2011-05-05 In defense of Canadian voters

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The recent Canadian election has been the topic of much foreign news coverage, with pundits trying to explain why liberal-minded Canada has given a majority to the most right leaning party in its history, what exactly the New Democratic Party is, and why on earth Canada turned its back so firmly on its ‘traditional ruling party’, headed by a man described in the Guardian as “known to the British as a fine writer, historian and BBC talking head, who had returned to Canada to lead the Liberals”. Embassy Magazine wrote an astoundingly condescending piece about Canada’s lack of interest in foreign policy which contained the following:

Given Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff’s background, many had expected him to campaign on foreign policy. And at the start of the campaign he did try to frame the election around the question of ethics, especially the tenor of Conservative foreign policy. … But … Mr. Ignatieff failed to inspire with this foreign policy-tinged message. In fact, the more he talked about it, the less traction he seemed to be getting with centrist or progressive voters. … At one point, the Liberal leader’s frustration became quite evident, with Mr. Ignatieff wondering why Canadians were not latching onto the many controversies that had dogged the Conservatives before the election. Mr. Ignatieff’s plea that Canada should regain its international standing was a version of this idea that the country should be undergoing some soul-searching prior to voting. But with his historic low, it appears Canadians weren’t up for that sort of deep think.

So according to this report (and many others, since Ignatieff started campaigning) a public that did not vote for Michael Ignatieff is anti-intellectual, anti-US, and even a nation full of uncaring or stupid people. While it would be excessive to imply that all of the Liberal Party’s current woes can be set at the feet of Michael Ignatieff, or that Canadians feel a great deal of interest in foreign policy, the election result does not prove the writer’s point but rather the opposite.

It is an uncontested fact that public support for the Liberal Party under Michael Ignatieff plummeted, even compared to the disastrous prior leadership of Stéphane Dion. Contrary to much foreign opinion, the Liberal and Conservative parties of Canada are both strong corporatist parties, neither is socialist leaning like the NDP. And labour issues were not a big topic during the election and could not be said to have been a strong influence in turning Liberal voters to NDP. There are, historically, two things that matter very much to Canadian Liberals: a liberal philosophy towards laws and citizen rights, including a dislike of military involvement outside of strict peacekeeping missions and a strong support of human rights, and Canadian federalist sovereignty.

Michael Ignatieff was hilariously brought in by the Liberal Party of Canada, to be the ‘next Pierre Trudeau’, referring to a strong federalist former prime minister who suffered his biggest backlash from his own Liberal party when he invoked the War Measures Act, which allowed the police to arrest and detain without trial, during the October Crisis of 1970. He also received some of his biggest support for standing up to the US. Michael Ignatieff, has advocated torture (which he does not call torture, but others do, more anon), ‘pre-emptive wars’, and indefinite detention without trial. He was a supporter of the Iraq war for far too long. He has openly preached the manifest destiny of the United States for years and self identified as nothing but an American, also for many years. In 2003 he wrote Empire Lite: Nation-Building in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, which argued that the US had a responsibility to create a “humanitarian empire” through nation-building and, if necessary, military force, and when he talks of Canada’s “leadership in the world” it is always in reference to an expanded military.

He campaigned on an insult to the Canadian system of multi-party governance, decreeingfrom day one that Canadians had but two choices. I am saying as clearly as I can to the Canadian people, looking them straight in the eye”—here he focused his gaze into the TV camera directly in front of him, so it would seem to a television viewer that Ignatieff really was looking him in the eye—“if you want to replace the Harper government, you’ve got to vote Liberal.” Which, if believed, left the Canadian people with two options for prime minister, both strongly disapproving of everything Canada is.

Ignatieff in the past

Here are a few things from Michael Ignatieff’s background that Canadians may have been subjecting to that “deep think” they supposedly were not having about foreign policy. His writings and interviews are many and diverse, but the parts that mattered the most to Canadians were neatly summed up in a New Humanist article by Laurie Taylor at the point where he resigned from the advisory board of the Index on Censorship and requested that all syndication of an article referencing him be withheld. Everything in this article is easily verifiable from Ignatieff’s own writings, but whenever the Conservative party used these facts in their ads, the Canadian people were told that the Conservatives were bad people and were trying to destroy Ignatieff’s reputation. Maclean’s magazine quotes a Conservative staff member as saying, “Michael Ignatieff, in our narrative, is a political opportunist who is calculating, who will do and say anything to get elected.” In Maclean’s narrative, and in that of much of the Canadian media, this constitutes a political attack on Ignatieff. Of course it is. But that does not make the facts any less true or mean that Canadians should not be listening to them. It means Canadians should have been asking why they had to hear this material primarily from Conservative attack ads instead of their own media.

So what are these facts? Given the volume of his writing, it is perhaps most helpful to look at comments from his peers.

Conor Gearty, Professor of Human Rights Law at the LSE, wrote in the February 2005 edition of the Index on Censorship that Ignatieff was “probably the most important figure to fall into this category of hand-wringing, apologetic apologists for human rights abuses.” for his support of the Iraq invasion and more. “The trick… is to take the ‘human’ out of ‘human rights’. This is done by stressing the unprecedented nature of the threat that is currently posed by Islamic terrorism, by insisting that it is ‘a kind of violence that not only kills but would destroy our human rights culture as well if it had a chance’. In these extraordinary circumstances, ‘who can blame even the human rights advocate for taking his or her eye off each individual’s puny plight, for allowing just a little brutality, a beating-up perhaps, or a touch of sensory deprivation?’. But once intellectuals do open this door then scores of Rumsfeldians pour past shouting ‘me too’ and (to the intellectual’s plaintive cries of protest) ‘what do you know about national security – go back to your class work and the New York Review of Books’.” … Ignatieff is the best exemplar of this type of intellectual because of his apparently total commitment to the idea that we are now faced with ‘evil’ people and that unless we fight evil with evil we will succumb. It is precisely because we are democratic and special that, in Ignatieff’s words “necessity may require us to take actions in defence of democracy which will stray from democracy’s own foundational commitments to dignity.” … If Abu Ghraib was wrong then that wrongness consisted not in stepping across the line into evil behaviour but rather allowing a ‘necessary evil’ (as framed by the squeamish intellectuals) to stray into ‘unnecessary evil’ (as practised by the not-so-squeamish Rumsfeldians).”

Michael Neumann, Professor of Philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, called Ignatieff’s Empire Lite (2003) “a web of foolishness, error and confusion” and described Ignatieff’s argument as: “The US should, having first consulted its own interest, occupy ‘failed states’ and suppress disorder. Then, over what Ignatieff repeatedly emphasises is a long period of time, Americans are to teach these little folks abut judicial procedure, democracy and human rights. Then Americans will help their apt pupils to create sustainably democratic institutions.”

