Tuesday, October 03, 2006

CSIS didn't want Arar returned to Canada

From The Hill Times (bold-mine) :

"In May and June 2003, the Canadian government intended to send a letter to Syria indicating that it spoke with "one voice"–seeking the powerful support CSIS and the RCMP–to call for Mr. Arar's release. But according to Justice O'Connor's report, CSIS "was uncomfortable" with a statement in the letter that there was "no evidence" that Mr. Arar had links to al-Qaeda. The agency argued "very strongly" against a letter that it saw as sending the wrong message to U.S. authorities. "CSIS wanted to make it clear to the Solicitor General that there was 'political jeopardy' in signing a joint letter and that bringing Mr. Arar back to Canada was going to be a political 'hot potato' with American authorities," Justice O'Connor wrote in the report, which cleared Mr. Arar

Justice O'Connor also revealed in his report that CSIS, "for reasons of its own, preferred that Mr. Arar not return to Canada." While DFAIT [Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade] drafted its letter to argue for Mr. Arar's release in June 2003, Jack Hooper, assistant director of operations for CSIS, called an assistant deputy minister at DFAIT to explain why it opposed the return of Mr. Arar. CSIS feared that if Mr. Arar returned with a public story of torture it could "impair" deportations from Canada to Syria, according to the report."


"It remains unclear why the RCMP and CSIS together resisted–as Justice O'Connor documents–the attempt by the minister of foreign affairs to send a letter to Syria saying that there was "no evidence" that Mr. Arar was linked to al-Qaeda."

Go read it. There's a lot more there and a lot more yet to come out regarding this.

For instance, Stockwell Day has stated there will not be a full-fledged public inquiry.
"He also denied the Tories backed away from another of the judge's recommendations - filing a formal diplomatic protest with the United States over Arar's treatment - for fear of angering the Bush administration in Washington.
Day has sent a letter to U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff saying Arar's name has been removed from terrorist watch lists north of the border, and urging the U.S. to delete him from its lists as well."

That's it? That's fucking it? A letter about a no-fly list?
The US kidnaps a Canadian citizen, albeit with lots of help from the people whose job it is to protect Canada and Canadian citizens, and the best Stockboy can manage in the way of protest is a letter about the no-fly list?

Well, no, that's not quite it, actually. There's also this :

"Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay has also discussed the case with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, but has stopped short of an official protest."

It seems Sockboy and MacKay, like CSIS, are also "uncomfortable" about "sending the wrong message to the U.S authorities" about a "political hot potato".

UPDATE Oct 6, 2006 : Thank you, Stephen Harper


scout said...

oh yes, just let them 'play' with a human life. they are so vastly superior, aren't they?

our biggest downfall was cable t.v. and hooking up to u.s. stations. 30 some years later we've had '..and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting through air...' ingrained in our psyches too.

what did martin's libs do for arar?

Mike said...

So, do you think we'll read about this on CBC or the STar or CanWest (ok that one was a joke)?

Nope. IF Stone, where are you when we need you?

Chris said...

Alison, you go girl...your outrage is well placed on this one...!

What a stain on our country.

Q said...

It should have started with an apology. Any apology now would be politically motivated. It should have come spontaneously except these men sadly lack the character.

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