Maher Arar updates

by Brian on January 22, 2004

Katherine at Obsidian Wings has several more excellent posts on the Maher Arar case. Here’s the editorial

We don’t know all the details or explanations, but we know that something terrible happened. Our government took a man from an airport in New York City and handed him over to Syria, where he was tortured for 10 months. I think I’ve made a decent case that he was probably innocent; that this was done with the knowledge and approval of fairly important government officials; and that this was not some freak accident or isolated occurrence. …

As Ted Barlow said last November, “I support the vigorous investigation and prosecution of terrorists and terrorist suspects. But if this isn’t over the line, then there is no line.” It is not acceptable to me for my country to send people to be tortured on scant evidence, or on evidence gained from other torture sessions.

Since whatever happens to Canadians can happen to Australians, and whatever can happen to Australians can happen to me, I have a selfish interest in taking this a bit seriously. (On that note, I saw in yesterday’s Washington Post that David Hicks has finally got to have one meeting with a lawyer. (Actually it’s three meetings with a military appointed lawyer according to this story.) After two years in custody. Hooray for due process!) Of course hideous behaviour by governments is hideous behaviour by governments whether the victims are people like me or not, but when they are it’s a little easier to feel appalled by it all.

Back on Arar, today it seems that Juliet O’Neill has (or perhaps will be) arrested over this story she wrote on Arar’s case. In more ficticious news the Feds have arrested Robert Novak for his role in leaking Valerie Plame’s name.



Jimmy Doyle 01.22.04 at 4:47 pm

Nice juxtaposition at the end there, Brian; marred only by an unfortunate ambiguity in “more.”


Katherine 01.22.04 at 8:22 pm

She’s not been arrested yet, and at least one story today says they don’t plan to charge her.

And there was actual U.S. press coverage last night on CBS! I’m in shock.


Cat Travis 01.22.04 at 11:51 pm

People will look back at these times and make exact comparisons to McCarthyism


lazyman 01.23.04 at 9:50 pm

Re: the Novak walking free while Juliet O’Neill has been placed in custody and anything remotely information-related she owned has been confiscated.

Berke Breathed called it in the 80’s : Accountability is un-American

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