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Saturday, February 26, 2005

Must Read: Thrown to the Wolves - A Suspect Rounded Up 3 Years Ago, Reveals Chilling Details

Bob Herbert Op Ed - Published by the NY Times

Excerpt: If John Ashcroft was right, then I was staring into the malevolent, duplicitous eyes of pure evil, the eyes of a man with the mass murder of Americans on his mind. But all I could really see was a polite, unassuming, neatly dressed guy who looked like a suburban Little League coach.

If Mr. Ashcroft was right, then Maher Arar should have been in a U.S. prison, not talking to me in an office in downtown Ottawa. But there he was, a 34-year-old man who now wears a perpetually sad expression, talking about his recent experiences - a real-life story with the hideous aura of a hallucination. Mr. Arar's 3-year-old son, Houd, loudly crunched potato chips while his father was being interviewed.

"I still have nightmares about being in Syria, being beaten, being in jail," said Mr. Arar. "They feel very real. When I wake up, I feel very relieved to find myself in my room."

In the fall of 2002 Mr. Arar, a Canadian citizen, suddenly found himself caught up in the cruel mockery of justice that the Bush administration has substituted for the rule of law in the post-Sept. 11 world. While attempting to change planes at Kennedy Airport on his way home to Canada from a family vacation in Tunisia, he 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 United States to Jordan and then driven to Syria, where he was kept like a nocturnal animal in an unlit, underground, rat-infested cell that was the size of a grave. From time to time he was tortured.

He wept. He begged not to be beaten anymore. He signed whatever confessions he was told to sign. He prayed.

Among the worst moments, he said, were the times he could hear babies crying in a nearby cell where women were imprisoned. He recalled hearing one woman pleading with a guard for several days for milk for her child.

The Justice Department has alleged, without disclosing any evidence whatsoever, that Mr. Arar is a member of, or somehow linked to, Al Qaeda. If that's so, how can the administration possibly allow him to roam free? The Syrians, who tortured him, have concluded that Mr. Arar is not linked in any way to terrorism.

And the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a sometimes-clownish outfit that seems to have helped set this entire fiasco in motion by forwarding bad information to American authorities, is being criticized heavily in Canada for failing to follow its own rules on the handling and dissemination of raw classified information.

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Hard Comment: This story sickens me, this poor guy was never charged, 'suspicion'.
The so called 'Liberal Dominated Media', I doubt this will make it to CNN, MSNBC or Fox News.

What Really chills me is the fact that this guy, in those cellars, was hearing babies crying and mother's pleading for food for them, geezus, I am F*%#ing disgusted right now.



How do you feel after reading this?

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