Sen. Patrick Leahy has provided the first ray of hope in the US Congress I've had in a long time.  Blasting Alberto Gonzales over the Arar Affair, he called Canada the US's closest allies.

Thanks, Sen. Leahy.

From: U.S. Senate demands answers from White House on Arar affair

“We knew damn well if he went back to Canada he wouldn’t be tortured. He would be held and he would be investigated,” Leahy thundered, wagging his finger at Gonzales.

“We also knew damn well if he went to Syria he would be tortured. And it’s beneath the dignity of this country, a country that has always been a beacon of human rights, to send somebody to another country to be tortured. It’s a black mark on us. It has brought about the condemnation of some of our closest and best allies.”

“Canadians, who have been our closest allies, longest unguarded frontier in the world, they’re justifiably wondering what’s happened to us ... Let’s not create more terrorism around the world by telling the world that we cannot keep up to our basic standards and beliefs.”

After Leahy paused, Gonzales told the senator “before you get more upset, perhaps you should wait to receive the briefing.”

Replied Leahy: “I’ll wait (until) next week for that briefing. If we don’t get it, I guarantee you there will be another hearing on this issue.”


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18 January 2007