More details have dribbled out in Canada where journalists tend to be energetic about exposing government abuses. According to the Toronto Globe and Mail,
The Canadian newspaper is doing its best to embarrass the Canadian government for its complicity with the U.S. spook network. There is a lively consciousness in Canada of the torture of Mahar Arar, set in motion by the U.S., and eventually indemnified by Canadians to the tune of C$10.5 million.
Another recent case turned up by Canadian papers is less frightening, but only marginally so. According to the Victoria Times Colonist (great name for a paper!):
Hutton's case, and the Abdelrazik one, illustrate the profound danger of these enormous lists of "suspect persons" circulating around the globe. Maybe, if we're lucky, we can enforce the rules of criminal procedure in our home countries. But databases tend to be full of errors, nearly eternal and widely used. They don't catch terrorists, but they endanger more and more of us.
One would hope that that the incoming Obama administration would clear out the useless, abusive mire of "no fly list" and "watch list" regulation that is airline security theater. I know, they have to "prove" they are "tough" on security issues. But can't they replace stupid and inept with smart? Doing so would involve stepping back from making air travel a quagmire of confusion, complexity, and criminal abuse.
The TSA morass is close to pure waste at a time when the U.S. requires every dollar to rebuild our economy. Mr. Obama -- have you got the guts to zero out the TSA? Probably not, but we can at least hope for reform.