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Canadian PM apologises over Arar rendition

subediisubedii Registered User regular
edited January 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6304227.stm
Canada compensates deported man

Canada has apologised to a man deported by US authorities to Syria, where he was imprisoned and allegedly tortured.

Maher Arar was detained in the US while returning to Canada from Tunisia. He has dual Syrian-Canadian citizenship.

A Canadian government inquiry cleared him of any involvement in terrorism. Syria denies that he was tortured.

PM Stephen Harper said Mr Arar would receive $10.5m (US$8.9m, £4.54m) compensation, and urged the US to drop him from its list of terror suspects.

"On behalf of the government of Canada I would like to apologise to you... and your family for any role the government may have played in the terrible ordeal that all of you experienced in 2002 and 2003," Mr Harper said.

Mr Arar had sought $37m (US$31.3m, £16m) in a civil suit.

The Canadian inquiry that exonerated Mr Arar said it was probable that US authorities were acting on information provided by Canadian authorities.

It also supported Mr Arar's claims to have been tortured during his time in Syria.

Post-traumatic stress

In 2002 Mr Arar was returning from a family holiday in Tunisia when he was stopped by US officials as he changed planes in New York.

He was deported to Syria where he spent nearly a year in prison.

Since then the 36-year-old software engineer has suffered from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police resigned over the case late last year.

The BBC's Lee Carter in Toronto says the case has left the Canadian government in sharp disagreement with the US.

Despite repeated calls from Canada to drop Mr Arar from its security watch list, the US refuses, saying it has reasons of its own to keep him on the list.

I have to say, I was really impressed with the way the Canadian government gave a direct and frank apology to Arar.

Even if heavily pressured, I know here the most Tony Blair would ever give is one of his crap non-apologies, like "I'm sorry that you've suffered as a result of your experiences." The kind of thing where he'll say you've had something bad happen to you, but it had nothing to do with him and he won't take responsibility for it. If we think you're too suspicious it's your own darn fault.

EDIT: Edited because I failed at spelling.

subedii on

Posts

  • ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    The U.S. government doesn't apoligize to *terrorists!

    *(which, under current legislation, is defined as "anyone who retards decide is too terroristy-lookin' ")

    DAMM
    Drunks Against Mad Mothers
  • GrimmGrimm Registered User
    edited January 2007
    So what exactly was he arrested for? I know the article said terrorism, but what did they think he did that labeled him a terrorists? Also, why wasn't he held in Canada instead of being deported to Syria when he had dual citizenship and they arrested him in Canada?

  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited January 2007
    Grimm wrote:
    Why wasn't he held in Canada instead of being deported to Syria when he had dual citizenship and they arrested him in Canada?
    Unlike Canada, the Syrians have certain ways to make "terrorists" talk.

    That's what this (and rendition in general) is all about - sending suspects to countries where they can be tortured at arm's length from the U.S.. Though I still find it strange that the U.S. and Syria can co-operate on this stuff - around the time Arar was sent there, the U.S. was talking about how Syria was next.

    You know, I can see a kind of sick logic in leaving him on the no-fly list - if he wasn't a terrorist pissed-off at the U.S. before, he has good reason to be now :|

    But focusing on the U.S. list is a bit of a mistake - at the end of the day our government, and the RCMP especially, fucked up.

  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Andrew_Jay wrote:

    But focusing on the U.S. list is a bit of a mistake - at the end of the day our government, and the RCMP especially, fucked up.

    Yeah, but what surprised me is that the head of the RCMP actually took responsibility for what happened and resigned. Frankly, I have a lot of respect for him, especially in comparison to all the politicians I've seen who won't admit to anything under even the most damning evidence.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Andrew_Jay wrote:
    But focusing on the U.S. list is a bit of a mistake - at the end of the day our government, and the RCMP especially, fucked up.

    To be fair, Canada's fuckup shouldn't have been that bad. It should have been the kind of fuckup that led to spending a week or two in jail, maybe having a couple federal agents hardball you in a little room with a bare lightbulb.

    It shouldn't have been the kind of fuckup that led to being whisked away to a faraway land to get the Jack Bauer treatment. That's our fuckup.

    Overall it looks like Canada is handling their end of the fuckup about as well as is possible.

  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    subedii wrote:
    Andrew_Jay wrote:

    But focusing on the U.S. list is a bit of a mistake - at the end of the day our government, and the RCMP especially, fucked up.

    Yeah, but what surprised me is that the head of the RCMP actually took responsibility for what happened and resigned. Frankly, I have a lot of respect for him, especially in comparison to all the politicians I've seen who won't admit to anything under even the most damning evidence.

    No no, he didn't take responsibility for it. He only resigned because he totally changed his story halfway through, and a bunch of MPs called him on it and pointed out that either he was lying the first time, lying the second time, or displaying gross incompetance as the head of the police. After that came out, then he resigned.

    ragesig.jpg

  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    [quote=[Tycho?]]
    subedii wrote:
    Andrew_Jay wrote:

    But focusing on the U.S. list is a bit of a mistake - at the end of the day our government, and the RCMP especially, fucked up.

    Yeah, but what surprised me is that the head of the RCMP actually took responsibility for what happened and resigned. Frankly, I have a lot of respect for him, especially in comparison to all the politicians I've seen who won't admit to anything under even the most damning evidence.

    No no, he didn't take responsibility for it. He only resigned because he totally changed his story halfway through, and a bunch of MPs called him on it and pointed out that either he was lying the first time, lying the second time, or displaying gross incompetance as the head of the police. After that came out, then he resigned.[/quote]

    Nevermind then.

