T-Dot’s Favourite Birdcage Liner Outdoes Itself – UPDATED; UPDATED 11.06: Welcome Galloping Beaver Readers!

by matttbastard

Ok. I always knew the Toronto Sun wasn’t exactly the most progressive daily in the Great White North, but this goes above and beyond anything I’ve ever read within its garish tabloid pages (including some choice Michael Coren columns):

So now that we’ve established that the detainees in question aren’t even protected by the Geneva convention, and that they often have crucial information that can save lives, what about the idea of waterboarding as “torture”?

When asked about it during a recent CNN appearance, I suggested that “one man’s torture is another’s CIA-sponsored swim lesson.” In case anyone thought I was being facetious — I wasn’t.

Not sure what’s more offensive: the trite, almost gleeful apologia for torture, or the also-ran, reheated strudel tenor of the piece. Memo to Quebecor: the world only needs one Ann Coulter. Why give her less-talented brunette doppelgänger a dead tree forum to spew rote, third-rate right-wing rants?

That’s what blogs are for.

TheManWithNoPoint @ A Creative Revolution has put out the action call. Send your respectful correspondence to:



Editorial page editor:


[edit: Quebecor, Inc contact info:

Head Office
612 rue St-Jacques Street
Montreal, Quebec
Canada H3C 4M8
Tel.: (514) 954-0101
(800) 567-7070
Fax: (514) 954-9624]

Related: Frank Frink (in ACR comments) has more details on the ever so delightful Rachel Marsden. [edit expanded on the ACR main page by the one and only pale.] Seriously, she makes even Debbie Stussel Schlussel seem…well, ok, but not quite as…alright, they’re all equally fucked up, but…

Update: Via Think Progress, as noted above, Marsden first coined the waterboarding = ‘CIA-sponsored swim lesson’ one-liner last Wednesday on The Situation Room while defending controversial prospective Attorney General Michael Mukasey:

As TP observes, “Marsden’s analogy is reminiscent of Rush Limbaugh’s distasteful contention that Abu Ghraib was nothing more than guards “having a good time,” “blow[ing] some steam off.””

Update 2: You know, it’s one thing for a D-list Coulter wannabe to casually deny the fact that waterboarding is indeed torture, but quite another for a top State Department official to essentially do the same thing (albeit minus the pithy sound bite):

The top legal adviser within the US state department, who counsels the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, on international law, has declined to rule out the use of the interrogation technique known as waterboarding even if it were applied by foreign intelligence services on US citizens. John Bellinger refused to denounce the technique, which has been condemned by human rights groups as a form of torture, during a debate on the Bush administration’s stance on international law held by Guardian America, the Guardian’s US website. He said he would not include or exclude any technique without first considering whether it violated the convention on torture.

Said Bellinger:

One would have to apply the facts to the law, the law to the facts, to determine whether any technique, whatever it happened to be, would cause severe physical pain or suffering… .

…I’m not willing to include…or exclude [the possibility of water boarding being used on a United States national by foreign intelligence service], I mean, these are issues that our justice department as a matter of interpreting both the domestic law on torture and international law, has concluded that just don’t want to get involved in abstract discussions of applying the law to any set of facts.

Now, I don’t want to get all argumentum ad verecundiam on Marsden and Bellinger, but I’ll give the final word on the matter to Malcolm Nance:

As a former Master Instructor and Chief of Training at the US Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School (SERE) in San Diego, California I know the waterboard personally and intimately. SERE staff were required undergo the waterboard at its fullest. I was no exception. I have personally led, witnessed and supervised waterboarding of hundreds of people.


Waterboarding is a torture technique. Period. There is no way to gloss over it or sugarcoat it. It has no justification outside of its limited role as a training demonstrator. Our service members have to learn that the will to survive requires them accept and understand that they may be subjected to torture, but that America is better than its enemies and it is one’s duty to trust in your nation and God, endure the hardships and return home with honor.


If you support the use of waterboarding on enemy captives, you support the use of that torture on any future American captives.


According to the President, this is not a torture, so future torturers in other countries now have an American legal basis to perform the acts. Every hostile intelligence agency and terrorist in the world will consider it a viable tool, which can be used with impunity. It has been turned into perfectly acceptable behavior for information finding.

A torture victim can be made to say anything by an evil nation that does not abide by humanity, morality, treaties or rule of law. Today we are on the verge of becoming that nation. Is it possible that September 11 hurt us so much that we have decided to gladly adopt the tools of KGB, the Khmer Rouge, the Nazi Gestapo, the North Vietnamese, the North Koreans and the Burmese Junta?

Update 3 11.06: Welcome Galloping Beaver readers! Here’s what we have thus far:

I’ve started compiling a list of advertisors whose ads have been served up to me directly on the Marsden column web page. Feel free to add on and pile on. Obviously these are being served up through the Canoe.ca network (Canoe.ca is another Quebec/Sun Media property), and done through media buying services not the advertisors directly but they should be made aware that they have been associated with the condoning of illegal torture.

Here’s what prole and I have found so far:

Second City www.secondcity.com

ebay – www.ebay.ca


toronto film school – http://www.torontofilmschool.ca/

Sheraton Fallsview http://www.fallsview.com


PJ’s Pet Centres- www.pjspet.com



Sheridan College – www.sheridaninstitute.ca

thorncrest ford – http://thorncrestsherway.dealerconnection.com/?lang=en

East Court Ford – www.eastcourtfordlincoln.com

Ontario Science Centre http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/

Summit Ford 12 Carrier Drive, Rexdale, ON M9V 2C1 1-800-397-2017

tdwaterhouse – http://www.tdwaterhouse.ca

Plaza Auto Group – http://www.plazaautogroup.com/


Please take heed of Prole’s sound advice:

You catch more flies with honey than vinegar. Mind your manners!

[edited om 11.05 to add original Marsden quote, correct some glaring errors and for overall clarity. I hate posting @ work.]

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