Update On Maher Arar

“…our Government (USA) did not admit it was a mistake, but it is worse than a mistake because our Government seems to continue to claim the authority to snatch someone off the street, hide behind the fiction of ‘expedited removal’. This wasn’t an expedited removal in this case. An expedited removal would’ve gotten him out of the country and sent to him off to Canada[…]This was a kidnapping[…]This was a kidnapping utilizing the fact that he was here in this country, or at least technically not in this country, but at Kennedy Airport, in order to get him into custody so that he could be sent to someone who does not have our scruples and our laws about torture.[…]

On behalf of my fellow citizens I want to apologize to you, Mr. Arar, for the reprehensible conduct of our Government for kidnapping you, for turning you over to Syria, a Nation that our own State Department recognizes as routinely practicing torture. I also want to apologize for the continued, and from everything I’ve seen, some of which I’m not at liberty to discuss, baseless decision to maintain the fiction that you are a danger to this country.[…]

This conduct does not reflect the values of the American people. The great secrecy employed by the Administration is, I believe, less an attempt to protect our security, than it is an attempt to protect this Administration from the consequences of its actions, and from the consequences of being held accountable at law for what it’s clearly done in breaking the law. There’s no excuse for that.[…]

The Administration was outsourcing torture.[…]

They (The Administration) got assurances from the Syrians that he wouldn’t be tortured. Assurances from a Government that our Government says lies all the time.

Assurances from a Government that our Government says tortures as a matter of routine.

Assurances from a Government that our Government says practices State terrorism?

Who in the Bush Administration was foolish enough to believe in those assurances?

We have to decide whether the Bush Administration is cynical in lying to us and to itself that they believed those assurances, which I believe to be the case, or was foolish in believing assurances from a Government that it says can not be believed.[…]

I was privy, I saw all the classified information yesterday. And I’m not at liberty to reveal all the classified information, but I am at liberty to say that I fully concur with Justice O’Connor in saying that there is nothing there. There is nothing there that justifies the campaign of vilification against your (Arar) name Sir, or that justifies, in my mind, denying you entry into this country, or characterizing you as a terrorist in any way.
– NYC Democrat Jerrold Nadler, October 18, 2007, at The Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight: Rendition to Torture: The Case of Maher Arar. (United States House of Representatives, House Committee on Foreign Affairs.)

Maher Arar is still barred from entering the USA and remains on their ‘Watch List’. (Because, really, why would they let him get near a US Court where he could legally tear The Administration a new a**hole?)

Feel free to watch the entire 3 hour session as I did for there’s much to be learned.

You’re a smart enough bunch to reach your own conclusions…