What is it about Minnesota -- the cold winter weather, perhaps -- that seemingly helps our northern neighbors see this issue more clearly than others?
You might also note that Canadians aren't mired in a bloody mess in Iraq, either, suggesting that there is some bracing quality to the Northlands.
I'll tell you the secret. Superconducting silicaceous brains.
PZ's a fan of Pratchett too? I knew there was a reason I liked him!
It's just too dang hot there in the Middle East for Northers to be startin' wars.
You might also note that Canadians aren't mired in a bloody mess in Iraq, either...
No... just Afghanistan. Which is still a bit of a mire and mess (four more troops dead yesterday, bringing it to 36), tho', at the very least, there's actually some logic to being there as a result of September 11.
Oh, but our government agencies do periodically pass on faulty intelligence to US people implying they're violent Islamists--thus at least once getting an entirely innocent Canadian citizen sent by US authorities to Syria to be tortured... and thereafter various slimy bureaucrats in the same august Canadian agencies attempted to smear the poor bugger as a terrorist even after he'd been (shamefully slowly) pulled out of that particular hell, and even after it had become perfectly clear what had happened--apparently in an attempt to defuse support for a public inquiry. The conclusion being, presumably, that it's perfectly just to malign an already (again, utterly shamefully) physically and emotionally shattered innocent man and ruin his reputation and chance even to earn a decent living just to protect the pale, flabby heinies of the incompetent twits responsible for the mess in the first place...
(Oh, they failed to derail the inquiry--tho' they have so far managed to redact its findings somewhat (on, I have to suspect, largely specious concerns of 'national security') before release to the public. What remains, one should hope, might still get a few incredibly poor excuses for human beings fired and publically shamed. One should hope.)
Needs to be colder up here, I guess. But yeah, we're not in Iraq. Guess that's something.
Apologies. Mebbe a bit off topic. But still, I gotta say as a Canadian, Minnesota probably deserves the honour given above on its own, at this point, in light of the Arar mess. Carry on.
Two places poorly explained by this theory:
Alaska and California.
... post should of course read: "...agencies do periodically pass on faulty intelligence to US people implying certain Canadian citizens are violent Islamists..." Mea culpe.
Superconducting silacaceous brains? Yes well maybe that's why Minnesota-based Cargill, the largest private corporation in the world (with one of the largest dependencies on tax-subsidies) is replacing the Brain of Earth -- the Amazon with SOYBEANS.
Mr. Okulitch has been reinstated Jason.
Too busy staying warm to think up stupid crap.
See, it's all part of God's plan.
AJ Milne: I must say I am also somewhat appalled by the Arar case as well. But I am also appalled by people continually saying ... "and he was innocent, too". Well, yes, and that's important. But so what? Even suspected terrorists deserve due process! (And probably shouldn't be abused - imprisoned, at least in our current level of understanding, yes - even if guilty, too.)
I suspect that Canadians being flooded with American media to some extent offsets the good sense instilled by our latitude. I'm not going to say temperature, because I live on the entirely inhabitable west coast, where it is rare that stepping outside in a bad choice of clothes will kill you.
Even suspected terrorists deserve due process!
Quite. And obviously. 'Suspected' being the operative word--in that and all suspected crimes. What kind of bloody moron doesn't get what the damned judicial system is for in the first place, and why you can't let law enforcement and intelligence agencies just lock people up without ever having publically to present evidence that justifies doing so, I just don't know... Or, rather, I do know *what* kind of moron does, and I even know who they are, but why the public puts up with them, *that*, I don't much get.
But Arar's innocence is relevant to one particular aspect of the case, particularly from the point of view of a Canadian citizen. That's to say: we can't directly stop the US government from having people tortured, as we don't vote for it. And it was the US that did that--not our people--and they didn't really give our people much of a chance to do anything about it, not initially (believe it was about a day's notice)... tho', of course, elements within our government sure as hell seemed okay with it, didn't they--and that's an issue, too.
But getting back to my point: it was *our* scum who, after all of this had come out, after they knew (or should have known) he'd been tortured, and after they knew (or should have known) the guy wasn't a threat, tried to smear him as a terrorist--on the strength of a confession he'd made under torture.
So no. It's not quite 'so what' if he was innocent. It does make it vastly worse, in this case. Not because he was tortured (that's shameful, either way), but because the slimy little bastards tried to deceive the public on that particular detail just to cover their asses. Went around the judiciary yet *again*, tried to try him in the media, as it were, probably, as I stated, to derail calls for an inquiry. Which makes them both strikingly disrespectful of due process *and* shameless liars.