Saturday, January 27, 2007

Mr. Arar

I commend the Harper government for apologizing to Maher Arar and giving him compensation for his suffering. It is a good start, but it is only a start. While it was crucial for us as a people to make amends to Mr. Arar and his family, it is equally crucial for us to find those who perpetrated this injustice on him and punish them to the full extent of our law. Mr. Justice O'Connor wrote in his report:
This case is an example of how some government officials, over an extended period of time, used the media to put a spin on an affair and unfairly damage a person’s reputation. Given the content of the released information, only individuals with access to classified information could have been responsible for the leaks. The obvious inference is that this was done to paint a picture they considered favourable either to the Canadian government or to
themselves. page 257
Who were these officials? We still don't know and as long as they remain free and unpunished for their role in the smearing of Mr. Arar's reputation, the stain on our country's honour will remain for all to see. Mr. Harper did a good thing by admitting a wrong was done to Mr. Arar. He should not, nor should any of us, believe the books have been closed on this sordid affair however.
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