MAHER ARAR

As a result of misinterpreted information American security agents sent a Canadian citizen, Maher Arar to Syria where he was imprisoned for a year and frequently tortured.  Upon his return to Canada a judicial commission found Arar innocent of any charges.  However, the United States continues to keep Arar on a terrorist watch which means he cannot enter the United States or fly over its territory.  Canadian officials at the highest levels have pointed out to the Americans that Arar is an innocent man.  So far the Americans won’t budge from their position.  Shouldn’t the Americans remove him from their terrorist list and at the very least apologize to him.  On a positive note, Senator Leahy of Vermont is trying to get his officials to back down.

3 Comments »

  1. 1
    Trouffel Says:

    The US adopts a ‘take no chances’ policy after being attacked by terrorists. This policy is understandable given the inevitable effect on the confidence and peace of mind of the country. It is a heavy burden to carry though. As shown, innocent people get caught in the wide nets of the security services. The gross inefficiency and financial burden of filtering through any kind of potential threat coming into the country given the size of the US and the amount of people and commerce that moves across its borders evry day. Adopting a closed shop policy also means that for every negative and hostile intrusion avoided, there will be a positive and lucrative opportunity denied. Again the US loses. The terrorist knows all of the above. This psychological effect is the real problem that the US needs to confront. Maybe the war on terror is the wrong approach. The US is just handicapping itself and the rest of us with it.

  2. 2
    Barbara Says:

    Trouffel, you are very perceptive! Pendula swing in two directions and then eventually come to an equilibrium position. Nations exist to act in their own self-interest and sooner or later it will dawn on those in the US that the pendulum has swung too far in one direction for their own good. I think, in fact, it is a quite clear observation on the part of a majority right now.
    That said, I do wish Senator Leahy godspeed in his attempts to clarify the Arar situation. It would help to bring suspicions they harbour to the cold light of day. I suspect they do not want to show how pathetic those suspicions are.

  3. 3
    Barbara Says:

    If you go to Andrew Sullivan’s blog, Daily Dish, you will be able to listen to the grilling of Gonzales by Leahy concerning Arar. It is not pretty.


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