(Additional editing by Maren Molthan)
Last February, we learned that Public Safety Minister Vic Toews had quietly authorized the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to use information gleaned from terror suspects through torture. Today, Toews’ spokesperson, Mike Mueller, confirmed that the Canadian government is open to using information gleaned under dubious circumstances abroad.
Mueller was responding to new revelations that CSIS has a new secret high-level committee, the Information Sharing Evaluation Committee, which is equipped with powers and “tools to better assess information received from foreign agencies.”
Welcome to our burgeoning security state.
But not to worry. First, Mueller tells QMI Agency: “Our government does not condone torture and certainly does not engage in (it).” Second, the use of this blood-tainted intelligence is all in the name of protecting Canadians. This kind of intelligence is supposed to be used to arrest threats “against national security.” It will be used to ensure that “Canadian life and property is protected from those who wish to harm us.”
Talk of regurgitating propaganda. When Toews released the Conservatives’ brand new “anti-terrorism strategy”, the “Building Resilience Against Terrorism: Canada’s first Counter-terrorism Strategy“, he emphasized the “threat to Canada’s national security”.
Let me put it another way… We’re being told that it’s OK for Canada to abandon its obligations under international law. That it is fine for Canada to be complicit in other countries’ torture of human beings.
Finally, you may have noticed that in almost every recent blog tackling red-hot issues, I’ve questioned the way the mainstream media has covered the issues. That’s because, as Canada under Harper and the Conservatives implements more and more dictatorship-style policies, the mainstream media has tended to become less and less questioning. They simply regurgitate the official viewpoint.
Dozens carry the headline: “Canada may use information obtained through torture to keep the country safe, officials say”
Photo credits: Toronto Sun