A life in the day


US Kidnap and Torture Policy

Filed under: — site admin @ 9:49 am

Today’s New York Times Op-Ed column by Bob Herbert is a clear-cut sign of what kind of government we are developing in the United States:

In the fall of 2002 [Maher 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.

Mostly, I’m just sickened, but there’s a part of me that can’t help but feeling that a country that would elect — and re-elect — George Bush deserves this sort of government. (Okay, make that a country that would re-elect GWB; it was the Supreme Court that elected him.)

Herbert ended his column with this:

A lawsuit on Mr. Arar’s behalf has been filed against the United States by the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York. Barbara Olshansky, a lawyer with the center, noted yesterday that the government is arguing that none of Mr. Arar’s claims can even be adjudicated because they “would involve the revelation of state secrets.”

This is a government that feels it is answerable to no one.

I’m afraid that this is quite literally true. The Bush Administration sees itself above our law, and our country above international law. How is the country going to fare with four more years of this evil?

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