Extraordinary Rendition uninteresting to Supreme Court, WaPo

Canadian citizen Maher Arar, who was detained by the U.S. in 2002 and held in Syria for a year, has had his request for appeal for the right to sue U.S. officials turned away by the U.S. Supreme Court.  I turned to my trusty Washington Post for their usually excellent news coverage, and found this trenchant and insightful piece. Awesome use of the AP wire, guys!

I’m not a justice on the highest court in the U.S., and can’t pretend to know their perhaps excellent reasons for refusing to hear the case.  But I am a faithful subscriber to the Washington Post, and I certainly do feel confident that I know when their coverage of an ongoing American failure, shall we say, is lacking.

For much more exciting coverage which includies the Mounties, see the Toronto Star!  (For readers who wish any insight into the case, try the Christian Science Monitor instead.)  But I’m not finding much in the American press.  Go figure.

14 thoughts on “Extraordinary Rendition uninteresting to Supreme Court, WaPo

  1. American newspapers don’t report on US citizens having assassination orders put on them by the CIA, so why would they report on foreigners being held without trial?


    Seriously, this is how democracy ends.

  2. I’m so glad you put this up here. It’s certainly not getting enough press here in Canada, either.

    The news is absolutely, crushingly disappointing. I can hardly believe it.

  3. Wow, Michel, from my perspective your Canadian outlets are giving it so much more attention! Agreed, it is disappointing, and the extent to which the American press has ignored the story is additionally disspiriting.

  4. yes, it’s great you posted this, profbigk!

    carl: *this* (blog posting, facebook posting, and all the other lovely forms of viral reporting) is how democracy is rescued, i think.

    here’s another good reporting of it, from the ny review of books: http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2010/jun/15/he-was-tortured-but-cant-sue/ . i like the quote: “It took Congress more than 40 years to do right by the World War II internees. We must do better this time around.”

  5. NY Times has a searing editorial today (June 16), chastising both SCOTUS and POTUS (Obama). Apparently, Obama’s legal people argued against the Canadian on the usual “you have to leave us alone or all our secrets will be compromised, etc.”

  6. Thanks for pointing to the editorial.

    “…it might damage diplomatic relations and affect national security.”

    Honestly, how much do they think relations with Canada are going to suffer? We even admitted our complicity! :rolleyes:

  7. Oops, thought I should add that this actually IS a question of national security for you Americans–imagine if all the people complicit in the systemic torture/extraordinary rendition of hundreds (if not thousands) of people, both innocent and guilty–when it comes to the wrong they suffered, their own guilt is not relevant. That’s a lot of people: prison guards, medics/doctors, interrogators, the people who ordered interrogations, those who authorized illegal means, etc. That kind of complexity would entail a decades-long trial, and millions upon millions in compensation.

    I sincerely hope the RCMP manages to lay criminal charges against the administration and interrogators. I know that a lot of people–Obama included–feel that the “following orders” defense should apply to soldiers and CIA officers, but the reality is that in comparable cases from other countries, it hasn’t stood up. And really, they’re the problem: by complying with illegal and immoral orders, they allowed–and perpetrated–untold horror and psychological damage to occur. A soldier who beats up, maims, or kills a prisoner is held to account–these cases should be no different.

    Sorry for the rant. These stories just upset me a lot.

  8. Apologies for post number three in a row. CTV finally posted the 15th’s Daily Show, and so I just learned that Obama has decided to continue the policy of extraordinary rendition (along with denying Habeas Corpus to non-Guantanamo detainees). I guess that explains why Mr. Arar got this most recent kick to the nards.

    Le sigh.

  9. No need to apologize for filling the silence left by the press, heh. I don’t know if it explains it or not; often the Supreme Court has its own reasons.

    Ongoing policies may explain it, though, if the Roberts court is simply one which is highly responsive to any claim of national security. Because that’s what you want, is an entire branch of government that bends without question to another.

  10. Michel, thanks so much for pointing us to this! I’m extremely grateful to you, as I was so wretchedly blue on the day the news utterly failed to break that the Supreme Court killed the chance of judicial review.

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