How could this happen?



Will writes from Washington, D.C. (well, Arlington, Virginia). You can reach him at willblogcorrespondence at gmail dot com.

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16 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    “Missed opportunity”.

    Look at what the court is likely to think will actually happen (or be prevented from happening) because of this decision.

    Why wouldn’t that be the goal of the decision?Report

  2. Avatar Francis says:

    hmm, I think you have it precisely backward. Courts have no business telling legislatures how to legislate, and the rare cases where they do so the opinions sound pathetic. Far better to simply state that relief is not available under the law as currently written.

    But the court could have denied the government the use of the privilege, and forced the hand of the Administration and Congress to pass a bill defining the scope of the privilege. The idea that senior officials of the Bush administration did not violate Arar’s constitutional rights is ridiculous. Of course they did; what we have discovered is that — much like the Japanese internment cases — in times of war (and, also, “war”) US courts will continue to duck the hard cases and defer to the Executive.

    Can’t have omelets without breaking eggs. Sometimes innocents bear the price of our Empire.Report

  3. Avatar Katherine says:

    Given the torture of Maher Arar, and that none of the three branches of US government find anything wrong with it, I can really only see one thing that Canada ought to do – not that our current government is at all likely to: we need to stop sharing intelligence information with the US. If it’s happening in Canada, or involves a Canadian citizen, we deal with it and they don’t. I don’t care how much more powerful they are than us, nobody has the right to send our citizens off to be tortured. The RCMP is to blame for giving the US inaccurate information, but all the same the correct US response, if they considered him a threat, was to either request extradition and trial, or return him to Canada.

    And on a similar topic, we need to bring Omar Khadr back to Canada. There’s pretty good evidence that they claims he killed a US solider are untrue, and even if they were he was 15 at the time, better described as a child soldier than an enemy combatant. I have no idea what they did to him down there – but I want to know.

    We Canadians are rapidly moving towards a situation where our allies are more dangerous than our enemies.Report

  4. Avatar North says:

    Madness! How could the country have lost it’s mind so badly? What the hell were Bush and his possey of incompetents thinking? Where the hell were the Democrats in opposition? Damnit!Report

    • Avatar Jivatman in reply to North says:

      And don’t think that it’s over now that Obama is in office
      Same Iron Fist, now with a velvet glove.
      If anything, the danger is greater now that pro-civil liberties left is has largely been silenced.Report

    • Avatar Katherine in reply to North says:

      Forget opposition. Where the hell are the Democrats in power? On the side of covering up torture, that’s where.Report

  5. Avatar Dan Miller says:

    I will never understand why anyone allows this (Democrat or Republican) and why it hasn’t been fixed. Where is the political upside to being pro-torture? Who could possibly benefit from this? I guess I shouldn’t expect people to have any shame, but this is disgusting. Is it even possible to elect some people who will enforce some accountability on this?Report

    • Avatar Scott in reply to Dan Miller says:

      You can’t understand why anyone allows this? Did you see what happened on 9/11 or on the buses London or on the train is Spain? I’m sorry he was tortured but the terrorists want to pay hard ball and we should show them how. Yes unfortunately innocents are harmed in war but that is was this is.Report

      • Avatar Katherine in reply to Scott says:

        This backs up my point above. We need to stop working with the Americans. Torture and disregard for liberties don’t end until it comes back to bite the Americans, hard.

        Sending an innocent man to Syria to be tortured didn’t do anything to fight terrorism.Report

  6. Avatar angullimala says:

    And Scott drops the typical answer of a chicken-hawk coward.Report

    • Avatar Scott in reply to angullimala says:

      Actually, right now I’m waiting to see if my application to join the Army Reserve JAG Corps has been approved. I hope they accept me and have seriously considered volunteering for overseas duty which if I do would means that I would have to leave my wife and soon to born child, so F-you.Report

      • Avatar JohnW in reply to Scott says:

        JAG? Volunteer for combat and maybe I’ll get impressed.Report

      • Avatar angullimala in reply to Scott says:

        Just what we need – a JAG who casually dismisses all sense of justice, morality, and even the law itself because, hey, innocents get hurt in war so whats the big deal?

        So what if we kidnapp and torture a completely innocent person? Shit happens. So what if a US serviceman rapes a 13 year old Iraqi girl and then murders her and her whole family? Innocents get hurt in war.

        It’s really easy to be “tough” when it comes to the misfortunes of others. It’s really easy to ignore pain that you don’t have to feel yourself. Of course, the most pathetic thing is that we both know that you’d be a lot less complacent if the innocent in question was someone you loved. Then you’d be out screaming about justice and demanding the justice that you now don’t care about giving to another.

        Its hard to put into words the utter contempt I feel for you.Report