Approving Torture Through Apology
I can't say that I have ever been pressured into an apology. But that's where the Conservative government, including Stephen Harper, the Mounties, and the minister responsible for public safety (Stockwell Day) have found themselves.
Maher Arar, the deported Canadian who suffered torture in his home land of Syria has had his day. The justice has placed the blame for the events directly on the RCMP for feeding the Americans false information that lead to his removal from the USA.
Now the apologetic, look down at your shoes, speeches come out. Mr. Arar is however waiting for one apology in particular. From Canada's PM, Mr. Harper. Mr. Arar has stated that he feels more injustice is done everyday that goes by without this event-capping apology.
My opinion, give it to him. Along with the (no doubt millions) compensation package (not in that order of course).
Here's what most are missing. The experts in the situation have looked to everyone in the situation for responsibility. They ask that (almost) all take responsibility for the deportation and treatment of Mr. Arar. No one that I have heard from has pointed their compassionate hearts towards Mr. Arar's home, Syria.
When we as a country have a mistake in data surrounding an individual, it us not likely press-worthy content. This fact happens everyday, a thousand times. But when something horrible happens to an individual based on this mistaken information we stand up and scream at our government?
I would suggest that by apologizing and compensating Mr. Arar for this matter we are forgetting the foundation of why this happened. It is not because of an alliance that our PM has with President Bush, or the War on Terror. The foundation for our apologies and sympathy to Mr. Arar come from the fact that a country, Syria, continues to operate some 13th century law that justifies torturing individuals to gather data.
I have heard and read a lot about President Bush and the secret 'camps' that the CIA ran to torture and gather data from individuals. Yet these same people screaming and shouting at the US choose to ignore the same activities in a different country? If they are so against the US using these techniques, or the techniques themselves, why not elevate your voice to include all offending parties? Or is it that spotlighting only some of those parties can further a partisan goal?
Selective choices often imply hypocrisy. Welcome to the left.