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The story of a Canadian sent to Syria by the U.S. and tortured

By llamasex in News
Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:38:07 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen who was deported to Syria by American authorities statement

Statement to the media by Maher Arar, Nov. 4, 2003.

I am here today to tell the people of Canada what has happened to me.

There have been many allegations made about me in the media, all of them by people who refuse to be named or come forward. So before I tell you who I am and what happened to me, I will tell you who I am not.

I am not a terrorist. I am not a member of al-Qaida and I do not know any one who belongs to this group. All I know about al-Qaida is what I have seen in the media.


I have never been to Afghanistan. I have never been anywhere near Afghanistan and I do not have any desire to ever go to Afghanistan. Now, let me tell you who I am.

I am a Syrian-born Canadian. I moved here with my parents when I was 17 years old. I went to university and studied hard, and eventually obtained a Masters degree in telecommunications.

I met my wife, Monia at McGill University. We fell in love and eventually married in 1994. I knew then that she was special, but I had no idea how special she would turn out to be.

If it were not for her, I believe I would still be in prison.

We had our first child, a daughter named Bar,a, in February 1997. She is six years old now. In December 1997, we moved to Ottawa from Montreal.

I took a job with a high-tech firm, called The MathWorks, in Boston in 1999, and my job involved a lot of travel within the U.S.

Then in 2001 I decided to come back to Ottawa to start my own consulting company. We had our second child, Houd, in February 2002. He is 20 months old now.

So this is who I am. I am a father and a husband. I am a telecommunications engineer and entrepreneur. I have never had trouble with the police and have always been a good citizen.

So I still cannot believe what has happened to me, and how my life and career have been destroyed.

In September 2002, I was with my wife and children, and her family, vacationing in Tunis.

I got an e-mail from the MathWorks saying that they might need me soon to assess a potential consulting work for one of their customers.

I said goodbye to my wife and family, and headed back home to prepare for work.

I was using my air-miles to travel, and the best flight I could get went from Tunis, to Zurich, to New York, to Montreal.

My flight arrived in New York at 2 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2002. I had a few hours to wait until my connecting flight to Montreal.

This is when my nightmare began. I was pulled aside at immigration and taken to another area.

Two hours later some officials came and told me this was regular procedure -- they took my fingerprints and photographs.

Then some police came and searched my bags and copied my Canadian passport. I was getting worried, and I asked what was going on, and they would not answer.

I asked to make a phone call, and they would not let me.

Then a team of people came and told me they wanted to ask me some questions. One man was from the FBI, and another was from the New York Police Department.

I was scared and did not know what was going on.

I told them I wanted a lawyer. They told me I had no right to a lawyer, because I was not an American citizen.

They asked me where I worked and how much money I made. They swore at me, and insulted me. It was very humiliating.

They wanted me to answer every question quickly.

They were consulting a report while they were questioning me, and the information they had was so private -- I thought this must be from Canada. I told them everything I knew.

They asked me about my travel in the United States. I told them about my work permits, and my business there.

They asked about information on my computer and whether I was willing to share it. I welcomed the idea, but I don't know if they did. They asked me about different people, some I know, and most I do not.

They asked me about Abdullah Almalki, and I told them I worked with his brother at high-tech firms in Ottawa, and that the Almalki family had come from Syria about the same time as mine. I told them I did not know Abdullah well, but had seen him a few times and I described the times I could remember.

I told them I had a casual relationship with him.

They were so rude with me, yelling at me that I had a selective memory. Then they pulled out a copy of my rental lease from 1997. I could not believe they had this.

I was completely shocked. They pointed out that Abdullah had signed the lease as a witness. I had completely forgotten that he had signed it for me -- when we moved to Ottawa in 1997, we needed someone to witness our lease, and I phoned Abdullah's brother, and he could not come, so he sent Abdullah.

But they thought I was hiding this. I told them the truth. I had nothing to hide. I had never had problems in the United States before, and I could not believe what was happening to me.

This interrogation continued until midnight. I was very, very worried, and asked for a lawyer again and again.

They just ignored me. Then they put me in chains, on my wrists and ankles, and took me in a van to a place where many people were being held -- another building by the airport. They would not tell me what was happening.

At one in the morning they put me in a room with metal benches in it. I could not sleep. I was very, very scared and disoriented. The next morning they started questioning me again.

They asked me about what I think about bin Laden, Palestine, Iraq. They also asked me about the mosques I pray in, my bank accounts, my e-mail addresses, my relatives, about everything.

This continued on and off for eight hours.

Then a man from the INS came in and told me they wanted me to volunteer to go to Syria. I said no way.

I said I wanted to go home to Canada or sent back to Switzerland. He said to me `you are a special interest.' They asked me to sign a form. They would not let me read it, but I just signed it. I was exhausted and confused and disoriented.

I had not slept or eaten since I was in the plane. At about six in the evening they brought me some cold McDonalds meal to eat.

This was the first food I had eaten since the last meal I had on the plane. At about eight o'clock they put all the shackles and chains back on, and put me in a van, and drove me to a prison.

I later learned this was the Metropolitan Detention Centre. They would not tell me what was happening, or where I was going.

They strip searched me. It was humiliating. They put me in an orange suit, and took me to a doctor, where they made me sign forms, and gave me a vaccination.

I asked what it was, and they would not tell me. My arm was red for almost two weeks from that.

They took me to a cell. I had never seen a prison before in my life, and I was terrified. I asked again for a phone call and a lawyer. They just ignored me.

They treated me differently than the other prisoners. They would not give me a toothbrush or toothpaste, or reading material. I did get a copy of the Koran about two days later.

After five days, they let me make a phone call. I called Monia's mother, who was here in Ottawa, and told her I was scared they might send me to Syria, and asked her to help find me a lawyer. They would only let me talk for two minutes.

On the seventh or eighth day they brought me a document, saying they had decided to deport me, and I had a choice of where to be deported. I wrote that I wanted to go to Canada. It asked if I had concerns about going to Canada. I wrote no, and signed it.

The Canadian consul came on Oct. 4, and I told her I was scared of being deported to Syria. She told me that would not happen. She told me that a lawyer was being arranged. I was very upset, and scared. I could barely talk.

The next day, a lawyer came. She told me not to sign any document unless she was present. We could only talk for 30 minutes. She said she would try to help me. That was a Saturday.

On Sunday night at about 9 p.m., the guards came to my cell and told me my lawyer was there to see me. I thought it was a strange time, and they took me into a room with seven or eight people in it.

I asked where my lawyer was. They told me he had refused to come and started questioning me again.

They said they wanted to know why I did not want to go back to Syria. I told them I would be tortured there. I told them I had not done my military service; I am a Sunni Muslim; my mother's cousin had been accused of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and was put in prison for nine years.

They asked me to sign a document and I refused. I told them they could not send me to Syria - I would be tortured.

I asked again for a lawyer. At three in the morning they took me back to my cell. At three in the morning on Tuesday, Oct. 8, a prison guard woke me up and told me I was leaving.

They took me to another room and stripped and searched me again. Then they again chained and shackled me.

Then two officials took me inside a room and read me what they said was a decision by the INS director. They told me that based on classified information that they could not reveal to me, I would be deported to Syria.

I said again that I would be tortured there. Then they read part of the document where it explained that INS was not the body that deals with Geneva Convention regarding torture.

Then they took me outside into a car and drove me to an airport in New Jersey. Then they put me on a small private jet. I was the only person on the plane with them. I was still chained and shackled. We flew first to Washington.

A new team of people got on the plane and the others left. I overheard them talking on the phone, saying that Syria was refusing to take me directly, but Jordan would take me.

Then we flew to Portland, to Rome, and then to Amman, Jordan. All the time I was on the plane I was thinking how to avoid being tortured. I was very scared.

We landed in Amman at three in the morning local time on Oct. 9. They took me out of plane and there were six or seven Jordanian men waiting for us.

They blindfolded and chained me, and put me in a van. They made me bend my head down in the back seat. Then, these men started beating me. Every time I tried to talk they beat me.

For the first few minutes it was very intense.

Thirty minutes later, we arrived at a building where they took off my blindfold and asked routine questions, before taking me to a cell. It was around 4:30 in the morning on Oct. 9.

Later that day, they took my fingerprints, and blindfolded me and put me in a van. I asked where I was going, and they told me I was going back to Montreal.

About 45 minutes later, I was put into a different car. These men started beating me again. They made me keep my head down, and it was very uncomfortable, but every time I moved, they beat me again. Over an hour later, we arrived at what I think was the border with Syria.

I was put in another car and we drove for another three hours.

I was taken into a building, where some guards went through my bags and took some chocolates I bought in Zurich. I asked one of the people where I was and he told me I was in the Palestine branch of the Syrian military intelligence. It was now about six in the evening on Oct. 9.

Three men came and took me into a room. I was very, very scared. They put me on a chair, and one of the men started asking me questions. I later learned this man was a colonel.

He asked me about my brothers, and why we had left Syria. I answered all the questions. If I did not answer quickly enough, he would point to a metal chair in the corner and ask `Do you want me to use this?' I did not know then what that chair was for. I learned later it was used to torture people.

I asked him what he wanted to hear. I was terrified, and I did not want to be tortured. I would say anything to avoid torture. This lasted for four hours. There was no violence, only threats this day.

At about one in the morning, the guards came to take me to my cell downstairs.

We went into the basement, and they opened a door, and I looked in. I could not believe what I saw. I asked how long I would be kept in this place. He did not answer, but put me in and closed the door. It was like a grave. It had no light.

It was three feet wide. It was six feet deep. It was seven feet high. It had a metal door, with a small opening in the door, which did not let in light because there was a piece of metal on the outside for sliding things into the cell.

There was a small opening in the ceiling, about one foot by two feet with iron bars. Over that was another ceiling, so only a little light came through this.

There were cats and rats up there, and from time to time the cats peed through the opening into the cell. There were two blankets, two dishes and two bottles. One bottle was for water and the other one was used for urinating during the night. Nothing else. No light.

I spent 10 months, and 10 days inside that grave.

The next day I was taken upstairs again. The beating started that day and was very intense for a week, and then less intense for another week. That second and the third days were the worst.

I could hear other prisoners being tortured, and screaming and screaming. Interrogations are carried out in different rooms.

One tactic they use is to question prisoners for two hours, and then put them in a waiting room, so they can hear the others screaming, and then bring them back to continue the interrogation.

The cable is a black electrical cable, about two inches thick. They hit me with it everywhere on my body.

They mostly aimed for my palms, but sometimes missed and hit my wrists -- they were sore and red for three weeks. They also struck me on my hips, and lower back. Interrogators constantly threatened me with the metal chair, tire and electric shocks.

The tire is used to restrain prisoners while they torture them with beating on the sole of their feet. I guess I was lucky, because they put me in the tire, but only as a threat.

I was not beaten while in tire. They used the cable on the second and third day, and after that mostly beat me with their hands, hitting me in the stomach and on the back of my neck, and slapping me on the face.

Where they hit me with the cables, my skin turned blue for two or three weeks, but there was no bleeding. At the end of the day, they told me tomorrow would be worse. So I could not sleep.

Then on the third day, the interrogation lasted about 18 hours. They beat me from time to time and make me wait in the waiting room for one to two hours before resuming the interrogation.

While in the waiting room I heard a lot of people screaming. They wanted me to say I went to Afghanistan. This was a surprise to me.

They had not asked about this in the United States. They kept beating me so I had to falsely confess and told them I did go to Afghanistan. I was ready to confess to anything if it would stop the torture. They wanted me to say I went to a training camp.

I was so scared I urinated on myself twice. The beating was less severe each of the following days.

At the end of each day, they would always say, `Tomorrow will be harder for you.' So each night, I could not sleep. I did not sleep for the first four days, and slept no more than two hours a day for about two months. Most of time, I was not taken back to my cell, but to the waiting room where I could hear all the prisoners being tortured and screaming.

One time, I heard them banging a man's head repeatedly on a desk really hard. Around Oct. 17, the beatings subsided. Their next tactic was to take me in a room, blindfolded, and people would talk about me.

I could hear them saying, `He knows lots of people who are terrorists;' `We will get their numbers;' `He is a liar;' `He has been out of the country for long.' Then they would say, `Let's be frank, let's be friends, tell us the truth,' and come around the desk, and slap me on the face. They played lots of mind games.

The interrogation and beating ended three days before I had my first consular visit, on Oct. 23.

I was taken from my cell and my beard was shaved. I was taken to another building, and there was the colonel in the hallway with some other men and they all seemed very nervous and agitated.

I did not know what was happening and they would not tell me. They never say what is happening. You never know what will happen next.

I was told not to tell anything about the beating, then I was taken into a room for a 10-minute meeting with the consul. The colonel was there, and three other Syrian officials including an interpreter.

I cried a lot at that meeting. I could not say anything about the torture. I thought if I did, I would not get any more visits, or I might be beaten again.

After that visit, about a month after I arrived, they called me up to sign and place my thumb print on a document about seven pages long.

They would not let me read it, but I had to put my thumb print and signature on the bottom of each page. It was handwritten.

Another document was about three pages long, with questions: Who are your friends? How long have you been out of the country?

Last question was empty lines. They answered the questions with their own handwriting except for the last one where I was forced to write that I had been to Afghanistan.

The consular visits were my lifeline, but I also found them very frustrating.

There were seven consular visits, and one visit from members of Parliament. After the visits, I would bang my head and my fist on the wall in frustration. I needed the visits, but I could not say anything there.

I got new clothes after the Dec. 10 consular visit. Until then, I had been wearing the same clothes since being on the jet from the United States.

On three different occasions in December, I had a very hard time. Memories crowded my mind and I thought I was going to lose control, and I just screamed and screamed. I could not breathe well after, and felt very dizzy.

I was not exposed to sunlight for six months. The only times I left the grave was for interrogation, and for the visits.

Daily life in that place was hell. When I was detained in New York I weighed about 180 pounds. I think I lost about 40 pounds while I was at the Palestine Branch.

On Aug. 19, I was taken upstairs to see the investigator and I was given a paper and asked to write what he dictated.

If I protested, he kicked me. I was forced to write that I went to a training camp in Afghanistan. They made me sign and put my thumbprint on the last page.

The same day I was transferred to a different place, which I learnt later was the Investigation Branch.

I was placed there in a 12 feet by 20 feet collective cell. We were about 50 people in that place. The next day, I was taken to the Sednaya prison. I was very lucky that I was not tortured when I arrived there. All the other prisoners were tortured when they arrived.

Sednaya prison was like heaven for me. I could move around, and talk with other prisoners. I could buy food to eat and I gained a lot of weight there. I was only beaten once there.

On around Sept. 19 or 20, I heard the other prisoners saying that another Canadian had arrived there.

I looked up, and saw a man, but I did not recognize him. His head was shaved, and he was very, very thin and pale. He was very weak. When I looked closer, I recognized him.

It was Abdullah Almalki. He told me he had also been at the Palestine Branch, and that he had also been in a grave like I had been -- except he had been in it longer.

He told me he had been severely tortured -- with the tire, and the cable. He was also hanged upside down. He was tortured much worse than me. He had also been tortured when he was brought to Sednaya, so that was only two weeks before.

I do not know why they have Abdullah there. What I can say for sure is that no human deserves to be treated the way he was, and I hope that Canada does all they can to help him.

On Sept. 28, I was taken out and blindfolded and put in what felt like a bus and taken back to the Palestine Branch.

They would not tell me what was happening, and I was scared I was going back to the grave. Instead, I was put in one of the waiting rooms where they torture people. I could hear the prisoners being tortured, and screaming, again.

The same day I was called in to an office to answer more questions, about what I would say if I came back to Canada. They did not tell me I would be released.

I was put back in the waiting room, and I was kept there for one week, listening to all the prisoners screaming.

It was awful. On Sunday, Oct. 5, I was taken out and into a car and driven to a court. I was put in a room with a prosecutor. I asked for a lawyer and he said I did not need one.

I asked what was going on and he read from my confession. I tried to argue I was beaten and did not go to Afghanistan, but he did not listen.

He did not tell me what I was charged with, but told me to stamp my fingerprint and sign on a document he would not let me see. Then he said I would be released.

Then I was taken back to the Palestine Branch where I met the head of the Syrian Military Intelligence and officials from the Canadian Embassy. And then I was released.

I want to conclude by thanking all of the people who worked for my release, especially my wife Monia, and human rights groups, and all the people who wrote letters, and all the members of parliament who stood up for justice.

Of course, I thank all of the journalists for covering my story.

The past year has been a nightmare, and I have spent the past few weeks at home trying to learn how to live with what happened to me.

I know that the only way I will ever be able to move on in my life and have a future is if I can find out why this happened to me.

I want to know why this happened to me. I believe the only way I can ever know why this happened is to have all the truth come out in a public inquiry.

My priority right now is to clear my name, get to the bottom of the case and make sure this does not happen to any other Canadian citizens in the future.

I believe the best way to go about achieving this goal is to put pressure on the government to call for a public inquiry.

What is at stake here is the future of our country, the interests of Canadian citizens, and most importantly Canada's international reputation for being a leader in human rights where citizens from different ethnic groups are treated no different than other Canadians.
source

This is called rendition

A senior U.S. intelligence official discussed the case in terms of the secret rendition policy. There have been "a lot of rendition activities" since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, the official said. "We are doing a number of them, and they have been very productive."

Renditions are a legitimate option for dealing with suspected terrorists, intelligence officials argue. The U.S. government officially rejects the assertion that it knowingly sends suspects abroad to be tortured, but officials admit they sometimes do that. "The temptation is to have these folks in other hands because they have different standards," one official said. "Someone might be able to get information we can't from detainees," said another.

Syria, where use of torture during imprisonment has been documented by the State Department, maintains a secret but growing intelligence relationship with the CIA, according to intelligence experts.

"The Syrian government has provided some very useful assistance on al Qaeda in the past," said Cofer Black, former director of counterterrorism at the CIA who is now the counterterrorism coordinator at the State Department.

-WP

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Display: Sort:
The story of a Canadian sent to Syria by the U.S. and tortured | 415 comments (372 topical, 43 editorial, 7 hidden)
How frustrating (2.75 / 36) (#21)
by Kasreyn on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:31:45 PM EST

"The temptation is to have these folks in other hands because they have different standards," one official said. "Someone might be able to get information we can't from detainees," said another.

Goldarn that pesky Constitution. For some reason we can't torture any raghead we want! Oh, here's a good idea: we can give him to the other ragheads to torture. That'll work. Who's up for some McDonald's?

Moral of the story: If you look Muslim/Palestinian or have Palestinian blood, avoid American airports for your own safety. Get nonstop flights to and from your destinations, even if it costs more. I used to think Canada was a nearby country you could flee to in this sort of case. Maybe not.

Two last things: I was frustrated by the allusions to how Canada and/or his wife labored for his release, yet there was no actual direct exposition on how it was done. The fact that the story was printed in the WP means it's getting read by some people with some influence, but sadly the WP seriously watered down the details of the torture he suffered, and also made no mention of how long he was imprisoned. Those, and a few other details, seemed to me to indicate the WP doesn't have the guts to say exactly what a horrible thing the U.S.A. knowingly did to this man.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
Well.. (2.25 / 12) (#23)
by Kwil on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:58:26 PM EST

Those, and a few other details, seemed to me to indicate the WP doesn't have the guts to say exactly what a horrible thing the U.S.A. knowingly did to this man.

Given the man's story, would you, as an editor of the WP, really want to annoy Herr Ashcroft?

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Why not? (2.46 / 13) (#92)
by Brandybuck on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:18:46 PM EST

If I was a editor at a major newspaper, and a story this big came up, I would care less about annoying Ashcroft. Either the editor was completely spineless, or the story couldn't be corroborated. I suspect the former. Don't give Ashcroft more credit than he deserves.

[ Parent ]
Ahem (2.60 / 5) (#328)
by EffJot on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 08:38:07 AM EST

Herr Ashcroft

*tongue in cheek*
As a German myself, I strongly object to any allusions of Mr Ashcroft being German!

BTW, shouldn't it be ,,Herrn Ashcroft``? *g*



[ Parent ]
This guy's wife (2.68 / 22) (#24)
by clover_kicker on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 01:03:28 PM EST

has been running around for months, getting as much press as she can, trying to embarass the Canadian gov't into doing something.

I don't know anything about what happened behind the scene, but it makes you wonder what would have happened if she hadn't spent so much time and effort to keep this issue in the news.
--
I am the very model of a K5 personality.
I intersperse obscenity with tedious banality.

[ Parent ]

rta? (2.57 / 7) (#25)
by Politburo on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 01:03:58 PM EST

First paragraph: "A Canadian citizen who was detained last year at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as a suspected terrorist said Tuesday he was secretly deported to Syria and endured 10 months of torture in a Syrian prison."

[ Parent ]
GAH! (1.57 / 7) (#28)
by Kasreyn on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 01:49:16 PM EST

didn't notice that... skimmed the intro paragraphs and read for the details on the torture. I forgot that meatspace newspapers summarize everything in the story in the first two sentences.


-Kasreyn


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
but... (none / 1) (#234)
by /dev/trash on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:20:46 PM EST

What is  Palestinian blood?

---
Updated NEW 10/15/2003!!
New Site, More Parks
[ Parent ]
This testimony illustrated (2.71 / 28) (#22)
by CodeWright on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 12:33:37 PM EST

The efficient machinery of plausible deniability in modern secret police states (such as the USA).

By passing 'detainees' progressively from one organization to another, each preceding link can claim slightly less 'guilt' in association with their crimes.

Clearly, however, it is at the initial points of entry into this underground railroad of inhuman torture that the largest degrees of culpability exist.

The bureaucrats who initiate the mechanisms of this machinery have full awareness of the eventual outcomes, even if their lackeys who pull people from airline security checks might be mere naive tools of the authoritarian regime.

One notes, however, that even the 'tools' of the Nazi prison camp system were liable for their crimes against humanity.

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
An addendum (2.66 / 6) (#221)
by CodeWright on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:13:17 PM EST

An interesting additional note is how modern police states have learned from the Nazi example.

First, they no longer centralize control and information dissemination for death camps, and, second, they efficiently outsource the deathcamps globally and internationally.

As a result, plausible deniability extends not only to individual culpability, but all the way to national and political.

Indeed, the "outsource" contractor nations frequently become the object of subsequent realpolitik (case in point -- Syria is the new Iraq).

--
"Jumpin Jesus H. Christ riding a segway with a little fruity 1 pint bucket of Ben and Jerry's rainbow fairy-berry crunch in his hand." --
[ Parent ]
i don't understand the logic (1.04 / 61) (#30)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:00:13 PM EST

that makes the us responsible for what syria does

it is similar to the logic that blames the us when saddam gases kurds

if you are offended by syria's torturing victims and the gassing of kurds, the balance of your criticism would be for these regimes/ men

but somehow, the us is reponsible for this behavior? how is this so? do you not see the logical fallacy?

i think it is thinking left over form the cold war, such as with the us involvement in pinochet's ascencion to power in chile

surely, the us did a lot of evil things in the cold war

but it is forgotten that the other side of the coin- the ussr, did the same

and it is forgotten that by winning the cold war, the us and it's allies provided the framework that makes ou able to sit here on kuro5hin and kvetch about it

or would you prefer that the ussr won the cold war and censor your words here?

but apparently, the dirty tricks of the other side in the codl war in some people's minds are not equivalent to the us's dirty tricks

you people give the us far too much credit for the evil that is done in the world by evil men they do not control

and you give the us no credit for the good it does

such purposeful or clueless logical myopia and lack of perspective amounts to nothing more than propaganda, and is really just cold war logic playing out in a post-cold war world

adjust your recriminations and incriminations to the world we find yourself in today, and ask yourself where real evil lies

if you do that, you would be hooting and howling at syria, not the us

but i guess in some people's minds, the us is the center of all evil in the world, which is just stupefyingly blind, and full of irrational hatred

while real evil in the middle east and elsewhere in hopelessly corrupt and evil regimes in such people's minds get off scott free apparently, and in the same backbiting nihilistic minds, whose livelihood and ability to post here on kuro5hin is guarded by the likes of the us and it's allies, the us can do nothing but evil

some people care for nothing more than the pursuit of paraniod conspiracy, those whose mentality skirts paranoid schizophrenia

it is a losing, forgotten game, and in the larger picture of history, all you who micromanage the evil of the united states and play the game of recriminiation, while you ignore the far vaster evil of other regimes, you are doing nothing valuable to furthering good in this world

a million well-meaing but clueless and perspective-of-true-evil-lacking political armchair analysts wring their hands over how the us is doing, completely missing the elephant in the room: places in the world where real palpable lack of freedoms leads to things like religious fundamentalist lunatics

this article firmly mentions the evils of syria, alluding to the lack of freedoms in the middle east... and yet somehow the condition of the us still garners the most focus

how the hell is that possible?

y'all missing the point: focus your energies and criticisms for parts of the world that need your well-meaning but misguided concerns more

consider it the idea of more bang for your buck, on this any a gazillion other issues: your concerns are better served caring about those who need you the most

and no, the us does not need you the most

being overly-concerned with the us is just navel-gazing

use your criticisms where they can do the most good

for those who think a certain way, you are not doing real good in the world, you are playing the game of incrimination and recrimination, and missing where the real evil lies

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

How many Syrians will get to read this story? (1.85 / 7) (#33)
by fn0rd on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:31:07 PM EST

Not many. What can I do about the politcal system in Syria from my armchair in the United States? Not a damn thing.
This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
[ Parent ]
so in your mind (1.17 / 17) (#36)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:53:43 PM EST

it is preferable that a million armchair backbiting hobbyist political obvservers vent their hot air at the us, rather than at syria?

my point is to reserve your criticism for where it counts

so you go ahead and add your drop of anti-us govt criticism to the ocean that already exists

syria will go on its merry way doing the evil that it does

the point is to do real good in the world, right?

the point is to take your ounce of criticism and place that ounce where it does the most good, right?

so why do you insist on placing your criticism wher eit does the least good?

so if you really CARE about this case, you will vent at syria, and not the us, right?

as if the us and syria are cozy friends right now, as if the us has much influence on that quasi-stalinist state... right!

it is just that it irks me that there are SO many willing you to micromanage things like guantanamo, while in some places in the world, evils are going on that would make anything that goes on in transparent guantanamo look like a happy ibiza rave

so these thousands of well-meaning but clueless westerners think they are doing good, while if they really had the right perspective on evil in the world, and REALLY cared about doing good, instead of just adding their yammering hot air to the tired stale bash-the-us fashionable party line, then they would actually go to syria AND DO SOMETHING

and if they can't or won't? for very good reasons of self-preservation?

well then, i wish they would at least have enough intellectual honesty to admit that whatever the us is doing that they call evil, a place like syria is doing and has done a lot worse

perspective

intellectual honesty

putting your criticism where it really belongs

that is all i ask

but all i hear is the tired, stale, bash-the-us bullshit rhetoric from the legions of western malcontents that gets noone anywhere, not the least of which this poor canadian

if they really cared, they would do something about syria, not the us

at the very least point there criticism on that direction


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

jxg you are abusing the mod system (1.04 / 21) (#52)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:04:16 PM EST

you consistently 0 rate my comments

this is inappropriate, as i am not spamming, being a racist, pushing a product, etc.

you have to 1-rate my comments to honestly express your views, or, more superior: respond to my comments

but asocial 0 rating is an abuse of the kuro5hin system

you do not bother me, drduck has been doing this to me forever

instead, i will merely respond to your asocial negative behavior by cutting and pasting this comment wherever you behave as you do, and shine a spotlight on your cockroach behavior

more honest kuro5hin users than yourself will understand what i am saying here, as the negative effect of asocial modding behavior on the health of the kuro5hin community is well understood by anyone who cares about this site and all of your ratings in the future will be suspect by all

change your behavior child, you suck


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

cts your nuts (2.25 / 8) (#88)
by WetherMan on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:09:12 PM EST

Listen, syria practices torture, we know this, it's accepted as what this brutal regime does.  The US would love to change this situation, and bring about a more friendly government, and i'm sure we're taking whatever steps we can, but that's the situation right now.

