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President Bush laid out the U.S. position in a speech Sept. 6.
"These are enemy combatants who are waging war on our nation," he said. "We have a right under the laws of war, and we have an obligation to the American people, to detain these enemies and stop them from rejoining the battle."
Captured on battlefields, pulled from beds at midnight, grabbed off streets as suspected insurgents, tens of thousands now have passed through U.S. detention, the vast majority in Iraq.
Many say they were caught up in U.S. military sweeps, often interrogated around the clock, then released months or years later without apology, compensation or any word on why they were taken. Seventy to 90 percent of the Iraq detentions in 2003 were "mistakes," U.S. officers once told the international Red Cross.
Canadian intelligence officials passed false warnings and bad information to American agents about a Muslim Canadian citizen, after which U.S. authorities secretly whisked him to Syria, where he was tortured, a judicial report found Monday.
Arar, now 36, was detained by U.S. authorities as he changed planes in New York on Sept. 26, 2002. He was held for questioning for 12 days, then flown by jet to Jordan and driven to Syria. He was beaten, forced to confess to having trained in Afghanistan -- where he never has been -- and then kept in a coffin-size dungeon for 10 months before he was released, the Canadian inquiry commission found.
U.S. officials refused to cooperate with the Canadian inquiry.
Arar filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court, but the case was dismissed by a judge citing "national security" issues. Arar also is seeking compensation from the Canadian government.
9/11 Toxic Dust Whistleblower Raided By SWAT Team
Major Mike McCormack is a hospital technician and civil air patrol pilot who worked the ground zero site for eight days after the collapse of the twin towers. He is one of the real heroes of 9/11 and was the man who found the American flag that was later displayed as a token of unity atop the rubble.
...McCormack is part of an organization lobbying Congress... (and) was part of the anniversary ceremonies on September 11 2006 and provided many hand-shaking photo-ops for numerous politicians, before returning to his family home in Pennsylvania that night. McCormack returned to his New York home the next morning in preparation to visit ground zero once again. ...On the morning of September 12, McCormack's tenant opened the door to see half a dozen detectives outside who began asking questions and demanding to search the building.
"Three minutes later as I'm walking out of my office with one of the detectives, I have a federal SWAT team that comes in....men in black and all of a sudden they have 9 millimeter handguns and MP5 machine guns aimed at my head," McCormack told the Alex Jones Show. ...McCormack's tenant, who questioned the officials' behavior during the raid, was "taken to federal jail and nobody has heard from him since," according to McCormack.
This information is astounding - and frightening.
Equally astounding and frightening is the lack of attention.
Ultimately the whole truth will come out and historians will have their say, and Americans will look in the mirror and be ashamed.
Abraham Lincoln spoke of the "better angels" of our nature. George W. Bush will have none of that. He's set his sights much, much lower.
The latest story from the Dante-esque depths of this administration was front-page news in The Washington Post yesterday. The reporter, Dana Priest, gave us the best glimpse yet of the extent of the secret network of prisons in which the CIA has been hiding and interrogating terror suspects. The network includes a facility at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe.
The individuals held in these prisons have been deprived of all rights. They don't even have the basic minimum safeguards of prisoners of war. If they are being tortured or otherwise abused, there is no way for the outside world to know about it. If some mistake has been made and they are, in fact, innocent of wrongdoing - too bad.
As Ms. Priest wrote, "Virtually nothing is known about who is kept in the facilities, what interrogation methods are employed with them, or how decisions are made about whether they should be detained or for how long."
This is the border along which democracy bleeds into tyranny.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
When Maher Arar arrived at John F. Kennedy airport in New York City on Sept. 26, 2002, he had no idea his life was about to be radically changed. Arar, a 31-year-old computer consultant and Canadian citizen, was en route from Zurich to Montreal to attend to business following a family vacation in Tunisia, according to a lawsuit he filed against U.S. officials in 2004. He was standing in line waiting to pass immigration inspection when an immigration officer asked him to step aside to answer some questions.
As FBI agents, immigration officials and NYPD officers questioned Arar, he asked to consult an attorney. U.S. officials told Arar that only U.S. citizens had the right to a lawyer and locked him up in the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City, where he endured more interrogation about his friends, the mosques he attended, his letters and e-mails. U.S. officials then demanded that he "voluntarily" agree to be sent to Syria, where he was born, instead of home to Canada (Arar holds dual citizenship). Arar refused, according to Amnesty International, explaining that he was afraid he would be tortured in Syria for not completing his military service. After more than a week in detention, U.S. authorities determined that Arar was "inadmissible" to the United States based on secret evidence and notified him that he would be deported to Syria.
They took him to New Jersey in the middle of the night and loaded him onto a small plane that stopped in Washington, D.C., and then Rome before proceeding to Jordan. Local authorities in Jordan chained and beat Arar, bundled him in a van and drove him across the border to Syria, where Arar was beaten with electrical cables, interrogated about his acquaintances and beliefs, and kept in a tiny cell for months at a time.
"I first thought they would keep me in that place, which I now call the grave, for a short period so that they could put pressure on me," Arar told AI. "But I was kept in that dark and filthy cell for about 10 months and 10 days. That was torture."
After three consecutive days of beating and interrogation, he said, "I could not take the pain any more and I falsely confessed of having been to Afghanistan." After the Canadian government intervened, Syrian authorities released him in October 2003 - more than one year after his ill-fated attempt to change planes in New York City - with an acknowledgment that there was no evidence that he was ever involved in terrorism.