Thursday, January 24, 2008

Those Pesky Canadians Keep Calling Torture Torture

The Government of Canada has disclosed that the Canadian military in Afghanistan have stopped handing prisoners over to the government of Afghanistan after monitors found evidence that those prisoners were being abused and tortured. Notably, this decision was made by the commander of Canadian forces in Afghanistan, and that person deserves another star... or whatever it is that signifies advancement in the Canadian Armed Forces. Another maple leaf maybe? Well another honorific insignia anyway! But, as is my wont, I digress!

The prisoner transfers were stopped after Canadian monitors visited a prisoner who showed injuries from being beaten and given electric shocks. The monitors were actually able to find the instruments used to torture the prisoner after he told them to look under a chair in his cell, where they located an electric cord and a rubber hose.

This revelation comes a couple of weeks after the disclosure that a training manual used by Canadian diplomats to recognize torture victims listed America among nations which torture prisoners. Following an uproar the Canadian Foreign Minister apologized for including America and Israel on the list, which was reviewed and rewritten. Tellingly, there never has been refutation of the particular charges levied against American techniques which were described in the list. The world knows we use sleep deprivation, painful stress positions, exposure to extreme temperatures, isolation and other forms of "harsh interrogations". We may be off the Canadian torture list, but the techniques we use are still called torture by them as well as the rest of the civilized world.

So... we have two recent bombshells from Canada regarding the outlook they take upon other nations ill treatment of prisoners. In one case they placed America upon, then removed us from, a list of nations which torture. In the next case Canada found evidence that Afgani's were being tortured and stopped transferring prisoners to them. So what we have here is two steps forward and one step back. Which is a far far better record than America has to show on the subject which has been to step back so many times as to completely circumvent the globe in the opposite direction from the direction we once professed to be going.

I do not claim to be any sort of expert on Canadian domestic politics and affairs so consider that fair warning, and a bit of an apology for my friends to the north for what I'm about to say... in my best shoot from the hip in the dark fashion. But this looks for all the world like a struggle between Prime Minister Harper and various other vestiges of government who do not hold Harper's conservative political outlook. How long will it take for Harper to clean up the embarrassing slap in the face of the Afghani government? After all, when the American Neocon World Overlords hear of this latest embarrassment from the Canadian bureaucracy, there are certain to be some harshly worded demands for clarification on Canada's attitude towards our Afghani puppet.

For the grunts doing the good work in the Canadian government, causing Harper to sweat on the international stage by exposing the truth about the use of torture by allies, we really do appreciate the brutal honesty. Honestly, I'm actually a bit jealous. I remember the good old days (about 7 years ago) when America would make noise about the ill treatment of prisoners and people would actually care about what we said. Now we have come to the point that international despots are pointing to America as an example to justify their own hideous practices. Don't let that happen to Canada, and the world will owe you a debt of gratitude.

Ah, the nice governments we put in power.
Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 4392
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