[Vision2020] Innocent Man Sent to Syria and Tortured

Bruce and Jean Livingston jeanlivingston at turbonet.com
Thu Sep 21 09:34:07 PDT 2006

Donovan, I agree with much of what you say regarding the initial stop and 
questioning of this Canadian man who turned out to be innocent.  If the 
facts you describe are accurate, I think the stop and questioning are 

What is not OK, in my opinion, is refusing to arrest and try people for the 
crime of which they have been suspected of committing.  Even worse is 
"renditioning" them to another country where they may be tortured or held 
forever (or in THIS instance for "only" four years) without charges under 
hellish conditions that violate the Geneva Convention.

This notion that the Constitution and our high moral ground may be ignored 
and ceded in the name of "protecting the homeland" no matter the cost to our 
principles that formed the basis for our foundation by the framers of the 
Constitution is the nub of our current political crisis.  Under the current 
administration we are making policy that more than anything relies upon 
absolute power and the idea that "might is right" and "because we can," 
while short-sightedly ignoring the long term consequence to our interests 
when other countries decide they too can re-define the Geneva Convention to 
suit "their" interests.  Not to mention ignoring the guiding principles that 
subverted the power of government to the people, and a preference for 
individual rights to challenge the power of Kings, out of a mis-trust of 

This notion that our moral principles can be compromised out of "necessity" 
and that liberty and freedom of the individual and the protection of 
individual rights can be sacrificed in favor of the State's all knowing 
belief or even mere suspicion, based on secret information that cannot be 
tested for its truth, that our protection justifes these incursions on our 
principles is absolutely wrong and antithetical to the American way.  I 
understand that the current administration is taking a mitlitary viewpoint 
of collateral damage being a necessary evil, that good men and women must 
die (or in this case be renditioned and tortured even though they are 
innocent) for the sake of the greater good.  But in my opinion this goes so 
far beyond what our founders envisioned that it cannot be right.  It is like 
saying that the execution of a some innocent people by our justice system is 
an acceptable cost of doing business, that if we miss on a few innocents and 
execute them, too bad, and that executing some innocent people is just a 
cost of doing business as a nation that imposes the death penalty.  I cannot 
accept that executing the innocent as cost of doing business is "OK in the 
scheme of things," and for the same reason, I cannot accept that we become 
like King George the Third of England, the Spanish Inquisition, or whatever 
King prompted the rebellion of lords and nobles ending in the signing of the 
Magna Carta.  Imprisoning people at the whim of a few cloistered power 
brokers at the top of the government and holding those people in prison for 
as long as government deems acceptable at the government's sole discretion 
(whoever "the government" may be, now or in the future), without trial, 
without basic human rights, without the right of habeas corpus, well, it's 

The tables will turn one day, and as absolute power corrupts absolutely, 
another president of this country will take the inch, er - the mile, that 
this President Bush has taken, and stretch it further.  Or the head of state 
of another counrtry or countries will do the same, and our people will 
suffer the consequences.  Having ceded the moral ground, we will have bare 
entreaties of mercy to argue against the next set of mistreatment by someone 

Thank goodness for McCain, Warner, Graham and Powell.  It is about time some 
of the good people in the Republican party stood up to Cheney, Bush, 
Rumsfeld and Gonzales and stood up for American principles.

Bruce Livingston

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Joe Campbell" <joekc at adelphia.net>
To: "Donovan Arnold" <donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com>
Cc: "Vision2020" <vision2020 at moscow.com>
Sent: Thursday, September 21, 2006 3:00 AM
Subject: Re: [Vision2020] Innocent Man Sent to Syria and Tortured

> Get a grip guys. The man was innocent, sent to Syria, and subsequently 
> tortured. If you cannot admit that the US made several mistakes in this 
> instance, what would it take to do so?
> --
> Joe Campbell
> ---- Donovan Arnold <donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> =============
> I think we have to think about this for a moment. Obviously, nobody is 
> justifying torture.
>  However, I don't think the United States just randomly picked on a guy. 
> This guy flew into NY City on Sept. 26, 2002. That was just after the 
> anniversary of  September 11, 2001. The guy fit the profile of the  those 
> that flew the airplanes, and they received a phone call from the  country 
> he just came from saying to stop him because he was a terrorist  and was 
> communicating with Bin Laudin and had a plane ticket to visit a  middle 
> eastern country linked to terrorists. He also  was not a  native born 
> Westerner but Middle Easterner.
> The guy  happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time matching the 
> description of someone the authorities were looking for. He had a  really 
> bad stroke of luck.
> If you happened to be  going for a midnight walk to get some fresh air and 
> a man matching your  description, height, weight, hair and eye color, and 
> wearing the same  thing as you, just raped a woman ten blocks away , and a 
> witness  fingered you as "That's the guy!" to a police officer, could you 
> blame  the officers for taking you in?
>  What happened after that was upsetting. But let us be realistic about 
> this and how the world works.
>  Best,
>  _DJA
> Dick Sherwin <rvrcowboy at clearwire.net> wrote:              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!
>    http://www.lectlaw.com/def/h001.htm
>        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:
> =============
> http://articles.news.aol.com/news/_a/innocent-man-sent-to-syria-and-tortured/20060918232609990016?ncid=NWS00010000000001
> 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
> public.
> 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
> treatment.
> "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
> Syria.
> "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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