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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And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

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