America shouldn’t be subcontracting torture.
Here are the basic facts of the case (from the WP editorial):
MAHER ARAR, a Canadian-Syrian dual citizen, was on his way to Montreal last fall on a flight path that took him through New York City. Unbeknownst to him, he had been placed on the terrorist watch list, and American immigration authorities detained him on his arrival in New York. After reportedly concluding that they lacked evidence to charge him with a crime, they decided to deport him. And faced with a choice between democratic Canada, where he would presumably remain free, and totalitarian Syria, which could be expected to lock him up and torture him, authorities chose the latter. As a consequence, Mr. Arar was locked up for 10 months until pressure from the Canadian government secured his release. Now, back in his adopted country, he alleges that he was savagely tortured during his months as an unwilling guest of Syrian President Bashar Assad. His case has long been a cause celebre in Canada, where many see in it evidence of American arrogance and disrespect for human rights and for Canada.
UPDATE: An interesting, somewhat related, article about Transit Visas.