Canada’s collateral fallout from the Senate Intelligence Committee summary on the torture of prisoners at CIA “black site” prisons around the world:
A spokesman for Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney’s office said Wednesday that Canada does not engage in, or condone, torture by national security agencies but … Canada will act on ‘a tip from any source’ if Canadians’ lives are in danger.”
This is our usual “we’re buying if you’re selling” approach to torture.
Feb. 2012: “The latest directive says in ‘exceptional circumstances’ where there is a threat to human life or public safety, urgency may require CSIS to ‘share the most complete information available at the time with relevant authorities, including information based on intelligence provided by foreign agencies that may have been derived from the use of torture or mistreatment.'”
April 2010: Day One of Omar Khadr’s trial at Guantanamo. Confessions elicited via sleep deprivation, denial of pain medication, stress positions, being forced to urinate on himself and being used as a human mop, being terrorized by barking dogs, and being threatened with rape and torture. Khadr’s defence team was only allowed to interview three of Khadr’s 30 interrogators at Bagram and Gitmo, two of whom admit the 15-year old Khadr was threatened with rape.
FBI agent Robert Fuller
… elicited from Khadr the identification of another Canadian, Maher Arar, who Khadr during interviews by Fuller claimed was training with al Qaeda operatives at a training camp at a time that, it later turned out, Arar was actually at home in Canada.
“In contrast to testimony he gave Monday, [FBI ]special agent Robert Fuller told Khadr’s war-crimes hearing that the young Canadian was not immediately able to name Arar, but did say he looked familiar.”
Shortly after Fuller reported the identification of Arar to the government, Arar was apprehended at JFK airport and rendered to Syria for interrogation there.
FBI agent Fuller also got Khadr to confess to throwing a grenade at US forces.”
December 2009: Harper shuts down parliament for two months in what turned out to be a successful strategy to muzzle parliamentarians regarding Richard Colvin’s testimony about the torture of random Afghan farmers and taxi drivers under Canadian watch.
Harper hired Bruce Carson to “stickhandle” the Afghan file “on a daily basis, involving senior officials from departments such as foreign affairs, defence, RCMP, justice and corrections”. In 2007 a requisition for special boots to allow Correctional Services Canada inspection teams to wade through blood and shit in Afghan prisons was made public.
I think it’s fair to say any report similar to the US Senate summary made partially public on Tuesday would never see the light of day in Canada.
As noted by POGGE at the time:
“While the rest of the world is coming to terms with the fact that the Bush administration was actually using torture to elicit false confessions in an effort to justify their invasion of Iraq, the Hapless Government™ is trying to use statements from a man who was waterboarded 83 times to prove that Abdelrazik is a terrorist.”
March 2009: The same day that CSIS lawyer Geoffrey O’Brian told the public safety committee there is no absolute ban on using intelligence that may have been obtained from countries with questionable human rights records on torture, RCMP spokesman Gilles Michaud tells the same committee:
I want to be clear here – there is no absolute ban on the use of any information by the RCMP.”
November 2006: CSIS director Jim Judd said it had done nothing wrong by accepting as genuine the confession of Maher Arar, who was secretly and illegally bundled off by extraordinary rendition to a prison in Syria where he was held and tortured for a year.