Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sen. Leahy wants to do right by Arar

Sen. Patrick Leahy wants to haul Attorney Gen. Alberto "Torquemada" Gonzales before the new Judiciary Cmte. Key questions (aside from the important 'WTF, dude?!'): why is Maher Arar still deemed a "threat" to the US? Why are [Americans] still kidnapping...scuse me..."rendering" people to other countries' torture chambers? Here's today's Torstar piece by Tim Harper: "Key Democrat wants to know why Arar still barred from U.S. "
Vermont Democrat Patrick Leahy, who will chair the judiciary committee in the new Congress, said Arar has the right to know what suspicions the Bush administration still harbour against him after he was exonerated by a Canadian inquiry.
"The Canadian government has now documented that the wrong thing was done to the wrong man," Leahy said. "It is time for the (Bush) administration to do what it can to redress this wrong, instead of perpetuating it."
[...]Leahy says he wants Gonzales before his committee to discuss the entire U.S. policy of rendition and he said in a speech last week he will no longer put up with non-answers shrouded in security concerns or promises to get back to him.
"It's not just this individual case," Leahy said, "but what does this say when someone's plane stops here, they have citizenship in a neighbouring country and we ship them back to Syria. "You know they are going to be tortured.
"This is beneath our country. And it does absolutely nothing to make us more secure and it is a gross human rights violation.
"One thing that can be done is our country should sit down with yours and say: How did we all screw up here?"
Arar's Toronto lawyer, Lorne Waldman, said he was "very encouraged" by Leahy's pledge.
Go, Mr. Leahy! I want front-row seats for your next hearing :)

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