The Ostrich Approach to Torture

History has judged those who collaborated with the Nazis’ mass murders of Jews and others as war criminals themselves. One day soon it’ll be our to rationalize why we stood by blindly, silently while our governments cooperated with the torturers. What’ll we say to our grandchildren? That we valued our precious budget surpluses more than our dignity? That we feared the repercussions from our powerful mis-guided neighbour? Or maybe, like the German’s themselves, we’ll claim that we were ignorant of these atrocities done in our name.

The problem is we aren’t ignorant of what’s going on, the facts are everywhere. The Canadian government, and by extension, everyone of us is complicit in this torture in the name of ‘freedom’. When our Canadian troops hand captives over to another country that doesn’t comply with the Geneva Conventions they are committing a war crime. When the government allows the CIA, or any ‘intelligence’ service, to use our territory as a refueling platform in the worldwide torture scheme we are guilty of collaboration with the torturers.

Hopefully the recent testimonies in Ottawa by a few brave civil servants and military personel will give the Canadian press the guts to start asking tough questions. But one thing it won’t do is convince the politicos, Liberals or Conservatives, to pull their collective heads outta the sand and admit that they’ve secretly signed security agreements with the Amerikans, agreements that override all national or international laws, that allow our government to talk tough on torture, but compel it to do nothing.

One problem that arises from a worldview that we are all in this together, that we are the wind, the trees and the bees is that we are the tortures too. If there is no them, no outthere, then it has to be us right here and now. YUCK!