THE LEGAL ADVISER
DEPARTMENT OF STATE
September 10, 2004 Mr. Paul Cavalluzzo
Lead Commission Counsel
Commission of Inquiry
Dear Mr. Cavalluzzo:
This letter is in response to your request of May 26, transmitted to the Department of State on June 15, 2004.
Mr. Arar's name was placed on a United States terrorist lookout list based on information received as part of an ongoing general sharing of information between the Governments of the United States and Canada. The RCMP was advised of Mr. Arar's detention through law enforcement channels and a Canadian consular official was granted access to Mr. Arar.
The United States did not seek the Government of Canada's approval or consent prior to removing Mr. Arar from the United States. This decision was made by U.S. government officials based on our own assessment of the security threat to the United States posed by Mr. Arar. We believe that Mr. Arar's removal was in the best interests of the United States. Questions regarding the role of Canadian officials in the imprisonment and treatment of Mr. Arar in Syria and his return to Canada should be directed to the appropriate Canadian authorities.
The United States Government declines to provide documents in response to your request, or to provide statements by individuals involved in this case, or to facilitate witnesses appearing before the commission. We would note that as your inquiries focus on the actions of Canadian authorities, many of these questions should best be directed to the Government of Canada, rather than to the United States Government.
William H. Taft, IV