Mariano Aguirre, in a 2005 article called ‘Exporting Democracy, Revising Torture: The Complex Missions of Michael Ignatieff’ calls Ignatieff’s arguments ‘and yet and yet’. “Ignatieff considers himself a liberal, so sometimes he criticizes the Bush administration. And he is an intellectual, so he has doubts about almost everything and airs them with the liberal readers of the New York Times. But in the end he shares the US government’s vision of the violent and compulsory promotion of democracy, the war against terrorism and the use of instruments, for example torture, which are apparently in need of revisionist treatment. … he has established a sort of rational framework for democratisation by force and also for the revision of our understanding of human rights. … His proposal (quoting Alan Dershowitz to cover his back) is that “the issue then becomes not whether torture can be prevented, but whether it can be regulated”. He goes even further, and seems to like the idea that when the police need to torture a suspect they could apply to a judge for a “torture warrant” that would specify the individual being tortured and set limits to the type and duration of pain allowed … In this book he plainly says that “actions which violate foundational commitments to justice and dignity … should be beyond the pale”. But next he indicates: “The problem is to protect them in practice, to maintain the limits, case by case, where reasonable people may disagree as to what constitutes torture, what detentions are illegal, which killings depart from lawful norms, or which pre-emptive actions constitute aggression.” According to Aguirre, Ignatieff also feels George W Bush could be recognized in the future as “a plain-speaker visionary”. When the WMD did not appear in Iraq, he wrote: “I never thought that the key question was what weapons Hussein actually possessed, but rather what intentions he had.”

International relations professor, Ronald Steel, wrote in the New York Times in July 2004: “Michael Ignatieff tells us how to do terrible things for a righteous cause and come away feeling good about it … but is it really true that an evil act becomes lesser simply because it is problematic? Does suffering a twinge of bad conscience justify what we do in a righteous cause? It is comforting to think so, but saying ‘this hurts me as much as it does you’ is neither true nor considered an excuse.”

In 2004, Ignatieff wrote several articles in New York Times Magazine defending both the Iraq war and Bush. On 2 May 2004 he wrote: “Permissible duress might include forms of sleep deprivation that do not result in lasting harm to mental health or physical health, together with disinformation and disorientation (like keeping prisoners in hoods) that would produce stress.” (The Abu Ghraib photos of hooded prisoners were released on April 28.) Michael Ignattieff was also interviewed by Charlie Rose on April 28, 2004, the day the Abu Ghraib photos were released. In the interview he is still clearly in support of the Iraq war. In late 2004, Ignattieff was interviewed on CNN about the US role in the war on terror, where he spoke of its duty to “support the right regimes”, etc. And in 2004 the Liberal Party of Canada began talks with Ignatieff asking him to come back and enter the leadership race for the Liberal Party.

Ignatieff in opposition

From the US state cables, a few points about Ignatieff’s time as the leader of the opposition in Canada:

In cable 09OTTAWA341 the Liberals were the first party Canadians tried to turn to as their ‘Not Harper’ party of choice: “some noted specifically that Ignatieff’s leadership and/or anger over Prime Minister Harper’s performance had motivated them to join the party.” The pro-US stance was apparent from the beginning. “A number of delegates cited in private conversations “synergy” between the new U.S. administration and a future Liberal government. An enthusiastic crowd cheered five images of Ignatieff with President Obama during his visit to Ottawa in February as part of a video backdrop to Ignatieff’s keynote speech to the Convention.” Traditionally, free trade and one-America type policy has been the realm of the Conservative Party, not the Liberals.

Differentiating between the parties was difficult in many cases. In 09OTTAWA377 “The efforts nonetheless put greater ideological light between the Conservatives and the Liberals under Michael Ignatieff, who has as of yet publicly identified few clear policy differences with the Conservatives.” Cable 09OTTAWA954 tells of “the New Democratic Party – which previously had boasted of voting against the government on more than 70 consecutive votes and ridiculed the Liberals for failing to act like a genuine opposition party”.

Opponents of torture and tough on crime legislation had no voice in parliament. Cable09OTTAWA452 writes: “Under new leader Michael Ignatieff, the Liberals have been careful quietly to support the robust Conservative anti-crime agenda in order to deprive the Conservatives of a wedge issue in the next election. Similarly, they are unlikely in principle to oppose, or substantially modify, the anti-terrorism bills.” Cable 10OTTAWA84 describes: “The Truth in Sentencing bill spent just over two months in the House of Commons and passed without amendment on June 8. … Reportedly, Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff insisted privately that the party not be seen as “soft on crime,” prompting some Liberal Senators to absent themselves from the vote.” Cable 09OTTAWA198 “noted that Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff was “flexible” and has a record in his life before politics of supporting robust anti-terrorism measures,” regarding the government’s reintroduced bill to amend the 2001 Anti-terrorism Act.

On the issue of Afghan detainees being handed over by Canadian forces without ensuring their safety from torture, 09OTTAWA906 states: “The opposition parties, together with Amnesty International Canada, insist that the only way to clear up the contradictions in the two versions of the story is for the government to call a public inquiry. … The detainee issue has consumed the daily parliamentary Question Period, but both PM Harper and Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff have largely absented themselves from the debate.” [Bolding added.] When Harper prorogued parliament, outlined in cable 09OTTAWA909, “Opposition Members of Parliament quickly howled in protest, with Liberal house leader Ralph Goodale calling the move “beyond arrogant, almost despotic” and a “shocking insult to democracy.”(Liberal leader Ignatieff has yet to make a public comment.) [Bolding added.] New Democratic Party house leader Libby Davies called prorogation a “political scam.” There has been widespread speculation in the media and among MPs that the Conservatives’ key goal was to block additional committee hearings on allegations of the abuse of Afghan prisoners whom the Canadian Forces had transferred to Afghan authorities.”

Cable 09OTTAWA944 opines “As in the case of post-2011 Canadian plans for Afghanistan (reftels), public interest is extremely limited, and confidence levels in the PM and the Conservatives remain relatively high.” The cable may feel that public interest was low, but Liberal voters were taking note. As is apparent.

On extending Canada’s involvement in the Afghanistan war, cable 08OTTAWA124 writes “Currently all Liberal MPs are publicly onside to end the combat mission in 2009, but doubts remain over the position of deputy leader Michael Ignatieff and other Liberals who supported a continued combat role in 2006, and probably still do today.”

05OTTAWA696 reminds us: “Ignatieff is best known for his recent writings on political ethics in an age of terror, which lays out a middle course between the requirement for aggressive actions to protect liberal societies against sub-national mega-threats, and the need for Western Civilization to retain its ethical soul in the process. …

“Ignatieff opened by paying tribute to the four RCMP officers killed in the line of duty earlier in the day, reminding the audience that this brutal killing of members of a force that is the very symbol of Canada ought to invoke not only sorrow but anger among Canadians. Ignatieff’s belief in the measured and prepared use of force while also consistently trumpeting the social roots of Canadian liberalism, was a common theme. …

“… Ignatieff suggested, but need our own military, our own intelligence service, and we need to be real players in the global war on terror. He reminded the audience that Canada is next door to the main target of terrorism and must ensure it is not used as a staging ground for terrorists. He then spoke of the larger war on terror, suggesting that the central problem in failed states is security, and if Canada is going to be active working in the failed states that are the breeding ground for terrorism, its military & must be able to fire back. …With regards to missile defense Ignatieff sounded a note of caution over the party’s rejection of the BMD program. He said he understood that the government had listened to the party and the party had listened to the country. But he suggested that it was necessary to balance fear of weapons in space, with the protection of Canada’s own sovereignty.”

