Lawmakers Apologize

. . . and well they should. MSNBC has the story.

One interesting paragraph was this one:

Legal experts say the case shows the United States has violated a 1998 law that specifically prohibits the government from turning a suspect over to a foreign country where the suspect might be tortured. U.S. authorities say they do not turn over suspects to other countries without diplomatic assurances that they will not be tortured.

He was turned over to Syria. On what basis did someone in our government believe a diplomatic assurance from the Syrians that he wouldn’t be tortured? Is it because Syria has never been known to lie before? They’re on our list of states supporting terrorism! Yet we are, of course, going to continue this practice because it is so valuable–we are assured–in fighting terrorism.

And here is what one Republican congressman said:

“Yes, we should be ashamed” of what happened in the Arar case, Rohrabacher said. “That is no excuse to end a program which has protected the lives of hundreds of thousands if not millions of Americans. … We are at war. Mistakes happen. People die.”

Mistakes happen? Well, yes they do. If we had arrested and questioned him, but studied the situation carefully before we turned him over to Syria, we could presumably have avoided this mistake. The problem is that we are getting calloused about charges of [tag]torture[/tag]. After all, there are those in our own government who will defend the practice. [sarcasm]Perhaps someone sent him to Syria for his own protection.[/sarcasm]

At least the Canadian government is doing the right thing now by apologizing and compensating the man.

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One Comment

  1. I suppose they reasoned it was easier to go ahead and do what they wanted – to outsource torture or torture suspects themselves – and then apologize later if they must. Callouses indicate a preexisting condition of decency. Can one intend to torture and still maintain a moral code?

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