Thursday, November 03, 2005

Bush's new internal struggle and Maher Arar's Bush induced reality

From Americablog today, Bush Administration Debating Whether Torture Is Good
Hey, at least there's some sort of internal struggle on whether we should be torturing people (with Cheney leading the "torture is good" camp). But how sad that Bush has lowered our standards that this is even a topic of discussion in America.
Here is my response on the comment section which will be wiped when the issue goes to the next page:

From the NYT article:
"The uniformed service lawyers are behind the rewrite because it brings the policy into line with Geneva," one senior defense official said. "Their concern was that we were losing our standing with allies as well as the moral high ground with the rest of the world."
We've already lost those things. We aren't going to even begin put that genie back in the bottle until Bushco is out of the White House. The torture Bushco has been okay with until now (and I'll remind you Alan Dershowitz has little problem with it either) has already done us great harm in our standing in the world. How can we morally push others for greater human rights when our current leaders have had no problem with violating them? Those that we castigate now look at us, laugh and point to the torture we've allowed and promoted. They don't take us seriously any more.

And how about those innocents we've already wrongly tortured or gave over for "extraordinary rendition" to be tortured in our name? Like Maher Arar:

From the New Yorker, OUTSOURCING TORTURE
The secret history of America’s “extraordinary rendition” program.
On January 27th, President Bush, in an interview with the Times, assured the world that “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.” Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer who was born in Syria, was surprised to learn of Bush’s statement. Two and a half years ago, American officials, suspecting Arar of being a terrorist, apprehended him in New York and sent him back to Syria, where he endured months of brutal interrogation, including torture. When Arar described his experience in a phone interview recently, he invoked an Arabic expression. The pain was so unbearable, he said, that “you forget the milk that you have been fed from the breast of your mother.”
He's a broken man
"Although he initially tried to assert his innocence, he eventually confessed to anything his tormentors wanted him to say. “You just give up,” he said. “You become like an animal.”

A year later, in October, 2003, Arar was released without charges, after the Canadian government took up his cause. Imad Moustapha, the Syrian Ambassador in Washington, announced that his country had found no links between Arar and terrorism. Arar, it turned out, had been sent to Syria on orders from the U.S. government, under a secretive program known as “extraordinary rendition.” This program had been devised as a means of extraditing terrorism suspects from one foreign state to another for interrogation and prosecution. Critics contend that the unstated purpose of such renditions is to subject the suspects to aggressive methods of persuasion that are illegal in America—including torture.

Arar is suing the U.S. government for his mistreatment. “They are outsourcing torture because they know it’s illegal,” he said. “Why, if they have suspicions, don’t they question people within the boundary of the law?”

Rendition was originally carried out on a limited basis, but after September 11th, when President Bush declared a global war on terrorism, the program expanded beyond recognition—becoming, according to a former C.I.A. official, “an abomination.”
Mahrer Arar's case (read the entire article) makes it clear that Bush's statement; “torture is never acceptable, nor do we hand over people to countries that do torture.”, was and is a lie. Another lie.

I'm sure Bush's new debate and internal struggle will comfort Mr. Arar, along with all those innocents who've been tortured or kept in 2 years of solitary confinement here in the US, without trail or conviction.

One more question, "Why is Bush going after Syria now when Syria has helped this administration torture people?"

Eid Mubarak

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