Canada Lists the United States as a Torture Nation

The Bush Administration promised to re-define the country’s position in the post-9-11 world and it can now count our Canadian cousins as part of the transformation. The Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs has included the United States on the infamous list of countries which torture prisoners. In the meantime, Republican Tom Ridge has stated that there is no question about waterboarding being a form of torture.

The Canadians now include the United States with Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Syria — our fellow pro-torture nations. There was of course a time when the United States led the world in a campaign against torture. In seven years, the Bush Administration has succeeded in converting the United States from the victim of 9-11 to the status of a rogue nation.

The Canadians have support for their position from an international chorus of lawyers and human rights experts — and now the first secretary of the Homeland Security Department. Republican Tom Ridge told reporters this week that “There’s just no doubt in my mind — under any set of rules — waterboarding is torture.” For the Ridge story, click here

For the full story, click here

14 thoughts on “Canada Lists the United States as a Torture Nation”

  1. Thank you Canada! We need SOMEONE to start standing up to us. Barack needs a kick in the butt to restore him to his former moral high ground–the reason most of us voted for him. This is a start.

  2. I think Mr. Mason would be appalled, not just in Padilla’s case, but the fact that so many pro-dictator types like Tom Ridge (anyone who favors or makes excuses for torturing people comes across as a dictator type of person to me) use the omission of torture in the cruel and unusual punishment provision to justify it.

    My feeling is that Mr. Mason and the other founding fathers didn’t believe they had to spell out what they felt should have been so obvious to everyone. Which is simply this; torture IS cruel and unusual punishment! Since it is obviously a crime for INDIVIDUALS to torture other people, so it is for state governments as well. It’s an outrage that our own President is so clueless in this matter. But that isn’t such a surprise, given that he’s been that way long before he was elected.

  3. I have been harping of late on how our ancestors viewed issues that were current then and now.

    Torture was indeed brought up. In the 1788 Virginia ratifying convention, a delegate rose to express his fear that the proposed constitution did nothing to protect the people from a government employing torture. The very famous George Mason rose and replied to this fear:

    “Mr. GEORGE MASON replied that the worthy gentleman was mistaken in his assertion that the bill of rights did not prohibit torture; for that one clause expressly provided that no man can give evidence against himself; and that the worthy gentleman must know that, in those countries where torture is used, evidence was extorted from the criminal himself. Another clause of the bill of rights provided that no cruel and unusual punishments shall be inflicted; therefore, torture was included in the prohibition.”

    What would Mr Mason say to the case of Padilla, reprehensible an individual as he undoubtedly is, but still a citizen of the United States and very likely subject to cruel and unusual punishment if not torture, even before being convicted of any crime.

  4. A quote for the ages from Dean Koh of Yale at an October International Law symposium at Fordham:

    “I recently was talking with a Senator who said to me, “Professor, we didn’t ask the terrorists to sign the Geneva Conventions. How can you expect us to abide by commitments that they don’t adhere to?” To which I replied, “Yes, and we didn’t ask the whales to sign the Whaling Convention either. We sign these treaties to protect us from ourselves, not from them.”

    tip of the hat to OpinioJuris.

  5. How sad, that our beautiful Nation has been quietly taken over by rogue ‘Royalists’. After over 2 centuries past since our independence from an Imperial Monarchy, our electorate numbed from feeling good about themselves, sat by while the judiciary appointed a king, despite the impropriety of the act (not to mention the questionable Constitutionality of the entire exercise). I always remember this when I see Bill Clinton’s face – while recognizing his great ability to reason – his propensity for lying created a political turbine that is just starting to whir down.

    As a seasoned traveler, Patty C.’s comments about Americans traveling abroad are most accurate. Those that are not afraid of the US are furious over, what seems, the National hubris and America’s citizenry apparently apathetic about our cultural and international acts of hegemony.

    Homeland Security was a another ‘good-ole boy’s club’ created by these architects that selected GWB as their titular leader. I’m not enlightened from some Reader’s Digest article on the subject – they’re are thousands of us around the country that have experienced the no-bid manner that great technology and highly competent leadership was rejected, while select automatons and feckless suits like Tom Ridge, have been placed in key roles in order discourage genuine ‘players’ from getting inside the financial grab-bag, reserved for the ruling class and their patrons. In the case of Ridge, I’m still aghast that the Justice Department has not acted on hundreds of allegations of steering contracts into companies that he has direct ties.

    Torture ??? Canada ??? International watch lists ??? Not even in the Top 10. Oh, its sad, its disheartening, maddening and infuriating – but its only the beginning of sadness and misery at the hands of the madmen that we’ve permitted to change our Nation into a Kingdom.

  6. And lastly, here is our Vice President on the topic of waterboarding from an interview taken not so long ago. (please read to about half way down:

    A “no-brainer” indeed!

    BTW: waterboarding induces PTSD and leaves lasting psychological damage on the victim–the punishment is much more than just “an uncomfortable afternoon” as one loveable rightwinger recently suggested.

  7. There is only one solution to this crisis;
    Bush must now declare war on Canada.
    Blame Canada!

  8. That’s what Dubya says when attempting to justify his dubious position, Yes!

    What’s YOUR point exactly? Don’t state “But” if you mean “And”…

    I’m an Anglophile!

  9. George Bush and his gang are a huge embarrassment to the US.

    That’s why most Americans, traveling abroad, spend a fair amount of time apologizing and explaining they did not even vote for him
    – the first time OR the second time!

  10. I’ll be more impressed if Canada actually does something with the declaration, like issue a moratorium on extradiction requests.

    It’s still embarrassing to the US, to be sure.

  11. A modern fairy tale:

    A fair kingdom was attacked and the word went out, “Get information on our attackers; you have a free hand.”

    At first the effort launched was disorganized, with untrained personnel, and wildly diverging methods.

    There was a learning curve and eventually things settled down; delivery mechanisms and logistics were established and methodology standardized with the exception of a few vendors who went their own way until being cut out of the process.

    Travelling teams of specialists “circuit rode” the network. Benefits were training level was higher, less loss of life, and less actors involved. Information gathering became more streamlined and efficient.

    At its peak the system was impressive. That peak was three years ago or so. But the supply of raw material slackened and so various centers were shut down.

    There was increased anxiety at the management level of legal repercussions and paper trails started being cleaned up. But the problem was that the helter-skelter efforts of the early period had left substantial trails.

    Enter the Congress.

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