More on the Maher Arar case soon, but for now:
1) Take a minute to read Arar's first-hand account of his ordeal here. He made this statement in November of 2003. Welcome to the reality of the War on Terra.
2) As you read about this story in US papers and follow the US TV coverage, consider checking out the coverage in the Canadian media as well. The Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star will have tons of coverage of this. Also, the CBC has a helpful background page on the Arar case. It'll be interesting to see whether and to what extent the US coverage hits different notes than the Canadian coverage.
3) The Canadian commission of inquiry into the case of Maher Arar illustrates the type of conventional scrutiny of government that is literally impossible to carry out in the United States right now. In this respect, our political system no longer functions in a manner befitting a free, open and democratic society. How many Maher Arars are there out there? What is the government up to? Exceptional journalists like Dana Priest at the WaPo have shed some light on this shadowy world, but for the most part, we're in the dark.
I shudder to think of the stuff that's going to come out when Democrats regain control of the House and start investigating the conduct of the Bush Administration. Eventually, as control of the government passes out of Republican hands and as information trickles out from the shadowy network of torture shops the Bush team has set up, we're going to come face to face with the reality of what they've been doing. My sense is it's going to be very, very ugly.