a) Arar was not trying to enter the USA. He was just doing a plane change in NYC coming in from Europe and going on to Montreal. Since then the USA has cancelled the program that let you stay in a controlled area to change planes in the USA without entering it. He was then, bizarrely, deported not back to Europe (normal procedure for those who fail immigration) or to Canada (his place of citizenship to which he was flying) but to Syria.
b) The organization that he was accused of association with, the Muslim Brotherhood, is an anti-Syrian-government organization, trying to bring down the repressive Syrian regime, very much in line with US goals. So when they sent him to Syria, they tortured him not to help the USA, but to see if he was one of their own enemies.
c) Arar had been investigated on these associations, and cleared, in Canada. That got his name in the files though, and thus got him pulled from the airport. The RCMP’s complicity in this is an issue of contention in Canada right now.
d) Canada issued a travel advisory after this, warning Canadians who were born in certain Arab nations “to avoid traveling to the USA.” Yup, the USA is the sort of dangerous country travel advisories get issued on.
There are more instances of these things as time passes and Government has too-large powers over its citizens and visitors. I’m tired of it. The war on terror is vitally important, but if it makes us a repressive people, and a repressive government, is it worth it? I’m alarmed and angered.