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Toronto Star on Eve of Cheney Canada Visit: Arrest Him for War Crimes

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Source: Digital Journal

An editorial in Canada's largest newspaper has urged that Canada not provide "safe haven for torturers," on the eve of a visit by former US Vice President Dick Cheney to Toronto.

Cheney is scheduled to address the 2013 Toronto Global Forum on Thursday, October 31st. The newspaper joins an international chorus of attorneys, human rights activists, and street protesters calling for the arrest of Cheney for war crimes committed during his tenure as vice president. The Toronto Star op-ed asserts that Cheney and President George W. Bush oversaw torture programs in which men were:

beaten, hung from walls or ceilings, deprived of sleep, food and water and subjected to extreme temperatures, among other acts of abuse they endured while in U.S. custody.

Unlike the United States, Canada is a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, which obliges the Canadian government to investigate and prosecute known instances of torture under the Geneva Conventions.

Torture Room, Abu Ghraib by public

Torture room at Abu Ghraib

Bush-era instances of torture remain at the forefront for legal activists calling for prosecution and justice, who say that the practice of "waterboarding" is but the tip of the iceberg in a veritable House of Horrors maintained under the Bush administrations, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and in secret "black box" locations run by the CIA around the world. A British national, Binyam Mohammed, filed a case in the UK, which was ultimately squashed at the urging of the Obama administration, in which he alleges that US torturers repeatedly sliced his genitals with a razor, even though they knew he had no information to give.

In 2002, after being flown in a US government plane to Morocco, Binyam says he was held in "black box" CIA prison where, according to his diaries reported in the UK Guardian:

 One of them took my penis in his hand and began to make cuts. He did it once, and they stood still for maybe a minute, watching my reaction. I was in agony. They must have done this 20 to 30 times, in maybe two hours. There was blood all over.

Binyam says he was in Morocco for about 18 months, and that he was tortured in this manner about once a month. His diaries state: One time I asked a guard:
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"What's the point of this? I've got nothing I can say to them. I've told them everything I possibly could." "As far as I know, it's just to degrade you. So when you leave here, you'll have these scars and you'll never forget. So you'll always fear doing anything but what the US wants.

The diary also alleges:

 Later, when a US airplane picked me up the following January, a female MP took pictures. She was one of the few Americans who ever showed me any sympathy. When she saw the injuries I had she gasped. They treated me and took more photos when I was in Kabul. Someone told me this was "to show Washington it's healing."

Washington" can only refer to the US administration, of which Cheney was a part. In 2009, US District Court Judge Gladys Kessler found Binyam's charges credible, writing that:

 His genitals were mutilated. He was deprived of sleep and food. He was summarily transported from one foreign prison to another...The Government does not dispute this evidence
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In another instance, a young Afghan farmer, who was posthumously cleared as innocent of any wrongdoing, was hung from a ceiling until his shoulders were dislocated, and his legs beaten so badly that one witness said they were "basically pulpified." Doctors in the investigation testified that the man, named Dilawar, would have had to have his legs amputated had he lived. US Army Spc. Willie Brand, the only soldier disciplined in the death of Dilawar, with a reduction in rank, maintains that knowledge of the torture taking place in the prison ran up the chain of command, and told Scott Pelley of 60 Minutes in 2006:

I didn't understand how they could do this after they had trained you to do this stuff and they turn around and say you've been bad"

xhibit in investigation on the death of Dilawar, showing how he was chained to the ceiling of his cell by public

Sketch by Sgt. Thomas V. Curtis showing how Dilawar was chained to the ceiling of his cell.

Dilawar is the subject of a documentary film entitled "Taxi to the Dark Side."

Cheney has already canceled one trip to Toronto, in 2012, citing fear of massive protests. Four men -- Hassan bin Attash, Sami el-Hajj, Muhammed Khan Tumani and Murat Kurnaz - have submitted a 64-page indictment and thousands of pages of supporting material to Canadian authorities, which has yet to be acted upon. The The Toronto Star writers opine that:

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Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He writes for Truth Out, Alternet, Consortium News, Op-Ed News, and other Internet media. He reported from Afghanistan in 2009 and produced a short documentary film on the (more...)

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Unfortunately, fat chance.Canada is also one of th... by BFalcon on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 9:51:26 AM
Well, they've had their people in Canada for some ... by Amy Schreiner on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 8:42:51 PM
Too bad we cannot take care of our own....I wonder... by yunus Luebben on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 9:54:15 AM
        Arrest him for wa... by Ralph Demers on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 9:57:14 AM
So they can't have Bilderberg meetings in any of t... by Maxwell on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 1:16:42 PM
One would hope that the Canadian authorities will ... by Arianna Marie Cigolini on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 10:11:12 AM
POLL 91% say YES - "no one is above the law" and t... by Lance Ciepiela on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 10:25:32 AM
State all the pertinent facts: Obama and his assoc... by Peter Warner on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 6:25:18 PM
A whole lot of names but not even a pertinent link... by Lance Ciepiela on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 8:07:07 PM
Is the U.S. or Canadian government one of, by and ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 10:39:24 AM
No, I doubt it. Not even in matters as mild as off... by Ad Du on Friday, Nov 1, 2013 at 10:46:02 AM
The U.S. IS a signatory to the UN Convention ... by Brian Cooney on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 11:48:10 AM
Unfortunately, the ruling elite view the treaties ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Friday, Nov 1, 2013 at 10:40:10 AM
US signatory YES - Great Britain and Canada as wel... by Lance Ciepiela on Friday, Nov 1, 2013 at 11:05:42 AM
A fantasy, but a very nice one indeed. Perhaps we ... by Bill Honer on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 11:57:40 AM
When Cheney goes to Canada today, he won't have to... by Terry Adcock on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 12:10:11 PM
Not very likely that the Canadian government will ... by Jim Miles on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 12:45:38 PM
Yes, except it is war of terror, and war to incite... by Richard Pietrasz on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 4:24:39 PM
Nice idea, but fat chance.... by Maxwell on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 1:18:13 PM
Sadly I found out about this visit to my neck of t... by Roger Dykstra on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 2:08:53 PM
If treaties are meant to be worthy of anything the... by Archie on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 2:20:40 PM
...and what about the U.S.?  Should we impose... by Jim Miles on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 10:28:50 PM
Whether he is arrested or not, it is vital that he... by Ralph Lopez on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 2:45:41 PM
How I would love to see my country have the courag... by Paul Repstock on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 5:16:19 PM
omg I hope no one assassinates him, that would be ... by Meryl Ann Butler on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 5:26:47 PM
That is right. And it would serve no good purpose.... by Paul Repstock on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 6:04:07 PM
And Obama continues the legacy.In 2009, David Davi... by Amy Schreiner on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 8:21:56 PM
Evil people are not necessarily stupid.  Craf... by Jim Miles on Thursday, Oct 31, 2013 at 10:34:16 PM
I'm not sure that being crafty, manipulative and m... by Amy Schreiner on Friday, Nov 1, 2013 at 12:04:09 AM
Henry K. is mentioned several times in these comme... by Maxwell on Friday, Nov 1, 2013 at 7:29:39 AM
That's what I'm saying, intelligence runs the full... by Amy Schreiner on Friday, Nov 1, 2013 at 12:33:17 PM
Search out Scientific American Mind with the word ... by Jim Miles on Friday, Nov 1, 2013 at 12:53:57 PM
I never said that they were stupid.  I just s... by Amy Schreiner on Friday, Nov 1, 2013 at 1:42:14 PM
Those at the top of the evil class are likely to b... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Nov 3, 2013 at 2:39:40 PM