Attorney General Albert Gonzalez scoffed at claims of torture all along, and claimed it was a "deportation", not a "rendition". And of course, the Syrians had promised he would not be tortured. Thankfully, the days when Congress would turn a blind eye to such abuses seem to be over. Recently, Senator Patrick Leahy launched an angry verbal attack on Gonzalez, who shifted uncomfortably in his seat. It's worth watching. Leahy asked an obvious question: how could Gonzalez say that he trusted the Syrian not to torture Arar when the official policy of the Bush administration is that the Syrians cannot be trusted at all? No, they knew exactly what would happen to Arar in Syria. And they sent him anyway.
Again, it is time to quote the list of crimes against human life and dignity spelled out so eloquently in Gaudium Et Spes, and referred to as "intrinsically evil" by Pope John Paul in Veritatis Splendour:
"Whatever is hostile to life itself, such as any kind of homicide, genocide, abortion, euthanasia and voluntary suicide; whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, physical and mental torture and attempts to coerce the spirit; whatever is offensive to human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery...."It's all there, pure and simple...
And what many seem to forget is how the Bush administration responded to a federal lawsuit initiated by Arar in 2005. The implications go beyond Arar, and provide a mindset into how the administration views foreign nationals, and the application of human rights in general (remember their views on the "quaint" Geneva Conventions?). In this case, the administration argued that:
"Foreign citizens who change planes at airports in the United States can legally be seized, detained without charges, deprived of access to a lawyer or the courts, and even denied basic necessities like food... aliens have at most a right against "gross physical abuse."Charming.