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January 21, 2004


Katherine, I say again: excellent work.

Can I ask one favor: add in links to the previous 13 posts in your final one? I intend to link to this on my lj, and to spread it widely. It will be easier if it can be one link that leads to all 14 blogging posts.

Jesu--here you go:

(You can also click "Maher Arar" under "Categories" on the right menu.)

I too want to say this entire series is excellent.

I missed numbers 12 and 13 (will go look for them now), but I still haven't figured out if the US government is denying he was tortured or not...in one place it looked like the were denying it and in another like they were admitting it happened...is this clear yet?

They haven't exactly denied it; Ashcroft has noted that Syria has said it didn't torture him, and this was consistent with their assurances before he was deported. At least one anonymous U.S. official has said that Arar was tortured (in a NY Times story.) And the only people who will outright say he wasn't are the Syrian government.

I strongly urge my non-fellow Americans to heed Katherine's advice and write to your representatives. This sort of thing isn't good for anyone of any political persuasion.

If I were a US citizen I'd be writing. It's a crying shame the papers don't seem interested; if our Government in the UK had done this, and one of the tabloids got hold of it, you wouldn't hear the end of it.

Agreed, Katherine. Good work in keeping this one alive.

I heard a story on NPR yestardy that, while much, much less heinous, is indicative of things happening in government that are Not Good.

Whether or not the woman in question did anything wrong, DoJ should not have tampered with her emails. If they've got a complaint against her, they need to take it to court.

There have been a lot of limits on civil rights since September 11. Some of them are probably necessary, but some are not; some are more or less benign, but some are dangerous.

I used to think the same thing - 'Some of them are probably necessary' - but what that kind of thinking got us was the Patriot Act, and no improvement of the intelligence apparatuses in the government. One of the things that the NRA does correctly, IMHO, is recognize a slippery slope when they see one. They consistently and forcefully (and tastelessly, often) oppose legislation of any kind that might infringe upon their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. 9/11 was caused by a massive intelligence failure - operational and otherwise. The intelligence organizations in the U.S. and abroad had more than ample resources to prevent 9/11. It took massive negligence (criminal I'd say) to not prevent the events of that day. Jim Bovard says that nothing happened on 9/11 to make the government any more competent. I couldn't agree more. The answer to preventing another 9/11 is to fix the broken intelligence services in the US, the beaurocracy, inter-agency comm, international cooperation, etc. It is not, and should never have been, the Patriot Act. How many memos from FBI field agents had to be deliberately disappeared? It's outrageous at best. Here's hoping the near-powerless 9/11 Commission gets to more truth.

There are virtually no checks/balances left in a government that is completely dependent on those checks/balances to prevent totalitarian rule. Tommy Franks, ex-military leader/commander/warmonger/whatever, recently said something to the effect, and I'm not kidding:

One more terrorist event like 9/11 and the (US) Constitution will be suspended (aka martial law).

Repeal *all* of the Patriot Act until we can do it right!

Keep up the good work K.

For Cannucks, I bet a letter to some senior US gub officials (or those still close to them) from concerned Canadian citizens might help. Couldn't hurt. Try the Commie sympathizers like Bob Barr.

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