Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Outsourcing Torture

Jane Mayer writes about this outrageous practice in the new issue of The New Yorker. She begins with the story of Maher Arar, a Canadian engineer who was arrested at JFK Airport on September 26, 2002 and flown to Jordan.

Ten hours after landing in Jordan, Arar said, he was driven to Syria, where interrogators, after a day of threats, “just began beating on me.” They whipped his hands repeatedly with two-inch-thick electrical cables, and kept him in a windowless underground cell that he likened to a grave. “Not even animals could withstand it,” he said. Although he initially tried to assert his innocence, he eventually confessed to anything his tormentors wanted him to say. “You just give up,” he said. “You become like an animal.”

Arar was released a year later without ever having been charged with a crime.

Can somebody please explain to me how U.S. practice in this regard differs from that of the regimes we have repeatedly condemned over the years?