Before dawn today I checked my three favorite news aggregate sites. Bourque.com knows how to provoke we bleary-eyed morning readers. "Jackpot Day For Arar" was a taunt. I used the hot link to jump to the story. I dreaded this day, but now it's come. Today we learn that the feds are going to give Maher Arar $12.5 million bucks! This is the fellow who was initially demanding $437 million from the Canadian taxpayers because CSIS provided U.S. anti-terror agencies with their Arar investigation file;
this lead to his "rendition" (a form of legal extradition) to his place of birth - Syria. Recall that an American federal court dismissed Arar's suit against the U.S. government last February. We're made of softer stuff, aren't we?
I lost what little sympathy I had for Arar and his family, when his wife used their massive publicity for political gain. She joined the NDP and tried to win a Parliamentary seat in the 2004 National election. They were playing our generosity and our system against us, and have no intention of ever stopping.
I have never believed Arar's story about being "tortured" for ten months. He isn't missing any teeth or fingernails. He doesn't stutter. He doesn't claim to have been buggered. Whatever the trauma, it left no evidence. I'm no expert on torture mind you, but I've read up on it. You can get someone
to "talk" in two minutes flat if they have information that is vital to you. For example, take the old Soviet Spetsnaz method. You want to get a Mujihadin to gush? Just pull a rat tail metal file out of your boot and run it once across the top of his teeth, exposing all the nerves. Resistance as they say, is futile.
Arar deserted his homeland at age 17, to avoid compulsory military service.
If the Syrian's had a grudge about that, it's not Canada's fault. I have never before expressed my opinion on this case, but I did attempt to once. That was on September 23, 2006 when I sent a letter to the Toronto SUN. It was my response to a piece written by one of their columnists, which challenged Arar's assertions about being tortured in his native Syria. The U.S. believes Arar is at minimum, a terrorist sympathizer, and keeps him on the Watch List. My letter was never published in the SUN. I guess the Orwellian power of editorial filtering is one reasion that Blogging has been made available to us. My short letter read in full:
"Thanks to Peter Worthington we have a dissenting view on Arar... at last!
"Why would Syria Torture Arar?" Exactly. And before the anointed begin to shovel our cash into the "victims" prize bag, let us as force him to answer just one skill testing question, on camera. (He likes cameras. Great teeth.) But force in some tricky Canadian way. For gawd sake don't hurt him! Mr. Arar, Sir, answer only "Yes it does" or "No it does not" to the question "Do Israel and the Israeli people have the right to exist?" If he answers "No it does not," put him back on the list. Immediately."
I haven't changed my mind. I don't think becoming a millionaire is going to shut this guy up, and as a taxpayer I resent it. Hell, for $10 million you can cut my balls off. I already have kids, and I don't need my nuts to type with. Just supposing for a minute Arar was tortured. Does that give him the right to turn around and put the boots to us? He thinks so. See, he's smiling!
Update: February 24, 2007 - Yesterday there was a meeting in Ottawa of the Prosperity and Security Partnership, a tri-lateral commission which fosters cooperation between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.A. Peter Mackay, M.P. said that Canada has "exonerated" Maher Arar. The response of Condolezza Rice, the U.S. Secretary of State was that Arar stays on the U.S. security Watch List. "The United States, of course, makes decisions based on information that we have and based on our own assessment of the situation." The Mexican Foreign Minister concurred. Mackay has nothing to fear from the Canadian public. If we cannot put the Sikh terror bombers behind bars, what does one pipsqueak anti-Semite matter?