Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Meanwhile, back at the ranch! Or, The Ballad of Maher Arar!

There is a guy here in Canada by the name of Maher Arar who has had a lot of problems in the last little while.
This is: "The Ballad of Maher Arar!"

(With thanks to Greg Weston)

Now Maher is a Syrian born (Canadian citizen) engineer who has lived here in Canada for many years. While on vacation in Tunisia to visit relatives back in September of 2002 he was stopped on the way back home during a change of planes in New York .

To make a long story short it appears the R.C.M.P. and C.S.I.S. (Canadian Security and Intelligence Services) asked the U. S. to put Maher and his wife on a security watch list and described them as "Islamic extremists" suspected of being linked to al-Qaida. (To get the facts straight, Maher had run into someone {once, a long time ago}socially, who was linked to al-Qaida and he has since then been described as a "person of interest!"

Maher was arrested in New York and then eventually sent to Syria for interrogation. (It seems they can't use torture and all that stuff on U.S. soil) During the year he was confined he was............ well let's just say he survived and eventually got home.

Now there is an investigation into the whole affair and the shit has hit the fan. First of all is this quote: "Everyone who testified accepts that this description of Arar was wrong and should not have been given to the Americans. There was no basis for any such assertion." On top of this the inquiry found that senior R.C.M.P. officials realized their mistake but didn't want to admit any errors so they tried to back their original claims against Arar with all kinds of information that was exaggerated, distorted or just plain false! (THEY LIED!)
They even went so far as to alter their own police notes!!!!!!!!!

It goes further, the inquiry stated that: "The malevolence of Canadian officialdom didn't stop with Arar's arrest. On several occasions, even as the Canadian Government was trying to free Arar from his foreign dungeon, C.S.I.S. officials were telling the Syrians that it would be better if Arar was not let back into Canada."
(C.S.I.S. denies this but it is documented as true!)

In an effort to dispel the notion that Canada didn't want Arar back, Foreign Affairs tried to draft a letter to the Syrians saying that there was no evidence whatsoever that he was tied to any terrorist group or activity. Both the R.C.M.P. and C.S.I.S refused to put their stamp of approval on this letter and instead insisted on making even more false claims about Arar.

In the months before and after Arar's release, unnamed Canadian security officials conducted what Justice Dennis O'Connor described as a "smear campaign" of leaks to the media of supposedly confidential intelligence that was "inaccurate, unsupported and grossly unfair to Mr. Arar."

This all came to a head with a newspaper story by reporter Juliette O'Neill, who said that the leaks had come from the R.C.M.P. and G.S.I.S. in their attempt to defend themselves against allegations that the security forces had "sent an innocent man to be tortured in Syria."

Now listen to this.............. in response to this article the R.C.M.P. raided O'Neill's home, took her in for questioning and confiscated all her correspondence, notes, computers etc.

As for poor Arar, his life is all but ruined. But, the O'Connor inquiry has laid the groundwork for the mother of all lawsuits against the R.C.M.P. and the Government.

We can say that this time the man will get the Mounties, not the other way around!

What the HELL is going on here? Is it 1984 or is this a Police State? This is Canada for Christ's sake, not some two bit third world country.

I guess the only difference is that here in Canada, when these abuses of authority are discovered, we are allowed to sue the ass off the perpetrators instead of just quietly disappearing!

It's no wonder I hate the cops as much as the religious nuts.
(And we all know that cops don't lie, right?)

Your pissed scribe:
Allan W Janssen


Blogger Chris said...

Dear Sir,
I ask the same exact question here in the United States. Just what the hell is going on, and when are the American people going to wake up. I used to be a cop, been retired about 6 years now. I see the miscarriges of justce these days and wonder...and wonder....and wonder. I don't see any public outrage here in the States. I often ask myself, have we become that compliant and blind to the illegal assertions our current government is making and carrying out? It is an outrage.
My heart and apologies goe out to Mr. Arar, as it is because of the leader of my country that Mr.Arar had his civil rights violated. Lets hope that some sanity can be gained by our public officials combined, and that true civil rights will emerge.( Unlikely....but we still can hope)


Tuesday, September 19, 2006 10:20:00 a.m.  

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