So pragmatically speaking (isn't that what conversatives espouse? pragmaticism versus airy pie in the sky liberal idealism) dictates that we don't deport people there, when we know that they will be brutally treated, their 'information' worthless.

I'm sure tens of thousands of people suffer horrible fates every day in horrible jails all across the world, but as an American citzen, I consider the act of sending nationals to terror-friendly torture countries AS bad as practicing the same torture on our own soil, and just as gross a violation of the ideals our country should stand for, and it makes me sick.

avoiding the real issue here by saying we should blame syria is like tossing your kid off a cliff and washing your hands with 'wasn't my fault, the ground killed him'.
---
fluorescent lights make me look like old hot dogs
[ Parent ]

pragmatically speaking (1.28 / 14) (#91)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:17:58 PM EST

syria is responsible for what it does

the us is responsible for what it does

you are making the us reponsible for what syria does

and "syria is a bad man, so you should have known that" is not an argument that holds up because syria HAS NO JUSTIFCATION FOR WHAT IT DOES

and yet, the us gets criticized for that

amazing

it's just dumbfoundingly amazing to me, this reincriminating pov that hold the us responsible for the evil that other regimes do

it flies agains the concept of accountability

if you REALLY CARED ABOUT THIS TORTURE VICTIM, instead of caring about advancing a stupid tired kneejerk oversimplifying "us bad, everyone else ignore pov" you would be screaming at syria, not the us

i don't understand


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

You are such a jackass sometimes (1.80 / 5) (#156)
by fn0rd on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:52:35 AM EST

How the fuck am I supposed to hold Syria accountable? Boycott falafels?

OK, here I go: Syria's government sucks ass! So does every other non-democratic regime in the world!

That'll teach 'em. I'll be back later, I have to go vote against Kim Jong Il now.
This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
[ Parent ]

In this case (2.75 / 4) (#252)
by andamac on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:30:23 PM EST

damn straight the US is accountable. They knowingly sent him to prison and torture in Syria when he was a canadian citizen just so they could force him to confess to being a terrorist but they have no responsibility? Fuck off. It's essentially torture for hire, and the hirer is just as guilty as the hiree. Did the US torture him themselves? No, but they were the primary and direct cause of his torture. If it weren't for the US, it never would have happened, and as such the actions opf the US are utterly unacceptable.

[ Parent ]
But (none / 2) (#372)
by mr100percent on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 04:30:45 AM EST

But if the US knowingly, KNOWINGLY sends people to Syria knowing they will be tortured, the blame is on the US.

If I threw you into the alligator pit at the zoo, who gets punished, me or the animals?

--Never trust a guy who tattoes his IP address to his arm, especially if it's DHCP.
[ Parent ]

you don't understand (none / 1) (#383)
by power guido on Sun Nov 09, 2003 at 05:39:51 AM EST

why should the us be accountable for what syria does?

why should we be accountable for the crushed skull of a baby,

when you should be directing your complaints to gravity?

you see, it's all about developing

a nuanced view of the world,

and understanding the complexities

of real life.

like waging war

to win peace.

or throwing fetuses off cliffs

to save children.

it's when you stop living

with a simplistic KNEEJERK

understanding of the the world

and are enlightened by a nuanced view of life

like myself,

that you have developed

a real morality.

and no longer live by silly things

like moral imperatives.

[ Parent ]

I like to call you twatface. Twatface. (1.50 / 4) (#158)
by fn0rd on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:12:25 AM EST

my point is to reserve your criticism for where it counts

You're right.

President Assad, you are a bad bad man.

Now, did that count? No, twatface, it didn't, and you know why? The president of Syria could give a flying fuck what you or I or any other western infidel thinks, so long as we aren't dropping bombs on his ass.

Holy shit, you even said it yourself:

as if the us and syria are cozy friends right now, as if the us has much influence on that quasi-stalinist state... right!

So if the US gov't has no influence on Syria, what do you expect us at K5 to be able to do about it?

You don't like to hear criticism of your government? Then why don't you move somewhere else, where criticism of the regime is not allowed. Otherwise, welcome to the US of A, where bitching about our government makes us the strongest nation on earth.
This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
[ Parent ]

So International Opinion (2.25 / 4) (#240)
by CENGEL3 on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:40:38 PM EST

Has no effect on nations other then the U.S.?

Was all that boycott aparthied South Africa stuff people organized a few years back just hot air?

It seemed on the surface to do some good.

Should Amnesty International just shut the heck up unless they are criticizing the U.S.

I guess the political prisoners who have made statements to the effect that world-wide attention has helped thier situations are just plain wrong?

The point I'm trying to make is that international opinion does have some effect on totalitarion regimes. Especialy when such regimes rely on trade to prop themselves up.

I join circltimesquare in his frustration at the many hypocrits on this site. Who are pefectly willing to organize boycotts and protests against South Africa or the U.S. or other "Evil White Capitalist States" when they do something wrong,
but the same people wont even bat an eyebrow when China or Syria or North Korea do the same thing or even worse.

Talk about selective prosecution!

[ Parent ]

my opinion isn't international (none / 3) (#247)
by fn0rd on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:50:33 PM EST

and I see nothing wrong with holding my government, for which a bear some vanishingly small responsiblity, up to the highest standards.
This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad
[ Parent ]
The USA should not participate in torture (nt) (1.75 / 8) (#37)
by phred on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:10:43 PM EST



[ Parent ]
no shit sherlock, the us isn't (nt) (1.28 / 14) (#41)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:22:52 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
nitpick (2.22 / 9) (#56)
by phred on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:12:09 PM EST

If I'm not mistaken, there has been some detainees released to other less restrained governments who do this. I'm leaning toward calling that participation.

[ Parent ]
then you are leaning towards propaganda (1.25 / 16) (#58)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:15:01 PM EST

that you think that the us and syria, which are at loggerheads and saber rattling over syria harboring fundamentalist fanatics and remnants of the baathist regime as the us tries to stabilize iraq, are somehow in cohoots over the desire to torture innocent canadians is insane

at the very least, intellectual honesty compels you to hold syria responsible for the torture, not the us

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

brother mary you are abusing the mod system (1.13 / 15) (#75)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:42:32 PM EST

justify your zero ratings of me throughut this thread please

people like you represent the death of kuro5in unless you can justify your zero ratings

i did not spam, i did not post racism: that is what zero is for

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Sorry, not in the works (1.57 / 7) (#78)
by phred on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:46:22 PM EST

Stick to what you're spoonfed if that makes you happy, you're just going to have to either rant on as I find more interesting threads, or find another gullible target for your brand of fantasy.

Cheers!

[ Parent ]

cheers indeed (1.33 / 12) (#81)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:49:57 PM EST

you are drowning in the propaganda party line, not i

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
your explanation? (none / 0) (#373)
by mr100percent on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 04:34:29 AM EST

Well what does the US expect when they 'render' people to Syrian custody along with accusations that the man is a terrorist?

So instead of shooting holes in the parent's arguement, what alternative explanation do you have? At least we're discussing it calmly.
--Never trust a guy who tattoes his IP address to his arm, especially if it's DHCP.
[ Parent ]

depends (2.44 / 9) (#39)
by Politburo on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:19:37 PM EST

I wouldn't say that the US is responsible for what Syria does, in general. However, in this case, agents of the US showed depraved indifference. This man claimed he would be tortured if sent back to Syria, and the US authorities seem to have not only believed this, but were deporting him with the sole intention of the Syrian authorities torturing him. That just isn't right, and that's the subject of this story, imo, not Syrian interrogation methods.

[ Parent ]
so why are you criticising the us? (1.06 / 15) (#43)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:23:32 PM EST

isn't your energies better spent criticising syria?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
no (2.16 / 6) (#46)
by Politburo on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:41:21 PM EST

and here's why:

1. I am a US citizen. I am much more interested in the actions of my nation than any other. Also, I only have the (very, very, small) power to influence the US.

2. Syria is halfway across the world. What they do to their citizens, however deplorable, has very little effect on me, for the most part.

3. As a US citizen, I do not want my nation looking like (more of) an asshole on the global stage. To reduce this perception, I believe that US foreign policy should not be hypocritical with respect to US ideals or goals (human rights, democracy, justice for all, etc.). As I stated before, that is what I feel the true issue of the article is.

[ Parent ]
you contradict yourself (1.00 / 15) (#48)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:49:48 PM EST

you are interested in an international issue, and your points say you are interested in only a domsetic policy perspective

make up your mind:

you either admit that a domestic pov is not appropriate for a global issue (because a domestic pov cannot take all of the points about a global issue into consideration)

or you develop a global pov, in which case your us navel gazing is inappropriate


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

utterly incorrect (2.00 / 6) (#54)
by Politburo on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:07:06 PM EST

you are interested in an international issue, and your points say you are interested in only a domsetic policy perspective

Please (re-)read point 3 above. The actions of the US on the global stage is simply not a domestic issue.

[ Parent ]
i agree with your point #3 100% (1.07 / 13) (#60)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:18:29 PM EST

and point #3 compels you to redraft points 1 and 2: you must approach global issues form a global perspective, not a domestic one

intellectual honesty compels you to hold syria responsible for the torturing it does, not the us

at the very least, it compels you to hold the majority of your criticism for syria, not the us

i am speaking from a point of view of a global persective and doing the most good with the ounce of hot air that you or any of us other armchair politcal observers have

critize syria first, the us a distant second

that is all i am saying

to reserve the majority of your criticism for the us in this situation striek me as ludicrous: what good can be done if you really care about victims of torture?

attack the torturers!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

misunderstanding (2.16 / 6) (#64)
by Politburo on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:28:38 PM EST

you're misunderstanding (and/or ignoring) my point.

intellectual honesty compels you to hold syria responsible for the torturing it does, not the us

I do hold Syria responsible for the torture. However, I am saying that the act of torture is not the issue here! The issue, to me, is that the US willingly sent a person to another country knowing that he would be harmed upon arrival. It is a further example of the hypocrisy of US foreign policy.

[ Parent ]
if hypocrisy in foreign policy is your problem (1.06 / 16) (#65)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:38:30 PM EST

then again, don't you think your criticisms are better spent on regimes whose stink of hypocrisy in foregin policy piles orders of magnitudes higher than the us?

your problem, from my pov, is that by insisting the us be squeaky clean in everything it does, you pursue the impossible, while regimes with giant stinks about them get an "all clear" from you

i don't understand that

because that is exactly what you are doing when you reserve all of your criticisms for the us, instead of places like syria

simply because the us has a conscience, and responds to criticisms (freedom of the press, etc.) you criticize it, while regimes that squelch criticism, and therefore, being that there is no easy route of crticism for you to go, you say nothign about them

so the us suffers from people like you, simply because it responds to criticism at all

while places and regimes that ignore your criticism get the all clear form you

so where is your conscience?

criticize the truly blacvk and evil regimes in the world FIRST, do not gang up on the merely grey int his world simply because they allow you to criticize them

you nickel and dime the us to death, while a whole five dollar's worth of good is yours for the taking if you criticize syria instead

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

brother mary, kaemaril (1.10 / 20) (#74)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:40:25 PM EST

why are zero rating me?

can you justify your use of this rating to the kuro5hin community?

what did i do/ not do in my post that deserves something that is reserved for spam/ racist posts?

are your concerns only ideological with me?

than rate me 1, that is what 1 is for, or even better, post a response

but asocial negative 0 modding only serves to destroy the value of kuro5hin

unless you can justify your zero rating of me, and ideological grounds do not count, than your actions represent the death of kuro5hin

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

They're rating you zero... (2.00 / 9) (#111)
by sudog on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:38:33 PM EST

...because you are a shit-disturbing troll which contributes nothing useful whatsoever in your idiotic comments.


[ Parent ]
hold up (2.00 / 7) (#82)
by Politburo on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:55:04 PM EST

This whole time, i have spoken about my views with respect to this article. They are not to be interpreted as my views overall. That is the mistake you continue to make.

while regimes with giant stinks about them get an "all clear" from you

Frankly, I've come to expect better arguments than this from you. Just because I didn't say A doesn't mean I said B.

[ Parent ]
that's a weird way to cage your words (nt) (1.07 / 14) (#90)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:14:55 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Hey cts... (none / 2) (#297)
by BJH on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:12:33 AM EST

...have you suddenly become retarded, or were you always like this?
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
Well (2.25 / 8) (#44)
by strlen on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:23:58 PM EST

I don't think the point of this article is "USA evil", the point is that he should never have been deported to Syria: Syria's reputation for what it's doing is extremely well known.

Hell, there's chances of that this country would be invaded, so I'm pretty sure that all of what Syria does was known to the U.S. intelligence, and yet they allowed it to happen.

And it's not neccesery to blame the U.S.: I just blame the bureacrat pinheads who allowed this to happen, ignoring the fact that if he was an actual terrorist, Syria would have likely given him a medal. This should have never been allowed to happen.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

all your points are circumspect (1.05 / 17) (#45)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:27:25 PM EST

to the the real point: blame syria!

why spend all of our hot air criticizing idiots in the us when we can spend our hot air criticizing evil assholes in syria?

i don't know about you, but i think we need to fight evil first, incompetence second

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Well of course we should.. (2.14 / 7) (#47)
by strlen on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:48:18 PM EST

I don't deny their evil, and I don't apologise for it. I'm just suggesting a way we could make ourselves less vulnerable to it! It's going to be a while before we have removed it (and I actively support doing so, personally) -- at the mean time, we shouldn't allow incompetence to permit evil to triumph.

It's also not going to be immediate active, as well. These countries haven't emerged from the Middle Ages, culturally. South Korea took 30-40 years to develop a stable democracy with respect for human rights after the US assisted them in fighting of communists (and if they didn't, of course, they wouldn't be a democracy now), same for Taiwan, and roughly the same for Philipines. Germany and Japan did take shorter, but that's because both countries have had a tradition of civil and representative government, that had only been hijacked for a short time during the 1930's.

Syria's (where the last president drowned his brother in sulfuric acid.. I wonder if he was conducting an experiment, hmm) practices won't change over night, so we have to find ways to work around them.

Yes, putting pressuring on Syria to live up to international laws and basic principles of human behaviour (such as not harbouring terrorists, not torturing people, etc..) should be (and is) on our agenda, but at the mean time we should be taking more immediate steps (such as not sending prisoners to them!)

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]

well said (1.07 / 14) (#49)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:52:58 PM EST

but here is my point:

you cannot address a global issue by tying your hands and saying you will only work domestically

if you are going to address a global issue, you must do so from a global pov, not a domestic american one, that is navel gazing and shortsighted and evenutally fruitless

syria has the problem, so criticize syria, or you otherwise merely bind the hands that can solve the problem you are expressing interest in


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

It is a domestic (US) issue. (2.14 / 7) (#68)
by Dr Caleb on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:16:59 PM EST

A man with a Canadian Passport was deported to Syria by officials in New York.

What Syria did with him is another matter. The one that concerns me, and should concern you is, why are US officials deporting Canadian Citizens to third party countries against international law?

A better question would be, wasn't there any room for him at Camp-fun-and-games in Cuba? That is what the US does with "suspected" terrorists, right?


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

you are the kind of person i have a problem with (1.18 / 16) (#71)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:28:46 PM EST

you obsess over guantanamo, while there are places on the earth where evil of hundreds of orders of magnitude greater import to human justice are underway, and you completely ignore that

so we have a million malcontents in the west obsessing over this incredibly minor issue, while horrible great evil goes on the world, and you completely ignore that

the us has free press and respond sto criticisms, so that is where you put your criticisms, just because the us listens

while the real evil doers who do not listen to you, you completely ignore

what kind of conscience is that?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

*Sigh* Idjit (2.14 / 7) (#126)
by dasunt on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:54:44 PM EST

Just because there exists $B which is more $SOMETHING then $A does not mean that $A is also $SOMETHING.

(Incidentally, I believe that this is a well-known logical fallacy. Forget the name of it atm...)

For example, beating you until you are half dead is evil in several different meanings of the word. Shooting you in the head would be more evil. However, that does not making beating you any less evil.

Syria torturing people is wrong. Most of us would agree to that. The US deporting people to Syria with indifference to any possible torture is also wrong.

Now my chance of overthrowing the Syrian gov't, forcefully changing the cultural memes, and setting up a modern, democratic state with deep respect to human rights is slim. My chance of being part of a group that influences deportation policy and ends up preventing this sort of abuse is also slim, but not as slim as my chances of changing things on the Syrian side.

If I change things on the Syrian side, many people don't get tortured. Too bad the chance to do so is pretty small. If I change things on the US side, some people no longer will be tortured, others will. But I have a better chance of influencing the US side, which thus ends up being a better focus of my energies.

Of, in short:

Chance[US] x Payoff[US] > Chance[Syria] x Payoff[Syria].

Just my $.02



[ Parent ]
Then everyone else loves me. (none / 2) (#255)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:38:03 PM EST

you obsess over guantanamo

No, I bring up Gitmo to make a point. Why send a man to Syria to be tortured, when the US has it's own facilities for this.

while there are places on the earth where evil of hundreds of orders of magnitude greater

No, I've heard of New York.

import to human justice are underway, and you completely ignore that

Name them, and we'll discuss them. Better yet, write a story.

This is a story about something which affects ME. I am a Canadian Citizen. Will I be detained and shipped to some third party country for re-education? This is a story about the policies of your country. When Ashcroft gets his way, and just on accusation alone, you are stripped of your US citizenship, don't you want to know which country will have your blood spilled upon it's soil?

I know I like to be pre-warned about that kind of thing.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

jxg you are abusing the mod system (1.03 / 26) (#51)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:03:23 PM EST

you consistently 0 rate my comments

this is inappropriate, as i am not spamming, being a racist, pushing a product, etc.

you have to 1-rate my comments to honestly express your views, or, more superior: respond to my comments

but asocial 0 rating is an abuse of the kuro5hin system

you do not bother me, drduck has been doing this to me forever

instead, i will merely respond to your asocial negative behavior by cutting and pasting this comment wherever you behave as you do, and shine a spotlight on your cockroach behavior

more honest kuro5hin users than yourself will understand what i am saying here, as the negative effect of asocial modding behavior on the health of the kuro5hin community is well understood by anyone who cares about this site and all of your ratings in the future will be suspect by all

change your behavior child, you suck


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

kaemaril, brother mary: abusive modding (1.09 / 21) (#77)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:44:51 PM EST

please justify your use of zero rating me

i did spam, i did not spout racism: that is what the zero is for

unless you can jusitfy your zero ratings in non-ideological terms, then you and anyone else reading these words should understand how and why your asocial negative actions represents the death of kuro5hin

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No one... (2.54 / 11) (#110)
by sudog on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:37:14 PM EST

...is harsh enough on you, circle. You should count your blessings people tolerate you as much as they do.


[ Parent ]
circletimessquare (2.22 / 9) (#83)
by Tatarigami on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:00:10 PM EST

I don't like what you have to say, I think I'll shoot you in the head. I can do this with a clear conscience, because my hands are clean: any harm you suffer is the bullet's responsibility. Right?

[ Parent ]
if that is the way you see the situation you are (1.11 / 18) (#86)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:07:21 PM EST

insane

my grandmother stubbed her big toe

since the us is the dominant military power in the world, clearly, my grandmother's stubbed big toe is the fault of the us

sound crazy?

that is exactly what you are saying

syria is torturing people

SO CRITICIZE SYRIA!

how is that pov so impossible for you to decipher?

why must every evil in the world somehow make it's way back to the us, yet nothing good ever does?

the us does evil things: that is my intellectual honesty

so let us see some intellectual honesty from the kneejerk "us bad, everyone else we can ignore" types

what i am asking from some knee-jerk types is to divorce themselves from oversimplifying every problem of the world and looking to blame the us

i don't understand how that oversimplifying pov is going to help the world or it's problems

yes dorothy, there are bigger problems in the world than what the us does, and you can help by applying your criticism to corrupt despotic regimes

what an amazing breakthrough!

;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

the way you see the situation (1.85 / 7) (#95)
by Tatarigami on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:44:43 PM EST

syria is torturing people

In this case, because the US asked them to. Well, Goddamn those Syrian bullets.

[ Parent ]

because the us asked them too? (1.21 / 14) (#98)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:52:36 PM EST

so now you lie?

somewhere between "the us can do no right" and "the us can do no wrong" lies the truth of this matter

you are rapidly approaching one of those extremes of lunacy, take a guess which one

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

That's right (2.12 / 8) (#102)
by Tatarigami on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:19:30 PM EST

so now you lie?

Just go and read the actual article, would you? You're dealing from an empty deck.

[ Parent ]

Ignore him.. he's been hit with the stupid bat. (2.45 / 11) (#109)
by sudog on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:36:09 PM EST

Hey, Tat, just ignore circle. He's been hit with the stupid bat so many times he's not only incapable of rational thought, but thinks it's something to be proud of.

He even made claims about how he'd gladly do physically violence in an otherwise peaceful community, and that this was somehow "necessary" for the good of humanity.

Nice, don't you think? So don't waste your time fighting with him--it's just that, a waste of your time.


[ Parent ]

And the ugly stick (2.25 / 8) (#113)
by Tatarigami on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:51:41 PM EST

Hey, Tat, just ignore circle. He's been hit with the stupid bat so many times he's not only incapable of rational thought, but thinks it's something to be proud of.

Nah, I'm pretty sure he's a troll. Although I do admit it's a remarkably consistent facade of gormless stupidity. ;)

[ Parent ]

Crazy? (2.40 / 10) (#123)
by owenh on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 09:17:49 PM EST

syria is torturing people SO CRITICIZE SYRIA!
I didn't see anyone defending Syria. I see many people criticising the US for deporting a Canadian citizen to Syria, which uses torture. Please note that I'm not saying anything about how genuine this story is. I'm quite happy to say that the sort of actions described in this article are despicable, and beneath contempt.
you can help by applying your criticism to corrupt despotic regimes
Just how does criticising another country change things? Depending on your viewpoint there are many countries I can jump up and down and shout abuse at, Israel, The US, Palestine, Italy, Syria, whatever.

Do they care what I say? I don't think so. They might care if another country starts putting pressure on them, maybe by withdrawing aid, or stopping official (and un-official) co-operation.

If I live in a democracy, I have a vote and a say in what my country does. Because of this lobbying in my own country is more likely to result in real change then saying "Syria is bad for using torture" and yet still vote for a government that send people to Syria to be tortured.

If you live in the US you can't just say that what happens overseas is nothing to do with you. How much money does the US give Israel? How much foreign in foreign aid does the US spend? Where does this foreign aid end up? In how many countries does the US have troops? All these have a huge impact on what happens around the world, and I haven not begun to list the sort of political pressure the US can exert (i.e. if you scratch my back I'll scratch yours).

If you have the right to vote you also have the responsibility to ensure you vote for a government who's actions you can agree with. I know the last few years have opened my eyes to the impact my vote has. If your personal moral system sees no problem shipping someone over the border to be tortured, that's OK. If like my you find this kind of torture repulsive, then vote for someone who will not just keep it illegal in your home country, but will not hand people in its control to a government that is known to use it.
-- Observations of the world we live in
[ Parent ]

You don't understand the logic (2.57 / 14) (#84)
by pyramid termite on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:02:50 PM EST

that makes the us responsible for what syria does?

Let me ask you this - if you allow your child to be babysat by a person who's a known child molester and he molests your child, aren't you also responsible? If you know a person is drunk on his ass and you hand him your car keys to get something from the store for you and he runs someone over, aren't you also responsible? And last of all, if you deport a person ILLEGALLY to a country that you know tortures its prisoners and they torture him, aren't you also responsible?

I cut the rest of your apologetics - quite bluntly, they boil down to, "Mommy, they do it, too!!". Sorry, but you need a better defense for our government's actions than that of a 5 year old child with his hand caught in the cookie jar. You also might consider that absolutely nothing was accomplished by the actions our government took - the terrorists were not affected and we are no safer than we were.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
this is my pov, clear and simple: (1.00 / 19) (#89)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:13:24 PM EST

if 1% of the armchair political hobbyists vented their hot air towards syria instead of the us, 200% more good would get done on this issue than a million armchair political hobbyist who seem to incriminate and reincriminate the us for anything bad that happens in the world no matter what the truth of complex situations

it is a tired, propagandistic party line band wagon everyone seems to jump on: blame the us, blame the us, blame the us

aren't you sick of the oversimplification?

middle east: us fault

aids: us fault

my grandfather's gout: us fault

that's the pov of some people here

and of course, in their eyes, the us never does any good

oversimplifying any complex problem does not solve the problem

the knee-jerk "blame the us" types here are not helping no one

and i'm so sick of them

they are doing no good!

i am merely trying to tell them to redirect some of their rhetoricla output towards, gee! i dunno! OTHER FUCKING CULPABLE PARTIES

perhaps MORE culpable parties?!

what a fucking breathrough!

