A Canadian who was deported to Syria by the US government for a hellish, 10.5 month torture ordeal will not get justice in the USA.
Maher Arar is a Syrian-born Canadian and father who was arrested while passing through the US on his way home to Canada. The Canadian government provided US authorities with bad intelligence suggesting Arar had ties to Al Qaeda. Arar was deported to Syria where he was held in a 3'x6'x7' cell for 10 and a half months, during which time he was brutally tortured.
The Canadian government investigated Arar's case, concluded that he was not a terrorist, had no ties to terrorists, and had been unjustly detained and tortured, and paid him $10.5 million.
Arar has tried to clear his name in the US — he is still considered a terrorist there, as is his family — but no court has heard his case, because the US government (including the Obama administration) claims that allowing the case to be heard would compromise national security. The Supreme Court has now refused to hear Arar's case.
Upon his release, Arar sued Bush's Justice Department, but his lawsuit was rejected by a succession of U.S. courts, in part out of deference to the executive branch's claim that national security would be harmed by allowing a federal judge to review the relevant evidence. That's a common legal maneuver that was used frequently by the Bush administration, and which Obama pledged to use less often. So far, those promises have been proven to be empty…
Arar and his family remain on a U.S. watch list, and the United States has never officially apologized or admitted it made a mistake.
Instead, Obama's Justice Department told the Supreme Court that Arar's case remained too secret for justice, and that the U.S. law offers no recourse for him.
(Image: Maherarar.ca/Bill Grimshaw)