[Vision2020] Innocent Man Sent to Syria and Tortured

Dick Sherwin rvrcowboy at clearwire.net
Wed Sep 20 14:27:45 PDT 2006

As I understand this story, the U.S. depended on Canadian officials as to the status of this "Innocent Man" and he was deported to Syria based on information from Canada.  Is this true, or am I wrong?  

At any rate, mistakes do happen and perhaps the U.S. officials should have checked out the validity of the claims by the Canadian Immigration people more closely.  I am sure that Ted and Joe would have made sure, beyond the word of officials of this guy's own government, that he should not have been deported to Syria.  

Point being, we have all heard the story now boys.  You can stop trying to make it appear the United States purposefully exiled an innocent man to a country where our government knew he would be beaten and mistreated.  I know it is difficult for you both to just let such an opportunity drop but, believe me, it is no longer current news.  Get over it.

Dick S
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ted Moffett 
  To: Joe Campbell 
  Cc: Vision 2020 
  Sent: Wednesday, September 20, 2006 10:25 AM
  Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Innocent Man Sent to Syria and Tortured

  Joe et. al.

  Of course not.

  What do you call those who seize an innocent man, kidnap him to a foreign nation against his will beyond help, deny him access to review of his imprisonment by any court or judge or any resemblance to the fundamental legal protections of habeas corpus, beat him, interrogate him, and take a year of his life away? 

  Defenders of freedom!  

  In Brown v. Vasquez, 952 F.2d 1164, 1166 (9th Cir. 1991), cert. denied, 112 S.Ct. 1778 (1992), the court observed that the Supreme Court has "recognized the fact that`[t]he writ of habeas corpus is the fundamental instrument for safeguarding individual freedom against arbitrary and lawless state action.' Harris v. Nelson, 394 U.S. 286, 290-91 (1969). " Therefore, the writ must be "administered with the initiative and flexibility essential to insure that miscarriages of justice within its reach are surfaced and corrected." Harris, 394 U.S. at 291. 

  Ted Moffett

  On 9/19/06, Joe Campbell <joekc at adelphia.net> wrote: 
    Careful, Ted! You don't want anyone to think that you're supporting terrorists with this post, do you?

    Best, Joe

    ---- Ted Moffett <starbliss at gmail.com> wrote:


    Innocent Man Sent to Syria and Tortured, Probe Finds
    Canadian Report Faults Mounties, U.S. for Deportation

    TORONTO (Sept. 19) - The United States "very likely" sent a Canadian
    software engineer to Syria, where he was tortured, based on the false
    accusation by Canadian authorities that he was suspected of links to 
    al-Qaida, according to a new government report.

    Syrian-born Maher Arar was exonerated of all suspicion of terrorist activity
    by the 2 1/2-year commission of inquiry into his case, which urged the
    Canadian government to offer him financial compensation. Arar is perhaps the 
    world's best-known case of extraordinary rendition -- the U.S. transfer of
    foreign terror suspects to third countries without court approval.

    "I am able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that 
    Mr. Arar has committed any offense or that his activities constitute a
    threat to the security of Canada," Justice Dennis O'Connor said Monday in a
    three-volume report on the findings of the inquiry, part of which was made 

    Arar was traveling on a Canadian passport when he was detained at New York's
    Kennedy Airport on Sept. 26, 2002, on his way home from vacation in Tunisia.

    Arar said U.S. authorities sent him to Syria for interrogation as a 
    suspected member of al-Qaida, a link he denied.

    He spent nearly a year in prison in Syria and made detailed allegations
    after his release in 2003 about extensive interrogation, beatings and
    whippings with electrical cables. 

    O'Connor criticized the U.S. and recommended that Ottawa file formal
    protests with both Washington and the Syrian government over Arar's

    "The American authorities who handled Mr. Arar's case treated Mr. Arar in a 
    most regrettable fashion," O'Connor wrote. "They removed him to Syria
    against his wishes and in the face of his statements that he would be
    tortured if sent there. Moreover, they dealt with Canadian officials 
    involved with Mr. Arar's case in a less than forthcoming manner."

    The U.S. is already under intense criticism from human rights groups over
    the practice of sending suspects to countries where they could be tortured. 

    U.S. and Syrian officials refused to cooperate with the Canadian inquiry.

    The commission found the Royal Canadian Mounted Police shared information
    about Arar with American anti-terrorist agencies both before and after he 
    was detained.

    The RCMP asked the U.S. to put Arar on a watch list as an "Islamic extremist
    individual" suspected of links to the al-Qaida terrorist movement, the
    report said.

    The request was issued after Arar met with another man who was under 
    surveillance, a meeting Arar has said was about how to find inexpensive
    computer equipment.

    "The RCMP had no basis for this description, which had the potential to
    create serious consequences for Mr. Arar in light of American attitudes and 
    practices," the report said.

    The RCMP described Arar as the "target" of a domestic anti-terrorist
    investigation in Canada when in fact he was a peripheral figure who had come
    under suspicion only because he had been seen in the company of the man who 
    was under surveillance, the report found.

    O'Connor said that much of the material shared with U.S. authorities had not
    been double-checked to ensure its accuracy and reliability -- a violation of
    the RCMP's usual rules for divulging information to foreign agencies. 

    O'Connor concluded that the inaccurate information passed by Canadian police
    to U.S. authorities "very likely" led to their decision to send Arar to

    "It's quite clear that the RCMP sent inaccurate information to U.S.
    officials," Arar said at a news conference in Ottawa. "I would have not have
    even been sent to Syria had this information not been given to them."

    "I have waited a long time to have my name cleared. I was tortured and lost 
    a year of my life. I will never be the same," Arar said. "The United States
    must take responsibility for what it did to me and must stop destroying more
    innocent lives with its unlawful actions."

    The commission concluded there was no evidence Canadian officials
    participated in or agreed to the decision to send Arar to Syria. But
    O'Connor recommended that in the future, information should never be
    provided to a foreign country where there is a credible risk that it will 
    cause or contribute to the use of torture.

    Most of the judge's 23 policy recommendations centered on the RCMP and
    emphasized the need to improve the force's internal policies for national
    security investigations and the sharing of information with other countries. 

    Arar's case has been regularly featured on the front pages of Canadian
    newspapers and public outcry led to the government calling an inquiry.
    Canada's federal government established the inquiry in 2004 to determine the 
    role Canadian officials played.

    O'Connor also found "troubling questions" about the role played by Canadian
    officials in the cases of three other Canadians of Arab descent -- Ahmad El
    Maati, Abdullah Almalki and Muayyed Nureddin. All claim they were tortured 
    in Syria after traveling there on personal business, and all suspect that
    the RCMP, Canadian intelligence or both collaborated with their captors.

    O'Connor said he could not get to the bottom of those cases because of the 
    limited nature of his mandate. But he urged the government to appoint an
    independent investigator -- something short of a full-fledged public inquiry
    -- to look into those cases.

    O'Connor sifted through thousands of pages of documents and sat through 
    testimony from more than 40 witnesses. He delivered two versions of his
    report to the government: one classified, the other public. But portions of
    even the public edition of the long-awaited document were withheld due to 
    security concerns.

    9/19/2006 06:23:35


    Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett


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