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I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

The fruits of the President's interrogation policies

In addition to all of the other horrors and disgraces highlighted by our Government's conduct in kidnapping an innocent Canadian citizen and torturing him for a year in Syria, this fact -- reported by the WP article -- should be particularly highlighted and broadcast far and wide:

Arar, now 36, was detained by U.S. authorities as he changed planes in New York on Sept. 26, 2002. He was held for questioning for 12 days, then flown by jet to Jordan and driven to Syria. He was beaten, forced to confess to having trained in Afghanistan -- where he never has been -- and then kept in a coffin-size dungeon for 10 months before he was released, the Canadian inquiry commission found.

That is what the President and his followers insist we have to do in order to stay "safe" -- abduct people, hold them in secret prisons and torture them. That way, they will confess to crimes they didn't commit, admit that they trained in terrorist camps located in countries they've never been to, tell us about non-existent terrorist plots they invented to satisfy their interrogators, and confirm that detainees whom they don't know and never met are very bad Al Qaeda terrorists -- all so that they won't be tortured any more.

And then we'll all be safer. And by doing all of that, we will have taken important steps in winning the hearts and minds of the Muslim world -- so that Al Qaeda won't be able to exploit anti-American resentment for recruitment purposes any longer -- and, by example, we will be leading a revolution in the Middle East where democracy and a respect for human rights finally prevail.

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