While Ignatieff was loudly or quietly refusing to stand up for anything Liberal voters traditionally expect their candidates to stand up for, the NDP’s Jack Layton was hard at work. Cable 10OTTAWA12 tells us “The Liberals’ muted response to PM Harper’s late December prorogation of Parliament (ref b) suggests a lack of energy and hands-on leadership (Michael Ignatieff reportedly remains on vacation in France) … Ignatieff personally trailed PM Harper on indices of trust, competence, vision and leadership, even ranking behind New Democratic Party (NDP) leader Jack Layton on overall leadership and trust.” From cable 09OTTAWA766“Despite its pledge to work with the government on EI, the NDP is increasingly positioning itself as the party trying to get results for Canada’s unemployed, while the other parties only fight each other for partisan advantage and seek another expensive federal election. New NDP ads feature Layton with rolled-up sleeves, ready to “get to work.””

While the “leadership role in the world” espoused by Ignatieff consistently revolved around a greatly expanded military, Layton was, in cable 06OTTAWA3423 providing leadership of a different kind. “Jack Layton leveraged a meeting with Prime Minister Harper by threatening to bring down the Conservative minority government on a confidence vote unless Harper agreed to meet with him to discuss the Clean Air Act. … the government surprised many observers by agreeing to Layton’s proposal to send its draft legislation (C-30) directly to a “legislative committee”. … Front runner Michael Ignatieff is no Kyoto fan, whereas second-place Bob Rae is more supportive. … Federal Liberal MP John Godfrey, Bloc Quebecois MP Bernard Bigras, Quebec’s Environment Minister Claude Bechard, and Canadian environmentalists openly mocked Ambrose and derided the government’s climate change stance as “scandalous,” “idiotic,” and “ridiculous.” Bechard, whose comments were less vitriolic, said he hoped Ambrose would acknowledge Quebec’s Kyoto plan at the Conference this week. “We can’t say that Kyoto is impossible in Canada when one of the provinces, Quebec, has a plan to meet Kyoto with minimum participation from the federal government”.

The future in Canada.

Yes, Stephen Harper is a Bad Man, found in contempt of parliament and many other things, who was elected by 23% of the eligible voters, including many who were “holding their noses” and voting Anyone But NDP. Yes, he will enact policies that very few Canadians agree with, disrespect all parliamentary and legal restrictions, and, as he has promised so many times, make Canada unrecognizable in four years. But Canada is a democracy, and in four years there will be another election. If 1993 is anything to base guesses on, the Conservative party will be wiped off the political map at that point, after 4 years of unfettered, unpopular policy making. In four years the NDP will be a strong, experienced socialist leaning opposition party. In four years, some form of proportional representation may be implemented which will guarantee at least some seats for the Green, Pirate, Marijuana, etc. parties. And in four years, the Liberal Party of Canada will hopefully have woken up to the fact that Canada is a multi party democracy, the people have choice, and if they are not given a leader they can stomach they will not vote Liberal. The new leader will probably be this guy or this guy. Neither are internationally acclaimed (or reviled) intellectuals. But neither would dream of suggesting torture and pre-emptive wars to the Canadian public as Liberal ideas.

Canadians have not destroyed their home, they are just spring cleaning. This is the point where they have emptied all the closets into the middle of the room and it looks awful. But in four years, it should be much better than ever, and all credit will be to the bravery of the voters who refused to be told by any media or politicians, national or international, that they did not have a choice.

 
 

There Is Nothing To Fear But Fear Itself

The world has been rightly preoccupied with the plight of people in the countries currently being occupied by the US / NATO armies, which are understood to be the countries they are at war with. No one seems to recognize that the countries most occupied by these forces are the US, followed by their allies.

No, these people are not having bombs dropped on their heads as they starve in toxic environments. But I still cannot ignore the despair and hysteria in some of the people on the internet today. These people were brought up as the chosen ones. They have been told all of their lives that they are the superior race, everyone wants to be them, and everyone hates them for their ‘way of life’. They have been taught to fear and have contempt for all other people in the world. They have been discouraged from ever listening to a viewpoint outside their country on the grounds that it was ‘propaganda’ (old) or ‘biased’ (current).

They have lost all of their personal freedoms and dignity in the name of ‘national security’, because everyone else is jealous and coming to get them. They have lost their homes, their health, their jobs, and the money to buy food, and that is the fault of other countries, probably China. Like a rescued feral animal, these people are not going to view the overthrowing of the MIC and the rise of democracy as anything good. In the minds of these people, all that is standing between them and certain death or worse, is their big strong army, ‘the finest fighting force in the history of the world’.

Like we saw with the civil rights movement, people bred on hate cannot understand that the people they have harmed the most may not want them destroyed. They who cannot forgive, do not understand the potential for forgiveness. This week, they are genuinely terrified. All they can see is that someone is taking away their big strong shield and leaving them at the mercy of all these people who hate them and want to kill them.

We come in peace.

From Martin Luther King, an expert on the subject:

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies – or else? The chain reaction of evil – hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars – must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive.

The Military Mafia

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Just as I was about to write this overdue article, Google tells me Castro got there before me. Google also informs me that it is the name of several social media fan clubs, WAG’s of the military, etc. Cute.

This past Remembrance Day has convinced me that most people don’t even realize the WAG’s are not joking. This year, I heard the same stories about people’s grandfathers that I’ve heard every Remembrance Day of my life. But these armies are not our grandfather’s armies. The US military and its contractors, are made up of professional, full time, cradle to grave soldiers. They are bred on hate and violent media, they are desensitized from childhood, and they enter the army as teenagers. These are not regular citizens forced to give up their daily lives for a period to defend their country. These are professional killers.

Their actions are criminal, not just as a few individuals going against the system, but by adhering to the system at all.  These armies are not fighting to defend civilians, to protect their families, homes and environments. When the wars are started and run in order to slaughter and terrorize citizens for the profit of industry, when food, shelter and safety are destroyed and drugs, oil and industry are protected, when environments are destroyed and free will is forbidden, this is not a citizen army.

I cannot put it better than this:
“Elected leaders as managers for the nation who misuse the military as a personal tool for usurping the powers of the citizens are known as authoritarian oligarchies, tyrants or dictators. If a nation’s military core role and function to defend its citizens changes to suppressing its citizens, the military loses its national credibility and honors bestowed upon it by its citizens. Then, the military of a nation-state become a mercenary institution whose loyalty and service is for sale to the highest bidder. The generals of the military become co-dictators and become known as juntas which are basically military dictators. Any form of token civil governments under a junta is a just a rubber stamp and mouthpiece of the authoritarian oligarchies, tyrants or dictators. The nation-state categorically becomes a military state. All other legitimate powers within the nation-state become pawns and tools of the mercenary institution and juntas.”

