Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Think the U.S. Doesn't Torture? Just Ask Maher Arar!

Frank J. Ranelli


As the Whitehouse and the Senate wrestle to bring dissembling "clarity" to Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, Maher Arar's story should bring some genuine lucidity to this fact:

The Bush Administration condoned and tortured people; and innocent people at that!

See what the NY Times and Maher Arar had to say:

Canadians Fault U.S. for Its Role in Torture Case

OTTAWA, Sept. 18 — A government commission on Monday exonerated a Canadian computer engineer of any ties to terrorism and issued a scathing report that faulted Canada and the United States for his deportation four years ago to Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured.

The report on the engineer, Maher Arar, said American officials had apparently acted on inaccurate information from Canadian investigators and then misled Canadian authorities about their plans for Mr. Arar before transporting him to Syria.

“I am able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offense or that his activities constituted a threat to the security of Canada,” Justice Dennis R. O’Connor, head of the commission, said at a news conference.

The report’s findings could reverberate heavily through the leadership of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which handled the initial intelligence on Mr. Arar that led security officials in both Canada and the United States to assume he was a suspected Al Qaeda terrorist.

The report’s criticisms and recommendations are aimed primarily at Canada’s own government and activities, rather than the United States government, which refused to cooperate in the inquiry.

But its conclusions about a case that had emerged as one of the most infamous examples of rendition — the transfer of terrorism suspects to other nations for interrogation — draw new attention to the Bush administration’s handling of detainees. And it comes as the White House and Congress are contesting legislation that would set standards for the treatment and interrogation of prisoners.

“The American authorities who handled Mr. Arar’s case treated Mr. Arar in a most regrettable fashion,” Justice O’Connor wrote in a three-volume report, not all of which was made public. “They removed him to Syria against his wishes and in the face of his statements that he would be tortured if sent there. Moreover, they dealt with Canadian officials involved with Mr. Arar’s case in a less than forthcoming manner.”

The Syrian-born Mr. Arar was seized on Sept. 26, 2002, after he landed at Kennedy Airport in New York on his way home from a holiday in Tunisia. On Oct. 8, he was flown to Jordan in an American government plane and taken overland to Syria, where he says he was held for 10 months in a tiny cell and beaten repeatedly with a metal cable. He was freed in October 2003, after Syrian officials concluded that he had no connection to terrorism and returned him to Canada.

Mr. Arar’s case attracted considerable attention in Canada, where critics viewed it as an example of the excesses of the campaign against terror that followed the Sept. 11 attacks. The practice of rendition has caused an outcry from human rights organizations as “outsourcing torture,” because suspects often have been taken to countries where brutal treatment of prisoners is routine.

His lawyer, Marlys Edwardh, said the report affirmed that Mr. Arar, who has been unemployed since his return to Canada, was deported and tortured because of “a breathtakingly incompetent investigation.”

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Follow this link to view some of the heinous activities by the Bush Administration that claims, "We do not torture!"

WARNING: GRAPHIC, DISTURBING PICTURES OF YOUR GOVERNMENT AT WORK!
http://mindprod.com/politics/abughraibpix.html#ABUGHRAIBPIX

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