Monday, January 21, 2008

Update: Canada removes US from "torture watch list," apologizes, confesses to Lindbergh baby kidnapping

After the word leaked last week, Canada has expressed regret for embarrassing the US by suggesting that it tortures people, including Canadian citizens.

The Canadian foreign minister has apologised for including the US and Israel on a list of states where prisoners are at risk of torture.

Maxime Bernier said the list, which formed part of a manual on torture awareness given to diplomats, "wrongly includes some of our closest allies".[...]

"We find it to be offensive for us to be on the same list with countries like Iran and China. Quite frankly it's absurd," said the US ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins.

In a rare moment of agreement, I have to say I find it offensive too. Of course, unlike Ambassador Wilkins, I (and most Americans) find it offensive not because it shouldn't have been said, but because America shouldn't be torturing (or jobbing out torture of) its prisoners.

The BBC report continues:

The document was mistakenly provided to the human rights group, Amnesty International, as part of a court case it is bringing against the Canadian government over the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan.

The torture awareness course was introduced after Ottawa was strongly criticised for its handling of the case of a Canadian who was deported from the US to Syria in 2002.

Syrian-born Maher Arar, who was accused of being an al-Qaeda member, has said he was tortured during the 10 months he was detained in a prison in Damascus. An inquiry exonerated him of any links to terrorist groups in 2006.

(Read more about Maher Arar here. At least our extraordinary-rendition flights have in-flight movies; China and Saudi Arabia probably can't say that.)

Amazing. We send a Canadian citizen--an innocent Canadian citizen--to Syria to be beaten with electrical cables, and yet we can still make Canada apologize to us.

Kinda makes you wonder what we did to Canada while no one was looking, doesn't it?

No comments: