Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Torture: maybe it'll just go away.

I haven't seen this Thomas Walkom piece in the Star widely-cited around the blogs, but it should be. Walkom heavily criticizes the way the Canadian government has been walking on eggshells around the US, and other states who torture (or support the torture of) Canadian citizens accused of "terrorism" and other pseudocrimes. (Meaning not that terrorism is not a crime, but that "terrorism" is not a crime.) I basically agree with everything he says: the primary obligation of the Canadian government is to ensure the welfare of Canadians. It's really quite frightening to know that Arar was deported to the US, and thence to Syria for a year of hell, and the government of the day did absolutely nothing. The Harper government is doing a little more, but I still haven't heard anything about significant pressure being placed on the US for their continued refusal to even apologize for the way they treated him. I don't think, then, the Harper government passes Judith Thomson's "Minimally Decent Samaritan" threshold, let alone the Good or Splendid Samaritan. Pathetic.

And, of course, as is pointed out here, we can't forget that when Arar was deported to the US, Harper et al -- then the Canadian Alliance -- were perfectly content to let him rot. Deathbed conversions are nice and all, but it's a little juvenile to pretend that they make up for a history of wrong-doing.

No comments: