A one-time school project gone terribly, terribly wrong.

26 November 2009

Blowing It On Torture

My Conservative government. Is their fifteen minutes up yet?

Not, alas, judging by what passes for leadership among the Opposition parties these days. It's so pathetically bad that I'd vote for the Bloq Quebecois, if they ran a candidate in my riding.

The situation:
A senior diplomat causes an uproar by claiming that almost all detainees handed over by Canadian Forces in Afghanistan were, and continue to be, tortured.

The response as we might have wished it:

Harper could have had it made.

He could have said "Yes, word had reached us of people being tortured. That's why we stopped transferring prisoners to the Afghan prison system not once but at least twice."

He had plausible deniability in himself: "I never got the memos"--Which may even be true.

He could have blamed it on the "previous Liberal government"--An old fave (despite the fact that the "previous government" in this country is now his), and he might even have had a smidgen of justification.

The actual response:
The Conservative machine swings into full denial mode, lying about who knew what and when, producing the usual bullshit charges against the whistleblower, which fail to stick, and stonewalling any attempt at an inquiry before pretending it was their idea all along.

Harper claims the committee investigating Colvin's claims must allow his man Mulroney to testify. Headlines appear saying "Harper says witnesses must co-operate with investigation" or some such bullshit.

In fact, this isn't what Harper's saying. He's saying the committee has to accept Mulroney's testimony at face value without first getting a look at any of the documentary evidence.

Then he says the committee won't be allowed to see Colvin's correspondence (that is, they won't be allowed to read for themselves who was told what and when) because it's just now turned out to be classified.

Huh. Who'da thunk? I'm sure Harper's real busted up about it.

Way to clear the air on that one, Mr. Prime Minister.

Unfortunately it's unlikely that Michael Ignatieff will make much issue of this. He once wrote a thought piece that essentially asked what was wrong with torture. It was a rhetorical exercise, as far as I can tell.

But the Conservatives have already begun shrieking that the Liberal leader is on record as supporting the practice, as though that made their own underwear-staining enthusiasm for it any prettier.

Harper should be in the dock for contempt of Parliament. But then again, he should have been there at least a year ago.

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10 November 2009

It's a Great, Great Day

I don't do Twitter. Seriously, d'you think I ever had anything to say in 140 characters or fewer?

However, I might just join now. Gene Ray, self-billed as "Wisest Human" and originator of TIMECUBE is on Twitter. So I noticed on Pharyngula.

To frame this properly, one needs to consider that Ray's been around pretty much as long as the internet has had the capacity for pixellated graphics and eye-searing, effect-smeared fonts, and has developed a following of people bemused and amazed by the foaming bat$#17 lunacy he spews.

In some of the places I hang out on the 'net, teh crazy is measured on a scale of 0.0 to 1.0 Timecubes.

A selection of his tweets:

To worship a religious/academic defied Queer(God) as your progenitor, equates to spitting puke in your Mom and Dad's face - a beastly act.

Actually, infants and children do this all the time, dude.

You would be wiser if unschooled then be taught ONEness stupidity to worship Evil of ONEism, contradicted by Opposite Creation.

To quote Opus from the Bloom County strips: "And would I have monkeys pick my nose for me?"


Sure, 'cos the TIME CUBE is all about Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey.

But unfortunately it's not all fun and games. Here's why I'm not linking to him:

Academic retards teaches worship of queer jew god, equates to adults eating their children.

SUN power will not allow any Black Skin power to rule over its Light Domain.

Queers killed my lil Brother. A Queer God induces AIDS.

WARNING TO EDUCATED STUPID, Black Skin equates imprisonment, white race had nothing to do making negros black.

It's a good lesson in why we can't afford to laugh at teh crazy, but also can't afford not to. And yes, perhaps it's mean to laugh at someone so clearly exhibiting the symptoms of mental illness.

My consolation is that a) he probably won't notice and b) he probably won't care if he does. I'm utterly certain he's used to it by now.

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04 November 2009

Justice Delayed is Justice ₤µ©λed Over

Or maybe we should just call it "Ashcrofted."

A US court has struck down the lawsuit Arar vs. Ashcroft.

Arar, if we recall from the high and far-off times of about 2001, is the Canadian citizen detained without excuse in JFK International Airport and then flown with the outright connivance of the then-Liberal Canadian government and the active assistance of the Canadian Security and Intelligence Service (a Service which historically provides neither security nor intelligence) to Syria, where he was tortured.

When it turned out Arar was not in fact an Al-Qaeda operative, the Canadian government initially stonewalled before finally issuing a begrudging apology. Naturally, Arar sued and received a hefty sum of money as compensation for having his rights as a citizen denied.

However, Stephen Harper Conservative Government of Canada™ has demonstrated a total inability to learn from the experience.

The US government quite simply told Arar to ₤µ©λ off. Among the other shining features of this unpolishable turd of a Republican-positive decision was this little beauty, as described in Glenn Greenwald's piece:
Arar did not, for instance, have the names of the individuals who detained and abused him at JFK, which the majority said he must have. As Judge Sack in dissent said of that requirement: it "means government miscreants may avoid [] liability altogether through the simple expedient of wearing hoods while inflicting injury."

Ladies and gentlemen, your antiterrorist forces, 2010 model:

One of the most disappointing things about Barack Obama's presidency so far is the outright refusal to repeal the Bush acts that made the president and his minions untouchable in cases like domestic espionage and outsourced torture. You would think he might have a little sympathy.

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