2009-01-19

Maher Arar guilty: Feynman & Coulter's Love Child correct

Perhaps these aren't surprising revelations...

I see Arar hasn't finished making political hay out of his "ordeal", and that he's now asked the CSIS watchdog to reopen the probe to his unpleasant stay in Syria. I would like to take this time to agree that CSIS should investigate this matter further. Specifically, CSIS has never told us (possibly because unlike Arar and the U.S. State Department, they don't know) the reason Maher Arar was imprisoned by the Syrians. I know the NDP talking points hold that Damascus is a puppet agency of Dick Cheney, but the claim that state-terrorist Syria would imprison a man that the U.S. believes is a terrorist just doesn't hold water. There may be a perfectly unfair reason why Arar ended up in a Mideastern gulag (and why his Canadian buddy Ahmad Abou-ElMaati ended up in that same jail), but if there is we've still yet to hear it. Until then, I agree with Orenthal James Arar, that this investigation is not closed, and CSIS has a little more probing to do.

Omar Khadr identified Maher Arar as one of the people he saw in an al-Qaeda safe house in Afghanistan, an FBI agent testified in a Guantanamo Bay courtroom Monday, presenting a version of events that contradicts Mr. Arar's claim that he has never been to Afghanistan.

Robert Fuller, who interrogated Mr. Khadr in October of 2002, while the then-15-year-old was detained at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, testified that Mr. Khadr said he saw Mr. Arar in a Kabul guesthouse run by a suspected al-Qaeda operative known as Abu Musab al-Suri.

The revelation came as prosecution lawyers in Mr. Khadr's Guantanamo Bay military commission case brought forward the first of their witnesses.

Mr. Arar – who was sent to Syria by the United States and subsequently tortured there – has always denied ever going “anywhere near” Afghanistan. In 2006, a Canadian commission of inquiry cleared him of any links to terrorist activities, leading to a $10.5-million compensation package and an apology from Ottawa, after officials admitted culpability in the affair.
Canadian defendant Omar Khadr sits during a hearing at the U.S. Military Commissions court for war crimes, in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Monday.

Yet Mr. Arar has never been removed from a U.S. no-fly list. Monday's testimony may offer some explanation why.

Well who would have thought it? Well, I would have. And I said it, in this post from September 18th of 2006:
I've said for a long time that something in Arar's story smells fishy. Syria is a lousy place to visit and an even worse place to be a prisoner in, but they aren't Red China. They may treat you awfully bad in jail, but they do actually have a reason to put you there in the first place. Arar did something. I don't know what. The Americans know what. Maher Arar knows what. The Syrians almost certainly know what. It's up in the air if the RCMP knows what, and its almost certain nobody in the Canadian government (except perhaps Jack Layton) knows what he did. But he did do something.
I supposed more details of his involvement, but I didn't have much to go on. Homeland Security and the FBI seem to have had the information I was lacking. But I told you the Americans knew what was going on.

As Rob Breakenridge says, can we check if Arar has cashed the cheque yet?

2 comments:

A one time reader said...

The problem is not if he have done somethihg good or bad, the problem is that he has been sent there without any jugement on a case. Maybe your a terrorist too, and they can catch you at your house and send you in Iran for a year or two !? What poor countries US and Canada became with square right wing political leaders...

Feynman and Coulter's Love Child said...

I know you wont' be reading this, oh 1-time reader, but if "they" decide I'm a terrorist, catch me at my (heavily fortified) house, and ship me off to Iran, is Iran likely to spend their time and effort imprisoning and/or beating me? If I didn't do anything and am an anonymous nobody, then Iran doesn't care about me.

If, say, I was skimming money from Iranian government officials in order to fund terrorism (with the help of my banker wife), then maybe I would be in line for a beating, and explain why both George W. Bush and the Ayatolla had it in for me. But then, of course, I am a terrorist. Funny how well that explanation works.