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Canada's use of torture data sparks outcry

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In other words, the end justifies the means. Torture is only wrong if no useful information comes of it, especially since it was somebody else who did the dirty work.

Canadians should start seriously considering whether they want to abandon their ideals and follow their American friends down this path.

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We can do without torture, and I feel we should reject it as human beings. The scenario where only torture will lead us to the the bomb that is about to blow up the city is extremely rare, if it exists at all. The US Army Field Manual used to make a very clear distinction as to what crosses the line into torture, and now those lines have become blurred, but sending folks away to be tortured by others is not a path toward either morality or good intell. It's a path toward becoming what you hate.

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Let's say your child get kidnapped. You catch the kidnapper and he/she tells you that your kid is buried somewhere and only has 24 hours of air left. The kidnapper doesn't want money or anything. The kidnapper enjoys seeing you suffer. What are you going to do? Let your kid die? The kidnapper won't talk and doesn't care if he goes to prison for life.

I bet you'll start believing in the use of torture.

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This means Canada has already engaged in torture and the government is preparing the sheeple to be less shocked.

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You catch the kidnapper and he/she tells you that your kid is buried somewhere and only has 24 hours of air left.

Why do people always defend what is wrong using a fantasy scenario. You know torture is wrong, and you know that if it is approved, it won't just be fantasy kidnappers who buried a fantasy kid that it will be used against. It will be used against a lot of innocent people, and you will be part of it.

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I expected better from Canada.......It is bad enough that my country (US) does this.

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The trouble is Canada obviously has no grassroots opposition to abuse of power by the government. It's like Japan.I know many progressives who wanted to move up there when Bush was in office.It's a shame they didn't.They could have provided the conscience of that movement.

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FarmboyFeb. 09, 2012 - 09:50AM JST. You know torture is wrong, and you know that if it is approved, it won't just be fantasy kidnappers who buried a fantasy kid that it will be used against. It will be used against a lot of innocent people, and you will be part of it.

You live in a nice dream world. Objectives are very similar to U.S. In 2006, there were 2,500 Canadian soldiers in Afganistan for peacekeeping and stability operations. Currently they have close to 1,000. This plays a huge part in the war in Afghanistan. In preparations, soldiers needed to know as much as possible about local customs, culture, and politics, and about the nature and motivation of groups that might oppose the establishment of peace and order. The Afghan mission would only succeed when the Canadian Government could provide data for the needs of its secuity. This is Canadian and NATO approach toward reconstructing the Afghan society.

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@ Pruitt Igoe 72,

You raise a very good point. Canadians do tend to be politically apathetic. This was ok in some practical sense under a benevolent dictator such as former PM, Jean Chretien. However under the current one it's dangerous. I do personally know of individuals and small groups of some influence that want say/do things that are contrary to what powers that be want. However, the current PM is a vindictive micro-manager and people salaries and pensions have been threatened should they speak/ act up. Canada does need an infusion of political boldness in its citizens.

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There are many forms of torture. Some pleasurable and some not.

Extracting information through torture would lead to a lot of false information. I would lie through my teeth to stop someone from hurting me, or scarring up my legs, face or what ever.

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As smithinjapan often likes to say, "no better than the terrorists...."

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Why do people always defend what is wrong using a fantasy scenario.

It is, obviously, but without situations, you can't fully know how to proceed when an analogous scenario emerges. One has to envision all possible scenarios in order to have a known procedure. It's not unusual to develop procedures on what-ifs.

It's the same process used to determine procedure for a reactor melt-down. Or any other far-out scenario. If one didn't engage in this line of thought, one would be delving into professional negligence.

As smithinjapan often likes to say, "no better than the terrorists...."

That's true. But it's akin to having someone strike you and saying "don't strike back, you'd be no different than the instigator." On a basic level that's true. A strike is a strike, or cruelty is cruelty. However, one has to have certain belief that one is on the right path, or the correct side, in the overall sense. That is to say, one has to have the confidence that one's side is the more virtuous side; else, one might as well quit and join the other. One has to have some conviction. One thing I grant you about terrorists, they have conviction. They may be terrorists, but they have the conviction of ideals. Now, it's true, in the long run, one does want to have introspection and self-examination, however, I'd stop short of the ideal, if the ideal would invoke our demise on our way to it.