If there is any doubt about the state of today’s military here is a great resource about military contractors, or watch this. These contractors are not only not a citizen army, they are criminals for hire, available to private citizens, criminals, industry, and yes, of course, to any of the countries they are currently fighting against. The mercenary army was elevated to its current status by Bush in the Iraq war. Making money from war, and war crimes, is a family tradition for Bush, it obviously came naturally to him to connect war and industry even further. He created the huge billion dollar no-bid contracts that were awarded to republican backing mercenary firms such as Blackwater in Iraq, Afghanistan, post Katrina New Orleans and several areas in Africa. That’s not me being too lazy to research, it is impossible to say with any certainty where these armies are, what they are doing, or how many torture camp “prisons” they operate.

But those who felt that a new president was the answer have had a shock. According to this article,
“Bob Woodwards new book revealed that the CIA is operating a 3000 man secret army broken in to Counterterrorism Pursuit Teams, and when asked to respond to this the White House basically replied with an answer that suggested we – as Americans – should be proud of this development. For all the political rhetoric otherwise, the Obama administration has been remarkably aggressive in how they fight war – they support the use of CIA army’s, they have expanded the use of drone strikes, and despite campaign rhetoric otherwise – the Obama folks love private mercenary firms.”

This appears to be the new US / NATO army, an international gang of thugs, armed to the teeth and earning billions per contract. How on earth is this to be stopped? The ever astute Castro pointed out:

“They cannot even offer the hope that the world economic crisis can be overcome, or how much longer any improvement would last. The total public debt of the United States, not only that of central government, but the rest of the country’s public and private institutions, has already risen to a figure that is equal to the world GDP of 2009, which amounted to $58 trillion. Did those meeting in Lisbon maybe think to ask themselves where those fabulous resources came from? Simply, from the economy of all the other nations in the world, to which the United States handed over pieces of paper converted into dollar bills which, for 40 years now, unilaterally ceased having their backing in gold, and now that the value of that metal is 40 times superior. That country still possesses its veto within the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Why wasn’t that discussed in Portugal?”

Good point. Especially since, if there is one thing we have learned from Rome, No money, No military, No empire.

They Act With Impunity Now

The US president orders the assassination of a US citizen without a trial. The Canadian prime minister signs Canada up for another three plus years of war, after explicit promises not to, and says he does not have to ask parliament. The Swedish justice system, in full view of the eyes of the world, railroads a private foreign citizen through a kangaroo court with no due process. What on earth is going on, you may ask, if you haven’t been paying attention.

Why are the world’s leading democracies looking so indistinguishable from fascist states? Because we didn’t listen all those years ago when US president Eisenhower told us about the military industrial complex. In 1961 he said, “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists … We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

Apparently, we weren’t up to the task. Benito Mussolini said, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power”. Yes. When the state is forcing it’s citizenry like cattle through radiation and violations of their personal and human rights and dignity and fining them if they refuse, all to award billions to a military industry, we are there. When the armies we once loved and respected have turned into an international gang of marauding mercenaries and professional killers, we are there. When trade has nothing to do with what people need or want and all to do with what industry can force on a populace for a profit, we are there. Unpredictable and ever changing legal systems, police that fight the people and guard the criminals, media that advertise the lies instead of the truth, food, shelter, safety, communication, and even sex controlled by industry, military and government, we are there. Look around and say hello to the worldwide corporate fascist government.

The next time you look at a trial and think, oh, that isn’t right, I’ll sign a postcard, the next time you watch a country fight each other about which of two identical dictators will be terrorizing them for the next four years or so, as if the choice was a choice at all, the next time you wonder why everything in the entertainment industry is mindless porn and violence and where did all the intelligent, beautiful  art go, remember. The world is being run by the mafia. In the immortal words of George Carlin, they don’t care about you.

But they don’t have to. Get healthy, get strong, get educated and informed, and start contributing to your own governance. The point of fascism is the few are controlling the many. That only works until the many wake up. I wish George could have been here to see it.

Lest We Forget

I’ve been feeling so conflicted about Remembrance Day. For years I have been telling myself to just remember the things I’m proud of, the feeling I got reading Rilla of Ingleside and hearing about the brave and innocent Canadian boys who went off in World Wars I and II to countries they had probably never heard of, just because they were told it was right and their duty. Sad, but very noble, and something missing from today’s mostly narcissistic society. Or I concentrate on the brave peacekeepers, medics, true journalists, etc., who are fighting for peace. And I smile and wear my poppy.

I still haven’t put my poppy on this year. I watched Rick Mercer’s rant to see if it had any insight for me and the way I was feeling. I used to love Rick Mercer, especially when he was on 22 Minutes, the daring and controversial show that took unexpected and confrontational positions on everything in Canadian life. 22 Minutes spoke for me so often in the days when the comedy was Canada’s most watched news program. Rick’s rant was, as it always is lately, vapid, meaningless, and completely inoffensive to anyone anywhere. It offended me. Deeply.

I took a short spin through the twitter accounts of some Canadian MP’s, those people we pay to ‘confront the issues’. Remember glory values sacrifice families. Yes, but where was the discussion about our role today and why / whether we should be proud? Wrong day? Okay. Can we talk tomorrow? Because I can’t put my poppy on. Justin Trudeau took a break from putting mascara on his moustache to raise money for pharmaceutical companies to use the word valorous and say politicians must be worthy of the valorous soldiers. Mascara is more dangerous than I thought. Has anyone spoke of the problems in the world and what our soldiers are doing to help bring peace and fairness? Or is it enough that they fought when they were asked?

The Canadian people need someone to start speaking to communicate, not just to avoid offending. Traditionally, our comedians have done it. Where are they? Where are the politicians with passion, the Levesques and Trudeaus, for that matter the John A MacDonalds, who are willing to offend and to make a stand? Because we have a lot to talk about, and we need to start communicating for real. This inoffensiveness is extremely offensive and we need to stop tolerating it.

It’s not that I don’t admire the brave people who have left home and given up their physical and emotional health and sometimes their lives to try to bring peace to the world. I am extremely grateful. But I want to know that what they are doing is right, that they are not being made to hand soldiers over to be tortured, that they are not being made to support an evil empire in its plans for world domination, that they are not being used as bureaucratic mercenaries to serve another country, that they are not being political pawns. I want to be certain that their own behaviour is above reproach. I want to say I admire the Canadian Armed Forces and I am grateful and I do not support almost everything they have done lately. How do I fit all of that on a poppy?

New Orwellian Dictionary (NOD)

Who controls the words controls your thoughts.

A dictionary to be used to understand the new Doublespeak. All words and definitions in this dictionary have been discovered in use.

