Saturday, October 20, 2007

The administration's criminal war against American values (pt. 1224)

I was pleased to read that Congress has apologized to a Canadian citizen who was kidnaped by US officials and shipped off to Syria where he was tortured.

The process is known as extraordinary rendition, which is a euphemism for simple kidnaping. Yes, kidnaping, the same tactic employed by terrorists themselves. For US officials themselves to use this is nothing less than a disgrace.

That American officials would ship their alleged terrorist suspect off to a country that the US government itself calls a state sponsor of terror is mind boggling, even by the Bush administration's incoherent standards of rational reasoning.

Maher Arar was released from the Syrian prison without charge. A Canadian government inquiry also cleared him of any involvement in terorrism.

But not after he spent 10 months in a Syrian jail where he says he was "beaten with an electrical cable and threatened with a metal chair, the tyre and electric shocks," which is no surprise since the US government itself says that Syria tortures and even kills its prisoners.

He inexplicably remains on the US government's watchlist... even after being cleared of wrongdoing by his torturers!

Just click your heels and say "they hate us because we're free."

It's yet another example of how the Bush administration repeated and criminal betrayal of American values undermines its very claims of being on the side of freedom.

But at least Congress had the basic decency to apologize for the administration's affront to liberty and humanity. Or at least this particular one.

Update: This editorial in The Washington Post reminds readers how the president's belief in freedom is a bit more waffling than his apologists would have you believe.

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