From Alternet in the USA:
Torture Sours U.S.-Canadian Right-wing Lovefest
By Sarah Anderson
Posted January 29, 2007.
Stephen Harper, Canada’s conservative Prime Minister, campaigned on strengthening ties with the Bush administration.
But the love affair has ended over the American “rendition” of a Canadian citizen to Syria.
A U.S. Ambassador lashed out against a foreign official last week for standing up to the Bush Administration – and it wasn’t against Hugo Chavez or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or any of the other usual suspects.
It was Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day – a fundamentalist creationist, anti-abortion, anti-gay rights hawk who once spoke at a “Canadians for Bush” rally.
At the onset of the Iraq war, he published a pro-Bush letter in the Wall Street Journal with Stephen Harper, who would become Canada’s Prime Minister in 2006.
Day and Harper blasted their own government’s opposition to the U.S. invasion and lauded the Bush administration’s “fundamental vision of civilization and human values.”
That conservative lovefest is now over.
Last week Day and U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins exchanged the most hostile tit-for-tat to date over the case of Maher Arar.
In 2002, U.S. authorities detained Arar, a Canadian citizen, at JFK airport.
After accusing him of having links to al Qaeda, they sent him to Syria, where he was tortured for nearly a year before being released without charge.
After an exhaustive inquiry, an independent Canadian commission cleared Arar of any terrorist ties last fall.
On January 26, the Ottawa government announced it would apologize for its role in the debacle and compensate Arar to the tune of about US$8.5 million, plus legal fees.
But while the Canadian government has now admitted that Arar is indeed the innocent computer engineer and father of two he always said he was, the Bush Administration continues to insist that Arar belongs on their “no-fly” list of terrorism suspects.
Germany wants CIA agents arrested for “rendition”: here.
Kurnaz case in Germany: here.
US and torture flights: here.
US torture flights and Africa: here.
Torture and Canadians in Afghanistan: here.