Recent Memory: When we valued Assad precisely for his cruelty

When memos surfaced this year showing top Justice Department lawyers trying to justify torture, Attorney General John Ashcroft moved quickly to stake out the moral high ground.

“This administration rejects torture,” Ashcroft told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I condemn torture.”

Maher Arar, 34, however, doesn’t buy it. For 10 months and 10 days, Arar was in a Syrian prison, where he says he was beaten and confined to a cell not much bigger than a coffin.

Arar was picked up by U.S. authorities at Kennedy International Airport in New York, accused of being a terrorist and then shipped on Justice Department orders to Syria under a secret policy known as rendition.

READ THE REST: The Seattle Times: Nation & World: Man blames U.S. for Syrian torture.

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