The case of Maher Ararshould be very disturbing to most Americans. He is a Canadian citizen of Syrian descent who was falsely accused of being an Islamic extremist by the Candadian authorities in 2002.
The Syrian-born Mr. Arar was seized on Sept. 26, 2002, after he landed at Kennedy Airport in New York on his way home from a holiday in Tunisia. On Oct. 8, he was flown to Jordan in an American government plane and taken overland to Syria, where he says he was held for 10 months in a tiny cell and beaten repeatedly with a metal cable. He was freed in October 2003, after Syrian officials concluded that he had no connection to terrorism and returned him to Canada.
So when our government was informed that this man may have had connections to al-Qaeda our first reaction was to have him shipped over to Syria and tortured. And of course that was soooo effective considering that he immediately confessed to training with al-Qaeda at one of their camps in Afghanistan. But that turned out to be complete B.S. - he had never been to Afghanistan and had zero connection to al-Qaeda or any other extremist groups - so it was all for nothing. Meanwhile, we lied to the Canadians about his whereabouts so that they could not intervene.
As if this story was not awful enough, President Bush and the morally bankrupt Republican Party continues to push legislation that would make torture the common, everyday routine practice of our government - not even something that we would try and cover up anymore.
Quite frankly, the November elections can't get here soon enough. I just hope that there are still enough decent Americans paying attention to what has been going on to make a difference on election day.