Saturday, January 24, 2004

Legalized Torture? The Case of Maher Arar

You've probably heard of this case - Maher Arar, Canadian citizen, while changing planes in JFK airport in New York City, is spirited-off by the FBI and the Department of Justice to Syria, where he is tortured for one year and released.

Well, an enterprising ex-journo picked up this important story for some practice at her ex-profession. She's done a wonderful job and is gaining more attention for the story. Check out her, so far, 18-piece blog on the case of Maher Arar. It seems clear that Ashcroft once again broke all sorts of US and international laws and deported Arar - a Canadian citizen - to Syria - to be tortured to get any information he had on Al Qaeda. Of course, he didn't have any information. His assumed guilt was based on the fact that he knew a couple of guys who were terror suspects. He knew a couple of guys who were terror suspects.

Arar most probably did not even know his acquaintenances were terror suspects, but that is besides the point. Many in the US have been trying to legitimize torture - I still haven't figured that out, but Arar's case brings home the brutality of what being brown and Muslim can be like, and the brutality of torture, and the lawlessness of our own Department of Justice. Everything about this case is wrong. This is not fairness - this is not American.

Please check out Katherine's blog of Maher Arar's case and spread the word.

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