22
Oct
08

Canada: The “Indirect” Torture State

Even more examples of how the Canadian federal state has betrayed its own citizens and collaborated in having them tortured abroad, and once again a story involving Syria. (Given all of the propaganda about Syria supporting terrorist groups, it’s interesting to note how Western governments inform Syrian authorities of the alleged/concocted “extremist” and “terrorist” ties of particular individuals, knowing the kind of treatment they will get in Syria.) What is also amazing, besides the double talk about Syria, is that there is no outpouring of massive, public protest in Canada. Perhaps that is in part due to the fact that mass media, such as the CBC, couch the entire issue: these are “Arab-Canadian men”, so not quite Canadian, and the role of the RCMP and CSIS was “indirect” — as one of the torture victims said in response:

The RCMP fully knew that I would be tortured if they sent questions. They sent it anyways. Does it make a difference if Justice Iacobucci said directly or indirectly? Well apparently directly means that the Canadian official would be the one holding the whip.

Update: Haroon Siddiqui at The Toronto Star did a good job of noticing that most of the media headlines did not match the content of the stories that followed. Instead, most headlines tended to minimize the level of Canadian complicity. Syria was motivate to imprison and torture these individuals at the urging of Canadian officials in institutions such as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, and Foreign Affairs. No consular protection was afforded to these citizens. In one case, Canada urged Egypt not to release one of them after had been transferred there from Syria. CSIS furnished the questions to be used in the Syrian interrogations.

In other words:

This is a country where citizens are sent to be tortured with the assistance of the government.

Find a different way of framing this situation, in a manner that is just as plausible if not more so. If you cannot, ask yourself about what kind of state rules over you, and wonder about how different “liberal democracy” is from any of the other monstrous torture regimes, including the U.S. of course. Then ask yourself why you do nothing about it, and what that says about your role.

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