I wonder what Maher Arar thinks of President Obama

Mr Arar’s name, moreover, is not even mentioned in this LA Times article, which does cite two “notorious instances”–maybe LA is too far from the (increasingly defended) border with us to have noticed his case:

Obama preserves renditions as counter-terrorism tool
The role of the CIA’s controversial prisoner-transfer program may expand, intelligence experts say.

I also anxiously await reaction from Obamamad Jumpin’ Jack Layton.
Mark C.
Update: From Kate McMillan:

Is there nothing that Obama can’t do!

“Under limited circumstances, there is a legitimate place” for renditions, said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch.

“Limited circumstances include a Democrat in the White House,” he did not need to add…

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11 thoughts on “I wonder what Maher Arar thinks of President Obama

  1. To be fair, I do understand part of what makes Conservatives go bonkers all the time: The Republicans do renditions, Robert Redford makes a movie about how evil it is. Democrats do it, Human Rights Watch says that it might be okay.

  2. Um, guys? I hate to interrupt your “Ha! Look at the lefties now!” thing going on, but the LA times
    article is wrong – http://www.harpers.org/archive/2009/02/hbc-90004326 – confusing rendition, which is a form of extradition, and the extrodinary renditions launched by Bush, where people aer held outside of the criminal justice system and tortured, etc.
    I anxiously await your Update acknowledging the error.

  3. Jonathan Dursi–
    Extraordinary rendition was “launched” by the Clinton Administration, at least if you believe Richard Clarke’s book and the ALCU. In Al Gore’s words, “That’s a no-brainer. Of course it’s a violation of international law, that’s why it’s a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass.” Michael Scheuer testified before Congress that we sent suspected terrorists to Egypt, acknowledging that the Mukhabarat’s treatment of the prisoners may not have been “up to US standards.”
    They’re just saying that they think Obama will use it better.

  4. John Thacker:
    Read The Fine Article. Seriously.
    “They” aren’t saying that Obama will use it better, because the article is about *rendition*, not extrodinary rendition. Read The Article. It’ll save you from the embarrasment of writing without knowing what you’re talking about.
    And no, capturing someone covertly and bringing them to justice in the criminal justice system is not extrodinary rendition; it need not even be illegal, if it’s ok’ed by the host government. In that situation, it certainly is a no brainer. However, covertly capturing someone and keeping them imprisoned extrajudiciously while toturing and/or killing them is different, you see. I know that just mentioning that makes me a crazy raving leftie — it would have used to have made me a libertarian! — but there you go.

  5. “They” aren’t saying that Obama will use it better, because the article is about *rendition*, not extrodinary rendition. Read The Article. It’ll save you from the embarrasment of writing without knowing what you’re talking about.”
    Mr Thacker doesn’t need to be “saved from embarrassment, “ Jonathan. You, on the other hand, have seriously embarrassed yourself. I would also like to add that you are unworthy of being spared said embarrassment.
    From Steve Coll’s “Ghost Wars,” page 272:
    “This ‘rendition’ technique, in which a detainee terrorist was shipped from one country to another without appearing in court, had lately become a preferred CIA method. It allowed the agency to ship suspects to allied countries for interrogation or back to the United States for trial, as it pleased. The practice, illegal within the United States, but permitted overseas, drew on national security policy that dated to the Reagan administration, reaffirmed and revitalized by President Clinton.”
    Take special note, Jonathan, of that line “It allowed the agency to ship suspects to allied countries for interrogation or back to the United States for trial, as it pleased.” Now, what were you saying again, about Bush being the exclusive practitioner of “extraordinary rendition?”
    Here’s an example of how it worked, Clinton-style:
    Pages 376 – 377, Coll:
    “The CIA worked closely during 1997 with Egyptian intelligence and security services in a large scale, multinational campaign to break the back of its violent Islamist movement. CIA officers seized a number of Egyptian fugitives in foreign countries such as Azerbaijan and Albania and secretly shipped them to Cairo for trial.”
    And while Coll makes no mention of these prisoners being tortured, Lawrence Wright, in his book “The Looming Towers,” does state that they were tortured by Egyptian security personnel, and their resulting confessions were used in the subsequent trials of other suspected terrorists.
    Jonathan, you are a poster boy for Leftist hypocrisy, hubris, and buffoonery.

