Saturday, January 19, 2008

Canada: US on Torture List

The NY Times reports:

A training manual for Canadian diplomats lists the United States among
countries that potentially torture or abuse prisoners.
The manual appears to contradict the public stance of Canada’s
Conservative government, which accepts assurances from the United States that it
does not mistreat prisoners, including those at Guantánamo
, Cuba.
One Canadian, Omar Khadr, is being held there; he was
captured in Afghanistan in 2002.

Of course, the U.S. "spokesperson" categorically denied that the U.S. tortures. This is in keeping with U.S. policy: if it looks bad, lie your way out of it.

The manual, in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, is used for training
diplomats in how to protect Canadians detained by foreign governments from
torture and how to handle suspicions that inmates are abused.
The torture
training program for diplomats was set up largely because of the case of Maher
, a Syrian-born Canadian.
He was detained in 2002 by United States
officials, who sent him to Syria after reviewing erroneous information from
Canada suggesting that he was linked to terrorist activities.
A Canadian
inquiry concluded that Mr. Arar was tortured while in Syrian custody. Last year
the Canadian government paid Mr. Arar and his family 11.5 million Canadian
dollars in compensation.

Government positions are for public consumption and disinformation. Training manuals are for reality. Yes, even Canada knows, and has to be careful, that the U.S. does torture people - without trial, of course.

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