    Darnit. :x

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Why would Syria torture him if he's a Syrian citizen? Because he was on the US/Canadian terrorist watch list? I'm missing something.

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  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited January 2007
    Drez wrote:
    Why would Syria torture him if he's a Syrian citizen? Because he was on the US/Canadian terrorist watch list? I'm missing something.

    Because we handed him to Syria and said "figure out what he knows."

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Doc wrote:
    Drez wrote:
    Why would Syria torture him if he's a Syrian citizen? Because he was on the US/Canadian terrorist watch list? I'm missing something.

    Because we handed him to Syria and said "figure out what he knows."

    Would we normally do that? I mean maybe I am just not knowledgeable enough in international law, but I thought "deporting" was essentially just "you don't belong here, back you go" because someone's Visa was expired or what have you. I mean, if we thought he was a terrorist, why wouldn't we just question him ourselves? I dunno, the word "deport" throws me a bit - I wasn't aware that is the verb used to send detainees suspected of terrorism back to their home country.

    Also, if he had dual Canadian/Syrian citizenship, why deport to Syria, particularly if Canada had intel on him? Wouldn't it make sense to deport him to Canada?

    Again, I'm a know-nothing on issues of international law, but as such, this doesn't make sense to me.

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  • DortmunderDortmunder Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Drez wrote:
    Doc wrote:
    Drez wrote:
    Why would Syria torture him if he's a Syrian citizen? Because he was on the US/Canadian terrorist watch list? I'm missing something.

    Because we handed him to Syria and said "figure out what he knows."

    Would we normally do that? I mean maybe I am just not knowledgeable enough in international law, but I thought "deporting" was essentially just "you don't belong here, back you go" because someone's Visa was expired or what have you. I mean, if we thought he was a terrorist, why wouldn't we just question him ourselves? I dunno, the word "deport" throws me a bit - I wasn't aware that is the verb used to send detainees suspected of terrorism back to their home country.

    Also, if he had dual Canadian/Syrian citizenship, why deport to Syria, particularly if Canada had intel on him? Wouldn't it make sense to deport him to Canada?

    Again, I'm a know-nothing on issues of international law, but as such, this doesn't make sense to me.

    My guess is because then (from the American's point of view) "it's not us torturing him, it's them"...and possibly less chance of the press getting wind of it.

    Is that right?

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  • RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Drez wrote:
    Doc wrote:
    Drez wrote:
    Why would Syria torture him if he's a Syrian citizen? Because he was on the US/Canadian terrorist watch list? I'm missing something.

    Because we handed him to Syria and said "figure out what he knows."

    Would we normally do that? I mean maybe I am just not knowledgeable enough in international law, but I thought "deporting" was essentially just "you don't belong here, back you go" because someone's Visa was expired or what have you. I mean, if we thought he was a terrorist, why wouldn't we just question him ourselves? I dunno, the word "deport" throws me a bit - I wasn't aware that is the verb used to send detainees suspected of terrorism back to their home country.

    Also, if he had dual Canadian/Syrian citizenship, why deport to Syria, particularly if Canada had intel on him? Wouldn't it make sense to deport him to Canada?

    Again, I'm a know-nothing on issues of international law, but as such, this doesn't make sense to me.

    The US deported him to Syria because they didn't like to torture prisoners back then. So they sent him to Syria and looked the other way while he was tortured. They didn't send him to Canada because they knew we would not torture him.

    And the Us does this more often then you realise.

    RichyFlag.gifsig.gif
  • FartzFartz Registered User
    edited January 2007
    It's called extraordinary rendition. Wikipedia can explain it better than I can. And yeah, it's nice to see Harper apologise, but it really shouldn't have happened in the first place...

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    we will fuck you hard for no good reason, and not say we're sorry. 'cause that's what america is all about.

    2ezikn6.jpg
  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    Fartz wrote:
    It's called extraordinary rendition. Wikipedia can explain it better than I can. And yeah, it's nice to see Harper apologise, but it really shouldn't have happened in the first place...
    Yes, extradite, for the life of me I couldn't remember that word.

    I guess that's my main problem with this article. The blurb right below the headline says that the US deported the man. Deportees don't get tortured. Extraditing him is a different matter.

    Or was using the word "deport" just PR spin from the BBC? Or should I infer that the US extradited this man under the guise of deportation?

    From what I understand, they are two different things, no?

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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited January 2007
    I'd like to point out that this wasn't so much a case of Canada making a mistake and then apologizing for it. Arar had to work long and hard for this apology. When he first told his story to the media the RCMP started a smear campaign against the guy, including leaking a document that said he was an Al-queda member (this was totally fabricated).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maher_Arar is quite informative. Especially interesting are the quotes from US officials. They claim they do not do extraordinary rendition to Syria. Yet when Arar tried to file lawsuits against various US officials they were stopped due to reasons of "national security".

    ragesig.jpg

  • ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2007
    we will fuck you hard for no good reason, and not say we're sorry. 'cause that's what america is all about.

    I submit this truth to a candid world.

    Any google search of hard fuck america will confirm this with many websites.

    It is beyond dispute.

  • Irond WillIrond Will Dragonmaster Cambridge. MASuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited January 2007
    we will fuck you hard for no good reason, and not say we're sorry. 'cause that's what america is all about.
    Those Canadian pussies are totally chipping away at our hard-earned street cred.

    Wqdwp8l.png
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