Torture... for the nerves
A secret committee at the highest levels in Canada's spy agency has been set up to decide when the information obtained by torture abroad is worth it.
In 2010 the Stephen Harper government decided to accept information obtained under torture from the abroad if there were lives at risk.
No law was passed. Public Safety Minister Vic Toews simply issued a directive to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service giving the go-ahead.
The problem with information obtained under torture is that often the information is not worth beans.
Individuals being tortured will say anything to get torturers to stop.
The secret committee is led by No. 2 man in the Canadian spy agency, Michel Coulombe. The committee's existence was previously unknown outside the intelligence service until recently.
The committee will also decide what information in the hands of Canadian authorities can be sent to foreign spy agencies to make people talk.
Ultimately, Dick Fadden Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence will have the last word.
Amnesty International Canada said the information that Canada shared with foreign spy agencies after September 2001 contributed to the torture in Syria of Canadians of Arab origin.
We now know that in the case of the Ottawa engineer Maher Arar, the RCMP, under the command of the Canadian government supplied Syria with questions to ask him while the Syrians tortured him.
Syrian government officials have a variety of ways that they use today to prod the memories of those who oppose the regime of Bashir al-Assad.
The real question we should be asking is, "Why is Canada using torturers in other countries to do our dirty work? »