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A questionable record: Delusions of objectivity in the social sciences

Image: Hartwig HKD/flickr

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The American Psychological Association held its annual convention this past weekend in Toronto. It's a huge organization, about 100,000 members -- academics, researchers, practitioners. This is the seventh time in 37 years that they met here, a frequency or repetition compulsion that may be worthy of research and, possibly, therapy. Canadians belong to it, the way the Blue Jays belong to the American League. We're in it but not always of it.

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Thirty-seven per cent of Canadians think torture could be justified

"If the Canadian government used torture against people 'suspected' of terrorism, do you think this could be justified?" Thirty-seven per cent of people polled said yes.

Related rabble.ca story:

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Canadians get on board the torture train

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Just before the annual orgy of Canada Day self-celebration, the Pew Research Center released a poll revealing that over one-third of Canadians supported the use of torture. This was no late April Fool's joke, but rather a shocking figure that was part of a global survey on U.S. foreign policy and the use of what has been referred to as "enhanced interrogation techniques."

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Rendition: Canada, Sweden and Denmark share the same barbaric practice

Photo: Justin Norman/flickr

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What factor is common to Canada, Sweden and Denmark? The snow, perhaps? The cold weather? The social programs? Or maybe smoked salmon?

How about rendition to torture? And how about cooperation with the intelligence authorities of countries which practice torture with total impunity? These may be some of the darkest common factors shared by the three countries, ones that not everyone is aware of.

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New report reveals American Psychological Association's collusion in torture

Photo: Artūrs Gedvillo/flickr

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The legal vengeance case of Omar Khadr

Photo: Khadr family/Wikimedia Commons

A few years ago when some Canadian Muslim men, accused of terrorism, challenged the Canadian government through the courts to ask for their legal rights, voices within the intelligence community rose up and insinuated that these men were waging "judicial jihad."

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How Canada lets people get tortured

Guantanamo Diary

by Mohamedou Ould Slahi
(Little, Brown and Company,
2015;
$32.00)

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.   

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Human rights ignored in Omar Khadr's 13-year imprisonment

Those who value human rights, a fair judicial system and the rule of law, find it incomprehensible that Omar Khadr is still incarcerated. Soon he will again be turning to Canadian courts, which have so often, in his long struggle for justice, ruled in his favour.

In the next few months, a number of legal challenges finally could result in his freedom. With these cases on the horizon, every Canadian committed to basic tenets of justice and democracy is urged to help cover Khadr's mounting legal costs.

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| March 13, 2015
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