US Torture Program

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Direct quotations from Bob Herbert’s column, The New York Times, Feb. 25, 2005

Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen….while attempting to change planes at JFK airport on his way home from a family vacation in Tunisia, was seized by American authorities, interrogated and thrown into jail. He was not charged with anything, and he never would be charged with anything, but his life would be ruined. Mr. Arar was surreptitiously flown out of the US to Jordan and then driven to Syria, where he was kept like a nocturnal animal in an unlit, underground, rat-infested cell…From time to time he was tortured.

The Syrians who tortured him have concluded that Mr. Arar is not linked in any way to terrorism… Mr. Arar is the most visible victim of the reprehensible US policy known as “extraordinary rendition” in which individuals are abducted by American authorities and transferred, without any legal rights whatever, to a regime skilled in the art of torture.

A lawsuit on Mr. Arar’s behalf has been filed against the US by the Center for Constitutional Rights in NY…a lawyer with the center noted that the government is arguing that none of Mr. Arar’s claims can ever be adjudicated because they “would involve the revelation of state secrets.”

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