Wednesday, June 01, 2005

So much for that "due process" idea.

It's not like I want to over-generalize or anything but, Jesus Christ, how can you Americans be such assholes? OK, not all of you, of course, but check out the breathtaking contempt for the whole concept of "due process" by some American officials in the case of Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen who was deported to Syria by the U.S. where he was tortured:

A Liberal senator who took a hand in efforts to free Maher Arar says U.S. officials were willing to send him back to Canada – but only if he was sure to face criminal charges here.

Pierre De Bané told a public inquiry Wednesday that he learned of the U.S. offer from a Foreign Affairs official who briefed him on the case in the summer of 2003.

Mr. De Bane was about to leave for Syria on a mission aimed at freeing Mr. Arar from imprisonment there.

He said he understood the Americans made their offer several months earlier, when they arrested Mr. Arar in New York.

They decided to send him to Syria after the RCMP told them there was not enough evidence to charge him with anything in Canada.

Mr. Arar's lawyer, Lorne Waldman, says the U.S. offer should have set off alarm bells in Ottawa and tipped Canadian officials that Mr. Arar might be deported to Syria, where he was later tortured into false confessions of terrorist activity.

But there's something missing in this story. It's rancid enough that the U.S. officials wanted a guarantee that Arar would be charged before they gave him back. But during a CBC radio show this afternoon, the host claimed that those same U.S. officials actually wanted assurances ahead of time that Arar would be both charged and convicted before they would return him to Canada.

According to a Canadian official whose name I didn't catch during the radio broadcast, that official (correctly) made it clear that, without proper due process, Canada could make no such promise, whereupon the Americans shipped Arar to Syria.

I think I've reached my limit on outrage. Really.

RAPID-RESPONSE UPDATE
: Ah, here we go: the CBC story, where we read:

[Liberal Senator Pierre] De Bané said a top Foreign Affairs official told him the Americans were only willing to hand over Arar under certain conditions.

"He said the Americans said to the Canadians, 'We are ready to give you back Mr. Arar on the condition that you bring him back to Canada, you incarcerate him, you make charges against him,'" he testified.

"And the Canadian party said, 'No, the Canadian Charter of Freedoms does not allow us to do what you're asking. We do not have proper grounds.'"

Hmmm ... that lends itself to a slightly different interpretation but De Bane is right -- it simply wouldn't be allowed here. If I'm still this pissed in the morning, I'm going to be taking it out on someone.

6 comments:

pogge said...

I'm glad to see this getting more attention and with more detail, but we knew the gist of this a year ago.

"Maher Arar was deported to Syria from the U.S. only after the RCMP informed American counterparts they didn't have enough evidence to detain or charge Mr. Arar if he was returned to Canada, CanWest News has learned."

Scott F said...

I used to think that "sovereignty" meant different things to United Statesians than it did do the rest of thw world. I stand corrected.

To a Canadian, "sovereignty" means Canada has the authority to affect it's interests domestically and internationally, above all others.

To the US, it means their authority to affect Canada's interests above all others.

So really, we're talking about the same thing here.

CC said...

Um ... I'm not sure I get your point, scott.

Toast said...

Referring to right wing Americans as "assholes" does a disservice to the human anus.

J.R. said...

Here I was looking for an impossible answer on the web, and I found you.

My question is: when did Canadians become such assholes?

I used to believe that Canadians were a unique and special citizenry of people who believed in respect and practiced that belief. But, for the past several years I have had the opportunity to deal with quite a number of Canadians on a business level. I must tell you I have never met such a rude, ignorant, and basically stupid group of people in my entire life. If I were to total the intelligence of the entire group of these people I don't believe it would equal that of a newborn chimp. And RUDE. Somewhere, somehow they have come to believe that they actually understand what's going on around them. NOT a Freaking clue.

Thus my dream of leaving the American idiocy for some Canadian never, never land - will NEVER, NEVER happen. I would rather be boiled in oil - in Iraq, in any god-fosaken-hole-on-the-planet, than to ever enter Canada. In fact I will be the first to volunteer for the invading force to finally put these people in a camp, lock the door, and leave.

Rude, Rude, Rude Canadians. Perhaps you should get your noses out of the air, and your heads out of your asses and take a look around you. Also, I highly recommend rudimentary courses in walking and chewing gum at the same time be offered in every level of your educational system. Your are just plain dumb!!! An excuse for your rudeness??? NO.

Shari said...

Of course you want to over-generalize! You ask "how can you Americans be such assholes?", then you say, okay not all of you. Even with the disclaimer, it is still an insult! Bash the people involved, not Americans as a whole! I have Canadian friends who I love very much and I get along with them great. But increasingly I am running into Canadians who want to bash the USA. Why is that? Because you have an inferiority complex?? Do you think that by calling Americans assholes, that you will look better? Btw, why are so many people bashing America when we give millions in aid to countries all over the world without any thanks (in fact we are held in contempt)?? Give us hard-working Americans a break. I wouldn't think of stereotyping Canadians as assholes.