Realistically, ideals are something to strive for, as humans we want to get close as possible, but understand that ideals, such as doing no evil, are not within the reach in an environment ruled by realpolitik, that is to say, one where game theory prevails. Put another way, it may be necessary to do a little evil to prevent greater evil. The world is messy.

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m5c32,

I'm going to take a wild guess and suggest that SuperLib was being sarcastic.

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They need a homegrown Michael Moore now more than ever. Canada is slipping into fascism.

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And it looks like American progressives will have to march on Canada and help them start a Occupy movement of their own. Our work is never done.

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Canadians are politically apathetic and then comparisons to Japan?! Is that a joke?! Suggesting Canadians don't strike us a joke - the post office went or strike recently, teachers seem to strike every few years... Canadians are pretty political and keep a tight leash on those in power. Having Americans and Brits commenting Canadian political appethy is comedy gold.

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@ tmarie,

Canadians are pretty political and keep a tight leash on those in power

Hardly, I think. Striking for money is not an altruistic political act. My concern is how Canadians could have elected the current PM, twice. It's like how W. Bush got in twice. And that was **after the Bush episode.. There is a difference between having a demo/ march, and actually directly acting to change something. Speaking up and voting are minimum pre-requisites. Asking your oppressor to be kind to you is not going to work. Perhaps you are not aware of the details, but people such as scientists are currently being muzzled in Canada by the government. But that's because they allow themselves to be muzzled, for the sake of their careers. Seems most people are not motivated to action politically unless their status quo is threatened. Also, please do not assume that I am not Canadian.

I'm quite surprised this piece on torture got out. Somebody must have cracked and leaked it. Let's see if similar happens for other cases such as that of the salmon in the Frazer river.

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And it looks like American progressives will have to march on Canada and help them start a Occupy movement of their own.

Occupy Wall Street was initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters,

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Non you're comparing Harper getting reelected to that of GWBush?! I think you need to relax a bit because there really aren't any comparisons. I'm no fan of Harper myself but he's not anyway the boogie man you're trying to make him out to be. You're surprised this "got out"? You make it should like Canada is china - or Japan - when it comes to the media. Canada has one of the freest presses in the world. Certainly not perfect but you seem rather paranoid.

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You live in a nice dream world

You can say no to torture AND provide security. You will get nowhere copying the tactics and ethics of criminals and terrorists.

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Canada should just dissolve and become 13 U.S. states. Every day I see the differences between Canada and the U.S. disappear. They are so much the same now you can't really tell them apart any more.

Look at Vic's face. Man, I have seen so many guys who were a dead ringer for that guy and I tell you, none of them were very bright. It is no surprise a vote for torture would come out of that face.

Its already been said, but its so ridiculously unlikely that torture would quickly reveal information necessary to save lives in a pinch that its not even worth discussing. Torture takes time. Verifying the results also takes time. And if the torturee lied, you are back to square one. If the torturee actually knows nothing, its going to be a long process of wasted time and humanity. People who advocate torture generally lack the capacity to think.

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“Information obtained by torture is always discounted. However, the problem is whether one can safely ignore the information if Canadian lives and property are at stake.”

Ummm... sorry, but the latter negates the 'always discounted' part, any way you slice it. Obviously this guy (and those behind the statement) haven't learned from the louts under GWB or in Britain in regards to torture.

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Occupy Wall Street was initiated by the Canadian activist group Adbusters,

If you say so. Are they stil alive?

How do Canadians know they haven't been disappeared and tortured ?

Strange to think that the AdBuster guys now must fear their own government more than they do that of the Big Bad Yankee, eh.

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I do belive this story is linked to the one we read a few months back about Lebanese and Middle eastern people in Canada being rounded up and deported. Scary.

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I do belive this story is linked to the one we read a few months back about Lebanese and Middle eastern people in Canada being rounded up and deported. Scary.

You clearly have no idea what you are talking about if you that is what happen.

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Oh look, true human nature rears its head again. People love to try and protect ideals (which isn't completely wrong) while easily sitting behind doing nothing to stop the process. I once heard a very good reason why a lot of this horrible stuff is happening.

