyrus Kar is a former Navy SEAL. Given that, you would think that somehow the military could figure out who he was and release him faster than 2 months.
Posted By Anonymous Derek, Raleigh, NC : 11:13 AM ET
Thank you for reporting on this. This was not highlighted on the front page of the New York Times. I am glad Kar is speaking out, and not surprised at all to hear this kind of thing happend post 9/11. Many other people who are commenting on this article have fear in their voices,and so they cannot listen to reason(under no circumstances is torture acceptable). I do believe there will be more of these lawsuits to come.
Posted By Anonymous Jody Blaski, Seattle, WA. : 11:14 AM ET
Kar had a US Passport and US Navy ID card, but if he was from another country, of course he was treated like an "animal" and held wrongfully for years.

Almost everyone has seen some of those "dehumanizing pictures from Abu Ghraib Prison." If Kar was not a US Citizen his faith would have been like other innocent prisoners.

It is about time Rumsfeld is gone!
Posted By Anonymous Woodbridge, VA : 11:15 AM ET
I hope this man is able to burn these people up. It is high time that these people in power are shown that they are not above the law. It is also time that a clear message is sent to the rest of Washington and the military that torture is torture. You can't simply change the definition of torture to avoid calling it torture!
Posted By Anonymous George Johnson, Orlando, FL : 11:16 AM ET
Everyone rants about he got what he deserved for being there during an insurgency. If I remember correctly 'Apocalypse Now' was filmed in the Phillipines during a 'communist' insurgency and the movies was later hailed. We've had Italian journalist and sercret service members shot at check points and we say "sorry, my bad" yet when a 'major reporting agency's film crew member is detained or removed from a less than friendly country state is right on top of it and we're looking for appologies at the VERY least.
Posted By Anonymous Jim, Plano TX : 11:52 AM ET
Sheer stupidity will get you into trouble and very uncomfortable situations. Shooting a documentary about a historical person in the middle of a war is just that. What do you want in the war anyway?
Posted By Anonymous Stephan, Santa FE , NM : 12:08 PM ET
Serves the dummy right for getting tossed in jail. Why did it take the U.S. government and the FBI 55 days (53 of them in solitary) to figure out Kar was innocent? Because the guy could have had any story and its very hard to prove over there. Folks think because they are news reporters or journalists it immediatly implies they are nuetral and immune to the events that happen around them in a war zone. Your average soldier in Iraq approches everything with suspision...or he/she may die. The guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He put himself there and has nobody to blame but himself. I served two tours in Iraq and was wounded twice. If I caught a guy tooling around Iraq with a bunch of cell phones or washing machine timers I would toss him in jail too.
Posted By Anonymous Bob, Alexandria, Virginia : 12:18 PM ET
Iraq is a war zone. Anyone going to Iraq needs to govern themselves accordingly.

To expect that military personnel in a war zone can stop the war to arrange 24 hour access to attorneys etc is ludicrous.

The man was caught with bombmaking equipment by troops that are getting hit by those bombs. They didn't kill him, they put him in a cage and interrogated him until they figured out what was going on. ONLY American troops would have bothered - any other nations troops would have killed him at the roadside.