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a punk rock band: Pussy Riot for those with editors.

a sexual orientation: Rape, torture, abduction, and sometimes murder and dismemberment of children by powerful men.

action: Blowing people up. Archaic: a physical fitness program

adulthood: A state of resignation, obedience and complete childlike dependence on authority. When children reach an age of autonomy and independence they are placed in a state ordered transition period called ‘youth’, and coerced into becoming dependent, fearful adults.

active theatres: Places being bombed.

activist: Person who does anything.

affluenza: Successful criminal defence against prosecution on the grounds that your parents are rich. (US)

aggressive interrogation methods: Torture.

al Qaeda: Adjective used to turn any career into a war crime, ie. taxi-driver = al Qaeda courier, journalist = al Qaeda propagandist, child = al Qaeda royalty. Former term: communist. Obsolete: see ISIS.

allies: Self definition of those who threaten to abandon their professed principles every time anyone says anything offensive to them.

active theatres: Places being bombed.

an act of asymmetric warfare waged against us: Suicide by Guantanamo detainee (US)

assets: Informants and traitors.

asylum seeker: Refugee.

axis of evil: Countries that are going to be hard to conquer, but are first on the list.

axis of hate and terror: Countries the US hates and is terrified of.

backscatter or body imaging x-ray machines: Pornoscope.

bad guys: We can torture, murder, indefinitely detain them. Laws don’t apply because they are bad guys.

behavior detection officers: Stalkers.

belligerent Arab: All Arabs. Reason genocide is permissible. But see non-belligerent Arab for theoretical others. (Israeli)

biased: Critical of the US.

beyond the axis of evil: Countries that are really annoying and will be bombed when the US has a minute.

bringing home US troops: Leaving private contractors.

Canada: The resource corporation formerly known as the Hudson’s Bay Co. Currently a subsidiary of Power Corp.

cannot store, export, print or transmit images: Able to store, export, print or transmit images.

cartel: Men with guns in South America or Mexico.

cash for access scandal: influence peddling, possible crime.

causing terrorism, pandemic diseases and nuclear proliferation: Releasing state department cables.

cavity search: Rape.

checkpoint: Black hole where no human rights exist.

child porn: 1. Media documenting the rape, torture, abduction, and sometimes murder and dismemberment of children. 2. An excuse to invade / occupy / control the internet and increase the control by the powerful paedosadist rings.

child sex: Rape, torture, abduction, blackmail and sometimes murder and dismemberment of children by the powerful.

child prostitute: Child who has been raped, tortured and sometimes abducted, blackmailed, murdered and/or dismembered by the powerful.

child soldiers: Acceptable if they played a crucial role in global counter-terrorism efforts:

choose not to have the right of choice: Negotiate with Israel.

CIA: Great job, travel the world, meet interesting people, kill them …

coalition of the willing: Coalition of the billing.

collateral damage: Dead people not from the US.

communist: Obsolete. See al Qaeda.

community control: Incarceration for billionaires, allows frequent travel to New York and private islands in the Virgin Islands.

conditioning techniques: Torture. Archaic: part of a physical fitness program

contingency location: US military base in Africa.

cooperative security location: US military base in Africa.

corruption: Something most Nigerians think is going on in their government when it is actually mere stealing.

counter: The rhetorical equivalent of leading zeros.

counter-attack: Attack.

counter-cyber: See cyber security.

counter-offensive: Offensive, invasion.

counter-proliferation: Proliferation.

counter-terrorism: Terrorism.

cowboy: Criminal too rich or powerful to arrest. (US)

cyber security: Cyber attacks by the NSA.

dangerous on a strategic scale: Exercising free speech.

detained: Illegally assaulted and held captive. Not to be confused with arrested, charged or tried in a court of law.

detained in his absence: Media smeared without talking to him.

detainee: Word used to create a black hole of no human rights between the 3rd Geneva Convention protecting the rights of POWs and the 4th Geneva Convention protecting the rights of civilians. The ICC says you are protected by one or the other but the US has its own international law.

detention centre: Prison for those illegally imprisoned with no trial or criminal charges, frequently refugees including children. Not to be confused with the disciplinary room in high schools.

diplomacy in action: Secret government deals, once they are no longer secret.

diplomatic: Military.

diplomatic brief: Must contain credit card numbers, email addresses, phone, fax and pager numbers, frequent-flyer account numbers, iris scans, fingerprints and DNA, current technical specifications, physical layout and planned upgrades to telecommunications infrastructure and information systems, networks and technologies used by top officials and their support staff, as well as details on private networks used for official comunication, to include upgrades, security measures, passwords, personal encryption keys and virtual private network versions used. Necessary to discuss policy.

diplomatic dwarf: Brazilian. (Israeli)

direct: Invade.

direct action: Killing people.

disarmament: Excuse for war (and increased weapons sales).

disruptive: Preservation of the status quo. Technology following rigid conformity and narrow usage created by teams of three caucasian men and rewarded by billions in investment.

drugs: An excuse to invade / occupy / control American countries.

due process: Impunity for the powerful.

educated: Indoctrinated. Taken from a state of acknowledged and easily remedied ignorance to a state of closeminded conceit in order to prevent learning.

egotistical goat: NSA attack. The empire is ruled by 12 year olds.

egotistical giraffe: NSA attack. The empire is ruled by 12 year olds.

endanger the peace process: (1) Publish the truth. (2) Prosecute war crimes.

endanger the troops: Publish the truth.

engage: Murder.

enhanced coercive interrogation technique: Torture.

enhanced patdown: Pre-flight fondling and groping, drinks not included.

escalation: 1. Invasion.  2. 227 Palestinians murdered in Gaza.

escalation of force: Immediate death with no warning.

ethics scandals: Rape, torture, abduction, blackmail and sometimes murder and dismemberment of children by the powerful.

exigent circumstances: Excuse to seize private property without a warrant or reason – used in harass and detain.

expeditionary warfare: Empire expansion.

extrajudicial: Illegal.

extrajudicial assassination: Murder.

extraordinary rendition: Abduction, usually followed by torture.

extreme psychological stress: Torture.

fast, glamorous women: Teenage girls in the company of a prince.

find, fix and finish: Murder.

foreign nationals: Bad guys.

forward operating site: US military base in Africa.

freedom: Free dumb. Also just another word for nothing left to lose.

freedom of the press: The US constitution guarantees the right of its media corporations to invade other countries and support coups, incite civil wars and promote the interests of its corporations. Freedom of speech by the people, the right most of the world agreed to, is suppressed by disinformation and noise from the free press.

gang: Men with guns in the five eyes or EU.

good guys: May torture, murder, indefinitely detain people. Laws don’t apply because they are good guys.

government: The highly ineffectual complaints department of the corporation you live under.

government actors: Can legally kill people, are not unprivileged combatants even if unidentified and using remote weapons like drones. (US only, duh)

harass and detain: Appropriate response to people the government does not like but has no legal case against.

highly trained security agent: High school dropout.

historic: Anything that has actually happened.

