Rendition to Torture: The Case of Maher Arar

02.05.08 | 1 min read | Text by Steven Aftergood

The case of Maher Arar, the Canadian national who was mistakenly identified as an Islamist extremist and deported from the United States to Syria for interrogation under torture, was explored in a Congressional hearing last October. The record of that hearing (pdf) has just been published.

“The refusal of the Bush administration to be held accountable [for its handling of the Arar case] is an embarrassment to many of us,” said Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA) of the House Judiciary Committee, who issued his own apology to Mr. Arar.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) endorsed the apology to Maher Arar, but also defended the Bush Administration policy of extraordinary rendition.

“Should we halt every government program that, due to a human error, results in a tragedy?” asked Mr. Rohrabacher. “I challenge anybody to compare the error rate of rendition, this program, with the error rate in any other government program.”

See “Rendition to Torture: The Case of Maher Arar,” joint hearing before subcommittees of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs Committees, October 18, 2007.