Monday, September 18, 2006

Our Own Bush

While George Bush attempts to justify secret jails, rendition, and 'nuanced' definitions of torture in the name of Freedom Fries, Democracy Chips and the war on terror, nary a word is said in Canada about this same issue by the Liberal Leadership Candidates.

Nope not a word. And yet it was under the Liberals that this happened.....
Arar: Still under scrutiny four years after ordeal and this........Canada: A torturer's apprentice?......and this....Khadr Canada's Shame

And the Liberals have a Leadership candidate who not only supports the right to use torture but uses a nuanced defense of torture in the name of democracy, freedom, and the American way. And his name is Ignatieff.

Evil under Interrogation: Is Torture ever Permissible?
by Michael Ignatieff
May 15, 2004
Reprinted from the Financial Times

And he was still advocating for 'nuanced' Torture this spring after throwing his hat in the Liberal Leadership ring.

Prospect April 2006 | 121 » Essays » If torture works...
The debate over torture is not as simple as it seems. Those of us who oppose torture under any circumstances should admit that ours is an unpopular policy that may make us more vulnerable to terrorism
Michael Ignatieff

Says one right wing blogger in the U.S. of this particular article by Ignatieff.....
I had been meaning to link to this article by Michael Ignatieff in the April 2006 issue of Prospect magazine, on torture. (I am particularly interested in his quote from Ken Roth, in which Ken says that "vigorous" questioning of torture suspects is okay, but then, so far as I can tell, regards anything that goes beyond what the Geneva Conventions mandate for full blown, acknowledged POWs under Geneva III to be out of bounds, even for unprivileged combatants.) I think this is a quite brave and quite persuasive argument by Michael - this is a case in which Michael's agoniste method of moral philosophy performs impressively, and avoids the problem that Mark Steyn lampooned in an article on Ignatieff a few months ago in Maclean's, the problem of Hamletting.

And nary a word about it from any of his rivals. Because it was under the Liberal government that Canadian citizens were sent to Syria to be tortured under the illegal CIA rendition progam. And while his opponents have challenged him on Iraq and Afghanistan they have failed to challenge him on this key question.

The Ethics of Torture

A more philosophically complicated route to much the same conclusion is taken by Harvard's Michael Ignatieff in a new book, The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror. Ignatieff hedges his answer: He's against torture but in favor of "coercive interrogations.'' Our counter-terrorist actions should be openly debated and subject to review by all three branches of the federal government, he argues, conjuring up, in my mind, congressional debates and court decisions about whether it's OK to hack off a prisoner's finger but not his whole hand.

But the point is a serious one. The ultimate evil, Ignatieff says, would be for Americans to become so frightened that we demand a virtual police state to protect us. By comparison, giving up some civil liberties — for ourselves and our prisoners — is the lesser and necessary evil.

I think he and I would agree that the hypothetical situation does focus on one important point. Requiring presidential approval for physical abuse of a prisoner would, whatever the president decided, be a major improvement over the present situation, in which an attitude gets set at the top and just trickles down to the people at the action level, leaving the president and other big-wigs free to deny any responsibility.

Do you sir support the continued use of torture of Canadian citizens.
Yes or No.

But of coures we all know the anwser, he is a true Liberal.....

Ignatieff ducks debate with critics in torture row

So I must ask. If elected leader of the Liberals whom will he jail and torture?

Exporting Democracy, Revising Torture: The Complex Missions of Michael Ignatieff

Michael Ignatieff: Michael Ignatieff, who calls himself a liberal and a human rights campalgner, is a wolf in sheep's clothing

PMag v21n3p06 -- The Terrorized Worlds of Jack and Michael
Andres Kahar begins with a question: What do Jack Bauer, protagonist of TV's 24, and Michael Ignatieff, protagonist of reality's Harvard University, have in common? That question leads us into very dark subject matter.

FRIDE - Exporting Democracy, Revising Torture: The Complex Missions of Michael Ignatieff

Michael Ignatieff has been useful to the US government as it has tried to promote democracy in the middle east. He brings to this unofficial job a special, double-edged approach: he provides conservative arguments to the liberal audience and liberal alibis to the conservatives

If you scratch a Liberal you find an authoritarian as nasty as any Tory. One who would impose a police state on Canadians if they deemed it necessary. As has happened in the past. By the very Liberal Icon whom Ignatieff is seen as reincarnating.

: Yes, well there are a lot of bleeding hearts around who just don't like to see people with helmets and guns. All I can say is, go on and bleed. But it is more important to keep law and order in the society than to worry about weak-kneed people who don't like the looks of—

CBC reporter Tim Ralfe
(interrupting): At any cost? How far would you go with that? How far would you extend that

: Well, just watch me.

Finally one should ask the Man Who Would Be PM where does he really feel at home.....

Legal Affairs
March April 2005

America the Mercurial

A new theory predicts when countries will honor or renege on their international obligations. Guess who doesn't fit the model.

By Michael Ignatieff

Hathaway is mistaken in assuming that domestic constituencies in all democracies will push their governments toward complying with international treaties. This may be the case in Canada and Western Europe, but it is not the case here at home. Uniquely among Western nations, the United States has an entrenched domestic constituency that actively opposes the loss of power it equates with international law. This constituency first emerged after 1945 among the Senate's defenders of segregation, when Southern Democrats opposed ratifying human rights treaties because they would put Jim Crow in the international dock. In deference to this lobby, the United States effectively withdrew from international human rights from the period of the Eisenhower presidency to the Carter Administration. In addition to the segregationists, another group opposed the Roosevelt Administration's liberal multilateralism on the grounds that the U.N. and the Security Council would step on the toes of U.S. sovereignty.

Also See

Liberal Leadership Race


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