historic child sex abuse inquiry: Inquiry into all of the dead people involved in the rape, torture, abduction, blackmail and sometimes murder and dismemberment of children by the powerful. Used to distract attention from the exponentially increasing living people involved in the industry.

homeland security: Reason for starting wars in Africa and the middle east.

homosexual sex scandal: Rape, torture, abduction, blackmail and sometimes murder and dismemberment of little boys by the powerful.

honour: 1. Something one receives from the behaviour of other people. If the behaviour of others is not satisfactory, murdering them will restore honour to the first party. 2. Something one receives from a flag or powerful imaginary friend. If another person insults the flag or powerful imaginary friend, murdering them will restore honour to the first party.

honour the troops: Keep fighting.

hostiles: People not from the US.

housing bubble: A system designed by banks and governments where people would borrow ever increasing amounts for their homes until they could afford no more, at which point the people would be evicted from their homes and the government would pay the banks money from the people’s taxes instead. A very good joke since the banks did not actually have the money they loaned anyway.

human rights activist: Not a sociopath.

hysteria: Speech by women.

illegal immigrant: Refugee.

incursion: Invasion.

inflection point: Points at which wars are announced as ending/having ended after it becomes apparent that they did not.

information terrorism: Free speech.

innovation management: Preventing disruptive technology from disrupting the paradigm that made the management billionaires.

instability: What would happen if people stopped having bombs dropped on their heads.

intergenerational sex: Rape of children.

intermediate milestones: Points at which wars are announced as ending/having ended after it becomes apparent that they did not.

international law: Retroactive US body of law created in 2006 to govern all people internationally. See murder in violation of the law of war.

innocent civilians: Informants and traitors.

innocent lives: Lives of people from the US. Also informants and traitors.

insurgents: People not from the US. Also, boy over 9 years old.

internet provocateur: ‘Whistleblower website’ after pentagon renaming initiative.

iris scans, fingerprints and DNA: Necessary for diplomatic communication.

ISIS: Former term: see al Qaeda. Obsolete: see Boko Haram.

Israeli-Palestinian violence: 227 Palestinians murdered in Gaza.

Jean-Luc Picard: Gen Keith Alexander, NSA chief.

job: Occupation which enriches the powerful and enables capitalism.

joint priority effects list: Hit List.

justice: Just is.

justice system: Co-option of social justice by the powerful. Created to appoint the judges, silence the witnesses and control the outcome.

kill list: Way to keep track of all the people you should be trying to kill when you blow things up, but accidents happen. See looking forward.

land of the free: Country with the highest documented incarceration rate in the world.

lasting peace and security: Occupation.

laws of war: The US, which does not obey any of the laws of war created by international organizations and international law, has created their own laws of war. The US laws are to be obeyed only by people who are not from the US.

leader of the free world: Head of an international network of prisons and torture camps.

libertarians: People who think taxation is a physical assault but childbirth is something not worth paying for.

looking for terrorists: Cyber attacks by the NSA.

looking forward: Refusing to prosecute illegal behaviour because it was in the past (Obama). Explains a lot about preventive detainment.

lurid speculation: When those on the bottom accuse those on the top.

massacre: 3 US citizens killed.

media polls: Used in Canada to decide citizenship and human rights entitlement.

medic: US commando if they are killed in battle.

men with guns: The solution to bringing peace to the world. Hasn’t worked yet because there aren’t enough of them and they need bigger guns.

mercs: Sometimes used to describe people from the US, sometimes a short form of mercenary army. Interchangeable for most of the world.

message force multipliers: Generals delivering the propaganda news.

military: Men with guns in state employment.

military analyst: Generals delivering the propaganda news.

militia: Men with guns in Africa.

mission: War.

moral panic: Concern over threats or crimes against women and children. See also hysteria.

murder in violation of the law of war: A child killing a professional killer from the US.

national human intelligence collection directive: Spying directives for diplomats.

national security: Protects royals and politicians from the torches and pitchforks of the nation. Security of the state from the nation.

negate their capacity in the battlefield: Assassinate in bed.

neutralized: Murdered.

non-belligerent Arab: Person who must be relocated from the place they are a citizen of to somewhere unspecified. The problem this poses is only theoretical, see belligerent Arab. (Israeli)

normal torture: The kind that is legal in US prisons.

not a journalist: We can kill them.

not a US citizen: We can kill them.

NSA files: Files of journalists’ emotions about their job and each other. Feeds a daily column in most international news outlets.

Official Secrets Act: Created to block any inquiries into high level paedosadist rings in the opinion of the UK police.

opened our aperture: Allowed children of all ages to be legitimate targets.

one of the very core powers of the president as commander in chief: Murdering US citizens without a trial.

onionbreath: NSA attack on Tor. The empire is ruled by 12 year olds.

orchestrate: Invade.

our on-going diplomatic activity: Wars.

our troops: Blackwater.

our way of life: World domination.

outposts of tyranny: Countries being tyrannized by the US.

panelists: Unelected politicians in power.

peace process: Process by which peace is perpetually postponed by the pretense that peace itself is an action instead of the discontinuance of actions.

peacekeepers with aggressive mandate: Soldiers. Also, warmakers.

peccadillo: Rape, torture, abduction, blackmail and sometimes murder and dismemberment of children if committed by the powerful.

pedophile/paedophile [child lover]: Establishment approved name for those who rape, torture, abduct, blackmail and sometimes murder and dismember children.

perverting the course of justice: Telling anyone that you were raped by a powerful man.

piracy: An excuse to invade / occupy / control personal communication.

played a crucial role in global counter-terrorism efforts: Fought on the same side as the US.

populist: Democracy which produces results benefiting the people in the voting nation instead of the powerful in the US.

post-combat: Combat.

power vacuum: What is created when the US is not in power. Leads to instability.

preventive detainment: Kidnapping and holding someone without trial, for something they may do in the future. See looking forward.

privacy: Something that must be protected for the rich and powerful at all costs. No one else is entitled to any privacy because the risk to the rich and powerful would be too great. ‘The risks of political embarrassment to the Government is rather greater than the security danger.’

prosecution to include discovery practice: Torture.

public propagandist without portfolio: Me.

pursue justice without making a political mess: Don’t allow accusations of powerful people.

radicals, idealists, realists and opportunists: activists, according to Stratfor.

reasonable expectation of privacy: In the US, if you do not expect privacy, you are not entitled to it, ie. no reasonable person expects privacy in a US airport, so it is no longer a right.

reassess our posture towards them next year: Response to use of child soldiers by allies.

reduce  the escalation: Attack.

rent boy: Boy who has been raped, tortured and sometimes abducted, blackmailed, murdered and/or dismembered by the powerful.

rogue nations: Sovereign countries that disobey the president of the US.

satire: Hate speech against those the powerful like to demonize.

saving lives: Killing people.

scandal: Crimes committed by the powerful

search and seizure: random theft of goods by authorities, protected against by the US constitution unless you fly.

security contractors: Professional criminals.

serious torture: The kind that is not legal even in US prisons.

sex: Rape, torture, abduction, blackmail and sometimes murder and dismemberment of children by the powerful.

sex scandal: Rape, torture, abduction, blackmail and sometimes murder and dismemberment of children by the powerful.

sexy: prosecuting a tortured child in a kangaroo court on a trumped up charge that allowed the death penalty.

sick, un-American espionage efforts: Journalism.

social panic: Threats to the freedom of sadists to do as they wish.

soften up: Torture.

special methods of questioning: Torture.

single most potent tool we have in protecting America and foiling terrorist attacks: Torture.

stabilizing: Occupying.

