Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Arar Decision Cripples Torture Rendition Suits

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Jeff Kaye at Firedoglake:

The Toronto Globe and Mail succinctly summed up the November 2 decision to dismiss the Maher Arar case, delivered en banc by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit:

Victims of extraordinary rendition have no recourse to sue Washington for torture suffered overseas, appellate court rules

“No recourse.” Americans should ponder the meaning of this decision, which explicitly places state interests above individual rights, even when such rights include not being sent to a country that will torture that individual. That such torture was done at the behest of the U.S. government, with written questions given to the torturers, only exacerbates the issue.

Maher Arar was a Syrian-born Canadian who was seized by U.S. authorities at Kennedy International Airport (following upon a bogus RCMP tip), held for thirteen days, and then, with U.S. connivance, and despite the fact Canada said it would accept Mr. Arar, rendered via a CIA jet to Syria for interrogation and torture. He was released in 2003, and the Canadian government, which ascertained Mr. Arar had no connections with terrorism, apologized and forked over a multi-million dollar settlement.

Mr. Arar has tried to find justice in the U.S. courts, and released the following statement after the Second Circuit decision:

“After seven years of pain and hard struggle it was my hope that the court system would listen to my plea and act as an independent body from the executive branch. Unfortunately, this recent decision and decisions taken on other similar cases, prove that the court system in the United States has become more or less a tool that the executive branch can easily manipulate through unfounded allegations and fear mongering. If anything, this decision is a loss to all Americans and to the rule of law.”

The core of the decision appears in this quote from the majority opinion (see full opinion at PDF link; the impressive dissent in the case begins on page 57 — H/T Jeralyn at TalkLeft): …

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

5 November 2009 at 11:50 am

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