Friday, January 26, 2007

Still Grounded

Canada's newest millionaire will not be flying down to Vegas any time soon to beat the house:

Maher Arar’s personal associations and travel history are enough to keep him on a U.S. security watch list, says a senior State Department official.

While Washington concedes these points may not warrant Arar’s presence on a Canadian security roster, they meet the threshold for the American list, the official told The Canadian Press.

The source, who asked not to be identified, stressed the information about Arar does not justify his 2002 deportation to Syria, where he was tortured into false confessions of involvement with the al-Qaida terrorist network.

But it provides some insight into why the United States has resisted pressure from Canada to expunge Arar’s name from its lookout and no-fly lists.

....

American officials recently gave Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day a look at the information they say warrants Arar’s continued presence on U.S. watch lists.

Day insisted there was nothing to suggest Arar is a security risk.

U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins said it was presumptuous of Day to tell the United States who is allowed into its country. Wilkins was under orders from Washington to deliver the retort, said the State Department official.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised Friday to continue to press the Americans on the file. “We will not drop the matter,” he said.


The Americans could simply be stubbornly refusing to admit making a mistake on their end--if for no other reason than to avoid getting caught up in a similar payout. Buying off terror suspects, even exonerated ones, won't play well in the press or electorate there.

Or maybe, just maybe, there's still good reason to keep an eye on him.

Being not guilty of X doesn't mean being innocent of Y.

Source: National Post

9 comments:

Omar Soliman said...

"Or maybe, just maybe, there's still good reason to keep an eye on him."

PLEASE...stop it with the bullshit.

A Canadian judge gave verdict on the man's innocence. That should be enough.

Anonymous said...

Arar was deported from another country and allegedly tortured by his fellow Syrian citizens. While members of the RCMP could be fired from their jobs and sued, Canadian taxpayers owe him nothing.

Kitchener Conservative said...

I'm with omar on this one. Mahar got screwed by the RCMP, that action led to him being sent to the US and eventually to Syria.

We may not have directly tortured him, but our negligence got the ball rolling.

It's not that unusally for someone who is falsely accused to later by compensated. David Milgard comes to mind, he received $10 million from the government

Anonymous said...

My question is this - Why won't Maher Arar renounce his Syrian citizenship? If he wants to be a Canadian, then he should. It would have saved him and us a lot of trouble in the first place.

As for the US refusing him access to the their country that is their call to make and not Canada's. Too bad so sad for Maher.

Anonymous said...

Omar said, A Canadian judge gave a verdict re Arar. Wow. When have Canadian judges shown any intelligence. I'm sure you have seen some of the sentences they hand down for serious crime. What a joke. There has never been any verifyable evidence of torture to Arar.My understanding is he was unemployed and travelling on his Canadian passport to Syria.Syria disavows any torture and there is no proof of torture.

John M Reynolds said...

Can't he just drive to Las Vegas instead?

Omar Soliman said...

Anonymous said:

"When have Canadian judges shown any intelligence."

What frightens me about this kind of talk is the lack of integrity that you have for our justice system. If you haven't yet realized, we have one of the best judicial systems the world has to offer.

Your lack of patriotism and belief in the Canadian idea, in my opinion, is directly linked to your stubborn ideological ways...that the system doesn't work if it isn't your way.

That is the essence of radicalism my friend.

Saskboy said...

"someone who is falsely accused to later by compensated. David Milgard comes to mind, he received $10 million from the government"

If only it were as simple as a false accusation and a loss of reputation. In Milgard's case he was in jail for decades! And in Arar's he was tortured!

Anon thinks we don't owe him, well we voted those RCMP security dolt's bosses into office. Our bad, the buck stops with the tax payer when our justice system finds our workers indirectly tortured and directly jailed people who are INNOCENT.

catnip said...

My question is this - Why won't Maher Arar renounce his Syrian citizenship?

Read my lips because this question keeps popping up over and over in the right-wing blogosphere and people still don't seem to understand it - which they would if they actually used Google:

You cannot legally renounce Syrian citizenship.

Being not guilty of X doesn't mean being innocent of Y.

And being not guilty of X does not mean being guilty of Y either.