Speaking after his release, he said he had been beaten with iron bars, given electric shocks and “waterboarded”, and even now feared for his life.
His family say he was likely to travel to Greece later this week for medical treatment and for his own protection.
“These fearsome services, the US intelligence services and its affiliated services, will spare no efforts to track me as an insurgent revolutionary,” he said at a news conference staged by his television station, al-Baghdadiya.
“And here I want to warn all my relatives and people close to me that these services will use all means to trap and try to kill and liquidate me either physically, socially or professionally.”
To be fair, Perlstein did bravely announce a few months later that he “no longer fear(ed) populism,” calling it “our American common sense.” (As long as it’s homegrown populism, I guess. Can’t trust the foreigners with it.) But his initial complaint was that American liberals weren’t rushing en masse to a bipartisan defense of the idea that heads of state — especially this state — should not be subject to direct reactions from any of the plebians whose lives they casually destroy, lest our snickering at the sight of Bush getting a well-earned mouthful of shoe leather inspire other people to similarly disrespect the American president and send us spiraling down into the depths of anarcho-fascism. And lo and behold, it looks like he was right! I feel so ashamed.