Third Party & Independents Archives

A Warm, Fuzzy Security Story

Nothing quite like being kidnapped by the US Government, shipped to Syria and tortured for 10 months to make you feel nice and safe at home.

The NY Times is running this story about Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer, and his story of abduction, deportation and his ensuing lawsuit against the US. Here's some excerpts:

American officials grabbed him in 2002 as he changed planes in New York and transported him to Syria where, he says, he was held for 10 months in a dank, tiny cell and brutally beaten with a metal cable.

After 10 months in a cell he compared to a grave, and 2 more months in a less confined space, Syrian officials freed Mr. Arar in October 2003, saying they had been unable to find any connection to Al Qaeda. (Oops!)

The administration has refused to cooperate with the Canadian inquiry into Mr. Arar's case and has asked a judge to dismiss most of his lawsuit, saying that allowing it to proceed would reveal classified information.

Essentially this man was returning home to Canada from vacation abroad, stopping to switch flights in NY, and was detained at Kennedy International for a couple weeks before a privately chartered jet flew him out of the country to Rome then Jordan, and finally driven over to Syria. Mr. Arar has identified the plane visually, and his story collaborates with flight records indicating that that same plane did indeed make stops that corrolate with his record of events.

Just think of the new possibilities with the Transportation Security Administration implementing their Secure Flight program...

Posted by Andrew Parker at March 30, 2005 11:09 AM