02 February 2009


How on Earth can they possibly say this?

"It recalls, for example, the Liberal leader's onetime support of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and his public defence of torture."

I would implore the Canadian Press, CTV, and any other news outlet running this story to provide an example of Michael Ignatieff defending the practice of torture in public, in print, or anywhere else. Because they will not find one.

I will update this later today when I have access to my copy of The Lesser Evil so that I can provide an absolutely definitive quote in which Michael Ignatieff denounces torture as a practice.

In the meantime, I am contacting the Liberal HQ as well as the Canadian Press about this vile portrayal of the Liberal leader.


I will still get that book quote later, but this is how Ignatieff concludes his April 2006 essay in "If Torture Works," published in the UK journal Prospect:

We cannot torture, in other words, because of who we are. This is the best I can do, but those of us who believe this had better admit that many of our fellow citizens are bound to disagree. It is in the nature of democracy itself that fellow citizens will define their identity in ways that privilege security over liberty and thus reluctantly endorse torture in their name. If we are against torture, we are committed to arguing with our fellow citizens, not treating those who defend torture as moral monsters. Those of us who oppose torture should also be honest enough to admit that we may have to pay a price for our own convictions.

***Update 2***

Page 143, The Lesser Evil:
"The same premise is true of Saddam Hussein's Iraq or Burma or North Korea. For these societies, the practice of torture is definitional to their very identity as forms of state power. This idea helps us to see why torture should remain anethema to a liberal democracy and should never be regulated, countenanced, or covertly accepted in a war on terror. For torture, when committied by a state, expresses the state's ultimate view that human beingsa are expendable. This view is antithetical to the spirit of any constitutional democracy wholse raison d'etre is the control of violence and coercion in the name of human dignity and freedom."

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