Stipulation of Fact: Fictional work prepared by US military and signed by torture victims.

stress position: Torture.

strike: Blow people up.

student loans: Indentured servitude.

suicide: Something you should be prepared to kill yourself to avoid. (Nigerian – ok just PJ.)

support the troops: Increase military spending.

sustained diplomacy: Occupation.

targeted counter-terrorism missions: Wars.

telegenically dead: Murdered by Israel. Any reporting will be considered terrorist propaganda.

terrorist: Men with guns in the Middle east or predominantly Muslim parts of Africa.

terrorism: 1. Threats to powerful men or corporations. 2. An excuse to invade / occupy / control Middle Eastern countries.

the five eyes: The Illuminati. The UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand who share intelligence about the entire world in their quest for world domination. Not to be confused with the Illuminati.

The Truman Show: Documentary about Canada.

theatre: Place where wars are staged. Exactly what it sounds like.

themes and messages: Propaganda

thing that has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war: Death.

Thought Leaders: Paid by establishment to lead your thoughts.

threats to our way of life: Countries fighting back.

time for reflection, not retribution: Time when CIA ought to be prosecuted for torture, etc.

tools necessary to protect the American people: Torture.

tools needed to continue to fight the war on terror and bring these evil people to justice: Torture.

training mission: War.

treason: The act of helping an enemy of the US, by anyone, including foreign enemies of the US.

truth: Terrorism.

un-American: Rogue Swedish Australians.

undisclosed remediation packages: Secret bribes to avoid criminal charges.

unemployed: Unwaged.

unknown unknowns: Excuse for war.

unlawful enemy combatant: Flexible term used to apply the following law:
US special forces and anyone Obama says is a ‘government actor’ can legally kill children.
It is a war crime for children to kill US Special Forces.

unnatural sexual proclivities: rape, torture and sometimes abduction, blackmail, murder and/or dismemberment by the powerful.

unreliable: countries which let the law stop them from killing / torturing / abducting people.

unspecified global threat: excuse to drone Yemen.

US defense: US Empire.

US interests: World assets, comprising natural resources and industries.

war: murder of helpless civilians in Gaza.

war crime: 2006: It is ok for US soldiers to kill children, but it is a war crime for children to kill US special forces commandos.
2013: It is a war crime to return aggressive force on members of an invading army if the UN has assigned them blue helmets.

We Protect: PR initiative undertaken by the paedosadism industry. Objectives are to block all search results of paedosadist stories from the Internet and arrest any victims and others involved in the industry who may be thinking of testifying.

witch hunt: Attempts to bring powerful torturers and murderers, including Catholic priests, to justice.

work: Creating wealth for the wealthy.

wrinkle: Invasion.

Xe: Ze evil Blackwater Academi, new names, same games.

Orwellian Circus: Khadr’s Trial

Omar Khadr was taken as a child from his home in Canada to live in Afghanistan. When he was 15, he was caught in a battle with US forces. He lost his vision in one eye, was shot in the back twice, and was confined in US torture camps from the time he was 15 until he was 24, without a trial, and without access to a lawyer for years. Despite years of UN protests that he should be rehabilitated as a child soldier, not tried, he was brought before seven US officers in a military trial for committing “murder in violation of the law of war.” Yes, that’s right, seven officers in the US military. Who haven’t obeyed any of the rules of war since we have been watching.

The “murder”, a 15 year old boy throwing a grenade in a battle at a professional killer and invader, is one he has denied for the duration of his imprisonment despite constant “interrogation” since he was 15 years old. There is no evidence that he threw the grenade, and there is a great deal of evidence that he didn’t, including initial US military reports. There is a video of him at Guantánamo crying in “interviews”. A US medic has described Khadr weeping and shackled in Bagram. The “confession” the US military has finally obtained after nearly a decade of torturing a child, is referred to in court as a “stipulation of fact“. It is presented to the jury without allowing them to know that Khadr was offered a plea bargain in exchange.

The rumoured plea bargain will not include any recognition of the years he has already served, he will be sent to the maximum security level at Guantánamo despite not giving any security concerns during all of his years of imprisonment, and the “interrogation” is to continue. It is likely that he will be recommended for transfer back to Canada after the first year, but there has been no interest from the Canadian government in enabling that.

Here are some of the more bizarre items coming out in the tweets and reports from attendees at the trial. *

Children killed by professional killers do not matter. Professional killer’s children matter. The court listened for one hour (or 45 minutes, according to some tweets) to testimony from the US professional killer’s widow about how his death has impacted her family. Has any US soldier listened to any family of any of the civilians they have killed/tortured/raped/kidnapped? According to the professional killer’s widow, her “children are good, loving, wonderful people. They didn’t deserve to have their father taken by someone like you.” Asked by a jury member if she would see Khadr in a different light if he had been dressed in the uniform of an “enemy soldier” during the firefight, she said “yes.” The former fifteen year old apologized to the widow of the professional killer, but she shook her head and told him he would  “forever be a murderer.” It  is ok for US soldiers to murder children, but it is a war crime for children to murder US soldiers.

There is lengthy testimony from a US psychiatrist who explains the hate and resentment he feels certain is burning below the surface (where no one has been able to find any evidence of it) in Khadr. He cites Khadr’s family as being a big influence on him. (Khadr has been in a US torture camp since he was 15. He is now 24.) He also says Muslim militants look up to Khadr’s dead father. And Khadr is surrounded by Muslim militants. Therefore he is a risk of causing further violence. Immediately after the psychiatrist, the professional killer’s widow took the stand. She described how her son told everyone on Remembrance Day that everyone in the US military looked up to his dead father. They all came to his funeral. They named a clinic after him. His father’s US militant friends explain how they spend as much time as possible with him. “Army rocks, bad guys stink,” says the son of the professional killer. The courtroom weeps.

After hearing the psychiatrist’s views that Khadr being a “devout” Muslim made it impossible for him to ever be “deradicalized”, the professional killer’s friends take the stand to describe him. Captain E says Speer made “peace with the war around him.” Asked to give one word to sum up his friend, Captain E said “Super stud”.  Super studs who are comfortable with war are better people than devout Muslims. (In recognition of this, the defense lawyer provided evidence that Khadr wasn’t that devout.)

