I wonder why justice O'Connor would not participate in such a panel? He could be an invaluable resource person. I am very disappointed. Perhaps the Canadian government would not want him to in deference to their great respect for Gonzales, Bush et al. It is heartening that someone is making moves to further investigate in the US. It is also revealing that is an ex-intelligence operative behind the move. It should be Senator Leahy.
from Ottaw Sun
US Eyes Arar Case
A former top CIA official wants to raise the profile of Maher Arar in the U.S., where he hopes the story of Arar's deportation and torture will help end the American practice of extraordinary rendition.
Frederick Hitz, the Central Intelligence Agency's inspector general during the high-profile investigation into the Iran-Contra scandal, told a panel discussion yesterday that rank-and-file intelligence officers don't like the legally dubious measures being employed in the war on terrorism.
"I've dealt with these people in previous times when it's come up, from Iran-Contra on, and they know that they're going to pay the price," said Hitz, now a law professor.
"They know they're the ones who are going to be taken to the tribunals and tried, not the people who asked them to do it. So they want the guidance as clear and as fundamentally legally based as they can get it. They're not fire-breathers."
Hitz was part of a panel of academics, legal experts and intelligence analysts set up by the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars to discuss Canada-U.S. intelligence relations in the wake of Arar. The panelists were unanimous in their opinion that extraordinary rendition -- effectively shipping suspects to repressive regimes where they can be interrogated using torture -- must end.
Hitz said the message needs to be heard by the American public. He wants Justice Dennis O'Connor, who led the inquiry that exonerated Arar, to participate in a panel on Arar to raise public awareness, although that appears unlikely. O'Connor's spokeswoman indicated yesterday he won't go.