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Montreal Simon: The Freedom of Omar Khadr and the Shame of the Con Regime

I wrote my first post on Omar Khadr eight years ago, and called it The Guantanamo Kid and Canada's Shame.And nothing that has happened since has ever changed my view. For what was done to that child soldier has been one of the most shameful episodes in modern Canadian history, and an absolute travesty of justice.So you can imagine how happy I felt today when I saw that picture of Omar walking free in his own country at last. Or read these words.Read more »

Accidental Deliberations: On constitutional questions

Most of the analysis surrounding the Cons’ terror bill so far has assumed that CSIS’ powers will be interpreted based on a plain reading of the legislation. Under this reading of C-51, any action which could violate the Charter or other Canadian law would only be authorized by a warrant, meaning that deprivations of rights and freedoms would be subject to judicial oversight (however flawed the process itself may be). In contrast, CSIS’ authority to act unilaterally would be limited to intrusions on property or other matters which don’t affect Charter rights or legal entitlements.

But that assumption may (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: On oversight

Since one of the main issues talked about so far in relation to the Cons’ terror bill is the question of oversight, I’ll point back to what I said the last time we were told that the way to split the difference between abuses of power and a desire for secrecy was to allow only a small number of elected officials to know – but not act on – what’s going on: Remember that many of the worst abuses by the U.S. government under Bushco were defended later on the basis that Democrats were informed of their existence. And (Read more…)

BigCityLib Strikes Back: Break The Law And Aussie Cops Will Make You Listen To Nickelback!

Oi Oi Oi Indeed. 

Bill Longstaff: Americans OK with torture

The Pew Research Centre recently released the results of a survey of Americans about the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA interrogation practices, a report which revealed the agency has engaged in torture. One might expect that the citizens of a nation known for its attention to civil rights would strongly censure crimes against both human decency and the law. One would be

A. Picazo: Of Torture And Tortured Logic

This op-ed appeared in The Ottawa Citizen on December 18, 2014 The executive summary of a nearly 7,000 page report into the C.I.A.’s Detention and Interrogation program under the Bush administration confirmed not only what has long been public knowledge – that America did, in fact, engage in torture – but also revealed that, despite an aggressive PR blitz extolling … Continue reading →

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jordon Cooper rightly argues that we should move away from forcing people to rely on homeless shelters and other stopgap measures when we can afford to provide permanent homes: We fill a bus for the hungry while ignoring that the reason for it is that social service programs depend in part on our generosity to feed people. We bring care packages to shelters and forget that cities elsewhere in Canada have drastically reduced the number of people in shelters and the time they spend there, and that it’s cheaper than keeping people (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Reflections on a Nation Brought Low From Within pundit Andrew O’Hehir looks at the week’s revelations on American torture and sees in it the demise of American democracy.  O’Hehir asks, “Can we quit pretending torture is some huge aberration?  It fits into a larger pattern of America’s imperial decay.”  He says it’s convenient to blame this on Cheney and his consorts but “that’s bullshit.”

Torture is a symptom of America’s cultural and political disease, not the disease itself, and the fact that we turned to torture so rapidly and willingly after a single spectacular terrorist attack is evidence of a generalized infection. (Read more…)

Montreal Simon: Stephen Harper and the Torture Cons

We have all read the horrifying stories about the CIA's torture campaign. The systematic brutality, the mechanical cruelty, the monstrous depravity.And a lot of Americans are finally understanding how they got from 911 to Ferguson. When hijacked airliners slammed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an empty Pennsylvania field in 2001 everyone knew that the United States was changed forever. We had no idea, though, that what we are told are our essential values would be surrendered. Now thirteen years on we are left with a legacy of wars, deceit, torture and a massive erosion of (Read more…)

Bill Longstaff: America and the torture chronicles

So the U.S. has finally and formally confessed its sins. Good for the Americans. All nations sin, the better ones own up. That the CIA ran a torture regime isn’t really news but it’s important for the U.S. to officially get the nasty business out on the table, discussed and debated. This is the best way to lance a festering boil of endless rumour, pique the national conscience, and avoid

The Canadian Progressive: International Human Rights Day: 50 civil society groups urge Harper to oppose torture

On International Human Rights Day, 50 civil society organizations urge Harper government to ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture.

The post International Human Rights Day: 50 civil society groups urge Harper to oppose torture appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

The Cracked Crystal Ball II: _THIS_

I was never a fan of Bush II and his malicious sidekick Cheney, and even less so of their misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Yesterday’s revelations of CIA Torture are crimes.  These people abused prisoners in ways that all Western powers should be horrified by, and they knew damn good and well what they were doing.

When we first starting hearing rumours of an “extraordinary rendition” program, and the wrongdoings at Abu Ghraib, I figured that there was something much, much worse going on.  Sure enough, that’s what was happening.

Round up the lot of these rotten bastards and hang (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Secure Housing Unit Psychosis – A Window into the World of Torture

Have you ever wondered about some of the shared traits of humanity? One could prosaically think of Love, Compassion and Happiness and one would be correct. If the similarities ended there, I wouldn’t be writing, nor would you be reading about the prevalence of torture across the globe.

“The report titled Torture in 2014 – 30 Years of Broken Promises read: “Although governments have prohibited this dehumanising practice in law and have recognised global disgust at its existence, many of them are carrying out torture or facilitating it in practice.”

“Three decades from the convention and (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice – Is Christianity Moral

You can bet your bottom dollar it is not, but let’s allow DarkMatter2525 illustrate yet another putrid facet of the glory of christianity.

Mmm…sweet sweet torture symbols for the winz!





Filed under: Religion Tagged: christian “morality”, DarkMatter2525, Morality, Religion, The DWR Sunday Religious Disservice, Torture

Art Threat: Skinny Puppy bills US military for music use in torture

The U.S. military is using a Vancouver band’s music to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay — and the artists are working to make sure they pay for it.

