Maxime Bernier has gone into Harperite-bob-and-weave mode, a condition we've seen from Gordon O'Connor, Petey MacKay, Rona Ambrose, Gary Lunn and any other Conservative cabinet minister who finds themselves at odds with what is written by government and what they actually present as their public face.
Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier says a department training manual that lists the U.S. and Guantanamo Bay as sites of possible torture does not convey the government's views or position.Embarrassment?! What embarrassment? I'm not embarrassed to have the Canadian government state what we already know is true. We, the people of this nation, know that a solid majority of US citizens, whether they actually support the actions or not, know that the US government engages in torture.
In a statement, Bernier says he regrets the embarrassment caused by the public disclosure of the manual, adding that it contains a list that "wrongly" includes some of Canada's closet allies.
Bernier says the manual is neither a policy document, nor a statement of policy, and that he has directed it to be reviewed and rewritten.
So, if we know that they know, why is the Canadian government suggesting publicly that such is not the case?
But now, because a document, which clearly labels a truth about the United States and specifically the Bush administration, is now public... and apparently was never intended to be made so, it's about to get the Bush treatment: It's going to be "disappeared".
Bernier says the manual is neither a policy document, nor a statement of policy, and that he has directed it to be reviewed and rewritten.What's to rewrite?
The debate that has gone on south of the border has resulted in Bush administration officials trying to lie and obfuscate their way around a known fact: the US government uses methods of interrogation which amount to torture. There are clear admissions of waterboarding.
So, a question to you, Mr. Bernier. You are not in front of a US congressional committee, nor a public inquiry, nor commission of any form. You do not have to get into the specifics of any country. You have no reason to dodge a clear answer since you aren't going to be held accountable for it. You simply have to answer the question, "yes" or "no".
Mr. Bernier, do you consider waterboarding torture?UPDATE: I have had the above question sent directly to Maxime Bernier.