I suppose it is even more presumptuous to expect an apology for rendering an innocent Canadian citizen to Syria to be tortured. Day is a right-wing pro-American evangelical who would have had Canada participate in Iraq but to give him credit even he cannot go along with CHertoff and Gonzales. These fellows are hiding behind a cloak of national security to hide their lack of evidence and the fact they made a mistake.
Day's rather mild remarks were simply to the effect that he had seen the American evidence and this had not changed his mind about Arar not being a security risk. It is surely surprising that Chertoff and Gonzales reviewing the file came to the opposite conclusion especially in light of the fact that an exhaustive inquiry in Canada over two years came to the conclusion that Arar was not a security risk.
It is not just a question of the US having the right to decide who is to enter their country, it is a question too of the right of the US to render a Canadian citizen who was after all just changing planes for interrogation and torture in SYria.
Senator Leahy needs to have his own inquiry into the Arar affair and also into the practice of rendition generally. Arar is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. At least in Canada Stockwell Day has also called an inquiry into three other cases where Canadian citizens were imprisoned in Syria seemingly on information provided by Canadian intelligence.
Wilkins slams Day for questioning U.S. on Arar
Last Updated: Wednesday, January 24, 2007 | 1:20 PM ET
U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins on Wednesday criticized Ottawa's efforts to have Maher Arar removed from a United States security watch list, saying the U.S. alone will decide who to let into the country.
Speaking in Edmonton after meeting with new Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach, Wilkins warned Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day to back off, because a U.S. review determined Arar should remain on the watch list.
"It's a little presumptuous for him [Day] to say who the United States can and cannot allow into our country," Wilkins told reporters Wednesday.
The ambassador reiterated that the U.S. found its own reasons to keep Arar on the watch list.
Day said in a visit last week to Washington that he has seen the information and found nothing new to suggest Arar is a safety risk.
Arar, a Canadian citizen born in Syria, was seized at a New York airport in 2002 and sent to Syria, where he was tortured. A judicial inquiry into his case led by Justice Dennis O'Connor was set up after Arar returned to Canada more than a year later.
O'Connor concluded Arar had no terror links and the RCMP had given misleading information to U.S. authorities, which may have been the reason he was sent to Syria.
Parliament apologized to Arar and the government has been asking Washington to remove him from a watch list that prevents him from travelling to the U.S., despite being cleared in Canada.
However, the U.S. has refused to do so and has not explained why.
Day said Tuesday in Halifax that Canada will continue to let its position be known.
With files from the Canadian Press