To sue Rumsfeld over this is a good example of why the US justice system needs a penalty of some kind for nuisance lawsuits - perhaps at a minimum requiring the litigant to pay the defendants costs when he loses.
Posted By Anonymous Angus Elliott, Waterdown, Ontario, Canada : 12:26 PM ET
INTERESTING....this could be the beginning of a long sweat for Rumsfeld...put Cheney in the suit as well..he certainly needs to lose some weight
Posted By Anonymous Cayman Cubano, Miami, FL : 12:27 PM ET
I fully believe in this americans law suit. He deserved more from his goverment. This war has destroyed so many who are innocent. God Bless and go for it
Posted By Anonymous Kathleen Salm ,Hanover township, pa : 12:34 PM ET
The article, while interesting, best belongs in a gossip newspaper as the law protects Rumsfield from being sued for doing his job. All the names are added to the law suit to help build the case in hopes that some mistake can be found. But in the end, the U.S. Government has to pay the settlement if any wrong doing is uncovered. Rumsfield will not have to pay a single penny.
Posted By Anonymous Dave, Alexandria, Virginia : 12:52 PM ET
Does anyone realize the damage this administration is inflicting on Americans with their inhumane tratment of prisoners in. It is nothing more than a war. The mistreatment of prisoners is a form of terrorism and they make it sound legal as they do it in the the name of terrorism. Terrorism is a war. A war we can only win if we stay within our principles and using our heads to figure out long turn solutions to the problem. Mistreatment only sets us back and recrutes terrorists. It is far more damaging than productive but this administration does not know how to read a scale. President Bush has taken short cuts in life for his whole existance now he is doing it with our constitution and our reputation and we may never recover. Please wake up America because this is nota 30 second sound bite our politions like to flap their lips with. This is going to haunt us for years to come.
Posted By Anonymous Scott Boisjolie - Kirkland, WA : 12:54 PM ET
That was a risk he chose to take by traveling and trying to make money off the war. If they would have let him go and down the road someone is blown up. We would be upset that they let him go. The troops have seen to much to let anything pass and not take every situation serious. It is a war in Iraq not Iowa, you are guilty until you can be proven not guilty.
Posted By Anonymous Jeremiah, Columbus, Ohio : 12:56 PM ET
I found this article very intresting, I don't believe this guy has a chance of winning because......he knew the risk he was taking by being where he was, also as a prisoner he has no rights, he also isn't a priority, people like him need to stay out of the way and let the Iraq military and the US military do what they have to do......if people like this man would stay out of the way(not be in Iraq)and let the men and woman do their jobs then they can go home.....sueing is not the answer.....that is my tax money and I say we need to use that money supporting our troops....stay out of Iraq until we have the job done!!!!!!Reporters get in the way, we are too busy trying to work out things with you being taken as hostages now you bitch because you have released from our prison, stay out of Iraq, unless you want to throw on a uniform and serve, the marines need a few good men!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Ralph, Mobile Alabama : 12:58 PM ET
A. It is utterly pathetic that CNN took DAYS to report on this, but nonetheless, this is a terrible crime committed against one of our own countrymen. The blame will rest solely on Rumsfeld, but aren't we all guilty? Guilty of letting a imperialistic president and his never-ending list of diabolical world-destroying appointments. Kar deserves justice, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the government decides to do and how to pull the wool over our eyes once again.
Posted By Anonymous Justin, Lincoln, NE : 1:06 PM ET
Let's see... Iranian decent, bomb making equipment, and in a war zone. Nope, can't think of any reason why he would have been detained. Wake up, it's a war. Stop doing stupid crap and then looking to blame everyone else for your problems. Why would you be in a war zone doing a documentary? Because your stupid and deserve what you get OR your up to no good. I believe the latter...
Posted By Anonymous Stephen, Princeton, NJ : 1:09 PM ET
Hi Randi,

This is an amazing story, it is unfathomable to me that it could take the united states government 55 days to figure something like this out, when any local police department could of probably cracked the case in less than a week. Our government officials should be ashamed of themselves. Issues like these that surface is just more proof as to why the republicans are no longer in power in the senate and congress...
Posted By Anonymous Gary, Germantown MD : 1:33 PM ET
Well maybe he should have did his research at a better time. The faults all on him, he knew the consequences that could come from the trip. The faults all on him!
Posted By Anonymous Luke, Richmond, VA : 1:34 PM ET
Hmmm...What if he was caught with the timers, showed his U.S. passport and was quickly released, and then turned around and blew up a tank of U.S. troops? How would THAT be explained to the families of the lost soldiers? Those families would then have a justified lawsuit. IED's are killing so many of our troops, I think ANYONE caught with IED componants should be held until the war is over, regardless of nationality. A U.S. passport does not mean that someone should be assumed innocent. Before Mr. Kar complains about torture, let him put on a soldiers gear and stand in 120 degree heat ALL DAY, EVERY DAY! Better yet, send him to talk with a soldier maimed and disfigured by an IED.
Posted By Anonymous Julia Vil, Milwaukee, WI. : 1:36 PM ET
When I read news stories like this one and the one where some U.S. soldiers in Iraq raped and murdered a 14 year old girl and then murdered her family I really have to think hard about my original decision to support U.S. troops in Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous John Tod, Canada : 3:41 PM ET
Just watched "Road to Guantanamo". Anderson please do a story on these 3 guys (the Tipton 3) that were imprisoned at Guantanimo for nothing. Probably many more like this. Were we misled that there were really terrorists kept there??
Posted By Anonymous Steve, Clarksville, TN : 3:46 PM ET
The real travesty with this story is the way this man was treated and how long he spent there before any figured out he was innocent. If this happened in this country to American citizen, we would all be appaled. He should have been taken in just in case, however, the way he was treated and the length of time he was in prison, is terrible.
Second, to everyone who is making the point that it was his own fault for being in Iraq, that is the same as saying that a woman deserved to be raped for wearing a tight skirt and have a few too many beers.
Posted By Anonymous ashley hilton head island, sc : 4:07 PM ET
Get real!!! Who in there right might would go to Iraq especially now to film a documentary? No common sense there in my opinion. I agree with the others, in a war torn country, in the middle of a war, caught in a taxi with timers to make bombs, arrested, held until proven innocent. Sounds like a good deal to me? You could have been caught by insuregents and beheaded, you should count your blessings to be alive and well and free.
Posted By Anonymous Cindy, Mooresville, NC : 4:14 PM ET
People keep saying Kar was stupid to go there during the war...wasnt the war only supposed to last for 3 months? If he had a dream, was he supposed to wait for who-knows-how-long so that the war could be over before accomplishing this dream?

People should not be angry at the fact that he went there during a war, they should be angry that this type of thing is happening, TODAY. If Kar were not a US citizen, but rather an Iraqi, he would probably be viewed as "one of the lucky ones".

