Maher Arar received a 10 million settlement from the Harper government in 2007 stemming from torture by the Americans. Why is it that the Americans torture them and we have to make the apologies and give them restitution?
Do not think for a minute that we are alone and pay the price for these tortured victims. Sweden paid a half million in 2002 to a former terror suspect they handed over to U.S. officials who then sent him over to Egypt to be tortured. That same year Australia paid out an undisclosed amount of money to Mamdouth Habib, an Australian national held in Guantanamo.
Then there is Britain in 2010.. they paid out millions of pounds to 16 former Guantanamo detainees, because of its role in their U.S. detention. How did this happen and who dropped the ball? We can call foul all we want but the fact remains.. torture is alive and well and if it is not our country doing it, well seems others are not so picky.
Maybe we should be questioning our own governments role in these episodes of poor judgment? A supreme court ruled that it was not right.. seven freaking years ago already.. in the Omar Khadr case. Why are we questioning this judgment.. are we smarter than the supreme court and all the other countries that compensated victims of American torture?
I feel deeply that my government and my country of origin, should step in and protect me and keep me safe from random countries that may want to harm me. Lord knows I have no ties to any terror groups, unless you want to call some of my friends holy terrors.
In our early years, we could put away a bottle or two of gin or whatever was alcoholic, and dance on the tables in the bar. Now that was terrifying.. but not as much as waking up our friends at 2:00 am in the morning. We usually ran out of booze around that time, so we would drink theirs and make them party with us! “we know you are home!!! WAKE UP!”
I digress .. those days are over.
Am I upset by the latest Omar Khadr payout of 10 million? Of course.. I am no different than most.. BUT, I understand why. The bigger story here, I feel is that torture still exists today big time! What is to stop any of us getting into a situation that is out of our control? What if I am travelling in a foreign country (I do a lot of travelling) and innocently get swept up into something bad?
I totally expect Canada to protect me and come to my rescue. Being tortured is beyond my comprehension, and I’m sure most of you would agree. I would be pissed big time! I am not finished my travels yet, they may inadvertently take me to unsafe places, I try to be careful.
I don’t know how many countries still practice torture but Guantanamo was certainly famous. Being held in captivity with no recourse would be a hell in itself. We in Canada, Australia, Britain and Sweden have paid out compensations not to reward terrorism.. but as a penalty for not insuring that our own citizens were given fair and basic human rights! period..
So in conclusion.. may the 10 million dollar payouts be a message to our government. You better start ensuring our rights are respected everywhere. “Do not mess with Canadian citizens!” .. if you will.
Shame on you.. and shame on us for allowing this to happen.