CSIS knew Arar would be tortured

And the hits just keep on coming. We hate terror, but we love sinking to their level.

The Feds de-classified 1,500 pages of the Arar inquiry report today, revealing the following mildly horrifying facts:

  • CSIS liaison staff in Washington were aware of the U.S. practice of “extraordinary rendition” - deporting terror suspects to countries that extracted information through torture.
  • By applying the erroneous label of “terror suspect” to Arar, the RCMP indirectly led to the U.S. decision to deport Arar, first to Jordan and on to Syria, where he was tortured.
  • CSIS second-in-command in Ottawa, operations director Jack Hooper wrote in a memorandum on Oct. 10, 2002 – shortly after Arar’s arrest at JFK Airport by U.S. immigration authorities – saying, “I think the U.S. would like to get Arar to Jordan where they can have their way with him.” 
  • Syrian authorities viewed Arar as a “nuisance” and not “as a major case.” But, in the interest of thoroughness, they tortured him anyway. 
  • When the RCMP sought a telephone intercept warrant against Arar, the Mounties failed to reveal to the presiding judge that its information was based on a confession by another suspect, Ahmad El Maati, that was likely obtained under Syrian torture.

What price apathy and fear? The responsibility for this crime lies not only with CSIS, the RCMP and the Federal Government. It sits squarely on all our shoulders for failing to hold our law enforcement agencies to account and upholding our civil liberties.

Never again.