“I apologize, but I’m not sorry”
BBC NEWS – US lawmakers’ apology to Canadian:
“On behalf of my fellow citizens I want to apologise to you, Mr Arar, for the reprehensible conduct of our government for kidnapping you, for turning you over to Syria – a nation that our own state department recognises as routinely practising torture. This conduct does not reflect the values of the American people,” he said.
Rep Dana Rohrabacher also apologised, saying the US should be ashamed of what happened to Mr Arar.
But, he said, “that is no excuse to end a programme which has protected the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans… We are at war. Mistakes happen. People die”.
Well, if it makes you feel any better… we haven’t exactly been the best influence.
I’m not a big 50’s sitcom fan, so I may not have the intricacies of Beaverdom down… but I wonder if it’d be appropriate to say we’re the Eddie Haskell of international relations (assuming that Eddie had a rap sheet, as originally conceived, but it didn’t make it past the censors).
Yeah this makes me sad to be Canadian, and it’s pretty damn hard to make a Canadian sad to be Canadian….
Well said Richard.
The only thing the White House says is, “we don’t torture.” Assuming that’s true (use your imagination)… who needs to, when we can find so many willing accomplices?
Yeah, this one gets me every time. Readers should follow the link, for the story isn’t long. But here’s the story. Arar is a software engineer who studied in Canada, and lives in Ottawa.
In the days after 9/11, Canadian authorities had deemed Arar a person of interest, because he was emigrated from Syria as a youth, and he was a Muslim, and he traveled abroad. That’s his crime. Not one shred of evidence suggests he ever did anything wrong. He was just a Muslim who visited many countries in the course of his work.
He was detained by US authorities, who sent him to Syria — again, without a shred of evidence — knowing the he would be tortured. US authorities have done that to thousands of detainees. (Read Ghost Plane for more). In Syria, he was, brutally, mercilessly, endlessly tortured for 10 months. He confessed to all manner of evil and sins… anything to make the degradation and pain stop.
Finally, Canadian authorities secured Arar’s release, and he was returned to Canada a year after his imprisonment. The Canadian government has apologized, paid him $10 million, and launched a formal inquiry in his name.
The White House has never apologized, suggests that he will be arrested again if he returns to the US, and a US judge has prevented him from seeking redress in civil courts.
And then we have Dana Rohrabacher…