Federal authorities are investigating whether officials of the government south of the border participated in a citizen’s kidnapping and torture—Canadian authorities, that is, investigating the possible role of U.S. officials in the “extraordinary rendition” of Canadian citizen Maher Arar. “Extraordinary rendition” is White House-speak for arresting someone and secretly sending him to another country, where he is likely to be tortured. Arar revealed that, for the past four years, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has been investigating possible roles of U.S. and Syrian officials in his rendition and torture. This announcement follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that it will not consider Arar’s case, ending his pursuit of justice through U.S. courts.
So the Canadians will be investigating the activities of US officials… A small chance for some kind of justice in this case?
A Canadian who was deported to Syria by the US government for a hellish, 10.5 month torture ordeal will not get justice in the USA.
Maher Arar is a Syrian-born Canadian and father who was arrested while passing through the US on his way home to Canada. The Canadian government provided US authorities with bad intelligence suggesting Arar had ties to Al Qaeda. Arar was deported to Syria where he was held in a 3’x6’x7’ cell for 10 and a half months, during which time he was brutally tortured.
The Canadian government investigated Arar’s case, concluded that he was not a terrorist, had no ties to terrorists, and had been unjustly detained and tortured, and paid him $10.5 million.
Arar has tried to clear his name in the US — he is still considered a terrorist there, as is his family — but no court has heard his case, because the US government (including the Obama administration) claims that allowing the case to be heard would compromise national security. The Supreme Court has now refused to hear Arar’s case.
Watford, England, sits at the end of a spur on the London tube’s Metropolitan line, a somewhat dreary city of some 80,000 rising amid the pleasant green Hertfordshire countryside. Although not utterly destitute like parts of south or east London, its shabby High Street reflects a now-diminished British dream of class mobility. It also stands as a potential warning to the U.S., where working-class, blue-collar white Americans have been among the biggest losers in the country’s deep, persistent recession.