Congress Hears of Abuse in Extraordinary Rendition Case — Members Apologize to Victim

Government officials have admitted to newspaper that they have used extraordinary renditions to send individuals to other countries for torture. Congress rather belatedly after six years of GOP control is now looking into these abuses. For a prior column, click here One of the worst incidents involves Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian citizen, who was detained by the U.S. ion Sept. 26, 2002, as he stopped over in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport en route home from a vacation. He was held for days that then sent by private jet to Syria where he was tortured.

After nearly a year in a Syrian prison, he was released without charges and returned to Canada. The Canadian government has apologized to Arar for its role in the case and agreed to pay him almost $10 million in compensation. However, the Bush Administration has refused to apologize as in other shocking cases and has fought any effort of such victims to receive compensation for their abuse. It remains part of this Administration’s policy to use torture both directly and indirectly in the war on terror. It is also the reason why the United States has been increasingly denounced as a rogue nation that is undermining rather than fighting to maintain the rule of law.
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