;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Still the moron I see.. (1.50 / 8) (#106)
by sudog on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:33:16 PM EST

..funny how some people never change, no matter how many times you out them for the pathetic trolls they are.


[ Parent ]
This is my POV clear and simple (2.45 / 11) (#115)
by pyramid termite on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:23:40 PM EST

I don't vote in Syria, I don't pay taxes in Syria, and I don't live in Syria. They can tell me to fuck off and I can't do anything about it.

I vote in the US, I pay taxes in the US and I live in the US. They can still tell me to fuck off and I can vote the bastards out.

I'm responsible for what my government does in a sense. I'm not responsible for Syria.

You live in New York - it's a local call for you to call a Syrian diplomat and tell him what you think, so why don't you blow some "hot air" at him instead of us?

Oh, and good work totally evading the moral questions I raised. It would seem that to you the ends always justify the means. One of these days you'll understand that there are no true ends, just means.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Last section (2.50 / 6) (#143)
by Kwil on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 02:13:20 AM EST

being overly-concerned with the us is just navel-gazing

use your criticisms where they can do the most good

Funnily, for US citizens, directing their criticisms to the people they vote for strikes me as using them where they can do the most good.

After all, I find it highly doubtful that Syria will pay any heed at all to a bunch of American citizens. To be honest, I find it doubtful the American government will either, but at least the odds are better there.

So, to me, it makes sense that if people are to "use our criticisms where they do the most good" the best starting place for Americans would be to the people who make the policy which allows their government to deport people to places where we know they will be tortured.

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Fuck you, circletimessquare. (1.00 / 8) (#151)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:23:26 AM EST

You turned out to be a dickhead after all. Ah well. Goodbye.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Why deport a Canadian citizen to Syria (2.00 / 4) (#196)
by hatshepsut on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:39:27 PM EST

in the first place?

[ Parent ]
Great point, the US is innocent (1.14 / 7) (#210)
by sellison on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:55:12 PM EST

we simply sent Mumia packing to his native land after he refused to tell us about his terrorist buddies.

The villain in the story is clearly Syria, the US officers were just trying to protect innocent Americans from more terrorist attacks.

People like Mumia need to decide which side they are on in this clash of civilizations.

He and other in-betweeners (Middle-Easterners who want to reap the benefits of Christian Capitalism as he obviously was, but want to retain their inherantly anti-western "roots") need to make a clear choice now to avoid further confusion.

Mumia could have converted to Christianity and renounced his Syrian citizenship in Sept. 2001, that would have shown the US which side he was on and prevented this episode and he would still be a wealthy Canadian traveling the world with minimal interference.


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

I really hope... (none / 3) (#296)
by BJH on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:09:19 AM EST

...that you're being ironic. For a start, he COULDN'T renounce his Syrian citizenship - Syria doesn't allow it.
--
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
I don't understand the logic (none / 3) (#246)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:49:58 PM EST

where the US doesn't stand up for it's actions. Syrian torture aside, the US deported a Canadian citizen to a country where they knew he would be tortured.

Fess up, why. Don't you want to know why?


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Excellent troll! (nt) (1.50 / 4) (#334)
by tjost on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 09:31:20 AM EST



[ Parent ]
almost hidden (none / 0) (#415)
by ShiftyStoner on Thu Jul 01, 2004 at 05:33:05 AM EST

 I personaly don't think this comment should be hidden.

 Also, about this story, this is old news its been on k5 before.

 You are a moron. us is not reponsable for the actions anyother country takes, well that's not entirly true but... They are responsable for sending people to places were they know they will be tortured and possibley murderd. Thus are responsable for torture and murder.

 If i hired a guy to cut off your face and wipe his ass with it am i somehow doing nothing wrong, asuming you don't deserve to have your face pealed off. It wouldn't surprise me if you thought the answer was no. But the fact is as long as i dont hire somone to cut off your it's not gana happen, so if i did, i would share some fucking reasponsability for your defacing.

 As for all the cold war shit, has nothing to do with this really. The us was horrible then, it is horrible now, just a little more clever now days, I mean this guys story is semi public so they can't be to clever but is he really the only one this has happend to.

 The US is doing horrible things and always has and always will for as long as it's the us. The countless atrosoties comited by the us arnt prof of the atrosoties they are comiting today, the prof is right there in your fucking face, in the us media even. And so what if this whole story is bullshit, a lie. This is one pile of ashes in the holocaust metaphoricaly speaking.

 In the us all fredoms, rights, have strict limits and can be, are taken away completly at the will of the government. Just because some americans can have any fucking thing they want doesn't mean everyones living a happy ignorant life. And no everyone in america doesnt have the oportunity to have anything they want, shit, some don't even have the oportunity to be slaves given only enough to barely survive.

 I didn't read your whole coment, or any of those that responded to it but im sure everything else you said is just as moronic so yada yada yada eat a dick and kill yourself you worethles foolish waste of existance.
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler
[ Parent ]

How did he kept the time? (2.00 / 11) (#31)
by Argon on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 02:08:38 PM EST

It's an amazing story.
But I have to wonder how did he kept the time? Did they allow him to keep his watch? He knew the hours and minutes that passed... Amazing.

estimates, i would think (nt) (1.50 / 6) (#38)
by Politburo on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:13:09 PM EST



[ Parent ]
It's in hours, not minutes (none / 2) (#185)
by scruffyMark on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:06:56 PM EST

presumably he could have seen how high the sun is etc. (at first). Later I guess there must have been clocks in e.g. the waiting room

[ Parent ]
Baths (none / 3) (#267)
by MochaMan on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:13:31 PM EST

He mentioned in an interview that they were allowed a bath/shower(?) once a week on Friday. He said somewhere that he measured his imprisonment not in days, but in weeks.

[ Parent ]
Heh (2.61 / 26) (#40)
by strlen on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:21:25 PM EST

While I'm generally supportive of the war on terror and most current campaigns, this story is extremely alarming. Unless there's proof (i.e.: conviction by a jury trial) that the individual is a spy or a member of a foreign terrorist organization, the individual shouldn't be deported to a country where there's a very grave and real threat of torture or death: that goes contrary to basic human decency, and existing rules and regulations.

Now, even if this guy was a terrorist, just what they hell do they cope to gain by sending him to be tortured? As the story shows, the torturers weren't even looking for information, but merely a confession. This doesn't even flow from a utilitarian/Machiavellian approach: not a single life will be saved by a fake confession.

And it's also funny that he was sent to a regime that actively supports and harbors terrorists (including those that are plotting to kill American soldiers as we speak), so if he indeed was a real terrorist, they would have likely given him a medal and enlisted his aid.

I'd like to see some heads role, of whatever people were in charge of the security procedures here.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.

Numbers == "Results" (2.92 / 13) (#144)
by swr on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:10:03 AM EST

Now, even if this guy was a terrorist, just what they hell do they cope to gain by sending him to be tortured? As the story shows, the torturers weren't even looking for information, but merely a confession. This doesn't even flow from a utilitarian/Machiavellian approach: not a single life will be saved by a fake confession.

I've been thinking about this, and I think it goes something like this:

"Agent of the month: Bob, for reigning in 14 self-confessed terrorists and generating leads on dozens more."

Repeat that same idea at each level in the chain, all the way to the top:

Reporter: "How's the War on Terror going?"
President's mouthpiece: "Quite well. We have hundreds of known terrorists in custody and have more leads than ever."



[ Parent ]
and in the back room.... (2.75 / 4) (#197)
by Wah on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:00:26 PM EST

...'We don't even know how to know if we are winning, much less if we are even winning.

What are fighting for again?  How should we fight for it?

Anyone have some ideas?'

Oh, and I need another 20,000 Marines for Iraq next year.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

lovely (2.80 / 5) (#298)
by puppet10 on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:18:45 AM EST

the middle management outlook on the war on terror. "We have to get your figures up Bob, you haven't been producing this quarter only 7 confessions, by the way have you filled out your TPS reports today?"

[ Parent ]
Pyramid scheme of implication (2.90 / 30) (#50)
by swr on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 03:55:54 PM EST

It was Abdullah Almalki. He told me he had also been at the Palestine Branch, and that he had also been in a grave like I had been -- except he had been in it longer.

I would guess that one of the unseen documents Arar signed was a statement implicating Almalki, resulting in Almalki's imprisonment. I also would guess that Arar was implicated by similar means.

In the "War on Drugs", people have been arrested and encouraged to implicate others in order to get a good plea bargain, sort of like a pyramid scheme for informants. In both cases (rendition and the WoD informant pyramid scheme) the information seems to me to be useless except for perpetuating the system, because the people are compelled to implicate others regardless of the actual facts. It really makes me wonder why such practices are as persistent as they seem to be.



SSDD (2.71 / 7) (#142)
by eudas on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:47:17 AM EST

"It really makes me wonder why such practices are as persistent as they seem to be."

the same reasons as always -- it helps to maintain control. each time you get a false confession, it gives you even more ammunition to bury them with next time if you need to lean on them again, or if they threaten to do something about it.

eudas
"We're placing this wood in your ass for the good of the world" -- mrgoat
[ Parent ]

Can't work, can it? (3.00 / 6) (#184)
by scruffyMark on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:04:20 PM EST

Almaki was in there first by my reading of that - Arar might have signed something implicating him, which would have been used to build a case against him (for a very loose definition of "case"), but since he was already in prison, it couldn't have led to his imprisonment.

Almaki could have signed something leading to Arar's arrest, and maybe some of the documents Arar signed will lead (or have already led) to some other poor guy getting arrested

[ Parent ]

This story is fiction (1.15 / 32) (#61)
by NaCh0 on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:21:48 PM EST

Arabs and muslims are peace loving people. They would never dream of harming a fellow human being.

Don't take my word for it. The venerated United Nations ousted the US from their Human Rights Commission to make room for Syria.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.

Well, it is only fair. (1.50 / 14) (#73)
by Dr Caleb on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:31:16 PM EST

The US does have about the same Human Rights record as Syria. But Syria allows people to vote, not companies to 'fix' that vote.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Except for Syria's present day torture of course. (2.00 / 3) (#136)
by partykidd on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:23:55 AM EST

I'd rather take my chances in the American system. Record non-withstanding, I don't think present day Syria and America compare evenly.
But Syria allows people to vote, not companies to 'fix' that vote.
I'm sure that America is not alone on abuses of the voting.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


[ Parent ]

I'm sure that America is alone on abuses of Voting (2.16 / 6) (#201)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:23:05 PM EST

Most places, when they allow free votes, allow for a paper trail to verify votes. The US uses touch screen voting machines, that can be undetectably altered and have no paper trail for verification. Go to eff.org, and look up "Diebold".

And the US is fast catching up to Syrian torture techniques. Just look at Guantanamo Bay! What a wonderful first step! Move the immigrants where they have no rights, then let them bake under the hot sun for 2 years. Outsourcing to Syria is faster though, Syrians would have had them betraying their comrades and family in only two weeks.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Gauntanamo isn't the first place.... (2.66 / 6) (#216)
by discopete on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 02:41:03 PM EST

Head over to google and search for Joe Arpaio.

He's the sheriff of Maricopa county in Arizona. Tents in the middle of summer in the middle of the desert, restraint chairs that routinely kill prisoners, spoiled food, and soon to be ---- Juvenile Chain Gangs...

He puts the criminals away, which makes the geriatric populace (the majority of the population is over 65) of the county happy, but then again, one of the comments made about Hilter is that he "made the trains run on time.".

The ends do not always justify the means.

[ Parent ]

I'm against the touch screen computer voting (none / 0) (#353)
by partykidd on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:15:20 PM EST

also, but it still doesn't deny the fact that America is not alone on abuses of the voting.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


[ Parent ]

Yeah! (none / 0) (#398)
by CaptainZapp on Tue Nov 11, 2003 at 07:03:49 AM EST

I'm sure that America is not alone on abuses of the voting.

Sure, if you want to compare the US with some third world semidictatorship or with the Iraq during Saddam (where he got some 98% of the votes), or the good ol' German Democratic Republic, or Romania under Ceausescu then you're damn right.

If you compare it to just about any other country which for all intents and purposes can be considered as civilized then you are dead wrong.

[ Parent ]

Where Syria (1.20 / 5) (#209)
by sellison on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:47:12 PM EST

is actively campaigning to make sure isolation cells are at least wide enough and tall enough for the imprisioned to squat and that while its fin to wash prisoners in cat pee using monkey pee is akin to genocide!

And that when beating prisoners, the metal chair is only offered as a second resort, not used right away!


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

hypocrits (2.25 / 4) (#282)
by Space on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:49:49 PM EST

Perhaps the human rights commission doesn't have room for hypocrits. Syria has been pretty honest about how they torture people; their foreign minister even eloquently alluded to it on one occasion.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
mcc, jxg, atomic eco: abuse of the mod system (1.00 / 43) (#62)
by circletimessquare on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:22:58 PM EST

http://www.kuro5hin.org/comments/2003/11/5/94852/0804/30?mode=alone;showrate=1#3 0

my comment was recently hidden by mcc, jxg, and atomic eco

will the kuro5hin community please inform these cockroaches that their ideological disagreement with me compels them to rate 1, not 0?

o rating is for racism, spam, etc.

ideological disagreement with me is fine: so respond, or rate 1

if you are interested in the health of the kuro5hin community, then you know that asocial 0 rating will kill the community

shining some light on the shameless ideologues, that is all


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Who said I disagree with you ideologically? (2.30 / 20) (#67)
by mcc on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:16:41 PM EST

Fuck, I can't even figure out what the hell you're trying to say. Which is why I rated you zero. I suspect I might have thought ill of your  post even had I agreed with it, simply because it seemed to be missing the point of the article. But it's really hard to tell, since I found the post absolutely unreadable.

While I'm sure that your "unconventional" formatting style and spelling causes you to believe you are incredibly clever and original and poetic, in fact the only effect it has is to make your posts hard to read. When the post is about four lines long, it's possible to ignore this. When the post is over a page and a half of meandering, structureless quips long and the direction it is going in is not clear by about the fourth quip, the amount of work you are asking of the reader in order to digest your half-formulated thoughts becomes unacceptable. At this point, words such as "spam", "crapflooding", and "0 (Hide)" become reasonable to use.

---
Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame
[ Parent ]

You deserve to be hidden just for bitching [nt] (1.60 / 10) (#103)
by Jed Smith on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:21:07 PM EST


_____
K5 is dead. Steve Ballmer made the most insightful comment on a story. -- jw32767
[ Parent ]
Nah (2.00 / 7) (#127)
by felixrayman on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 10:57:06 PM EST

He deserves to be hidden because he is a hypocrite and a troll and basically everything he clumsily accuses others of being. For example, here we have circletimessquare admitting he systematically downrated 30 of my comments because he couldn't win an argument. When someone else does it, they are "shameless ideologues". What a bore.

Just rate his more annoying posts to 0 and move on. It took a while but I learned he is not worth responding to.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
As tempting as it sometimes is... (2.14 / 7) (#133)
by partykidd on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:14:02 AM EST

you should endeavour to never stoop to someone else's level.

"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


[ Parent ]

And that is why.... (2.75 / 4) (#288)
by felixrayman on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:10:41 PM EST

Which is why I merely rate his more annoying posts to 0 and move on instead of systematically going through his last 30 posts or so and rating them all to 0 whether I have read them or not.

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
He still had a point. [n/t] (1.66 / 3) (#134)
by partykidd on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:16:44 AM EST


"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." - Aristotle


[ Parent ]

You should be ground up and made into food...(nt) (none / 2) (#215)
by baron samedi on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 02:36:09 PM EST


"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
Ideology? (none / 2) (#286)
by duncan bayne on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:47:43 PM EST

How can racism not be classified as a difference of ideology?  The NAACP thinks that racism is okay if it's "affirmative action", and NAZI skinheads think racism is okay if it's "Aryan supremacy".

What's the difference?


[ Parent ]

+1 FP (1.40 / 20) (#63)
by Linus TorvaIds on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:26:07 PM EST

These fuckers need to be put down.

Well I'm Glad (2.00 / 14) (#66)
by tofubar on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 04:38:31 PM EST

That our country is so big ons upporting human rights.

The question is: Is it true? (2.05 / 18) (#79)
by inadeepsleep on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 05:47:48 PM EST

Guilty people have been know to make stuff up, and prisoners have been known to be mistreated (whether guilty or not). I'd feel better about forming an opnion with some evidence (even circumstantial) other than his word.


What are you questioning? (2.44 / 9) (#85)
by llamasex on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:04:35 PM EST

      Are you asking was he really a terrorist and is lying now, or are you asking if he was really imprisoned in syria? the former is unknown,but  I buy his story personally. The latter one can toss his name into google news search or his website http://www.freemaherarar.com/ has been around for a while, of course this could all be some unlikely elaborate hoax

Howard Dean punched me in the face
[ Parent ]
both (2.37 / 8) (#93)
by inadeepsleep on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:29:16 PM EST

I can also type in "Free Mumia" into google and get plausible sounding self-righteous outrage. And I wouldn't classify that as an elaborate hoax, so much, as people who are so blinded by ideology as to deny the truth in the face of reality.

His story sounds somewhat plausible, and yes, police do act like that sometimes. But I question that we (the US) would deport people to Syria, given our relations (although yes, it was indirectly). I also question the notion that we would get reliable information, or any information at all, back from them if we did. Politically motivated leaks about "rendition" notwithstanding.

Whether he is actually involved in terrorism is something we're unlikely to ever know for sure. He's too much of a small fry, and whatever info the government has to think that is probably extremely secret.


[ Parent ]

Read the washington post article linked to (2.62 / 8) (#94)
by llamasex on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:44:13 PM EST

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A522-2003Nov4?language=printer

U.S. officials said Tuesday that Arar was deported because he had been put on a terrorist watch list after information from "multiple international intelligence agencies" linked him to terrorist groups.

Howard Dean punched me in the face
[ Parent ]

I did read the article (2.37 / 8) (#96)
by inadeepsleep on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:49:23 PM EST

Which US officials? See next paragraph: "Officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Arar case fits the profile..."  Why anonymous? Perhaps because they aren't authorized to speak on the record, you think? Perhaps they're making it up? Perhaps not, and there's more to the story they'd like someone to dig in and investigate? Who knows?

Anonymous means completely unreliable but maybe there's something there. Or maybe not.


[ Parent ]

Anonymous for a reason (2.12 / 8) (#122)
by TunkeyMicket on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:57:45 PM EST

In a case like this where the subject has drawn large amounts of emotional supporters, its no wonder the official wishes to remain anonymous. Its a lose-lose situation for that official because should the intelligence be wrong OR right he's gotta watch out for himself.
--
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
[ Parent ]
Its true... (2.75 / 4) (#152)
by crazney on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:43:55 AM EST

Canadian politicians have been seen on TV and such talking about it..

I'm pretty sure that the US would have denied the aligations if they wern't true.

Plus, not all media outlets just pick up a story and run with it. a hoax of this scale just couldn't happen - there are still enough media outlets who do proper investigation.

[ Parent ]

Anonymous means they'd be fired (2.60 / 5) (#190)
by Ebon Praetor on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:19:25 PM EST

Sure, anonymous could be unreliable, but deepthroat was anonymous too.  Look at where that anonymous source got the country.

[ Parent ]
Mumia (2.00 / 7) (#97)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:51:11 PM EST

Unfortuantely the radicals have taken the Mumia thing and ran with it, but it's tough to deny that Mumia Abu Jamal had inadequate defense and he at least deserves a new trial.

You're right that we have no way of knowing whether this guy was a terrorist. My suspicion is that it's somewhere in the middle, a kind of guilt by association thing. Maybe he had contact with fundamentalist organizations, but we have no way of knowing.

What is certain is that the US deported him to Syria in order to torture him. This is unacceptable except when they are absolutely certain that the suspect has knowledge of a terrorist threat.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

It's amazing to me (2.28 / 7) (#100)
by inadeepsleep on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:05:07 PM EST

that people who probably consider themselves far more liberal than me (that's just about everybody), take such positions as, for example, that it would be ok to deport someone to Syria in certain circumstances. For all practical purpose, for torture!

Having said that, I'm not certain that that is what happened. He was deported to Jordan (bad enough, but not Syria), and as bad as that looks sometimes looks can be deceiving.

As far as his guilt, if it's just "guilt by association" then that is not guilt at all. But who knows? Not enough info in here to tell.

Don't want to get into a big conversation about Mumia, but I think it's easy to deny him a new trial. Unless you're insane or mentally retarded, then you're allowed to defend yourself if you want. That's what he wanted, that's what he got.


[ Parent ]

well... (2.00 / 9) (#101)
by Danse on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:16:59 PM EST

I can't think of any other reason to deport a Canadian citizen to Syria other than to get info out of him. Why else would they do it instead of just sending him back to Canada?




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
You're speaking hypothetically (1.00 / 6) (#107)
by inadeepsleep on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:34:06 PM EST

Because he was not deported to Syria.

Of course, I just heard about this story for the 1st time here on k5, so there's probably more info out there somewhere.


[ Parent ]

ok (1.83 / 6) (#117)
by Danse on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:31:09 PM EST

Deported to Jordan then. Regardless of where they sent him, it wasn't Canada.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
The distinction is important (1.50 / 6) (#120)
by inadeepsleep on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:52:11 PM EST

and in some ways, choosing Jordan could be worse. Or not. If, as he implies but doesn't say, that he has dual citizenship in Syria, then the US would be perfectly justified in deporting him to Syria or Canada, either one. Although given the nature of Syria's government, that would be an evil thing to do. But then if he really is involved in terror, as somebody in the US government thinks (or at the very least did at one time), then you don't want him roaming around Canada off the hook.  The most plausible thing to me sounds like someone wanted this case to just be over. Either he's just not that important, or they didn't have enough evidence, or they figured out that he's innocent. And as a practical matter, just wanted the case to go away. Hence Jordan. (I'm not applauding that, by the way)

Still too many unknowns here to form an actual opinion.


[ Parent ]

Come on (2.44 / 9) (#131)
by JahToasted on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:07:34 AM EST

It is illegal to deport someone to a country where they will be tortured. He told the Americans that he would be tortured. They knowingly sent a man to be tortured thus breaking the law.

How many times have you committed crimes against humanity so you could go home early on a Friday night?
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]

Only a couple (none / 2) (#186)
by twickham on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:07:25 PM EST

How many times have you committed crimes against humanity so you could go home early on a Friday night?

But Im trying to develop a more professional attitude towards my work tho.

[ Parent ]
Luckily for our national security (none / 3) (#217)
by inadeepsleep on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 02:43:29 PM EST

most police aren't as gullible as you are. Just because someone tells you something, doesn't make it true. Especially a criminal suspect. As that applies to this case, you have to make decisions based on more information than you get straight from the suspect. And we really don't know much about this case.

How many times have I committed crimes against humanity? That's the kind of hysterical question I've come to expect from liberals, and which completely shuts down rational discussions.


[ Parent ]

uh huh (none / 2) (#291)
by JahToasted on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:47:53 PM EST

Paragraph 1: Ad hominem. People in authority know better than you.

Paragraph 2: Yeah I did use strong language. I don't use strong strong language to shutdown a discussion but to underline the importance of this. A man was tortured. There has yet to be any evidence shown that he did anything wrong. A man was TORTURED. let's not sweep this under the rug ok?
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]

wtf (2.80 / 5) (#141)
by Danse on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:44:21 AM EST

The most plausible thing to me sounds like someone wanted this case to just be over. Either he's just not that important, or they didn't have enough evidence, or they figured out that he's innocent. And as a practical matter, just wanted the case to go away. Hence Jordan.

How in the hell is sending him to Jordan so much simpler than sending him back to Canada? The guy says that if you send him back to Syria, or to anyone else that will send him there, he'll be tortured. You know that you have the option to send him to Canada. Why the bloody fucking hell would you send him to Jordan?! How is that easier or better in any way?!




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Because in Jordan (none / 3) (#202)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:27:26 PM EST

the CIA can interview him, where they can't in the US. In Jordan, he doesn't have the protection of his Canadian citizenship that he should have had in the US. Then he gets shipped to Syria for torture.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

umm.. yeah.. (none / 1) (#232)
by Danse on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:18:13 PM EST

Well that's what I was implying with my post. There was no legitimate reason for shipping him there. The only reason was that it would enable them to ignore his human rights.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Easy (none / 1) (#218)
by inadeepsleep on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 02:46:47 PM EST

fewer terrorists in Canada, which shares a huge border with US, is a good thing.

I think you're also making the mistake of me trying to understand the situation with condoning particular actions. Which I do not.


[ Parent ]

sigh.. (none / 3) (#235)
by Danse on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:23:00 PM EST

They have no proof that he's a terrorist or has any real connections to terrorists. They have the option of sending him back where he lives, or sending him someplace where they know for a fact (yes, it's a fact that Jordan and Syria are not known for their support of human rights) that his human rights are highly likely to be violated, severely and repeatedly. There is quite simply no justification for this.




An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
One legitimate use for torture (1.63 / 11) (#108)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:35:01 PM EST

There is a single circumstance where I think torture would be appropriate, and that is if we are absolutely certain that we're holding a terrorist who has knowledge of an imminent attack. If the Pakistani government captured Ayman Al-Zawahiri tomorrow, would you be against torturing him for information on planned attacks or Bin Laden's whereabouts?

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Yes, I would be against it (2.00 / 8) (#116)
by inadeepsleep on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:26:36 PM EST

Although, it's difficult to explain without getting into a prolonged discussion about philosophy, the nature of reality and ethics.

Skipping to the end of that prolonged discussion that didn't happen, what you propose would be counter-productive and not even do what you want in the first place. In addition to being evil on its face.


[ Parent ]

"You're wrong and I won't tell you why" (1.54 / 11) (#118)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:41:09 PM EST

Is not a valid argument.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Ok. You're not wrong, you're right (1.57 / 7) (#121)
by inadeepsleep on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:54:47 PM EST

You're right that it's not a valid argument.

But it's still too long of a discussion that I really don't want to get into right now.