Electro-industrial act Skinny Puppy has learned through a former guard at Gitmo that inmates would be drowned in their unsettling sounds for up to twelve hours at a time — or until they literally crapped their pants.

Skinny Puppy co-founder cEvin Key spoke to CBC’s As It Happens about the situation, which the band is strongly opposed to. They plan on sending the American government a bill for $666,000 — an (Read more…)

The Canadian Progressive: Canada must arrest Dick Cheney for torture, war crimes: Lawyers

A group of lawyers has asked Canada to arrest former US Vice President Dick Cheney for torture and war crimes when he visits Toronto later this week.

The post Canada must arrest Dick Cheney for torture, war crimes: Lawyers appeared first on The Canadian Progressive.

Dead Wild Roses: Guantánamo Bay: The Hunger Strikes

Shutdown this, markets crashing that. Hey, if the Americans want to self-destruct their country maybe they should start with Guantanamo Bay.

Filed under: Politics Tagged: Force Feeding, Guantanamo Bay, Human Rights, Hunger Strikes, Institutional Evil., Torture

Peace, order and good government, eh?: Why should CSIS have all the fun?

We learned recently that the policy framework which allows CSIS to trade in information that might be the result of torture, or might lead to torture, or both, was actually a collaborative effort involving several federal agencies and departments. Now we have confirmation that CSEC is playing by the same rules.

The Harper government has quietly given Canada’s electronic eavesdropping agency approval to exchange information with foreign partners even when it may put someone at risk of torture.

Communications Security Establishment Canada is following a federal policy on the risks of ill-treatment when sharing information with other countries, says Ryan (Read more…)

The Disaffected Lib: Why Not Just Waterboard Them?

One of the dirty little tricks American interrogator/torturers adopted during the War on Terror has made it to the homeland.  It is subjecting the prisoner to the prolonged stress of intense cold.   That, according to lawyers, is a method being used against hunger-striking prisoners by California prison guards.

Prison guards are trying to break a hunger strike involving thousands of prisoners in California by blasting cells with cold air, confiscating legal documents and, in one case, banning lawyers, according to legal representatives and relatives.

Authorities have taken the action, it is alleged, in retaliation for a strike which (Read more…)

Peace, order and good government, eh?: A group effort

A year ago last March, I took Vic Toews to task for granting CSIS the authority to trade in information derived from torture. In that post, I described a scenario in which the torture of one, possibily innocent, person of interest could easily lead to the torture of additional, possibly innocent, persons of interest. And all that could happen on the authority of the CSIS Director or a deputy minister and with no accountability.

It turns out that Toews didn’t dream up that policy all on his own.

Canada’s highly secretive electronic eavesdropping agency helped develop a federal directive that (Read more…)

Politics and its Discontents: Forced Feeding At Guantanimo

I really questioned whether I should put the following video on my blog, so graphic is it in its depiction of the forced feeding that 40 of the detainees in Guantanimo are currently being subjected to. Rapper Mos Def volunteered to undergo the procedure, for purposes that I think will become obvious if you have the stomach to watch it. Frankly, I had to look away twice.

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Cowichan Conversations: War Crimes Attorney Says He Will Get George W. Bush

Richard Hughes Political Blogger

The ‘Truth Seeker’ is revealing legal efforts to arrest and prosecute George W. Bush and Barack Obama for illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Further charges for illegal surveillance, war crimes including torture, genocide, drone attacks world wide are being pursued against President Obama as well.

It is unlikely that any country or court would arrest a sitting president but the fact that George Bush has been advised not to leave the US is noteworthy.

Rumours state that in 2006 Bush bought very large land holdings in Paraguay, South America.

This video from RT-Russian Television may (Read more…)

Cowichan Conversations: They ‘Will Lie, Trick, and Deceive’: Jailed CIA Whistleblower’s Warns Edward Snowden

Richard Hub Hughes-Political Blogger

It is becoming hard to keep track of all the ‘Whistleblowers’ and the tunes that they are whistling. It is clear that many countries spy, snoop and infiltrate. It has been going on for centuries but accelerated during World War 2 and the Cold War that followed.

What seems to have changed is the surveillance over citizens on such a widespread level. Our emails, and phone calls are being systematically captured and stored on massive computers. Our media has been corporatized with fewer and fewer owners resulting in a homogenized and predictable product that renders much (Read more…)

Flanagan’s flop reveals deeper truth about the nature of hypocrisy in Canada

I am not writing this blog post with the idea that the right to free speech, or expression is without limit. Tom Flanagan proves that in exercising that right, the social consequences can be swifter and less judicious than any of the hate speech crimes we have on the books in Canada.

Nor am I writing to defend Mr. Flanagan’s comments. Rather, I want to point out what I think the reaction to his comments reveal about the deep hypocrisy at work in our social body politic (if I may be permitted to use such an awkward formation).


. . . → Read More: Flanagan’s flop reveals deeper truth about the nature of hypocrisy in Canada

Politics and Entertainment: Zero Dark Thirty Leaves Plenty of Space for Viewer’s Moral Judgment

Spoiler alert: The U.S. Navy SEALS murder Osama Bin Laden and several others in his Pakistani compound without mercy and with vengeful malice. Most of the controversy swirling round the film revolves around whether the filmmaker, Kathryn Bigelow – positioned as auteur by most commentators –  endorses torture or  whether the film’s narrative raises the moral issue of torture for contemplation. There is, in my reading,  no overt moral position offered by the film on torture or even the morality of CIA procedures in general.  Many commentators have unwittingly bemoaned this absence or taken it as a tacit moral endorsement of torture (Read more…)