Vietnam is surely haunting the U.S. in Iraq, as Tony Burman wrote here last week. But something scary and vague is always haunting the U.S.: not just the sellout at Munich, the Berlin Wall, or the battle of Little Big Horn. Maybe it's hauntedness itself. I happened to rewatch Apocalypse Now last week, Coppola's Vietnam epic based on Conrad's Heart of Darkness, about colonialism in Africa. "The horror, the horror," breathes Brando hauntingly at the end. U.S. policy always manages to metaphysicalize itself out of specifics and into abstractions.
Following December's release of the U.S. Senate report on American complicity in torture, Prime Minister Stephen Harper quickly declared, "It has nothing to do whatsoever with the government of Canada." Despite the CIA's close relationship with Canadian state security agencies, as well as two judicial inquiries finding Ottawa complicit in the torture of Canadian citizens in Syria and Egypt, Harper preferred to ignore the facts.
We are lawyers, activists, academics, and others who are gravely concerned about Bill C-51, which introduces national security-related amendments to several Canadian laws. We oppose the Bill, because it is overbroad, grants unchecked powers to government agencies, and allows for the unqualified infringements on the rights of people in Canada.
Some key deficiencies in Bill C-51 include:
1. Its overbroad definition of "threats"