"The new head of the Senate Judiciary Committee was angry. Sen. Patrick Leahy was questioning U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales about a man named Maher Arar.
Arar is a Canadian citizen the U.S. detained without charge then sent to Syria in 2002. Leahy fumed: "We knew damn well, if he went to Canada, he wouldn't be tortured. He'd be held. He'd be investigated. We also knew damn well, if he went to Syria, he'd be tortured."
Leahy was responding to Alberto Gonzales' comments that "there were assurances sought that he would not be tortured from Syria." Assurances? From the country that President Bush recently described as the "crossroads for terrorism"? From the country that Bush has vilified and threatened to attack? But before we point the finger at other countries, we have to look here at home.
Gonzales knows about torture. Arar was detained less than two months after Gonzales' office produced the notorious "Torture Memo," which has served as the legal basis for the Bush administration's brutal torture methods such as "waterboarding" (holding a victim's head underwater until unconscious) that are increasingly well-known and globally despised."
So begins a piece by well-known journalist Amy Goodman reproduced on Common Dreams. It again highlights the actions of the US and its allies. What? - the Brits, the Aussies and many Eurpoean countries didn't know what was going on?
As Goodman writes:
"The Bush policies of war, occupation, torture and rendition are having a cumulative effect on global opinion. A recent BBC poll of more than 26,000 people found that 75 percent oppose the U.S. role in Iraq, two-thirds oppose the handling of prisoners at Guantanamo, and 52 percent feel that the U.S. has an overall negative effect on the planet."