Tuesday, September 19, 2006

"How can you be an American citizen and not be completely outraged, embarrassed, and disgusted by this conduct?"

This quote came from Glenn Greenwald's "Unclaimed Territory" blog today, in an article that summarizes the state we find ourselves in today, with the head of state we elected. He is, of course, commenting on the release of Maher Arar from American custody today. Yesterday, a Canadian justice found "that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offense or that his activities constituted a threat to the security of Canada." Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen, was taken into custody by the U.S. at JFK while changing planes and was sent, via an "extraordinary rendition" to Syria where he was beaten repeatedly with a steel cable.

Read Greenwald's entire post for a summary of other instances in which the U.S. government has detained foreign nationals without trial, only to later release them. For example:
" Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen who alleges -- with the support of German
prosecutors -- that the U.S. Government abducted him, drugged him, flew him to
multiple different torture-using countries (and shuttled him at least to Kabul, Baghdad, and Skopje, Macedonia) as part of the administration's "rendition" program, only to then release him after five months when the U.S. realized it had abducted the wrong person."
[and]...
then there is the case of Mustafa Osama Nasr, who was abducted by the CIA off the streets of Milan and flown to Egypt to be tortured, which prompted Italian prosecutors to issue arrest warrants for the 13 CIA officers responsible for this kidnapping within Italy.

Juxtapose these cases with other headlines from this week such as "U.S. Holds AP Photographer in Iraq 5 Mos" and "U.S. war prisons legal vacuum for 14,000.", and it's hard to miss Greenwald's point, isn't it?

1 comment:

Megan Annand said...

What's interesting about the Arar case is how little coverage it received in the US. The US was responsible for sending Arar to Syria, his native country although he is a naturalized Canadian citizen. He was sent off on one of those rendition flights. He spent almost a year being tortured in Syria including living in a space the size of a coffin. Where was the coverage? On the CBC. The CBC has a very fine evening new magazine, which covers Canadian, US and world news with a different spin than our media. It's called As It Happens.