Friday, April 27, 2007

Torture Issue Reveals Liberal Weaknesses

Hypocrisy, thy name is STILL Liberal

Watching the Liberal party, it becomes apparent that they so desperately want to be Democrats.

After sending Canadian troops to Afghanistan in the absence of any democratic decision-making process, the Liberals recently introduced a motion into the House of Commons that would force the withdrawal of Canadian troops in 2009.

The Liberals have also jumped on another issue: torture.

Allegations that Afghani prison officials have been torturing prisoners has sent the Liberals scurrying to make the most of the opportunity.

On CTV’s Mike Duffy Live, Liberal deputy leader Michael Ignatieff addressed a question regarding the Al Qaida and Taliban training manuals, which instruct captured fighters to lie about being tortured in order to manipulate courts against their captors. He responded by telling Duffy that the Liberal party believed in the principle of “innocent until proven guilty”.

Unless, of course, you’re an Afghani prison guard – or the Conservative government.

Even in the absence of credible evidence of torture, Ignatieff has insisted that the allegations of torture are well-founded. And naturally, he would. The issue of torture has proven to be a very productive political issue for the Democrats against the Republicans in the United States.

Yet, when allegations of torture were raised against the United States, Ignatieff was conditionally supportive of torture.

In “Lesser Evils”, Ignatieff wrote, “To defeat evil, we may have to traffic in evils: indefinite detention of suspects, coercive interrogations, targeted assassinations, even pre-emptive war. These are evils because each strays from national and international law and because they kill people or deprive them of freedom without due process. They can be justified only because they prevent the greater evil.”

Essentially, Ignatieff wrote that “coercive interrogations” (torture) could be justified in the face of a greater evil, so long as it were permissible under the rule of law. Not only did Ignatieff write in conditional support of torture, he also wrote in support of legalizing it!

To make matters worse for the Liberals, the current detainee transfer agreement that does not grant Canadian officials the privileges to monitor and visit prisoners in Afghanistan was actually negotiated by the Liberals.

Unfortunately for the Liberals (ironically Canada’s Republicans) they aren’t the Democrats. They aren’t even Democrat lite. Their hypocrisy only reveals deeper tendencies toward political opportunism.

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