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Default OT - Green Light
"This ruling sets frightening precedent. U.S. officials sent Maher Arar to Syria
to be detained and interrogated through torture. To allow the Bush
Administration to continue to evade accountability and continue to hide behind
the smokescreen of 'national security' is to do grave and irreparable damage to
the Constitution and the guarantee of human rights that people in this country
could once be proud of," ....
On January 22, 2004, the Center filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York against Attorney General John Ashcroft, FBI
Director Robert Mueller, and Homeland Security Tom Ridge, as well as numerous
U.S. immigration officials. The claims in the lawsuit include violations of Mr.
Arar's right to due process under the U.S. Constitution and his right not to be
tortured under color of foreign law as guaranteed by the Torture Victim
Protection Act.

In January of 2005, the U.S. government asserted the "state secrets" privilege,
arguing that the law suit must be dismissed because allowing it to proceed would
necessarily involve the disclosure of sensitive information that would threaten
national security or diplomatic relations if made public.

As if we & the whole world did not already know ...

There can be little doubt that every official of the United States government
knew that sending Mr. Arar to Syria was a clear violation of the U.S.
Constitution, federal statutes, and international law. How can this
Administration argue before a Federal Court Judge that its practice of
outsourcing for interrogation under torture constitutes a state secret? This is
a dark day indeed.
In a ruling earlier this month, the federal judge, David Trager, said he could
not interfere in the case because it involves crucial national security and
foreign relations issues. In an 88-page judgment, Trager wrote, quote, "One need
not have much imagination to contemplate the negative effect on our relations
with Canada if discovery were to proceed in this case and were it to turn out
that certain high Canadian officials had, despite public denials, acquiesced in
Arar’s removal to Syria."
MICHAEL RATNER: You know, this was one of the most remarkable and infamous and
worst decisions I’ve ever read by a federal judge. I mean, what it really is
saying is it gives a green light to the U.S. to take people like Maher Arar and
send them overseas for torture. You understand that he had to accept the
allegation that the United States government, the Bush administration,
intentionally sent Arar over to Syria to be tortured. And on that allegation, he
said, “We cannot go into this case because of national security.”
This is Pinochet. This is Pinochet saying I can torture in the name of national
security ..
] 332188492
The Arar suit was the first court test of the Bush administration policy of
"extraordinary rendition," a practice often referred to as the outsourcing of

Arar's is just one of a number of well-documented cases in which suspects have
been shipped to third countries with dubious human rights records where
interrogation methods outlawed in the U.S. can be used.

Trager acknowledged Arar's fears of torture in Syria were real and he cited the
U.S. State Department's own report on human rights abuses there.

He said such decisions were beyond the realm of his court.

"A judge who declares on his or her own ... authority that the policy of
extraordinary rendition is under all circumstances unconstitutional must
acknowledge that such a ruling can have the most serious of consequences to our
foreign relations or national security or both," Trager wrote.
Shocking Torture at Guantánamo Confirmed In Government Documents Revealed Today
- In New York, on March 2, 2006, a government interrogation log from the
Guantánamo Bay Naval Station was posted on the Internet, confirming that U.S.
personnel inflicted torture and inhumane treatment on Guantánamo ..
First Violation of McCain Torture Amendment Alleged in Emergency Injunction - On
February 27, 2006, The first violation of the McCain torture amendment was
alleged in federal court in an emergency injunction to end further torture of
Guantánamo detainees. ...
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