Friday, 16 January 2004

Pondering Arar

Both David Janes and Pieter Dorsman have interesting posts on the case of Maher Arar, a citizen of Canada and Syria who was detained in New York on his way back to Canada from a trip to Tunisia. Arar was subsequently deported to Syria, jailed, and released, according to this CBC timeline. Katherine R, one of the bloggers at Obsidian Wings, has also been dissecting the story for a few days now (more here).

I honestly don’t know what to make of all of this. I have a sneaking suspicion that elements of the Canadian intelligence apparatus were trying to get the U.S. to do some of their dirty work for them, because the Canadian government would never let them get away with it on their own, but there’s also the distinct possibility that U.S. authorities were freelancing. It’s all deeply weird.

Thursday, 30 September 2004

Say no to torture

Both Katherine R and Sebastian Holdsclaw of Obsidian Wings are rightly horrified that the so-called “9/11 commission bill” includes provisions that may lead to the institutionalization of the abuses that Maher Arar was subjected to by Syrian authorities, with the apparent complicity of both the United States and Canadian governments.

This isn’t a “Republican” or “Democrat” problem—most members of both parties are going to vote for this bill, because they want to look like they’re “doing something” about terrorism. But this is something that is simply unconscionable. Let your senators and representatives know that this is not how America is supposed to do things and is completely unacceptable.

There’s more on the bill in today’s Washington Post.