Moral Outrage
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Why does the U.S. refuse to probe Bush era torture?

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case of a Canadian man who contends that U.S. authorities mistook him for an al Qaeda operative and shipped him to a secret prison in Syria, where he was beaten with electrical cables and held in a grave-like cell for 10 months.

And this despite the fact that, four years earlier, the Canadian government had concluded an exhaustive inquiry and found that the former prisoner, Maher Arar, was telling the truth. Canada cleared Arar of all ties to terrorism and paid him $10 million in damages.

Arar’s case illustrates what lawyers and human rights groups call a shameful trend: While U.S. courts and the Obama administration have been reluctant or unwilling to pursue the cases, countries that once backed former President George W. Bush’s war on terrorism are carrying out their own investigations of the alleged U.S. torture program and the role that their governments played in it.

Judges in Great Britain, Spain, Australia, Poland and Lithuania are preparing to hear allegations that their governments helped the CIA run secret prisons on their soil or cooperated in illegal U.S. treatment of terrorism suspects. Spanish prosecutors also have filed criminal charges against six senior Bush administration officials who approved the harsh interrogation methods that detainees say were employed at U.S. military prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and other sites.

Another former prisoner whose case the Supreme Court dismissed, Khaled El-Masri of Germany, has sued the government of Macedonia for handing him over to CIA agents, who he charges tortured him in Afghanistan. His case is pending in the European Court of Human Rights, in France.

This is the remarkable thing: Other countries are reckoning with the legacy of the Bush administration’s torture program, and meanwhile the United States is not.

[ Full McClatchy article]

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