  6. “Read The Fine Article. Seriously.”
    I did. And he ignores Richard Clarke’s book, Michael Scheuer’s testimony, and other books that have all indicated that extraordinary rendition occurred during the Clinton Administration.
    Yes, rendition and extraordinary rendition are two different things.
    “However, covertly capturing someone and keeping them imprisoned extrajudiciously while toturing and/or killing them is different, you see.”
    And how is the Clinton Administration sending someone to be held in Egypt’s prisons, or Syria’s, all that different?
    Don’t get me wrong, I think that extraordinary rendition is terrible That’s why I highly prefer something like Guantanamo, out in the open, to extraordinary rendition. But this law professor’s omission, and his pretending that it all started under GWB, do not give me hope at all. Rather, it reinforces the idea that people will give a wink and a nod to the practice when it’s “necessary,” and all they care about is sweeping it under the rug. Or, for other people, that they trust President Obama to use it “responsibly,” like President Clinton.

  7. That Harpers article is completely laughable, because “extraordinary rendition,” by that very term, existed during the Clinton Administration. That he finds no need to bring up Clinton at all is, to me, very telling.
    http://www.aclu.org/safefree/extraordinaryrendition/22203res20051206.html
    Here’s the ALCU saying that extraordinary rendition started in the early 1990s. “Beginning in the early 1990s and continuing to this day, the Central Intelligence Agency, together with other U.S. government agencies, has utilized an intelligence-gathering program involving the transfer of foreign nationals suspected of involvement in terrorism to detention and interrogation in countries where — in the CIA’s view — federal and international legal safeguards do not apply. Suspects are detained and interrogated either by U.S. personnel at U.S.-run detention facilities outside U.S. sovereign territory or, alternatively, are handed over to the custody of foreign agents for interrogation. In both instances, interrogation methods are employed that do not comport with federal and internationally recognized standards. This program is commonly known as “extraordinary rendition.”
    The current policy traces its roots to the administration of former President Bill Clinton.”
    http://www.newyorker.com/archive/2005/02/14/050214fa_fact6
    Here’s the New Yorker article with quotes by Michael Scheuer.
    I can’t give you a link to an excerpt of Richard Clarke’s book, “Enemies.”
    Now, no one doubts that the Bush Administration expanded the program, in large part because they had so many more prisoners. But when Scott Horton completely misrepresents history in order to whitewash the Clinton Administration’s role, it does not fill me with confidence with what will actually happen.

  8. “Now, no one doubts that the Bush Administration expanded the program, in large part because they had so many more prisoners.”
    In large part too, because 3,000 people were murdered in a single terrorist event on U.S. soil. Any president intent on preventing another attack would have expanded the program. Well, maybe not Clinton, since there was no “program” to expand, according to Jonathan.

  9. John Thacker:
    Read the words. The LA times article was wrong because it confused rendition with extrodinary rendition, which are two different things.
    Did Clinton engage in extrodinary rendition? Apparently yes, which is sad. Which has nothing to do with Obama’s continuation of the *rendition* program.
    Argue with what was actually written, not with what the voices in your head are saying.

  10. Jonathan, are you okay? I’m asking this in all seriousness, because you are sounding increasingly irrational. You are the last person who should be mocking someone over “voices in their head.”
    Do some reading on the subject of “rendition,” particularly the tap dancing Panetta has been doing the past couple days, and you’ll see that absolutely nothing has changed. Obama’s administration will continue to commit “extraordinary rendition,” using the same justification the Bush administration did, which is “we received assurances they wouldn’t be tortured, and would receive fair trials.” I realize how much you Lefties cherish your double standards, but that doesn’t make them anything other than rank hypocrisy.

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