Saturday, June 26, 2010

National Security Trumps Justice

The Supreme Court declined the case of Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen seeking justice for his transfer and subsequent torture as a terror suspect. The Christian Science Monitor reported:

US officials detained Mr. Arar in September 2002 as he attempted to change planes at New York’s Kennedy International Airport for a flight home to Canada from Tunisia. He was held in the US and questioned by federal agents for 13 days before being whisked off to Syria.

Arar asked to be sent home to Canada, complaining that he would be tortured in Syria. Once in Syria, he was housed in a three-foot by six-foot by seven-foot cell. “Syrian officials tortured Arar while asking him questions strikingly similar to those federal agents had asked him in New York,” Arar’s petition to the high court said.

In October 2003, Syrian officials released Arar and allowed him to return to Canada after concluding he had no link to Al Qaeda, to terrorism, or to any other wrongdoing. After an inquiry into his ordeal, the Canadian Parliament and prime minister issued public apologies to Arar and awarded him $10.5 million Canadian dollars in compensation for the Canadian government’s part in his treatment.

Arar filed a lawsuit in the US seeking to hold American officials accountable for their actions.
America is now the land of the unaccountable. National security trumps justice. This bodes ill for those mistreated by federal officials or others blowing the whistle on such behavior. Make no mistake, the Feds and their corporate sponsors are in charge.

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