[ Parent ]

Using the same logic... (2.55 / 9) (#132)
by JahToasted on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:13:31 AM EST

One could argue that sometimes committing a terrorist act is justified.

If one believes that him and his children, all fo his friends, everyone he knows will over time be killed unless he kills some civilians of some evil nation, is he justified in doing so?
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]

yes (3.00 / 5) (#200)
by Wah on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:20:51 PM EST

This is the exact rationale for the new NeoCon Pre-Emptive National Security model of the U.S.

And yes, it is the exact same reasoning Bin Laden, et al. can use to recruit people.  It is the same logical process.

"They want to kill us, we must get them first.  We are justified in doing so because we know they wish nothing other than our destruction."

At this point this is the stated goal of both parties. Get them first.

I think that's why they call it war.  We Are Right (and therefore justified to do anything we need to in order to win, thus proving that we were, in fact, right).
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

Actually something similar exists... (none / 0) (#404)
by zebidee on Wed Nov 12, 2003 at 06:47:10 PM EST

Under Scottish law (different from English law & is based upon Roman law - i.e. people rather than property) you can be found not guilty of a crime if you can prove that you believed that by failing to commit the crime a greater crime would be comitted.

For example - if a guy is running down the street waving an axe around it would be okay for you to assault him if you could prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that you believed he was going to kill someone.

A couple of years ago some CND protestors used this to jusitfy their illegal entry into a trident submarine base.

Z~

[ Parent ]

Absolute certainty (2.57 / 7) (#150)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:05:10 AM EST

Since when did absolute certainty about a future event exist?

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

ObThinEndOfWedge (n/t) (none / 3) (#153)
by gordonjcp on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:17:21 AM EST


Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
I just wanted to tell you that (none / 0) (#316)
by Ted Egerton on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 05:33:51 AM EST

You have absolutely no clue in the world what a real troll is, you and your hive-minded froth-mouthed anti-USA shithead friends.

[ Parent ]
Yes, I do. (none / 2) (#329)
by gordonjcp on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 08:59:36 AM EST

It's a silicon-based creature that lives under a bridge. And, incidentally, I'm not particularly anti-USA. I just think your (I'm assuming you are American) government is making a series of terrible mistakes.

The US is turning into what we all thought the USSR was like in the 70s and 80s. The worst bit is, so many Americans seem to be welcoming this.

Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.


[ Parent ]
Unspoken Assumption (3.00 / 4) (#169)
by tonedevil05 on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:13:18 AM EST

What someone tells you when you torture them will be the truth. That is your big mistake right there, if you torture me I will tell you what ever I think you want to hear. If I am in on the plot maybe I decided to sacrifice myself to give you bad info so my plot can work. If I don't know anything but want to stop the torture I may well make things up, remember your torturing me I want it to stop. Let's just forget for a moment that you will be gift wrapping your soul for Satan,the information you get from torture can't be considered reliable.

[ Parent ]
Very well said (none / 1) (#322)
by nebbish on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 07:03:35 AM EST

Advanced societies didn't just stop using torture because they are nice - it is also counter-productive.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Legitimate Torture (3.00 / 5) (#188)
by thejeff on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:10:57 PM EST

I've thought about this at length in the past and the conclusion I've come to is that, yes I would use torture in such a case, but that I, and anyone else who participated, would expect to be publically tried for it. If the jury disagrees with our assessment of the need then we should be punished.

Torture could be justified in such extreme immediate circumstances, but secret torture can never be justified. If you can't defend it's use in each case, then it shouldn't be done. Secrecy, or even simply allowing it to be legal under some circumstances also makes it much easier to expand it's use without any oversight. The nature of the cases where I would approve, prevents any prior oversight. There won't be time for someone not on the scene to make the decision, certainly not in a public fashion, therefore public review, by trial or at least some form of hearing is needed.

It's also interesting to note the parent post goes from the theoretical situation of "absolutely certain" and "knowledge of a planned attack" to the example of "information on planned attacks or Bin Laden's whereabouts"
That brilliantly shows the slipperly slope in action. I would not approve of torture in the example given.

[ Parent ]

That's the problem. (2.75 / 4) (#263)
by mindstrm on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:50:52 PM EST

What is "Absolutely certain?"
How do we verify that it is absolute?
WHo double checks this?
Who decides if it's absolute or not?

I'm sure we could all think of situations where we think murder is okay, rape, torture, mooning nuns, etc....
but we can't draw an absolute line, so we say such things are banned.

It's better to not torture anyone than to accidentally torture an innocent person, get it?

[ Parent ]

Reasonable doubt (none / 1) (#295)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:05:46 AM EST

I guess I'd want to use the standard of reasonable doubt, and I'd want an order from a panel of federal judges before any terrorist was tortured. There's never an absolute line and there's no such thing as being absolutely certain, so we make do with standards like proof beyond any reasonable doubt.

Also, this doesn't have as much to do with the person's guilt or innocence as it has to do with their knowledge of planned attacks. Torture is an awful practice and it should never be considered as a punishment - only as a method of gathering intelligence.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]

Still problems (none / 2) (#349)
by thejeff on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 02:03:09 PM EST

To justify torture, the planned attack has to be imminent, in which case there may not be time to convene a panel of judges and present the evidence. Besides in these days of secret warrants, etc, I'm not sure I trust judges.

My suggestion is to leave it up to the people on the scene. They can pass it as far up their chain of command as they like, but anyone in that chain becomes complicit. The action then has to be reported within a short timeframe and justified in a public hearing, in front of that panel of judges, say. Not reporting it means that you can't use this justification as a defense should the facts ever come.

This discourages torture, because everyone involved puts their careers and freedom on the line, but it even more strongly discourages hiding torture.

[ Parent ]

Quite a slippery slope you have there... (none / 0) (#402)
by cburke on Tue Nov 11, 2003 at 11:24:46 PM EST

The problem with justifying torture in any case is that doing so makes it easier to justify doing so in another case.  That's why the 8th Ammendment has no exceptions.

Just to demonstrate what a slippery slope this is, look at this:

There is a single circumstance where I think torture would be appropriate, and that is if we are absolutely certain that we're holding a terrorist who has knowledge of an imminent attack.

There's the one case.  Then, one whole sentence later:

If the Pakistani government captured Ayman Al-Zawahiri tomorrow, would you be against torturing him for information on planned attacks or Bin Laden's whereabouts?

From being absolutely certain of him having knowlege of imminent attacks to suspecting him of knowing the location of another terrorist who may or may not be planning attacks, imminent or otherwise.

You see?  You've already slipped a great deal.  What next?  Torture the guy who probably knows where Ayman is, so you can then find bin Laden by torturing Ayman?   Intuitively -- subconsciously, even -- one deduces that if it is okay to torture to save lives, the degree of separation from the loss of life isn't relevent.  Soon it's fine to pack up a terrorist's former roomate and ship him off to Syria.

[ Parent ]

"Guilty people" (2.57 / 7) (#154)
by nkyad on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:24:02 AM EST

Does "guilty" in this context means "Arab or Arab-looking or Muslim"?

When this kind of argument is used against people found guilty in a Court to deny them freedom or a new trial (when new conclusive evidence of their innocence is found) it is already disgusting. Using it in a case like this, where no evidence of a crime exists, where no trial was conducted and where the American authorities clearly send a man to Syria  in order for him to be tortured (so that their hands stay "clean" and some information mighty be extracted) is gross...

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
Also... (1.00 / 8) (#162)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:49:13 AM EST

Frankly, I don't blame the US for being highly suspicious of a Syrian immigrant traveling into New York from Tunis who has been associated with known militants. Even if the poor guy had no idea that his acquaintance was a suspicious character, he should have known that flying into New York from Tunis is going to raise some red flags--as it should. That's just common sense. The fact is that the Syrian government sucks hard, and the Syrian government is responsible for: (a) his being tortured, and (b) the US authorities' suspicions about him in the first place.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Known Militants? (2.90 / 10) (#180)
by scruffyMark on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:54:51 AM EST

Like whom? Mr Almaki? All we can say for sure about him was that he was sent of to Syria under much the same conditions as Mr Arar. I mean he could easily have been deported for having a "known militant" sign for his auto insurance. And how many people have become "known militants" because Mr Arar went to their wedding, or lent them his car?

Witch hunts have a way of producing an endless supply of known witches, and extracting from them the names of further witches.

As for he should have known that flying into New York from Tunis is going to raise some red flags--as it should. That's just common sense. The fact is that the Syrian government sucks hard, and the Syrian government is responsible for: (a) his being tortured, and (b) the US authorities' suspicions about him in the first place., that is nothing short of ridiculous.

(a)"Red flags" should mean you make sure you have a few extra hours for your connecting flight, in case customs decides to search your bags thoroughly.

(b)The Syrian government cannot be given sole blame for this - hiring a hitman just changes the crime from murder to conspiracy to commit murder. Same goes when it's countries doing it. The INS knew full well they were sending him off to be tortured.

(c)The reasons the US authorities were suspicious of him are completely unknown to most of us, and if you do know them, you had better start keeping a diary, because you can probably expect a subpoena in the mail any day now.

[ Parent ]

Re Your Point (b) (2.00 / 4) (#193)
by SPYvSPY on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:26:22 PM EST

If you eliminate the hitmen, the problem goes away. Also, you don't know the facts of this case, as you state yourself. All you know is this man's personal account--not a reliable source at all.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Sort of (none / 2) (#283)
by scruffyMark on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:04:07 PM EST

If you eliminate the customers, the hitmen go out of business. Since neither one is going to happen totally, you actively prosecute both.

[ Parent ]
Here is some evidence. (3.00 / 4) (#261)
by mindstrm on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:48:19 PM EST

A) He was travelling legally
B) He was a Canadian citizen, for many many years.
C) He has not been charged with anything, by either the US or Canada
D) Despite all that, and against his own reqeust, he was deproted to Syria, where he was tortured for 10 months.

How's that? Even if he IS a super evil son of satan terrorist baby eating monster heathen bastard, he was not treated appropriately.

They didn't keep him in the US and file charges, they didn't send him to his HOME, Canada, they sent him to syria.

[ Parent ]

well they let him go... (2.50 / 4) (#281)
by Space on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:44:26 PM EST

I think the fact that he was released proves he's innocent. I couldn't imagine the US or Syria letting him go if they had any suspicion that he was a terrorist.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Isn't it a bit suspicious (1.87 / 16) (#87)
by Fredrick Doulton on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 06:08:41 PM EST

that all of this is coming about just when we are trying to convince the world how evil Syria is and why they need to be "liberated?"

Bush/Cheney 2004! - "Because we've still got more people to kill"

Who would they contract the torture from then? (2.66 / 6) (#161)
by nkyad on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:47:04 AM EST

I mean, after Syria is conquered by the American Liberation Army, who will the US Secret Service turn to for this much needed services of information extraction? North Korea, maybe, or Iran? I think many African countries would be glad to accept this contract, but they usually lack the modern technology needed to deal with tougher cases.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


[ Parent ]
They can do it themselves (2.50 / 4) (#175)
by scruffyMark on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:40:07 AM EST

Just do it offshore, like say Guantanamo Bay.

Although the costs are probably prohibitive, since American wages are so high. There really isn't a problem though. If nothing else, the new Iraqi economy could surely use any contracts that come its way...

[ Parent ]

Halliburton would be glad to contract it out [nt] (2.25 / 4) (#290)
by rpresser on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:41:12 PM EST


------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]
we use FRIENDLY countries (none / 2) (#187)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:08:19 PM EST

not enemies like Syria. we use Jordan and Egypt for our torture.

[ Parent ]
No (1.20 / 5) (#174)
by TheModerate on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:32:07 AM EST

When you see conspiracies all over the place, thats when you need some help.

"What a man has in himself is, then, the chief element in his happiness." -- Schopenhauer
[ Parent ]

Arar was released days after Isreal bombed Syria.. (2.83 / 6) (#194)
by jandev on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:27:38 PM EST

Canadian newspapers are now theorizing on the link between Arar's release and Israel's bombing of Syria last month. (see the Toronto Star). Syrian diplomats in Ottawa corroborate the theory: Syria wanted to be friends with the US last year, took Arar (and some other guys), beat them up, locked them up, and threw away the key. Then Israel bombs Syria, Bush says 'serves you right, you terrorist-harboring creeps', upon which the Syrian thug-in-chief says 'OK, what's the point with these people being here anyway, better get friendly with Canada' and lets him go.

The world's a bad place, sometimes.

"ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
[ Parent ]

Some more facts (2.46 / 30) (#112)
by godix on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 07:41:21 PM EST

Just a few things I learned while googling:

He has a dual-citizenship, Canadian and Syrian. While it is unusual that he be deported to Syria instead of Canada, or Zurich since standard procedure to is deport people to their last stop before entry rather than their home country, he was a citizen of Syria so deporting him there does make a sort of sense.

I have seen many sites claim he isn't a terrorist but I see no proof he isn't. I also see no proof he is. There had to be some reason for the US grabbed him to begin with, despite general perception the US doesn't arrest and deport every middle-eastern man entering America. It's entirely possible he is as innocent as he claims but I do not accept this as proven fact. Of course the idea behind American law is that he doesn't have to prove he's innocent but the US has to prove he's guilty.

Those claiming Americas treatment while he was in the US was illegal are wrong, he is not a US citizen and he was captured entering the US. Keep in mind also that he was not tortured while in US custody and was allowed to read and refuse to sign documents.

Those claiming this was illegal because he was deported to a state that's known for torture and that the Canadian embassy wasn't notified are correct. Under international laws that the US has agreed to follow Canada should have been notified immediately and he should never have been sent to Syria. No amount of terrorism fears can get around the fact America clearly violated laws.

Regardless of that, the bulk of the outrage should be directed at Syria. I'm not saying Americas role should be ignored but the simple fact is that even by Maher's own story he wasn't tortured until out of US custody. Syria is the villian here, not the US.

Canada was more active that this account indicates. They were not notified of these events until 3 days after he was deported. Less than a week later the Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister protested to the US about Arars case. About 3 weeks later Canada actually issued a travel advisory to middle eastern born Canadians to reconsider entering the US, although that was a result of an American policy rather than a result of Arars case itself. It appears that throughout this Canada was pushing for Arars release and most likely this is the only reason Arar actually did get released. Canadians should be proud of their country for it's efforts, it would have been very easy for Canada to ignore this and sweep it under the rug.

Arar and his wife are correct, there should be a public investigation into the possible role Canada played in initially providing the US with info. More importantly there should be a public US investigation into how we allowed, against our own laws, someone to be deported to known torturers.

A fairly decent timeline of notable events is here.

As much as I hate cut and paste press releases masquerading as stories I gotta give this a +1. It's an important case that deserves attention.

...when the Christians are praying for you, they're usually about a day short of commencing bombing.
-

exactly (1.00 / 27) (#129)
by treat on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 11:28:29 PM EST

I have seen many sites claim he isn't a terrorist but I see no proof he isn't. I also see no proof he is.

You said it best. I can't believe this sand nigger, which is only one step up from a real nigger, has the balls to complain about his treatment by the US. His people hate Jesus and are our mortal enemies. I despise torture and killing as much as anyone, but if it is to protect our children from terrorism and to fight those who hate Jesus and would send the whole world straight to hell, then any means are necessary for we are doing the Lord's work.

[ Parent ]

Nope (1.66 / 6) (#130)
by Bartab on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:05:54 AM EST

Those claiming this was illegal because he was deported to a state that's known for torture and that the Canadian embassy wasn't notified are correct.

"International law" such as it is requires notification of a country of citizenship, not all of them. As Syria was notified, that is satisfied.

--
It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
[ Parent ]

International Law? (2.25 / 4) (#228)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:09:51 PM EST

"International law" such as it is requires notification of a country of citizenship, not all of them. As Syria was notified, that is satisfied.

And the US has such a low opinion of Canadian citizenship, and treaties with Canada that it feels it is OK to ignore these?


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Sure. (1.50 / 4) (#304)
by Bartab on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 01:35:29 AM EST

There is certainly no reason to have a high opinion of them. Syria is more help in US interests than Canada is.

--
It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
[ Parent ]

It is worse than you say (2.75 / 16) (#149)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:02:19 AM EST

despite general perception the US doesn't arrest and deport every middle-eastern man entering America.

Well obviously not every, but from reading this they do deport some for no reason. If you think otherwise, cite some reasons.

Keep in mind also that he was not tortured while in US custody

Well, whoopie shit. His wife wasn't raped and killed either. Does this make the US good or something? Since when did you compare yourselves to torturing states, and not other democracies?

Syria is the villian here, not the US.

They both are. The US washed their hands of him and sent him to Syria knowing there was a chance he would be tortured. Does getting someone else to do your dirty work make you not guilty?

More importantly there should be a public US investigation into how we allowed, against our own laws, someone to be deported to known torturers.

Agreed. There is much more that should be questioned though.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

You don't pay attention do you? (2.16 / 6) (#166)
by godix on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:50:49 AM EST

from reading this they do deport some for no reason. If you think otherwise, cite some reasons.

Just because I personally don't know the reasons does not mean there aren't reasons. I can see at least one indication in Arar's own story though, he had financial ties to another suspected terrorist through that apartment lease. I don't personally think that's enough to deport Arar, but then again there may have been more linking him to terrorist than that.
Does this make the US good or something?

Where exactly did I say this? I thought I made it pretty clear my feeling on US actions in this case.
Since when did you compare yourselves to torturing states, and not other democracies?

Since we started talking about an international inccident that involved the US and Syria. If Syria wasn't involved I wouldn't have compared. Since it is involved a comparison is appropriate.
Does getting someone else to do your dirty work make you not guilty?

Where exactly did I say this? I thought I made it pretty clear my feeling on US actions in this case. The US is guilty of violating it's own laws in this case (although I do need to check and see if notifying just one country he was a citizen of qualifies as following the notification law). We knowingly sent him to a place where he would be tortured. That is obviously a bad thing, but not nearly as bad as the people who did the actual torture.

...when the Christians are praying for you, they're usually about a day short of commencing bombing.
- Parent ]
Ya know, (2.00 / 5) (#171)
by Akshay on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:16:49 AM EST

as I read your piece, I just realised something:- this man would have had zero problems had he simply given up his Syrian citizenship to become a full-fledged Canadian (only) national!

Which, in a sense, is in a sense, slightly disturbing for me (and I presume for anyone else who thinks his nationality is representative of his identity); I mean, imagine giving up your nationality to protect yourself from Big Bad Uncle Sam.

But then, of course, it tells you more about how the Syrian government treats its own nationals than anything else (and hence is a matter that only Syrians can answer best).

[ Parent ]

can't do it (3.00 / 7) (#198)
by jefins on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:08:00 PM EST

Syria does not allow one to denounce citizenship. Many countries have similiar policies. Maher Arar is a Canadian, and asked the US authorities to deport him to either Canada or Switzerland (his last landfall before NYC). The US authorities ignored this request.

[ Parent ]
His argument (2.66 / 9) (#208)
by rmg on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:45:32 PM EST

Is that you are letting the US off easy, which you clearly are. By making a special note that it was not, in fact, the US that tortured the guy, you imply that they are somehow not responsible, or worse that they ought to be commended for not torturing him the way Syria did. Whether you meant that or not is irrelevant. The point is that it is implicit in what you wrote. If you did not mean it, you should have been clearer. Further, you say that "Syria is the villain, not the US." This could not be clearer. In saying this, you are saying that the US is not, in fact, guilty, and that it is really Syria who is to blame, despite the fact that they certainly did not initiate the situation and that it seems pretty clear that the US actually intended for Syria to mistreat this guy.

I have seen far too many posts in which posters indignantly cry that they did not say such and such a thing. You did say all the things you deny here, whether you like it or not. Acting indignant about his interpretations does not change that fact. If you don't want to have people object to you this way, then write tighter text and be more careful about what you say. If you really didn't mean any of these things, the fact that he can make these objections only indicates the sloppiness of your post. More importantly, if someone calls you on something like this, the proper response is to explain what you mean calmly, rather than spitting and whining about how you have been misrepresented. Really, reading comments like the one you just made reminds me of junior high English class.

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

your premise is incorrect (none / 2) (#375)
by mr100percent on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 04:48:58 AM EST

I don't like the premise you have here. "He MUST have had some stuff against him besides a lease." That is like saying that the government does not arrest innocent people. I don't like thinking that my government is wrong, but it appears that somebody goofed here. I've been following this case for a while.

If he was detained at the airport, or even in an NYC jail for a few days pending investigation, that's ok. But shipping him off to Syria is the INS' way of convicting people and they pretty much shut a case that he could have cleared up if he called his wife and his friend and disproven the evidence against him.
--Never trust a guy who tattoes his IP address to his arm, especially if it's DHCP.
[ Parent ]

A nit ... (3.00 / 7) (#170)
by Mr.Surly on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:15:23 AM EST

Those claiming Americas treatment while he was in the US was illegal are wrong, he is not a US citizen and he was captured entering the US. Keep in mind also that he was not tortured while in US custody and was allowed to read and refuse to sign documents.

From the article, while he was still in US custody, emphasis added by me:

"I said I wanted to go home to Canada or sent back to Switzerland. He said to me `you are a special interest.' They asked me to sign a form. They would not let me read it, but I just signed it. I was exhausted and confused and disoriented."

Besides, sleep deprivation is a kind of torture.

[ Parent ]

no..... (none / 2) (#183)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:03:18 PM EST

Sleep deprivation in this case is not torture, he had a long travel schedule...they did not lock him up in a windowless cell and continuously disturb him in order to keep him from sleeping.....THAT is sleep deprivation.

[ Parent ]
And yet they didn't let him sleep (nt) (none / 2) (#191)
by Mr.Surly on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:21:08 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Feh (none / 1) (#266)
by EriKZ on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:01:09 PM EST

Big deal, they don't let you sleep in class either.

[ Parent ]
why should they? (none / 1) (#293)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:09:35 PM EST

are you stupid? they take him into a security area to talk with him. are they going to let him sleep for 4 hours before they talk with him? no, because they don't let anyone catch some zzz's before they talk to them.

[ Parent ]
Yes (none / 2) (#294)
by ZorbaTHut on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:48:14 PM EST

That's a very good point there. They should.

They don't, but they should.

[ Parent ]

yeah, and we should all get cookies and milk (1.25 / 4) (#368)
by modmans2ndcoming on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 09:50:28 PM EST

and not have to work but all live in out own mansion with servants (who are obviously not people since all people live in mansions and don't work) and we should be afforded every pleasure we dream of.

sounds nice...WAKE UP FROM THE DREAM WORLD!!!!

no one in ANY country is offered to take a nap when they are pulled to the back for interrogation. why should the US get criticized for this?

[ Parent ]

ALL of them should be criticized (nt) (none / 1) (#399)
by Mr.Surly on Tue Nov 11, 2003 at 05:04:00 PM EST



[ Parent ]
This might be slightly unpopular here, (2.29 / 17) (#114)
by Akshay on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:02:39 PM EST

but I actually like it this way, instead of the usual MLP-type blurb. Rivetting narrative methinks, actually made me sit and concentrate on the entire thing.

+1, FP of course.

agreed (2.00 / 6) (#119)
by kobayashi on Wed Nov 05, 2003 at 08:51:05 PM EST

kind of an "exception proves the rule", as this issue is too important to be an MLP i believe.

[ Parent ]
Yet another reason (2.72 / 22) (#145)
by metalfan on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:37:22 AM EST

for me to absolutely refuse to enter the USA.

Aside from (1.30 / 10) (#176)
by nebbish on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:42:32 AM EST

The fact that it's crap.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

Agreed. (1.20 / 5) (#205)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:33:32 PM EST

Like most Canadians, I'd probabally go to New York and end up getting shot. Nice vacation.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

Don't bother (1.40 / 5) (#212)
by PylonHead on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 02:17:52 PM EST

We'll come and get you.

(Actually we're not really that violent.  Many of us live out our full lives without getting murdered.)


[ Parent ]

And a lot of you live out your lives, THEN... (none / 1) (#249)
by Russell Dovey on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:18:00 PM EST


"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Shot? (1.75 / 4) (#213)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 02:28:07 PM EST

Right because everyone who goes to New York gets shot. It's even part of the tour! "Welcome to New York, here's your map, here's your Broadway tickets, and here's your high capacity Glock. Enjoy!"

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Now you know (2.00 / 4) (#230)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:12:39 PM EST

what comments like "Blame Canada" feel like. YHBT. :)

A free glock would make cab fare cheaper though...


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

You guys wouldn't catch so much flak... (2.83 / 6) (#237)
by CaptainSuperBoy on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:29:16 PM EST

If the tops of your heads didn't flap around so much whenever you talked.

--
jimmysquid.com - I take pictures.
[ Parent ]
Shaddap! (none / 2) (#244)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:44:19 PM EST

Or I'm going to bomb the Baldwin compound!

Hoser.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

lol [nt] (none / 1) (#321)
by nebbish on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 06:57:39 AM EST


---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

hey now... (2.40 / 5) (#269)
by Wah on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:31:21 PM EST

...there have only been two people murdered in my neighborhood since I moved up here two months ago.

I mean, sheesh, that's like 10,000 NOT getting murdered.
--
kewpie
[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 1) (#320)
by nebbish on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 06:56:54 AM EST

That actually isn't that bad, I'm in London UK and that sounds about right for here too.

---------
Kicking someone in the head is like punching them in the foot - Bruce Lee
[ Parent ]

On behalf of the USA (1.20 / 10) (#238)
by sllort on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:30:40 PM EST

Allow me to sigh loudly in relief.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
Spaghetti text, but worth reading (1.20 / 10) (#148)
by muyuubyou on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:52:08 AM EST

+1 FP - and good luck! ;)

Both sides of the story (1.31 / 19) (#155)
by Hewcard Packlet on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:36:49 AM EST

The problem I have with your story, Maher, is the following excerpt:
They asked me about Abdullah Almalki, and I told them I worked with his brother at high-tech firms in Ottawa, and that the Almalki family had come from Syria about the same time as mine. I told them I did not know Abdullah well, but had seen him a few times and I described the times I could remember... I told them I had a casual relationship with him... They were so rude with me, yelling at me that I had a selective memory. Then they pulled out a copy of my rental lease from 1997. I could not believe they had this.

