Friday, February 17, 2006

Arar's US Rendition Lawsuit Dismissed

Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was secretly "rendered" by so-called US intelligence agents to Syria to be tortured as he had been making his way back home from a vacation, has had his lawsuit against the US government dismissed.

In a ruling yesterday in New York, Judge David Trager said he can't interfere in the case because it's a matter of national security and foreign relations.

"The need for much secrecy can hardly be doubted," Trager wrote in his ruling.

"One need not have much imagination to contemplate the negative effect on our relations with Canada if discovery were to proceed in this case and were it to turn out that certain high Canadian officials had, despite public denials, acquiesced in Arar's removal to Syria."

In Ottawa, Arar called the decision "very disappointing, emotionally very hard to digest.

The judge dismissed the claim because it might implicate Canadian officials? Bullshit.

Let me tell you something Judge Trager (who, watch for it, is probably now on Bush's short list for the next Supreme Court vacancy), if this case happened to expose any complicity by anyone in Canada we'd deal with it and harming relations between our two countries wouldn't even be an issue. That's just a sorry excuse so you don't have to allow discovery to the defense of what Bushco's minions actually did: they sent Mr Arar to be tortured in Syria. We, here in Canada, don't care what nationality those responsible were. We want them brought to justice. End of story.

Mr Arar deserves to know the full truth about his horrendous experience. He deserves his dignity and his full rights to redress this grievance. The US government does not deserve to be protected when it sends people to other countries to be tortured. How much longer does Bush think he can hide under the banner of "national security" to keep his torturous policies private? It's falling down all around him as we speak and will continue to do so as long as he continues to flagrantly violate basic human rights.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed the lawsuit on Mr Arar's behalf, will appeal this cowardly decision. Support them and send your thoughts to Mr Arar to help him through this long fight.

He must not be denied. Justice must be served. He and his family have suffered enough.


  1. Apparently syria did not torture him enough, as shortly after he was finally liberated, they were all up in Syria's face about their human rights practices, and then of course, there's the fact that he can still think and talk, and is doing it, effectively defying America, and expressing opposition to US policies, which means he is a terrorist, like you and I.

    There will continue to be Arars, both American and non-American, until the US is removed or disarmed.

  2. Yes, I guess they thought "oops, we made a mistake - maybe - whatever - we're sending you home" was enough to keep him quiet.

  3. Or they could have sent him home to send a message. Remember the true target of torture is never the actual victim, it is done for the benefit of those who listen outside the "facility," that they might take heed...

  4. I'd like to think Bushco decided not to piss off Canada. That's what I'd like to think...

  5. Unfortunately, Judge Trager is known around here as a reasonably progressive, fair jurist. Definitely not Bush Supreme Court material. Which makes this all the harder to swallow.