Monday, September 18, 2006

RCMP Lies Lead To Torture

The first and most important thing we learned from the O'Connor report on the Maher Arar case was..

No evidence Mr. Arar has committed any offence or is a threat to Canadian security.

So this brings into disbute all those currently being held in Canada's secret prison, who have also been identified as potential security threats.

He also found "troubling questions" about the role played by Canadian officials in the cases of three other Arab-Canadians, Ahmad El Maati, Abdullah Almalki and Muayyed Nureddin. All were tortured in Syria after traveling there on personal business, and all suspect that the RCMP and/or Canada's spy agency collaborated with their captors.

Was it really a case of post 9/11 hysteria that led the RCMP to jump to conclusions in the Arar case. Was it incompetence, a failure to clarify information from dubious sources. Or was it something more sinister, racial profiling of a political nature.

That is what we don't know from today's Arar Report because of State Secrecy.

Among other things, O'Connor's report found:

  • American officials "very likely" relied on the inaccurate information from the RCMP when they decided to send Arar to Syria, a country known to have aggressive techniques for interrogating suspects.
  • There is no evidence that Arar committed any offence, nor is there anything to suggest he is a threat to Canadian security.
  • Canadian agencies wrongly accepted information from Syrian sources about Arar after his detention, without determining whether it might have been extracted using torture.
  • In order to protect themselves and portray Arar in an unflattering light, Canadian officials leaked inaccurate details about Arar to news media.
  • Officials from the RCMP gave a sanitized summary of the Arar case to top government officials in order to cover up RCMP mistake.

What we do know is that after 9/11 the State Security Bills passed by the Liberal government went too far in giving a free hand to the State and its police, the RCMP, and its secret service, CSIS, to spy, harass, arrest and create secret files on Canadian citizens. Reports they shared with the CIA and other American agencies. Reports they lied about and covered up. And their sources of information were tainted since they came from the Secret Police operating in a country that is a dictatroship, Syria.

Meaning that there is NO real oversight of those who have been given the power of life and death over us in the name of security. Heads should role over this, including bueracrats in the government, the Head of CSIS and the RCMP, members of the Department of Foreign Affairs who failed to act on Arar's behalf.

The key players in the Arar affair

There needs to be an emergency debate in the house to get rid of the existing security act that allows for racial profiling.

The Americans refuse to accept any responsibility for their actions in this despicable affair. But in light of the expose of the secret CIA jails and use of torture and rendition, this should add fuel to the debate south of the border.

Never forget it was the Liberal Government with the collusion of the Conservatives who did this. And if Ignatieff gets in as leader of the Liberals this will remain their policy.



Liberal Leadership Race


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