As a french-canadian traveling a lot to the US, I am often pulled out for baggage search - about 1/3 of the times. I know it is frustrating and intimidating the first times. I imagine it is a lot more intimidating for a muslim, especially post 9/11.

But...

This was not the first time you were traveling to the US. You should have remembered Almaki signing for your lease. They were very specific, questioning you about him. You can't believe they had a copy of your rent? Come on. Easiest thing in the world to obtain.

Don't get me wrong, I do not think you are a terrorist. I do not condone the way you have been treated. But this particular element of your story bugs me. You telling about Almaki signing for your rent would have changed a lot of things for you. Your 'selective memory' in that particular case has cost you a lot.


Think Big, Sti!
Oh, come on! (3.00 / 16) (#159)
by Gallowglass on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:26:19 AM EST

He should have remembered that a particular person signed the "witness" line on a form half a decade ago? An act that takes less than 5 minutes to occur?

What forms did you sign in 1997? Who witnessed them? Do you remember? And if you can't, why should Mr. Arar?

And does forgetting a 5 minute action 5 years ago excuse being sent off for torture?? He made a mistake so he deserves to be tortured???

[ Parent ]

Agree (2.55 / 9) (#192)
by Burning Straw Man on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:25:53 PM EST

I've signed leases just about every year since 1995. I could not tell you with certainty who witnessed any of them, except my mortgage, which was witnessed by my wife and my realtor.

If you happened to ask me if I knew [my realtor's name] I would probably say "Never heard of them" because I don't remember their name. At least the author of the story could remember knowing the person in question.
--
your straw man is on fire...
[ Parent ]

Absolutely. (2.80 / 5) (#302)
by cburke on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:49:54 AM EST

I can't remember several of my roomates names that I've had in the last five years.  I certainly wouldn't remember exactly which ones signed leases and with whom.

Not knowing someone's name is either a sign that you're lying to cover your intimate relationship, or that you don't remember him because you weren't very close at all.

[ Parent ]

Absolutely. (2.64 / 14) (#168)
by Mr.Surly on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:07:10 AM EST

I think everyone who forgets a minor detail from 5 years ago should be sent to Syria for torture.  It's their own fault, right?

Whether you condone it or not, implying that he got what he deserved for not remembering somthing so insignificant is ridiculous.

[ Parent ]

he was sent to syria because he was (1.25 / 4) (#178)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:53:42 AM EST

a syrian citizen.

I don't know the policy on duel citizenship deportations, but if this is a common type of deportation for duel citizens, I assume they deport you to the soil you were born on, and not the soil you were naturalized to.

the Syrian government is NOT a government we send suspect to for interrogation, we send them to Egypt and Jordan, so I seriously doubt the CIA connection.

I am very disgusted though by how this man was treated, and I think that we need some serious policy changes here.

one major problem I have with the story is that he claims he was denied a lawyer. this does not jive with US law. if it is true, those agents need to be fired and put on trial for infringing this man's civil rights and then sent to prison for 15 years (I Think that is the max for such an office...it might be longer)

but I certainly think that we need to rather than just deport people with his circumstances to their country of birth, we need to talk with the government of the country he has been naturalized to and consult them on what they want to do, if they want him, we give him to them, if not he gets deported to his country of birth.

this is a MAJOR policy problem that has been exacerbated by how Syria treats its people. I pray for you sir.

[ Parent ]

They are supposed to abide by your request (2.83 / 6) (#199)
by jefins on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:16:27 PM EST

If you are a dual-citizen, they they must send you to the country of your choice. Maher Arar is Canadian and Syrian by birth. He requested to be sent to Canada or back to Switzerland (his landfall).

However, a country can decline to accept someone that is being deported there. This is what disturbs me. Did some Canadian authority block his return to Canada then, while other counsellor officials were trying to help him? Or did the US authorities ignore his request and send him to Syria (via Jordan) against his wishes, and against international law?

[ Parent ]

CIA likes Syria even if the Pentagon doesn't (none / 2) (#273)
by spurious on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:03:05 PM EST

the Syrian government is NOT a government we send suspect to for interrogation, we send them to Egypt and Jordan, so I seriously doubt the CIA connection.

Apparently, the US has been doing this for some time. See Christian Science Monitor

[ Parent ]

Hmmm (none / 1) (#275)
by Pseudonym on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:24:51 PM EST

I don't know the policy on duel citizenship deportations, but if this is a common type of deportation for duel citizens, I assume they deport you to the soil you were born on, and not the soil you were naturalized to.

I would have assumed that it was more natural to deport you to the land of the passport that you're travelling on.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
NOT a syrian citizen (none / 2) (#374)
by mr100percent on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 04:41:18 AM EST

He is NOT a syrian citizen, he was a Canadian citizen. He had a Canadian passport, and had left Syria when he was 17 with his family. He refused to apply for a Syrian visa, and asked to go to Canada. Why wasn't the Canadian embassy contacted for a Canadian citizen's visa troubles?

Why did the US deport a Canadian citizen to his country of birth instead of his country on his passport? Obviously Canadians and Muslims are quite upset over this whole deal, and where does the US get off ordering citizens from other countries to be forced into different countries?
--Never trust a guy who tattoes his IP address to his arm, especially if it's DHCP.
[ Parent ]

Yes. (3.00 / 7) (#227)
by mindstrm on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:00:12 PM EST

And we all know everyone has perfect memory when they are being detained by surprise and interrogated by relentless questioning, denied lawyers, and treated like a terrorist.

Even if he LIED DELIBERATELY, that's not enough of a reason to send him to fucking syria to be tortured.
He was a canadian citizen. Look up citizen some time. It doesn't mean "person with less rights than someone who was born on canadian soil"

[ Parent ]

The point is (2.80 / 5) (#245)
by nocturn on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:47:20 PM EST

That just knowing the guy isn't a crime.
If they didn't have any stronger connection to tie them together, there case was very poor to begin with.

But any country willing to drop civil rights in the name of 'security' is a hell, I'm tempted to thing that the US is far worse than Bin Laden's troup...

[ Parent ]

my confession (2.80 / 5) (#280)
by Space on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:37:47 PM EST

I forget the last name of the person who co-signed my lease! Perhaps Im a terrorist!
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Who signs what ? (2.50 / 4) (#323)
by Builder on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 07:30:30 AM EST

I have signed 3 leases and 1 mortgage in the past 4 years. I do not know who signed as witnesses on ANY of those documents. I've signed as a witness on other people's leases in cases where I barely knew them... So using  that as a pretext for any further accusations is BULLSHIT!
--
Be nice to your daemons
[ Parent ]
You have a perfect memory, then? (none / 0) (#384)
by Tiram on Sun Nov 09, 2003 at 03:17:43 PM EST

Heck, I can't even remember who witnessed our marriage licence ten years ago, and I should think that would be rather more memorable than who signed a lease. Even if the marriage was four years longer ago (at the time).

--
The knuckles, the horrible knuckles!
[ Parent ]
That is truly scary. (1.55 / 9) (#157)
by daragh on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:02:31 AM EST

And disgusting.

No work.

Liar (1.00 / 9) (#165)
by shokk on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:34:50 AM EST

I think he's lying.
"Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart, he dreams himself your master."
[ Parent ]
Hmm, fascinating. (2.00 / 4) (#268)
by rmg on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:14:05 PM EST

Is there anything else you "think" that you wanted to share?

_____ intellectual tiddlywinks
[ Parent ]

really (2.50 / 4) (#277)
by Space on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:34:19 PM EST

Do you have any idea where he was for the past year? If not Syria where? Do you doubt that people get tortured in Syria? What he says may not be all accurate but I believe for the most part it's true.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
"Who's democracy is it anyway?" (2.90 / 21) (#160)
by TheDon on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:28:47 AM EST

CBC Radio is documenting what happened in an in depth interview with he and his wife as I write this. He gave a much more in depth report on what he went through and his wife spoke of her struggles while he was imprisoned.

Thankfully, CBC is following up the interview with interviews with former CIA operative and other experts in these matters. With luck, the world will learn more about human rights violators and hopefully bring an end to as much of it as possible.

Apparently, Syria is so willing to assist the CIA because they do not want to become the next Iraq or Afghanistan and feel that by accepting, detaining and torturing people like Maher they will avoid being black listed.

I guess in this case, the U.S. wiped its hands clean only to have the dirt jump right back on. The irony is that Maher was held based on what officials call "intelligence" reports.


--------------------------

Memory says, "I did that." Pride replies, "I could not have done that." Eventually, memory yields.
--Friedrich Nietzsche

A good American solution - Sue (2.37 / 8) (#163)
by hughk on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:04:47 AM EST

Find a lawyer and file a suit against the INS for mistreatment. They can throw anyone out of the country, however if they use inappropriate force, violate civil rights, etc. The department should pay compensation, big compensation.

We know this was torture by proxy, but that isn't so easily proven. However the conditions under which Arar was detained, interrogated and then extradited were disgusting.

not with ashcroft (2.60 / 5) (#223)
by elined on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:37:58 PM EST

Under the wonderful paranoia acts, such as Patriot Act, and some others, the government would claim national security and the case would be thrown out. For all of Bush's misty-eyed idealism, he sure has been instrumental in removing an remaining vestiges of democracy and freedom from this country.

[ Parent ]
the bigger problem (2.70 / 17) (#164)
by crazycanuck on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:14:35 AM EST

is that our soon-to-be-leaving PM, Mr. Cretin, refuses to have a public inquiry into what happened.

That is simply disgraceful.

But the good part.. (none / 2) (#231)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:16:02 PM EST

is he's leaving.

One more disgrace in an endless parade of disgraces.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

yeah, but Martin's next (none / 0) (#259)
by danharan on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:44:48 PM EST

And I'm pretty sure he's just as bad!

[ Parent ]
What happened to (none / 1) (#264)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:54:42 PM EST

men like Deifenbaker, and Pearson?

All we seem to get are Bobo and Krusty.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

What Price Freedom? (2.93 / 16) (#172)
by wraith0x29a on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:17:20 AM EST

It increasingly appears that the USA and UK are 'defending' freedom and democracy by completely removing even the most basic rights from their citizens and visitors to their countries.

Now we can be detained indefinately without legal representation, evidence or even the right to inform anyone of our detention (in the UK this is not just for terrorist 'suspects' but simply for refusing to give the government an encryption key that you may well not even possess). The USA certainly sends legally innocent people overseas specifically to be tortured and I would assume the current UK government would be happy to do the same if they thought they could get away with it.

Currently every e-mail, fax and phone call in the UK is monitored (completely illegally) in real-time by US and UK intelligence services. It is broadly thought that this is a test for the same technology to be used in the USA (assuming it is not in use already). I am also convinced my phone has been bugged by human operatives (I assume illegally) within the past six months and I am just a normal citizen (although I do talk politics with my girlfriend on a daily basis and post to K5 and other similar sites which I guess was what caused Echelon to flag me for surveillence).

The concept of 'freedom of speech' is now a joke (certainly in the USA though less so in the UK) as anyone in the USA who tried to argue against the Iraq war before the missiles started flying will tell you. At best they were branded traitors and terrorist sympathisers. The fact that they were often right (no WMD, no rebuilding strategy, no Al-Qaida links) did not get in the way of the corporate propoganda machines running on full power in both countries. The footage on US T.V. of toothpaste-ad soldiers training dolphins and spaniels for mine clearance duties, for example, was so bad I actually laughed out loud (especially when the spaniel dug up a mine and brought it straight back to it's handler). Anyone who has seen the movie 'Wag The Dog' could see right through the staged events, propoganda and plain lies (if you haven't seen it get down to your video store before it's too late).

The stark, terrifying truth is that the paranoid, power-hungry administrations in our countries have stealthily removed all rights from their people. We now live in a 'civilised' country where you can be dissapeared just as easily as in Syria or Iraq. The scale of the abuses may not yet match those 'rogue' states but the mechanisms and mindset are in place.

This is not something that is going to happen, it's happening here and it's happening now.

Another truth the power-mongers do not want us to see is this. Throughout history the weapons of the elite *always* end up in the hands of the masses. Eventually terrorists *will* get their hands on a nuclear weapon, they *will* produce biological and chemical weapons and they eventually they *will* obtain whatever new horrors are currently being developed in UK and US 'defence' research facilities. It is just a matter of time.

You will never catch all terrorists, it is simply impossible. The only way forward is to try to create a world in which terrorism is unneccessary. You can never account for the lone madman but organised terror could be reduced to the point of inconsequence in a fair, equitable and tolerant global society.

Our leaders however do not want a fair, equitable and understanding global society as it would be less profitable and would reduce their power over their people and less powerful states.

We all have to work to change this dark and dangerous state of affairs while we still have a chance, before all dissention and debate is classified as unpatriotic and all those working for greater freedoms are classified as terrorists and we enter Orwell's world a few decades late. If you think that's taking it a bit far consider the 'Patriot' act, which if the government was being honest should have been called the 'Anti-Terrorism Act' - welcome to the 'Ministry of Love'. Hell, we don't even need to get Orwellian for examples - just look at the British 'Ministry of Defence' who seem to undertake a lot more offensive than defensive actions.

We have to wake from our complacent sleep,we need to  switch off MTV and Fox for a while, put down the joint, the beer or the hamburger, open our eyes and take a good, honest look at what is really happening to our world and then *think* about it. If we don't do something now we have no right to complain later.

NB. These are my opinions, if you don't like them I am always open to reasonable, intelligent and thoughtful debate especially on points of (proven) fact.
If, however,  you're just going to call me a 'whining leftie communist liberal terrorist-sympathiser hippy homo traitor arab-loving faggot conspiricy-theorist scumbag' then don't waste the bandwidth. I simply don't care what illiterate morons think about me and it just proves my cynicism about the human race is justified. It makes you look stupid(er) too.

Peace.
"There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."

One more thing... (2.71 / 7) (#177)
by trimethyl on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:45:11 AM EST

We have to wake from our complacent sleep,we need to switch off MTV and Fox for a while, put down the joint, the beer or the hamburger, open our eyes and take a good, honest look at what is really happening to our world and then *think* about it.

Exactly. But don't just think; act. The average American has little or no control over the actions of the Government - you can find nefarious practices in both parties, the only difference being the moniker they give to their oppression.

So how does one fight oppression? Should we raise a flag in protest? Has protest ever changed U.S. Policy?

No. Protests won't do it. Instead of working against an uninterested government, work for peace. The most cogent protest against this action would be for a group of people to get together and collect money for this man and his family. It would speak volumes about the goodness of the American people and reflect very negatively on the State Department.

We can't necessarily control what others do. But we ourselves often forget that even though others may have done an injustice, we have the ability to right wrongs - even when the Government won't. Even though we can't set policy, we can make up (at least partially) for its shortcomings.



[ Parent ]
Good Point (none / 3) (#182)
by wraith0x29a on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:59:17 AM EST

Yes, the past couple of days I've had the thinking vs action argument with a few people and have come to the conclusion that while positive action is the best thing it has to come from thinking about the problems. Action without though is what we are fighting against.

In addition I think that the simple act of thinking and caring about something does help. If the people who are able and willing to act do not know that others feel the same way as they do the are much less likely to act.

Of course you have to let them know that you care so I guess even something as humble as posting a comment on slashdot as we both have, while not being as effective as direct positive action, is still useful and valid, who knows - maybe our posts will inspire someone who will in turn make a huge difference.

You are, of course, correct. Despite the holywood myth it is very difficult for a single person to make a difference (unless they resort to terrorism, a worrying point I neglected to mention in my post) but en mass lots of people can. If everyone in the USA boycotted Walmart indefinately in protest of their selling firearms (for example) the shelves would be cleared within a week.
"There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."
[ Parent ]

Excuse me, (2.25 / 4) (#203)
by metalfan on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:29:40 PM EST

but how does Raising Money for The Cause help anything?  From the article it sounds like he was rather well-off to start with, and since he is well educated, will have no more trouble re-starting his career than anyone else does.

Money does not buy freedom.


[ Parent ]

Yes, but... (none / 3) (#260)
by trimethyl on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:45:43 PM EST

We can't give him back his freedom.

It's not the amount, it's the principle. If the authorities are really trying to oppress people - that is, to injure, rather than police, this thwarts their method. Yes, they can injure. But if a person knows that they will be accepted back into the community, and that the community will make an effort to right the wrongs committed against them, their suffering is much easier to endure.

Furthermore, it sends a powerful message to the oppressor that the community does not approve of his behavior. It also makes it appear as if the oppressor's actions are pointless - why steal money from someone or cause them pain if the community will turn around and absorb the loss?

But there's an even better reason. It is better than doing nothing. When people see people taking care of others, it gives them hope. We have a much better chance of successfully doing good to others than of convincing those in power to stop the oppression. If we're going to invest an effort into righting wrongs, we'll get the biggest return by blessing the victims rather than cursing the perpetrators.

I'm convinced that the reason why there are so many emotional rants on k5 is because we hear of stories of evil and oppression that seem impossible to stop. The reason for this (I believe) is because so few in the crowd are experienced in the methods of fighting evil. One does not thwart evil by retaliation, or posting on k5, but rather by taking action to undo the wrongs committed by others. It is one thing to recognize evil and condemn it, but it takes a much more humble heart to be effective in destroying it.



[ Parent ]
Revolution (1.70 / 10) (#179)
by ylikone on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:54:20 AM EST

is the answer.

[ Parent ]
Conspiracy? (1.57 / 7) (#226)
by lordDogma on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:54:47 PM EST

Currently every e-mail, fax and phone call in the UK is monitored (completely illegally) in real-time by US and UK intelligence services. It is broadly thought that this is a test for the same technology to be used in the USA (assuming it is not in use already). I am also convinced my phone has been bugged by human operatives

Do you have any proof of this or are you just another whack-job conspiracy theorist?

-- LD

[ Parent ]

Of course not.. (2.75 / 4) (#248)
by wraith0x29a on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:05:43 PM EST

start at http://www.echelonwatch.org/ and decide for yourself.
"There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."
[ Parent ]
Checked it out. Just as I thought. Whacko. (1.50 / 4) (#250)
by lordDogma on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:25:33 PM EST

Currently every e-mail, fax and phone call in the UK is monitored (completely illegally) in real-time by US and UK intelligence services. It is broadly thought that this is a test for the same technology to be used in the USA (assuming it is not in use already). I am also convinced my phone has been bugged by human operatives

From the website you pointed me to:

"the exact capabilities and goals of ECHELON remain unclear. For example, it is unknown whether ECHELON actually targets domestic communications."

"there is no way of knowing if ECHELON is being used illegally to spy on private citizens."

"suggested that ECHELON primarily targeted civilians."

"it has been suggested that..."

"Some sources have claimed that..."

"Reports suggest it has..."

"it is believed that..."

...and so on and so forth. This is such a joke. When these idiots find some solid proof of ANY of their claims then we'll talk. Until then this is nothing but a bunch of paranoid whackos. Isn't it obvious to you that they are deliberately spinning this story? Virtually every claim on the website starts with, "It has been suggested that..." or "Sources report that...". Can they point to anyone who has ever been falsely arrested as a result of information obtained through ECHELON? No? Thats what I thought.

-- Lord Dogma

[ Parent ]

Well, it's not the UK but... (none / 2) (#311)
by Scott Robinson on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:30:02 AM EST

At least we can prove it's happening in the US.

It's called Carnivore, and every ISP is required to have it connected.

[ Parent ]

Yup. (none / 2) (#313)
by wraith0x29a on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:52:26 AM EST

As for the UK pretty much accepted, even by the mainstream media, that all electronic global communication is monitored by intelligence services it's just that details of the capibilities of the technology and the use to which the information is put that are unclear due to the secrecy of the agencies involved.
"There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."
[ Parent ]
Its not the interception but the analysis (none / 0) (#414)
by Cthol24601 on Sat Dec 13, 2003 at 05:04:07 AM EST

ACtually from people I know in the communications industry whilst almost everything is monitored the proeblem is that there are no where enough people to analyse the data and make sense of it.  Furthermore, whilst the propaganda surrounding the search engines designed to find sensitive data creates the impression of omnipotence they are very ineffective at finding material that is concealed in language that is not obvious.  Its likle the stupid claims they make about anti-plagarism software that I use at work.  It sounds impressive but just doesn't work in the real world.  The only way to do it, plagarism that is, is check manually with foreknowledge of the academic history and writing style of the individual and rely on your own investigations in the library and your own familiarity with the source material.  Its damn time consuming.  The intercpetion and monitoring software is the same.  Most of the data and red flags get raised by nutters, people joking and people just expressing their opinions in private conversation.

If you want an idea of how silly these approaches are and their stupidity in application check out Steve Jackson games vs the secret service case in the US sometime.  Basically the Secret Service, driven by the anti RPG moral panic were monitoring conversations on the Illuminati and Cyberpunk bulletin board and became convinced it was real, rather than in the game world, and raided the Role-playing game company looking for secret codes hidden in the game files that would let people become computer hackes and secret details on a new version of the Bell helicopter.  Read the judeges decision sometime it absolutely hilarious and shows the stupdity of this over reliance of signit intelligance the US are so obsessed with to the detriment of actual investigative work.

[ Parent ]

Insults are not a valid debating tool..but.. (3.00 / 5) (#319)
by wraith0x29a on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 06:45:21 AM EST

I know I said in my post I wouldn't reply to people who mistake insult for debate but at least you're literate and didn't use the word faggot :->

Firstly, the echelonwatch web site is just a convinient starting point for research and not an authority in itself (no single source can ever be trusted completely - you need corroboration). Did you actually read the declassified NSA documents, admission by the Australian government, BBC and NY Times articles or just the echelonwatch.org web site?

As for echelonwatch.org's editorial style; consider having to write an absolutely accurate article about the Sun..

Can you personally prove it is a massive ball of fiery gas? Of course not; you have to rely on information from other sources. To be 100% honest you would have no option but to use phrases like
"It is generally accepted that our Sun is a.."
"Scientists have calculated that the mass of the Sun is.."
"It is thought that the Sun will end it's lifespan in.."
"Astronomers claim that the dark spots on the surface.."

and so on. If people read this hypothetical article and the reputable sources in it's bibliography and subsequently believe the sun to be a massive ball of fiery gas would they be whackos too?

The balance of evidence on Echelon is enough to convince me after careful consideration and a lot of reading over many years of debate about Echelon's existence. The evidence is strong enough to convince the mainstream media including The BBC, The New-York Times and countless academics and acknowledged experts on intelligence activities - are they all whackos too?

The technology is certainly feasible (I built a similar system at home as an experiment to see if it would work, it does, even with my basic kit and sub-billion-dollar budget) and decades of declassified documentation on intelligence agencies throughout the world show that you simply cannot believe what they say.

Every year when documents are declassified under the 'thirty-year rule' people read them in horror and say "I can't believe our government could have done that, thank God that kind of thing doesn't happen any more." What they forget is that they said that thirty years before that and will be saying it in thirty years time when the current administrations' abuses come to light. Our governments do lie, misinform and abuse their power and there is no reason to think that political or human nature has changed in the recent past or will change in the near future.

As for the concept of 'proof';

It's obviously impossible to prove a negative; you can't prove echelon does not exist any more than you can prove the non-existence of god and without hands-on evidence it is impossible to have absolute proof of a positive (if you want to get metaphysical even that is not proof) but the mass of evidence from reputable sources in this case is enough to convince me that it is almost certain that such a system exists.

As for the issue of false arrests; assuming Echelon exists and is being operated illegally it would be impossible to use evidence gained in this way. The US and UK governments continue to deny it even exists (despite the admission of it's existence by other governements) so how could they use evidence obtained by illegal means without compromising their (already compromised) veil of secrecy? They use it for espionage and intelligence gathering - not law enforcement.

As for the whacko thing..

After 9/11 I was accused of being a paranoid conspiricy theorist when I suggested that it would be used as an excuse for giving the intelligence and defence community free reign and massively eroding our rights. Now we have the Patriot Act in the states and similarly dangerous legislation in the UK.

During the Anthrax attacks in the USA I was condemmed again for suggesting the investigation should not ignore the possibility of rogue elements in the US intelligence, defence and biological weapons research community. Now it is believed (by the FBI and others) that they may well be to blame.

A few months ago I suffered a tirade of abuse for arguing that the war in Iraq was being marketed to the public and armed-forces under false pretences (no WMD, no proven Bin-Laden links, no rebuilding and exit strategy etc). Three-forThree.

Am I cynical? Certainly.
Am I paranoid? Nope, they are not after me specifically. Well, not yet anyway.
Am I insane (the definition of a whacko)? Not very.
Am I right about Echelon? Time will tell.
"There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."
[ Parent ]

It's already to the point of inconsequence (2.80 / 5) (#314)
by Polverone on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:53:27 AM EST

"You can never account for the lone madman but organised terror could be reduced to the point of inconsequence in a fair, equitable and tolerant global society."

It's already inconsequential unless you want it to be consequential, or believe all the people saying that it's consequential. The airliners-as-missiles trick isn't going to be pulled off twice. Even "rogue" states like North Korea or Pakistan aren't going to hand out nukes to subnational groups. Chemical and biological weapons take a tremendous amount of effort to make on a scale and of a quality that they'd be effective on the battlefield (or even in an attack on an unprotected urban area).

Hurricanes and earthquakes are more dangerous than terrorists but not so convenient for justifying the curtailment of civil liberties.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

I see what you are saying, but.. (3.00 / 5) (#324)
by wraith0x29a on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 07:49:21 AM EST

Large scale terrorist activity like 9/11 or the Moscow theatre siege are rare as they are incredibly difficult to plan and execute and will hopefully continue to become harder. However, you can't know everything and you can't win them all. This sort of thing will happen again, it's just a question of who, when and where.

However, the scale of the body-count is not neccessary the issue; you can make plastique in your bathtub and nerve agents like Ricin (sp?) with little more than recipies from the Internet, some beans and an amatuer chemistry kit (as arrests in London have proved). There is unguarded radioactive material all over the place (notably in the former Soviet Union) and who knows what new horrors are sitting in test-tubes in military research labs (I understand the USA are currently developing a super-smallpox and that's just what they are letting us know about). Hell, a decade ago some kid in the USA was caught with a primative home-made nuclear reactor in the boot of his car.

In any case when it comes to terrorism the choice of weapon is almost inconsequential compared to the choice of tactic - by definition it is fear that is the primary weapon of terrorism and so long as organised terrorists can kill even one person the potential for using fear for political, religeous or economic gain is a real threat.
To the Israili mother who has lost a child to a suicide bomber this week or the families of the troops who will be killed or injured in Iraq today or the innocent civilians suffering Israili retribution in Palastine organised terrorism is very consequential.

