Monday, April 4, 2005

Paul Martin and the Logic of Torture Denial

The Scaramouche Blog references and links to John Conroy's steps in denying torture. I've read John's books and have e'd with him a couple of times - nothing major, just enough to know he is a nice guy.

According to John, the nine steps a government takes in denying torture are:

• The first stage of response is absolute and complete denial, accompanied by attacks on those who exposed the treatment.

• The second stage is to minimize the abuse. To refer to it not as torture but as "interrogation in depth."

• The third stage is to disparage the victims as "thugs and murderers,"

• The fourth stage is to justify the treatment on the grounds that it was effective or appropriate under the circumstances.

• The fifth stage of a torturing society's defense is to charge that those who take up the cause of those tortured are aiding the enemies of the state.

• The sixth stage is the defense that the torture is no longer occurring, and anyone who raises the issue is therefore "raking up the past."

• The seventh stage of a torturing bureaucracy is to put the blame on a few bad apples.

• The eighth stage in a society's rationalization of its policy of torture is the common torturer's defense, someone else does or has done much worse things they were not as evil because they were not designed to induce terror, but rather to induce a state of mental disorientation so that the victim's will to resist was lost.

• The ninth stage is the rationalization of a torturing nation: the victims will get over it.

So imagine my mixed humor with horror when I read Paul Martin's words: Prime Minister Paul Martin said the party will defend its integrity. (Stage one.) And then: "Those members of the Liberal party should not have to bear the rumours or the burden of the activities of a very small few who may have polluted against the party." (Stage seven.)

Zoom, zoom, zoom!!!

I suspect that the Honorable Mr. Martin has passed through the intermittent stages either directly or through his predicate-in-graft Mr. Chretien.

The good news is that we have only stages eight and nine to pass through.

Hey, Paul!! Call for Justice Gomery to lift the publication ban. Let the media do the cross-examination forbidden to the Inquiry counsel on the discrepancies between the Parliament Inquiry and Gomery testimony. Open, fair, complete inquiry, eh?

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