Saturday, January 27, 2007

Government arrogance

The newspapers bring us two stories today on government arrogance, first in Albany and then in Washington.

The Albany story reports that members of the state Assembly are in a snit because the screening panel set up to select candidates for state Comptroller did not anoint one of their own. One Assemblyman said the process yielded “questionable results,” apparently because Assembly members believed the fix was in to tap one of their pals rather than a qualified outsider. You can read more here.

The second story involves Maher Arar, a Canadian Arab who was spirited by U.S. agents to Syria and tortured there after being falsely named as a terrorism suspect. Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the victim
criticized the United States for its refusal to accept the exhaustive Canadian inquiry that found Arar was an innocent man. Public resentment in Canada has swelled this week over U.S. officials' insistence that Arar should remain on its "watch list" of potential suspects, as well as the testy comments of U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins, who said Canada had no business questioning who was on the list.

The United States has never acknowledged it made a mistake in the Arar case, which has become one of the most public embarrassments in the U.S. practice of "extraordinary rendition" of suspects to other countries for interrogation and imprisonment.

The rest of that story is here. Albany Catholic urges you to contact your elected representatives to express your outrage. You can find a link to the right.