Senior members of my family used to relate to us about the way the Japanese would haul people in for questioning, regardless of whether they were innocent of the alleged anti-Japanese activities they were accused of by quislings.
Many an innocent bloke were dobbed in by jealous competing suitors for a lady’s charm or sheer vindictive neighbours. The interrogation by the Kempetai is best not described, but suffice to say that passersby of Kempetai’s interrogation centres, like the Wellesley Church in Penang, hurried mucho pronto along as they heard screams, shrieks and moans emanating from within. That was of course during WWII, when the barbarism of the Japanese was well-known.
Well, today is supposedly the 21st Century with the world subscribing to international laws and certain universal values, such as due process and all those sh*t that the USA likes to preach to especially Asian countries. Even the Japanese are now among the best well-behaved nations of the world.
But here’s one bloke who was unfortunate to be nabbed by the Kempetai-like sweeping arms of the US security, without due process such as basic identification.
Maher Arar, a Canadian, lived and worked in Framingham, USA from 1999 to 2001. He was arrested by US officials at JFK International Airport as a suspected al Qaeda terrorist in October 2002. Without ascertaining who he really was, the USA shipped him off for a bit of extraordinary rendition in Syria - yes, that Syria that the USA didn’t and doesn’t like, but hey, there’s nothing like consorting with some draconian dictatorships, as has been the practice of the USA.
Oh, by the way, ‘extraordinary rendition’ means American TORTURE not conducted on US soil. It is globalization at its worst as the Bush Administration farms out to certain nations stuff like nail extractions, electric shocks to the genitals, suffocating by forced immersion in water, or a bit of eye gouging etc that the Kempetai, Gestapo, SAVAK and various American 'friends' wrote doctoral thesis on. But it’s still torture by the Americans, whether by direct participation of American officers or by proxy.
The US sent Arar to Syria to be tortured for 10 months. He was never charged for any crime.
Now Arar is suing the US government. The US Justice Department is attempting to throw out the lawsuit on the grounds that state secrets would be compromised to the detriment of national security. Of course it's an (open) state secret that the Bush Administration tortures people - haven't we heard of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, Bagram and the extraordinary rendition programme? And the only national security that would be compromised are the personal political security of George Bush and his SS Generals.
The Canadian government is investigating into the unlawful seizure and torture of one of its citizens but predictably the Bush administration has refused to cooperate with the Canadian inquiry.
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