By: Mark W Adams

I've evolved in my reaction to cases like Maher Arar, the Canadian citizen the U.S. Government abducted and sent to Syria to be tortured -- a man completely innocent of any crimes or terrorist connections whatsoever and to whom the Canadian (but not the U.S.) government just offered an apology.

I've gone through anger and outrage at my government's behavior.  I now am consumed by shame for the things done in my name, the atrocities alleged to be committed to protect me, the crimes for which we all share a degree of guilt.

... Canadian report specifically recommended that the Canadian Goverment "review their policies governing the circumstances in which they supply information to foreign governments with questionable human rights records," and specifically urged that "information should never be provided to a foreign country where there is a credible risk that it will cause or contribute to the use of torture."

One of the most infuriating apsects of the Bush presidency and all of the complicity that has enabled it is that a rational person with pride in the history and values of the U.S. no longer has any basis for objecting to characterizaions like this of our country.  Those descriptions aren't the by-product of some sort of reflexive anti-American sentiment or overwrought internationalist righteousness.  They are just undeniably and objectively true characterizations of what our government has done. And it is infuriating to have to accept that.

This evil cabal which has taken over the United States' government has destroyed my country in an effort to create an empire.  There used to be something noble about how Americans honored individual liberty and treated all with dignity, tolerance and respect.

Those ideals, those singularly American values are a thing of the past, a naive fairy tale we tell our children as was told to us.  We are no longer a "country of laws, not men."  From the moment that the U.S. Supreme Court decided Bush v. Gore without even an acknowledgment of the existence of "precedent, consistency, rules of construction, political question doctrine, etc.," we headed down the oil-slicked slope towards being ruled by an undemocratic, power-mad freak.

With all my heart, I look forward to the day when this shameful black stain on our reputation is cleansed, that these usurpers will be banished from the halls of power.  My greatest fear is that their illegitimate arguments will somehow live on; that when the dust settles they will renew their efforts and again, like they regrouped after Watergate and again after Iran-Contra, and will buy our government from another unsuspecting and distracted public.

Unfortunately, as long as they possess the power of the pardon, as long as they remain free -- and use their freedom as some kind of "proof" that they have a legitimate place in deciding public policy -- we will have to renew with each generation the true meaning of a free society.

Let me second the sentiments of The Left Coaster and apologise to our good friends and allies to the North.

Canada, to all of you, I'm sorry for the shameful way my government has behaved.