The same psychiatrist says of Khadr, he is very dangerous because “he’s physically resilient”, “socially agile”,  “street smart”, “the other detainees give him regard”, athletic and taller than most detainees, “charming”, speaks various languages and that he “has attracted more attention to Cuba than Fidel”. Also, he is a prayer leader and speaks fluent English so can communicate with guards and has become a leader. He has the “stardust of royalty”, is “devout”, “identifies with his family,” and has become his family’s “white sheep”. He is “charming” and carries himself with “grace.” On a “superficial” level he seems very “Westernized.” And he is a “rock star” of Guantánamo. All of this makes him very dangerous.

Worst of all, the psychiatrist repeatedly states that Khadr has been  “marinated in jihad” at the US torture camps. Because he has been imprisoned without a trial since he was 15, he has met all the wrong sort. Plus, since he was tortured by US soldiers, he might hate them.

As if being a tall, athletic, ambitious, charismatic, graceful, resilient, street smart, charming, multi-lingual, prayer leader was not enough, he has read Harry Potter. Which is escapism. For someone to want to escape Guantánamo or Bagram seems strange to this psychiatrist. He has also read CS Lewis, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Ismael Beah, Danielle Steele and John Grisham, along with many educational texts etc., but Harry Potter seemed much more worthy of note. He is obviously not a Christian.

He must serve his sentence in the maximum security level at Guantánamo, despite his guards being almost universal in their opinions that he is a nice kid, because he called one a “bitch”. Also a “whore”. And once he said “fuck”.

Going to Canada would be bad, because Canada doesn’t have real  “de-radicalization therapy”. The prosecution asked a professor at small Christian college if her college has a “deradicalization program on campus.” No. And anyway, “How will a devout Muslim integrate into Canada?”

The jury of seven impartial US officers will make their deliberation after an impartial and fair trial in which they will be told that Khadr pled guilty. They won’t know about his negotiated plea sentence or the threats of death, rape or torture that were used and admitted to by “interrogators”. They will see an FBI simulated 10-second clip of a Humvee explosion as an example of something that Khadr might have done, if it had happened, but it didn’t.

*For first hand reporting, and accurate quoting, follow the hashtag #Khadr. Most of the people tweeting are reporters who are at the trial. Most have links to their own articles on their twitter accounts. The tweeting by them has been excellent.

Update: The closing arguments were not less bizarre.

“The accused is not a soldier” and any reference to him as one does a “disservice” to men and women in uniform. Because professional killers are better people than civilians defending their country.

“They fight for no country. They fight for a religon.” Because fighting for your country is morally superior to fighting for your religon.

The US decided to put the Canadian in Guantanamo and offered him no “de-radicalization” program, but to release him to Canada would be wrong because Canada’s “deradicalization programs” are not good enough.

The prosecution points out that Khadr was a very mature 15 year old. He spoke four languages. Intelligence is bad. Possibly criminal.

The defense summed up the position of the prosecutor. “Omar Khadr was a lawful target but he didn’t have the right to fight back.”

The tweeters have added great links to letters between Khadr and the english professor from Alberta, a painting by Khadr, and letters from Speer’s children, the oldest four years younger than Khadr was at the time of his imprisonment and torture. Also two minutes from a documentary You Don’t Like the Truth, and a video of a speech from his defense lawyer. Coverage that includes exhibits.

The End: After the prosecution requested a sentence of 25 years, after the jury were told they could consider the 8 he had already served, after they were told they could consider the fact that he was a child, they came back with a sentence of 40 years more. That’s 48 in total. Not in a prison, in solitary confinement in a torture camp where he is still allowed to be “interrogated”. For a crime the US military themselves said he did not commit until they had to invent a reason for keeping him in prison. For a sentence of 10 years or more, 6 of the 7 jurors had to agree.

At the sentencing of a tortured child to solitary confinement, the widow of the professional killer gave a fist pumping cheer. U!S!A! Fuck Yeah!

But the most perverse thing in this whole trial? This will make the people of the US feel safer. They honestly will.

Beyond the End: Now we have the release of the plea deal and the diplomatic exchange between Canada and the US. Beyond the general sleaze of such a deal, there is some very specific sleaze.

Khadr must:

d. Knowingly and voluntarily waive and relinquish any request for any forensic or scientific testing of any physical evidence in the United States Government’s possession, including, but not limited to, DNA testing. I fully understand that as a result of this waiver I will not have another opportunity to have any physical evidence in this case submitted for any testing or to employ the results of any testing to support any claim of innocence regarding the offenses to which I am pleading guilty. In addition. I understand the United States Government may dispose of such physical evidence upon sentencing by a Military Commission in this case. He is not allowed to test the prosecution forensic evidence or bring his own.

g. Not initiate or support any litigation or challenge, in any forum in any Nation, against the United States or any official in their personal or official capacity with regard to my capture, detention, prosecution to include discovery practice, post conviction confinement and/or detainee combatant status. I further agree to move to dismiss with prejudice any presently pending direct or collateral attack challenging my capture. detention, prosecution and/or detainee combatant status; to implement this aspect of this agreement, following announcement of the sentence in this case, I direct my counsel to submit a motion to dismiss the petition for habeas corpus in my case currently pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia as well as all claims currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. New Orwellian term for torture: “prosecution to include discovery practice”.

i. While in the continued custody of the United States, submit to interviews whenever and wherever requested by United States law enforcement officials, intelligence authorities, and prosecutors. I understand the requesting parties will notify my legal counsel of the interviews. However, I waive any right I may have to my attorneys being present for the interviews. I understand I must be completely truthful during these interviews. I also agree, while in U.S. custody, to appear, cooperate, and testify truly, before any grand jury. any court, military court or hearing, military commission or any other proceeding requested by the United States Government. He has to appear as a defense witness for the US, and if he tells the truth then, he will be convicted for his perjury now. He has to do this without legal advice, which he is also denied during “interviews”.

j. I agree and understand that if I am not truthful in any testimony I may provide, I may be prosecuted for perjury, false statement or other similar offense before any court or Military Commission having jurisdiction over me. See above.

His own defense was determined by the prosecution:

a. I will not seek to offer any testimony, in any form, from any detainee presently held at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay:
b. I will not seek to obtain any depositions to be offered at the presentencing hearing, nor will I offer any depositions at the presentencing hearing;
3 c. I will not seek to offer the testimony, either in court or via VTC of any witness, other than: (I) Dr. Katherine Porterfield: (2) Dr. Steven Xenakis. (3) Captain McCarthy; and (4) Dr. Arlette Zinck, all of whom the Government has agreed to produce at U.S. Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba for sentencing. (understand that sentencing proceedings will not be delayed to if these witnesses are unavailable.)

h. … my transfer to Canada is contingent upon the consent of the Government of Canada … which is to say, it is dependent on what the US tells Canada to do.

Note: This article was a quick response to what was happening at the trial as it was being conducted. Since the trial, there have been many thoughtful articles written about the case which are well worth reading. A start:

The National Post – Tony Keller

The Star – Michelle Shephard

Andrea Prasow – senior counter-terrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch

The Miami Herald – Carol Rosenberg