Monday, January 29, 2007

The cost of extraordinary rendition

Maher Arar was a victim of extraordinary rendition by the USA. Rendered to Syria, Arar was imprisoned there for ten months and tortured.

Clearly a violation of Arar's human rights, the government made restitution for the harm Arar suffered. It compensated him $8.9-million for its role in the rendition. The restitution was clearly acknowledgement that extraordinary rendition is an unjust act.

Does this mean that the USA will end its practice of extraordinary rendition? Sadly, it doesn't. The USA was not the country who made restitution; Canada did. The USA will go on rendering terror suspects (i.e. people not convicted of terrorism) to countries that have no qualms about torturing people.

Canada was only indirectly involved in the rendition. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police wrongly labeled Arar as an Islamic fundamentalist and passed misleading and inaccurate information to U.S. authorities. Canada considered this role in Arar's rendition worth $9-million.

How much is the USA's role in Arar's rendition worth? After all, the USA is the country that interrogated Arar for eleven days while he was chained and shackled. It was the USA that put Arar on a plane and flew him to Syria (ironic that the USA will not talk to Syria about the mess in Iraq but would use it to outsource torture), leaving him there for almost a year knowing full well that he would be tortured. As long as the torture czar himself, Albert Gonzales, is the attorney general, you can be sure Arar will not see a dime from the USA.

1 comment:

The Progressive said...

Now we have CIA officials reporting that they held a supposed al Q'aeda leader in a secret prison. The problem is that in all the time that Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi spent in a black prison, he was never permitted a trial. If this man truly was an al Q'aeda leader, then the whole world would have no problem with his imprisonment. However, the fact that al-Iraqi was not allowed his day in court in all those years simply makes the world think that the CIA's case against al-Iraqi is suspect. After all, if they had a strong case against him being an al Q'aeda leader, why wouldn't they try him?