ACLU Asks Admin Why German Suing CIA Was Barred From U.S.

Lawyers asked the Bush administration on Thursday why a German citizen, taken prisoner by the CIA in a case of mistaken identity in 2004, was not allowed into the United States last weekend.

Khaled al-Masri was seeking entry to publicize the lawsuit he filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., against former CIA Director George Tenet and 10 "John Doe" CIA employees involved in his abduction to Afghanistan.

In letters to the U.S. government, the American Civil Liberties Union also asked whether Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice apologized to the German government during her trip to Berlin this week.

"Was an official apology made, and if so would Secretary Rice be willing to make a similar apology directly to the victim?" asked Ann Beeson, the ACLU's associate legal director.

Al-Masri was thrown into the CIA's "rendition" program for terror suspects, beaten and held in a cell for four months, the last two while U.S. officials debated how to handle his release after discovering he was the person he said he was.

The CIA had suspected he was an associate of the Sept. 11 conspirators, a man with a similar name.