Yahoo News/Reuters: Police mistakes led to U.S. deporting Canadian: probe

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Canadian police wrongly identified an Ottawa software engineer as an Islamic extremist, prompting U.S. agents to deport him to Syria, where he says he was tortured, an official inquiry concluded on Monday.

Maher Arar, who holds Canadian and Syrian nationality, was arrested in New York in September 2002 and accused of being an al-Qaeda member. Arar, 36, says he was repeatedly tortured in the year he spent in Damascus jails. He was freed in 2003. . .

I’ve been following this for awhile and must say I’m very disappointed in the Canadian government. I already know that the USA is a tyranical state that does not respect human rights, but I thought better of Canada. According to this story, I was wrong. I don’t care how “noble” the cause is, torturing another human being is NEVER moral, and any state that uses torture is illegitimate and wicked. There is no justification for this kind of inhumanity. It is good that Canada is seeking to find out what happened, but it is now time to apologize and state unequivocally that it will never again assist the imperialist US government in torture (or in so-called “renditions” to countries that do your dirty work for you)

SF Chronicle: Nicaraguan election shapes into lively race — Ortega may have best shot yet at regaining presidency

(09-18) 04:00 PDT Masaya, Nicaragua — Carlos Mejia Godoy would rather play his accordion than give political speeches. But perhaps the nation’s most famous singer-songwriter knows that he has a lot of politicking to do.

“We are the unique option,” said Mejia, a former member of the leftist Sandinista National Liberation Front who is now challenging his former party in the Nov. 5 elections as a candidate for vice president. “We are the best option for the country, the best option for the future.”

For Americans, it would be tantamount to Bob Dylan running for high office. . .

Mejia, who often performs at his Managua nightclub with his younger brother, Luis Enrique, is the author of several popular revolutionary songs, including the Sandinista anthem that includes the lyric: “We fight the yanquis, the enemies of humanity.”

“He always has a song he is working on,” said his son, Carlos Alexis Mejia, a San Francisco resident. “I am sure he will continue to write from the government house, or wherever he is.”

Another son, Camilo Mejia, was sentenced to one year in prison for refusing to serve a second tour of duty in Iraq as a reservist with the Florida National Guard after his request for conscientious objector status was denied. He was represented by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark and was released early last year. . .