all citizens are not equal

One month ago at John F. Kennedy Airport the U.S arrested and deported to Syria a Canadian citizen who was returning from a vacation with his wife and young children. He was at JFK only to switch planes on his way to Montreal. He now languishes in prison, probably somewhere in Damascus. The story has been everywhere in the non-commercial media, but the NYTimes, the putative paper of record and boastful bastion of liberalism, reports it in its entirety only today for the first time. [Why not tell us before this, and why now?]

American officials claim that Mr. Arar is a member of Al Qaeda, but the Canadians say they have no such information. The Syrians are questioning Mr. Arar closely, Western diplomats say, but officially the Syrian government has expressed outrage that he was deported to Syria instead of Canada.
Imagine the outrage had the situation been reversed, and an American deported while returning to the U.S., and imprisoned abroad in an unknown location!

No, forget that thought--for a moment I had forgotten that the deported Canadian citizen was of arab descent and birth, so of course his status as an American is at best provisional these days.

Of course we have every right to stride the earth unhindered, like a mindless, blind terrified colossus, since we have been so injured by the supposedly unique disaster of September 11. Yes, September 11 did damage us all, but the damage is of quite a different nature than that usually described. It has destroyed our courage and our wits.