How many are sitting in Iraqi prisons unfairly? Stripped from their homes, their wives, their children, their honor.

The problem, to me, is that you only have a voice if you are American. God that breaks my heart.
Posted By Anonymous Catherine Wolkers, Kansas City, MO : 5:30 PM ET
The Pentagon says Kar was "treated fairly and humanely in accord with the Geneva Convention." Kar begs to differ.

Figuring out who is telling the truth here is a no-brainer. You can tell an American official is lying if his lips are moving.
Posted By Anonymous Jim, Huntington, N.Y. : 9:39 PM ET
If the film crew for Apocalypse Now had been thrown into jail and tortured, would all of you sit here saying it served them right? They put themselves in the same danger. And as a film student, one interest in documentaries actually, no one expects these things to happen. Awful things happen to filmmakers all of the time. There is no set time to make a film, write a book, etc. Why should the arts go to hell because of a war? Honestly, people, get over it.

The only reason that Americans have no problem with this former military man being tortured is because he's of Middle Eastern descent. If any of you heard a story of an Anglo-American going through the same things, you would all decry it. How anyone that calls themselves decent and moral human beings can say a man deserved to be tortured for sitting in a taxi cab is laughable. Hell, have you seen New York taxi drivers lately?! What, did the man have "terrorist" in his job description card and handed it out to everyone that hailed his cab?

Racism, racism, and more racism. That's all this war is about. It's the same with this case. Some people really need to get out of their pre-Civil War mentalities already.
Posted By Anonymous Bekah, Coral Gables, Fl : 1:03 AM ET
There is a great deal of injustice when Americans work in Iraq now. How will we know that there is progress in the Iraqi situation if there is so much to be kept secret?
Posted By Anonymous israel, raleigh, nc : 1:58 AM ET
It's great that CNN decided to air this story, but you guys forgot to mention some major facts! First of all, the washing machine timers were found in the TRUNK of the taxi. Does anyone search the trunk of a taxi before getting in? Of course not. Second the taxi driver admitted in the first interogation that the timers were his (he claimed to be taking them to a relative that had a repair shop or something). Also, it seems a lot of people are questioning why Cyrus was in Iraq at such a chaotic time. He had been working on this documentary for a couple years when the war with Iraq started. He was waiting for things to get safe in Iraq but clearly that wasn't going to happen. He had completed his film except for essential footage of Babylon (in Iraq). After spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and a few years of his life he had to complete the film or go bust. He received permission from the US govt. as well as the Iraqi govt to enter and film historic sites in Iraq. The troops that arrested him knew of this. He passed a polygraph test in the first few days. Also, CNN forgot to mention that the ONLY reason Cyrus Kar was released after 55 days was because his family (with the help of the ACLU) sued for his release. He was released the day before Justice Dept. attorneys were required to appear in court to explain why he was being held. Anyone who's interested should check out Cyrus's website www.spentaproductions.com.
Posted By Anonymous Shahrzad, Los Angeles, CA : 2:15 AM ET
It is interesting reading the different views but I have to disagree with most... this guy goes to Iraq, gets into a vehicle with IED devices and get arrested in solitary confinement for 53 days and then wants to complain about it...

It was commented about this movie being his dream... if that incident happended in America... his rights...

We live so safe and secure in our everydays lives and have no conception about life outside of America and how radically different it is elsewhere but we still expect to be treated as if were in America no matter where in the world we are.

That is part of the problem that we are so full of ourselves and our rights and our freedoms that we are picking apart the very fabric that graciously provides to it us when we don't get our way, what we want.

We are not appreciative of our freedoms that are given to us by birth alone and scoff at those who provide it.

Keep him in jail forever how long until it can be verified his status. God forbid, they let him out early and he did have alterior motives. Then you'd be crying "Why, didn't you do something to stop him? Why didn't you check into him harder?"

Sometimes you have to chalk it up to "Damn, that was a bad idea" and learn from it. He chose to go there and especially if he is an ex-SEAL then he is a bigger dumb-*** for not knowing better.
Posted By Anonymous Carol Ann, New Orleans, LA : 5:45 AM ET
Not surprised at all, we blame other countries for torturing people but we actually invented - constantly, killing innocent people, taking their dignity away and shame to a level beyond any moral standard. That's democracy the American way!

I hope CNN show some guts like Aljazeera network to bring REAL stories to Americans.
Posted By Anonymous Andy, NYC, NY : 11:04 PM ET
Uumm, Bekah in Coral Gables - Apocolypse Now was filmed in the Philipines during peacetime - not sure where you're getting at with the analogy there...and you're sort of generalizing the mentality of Americans in your statement above...you're not making much of a convincing point there...and look, the dude went into a combat zone to make a film; plain and simple. Any and all risk falls squarely and completely on his shoulders. Peace
Posted By Anonymous JT, NYC, NY : 10:09 AM ET
ABOUT THE BLOG
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.




SUBSCRIBE
    What's this?
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.
Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.