Maher Arar

I'm sure all you have heard of Maher Arar, the Canadian Citizen who was placed on a security watchlist by the RCMP based on shakey evidence and then held at an airport in the US and deported to Syria where he was tortured until he confessed everything. Except he didn't confess, because he was innocent.

Our parlaiment, our prime minister and our police force have all stepped up and apologized. Admittedly an apology means virtually nothing after a mistake of this magnitude, but what is truly appalling is America's silence on this issue. The Republicans are busy drumming up some sort of compromise about torture in secret prisons, being 'compassionate conservatives' and all, but their bill makes no explicit mention of 'extraordinary renditions' which is in fact their preferred method of torture, because it lets them keep their hands clean.

Now I was under the impression that this was a massive gaffe by the RCMP, that we told the Americans he was a terrorist and that's why they did what they did. However, reading this NYtimes article I've realized that that's not how it happened at all.

The RCMP did put Mr. Arar on a watchlist and they did tell the Americans that he had had contact with suspected terrorists. HOWEVER, while Mr. Arar was being detained in the United States Canadian police came forward and "An Oct. 4 fax to the F.B.I. from Canadian counterterrorism officials said that they “had yet to complete either a detailed investigation of Mr. Arar or a link analysis on him,” and that “while he has had contact with many individuals of interest to this project we are unable to indicate links to Al Qaeda.” The RCMP suggested that the FBI allow Mr. Arar return to Canada where he would be put under surveillance.

Instead the Americans sent Mr. Arar to Syria to be tortured without telling the RCMP until it was too late.

We made a big mistake, but the FBI committed a crime.

Now admittedly, we're not sure if the FBI had some other intelligence, because they refused to cooperate with the RCMP Commision into the tradedy (which is suspicious in itself), but even if they did have 'intelligence' that might not mean much. After all they had 'intelligence' that suggested Saddam Hussein was building Nuclear Bombs and playing poker with Osama Bin Laden and was planning to reanimate Stalin.

I'm glad Stephen Harper has apologized to Mr. Arar for our government's mistake, but where is the condemnation of the US police state? A Canadian Citizen was stolen from us against our wishes, taken to a prison in the Middle East and tortured. Does this remind you of the igniting cause of any major wars that occured this summer? Israel bombed Lebanon into the Stone Age and we can't even muster up a pointed letter to the US Congress? Certainly that was a bit of hyperbole (but that's why you're here) we can only hope that the Americans intentions were as pure as they can be when you're torturing someone, we can only hope that they genuinely believed torturing Mr. Arar could help them save a lot of lives, but still, and I'm going to repeat this, the American Government stole one of our citizens against our wishes and tortured him.

These are our allies? This is the government we're dying for in Afghanistan because they've sunk all their troops into a gigantic quagmire based on made-up 'intelligence' and their psychotic president's desire to win the war his daddy started?

Why aren't we calling for George Bush's head on a platter?

Am I missing something here?

Is Stephen Harper such a weasel that he's waiting until after the US election to make a stink about this? He wouldn't want Americans hearing that his fellow 'compassionate conservatives' have been indiscriminately torturing their allies, now would he?

Don't get me a wrong, there are a lot of kind and caring Americans, hundreds of millions of them, but we are not helping out the average American by kowtowing to George Bush. We help the average American by standing up for what we both believe in -- truth, democracy and freedom. All of which are being consistently shat upon by the American government.


Post a Comment

<< Home