Arar somehow got on a potentially-linked-to-terrorism watch list, was stopped on his way through the US and questioned for two weeks, and was then deported into Syrian custody despite being a Canadian citizen and resident. He was born in Syria and holds Syrian citizenship as well, and this was the 'pretext' for deporting him to Syria rather than Canada for questioning. As far as I know nobody in the US administration has denied that the intent of deporting him to Syria was that he be questioned by the Syrians - they sure weren't just deciding he shouldn't be in the US and deporting him (he's a Canadian resident, and was traveling on a connection through the US rather than entering it).
During a previous national psychotic episode, we interned a large number of Americans who had ancestors born in Japan.
Did we torture any of them?
If the torture angle is a modern innovation, one could make a case that we've outdone ourselves.
Of course Ashcroft should be removed. It's easy to understand why so much of Europe considers the US to be a sort of proto-Nazi state. There are days when I worry as well.