Friday, January 26, 2007

Maher Arar, what are you going to do with all that money? Well, I'm not going to Disney World


The Canadian government has given Maher Arar a settlement worth 8.9 million U.S. dollars. Arar, a Canadian software engineer, was detained by American officials on the basis of false statements made by Canadian police. He was deported to Syria where he was repeatedly tortured. A Canadian judicial commission exculpated Arar and recommended compensation. The settlement includes payment of his legal expenses.

One thing Arar won't be able to do with that 8.9 million is travel by plane to the United States. Arar is still on the American government's terrorist watch and no fly list.

And that makes perfect sense: We can't have people who have been wrongfully accused of being terrorists and sent off by American officials to be tortured running around the United States telling their stories. It might undermine people's confidence in the War on Terror. And besides, if he really wants to commit terrorist acts in the United States, he can always rent a car and drive across the border like everybody else.


I was in Canada when the head of the RCMP (Zacardelli) tried to explain to Parliment why they told the US that it was ok to send Arar to Syria.

He finally had to resign, but it took a MAJOR political push to oust the head of the mounties. Ordinary Canadians were horrified and mortified, but both the Tory and Liberal leaders were uncomfortably blase about the case.

And yeah, having Arar speaking at Mosques, Churches and Temples (Hindu, Jewish & Sihk)across the US would cause the US government to squirm, just a tad.

y sin embargo, los estados unidos protegen a luis posada carriles, un terrorista.

When I went to Toronto, I took the bus one way, the train the other.

As an aside, I notice Sandy Levinson has a rejoinder to Elizabeth Holtzman's push for impeachment.

I understand the political and time related concerns. But, I really don't see this problem with trying to obtain some strong charge against Bush. The treatment of Arar alone was a "high crime or misdemeanor" in my book. Others are supplied by EH.

Both articles are available on The Nation's website.

If one of our hosts would like to post about the "grounds" to impeach Mr. Bush, I am sure we could have a lively discussion.

Personally, as a former prosecutor, I find Elizabeth Holtzman's idea of prosecutorial discretion as disturbing as that of Ronnie Earle, Mike Nifong and Patrick Fitzgerald. Actual evidence applied to actual crimes appear to fall behind politics in their estimation.

De Palma... Personally, as a former prosecutor...

Personally, as a former student intern in the Florida OSA...

Fixed your typo.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

y sin embargo, los estados unidos protegen a luis posada carriles, un terrorista.

Sí, pero él no puede volar ahora tampoco! ;) Sin embargo estoy acuerdo que no se hace justicia cuando nos negamos a cumplir con los acuerdos de extradición a favor de ajustar cuentas con Venezuela.

We've all known for quite some time that our "friend" Bart is delusional, but when he assigns Ronnie Earle and Patrick Fitzgerald to the same category as Mike Nifong -- that's not merely delusional. That's downright stupid. In the fullness of time, juries in Washington and Austin, and the disciplinary authorities in North Carolina, will make the distinction clear even to the stupid and delusional among us.


We've all known for quite some time that our "friend" Bart is delusional, but when he assigns Ronnie Earle and Patrick Fitzgerald to the same category as Mike Nifong -- that's not merely delusional. That's downright stupid.

Agreed. And Earle and Fatzgerald are far more prfessional than ... ummmm, Kenneth Starr, ferinstance.

Then there's the Dubya maladministration firing all the U.S. attorneys that did too good a job....


Interesting and informative. Somewhat surprising, too.

From an 2005 Abstract in The Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, published by The American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law:

Pathological Lying Revisited


Pathological lying, pseudologia fantastica, mythomania and morbid lying are generally used interchangeably, although it remains debatable whether they all describe the same phenomenon. Indeed, Bursten's7 description of Manipulative Personality shows characteristics similar to those of pathological lying. Nevertheless, for the purpose of this article, we make no distinction among the terms just described. In addition, we confine our discussion to the narrow phenomenon of pathological lying and do not consider the broader concept of lying. The latter subject has been the object of considerable discussion.

Many articles have variously defined pseudologia fantastica, but a commonly quoted definition is that put forth by Healy and Healy8 who described it as "falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in view, may be extensive and very complicated, manifesting over a period of years or even a lifetime, in the absence of definite insanity, feeblemindedness or epilepsy" (Ref. 8, p 1). While this is a very comprehensive definition, it raises the question of whether definite insanity, feeblemindedness, or epilepsy must be absent for lying to be considered pathological.

Selling disagreed. He believed that "obvious mental disease, particularly a diagnosable psychopathic personality of some type" (Ref. 9, p 336) was responsible for pseudologia fantastica.

While no consensus definition for pathological lying currently exists in the literature, the identified functional elements of the phenomenon are: the repeated utterance of untruths; the lies are often repeated over a period of years, with the lies eventually becoming a lifestyle; material reward or social advantage does not appear to be the primary motivating force but the lying is an end in itself; an inner dynamic rather than an external reason drives the lies, but when an external reason is suspected, the lies are far in excess of the suspected external reason; the lies are often woven into complex narratives...


The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.
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