The really insidious knock-on effects of terrorism are that due  to the panicked, paranoid and ill-considered anti-terrorism policies enacted by our governements many people are now not only fearful of the terrorists but of the methods employed by their own governments to combat the terrorists.
The governments are in many ways playing into the terrorists hands and exacerbating the problem. Not only does this aid the external terrorists' goals but if taken too far will doubtless increase the threat of internal terrorism and internal division in line with the increase in paranoia and erosion of civil liberties. Certain states will, of course, use the 'war on terrorism' to terrorise their rivals or even their own populations.

I do wish we could stop fighting among ourselves and realise our true enemies are, as you so rightly state, natural forces outwith our control, not least of these is human nature itself.
"There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."
[ Parent ]

it'll happen again (3.00 / 6) (#367)
by Polverone on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 08:44:18 PM EST

And it will be blown out of all proportion. Do terrorists threaten the western "way of life?" Of course not. Imagine the UK (sans nuclear weapons) trying to invade, occupy, or otherwise subdue the US. The thought is ludicrous, even if US military spending weren't so high. There's too much land and too many people for an occupying army to contend with. Now imagine a terrorist organization with a few thousand members trying to do the same; it's ludicrous.

The western way of life is far more threatened by overreaction to terrorist threats. Terrorist attacks are not part of a military campaign that leads to victory. They're symbolic acts, albeit ones that do have important short-term consequences. Happily for terrorists, news outlets practically trip over their own feet in their eagerness to cover those symbolic acts. And then governments come up with their own ingenious reactions to the problem. If there's a major terrorist attack in 2004, it's proof that we must trade freedom for security. If there's no major terrorist attack in 2004, it's proof that curtailment of civil liberties has had a positive effect in thwarting terrorist attacks.

Why wasn't there a major terrorist attack in 2000, before the Patriot Act and friends?

In the long term, a kinder, gentler, more equitable attitude in dealings with other nations may help the US to avoid terrorist attacks. In the short term it's not going to do a bit of good.

Ricin is not a nerve agent. It inhibits protein synthesis and kills much more slowly than nerve agents. Ricin is made by castor beans and refined by humans. I am highly skeptical that in the London case the accused person(s) had actually produced refined ricin. Even castor bean dust would give a positive result if sensitive tests for ricin were employed. There's a big difference between defatted castor bean powder and purified ricin protein, though both are poisonous.

Most high explosives are relatively easy to make on a lab scale. Scaling up production to useful quantities is considerably harder. There's only a handful of high explosives that can be produced on a large scale with crude equipment and starting materials.

The "radioactive Boy Scout" did not make a nuclear reactor in any meaningful sense of the word. He made a pile of radioactive junk, even if you believe that the Harper's story got all the facts right.

Radioactive wastes or industrial radiation sources would make great terror weapons if the goal is to get massive news coverage and frighten a lot of people. They would make terrible terror weapons if the goal is to actually kill people.

I think that most reporters get their education on the chemistry and technology of chemical weapons and explosives from James Bond movies, ill-informed speculation, or equally ill-informed law enforcement agents and official spokeszombies. I want to gnaw my own arms off in frustration every time I see people accepting such nonsense as fact. Imagine how many times you've seen factual or conceptual errors/distortions in mainstream news sources regarding computers. Now imagine that similar errors come up when the media discuss technical aspects of terrorism, but the errors are compounded by the greater obscurity of the topic. That's the reality. You learn as many facts about technical aspects of terrorism from the mainstream press (and even most alternative press or online discussion) as you'd learn about LISP programming from Newsweek.

Finally, I didn't even mean to say that natural forces are our true enemies. I meant that al-Qaeda couldn't seriously threaten the US as a whole even under the most favorable conditions. Its destruction will come from within.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

Finally, someone said it (none / 1) (#406)
by emwi on Wed Nov 12, 2003 at 08:56:26 PM EST

I can't agree more with you.

Terrorists are no threat to a working society.

Sure, they can kill me or you. But they can't ever kill a stable, satisfying social environment. The only threat we have to fear is our own government. Governments can kill a society as a hole. Governments can lock up and finally kill millions of people. Governments can do all this in a lawful manner by twisting existing laws or just introducing new ones. This is what we have to fear.

[ Parent ]

this is a sad story (1.33 / 6) (#181)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:55:04 AM EST

I don't know the policy on duel citizenship deportations, but if this is a common type of deportation for duel citizens, I assume they deport you to the soil you were born on, and not the soil you were naturalized to.

the Syrian government is NOT a government we send suspect to for interrogation, we send them to Egypt and Jordan, so I seriously doubt the CIA connection.

I am very disgusted though by how this man was treated, and I think that we need some serious policy changes here.

one major problem I have with the story is that he claims he was denied a lawyer. this does not jive with US law. if it is true, those agents need to be fired and put on trial for infringing this man's civil rights and then sent to prison for 15 years (I Think that is the max for such an office...it might be longer)

but I certainly think that we need to rather than just deport people with his circumstances to their country of birth, we need to talk with the government of the country he has been naturalized to and consult them on what they want to do, if they want him, we give him to them, if not he gets deported to his country of birth.

this is a MAJOR policy problem that has been exacerbated by how Syria treats its people. I pray for you sir.


ugh (3.00 / 7) (#204)
by theantix on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:31:20 PM EST

There is no excuse why a Canadian citizen should be deported to a country which will likely torture him.  From the radio reports I have read, it is already US law that a dual citizen has a choice as to what country he is deported to, and Arar stated in writing he requested to be sent to Canada, and in writing claimed he would likely be tortured by Syrians.  And he has also claimed that the INS didn't care about that because they didn't feel they were governed by the Geneva convention.  It is so disgusting that it's difficult to fathom.

If he was a suspected terrorist, he should not be deported to a country that the US accuses of being a state sponsor of terrorism.  That should be plainly obvious to any observer.  So I can't think of any justification for sending this man to Syria, except for the conclusion that he was sent to let the Syrians attempt to extract information out of him via torture.  You can see the political that the Bush administration was putting on Syria at the time, if you recall.  I just can't see another explanation that adds up.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]

Mabye Canada would not take him? (none / 1) (#292)
by modmans2ndcoming on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 11:08:06 PM EST

in that case, he is still a syrian citizen so we send him there.

I am not saying this is what happened, but it certainly is not in his power to find out.

perhaps Cretien does not want an official look into what happened because he does not want Canada to be revealed as the real bad guy here.

[ Parent ]

Heh (none / 3) (#377)
by mindstrm on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 09:36:34 AM EST

Cretien does not want an inquiry becaues he hopes Canadians will forget about this and move on.. believe you me, every canadian I know thinks that if canada had any part in this, the people responsible need to be punished.

We don't think someone is less of a citizen because they weren't born here.  It makes no difference if he had dual citizenship; that's his business. He was a canadian citizen, and entitled to all the protections and priveleges that entails. We don't feel someone is less of a citizen because some other country also considers them a citizen.

Believe me, Canadians are very willing to accept that their government fucked up.. we generally aren't apologists for our elected officials. We haven't heard the end of this, for sure.

Remember, as a smaller country population wise, individuals exert more influence over their elected officials much easier than they do in the US. We will get to the bottom of it.

[ Parent ]

you certainly do excert more influence (none / 0) (#380)
by modmans2ndcoming on Sun Nov 09, 2003 at 01:16:34 AM EST

I was in toronto about a year ago. stayed at the Delta down town. we went walking around to heck out the place and there was this huge billboard counting down the days until he would be out of office.

I find it interesting that a French Canadian would get elected to PM just a few years after Quebec nearly elected to with draw from Canada.  :-)

[ Parent ]

Happens all the time. (none / 0) (#393)
by Dr Caleb on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 11:20:22 AM EST

A PM is elected from Quebec, then from Ontairo, then Quebec, then Ontairo. It's a regular cycle.

The last PM we have from out West, was Joe Clark early 1980's, but he was only PM for a couple months (minority government). The Quebec separitist thing isn't that big a deal up here. They rattle chains every once in a while, but they quiet down a few years afterwards.


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

This is a good point (none / 0) (#405)
by theantix on Wed Nov 12, 2003 at 07:19:21 PM EST

If the Canadians wouldn't take him, that would take the Americans off the hook.  But I would hope that for a matter as dire as this they would get some sort of official paperwork to indicate that Canada doesn't want this person, and they should have explained to Mr. Arar that Canada did not accept him which is the reason he was not granted his right to return to Canada as he requested.  If there is no such requirement for official paperwork there are vast problems with the system as it exists today, far greater than what we are complaining about here -- I suspect this is not the case.  Which still leads me to conclude that there was no official signoff by the Canadians, because otherwise the US gov't would surely point the finger back at the Canadians if they could do so.

--
You sir, are worse than Hitler!
[ Parent ]
Repeated Meme (none / 1) (#306)
by teece on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:08:31 AM EST

one major problem I have with the story is that he claims he was denied a lawyer. this does not jive with US law. if it is true, those agents need to be fired and put on trial for infringing this man's civil rights and then sent to prison for 15 years (I Think that is the max for such an office...it might be longer)

This is the third story I have read regarding a foreign national that was denied a laywer on the ground that he was not a US citizen. Crime or not, I suspect this is happening quite frequently.

-- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
[ Parent ]

Compassionate Conservatism anyone? (2.12 / 8) (#195)
by dan512 on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 12:37:45 PM EST

This is insane. Is there a fund set up to help this guy?

Don't blame Bush (none / 1) (#338)
by wiredog on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 10:10:27 AM EST

It started under Clinton

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
'Two Wrongs'..petty, insignificant political b.s. (none / 1) (#385)
by mirage on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 01:55:34 AM EST

1) Who fucking cares?

2) Clinton isn't the president anymore, he's irrelevant. Bush is in office, he is relevant. He can do something, he can say something. But he won't.

'Two wrongs' as they call it is fallacious reasoning. Go take a class on formal logic. I don't care if every President in the history of this country made X,Y,Z mistake, That doesn't mean it's right, it doesn't mean it shouldn't be fixed. Move past your politicial bullshit...

This guy was tortured and held in solitary confinement for 10 months. Because of the USA, and because of the PATRIOT Act.

[ Parent ]
Cleary (1.03 / 33) (#207)
by sellison on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 01:42:24 PM EST

Mumia set himself up for this by refusing to renounce Syrian citizenship and by "forgetting" that he knew Abdullah Almalki (I don't think one co-signs a lease of someone one doesn't know pretty well!).

As our President has said, you are either for us or against us in this effort. People like Mumia who can't decide whether they support the US or the terrorists are going to get hurt in times like these (War!).

He should be thankful he got much more chance at continuing with his life from the merciful US than the victims of his friends & probable cohorts!


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush

huh? (none / 2) (#219)
by oohp on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:03:16 PM EST

Right to a fair trial my ass.

[ Parent ]
Set himself up? He was within his rights. (2.20 / 5) (#220)
by JyZude on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:07:09 PM EST

Though he didn't renounce his Syrian citizenship, he also held Canadian citizenship. There is no reason that he should have been sent to Syria as opposed to Canada.

Also, he was given the choice of which country to return to, and he chose Canada. It is law in the US (and Canada) that if you are going to extradite someone, they have the option of selecting the country of extradition. If that country accepts the person, then by law the person must be extradited to that country.

If Canada chose not to accept him, then it was within the US's rights to extradite him to Syria. Otherwise, they broke their own law.

Oh, and did this man support the terrorists? There was no evidence presented as such.

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


[ Parent ]
That is my point: (1.00 / 12) (#222)
by sellison on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:18:27 PM EST

If Canada chose not to accept him, then it was within the US's rights to extradite him to Syria.

Obviously Canada doesn't want him any more than the US does, but if he had dropped his Syrian citizenship it wouldn't have been an issue. And the Canadians would have known that Mumia had chosen the right side of the war. The choice he left them with was whether to invite a person with divided loyalties who travels widely, associates with terrorists, lies about it, and wants to preserve his 'out' back to Syria so he can escape if he commits a terrorist act.

This is a good lesson for all those who have ties in terrorist nations, as President Bush said quite clearly, it is time to decide if you are for us or against us.


"No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
[ Parent ]

Uh, OK (nt) (none / 0) (#233)
by mikelist on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:20:09 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Well, since you put it that way... (none / 2) (#236)
by Dr Caleb on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:26:28 PM EST

Obviously Canada doesn't want him any more than the US does,

Unproven, but I'm starting to suspect that. The RCMP has no right to do this, if he is a citizen though.

but if he had dropped his Syrian citizenship it wouldn't have been an issue.

Not possible. Syria, like most dictatorships, does not allow this, and does not recognise dual nationalities.

The choice he left them with was whether to invite a person with divided loyalties who travels widely, associates with terrorists, lies about it, and wants to preserve his 'out' back to Syria so he can escape if he commits a terrorist act.

Again, unproven.

as President Bush said quite clearly, it is time to decide if you are for us or against us.

Since the Bush Administration is insistant on branding people within and without 'terrorists', based soley on rumour, I would have to say if the Bush Adminstration continues this trend, my vote is for against


Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

There is no K5 cabal.
[ Parent ]

ug (none / 1) (#337)
by kableh on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 09:49:07 AM EST

after crap like this why does anyone bother replying to sellison? This guy is obviously a nutjob or a troll.

[ Parent ]
The right side (none / 3) (#241)
by nocturn on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:43:02 PM EST

If Bush sr hadn't killed Bin Ladens brother, he might not have so much hate for the US.
If the USA hadn't given the Afghans terrost trainings to fight the Russians, they wouldn't have been so dangerous.

Michael Moore put it very nice in his documentary "bowling for columbine".

[ Parent ]

What extradition? What CRIME? (none / 2) (#289)
by rpresser on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 10:26:35 PM EST

The word extradition refers to the sending of a criminal from one jurisdiction to another jurisdiction.  This man was not a criminal.  He was not accused of any crime. He was not extradited, he was SHANGHIED.

Might does not make right.  Might is in fact usually in the hands of the wrong.
------------
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
[ Parent ]

disgusting (1.50 / 6) (#239)
by nocturn on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:39:48 PM EST

You sir, disgust me! Your president as you call him is more dangerous to this planet then Bin Laden is. They are both fundamentalists, and they are both terrorists!

[ Parent ]
Exaggerating (2.75 / 4) (#243)
by Gailin on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:44:08 PM EST

"They pointed out that Abdullah had signed the lease as a witness"

There is a DRAMATIC difference between witnessing the signing of a document, and co-signing a lease/loan.

G

[ Parent ]

Who is this Mumia? (none / 2) (#299)
by tonedevil on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:42:53 AM EST

You don't know what you're talking about, hell you don't even know who you're talking about.

[ Parent ]
Not Mumia (none / 1) (#371)
by mr100percent on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 04:17:49 AM EST

Mumia Abu-Jamal is someone else. We're discussing Mahar Arar.


--Never trust a guy who tattoes his IP address to his arm, especially if it's DHCP.
[ Parent ]

So which am I? (none / 0) (#409)
by alt on Fri Nov 14, 2003 at 01:37:33 PM EST

I this GWB is the most dangerous man on this planet. Am I now a Terrorist?

I'm a German/Nordic Canadian. Am I now not a terrorist?

I have never supported the invasion of Iraq (liberating them? my ass they are.). Am I now a terrorist?

I supported the US when they went after Bin Laden. Am I now not a terrorist?

The true sign of a dictatorship is when the populace don't question their leaders because of zealotry or because of fear.  Why aren't you questioning yours?  The true sign of a police state is when the officials can get away with shit like what happened to Maher Arar. The true sign of an oppressed people is when their leader tells them that if they don't support him, they're supporting the enemy.

Welcome to the new millenium and the new world.

[ Parent ]

Speaking as a US Citizen... (2.71 / 7) (#214)
by karlandtanya on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 02:30:04 PM EST

I can say that due process is not a promise that is generally fulfilled.

"Our present regime is more authoritarian than the prior." is a statement that can be accurately made about every two years around here.

We're following the prescribed path. I think we're currently moving from selfishness to complacency.

Alexander Tyler:

"The average age of the world's greatest civilization has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence.

  • From bondage to spiritual faith;
  • from spiritual faith to great courage;
  • from courage to liberty;
  • from liberty to abundance,
  • from abundance to selfishness;
  • from selfishness to complacency,
  • from complacency to apathy,
  • from apathy to dependency,
  • from dependence back into bondage."

    The good news is that individuals are always free. Any individual in such a great civilization out of step with that great civilization. Perhaps an individual would choose spiritual faith and great courage when his neighbors have chosen selfishness and complacency?

    The complacent and selfish fear such people. They use a name to describe such people. Can you say it? I knew you could.

    Guess the k5 folks need the /. sig.

    Thought you were smarter than that.

    Oh, well.

    If all you can complain about is the spelling, everyone assumes you support the content.

  • Another good quote (2.75 / 4) (#346)
    by czth on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 01:14:29 PM EST

    From a chapter heading in Herbert's Children of Dune:

    Governments, if they endure, always tend toward aristocratic forms. No government in history has been known to evade this pattern. And as the aristocracy develops, government tends more and more to act exclusively in the interests of the ruling class-whether that class be hereditary royalty, oligarchs of financial empires, or entrenched bureaucracy.

    - Politics as Repeat Phenomenon: Bene Gesserit Training Manual

    Privilege of the rich? Buying votes, buying influence, heck, buying up senators and congresscritters wholesale and dealing... Al Capone had nothing on Microsoft, Enron, the RIAA and the MPAA. Just another symptom of a core rottenness.

    czth

    [ Parent ]

    influence bought and sold (none / 0) (#413)
    by astatine on Tue Dec 09, 2003 at 05:56:35 PM EST

    Buying votes, buying influence, heck, buying up senators and congresscritters wholesale and dealing...

    And then there's everyone's favorite incumbent's lock, gerrymandering: redistricting with an agenda. As one wit put it, in gerrymandered election districts, the voters don't choose their politicians - the politicians choose their voters!

    Society, they say, exists to safeguard the rights of the individual. If this is so, the primary right of a human being is evidently to live unrealistically.Celia Green
    [ Parent ]

    If this is true, and I believe it is... (1.62 / 8) (#224)
    by lordDogma on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:40:59 PM EST

    Then there are a lot of incompetent morons who need to be fired for letting this happen. This type of treatment based on very sketchy circumstantial evidence is an outrage. AN OUTRAGE!!!

    If we really wanted to find out if this guy was a terrorist, we should have gotten in touch with Canadian authorities and done a joint investigation. It would not have hurt to hold onto this guy a little bit longer while we looked into his background. The incompetence shown by the people handling this case is beyond belief. People need to be fired for this. Plain and simple.

    That said, I am not opposed to the kind of treatment he received if it is handed out properly. For example if we catch red-handed some arab guy with 200 lbs of explosives, false IDs, an AK-47 and an address book with names of known terrorists in his apartment, then I say deport his ass to the worst regime on the planet. I could give two shits about him. (Of course we'd probably prosecute him ourselves if it was that red-handed.) But the degree of stupidity in handling Maher is terrible, just terrible.

    -- LD

    you wouldn't prosecute... just keep him in jail (none / 2) (#257)
    by danharan on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:41:42 PM EST

    before making comments about what you would do with someone caught red-handed, consider what your government is doing to those it already has in custody.

    Unless they could make a good PR show of it, he'd be rotting away in a prison on Cuba.

    [ Parent ]

    Good. (none / 2) (#271)
    by lordDogma on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:39:16 PM EST

    If a terrorist was caught red-handed I'd be the first one to send him to Cuba. Fuck him. Let the bastard rot.

    -- LD

    [ Parent ]

    suspects (2.33 / 6) (#274)
    by Space on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:20:18 PM EST

    So a person who hasn't commited a crime yet, should stay in prison and denied basic human rights for the rest of their natural life? Thats still wrong! People can change both political and religious persuasions throughout their life.

    When it can be ruled beyond resonable doubt that a person would have commited a crime unless authorities had intervened a person should go to prison, conspiracy and attempted murder are common charges. But it's unreasonable to send a person to prison for the rest of their life when no harm has been done.
    <recycle your pets>
    [ Parent ]

    Arent you the humanitarian? (1.00 / 6) (#308)
    by lordDogma on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:16:19 AM EST

    So a person who hasn't commited a crime yet, should stay in prison and denied basic human rights for the rest of their natural life?

    I don't advocate this for any criminals. I do advocate it for Islamic-Fascist-illegal-combatant-assholes however. Why should something less than a dog have basic human rights recognized?

    People can change both political and religious persuasions throughout their life.

    Maybe they should change their mind before trying to blow up innocent people.

    -- LD

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Arent you the humanitarian? (2.80 / 5) (#315)
    by wastl on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 05:17:07 AM EST

    I don't advocate this for any criminals. I do advocate it for Islamic-Fascist-illegal-combatant-assholes however. Why should something less than a dog have basic human rights recognized?

    Because it is one of the main principles our Western societies are built upon. If you deny such rights you are no better than the terrorist himself.

    Sebastian

    [ Parent ]

    It isn't about the suspect (2.75 / 4) (#354)
    by error 404 on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:48:37 PM EST

    Whether the subject is less than a dog or not isn't the question.

    We shouldn't refrain from torture because we like the subject. We should refrain from torture because we choose not to be torturers.

    Think about it: Most people consider torturing rats a bad thing. Even though they don't like rats.
    ..................................
    Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
    - Donovan

    [ Parent ]

    It's people like you (none / 0) (#397)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue Nov 11, 2003 at 06:06:03 AM EST

    and their indifference that make such atrocities possible.

    [ Parent ]
    ignorance is bliss... (none / 2) (#279)
    by RelliK on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:37:47 PM EST

    The incompetence shown by the people handling this case is beyond belief.

    Hardly. It is well known that US doesn't torture people. Instead, it sends them to a 3rd world dictatorial regime to do the dirty work. You know, all about keeping your hands clean. Don't fool yourself: the deportation to Syria was not incompetence, it was intentional.

    People need to be fired for this. Plain and simple.

    Fired? Not tortured?

    For example if we catch red-handed some arab guy with 200 lbs of explosives, false IDs, an AK-47 and an address book with names of known terrorists in his apartment, then I say deport his ass to the worst regime on the planet.

    Does he have to be arab?
    ---
    Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
    [ Parent ]

    You must be in heaven then. (none / 1) (#307)
    by lordDogma on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:11:01 AM EST

    Don't fool yourself: the deportation to Syria was not incompetence, it was intentional.

    By incompetence I mean failing to do a thorough investigation. I could give two shits if we send an actual terrorist to Syria and I could give two shits what happens to him when he gets there. Why don't you go bitch to Syria and see if they listen.

    Fired? Not tortured?

    So now all of a sudden you are advocating torture? You don't find that hypocritical?

    Does he have to be arab?

    Can you read? "For example" means it was an example. Examples don't have to cover every case, idiot.

    -- LD

    [ Parent ]

    Not even bin Laden Himself (2.83 / 6) (#305)
    by teece on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:04:22 AM EST

    That said, I am not opposed to the kind of treatment he received if it is handed out properly. For example if we catch red-handed some arab guy with 200 lbs of explosives, false IDs, an AK-47 and an address book with names of known terrorists in his apartment, then I say deport his ass to the worst regime on the planet. I could give two shits about him. (Of course we'd probably prosecute him ourselves if it was that red-handed.) But the degree of stupidity in handling Maher is terrible, just terrible.

    I understand the sentiment, believe me. But you are just dead wrong on this count. I don't care if you catch Osama bin-Laden himself with the AK and explosives, YOU DO NOT DO THIS SHIT IN AMERICA! Ever. No fucking exceptions. Accused criminals have the protections of the criminal justice system -- even foreign criminials.

    There is no grey area here. There is no time that this acceptable. The fact that one ever thinks this kind of bull shit is OK is the very reason this bull shit can happen. Some third rate flunky in whatever agency convinced themselves that this man was as bad as bin Laden, therefore it was ok to treat him as a non-human. Wrong. Nobody ever gets to make that choice. The day we let them is the day that America has died in spirit.

    Sadly, that means that if this story is true, America has already died in spirit.

    -- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
    [ Parent ]

    Right! (none / 0) (#396)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue Nov 11, 2003 at 05:52:01 AM EST

    For example if we catch red-handed some arab guy with 200 lbs of explosives, false IDs, an AK-47 and an address book with names of known terrorists in his apartment, then I say deport his ass to the worst regime on the planet. I could give two shits about him.

    If that really would be the case you can bet your ass that he definitely will not be detained.

    Instead you can be damn sure that he's paraded on fox news on prime time for the next couple of weeks in a sort of disgraceful monkey show.

    Too much propaganda value in that and in the current mess your gubynmint is in desperate need of propaganda. Preferrably the sort that isn't pointed out as a damn lie a couple days later in the New York Times.

    [ Parent ]

    You do realize... (none / 0) (#401)
    by cburke on Tue Nov 11, 2003 at 10:50:55 PM EST

    That said, I am not opposed to the kind of treatment he received if it is handed out properly.

    ... that by saying this, the message your sending is:  "Next time you want to torture someone, produce a better cover story to make him look guilty first."

    Thanks.

    [ Parent ]

    Views from a Canadian. (3.00 / 15) (#225)
    by mindstrm on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 03:51:49 PM EST

    Let me say this:

    Am I disgusted by the behavior of the US in this matter? Hell yes.

    Do the US actions in the last few years, since 9/11, affect my willingness to travel through the US now, on my way to/from my home, Canada?  You better believe it.

    However: I'm MORE distrubed at my own government.  There is NO WAY that the US authorities shipped this man to Jordan and Syria without some kind of nod of approval from Canada.  I can't accept that. If my government no longer stands up to the US in bullshit like this, that really disturbs me.

