Saturday, May 21, 2011

Waterboarding Again? Torture, Is it reliable?

Here we go again! The defenders of waterboarding are back in the limelight. It's interesting that these ex-Bush-men always seem to argue in favor of water torture (waterboarding) by using pragmatics. They're argument is, "because it works, therefore we should do it" They're consideration of whether it is morally or ethically right does not come in to play. This may be a reflection of their moral compass in general. Violate the law, cheat, torture and even kill to get the job done, seems to be their way.

The irony is that their pragmatic arguments do not have any credibility. There is no evidence to show that waterboarding or any other form of torture is a credible way of extracting information from a suspect.  There is evidence, however, to say that a variety of torture methods do not produce any reliable ways of getting people to talk (Indiana Law Journal - "Behind This Mortal Bone: The (In)Effectiveness of Torture" p. 18; July 2008) The F.B.I. claims that their more conventional, non-torture, methods of interrogation are a superior method of extracting information from a suspect and in fact it was information gleaned from these methods that produced the most reliable information in finding Osama Bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan.

These former Bush-men who defend their sacred waterboarding methods are well educated and should know that there is is no evidence supporting this type of torture. So why do they continue to defend it's use and reinstatement? Their desire to normalize this practice may be in part to justify their use in the past and avoid charges of war crimes because they have violated the Geneva Convention. It's important for the present administration to pursue prosecution of anyone in the former Bush administration that were responsible  for ordering the use of such methods.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rape!..."I was drunk and I didn't know what I was doing" - Outrageous

Superior Court Justice Terrence Patterson struck down a federal law prohibiting an excessive intoxication defense in cases of sexual assault. "I didn't know what I was doing, I was too drunk" is now a valid excuse in rape cases thanks to this judge. This is absolutely outrageous! How is this ruling defending the safety of the public? How is this serving the public? Are judges not public servants? In what way are they contributing to the betterment of our country when overturning a law such as this?
The Charter of Rights was an amendment to the Constitution and the intention of this amendment was to protect the citizens of the country from harm by other citizens, the government, and the abuse of authority.  In this case the judge has used the Charter to jeopardize the safety of the public and the personal rights of women to live in peace and safety in their communities. When did the legal system abandon it's purpose? When did it abandon common sense? Our country needs massive legal reform. Judges are accountable to no one. Once they're appointed, they are answerable to no one.

All civil servants should be answerable to the people, just as politicians are. A judge is a public servant and is therefore supposed to serve the public.  It's time we elected our judges. When a judge makes a radical decision such as this the average Canadian is left wondering what is happening in a  Judge's personal life when he makes a ruling in favor of a rapist.