60 Minutes II
[Maher Arar] His Year In
Jan. 21, 2004
The complete article is currently (4/5/04)
available on the CBS News website at-- http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/01/21/60II/main594974.shtml
Is it possible the United States sent an innocent man out of the country to be tortured?
the disturbing question at the heart of a case that may reveal a secret side of the war on terrorism -- one that the government
does not want to talk about.
It involves an accusation that the justice department sent a man from the U.S.
to Syria to be interrogated and tortured.
The man making the claim is a Syrian-born Canadian citizen who was taken
into custody, under suspicion of being connected with al Qaeda, while changing planes in New York.
Arar tells Correspondent Vicki Mabrey about what became his year in hell, which began when federal agents stopped him for
questioning at JFK International Airport.
[See original article for Maher Arar's own story]
Back in Canada, Monia was fighting for her husband’s life. ...
60 Minutes II has learned that the decision to deport Arar was made at the highest levels of the
U.S. justice department, with a special removal order signed by John Ashcroft’s former deputy, Larry Thompson. ...
knew, when they were sending him to Syria, that Syria would use certain kinds of information-gathering techniques, including
torture, on him. They knew it,” says [Michael Rather, Arar’s attorney and head of the Center
For Constitutional Rights]. “That's why he was sent there. That's why he wasn't sent to Canada.”
No one at the justice department would talk to 60 Minutes II on camera
about Arar, but they sent us this statement ...
Despite the American accusations, Arar has never
been charged with a crime and, today, he’s free in canada. He’s afraid, though, that he might never be able to
clear his name.
Arar’s case is unusual because he was sent directly from U.S. soil to Syria. But intelligence
sources tell 60 Minutes II that since 9/11, the U.S. has quietly transported hundreds of terror suspects captured in different
parts of the world to Middle Eastern countries for tough interrogations.
© MMIV, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved