Saturday, December 16, 2006

Why is Maher Arar still on a US watchlist?

Of all the fly-buzzed piles of bullshit in the news this week, this story tops the heap.

"Despite the findings of a Canadian inquiry that concluded Arar was deported to Syria based on erroneous information provided to the U.S. from the RCMP, David Wilkins said the Syrian-born Canadian will remain on a security watch list."

Why? The cop who supplied the information that got Arar detained has admitted it was mistaken and ended up resigning over his testimony about it. Arar's been cleared and, other than those nightmares about being waterboarded and who-knows-what-else, his life goes on. But supposedly he remains on a watchlist based on information from other sources than the RCMP:

"Mr. Arar's original removal from the United States in 2002 was based on information from a variety of sources, as is his current watch list status," Wilkins said in a statement.

Oh yeah? They've got a variety of sources, that's great. But I'd think if they were so fucking concerned about Fighting The Terrorist Threat, they'd be sharing that information, wouldn't they? Especially with Canada, given that's where Arar lives. They know what happens when information isn't shared, as between the FBI and CIA pre-9/11. If they had credible information that Arar was a possible threat, he'd at least on a watch list in Canada. But no.

The only reason for Arar to still be on a US watch list is ass-covering. As long as he's a documented "threat", his legal options against the government that scooped him off the street and sent him to Syria to be tortured for a year are limited. Disgusting, yes. Surprising, no. What's truly amazing is the number of dipshits willing to believe this guy is actually guilty of something, just on the say-so of the US government.

Because the US government never, you know, lies.