Commentary Magazine


A Canadian Course in Torture

Canada has put Israel and the U.S. on an official list of countries where prisoners are at risk of being tortured. Here’s Reuters with the best part: “CTV said the document was part of a course on torture awareness given to Canadian diplomats to help them determine whether prisoners they visited abroad had been mistreated.” A course on torture awareness sounds like something from the 07′/08′ Columbia University course catalogue. According to this course, interrogation techniques such as “forced nudity, isolation, and sleep deprivation” are considered torture. Then again this is the country that considers critical media commentary a violation of human rights.

Guantanamo Bay (where prisoners tend to gain weight) is specifically mentioned. It should be noted that suspects held at Gitmo live in conditions far superior to the those of the men and women on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Conservative Canadian politicians are understandably humiliated: “A spokesman for Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier tried to distance Ottawa from the document. ‘The training manual is not a policy document and does not reflect the views or policies of this government,’ he said.”

Nor does it reflect the views or policies of this one.