[quote=Moraen]The blame does not lie with the Bush Administration or the United States:
Here are the investigative findings:
Though prior to his arrest in the U.S., Arar was of interest to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) they never considered him a target of an investigation or a suspect. Rather they were interested in interviewing him because of his associations.
Investigators conducted background searches on Arar using public source information, including obtaining copies of Arar's rental application and tenancy agreement.
There is nothing to indicate that Arar committed an offence or that his activities constitute a threat to the security of Canada.
The RCMP provided the U.S. with an entire database of information relating to a terrorism investigation (three CDs of information), in a way that did not comply with RCMP policies that require screening for relevance, reliability, and personal information. In fact, this action was without precedent.
The RCMP provided the U.S. with inaccurate information about Arar that portrayed him in an infairly negative fashion and overstated his importance to a RCMP investigation. They included some "erroneous notes".
The sharing of information with the U.S. authorities did not include caveats (as required by RCMP policy), "thereby increasing the risk that the information would be used for purposes of which the RCMP would not approve, such as sending Mr. Arar to Syria".
Canada Customs placed border lookouts for Arar and his wife; ensuring that the two would undergo both primary and secondary examinations when entering Canada. "There is a reduced expectation of privacy at the border when any person is entering Canada, and secondary examinations are frequently conducted where search warrants cannot be obtained. In the circumstances, requesting a lookout for Mr. Arar was an appropriate investigative step." The inquiry concluded that there was no basis for the lookout for Arar's wife.
The 'lookout' for Arar and his wife was designated wrongly as a 'terrorism' lookout. This only occurs when one is suspected of being a member, associate or sympathizer of a known terrorist organisation. "Mr Arar did not meet these criteria", as he was merely a person of interest. "Labels have a way of sticking to individuals, reputations are easily damaged and when labels are inaccurate, serious unfairness to individuals can result." As for his wife, the commission found this to be inaccurate: "It was wrong and very unfair to her."
The RCMP asked that Arar and his wife should be placed on the U.S. Customs watchlist for border activity (U.S. Customs' Treasury Enforcement Communications System (TECS). The RCMP routinely makes such requests. The RCMP described Arar and his wife as "Islamic Extremist individuals suspected of being linked with the Al Qaeda terrorist movement." (The report later states that due to the non-cooperation of the U.S. authorities in the inquiry, it is impossible to conclude what role this TECS lookout played in his detention by the U.S.)
Labelling Arar and his wife as being linked with terrorists was "inaccurate, without any basis, and potentially extremely inflammatory in the United States in the fall of 2001."
At one stop at the Canadian border, Arar's computer, hand-held computer, and papers were seized and copied. Arar's wife and childrens' profiles (itineraries, iD documents) were uploaded to the "Intelligence Management System (IMS)", an automated facility for reporting and compiling intelligence information on targets known or suspected to be potential border risks. The inquiry concludes that the profiles of Arar's wife and children should not have been uploaded.
The Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (CSIS) did not share any information with the U.S. authorities prior to his detention and removal to Syria.
While he was detained in the U.S., the RCMP provided information regarding him to the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), "some of which portrayed him in an inaccurate and unfair way". The RCMP provided inaccurate information to the U.S. authorities that tended to link Arar to other terrorist suspects; and told the U.S. authorities that Arar had previously refused to be interviewed, which was also incorrect; and the RCMP also said that soon after refusing the interview he suddenly left Canada for Tunisia. "The statement about the refusal to be interviewed had the potential to arouse suspicion, especially among law enforcement officers, that Mr. Arar had something to hide." The RCMP's information to the U.S. authorities also placed Arar in the vicinity of Washington DC on September 11, 2001 when he was instead in California.
The RCMP even faxed to the FBI a number of questions that it wanted put to Arar while under detention. They believed that "American authorities would extend a person in Mr. Arar's position similar protection to that provided by Canadian law."
Statements made by Arar while in Syrian custody were shared dsitributed by Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) to the RCMP and CSIS without informing them that the statement was likely a product of torture. "That statement became the basis for heightened suspicion in some minds about Mr. Arar's involvement in terrorism. That was unfair to him."
RCMP and CSIS were not supportive of a later DFAIT initiative to convey to the Syrians that the Canadians were seeking Arar's release. Thye obejcted to DFAIT's proposed statement to the Syrians that there was "no evidence" that Arar was involved in terrorism-related activity, and advised other ministers from signing any such statement. RCMP and CSIS rather suggested language stating that Arar was the subject of a national security investigation, when he was not.
Upon return to Canada, the government prepared reports that had the effect of downplaying the mistreatment or torture. Some officials did not believe Arar's claims of being beaten or tortured.
Canadian officials leaked confidential and sometimes inaccurate information about the case to the media for the purpose of damaging Arar's reputation, or protecting their self-interests or government interests. There were at least eight media stories containing leaked information, attributed to an unnamed government official. In one leak he was said to have trained in Afghanistan (which was part of a statement attributed to Arar by the Syrians when he was under torture), he was called a "very bad guy", "not a virgin". The most important leak was one that showed that the prior leaks were done in defence of organisational self-interest. That is, leakors were selective in picking and choosing what to leak to paint the picture that suited their interests.
Doesn't sound like the same thing that was going on in Jersey during the profiling years?
How do we protect ourselves against this?