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The Case Of Maher Arar

Salon (watch a short ad for day pass) Glenn Greenwald weighs in: After a two-year investigation, the Canadian government issued a report this week r

Salon (watch a short ad for day pass)

Glenn Greenwald weighs in:

After a two-year investigation, the Canadian government issued a report this week regarding the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was abducted by the Bush administration during a layover at JFK Airport on his way home to Canada, and then brought to Syria to be "interrogated." He was kept in a tiny cell for the next 10 months in Syria and was repeatedly tortured. All along, he was guilty of nothing and had no ties of any kind to terrorism.

[..]Despite the stonewalling and coverup by the Bush administration, the Canadian report was able to conclude "categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offense." It also found that both the American government and the Syrian government lied to Canada about Arar's whereabouts because they knew the Canadians would object to their citizen being brought to Syria to be tortured. Put another way, our government abducted a completely innocent Canadian citizen and deliberately caused him to subjected, in Syria, to the most brutal and inhumane treatment imaginable (where, among other things, he confessed under torture to training in an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan even though he was never in that country). Read on...

Horrifying, simply horrifying. This is what the Republican majority once again rolled over and is ostensibly allowing Bush to do to the 14,000 prisoners that we are still holding. And make no mistake, the vast majority are as guilty as Arar, that is to say, NOT AT ALL:

Many say they were caught up in U.S. military sweeps, often interrogated around the clock, then released months or years later without apology, compensation or any word on why they were taken. Seventy to 90 percent of the Iraq detentions in 2003 were "mistakes," U.S. officers once told the international Red Cross. (emph. added)

San Francisco Chronicle columnist and editor of, Robert Scheer has been watching the case of Maher Arar closely as well:

To put it a bit more bluntly: U.S. officials lied to their Canadian counterparts and never revealed that Arar was "rendered" to Syria precisely to be tortured.

In fact, the outsourcing of torture, as Congressman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) exposes so brilliantly on his website, has been the official and all-too-common practice of this president since 9/11. Foreign nationals have been stolen off the streets of even close democratic allies of the United States and sent to be tortured by regimes otherwise branded as fascist by this president. Read on..

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