November 05, 2003


The only piece of information that hasn't been at least roughly surmised yet about Maher Arar... indeed, the most important piece of information... is that the innocent Canadian who was shipped to Syria for a year of torture and pain, contrary to previous reports, did have a consular visit prior to his being handed over to Syrian intelligence by U.S. authorities.

The papers haven't quite caught this yet, but it's significant. It means that the U.S. authorities DID in fact, follow their Vienna obligations to inform Canadian authorities they had Arar in custody, contrary to earlier suggestions... and is very strong evidence that Arar was only shipped to Syria with Canadian governmental consent, if only applied by acquiescence.

Whereas before the Canadian government had deniability... that they only knew of Arar's situation after it was too late... Arar's own statement makes it clear that they did not. This is not, any longer, an American crime against a Canadian citizen... or a situation of Canadian ineffectiveness a la Bill Sampson... unless the government wishes to somehow refute this through a proper inquiry, the Arar case is certain to go down in history as Canada's government selling one of its own citizens down the river because they, not the Americans, they, preferred to see an innocent man put in hell rather than let a possible (and only remotely possible at that) terrorist live free in this country.

And then, brave country that we are, we blamed the Americans.

Posted by BruceR at 06:38 PM