Wednesday, January 14, 2004


Pogge and Andrew Spicer both have good accounts and commentary on the 'unique agreement' that Prime Minister Martin reached with President Bush respecting the deportation of Canadain citizens to third countries a la Maher Arar.

Both Pogge and Spicer make the obvious criticism that this 'agreement' gives Canada next to nothing. So the U.S will tell us when its going to deport one of our citizen's to another country to be tortured? Thank goodness for that! I feel safer already. Of course I don't because Martin did not get a guarantee that citizens would not be deported and also because Martin has not come clean on this issue and Canada's own involvement.

Norman Spector writes in today's Globe and Mail that Martin did not and could not push for anything more from Bush because he already knows the truth of the situation. Spector writes:

"in unravelling the circumstances leading to Mr. Arar's horrific 10 months in a Syrian torture chamber, Mr. Martin likely discovered that the Americans have been telling the truth all along, and that our side has not."

That truth is that Canadian security organizations gave information to the Americans about Arar and were complicit in his deportation. Further, Spector points out that the RCMP and CSIS quite possibly withheld this pertinent information from Solicitor-General Wayne Easter, Foreign Affairs Minister Graham and Prime Minister Chretien.

All of this makes the need for a public inquiry into how our security and intelligence organizations operate more necessary. Unfortunately the increasing obviousness that something is seriously amiss makes an inquiry less likely. At the end of the day Canadian citizens still are not safe travelling to the U.S. But at least Martin and the rest of Canada know it.

Posted by Matthew @ 5:52 p.m.