In response to a question as to "Is there really any good reason to wage war?" a man responded, "Life is sacred. When someone decides to kill people in the name of w/e or for some reasons beyond that, then it is the DUTY of those that DO hold life sacred to PROTECT IT and stop those who do not hold life sacred even if it means war." Unfortunately many people that do torture are not always with this mindset to protect life.

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He might be talking about the guy who the Canadians had picked up by the US and sent overseas. That was the evidence that Canada was using rendition....but using the US to do it for them. With Canadian officials in Iraq and Gitmo, now this story, Canadians might have to wonder if they've been fed a steady stream of BS from their government that they bought hook, line, and sinker. And they would have to ask if their zeal to go after their brothers down South played right into the government's hands.

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FarmboyFeb. 09, 2012 - 05:46PM JST You can say no to torture AND provide security. You will get nowhere copying the tactics and ethics of criminals and terrorists.

There is a loophole that certain countries like Canada have used to get around the Convention Against Torture is the "outsourcing" of torture, either by extraditing suspects to friendly countries where they can be tortured without causing difficulties for the authorities, or by accepting suspects who have been made to confess under torture in other countries. More than 80 U.S. companies were involved in the manufacture, marketing and export of equipment used to torture over the last decade, more than any other country.

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Those of you who whine about Harper clearly are misinformed. He has been a pragmatist more than anything in his term in office. He's an economics wonk primarily, and has managed to guide Canada through the global finacial crisis relatively unscathed. We don't have a huge national debt, and the yearly budget deficit will be eliminated within two years. After that, the debt will start to decrease. What other countries can say the same?

As for torture, it helps to first define what that means. Sleep deprivation? Threats of violence? Secretly putting bacon in prisoners' food? Lack of allergen-free pillows? Exposure to 24 hour a day AKB 48?

Sorry, equating our side with the terrorists and head hackers who routinely abuse those in their control is ludicrous. Do you think THEY have these ethical discussions about how to behave? Do THEY attempt to put guidelines in place to minimize harm while at the same time extracting needed information? I think not.

We even have a case in Canada of a convicted terrorist and confessed murderer now being allowed BACK to our country from Gitmo. It makes me weep for the future of my country.

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@DS,

Misinformed about Harper? Perhaps it is you that is misinformed, or of a very different set of priorities. I do not rank dollars and national balance-sheets above humanity, freedom, etc. Do you realize that Harper's party had its roots in people that wore brown shirts with black arm-bands and held meetings in fields in Alberta? Canada not having a financial crash around the Lehman-shock era was hardly due to the Harper regime. It was due to Canada not getting involved in the lending practices of its neighbor long before Harper took the job.

@ tmarie,

I am not equating Bush and Harper. I was trying to convey my sense of being stunned that Canada elected it's most far-right PM to date after GWB was already generally was seen as having been a dud. At least Reagan and Mulroney coincided in time. Also, I don't think you are aware of what is going on beyond the surface in the country. Canada is not as clean as you might like to think - for example its history of racial issues, right from the start of the place. It has black-spots in its history, some of which have come to light, that will likely continue into its future - this story being one case.

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Nonanon;

Luckily, Canada has both humanity/freedom AND a fiscally sound government. Thanks to Harper and also the work that Paul Martin did before him, at least as Finance Minister. Harper was elected, re-elected, and re-elected again, with ever increasing levels of support. Your use of the word "regime" is an obvious and somewhat biased attempt to mischaracterize the political reality in Canada. If I were to refer to the Obama presidency as "the Obama regime", I would rightly be criticized as needlessly antagonistic.

Canada is a remarkably free and humane country. The only assaults I can see on freedom these days come from the politically correct class who support the surpression of free speech under the guise of harm reduction or diversity. Yet those attempts are opposed by a broad coalition of freedom lovers from all parts of the political spectrum.

I DID enjoy your fearmongering though. It was amusing. I wasn't aware that the Conservative Party was Harper's. I was under the impression that it had been around for a lot longer. I seem to remember people like Diefenbaker also being "conservative". Perhaps I misremember though...

What specifically has Harper done that shows him to be "far right"?

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Do you realize that Harper's party had its roots in people that wore brown shirts with black arm-bands and held meetings in fields in Alberta?

OMG !

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