Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper publicly apologized to Maher Arar, a Canadian Arab computer engineer who was wrongfully detained at the New York airport by U.S. authorities on the basis of a tip from Canadian intelligence. He was sent to Syria as a terrorist suspect, where he was tortured in solitary confinement. The head of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police resigned for his role in this terrible ordeal.
The Canadian prime minister criticized the United States for not accepting the findings of the exhaustive Canadian investigation in this case for fear of public embarrassment in the U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., complained that it is beneath the dignity of this country to send somebody to another country to be tortured. The attitude of the Bush administration could be summed up as, "We are too big and too powerful to make any mistakes."
This kind of irresponsible behavior by the administration is making us lose our basic American morality and sense of justice, and causing irreparable damage to our credibility abroad. Moral victory is essential to win the hearts and minds of our partners in the war on terror.
Mohinder S. Poonia
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