Progressive Minds

Blogging live, from somewhere in the reality-based community. Speaking truth to power. You've entered the real "no spin zone." Republicans beware!


United States Government Outsourced The Torture of Innocent Canadian

@ 11:29 PM (101 months, 22 days ago)

Hmmm.....maybe George Bush is on to something when he says the United States doesn't torture people.  His next line should have been "we just outsource it to countries that DO torture!"

Such is the case of Maher Arar, an Ottawa software engineer.  Canadian police wrongly identified Arar as an Islamic extremist.  He was deported to the United States, and the United States sent him on a rendition flight to Syria, where he was tortured.  While in Syria, he was kept in a coffin-size dungeon for 10 months, and forced to say that he trained with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.  But Mr. Arar has never been to Afghanistan.

It's clear that Canada and the United States are at fault here.  Canada for identifying an innocent man as an Islamic extremist, and the United States for sending this man to Syria to be tortured.

This is a perfect example of why torture doesn't work.  The proponents of torture like George Bush and Condi Rice want the American public to believe that torture (read: "interrogation") leads to valuable intelligence.  But as John McCain has pointed out, torture doesn't work, because the person being tortured is just going to tell the torturer what they want to hear; anything to make the pain stop.

Innocent Canadian deported, tortured

Mr. President, You Need Clarity? Here's your Clarity: George W. Meet Maher Arar, Please


House Republicans Pass Unconstitutional Poll Tax

@ 11:12 PM (101 months, 22 days ago)

Today, House Republicans passed what is tantamount to an unconstitutional poll tax.

They passed a voter ID law which will require everyone to present a photo identification before voting in federal elections by 2008.

The bill does stipulate that the ID cards must be provided free of charge to those who need them.

However, as I've noted before here on the blog, a federal judge struck down this very type of bill in Georgia.  Republicans in Georgia tried to implement a voter ID law (which citizens in the state would have had to pay for).  The judge struck it down as an unconstitutional poll tax. GOP lawmakers in Georgia revised the bill to make the IDs free of charge, but the judge in the case said it still places an undue burden on certain vulnerable populations (i.e. the poor, elderly, etc). 

Now, Republicans in Congress what to implement on a national level, was has already been deemed unconstitutional at the state level.  In short, Republicans want to keep certain populations from having access to the voting booth.  Certain populations that, just by coincidence, overwhelming vote for the other party.

This is an attempt at voter supression (which has been more of a problem than voter fraud).

House passes bill to make voters show ID