Friday, January 26, 2007

Maher Arar Update

Item one: Canadian Government Admits Responsibility

This item from CBC news shows that Canada's government accepts responsibility for what happened to Maher Arar, and is trying to make amends.
"Ottawa has reached a $10-million settlement with Maher Arar over Canada's role in a U.S. decision to deport him to Syria, where he was jailed and tortured.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper is scheduled to make the settlement announcement on Friday afternoon, when he will also issue a formal apology to Arar on behalf of Canadians. Sources told the CBC the government will also pick up Arar's legal fees."
We have already reported on how Arar was cleared by a Canadian Commission of Inquiry in September, and how U.S. authorities still refuse to take Arar off a terrorist watchlist. Ice Station Tango has video of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales being questioned by Patrick Leahy on the subject of Arar. And I recently posted on how Gonzo's response was a lie.

Item Two: U.S. Authorities Continue to Act Irresponsibly
To recap from the information above;
- A Canadian Commission has found no credible evidence that Maher Arar has had any connection to terrorist organizations or plots.
- The U.S. still refuses to allow Arar into the U.S. -that includes travelling in a plane in U.S. airspace. The evidence they claim supports this policy does no such thing.

So where is the justification for this?
"U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins on Wednesday criticized Ottawa's efforts to have Maher Arar removed from a United States security watch list, saying the U.S. alone will decide who to let into the country.

Speaking in Edmonton after meeting with new Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, Wilkins warned Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to back off, because a U.S. review determined Arar should remain on the watch list.

'It's a little presumptuous for him [Day] to say who the United States can and cannot allow into our country,' Wilkins told reporters Wednesday.

The ambassador reiterated that the U.S. found its own reasons to keep Arar on the watch list.

Day said in a visit last week to Washington that he has seen the information and found nothing new to suggest Arar is a safety risk."
All this is just a continuation of the Bush administration's refusal to ever admit that they could ever make a mistake. Granted, with King Codpiece claiming to be in communication with THE ALMIGHTY, that would be a little problematic. Bush's delusions of grandeur (and for him, feelings of mere adequacy would be delusional) are approaching the level of theories of Papal infallibility.

To say nothing of the John Bolton-like arrogant bluster that the US continues to substitute for diplomacy.

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