Thursday, January 18, 2007

Leahy Crushes Gonzales over Arar's Torture

On the same day that wimpy Public Safety minister Stockwell Day (who had in the past accused Arar of being a terrorist) was trying to make himself relevant by appearing beside Skeletor Michael Chertoff at a press conference while whining about not being able to get Mr Arar off the US no-fly list, Vermont senator Patrick Leahy lambasted Alberto 'smirking asshole from hell' Gonzales about Arar's fate:

Via the Globe and Mail:

Mr. Leahy, who's from Vermont and has an extensive interest in Canadian issues, called rendition cases like Mr. Arar's where a foreign terror suspect is sent to a third country to be tortured, a "black mark" on the country.

And he scoffed at the notion that American officials sought assurances from Syria that Mr. Arar wouldn't be tortured.

"We knew damn well, if he went to Canada, he wouldn't be tortured. He'd be held. He'd be investigated," said Mr. Leahy.

"We also knew damn well, if he went to Syria, he'd be tortured. And it's beneath the dignity of this country, a country that has always been a beacon of human rights."

It's easy, said Mr. Leahy, "for us to sit here comfortably in this room knowing that we're not going to be sent off to another country to be tortured."

Mr. Gonzales, who noted that Mr. Arar is still suing U.S. officials, said he's willing to answer the committee's questions but suggested he needed to consult with the White House.

"I think we can say a lot more about it, if you just simply give me some additional time," he said.

"In fact, we may be able to publicly say more about this shortly."

Mr. Leahy said he'd wait a week for a briefing from Mr. Gonzales.

"If we don't get it, I guarantee you there will be another hearing on this issue.

"Canadians have been our closest allies ... They're justifiably upset. They're wondering what's happened to us."

"I'm somewhat upset," Mr. Leahy noted.

"Yes, sir, I can tell," Mr. Gonzales replied. "But before you get more upset, perhaps you should wait to receive the briefing."

I say we extraordinarily render Stockwell Day to the US and make Leahy an honourary Canadian citizen.

Related: Glenn Greenwald has more on how absolutely useless Gonzales was at Thursday's hearing.

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