FACE TO FACE: Should Canada accept and use information gleaned from torture?
It's not funny anymore. The delusional reality bubble in which our Canadian Alliance, oops, Conservative government lives gets more and more frightening.
Public Safety Minister Vic Toews has now announced to the world that Canada (only in extreme cases of course) will accept and use intelligence extracted by torture.
Bamboo shoots under the fingernails, hot pokers in the genitals, waterboarding and breaking knees? From within the Rambo Conservative reality, Canada is embroiled in a tough, ugly battle against swarthy, evil hordes who want to kill us all for no reason.
This nonsense does not come from a U.S. Republican presidential candidate but from our Canadian government, out-hawking even American crazies.
Accepting torture is just the latest in a series of Rumsfeldian moves by Conservatives to try to earn Canada a full patch from the war on terror gang.
First, we buy snazzy new American bombers with which we'll be able to bomb people who don't like us. (If there aren't any now, our new hawkish policies will soon produce lots - or we can just bomb whomever our friends don't like.) Next, we loudly support Israel at every opportunity instead of pursuing our wimpy policy of favouring Middle East peace and negotiation. We add an Office of Religious Freedom to instruct the world's heathen on how wonderful it is to have the religious freedom to be Christian.
Domestically, we'll allow authorities, without warrant, to sift through the personal internet musings of Canadians. If, amongst all the child pornographers we uncover seditious activity, we can throw them all in one of the new prisons we're building.
My God, in a few short years of Tory rule, Canada has changed from a peace-loving nation with an international perspective into a bunch of spying, bombing, war-on-terror zealots.
If some torturer phoned up CSIS with nefariously extracted information that Canada's Parliament buildings were in danger, I would expect whoever received the call might nip over to the Hill with a few Mounties.
But to announce to the world that Canada will accept torture as a source of information?
Such a spectacularly un-Canadian idea could only come from within the ether of the Tories' Dr. Strangelove reality.
Face to Face columnist Jim Nelson is a retired Tri-City teacher and principal who lives in Port Moody. He has contributed a number of columns on education-related issues to The Tri-City News.