    Under NO circumstances should a Canadian citizen have been shipped to a foreign country, not his country of residence, especially a place where everyone knew he would be jailed and tortured. It's not acceptable under ANY terms. It doesn't matter if he knows terrorists. If my neighbor turns out to be a bad guy, should I be jailed because I borrowed his lawnmower, or because I invited him to my bbq?

    for that matter, NOBODY should be shipped to these countries; that would condone their behavior.

    views from an American (2.91 / 12) (#242)
    by Mindcrym on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:43:04 PM EST

    This should disturb you. Seeing the US government in action over the past 3+ years I do think its highly likely that the feds sent this man to Syria without a nod of appoval from any Canadian authority.
    I love America and what it stands for, however, I am ashamed at the behavior of our non-elected president and his entourage of minions. Granted, the minions are probably the ones doing most of the evil, its just that our president is too fucking stupid to see what he's doing to this country and the rest of the world.

    FUCK this pisses me off.

    I'm voting for Howard Dean. Its time to put an end to this bullshit.
    -Mindcrym

    [ Parent ]
    I wouldn't be so surprised (2.50 / 10) (#256)
    by danharan on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:39:12 PM EST

    It's even more disturbing to consider that maybe, just maybe, our government was NOT consulted on the matter.

    Seriously, you think we matter enough to them?

    [ Parent ]

    Maybe.. (2.57 / 7) (#258)
    by mindstrm on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:42:17 PM EST

    But considering how the Canadian government is dodging the issue..... "The americans never told us they had him" would be a totally great way out for them, nobody would blame them.

    As it is, they are keeping quiet, and they sent a lot of info to the US authorities about this guy. They had a responsibility to know.

    [ Parent ]

    We Canadians can say what we want but.... (3.00 / 9) (#312)
    by causticmtl on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:41:33 AM EST

    The sad fact is that no one wants to piss the US off because of the potential trade penalties (soft-wood lumber, mad cow, etc.)

    Considering the dollar value in trade that Canada has with the states, what do you think the Canadian law-enforcement agencies will do to appease the Americans? A lot I guarantee you.

    Considering the situation with Iraq, do you think that Syria wants to piss of a military juggernaut like the US (especially compared to their own forces). Here's a crappy link that will give you inaccurate info about the Russian equipment they bought. (George Bush Sr. showed that American equipment is ... was *far* superior to Russian equipment in the first Iraq war).

    The problem here is that both nations are lapdogs of the US. The problem is that both countries are bending over so they don't piss off the US for either trade reasons or (very valid) fears of being bombed.

    The US has maneuvered itself to be the big man internationally. I doubt they have the wisdom or foresight to do it properly.

    "God help us all"

    - me on Sept. 11th

    [ Parent ]
    Get it over with (1.60 / 5) (#335)
    by kableh on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 09:32:02 AM EST

    Clear cut all those forests and plant dope. Isn't pot basically sustaining Vancouver's economy?

    [ Parent ]
    Another Canuck agrees.. on some points. (3.00 / 4) (#365)
    by CanuckBuck on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 08:29:27 PM EST

    I don't think we Canadians should focus on the role that the US inteligencia played in this case; Canadian agencies (CSIS & RCMP) should be scrutinized throughly. Further, shipping individuals to states that utilize torture is abhorrant, but not the crux of the problem, in my opinion. The CBC has been positing for the last 48 (or more) hours that either our intelligence or enforcing agency determined, apparently incorrectly, that Mr. Arar posed a security threat.. and communicated that incorrect belief to the US entities that acted in this sad manner. Now - what's REALLY worth scrutinizing for us Canucks is that: 1) Our governing bodies are not publicly accountable, apparently, for these action(s). 2) Other examples of such inscrutable behaviour, for example the case of Hassan Almrei, incarcerated without charge or trial within Canada (Toronto) for more than 24 months, is unacceptable. What I'm saying is -- tackle the "cone of silence" that these laws and organizations operate under, and the resulting badness will be solved.. rather than focus on the resulting actions. I've grown up in Canada and I am upset that our governing bodies are incarcerating people without public, nevermind private, charge and trial. It's time for the "we know best" loopholes to be stitched up by us citizens. -- Scott.

    [ Parent ]
    Wish I believed... (2.71 / 7) (#229)
    by mikelist on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 04:12:17 PM EST

    ...this kind of abuse isn't going to increase, this man's case is not at all singular, except perhaps for his release. I'm bummed that the administration is fostering this openly.

    Hopefully, you will help change things... (none / 2) (#310)
    by causticmtl on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:06:57 AM EST

    Get out there and vote the moron out of office.

    Less posting. More doing.

    [ Parent ]
    You know (2.05 / 18) (#251)
    by trhurler on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:25:38 PM EST

    What bothers me about this story most is not the torture. Sure, that's bad. What bothers me is, even though I admit that I myself believe the story, something is wrong with people.

    Everybody believes this guy's story, down to the gory details, despite an utter lack of proof of most of those details, or even good evidence. Everyone just assumes that his seemingly rather odd story(why would they tell him he was going to Canada when they had nothing to gain, for instance?) is true word for word, and goes from there.

    I myself believe the story to be mostly true, and maybe it is entirely true, but doesn't anyone but me ever think at all about things like this? The guy sounds like an upstanding citizen, but everything he says about himself is just that - it is what he says about himself. Everything he says about his treatment is just that - it is what he says about his treatment. None of us knows him.

    But, everyone hates George Bush and his government so much that they're willing to accept without even thinking about it any story that makes him look bad.

    Sure, the guy's probably telling the truth. Just remember: blind disbelief and hatred is no less a form of slavery than blind obedience.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    You're not Canadian, eh? (2.83 / 6) (#254)
    by danharan on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:31:14 PM EST

    Maybe this guy's a fake. Then again, maybe not.

    Point is, he was not given due process, with predictable consequences. In a Syrian prison, I would have been surprised if he had been treated well.

    Why was he not given due process?

    Is focusing on his credibility a way for you to not face the hard realities of this case?

    [ Parent ]

    The question is... (1.50 / 4) (#262)
    by trhurler on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:50:45 PM EST

    Other than his own story, how do we even know that he was sent to Syria against his own will? How do we know he was treated badly by Syria? How do we know he isn't their favorite son? How do we know that he didn't get into trouble in Syria and blame US officials because it was convenient? How do we know Syria isn't using him as a propaganda tool against our crackdown on the terrorists they love so much to support?

    The truth is, we believe him because his story is plausible. Not because we know it is true - we don't.

    I'm not saying I don't believe him, or that you shouldn't. What I'm saying is, people have turned their brains off, and that's dangerous. You speak of "the hard realities of his case," but there's no evidence that they aren't really "the hard fabrications of his case."

    Incidentally, foriegners can in fact bring proceedings against the US government in our federal courts. If this guy thinks the US did wrong by him, he ought to do that. I'm sure he could find people to fund a legal challenge, given his story, and I'm sure that if he focussed on due process rights being denied to non-citizens, he would have a real shot at winning not only a victory for himself, but for lots of other people.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Because we read newspapers (3.00 / 11) (#270)
    by jandev on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:37:12 PM EST

    Other than his own story, how do we even know that he was sent to Syria against his own will?

    Because his story has been in the news here (.ca) since october last year, from the moment he was apprehended at JFK. From that moment on canadian officials have maintained that there was no proof of him being a terrorist. He was visited in his Syrian jail by members of parliament. I think the only thing he could have made up was his treatment by the INS and in jail, but on the whole his story checks out.

    "ENGINEERS" IS NOT POSSESSIVE. IT'S A PLURAL. YOU DO NOT MOTHERFUCKING MARK A PLURAL WITH A COCKSUCKING APOSTROPHE. APOSTROPHES ARE FOR MARKING POSSESSIVES IN THIS CASE. IF YOU WEREN'T A TOTAL MORON, YOU WOULD BE SAYING SOMETHING LIKE "THE CIVIL ENGINEER'S SMALL PENIS". SEE THAT APOSTROPHE? IT'S A HAPPY APOSTROPHE. IT'S NOT BEING ABUSED BY SOME GODDAMN SHIT-FOR-BRAINS IDIOT WITH NO EDUCATION. - Nimey
    [ Parent ]

    I see (1.33 / 3) (#359)
    by trhurler on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:47:31 PM EST

    That's not a bad reason. Unfortunately, you are the only person to post such a clear and sane reply. I don't doubt his claims, by the way, about his treatment at the hands of US officials. They're kind of like small dogs: they know they can't bite you, so they scream really, really loudly.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    Might as well ask if the moon landings were faked (3.00 / 11) (#272)
    by spurious on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 07:51:24 PM EST

    Of course, you can't verify Arar's story to an absolute degree. However, there is huge difference between the healthy skeptic and the wacko that claims the moon landings were faked.

    In Arar's case, it is not as if he suddenly appeared in the news today with this story. Here in Canada, this has been in the news for almost a year, thanks to the tireless efforts of his wife. The newsworthy item here is that Arar released an official statement (the text of the above article) today.

    Also, note that Arar wasn't the only Canadian recently imprisoned and tortured in a Middle East country, over allegations of terrorism. There is also the case of William Sampson, another high-profile story (at least, here in Canada).

    This topic has been vigorously debated in our Parliament. Both Arar and Sampson were visited by diplomats, and, according to Arar, by members of Parliament.

    So, in terms of veracity, the Arar matter stacks up as well as any other news story.

    [ Parent ]

    return? (none / 0) (#370)
    by mr100percent on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 04:09:46 AM EST

    Wasn't the return to Canadian custody documented? He didn't sneak into Canada, we know that much.
    --Never trust a guy who tattoes his IP address to his arm, especially if it's DHCP.
    [ Parent ]
    Maybe that's because (2.88 / 9) (#276)
    by RelliK on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:31:46 PM EST

    ... Maher Arar hasn't lied to me yet, while George Dubya Bush has lied repeatedly. So I take everything the bush says with a grain of salt.
    ---
    Under capitalism man exploits man, under communism it's just the opposite.
    [ Parent ]
    Not relevant, possibly false anyway (none / 1) (#358)
    by trhurler on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:39:25 PM EST

    First of all, you don't know whether Maher Arar has lied to you. It is at least possible that he has yet to say anything truthful to you.

    On the other hand, Bush hasn't said anything at all about Maher Arar or his experiences in the US or Syria. Maybe if he did, he'd tell you the truth, and maybe not.

    The point is simple: this guy has an extraordinary story, and nobody is asking for even ordinary evidence in support of it. You're free to believe what you will, but if you blindly believe stories like this without any reason better than "Bush is a liar," which isn't even relevant, then obviously your opinion should not be taken seriously by people who actually think.

    --
    'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

    [ Parent ]
    idiot (none / 0) (#394)
    by o6 on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 05:06:30 PM EST

    The point is simple: George W. Bush has an extraordinary story, and nobody is asking for even ordinary evidence in support of it. You're free to believe what you will, but if you blindly believe stories like Bush's without any reason better than "Arar is possibly a liar," which isn't even relevant, then obviously your opinion should not be taken seriously by people who actually think.

    [ Parent ]
    That's what bothers you? (none / 1) (#363)
    by Eater on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 06:37:45 PM EST

    "What bothers me about this story most is not the torture. Sure, that's bad. What bothers me is, even though I admit that I myself believe the story, something is wrong with people."
    So... you're more bothered by people being willing to believe something that the PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA is talking to the US government about (Colin Powell to be specific), and something that the US government is NOT DENYING, than you are by a man being deported to another country, tortured, and returned home after 10 months of captivity? How about we pack you off to a Syrian prison for a year and see what people are more bothered by.
    Next time read up on the subject a bit before you start jerking that big knee of yours.

    Eater.

    [ Parent ]
    While there is no actual proof... (2.91 / 12) (#253)
    by jd on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 05:55:18 PM EST

    The story is extremely consistant. The bit about forgetting who had signed what lease and when - hey, you keep track of every document and scrap of paper that someone else has countersigned? And is your memory so great, you can recall on demand every detail of every aspect of your life, no matter how significant those aspects were?

    The other bit that strikes me is the similarity between the claims and accounts I've personally heard from former POWs held by the Germans in World War II.

    One thing the "standard" German military held to was that the Geneva Convention was for others. It was something signed by a bunch of old men that nobody cared about anymore, so why should it concern them? Besides, there were attrocities going on elsewhere, so they (the Germans) naturally had to counter this with attrocities of their own.

    I've spoken with people from the French Resistance and organizations that smuggled British and American escapees through German lines. I've heard their description of what methods the Germans used to force "uncooperative" people to talk.

    True, few of these details aren't published in a million and one places. And it's very easy to copy someone else's account. Nonetheless, this account does have the ring of truth to it, and I'm inclined to believe that it's essentially a genuine account.

    Now I'm going to get a little more angry.

    First, all people on US soil fall under US law. Think about it. If a native Pakistani, with a Pakistani passport, came into the US and commited a bank robbery, do you think the police, the judge or the jury are going to take "but I'm not from here!" as an excuse????

    No. When you're on US soil, you're under US law. I, personally, believe that also applies to US prison camps, even if they are in Cuba, but the courts disagree on that one, so I'll not push the point.

    Then, there's the matter that he's deported without a deportation hearing and without the right of appeal for that deportation. Uhhh - that's not ok. That's not even close to OK.

    There's the lack of access to a lawyer. Sorry, but he wasn't charged as an "unlawful combatant", nor was he arrested by the military. The civilian authorities (such as airport security) don't get to apply the US military judicial code, even if they want to.

    There's unlawful detention. The guy's not been formally charged, and has been held in excess of any reasonable timeframe for such charges, by someone other than the DoD. (And I'm not convinced the DoD is really allowed, under national or International law, to perform summary detentions without due cause.)

    The tactic of questioning the guy in a room filled with people - uhhh, that's not OK either. Interrogations without a lawyer present are not acceptable. Not allowing a person to read what they are signing is also unlawful.

    Depriving a person of food and sleep is torture, by any reasonable definition. If they guy had been diabetic, he'd have been dead before the next day. Torture and capital punishment without being convicted of a capital crime are both illegal in the US.

    Likewise, if the guy had been on any of the major medications, he'd be dead or comatose within 24 hours of his initial arrest. Sorry, but under US law, prisoners have certain rights. Putting someone in a situation where they have a very good chance of dying, without authority or permission, is definitely Not OK.

    (Many common long-term medications can cause organ failure or death if suddenly stopped.)

    Deporting a person to a country that is known for torture violates the Geneva Convention. The claim that the department involved was not subject to it is as bogus as the claim by the German army that they were exempt.

    Deporting a person for the express purpose of ensuring their torture is also a crime.

    That this report is not unique would certainly be sufficient for an International investigation of crimes against humanity. As this is also in the context of a wartime situation, it may also be investigatable as a possible War Crime.

    However, the US has refused to permit such investigations of US Government personnel, either within the US or abroad, so this will never come to any International trial.

    This, sadly, deprives those who have been unlawfully treated of any right of reply. Which, ironically, is also a crime.

    What makes this doubly ironic is that CNN's covering Jessica Lynch's biography, in which new, unvcerified, unverifiable, totally unremembered (and likely bogus) scandals come to light. Or dark. Or something.

    The news agencies treat probable fiction as fact, and fact as though it were fiction.

    Maybe the US' national anthem should be changed to "White Rabbit".

    One Important Point (2.00 / 8) (#331)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 09:19:01 AM EST

    One important point you seem to be missing. This guy wasn't arrested and charged with a crime on U.S. soil nor was he deported after being granted resident status or having been allowed legal access to the United States.

    This guy was stopped at a U.S. point of ENTRY. There was never any "deportation hearing" because he was NEVER GRANTED ENTRY in the first place. He wasn't being held in conjunction with some sort of criminal proceeding, he was being held until he could be returned to his port of embarkation or national origion. That's what you do with people who show up at your airports who don't have a legal right to enter your country.

    Please don't try to tell me that a country doesn't have any right to control who enters its borders. In this case, the guy was denied entry because his name was on the terrorist watch list. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me for the government to deny entry to people on the terrorist watch list. Whether his name rightly belonged on the terrorist watch list or not is frankly something which is beyond the scope of the information that was presented.

    As far as the choice of Syria as the nation to send him back to.... he happaned to be a Syrian citizen. He had dual Canadian/Syrian citizenship.
    There were only 3 places that he legaly could have been sent.... Canada, Syria and Switzerland (his point of embarkation). As it was, he was NOT sent by the U.S. to Syria. They tried but Syria refused to take him. He was sent to Jordan, who said they would accept him. It sometimes does happen that people are sent to 3rd parties when thier home nation refuses to accept them but a 3rd party is willing. Interestingly enough, Syria had no problem with him being transfered into thier custody once he was in Jordan.

    That is not to say that the U.S. did nothing wrong here. Canada should have been notified the second we had him detained.... and he should have been sent to Canada not Syria because he was a Canadian citizen in addition to being a Syrian on and he had stated his preference to be transfered to Canada.

    However, the way this story is being spun it makes it sound as if we are pulling random Canadians off our streets and shipping them off to Syria to be tortured for us because they happen to look Arab. The truth of the matter is very different..... once you actualy look at the facts in this case.

    The U.S. does have some culpability here but the main party for scorn aught to be Syria... with it's horrible human rights abuses. That's really who the majority of the ire in this case aught to be reserved for.

    [ Parent ]

    This guy was stopped at a U.S. point of ENTRY. (3.00 / 6) (#339)
    by Dr Caleb on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 10:32:13 AM EST

    He was changing planes. He was travelling from Tunisia back to Canada. He had to change planes in Switzerland then JFK.

    Most countries, when you change planes, you are considered to be on international soil. If you are returning to say, the States from Toronto Pearson, once you clear US customs at Pearson, you are considered to be on US soil.

    The US recently changed it's rules so that people landing must come out of International territory and back on to US soil, then back through customs to be checked. This allows the US to detain people 'suspected' of being an underwear gnome to be detained.

    This is how Arar was detained. If the US still played by the old rules, his Canadian Customs inspection in Switzerland would have been recognized, and the US wouldn't have been able to detain him. He wasn't trying to enter the US, he was trying to get back to Canada.


    Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

    There is no K5 cabal.
    [ Parent ]

    I get the distinction (none / 2) (#345)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:28:51 PM EST

    But what is the alternative? Is the U.S. supposed to deny entry to U.S. air space to any planes carrying passengers whose final destination is not the U.S.?

    Under the old system.... a guy boards a plane in Paraguay, he is bound for the Sudan but switches at JFK. The U.S. officials have to rely on the Paraguain and Sudanese customs agents to make sure the guy is not a threat? Even though he has access to a fully fueled plane right in New York?

    I can understand why the U.S. wanted to alter those rules.

    [ Parent ]

    Confidence. Standards. (none / 1) (#350)
    by Dr Caleb on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 02:56:12 PM EST

    If everyone searches passengers by the same standards, then US officials can trust Swiss officials and Canadian officials that the inspection was done well. Then all you have to do is re-route passengers coming from 'non-trusted' security zones.

    If he were coming from Paraguay -> Sudan via, JFK, that should have set off alarm bells, cause someone is really lost :)

    I understand why the US wanted those rules too. Doesn't mean I agree with them, and this is an example of why.


    Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

    There is no K5 cabal.
    [ Parent ]

    Not that complicated (none / 0) (#411)
    by pyro9 on Tue Nov 25, 2003 at 08:56:14 AM EST

    The alternative is to make sure that access to the flight deck is secured adequatly and that piolets are well enough trained to not permit a terrorist to take control of the plane under any circumstance.

    The alternative is that the U.S. can forget about international airports and being a transportation hub. Consumer demand will drive the airlines to prefer Canada or Mexico as a waypoint while the U.S. curls up into a quivering little ball in the corner of it's padded cell.

    The reason is simple enough. Most people would rather not become subject to an unknown and continuously changing set of foreign laws while living in their own country and abiding by their own laws. This sort of thing is no stranger than someone from the U.S. changing planes in Saudi Arabia and being dragged off to jail because they had a beer last month in the bar across from work in the U.S.


    The future isn't what it used to be
    [ Parent ]
    Technically (2.50 / 4) (#340)
    by jd on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 10:34:55 AM EST

    It is true that airports are considered "neutral" and not within a country, when it comes to enforcing certain laws. With other laws, airports suddenly become national territory.

    Personally, it is my view that if you are physically within the borders of the USA or within the borders of any territory or facility that is labelled as under US jurisdiction (eg: US embassies), you are subject to US law.

    Now we get to the tricky part - are countries allowed to decide who gets entry? Actually, under International law, the answer is no. Nations can certainly deport people, but deporting presupposes that the person has already entered the territory. You can't deport a person who isn't there.

    In other words, summary spur-of-the-moment justice is not OK on the borders. This is not simply my opinion, this is how International treaties and laws have decided things should work.

    This is one reason a lot of border patrols don't work -on- the border, they work in no-mans-land, or International waters, so they can beat the system.

    It's also a reason why the US has repeatedly been discredited by the World Court, by Amnesty International, and by assorted national Governments around the world. What laws apply depends on what laws favour the US Government.

    [ Parent ]

    Sorry but yes... (none / 3) (#343)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:13:11 PM EST

    "Now we get to the tricky part - are countries allowed to decide who gets entry? Actually, under International law, the answer is no. Nations can certainly deport people, but deporting presupposes that the person has already entered the territory. You can't deport a person who isn't there. "
    -------------------------------------------------

    Sorry but that is not accurate. If it were, when A Russian Armored Division comes rolling upto the German Border, NATO troops wouldn't have the legal right to point thier guns at them and tell them to go away.

    Soveriegn Nations do, in fact, have the legal right to control entrance to thier borders. This includes closing a border entry. Refusing landing rights to individual ships and planes (with some exceptions for "vessels in distress") or refusing entry to only specific individuals.

    I suggest you check your sources again.

    Of course, the situation gets a little more murky when you are dealing with an individual who has arrived as a passanger on a plane or ship rather then traveling under thier own power. It's not like he could turn around and walk back to Switzerland under his own power. You do have to have a place to put them up while you arrange for proper transport....however that is not the same as "Granting Entry".

    [ Parent ]

    Hmmm. Let's consider this a little further (3.00 / 4) (#356)
    by jd on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:26:40 PM EST

    Europe, for example, has "Open Borders". If you're in Europe, and you want to move from country X to country Y, then you can. It is a violation of European law to point anything at them.

    This is frequently used by slave-traders (yes, those still exist) and asylum-seekers, as there is absolutely nothing to stop someone, once they are in any European country from moving freely.

    In Britain, you'll frequently see reports on the BBC of asylum-seekers being held, tried and deported. The key word is "tried". The Home Office is forbidden from arbritary expulsions.

    In the US, things get fascinating. If a Cuban makes it to shore/land, they usually get asylum. At the very least, they do get a hearing. The key words being "shore" and "land". If you fly an aircraft from Cuba to the USA, and you land at an airport, you get a hearing.

    Getting off the plane as a passenger is not legally distinct from getting off the plane as a pilot.

    The important part to all of this is the hearing. This is not the same as the right to stay, or even the right to move freely. Detention in some kind of facility is fairly routine for those of uncertain status.

    Britain's "Common Law" also adds a few elements of confusion, as it grants diplomatic immunity to all traders and merchants, plus right of entry.

    The US has nothing exactly like that, but the Constitution is usually interpreted as granting all peoples the right of free movement (hence the importance of the "unlawful detention" concept, and why it applies to law-enforcement as well as everyone else).

    Free movement doesn't mean you can go anywhere. Unlike the UK - which has no concept of private ownership of land - the US has trespass. This means that in the US, lawful detention can occur when a person is moving from one point to another. There are restrictions on this, though. It's not a total freedom-to-arrest thing.

    This is why the hearings are so crucial in any deportation, and why any person is entitled to them. The legal system is deliberately skewed in favour of the defendent, who is presumed innocent until proven guilty. (The French have a different system, in which all parties are assumed equal, until evidence shows otherwise. It would be much better, if the French could get it to work.)

    If you are presumed innocent, then you are also (by implication) presumed to be legally entitled to enter the country. The onus is always on the prosecution to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that this is not the case.

    The reason the guy got allocated a lawyer is exactly for this reason. The system expects - and requires - deportation hearings. If they could just kick him out, without further ado, they'd never have bothered allocating one.

    Further, the laywer assured the guy that he wouldn't be deported. ie: the laywer had filed the necessary papers to get a hearing, and/or filed a motion to get any deportation order suspended.

    Now, you can't just override these things, no matter what bit of paper you've got what name on. Procedure is procedure, and the INS and FBI - of all people - aught to know this. Once any legal procedings had started, the INS and FBI would have zero authority to preempt the judicial branch of Government. Sorry, but once the judicial branch takes over, the law-enforcement branch ceases to have any rights.

    [ Parent ]

    French & innocent until proven guilty (none / 0) (#388)
    by Chep on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 05:14:19 AM EST

    Déclaration des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen, 1789

    Declaration of the right of the Man(human) and the Citizen

    Still in force now, as part of the Preamble of the 1958 Constitution.

    Article 9

    Every (hu)man being presumed innocent until he has been declared guilty, if it is deemed
    necessary to arrest him, ani riguour not necessary to ensure of his person must be severely repressed by the law.

    (my clumsy translation, my emphasis)

    The Code of Penal Procedure uses litres of ink and tonnes of paper to describe the rights of the mis en examen ("scrutinised" -- an early-nineties reform banned the term inculpé, "accused", allegedly to protect the right of the scrutinised. Makes as much effect as spraying "alleged" and "allegedly" over media hype claims in the English-speaking press).

    Of course, the difference between theory and practice is that in theory they agree, in practice they don't.

    --

    Our Constitution ... is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number.
    Thucydide II, 37


    [ Parent ]

    Nothing Wrong? (2.66 / 6) (#357)
    by JohnnyCannuk on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:34:55 PM EST

    So what part of not being allowed to contact a lawyer, being lied to and deported against his will to a country he told the US would torture him is right? What part about telling him he's going to Montreal and then loading him onto a plane to Jordan is right? What part about being sworn and cursed at and beaten by INS officials in the car on the way to his deportation flight is right?

    The INS gave him a choice - Canada or Syria. He choose Canada, where he has lived since he was a teenager and the country that was his home. But the US say a Muslim man and sent him to where they wanted.

    The US is acting more and more like a dictatorship and it's officials like the Gestapo. If this ever happend to an Italian or an Irish man well...you know what, they are white, so it wouldn't happen to them.

    The US is completely wrong and those official should be puncihsed for the crimes they commited. Shouldn't you be worried that if this innocent man was placed on a terrorist watch list, how many other innocent peop;le are on that list. Isn't that waht due process and trials are meant to determine? (BTW, he wan't on a watch list, he was pulled out of line becasue he was a Muslim).

