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A $9 Million Apology

Canadian-Arab Maher Arar was tortured in Syria for being falsely identified as a terrorist. According to the Star Tribune, Arar, 36, was detained five years ago in the New York airport and imprisoned for 10 months.

Arar is quoted saying: "The struggle to clear my name has been long and hard. My kids have suffered silently and I think I owe them a lot. I feel now I can ... rebuild my life."


Because nobody can undo what happened to Arar, Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, agreed to give him $9 million to "lessen the liklihood that something like this will ever happen again," (Harper, qtd. by Star Tribune).

The Star Tribune's small article briefed the audience about Harpers compensation for the torture he underwent in the Syrian dungeon. The lead introduces the story by stating where this happened, who was involved, and why he was given money.

The New York Times article is longer than the Star Tribune's. It quotes Arar saying "I wish that money could buy my life back. That's my biggest wish." The lead is more descriptive, and the article goes into more detail about the effect this situation had on Arar.

The New York Times reports Arar saying "The government of Canada and the prime minister have acknowledged my innocence. This means the world to me.?