Arar Case Finally Closed

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Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen who was detained during a stopover at JFK and then renditioned to Syria and tortured thanks to vague notions that he might be associated with al-Qaeda, has lost his last chance for redress in U.S. courts:

The U.S. High Court on Monday declined review of Arar’s case — a development that means the Syrian-born man’s case “now never will be heard” in an American courtroom, according to the U.S.-based constitutional rights organization arguing on his behalf.

….In the wake of the high court decision, the Center for Constitutional Rights is calling on U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress to follow Ottawa’s lead in issuing an apology and compensation to Arar.

“The courts have regrettably refused to right the egregious wrong done to Maher Arar. But the courts have never questioned that a wrong was done. They have simply said that it is up to the political branches to fashion a remedy,” said CCR attorney David Cole.

There’s really no silver lining to this, but if there were, I suppose it’s the fact that maybe the U.S. government will feel that a remedy is more acceptable now that there’s no chance of a court intervening. We’ll see.

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You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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