    FWIW, I am a white male Canadian and I am outrage by this. No wonder most of the rest of the world holds the US in contempt, when they talk about freedom and justice and turn around and do crap like this....
    We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
    [ Parent ]

    Umm... (none / 2) (#392)
    by CENGEL3 on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 09:49:13 AM EST

    " If this ever happend to an Italian or an Irish man well...you know what, they are white, so it wouldn't happen to them."

    Since when are Arabs not white? Last time I checked they were Caucasian just like me. Sorry go play your racism card elsewhere.

    [ Parent ]

    Re: Ummmm (none / 0) (#407)
    by scorchio on Thu Nov 13, 2003 at 11:55:47 AM EST

    Since when are Arabs not white? Last time I checked they were Caucasian just like me. Sorry go play your racism card elsewhere.

    Arabs are Semitic, not Caucasian (a bogus label anyway).

    [ Parent ]

    They're both (none / 0) (#408)
    by CENGEL3 on Thu Nov 13, 2003 at 04:35:22 PM EST

    Under the classic racial classification scheme (and yes, I know it's pseudo-science but that's a different arguement) there are only 4 races:

    1) Mongoloid

    2) Caucasian

    3) Negroid

    4) Australian Aboriginae

    Arabs are a Semitic people which is a sub-group of the Caucasion race.... just like Slavs, Finns, Celts, etc

    In other words, thier "white" just like me and GWB. This is exactly the racial classification scheme that GWB and people of his generation would have been taught in school. Heck, it was still taught when I went to school and I'm considerably younger then GWB.

    [ Parent ]

    that is feeble (none / 0) (#410)
    by LittleTrouble on Wed Nov 19, 2003 at 06:16:39 PM EST

    Since when are Arabs not white? Last time I checked they were Caucasian just like me. Sorry go play your racism card elsewhere.

    <condescension>

    Surely you've caught on (through numerous popular references to "racial profiling" against people of middle eastern descent) to the fact that those hopelessly clumsy racial buckets you refer to are meaningless today. If not, *ring* *ring* -- "hello?" -- this is your wake up call.

    Beyond that, you are jumping from the term "white" to the term "Caucasian" on your own, and you are the one applying the term "racism". That term that you take issue with was never used in JohnnyCannuk's post. You then go on to reject your own term. Congratulations, you are now losing an argument with yourself.

    </condescension>

    [ Parent ]
    The guy was getting a connecting flight... (none / 0) (#379)
    by FuriousXGeorge on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 06:39:36 PM EST

    back to Canada right?  He didn't really want to actually enter the country in any meaningfull way.

    --
    -- FIELDISM NOW!
    [ Parent ]

    All wrong (none / 1) (#400)
    by pyro9 on Tue Nov 11, 2003 at 10:11:09 PM EST

    Indeed, there were three places they could legally send him. When the one known for torturing him (also the only choice of the three he DID NOT wish to go to), they sent him to a 4th 'choice' knowing fully well that he would have been quite happy to either return to Switzerland or to go to Canada. All evidence suggests that either Canada or Switzerland would have allowed him without incident.

    It would seem to me that if INS didn't wish for him to enter the U.S. that's fair (ish) enough, let him go to Canada then.

    It would require willful blindness to not see that the entire intent was to cause his torture.

    That flies in the face of every decent thing the U.S. supposedly stands for. I find it sickening.

    Apparently, in the new U.S. people have rights. Of course, some people become non-people, and non-people have no rights.


    The future isn't what it used to be
    [ Parent ]
    Tangent (1.85 / 7) (#333)
    by CENGEL3 on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 09:24:40 AM EST

    One point, in the past 2 years Syria (along with Libya and the Sudan) was given a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Commission...... and people wonder why so many Americans regard the U.N. as a joke!


    [ Parent ]
    Geneva Convention (none / 2) (#376)
    by Filur on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 08:45:19 AM EST

    Excuse me for being stupid, but weren't the Geneva Convention signed in 1949, i.e. after the end of World War II?

    Furthermore, the convention is about treatment of prisoners of war. In this case, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is more relevant. The covenant was signed by the US in 1992 and ignored ever since Bush Jr. took office.

    [ Parent ]

    Geneva convention<b>s</b> (none / 0) (#387)
    by Chep on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 04:35:41 AM EST

    The current one was signed in 1949. There were several earlier protocols signed during the 20s, and Germany was a signatory (the question of whether it was a willful signatory or whether Hitler's claim that this wasn't binding are sideshows today).

    --

    Our Constitution ... is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the greatest number.
    Thucydide II, 37


    [ Parent ]

    Land of the free (1.70 / 10) (#265)
    by ksandstr on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 06:58:32 PM EST

    Home of the brave.

    --
    Gegen kommunismus und bolschewismus und terrorismus, jawohl!

    Pathetic Intelligence (2.75 / 8) (#278)
    by 0xA on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 08:35:01 PM EST

    "The temptation is to have these folks in other hands because they have different standards," one official said. "Someone might be able to get information we can't from detainees," said another.

    Does this strike anyone else as stupid? What this guy is saying is that they will send someone to a country that will torture them for information because they aren't allowed to. Now it is pretty much a given that if you beat on somebody enough they will tell you anything to get you to stop. There are several references to that happening in Arar's statement.

    Aside from being a disgusting practice for a "land of the free" to condone you really have to wonder if they get anything trustworthy out of it at all.

    All intelligence is unreliable (1.25 / 4) (#284)
    by Julian Morrison on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:23:52 PM EST

    ...that's why spy agencies have analysts. And tortured evidence is probably more reliable than most, because while you'll get attempts and guesses in the areas the victim doesn't know, you for certain will also get all the truth they do know.

    [ Parent ]
    Yes, but from whom? (none / 0) (#287)
    by Trepalium on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:59:06 PM EST

    You have to wonder who the confession is really from, in these cases, though.. Is it really from the victim, or is it from the torturer, or one of his superiors? The confession could've easily been prepared by someone else. Besides, if I beat a set of facts into you, I'm likely to need a lot less force to beat those same facts back out of you.

    [ Parent ]
    ah, how well we learn history's lessons (none / 1) (#301)
    by fenix down on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:48:39 AM EST

    Which is sorta obviously why we don't torture people. I mean, it's not like we have a big problem with pointless cruelty, look at lethal injections, it's just we already firgured this out a couple hundred years ago. Torture tells you what you already know, and only what you already know. Even if the torturer becomes convinced that you really are innocent, he's bound by his own human weakness to torture you until you admit to something. Otherwise he'd snap and fuck off to another line of work once he realizes he's been systematically torturing innocents for his entire career. Innevitably, you end up with a set of people that are psychologically capable of deluding themselves into believing everything their victims say, and who fit into a convenient niche of telling those in power what they want to hear. The psychos who genuinely don't mind torturing the innocent get fired for being psychos, and the rest can't do the job. It's how it always works.

    [ Parent ]
    torture is even MORE unreliable (none / 2) (#369)
    by mr100percent on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 04:00:07 AM EST

    Yes, but the problem with torture is that the person will say ANYTHING to make it end. Look at him, he made up the stuff about saying he went to Afghanistan. If they started shocking him, he could say that he's married to Bin Laden if they persisted.

    This is both morally horrifying and a poor way to get any information. False leads like that slow down genuine investigations.
    --Never trust a guy who tattoes his IP address to his arm, especially if it's DHCP.
    [ Parent ]

    Yea... (none / 2) (#332)
    by kableh on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 09:23:18 AM EST

    and that nasty asshole Saddam gassed his own people! How could we not take him out!

    /me's head explodes

    [ Parent ]
    Another side to the story (1.09 / 11) (#285)
    by Hewcard Packlet on Thu Nov 06, 2003 at 09:43:42 PM EST

    The problem I have with your story, Maher, is the following excerpt:

    In September 2002, I was with my wife and children, and her family, vacationing in Tunis. ... I got an e-mail from the MathWorks saying that they might need me soon to assess a potential consulting work for one of their customers. ... I said goodbye to my wife and family, and headed back home to prepare for work.

    As a Canadian traveling a lot around the world, I am often asked by customers for projects while in vacation - about 1/3 of the times. I know it is frustrating and intimidating the first times. I imagine it is a lot more intimidating for a muslim, especially post 9/11.

    But...

    YOU WERE IN VACATION. With your family. Va-ca-tions. Fa-mi-ly. Sacred. No cellphone. No pager. No laptop. Some people just don't get it.

    Don't get me wrong, I do not think you are a terrorist. I do not condone the way you have been treated. But this particular element of your story bugs me. A lot. Your cell phone in that particular case has cost you a lot.

    MMmmmmh

    Think Big, Sti!
    Ta geule. (none / 2) (#309)
    by causticmtl on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:55:18 AM EST

    Comprends-tu?

    [ Parent ]
    Geule? Comme dans jeule? (none / 0) (#318)
    by Hewcard Packlet on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 06:44:44 AM EST

    C'est gUeule, du con. Gueule. Ou Yeule, en joual.
    Think Big, Sti!
    [ Parent ]
    c'est "gueule", hostie! (n/t) (none / 0) (#342)
    by crazycanuck on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 11:32:02 AM EST



    [ Parent ]
    yes but.. (2.50 / 4) (#327)
    by wraith0x29a on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 08:23:45 AM EST

    ..some of us have to be on-call 24*7*365 in order to keep the job that feeds the family and pays for the vacations and the wife's sexy vacation beachwear. The extra wages that come with the responsibility and the evidence of dedication to career and employer in your resume should compensate for the intrusion into your personal life.

    At least I *get* vacations that can be interrupted, some poor soul working 16 hours a day making sneakers or picking coffee or cocoa beans in a third-world hell-hole would be more than happy to trade places. The whole 'family before work' ethos only works if you have enough to eat and seems to me to be the prevailing mindset only in rich countries.
    "There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."
    [ Parent ]

    Fear is the mind killer (3.00 / 10) (#303)
    by b00kanon on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 01:25:23 AM EST

    When I first read the statement I thought it was a dramatization, a statement depicting the worst case effects of the culture of fear which has engulfed this nation.  A short search on Google appears to have proven me wrong.  

    The biggest threat from terrorism is not individual acts of senseless violence, but our reaction to imaginary monsters which could be anywhere or anyone.   Fear is saturated in American culture.   Fear is used as a tool by those who wish to undermine resistance to their goals.  It has long been an American tradition to stand up to those who attempt to intimidate us, control us through fear.  But we have not done so. The American public has stood by, in fear, as our rights are slowly stripped away through legislation such as the USA PATRIOT act, and as our government violates the very principles upon which it was and has been charged with protecting.  

    I do not know for sure if this letter is true.  I personally doubt if all of the facts are given.    It may be that Maher Arar is indeed a terrorist, bent on destroying humanity.  But I don't think that matters.  What matters is that our nation is founded on inalienable rights, the rights to live, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  We trample on these rights at our peril.  I must admit I fear as well, I fear that our generation will not be remembered for the terrorist attacks, but for the injustices afflicted in response to them.  Be careful when you fight imaginary monsters, least you become a real monster your self.

    ..and.. (2.33 / 6) (#326)
    by wraith0x29a on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 08:12:39 AM EST

    ..if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.
    - Nietzsche

    A very relevent quote for these times.
    "There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."
    [ Parent ]

    Don't worry about it. (2.70 / 10) (#336)
    by tjost on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 09:38:10 AM EST

    I must admit I fear as well, I fear that our generation will not be remembered for the terrorist attacks, but for the injustices afflicted in response to them.
    No need to fear that. This is how the rest of the world is perceiving you already.

    [ Parent ]
    re: The biggest threat from terrorism (none / 1) (#395)
    by TomV on Tue Nov 11, 2003 at 05:46:27 AM EST

    Here's a little chunk from Carlos Marighella's Minimanual Of The Urban Guerrilla (1969) which expresses this outcome as a specific tactical aim of the 'urban guerrilla' (note that for Marighella "Terrorism is a weapon the revolutionary can never relinquish").
    The government has no alternative except to intensify its repression. The police networks, house searches, the arrest of suspects and innocent persons, and the closing off of streets make life in the city unbearable. The military dictatorship embarks on massive political persecution. Political assassinations and police terror become routine.

    In spite of all this, the police systematically fail. The armed forces, the navy and the air force are mobilized to undertake routine police functions, but even so they can find no way to halt guerrilla operations or to wipe out the revolutionary organization, with its fragmented groups that move around and operate throughout the country.

    The people refuse to collaborate with the government, and the general sentiment is that this government is unjust, incapable of solving problems, and that it resorts simply to the physical liquidation of its opponents. The political situation in the country is transformed into a military situation in which the "gorillas" appear more and more to be the ones responsible for violence, while the lives of the people grow worse.

    When they see the military and the dictatorship on the brink of the abyss, and fearing the consequences of a civil war which is already well underway, the pacifiers (always to be found within the ruling elite) and the opportunists (partisans of nonviolent struggle) join hands and circulate rumors behind the scenes begging the hangmen for elections, "re-democratization", constitutional reforms, and other tripe designed to fool the people and make them stop the rebellion.

    But, watching the guerrillas, the people now understand that it is a farce to vote in any elections which have as their sole objective guaranteeing the survival of the dictatorship and covering up its crimes. Attacking wholeheartedly this election farce and the so-called "political solution", which is so appealing to the opportunists, the urban guerrillas must become even more aggressive and active, resorting without pause to sabotage, terrorism, expropriations, assaults, kidnappings, executions, etc.
    In summary, the U.G. needs to commit outrages to provoke the government into committing outrages in order to provoke the people into removing the government. The terrorist specifically *wants* the government to become more and more repressive - it's a key objective.

    [ Parent ]
    Reminds me of a quote.... (1.83 / 6) (#317)
    by iForgetMyOldPassword on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 05:52:51 AM EST

    "He who would sacrifice personal liberties in the name of security will receive neither"

    Or something....

    Not sure who said it, but it seems to be particularly relevant in this "post 9/11 world". (BTW, 9/11 is the 9th of November, not the 11th of September. Who the fuck uses a middle-endian date system USA ? What were you thinking ? Learn some common sense)

    Quotes (and Middle-Endian Dates) (2.75 / 4) (#325)
    by wraith0x29a on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 08:08:02 AM EST

    "They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security"
    - Benjamin Franklin.

    For geeky reasons I don't like the way most countries format dates.

    I (and probably some other geeklings) prefer the format

    yyyy-mm-dd-hh-mm-ss

    as it lists dates in the correct order when you do an ascii value sort such as a directory listing.

    It should be the global standard date format :-)
    "There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."
    [ Parent ]

    Standards (none / 0) (#347)
    by jjbelsky on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 01:31:06 PM EST

    It is the global (ISO) standard date format!

    [ Parent ]
    Wow, that was quick. (none / 0) (#389)
    by wraith0x29a on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 06:14:11 AM EST

    Here was me thinking it take years to establish standards - I only mentioned it a couple of days ago. :-)
    "There are actually 11 kinds of people in the world: Those who don't understand binary, those who think they understand binary and those who know what little-endian means."
    [ Parent ]
    Why middle endian is better (1.20 / 5) (#341)
    by sellison on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 11:11:55 AM EST

    it puts what is most important first: the day the most commonly thought of part of a date (to anyone with a job, that is).

    The european system is ridiculous, who thinks of what month it is and then wonders about the day???

    Probably Europe et al. just prefers their system to show the US they aren't colonies:p.


    "No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered as patriots. This is one nation under God."- George H.W. Bush
    [ Parent ]

    Huh? (1.50 / 4) (#344)
    by Trepalium on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 12:17:55 PM EST

    MM/dd/yyyy (the US format) doesn't make any sense. dd/MM/yyyy (British) or yyyy/MM/dd do. You're saying the British format is better, and then say the European system is ridiculous. The US format flows directly from the date-in-words format (November 7, 2003 = 11/07/2003), whereas the British date format is based on precedence of the components.

    [ Parent ]
    imagination (1.75 / 8) (#330)
    by snitch on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 09:02:02 AM EST

    problem with these kinds of personal accounts is that i simply have no way to verify the story. for all i know, llamasex is simply another k5-jockey with too much imagination and too little to do (say, like myself).

    however, there's no doubt in my mind that elements within the intelligence community are able and willing to commit (or have commit) the described attrocities.

    frankly, IF this is a true story from a real person, that person should be heard before every OFFICIAL public forum he can think of, and the US should be held accountable by some authority able and willing to go against the US, with all economic (and possibly even more serious) consequences.

    as long as there's no formal case made with such an authority, this story is little else than a cosey little tale to warm my lefty-x-files-polluted imagination with.

    no offense intended

    "Against his heart was a thesaurus bound in PVC. He smiled at the entrance guard." - Steve Aylett

    I can't believe you haven't heard about this guy (2.75 / 4) (#352)
    by TheLastUser on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:05:36 PM EST

    This has been in the news in Canada for the last year while this poor guy was rotting in a Syrian prison. I guess its not too suprising that the US media dodn't pick up on the story since it doesn't end with "Ra Ra, America Rules" This is why nobody with a middle eastern background travels to the US any more. Hell, I'm not even from the mid east and I avoid travel to the US. Why risk it? If it can happen to this guy it can happen to anyone.

    [ Parent ]
    Can I Come to Canada? (2.00 / 4) (#360)
    by teece on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 05:16:59 PM EST

    So, do you Canadians let Americans emmigrate? I will have a degree in Physics soon ...

    Damn, me and my wife just bought a house we really like, too. To bad America really seems to be in decline.

    -- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
    [ Parent ]

    Come on up! (none / 1) (#361)
    by Dr Caleb on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 05:51:05 PM EST

    Practice your beer drinking, buy some warm clothes and hop on a bus.

    Glad to have you!


    Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

    There is no K5 cabal.
    [ Parent ]

    well, (none / 2) (#364)
    by snitch on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 07:01:02 PM EST

    lastuser, i haven't heard about it actually; i'm dutch, and apparantly the story didn't reach these parts (admittedly, i don't follow the news that closely these days, it's really getting too depressing)

    i was actually considering a trip to a friend in san francisco in januari... mmh, let's see, part-german fat whiteboy, creditcard, nice coat - dare i risk it?

    "Against his heart was a thesaurus bound in PVC. He smiled at the entrance guard." - Steve Aylett
    [ Parent ]

    He is real... (3.00 / 7) (#355)
    by JohnnyCannuk on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 04:18:23 PM EST

    And he live here in Ottawa.

    Want some of the latest? Apparently that rental agreement that the US authorities had. Well Arar certainly didn't give to them (or any other police agency) and Minto, the owners of the building he lived in, say they didn't give it to anybody either.

    Hmm I wonder how they got it?

    Just so you know, this has been pretty much a front page story up for over a year. Our government, our mounties and our intellegence services are being accused of violating Canadian law in providing help to the the Gestapo,...er I mean the FBI/INS/CIA in order to get this innocent CANADIAN CITIZEN sent to a Syrian jail.

    You know what else? Apparently, this happens all the time! When the US needs to "interogate" someone but doesn't have the grounds or the guts to commit torture themselves, they deport people to places like Syria, and let those thugs do the interogation for them.

    You Americans should really get out more. When you officials do stuff like this, is it any wonder most of the world holds you in contempt?

    A once great nation is circling the bowl... too bad, some of you are really quite nice.


    We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
    [ Parent ]

    the lesson (1.80 / 5) (#348)
    by VasyaPoup on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 01:34:27 PM EST

    Aside from human rights issue, what is the lesson
    we derive from this story for ourselves?

    That if are in a hands of US secret services and
    denied a right for a lawyer, phone call, etc, LIE.
    Make up stories of you being in a training camps,
    etc, the more detailed, the better. Of course it
    should be easily falsifiable by you, or your
    friends, and not for them.

    It would not have any legal consequences, since
    you can explain you've been under pressure, and
    you really did, the fact that you've not contacted
    a lawyer several days from your detension could
    satisfy any jury.

    No moral guilt as well, because people who believe
    torture can give credible information are ridiculous
    and obsolete and can't be regarded as someone working
    for your security.

    That's the same thing people proposed against spam.
    If they think they're too tough to cooperate with
    good citisens, decrease their S/N ratio. Tell them
    stories! :)

    what the fuck? (none / 1) (#403)
    by coderlemming on Wed Nov 12, 2003 at 05:02:50 PM EST

    How in the world can you have the gall to actually try to say what this man should have done in these circumstances? What are you trying to prove? Are you trying to show you're smarter than everyone by typing out what you think he should have done in the circumstances, from the comfort of your own home?

    This isn't your story, it's his. I can't understand how could possibly try to shift the blame in this situation over to him, by saying just what he should have done to avoid his ordeal. Get a life, or go back to reading The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Guide. Just stop trying to use this man's story to make yourself look better.


    --
    Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
    [ Parent ]
    Another story ... (3.00 / 9) (#351)
    by otmar on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 03:02:13 PM EST

    from The Gazette

    They were 'global nomads.' He was a diplomat's son. She the daughter of missionaries. They lived in Asia, attended school together, fell in love and want to get married in June.

    But when Hughes' fiancee, a German national, tried to visit him on a six-month tourist visa Monday, she was detained in Atlanta, handcuffed, jailed -- even stripped of her diamond engagement ring.

    Then, after 20 hours without food, she was put on a plane and shipped back to Stuttgart.

    [...]

    Having recently bought a Tom Tomorrow book via Amazon, I think I'll better not try to spend my vacation money in the states.

    And have a look at this WaPo column:

    But even more upsetting to Central Europeans is the way they are treated by the U.S. visa process. If we are such good allies, they ask, why can't we enter the United States without visas, as the French or the Germans? While Americans travel without visas to most of Central Europe, natives pay $100 for the privilege of applying for a U.S. visa, effectively subsidizing the U.S. immigration service, with no guarantee of receiving a visa. Polish newspapers are full of stories of students deported in manacles and famous actors prevented from working on Broadway. Small issues sometimes have a political effect out of all proportion to the cost of dealing with them, and this is one.

    [...]

    There is something majorly wrong with the US immigration system. IMHO, even the name is wrong. Most people come as visitors, not as immigrants.

    Maher Arar on Democracy Now! (2.25 / 4) (#362)
    by Alfie on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 05:56:00 PM EST

    The November 7th show of Democracy Now! has an interview with Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen who was sent to Syria to be tortured. The show can be downloaded here.



    There's a wikipedia entry for this! (2.60 / 5) (#366)
    by ghosty on Fri Nov 07, 2003 at 08:32:13 PM EST

    Someone's been busy. :)

    http://en2.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maher_Arar

    It's an interesting read with interesting links. I hadn't heard about the insult Pat Buchanan hurled at Canada ("Soviet Canuckistan") over Ottawa's response. Given Buchanan's preference for totalitarian states, I assume it was meant that as a compliment.



    Too Bad (1.00 / 14) (#378)
    by n8f8 on Sat Nov 08, 2003 at 12:58:54 PM EST

    Believe it or not guilt by association happens. In many cases distinguising terrorist cells from ethnic suport groups is difficult. Sound like this guy got caught on the tangent in a pool of friends/relatives who are radicals.

    Sucks, but you had better be aware that governemnt officials are going to use every loophole and weak spot in the law to get the job done. Whiny bitches here on Kuro5hin seem to think doing nothing works. Grow up. This fucking world is a cold cruel place where a lot of people would just as well put a bullet in your head and take your shit.

    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

    Grow up (none / 2) (#381)
    by http on Sun Nov 09, 2003 at 02:47:55 AM EST

    This is not a weak spot in the law, it's government officials flouting it.
    Grow up? Unless you have zero (0) friends or associates, you're next. It's not a matter of "Sucks, but..". If you had half a brain, you'd see that it's a matter of "Sucks, yeah, I'd better sign up for the Revolutionary People's Army, because my alleged representatives and their legion Myrmidons are not actually governing." As of right now, you can not say you have zero associates. Wanna try proving to the feds that you've never had any other communication with me? ~_^ Start running.
    -- I was once accused of pedanticism, but I responded with "Ahem, pedantry."
    [ Parent ]
    Just Rewards (2.83 / 6) (#382)
    by teece on Sun Nov 09, 2003 at 03:02:15 AM EST

    I would pay cash money to be there the day something like this happened to you. I'm sure you would just grin and bear it, the gov't is just doing its job.

    Let them come for everybody else now. Tomorrow they will be coming for you, and there won't be anyone there to stand up for you. You let the Feds drag them all away.

    -- Hello_World.c, 17 Errors, 31 Warnings...
    [ Parent ]

    To To Maher Arar, - fuck you (1.00 / 20) (#386)
    by SnakePlisken on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 03:08:15 AM EST

    Hey asshole, here's some tips: 1) Pick better pals to hang out with rather than terrorists. 2) Don't blame the US for something that happend to you in another country. 3) NOT EVERYTHING IS THE US's FAULT. Stop trying to blame everything on us. Jesus I hate whiny fucks like you. Its a shame they didnt burn you alive and bury your body in the desert somewhere.

    To SnakePlisken, get a life (2.80 / 5) (#390)
    by Nursie on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 09:13:48 AM EST

    Stupid ass USian. RTFA!

    The Guy was CANADIAN! and the US authorities sent him to syria, knowing he would be tortured, and what a suprise, he was!

    Still sound good to you? Even after USian officials have admitted that by law they can't torture people, but they don't mind sending them off to be tortured elsewhere? No? Then I hope it happens to enough people like you that the complacent idiocy that seems to reign in your country finally gets disturbed....

    Meta Sigs suck.

    [ Parent ]
    Your a clueless fuckhead (2.75 / 4) (#391)
    by Alhazred on Mon Nov 10, 2003 at 09:20:28 AM EST

    I love the "don't blame us for what other people do" crap. When you SUBCONTRACT TORTURE from someone, you damn FUCKING WELL ARE responsible for it.

    I also love the total lack of any concept of what civil liberties are. You deserve to be next friend, cause when you don't stand up for others rights, why the hell do you think they should bother to stand up for yours? Do you not get what the deal is?
    That is not dead which may eternal lie And with strange aeons death itself may die.
    [ Parent ]

    Sickening! (none / 0) (#412)
    by ShiftyStoner on Fri Dec 05, 2003 at 11:04:13 AM EST

     I'm horrified, sadly, not at all surprised...

    >
    ( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler

    The story of a Canadian sent to Syria by the U.S. and tortured | 415 comments (372 topical, 43 editorial, 7 hidden)
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