Monday, December 5, 2005

Right vs Legal

I am very troubled. A girl was stripped naked and made to do ear squats. She had to do this where someone could see her. This is apparent since a video was made of the process and transmitted via cellphone. It shook the country.

Now those who are trying to make excuses are out in full force.

The first excuse was that the one guilty was the person who took the shots since its illegal to make such videos. Beside the point. Whether the person taking the video was guilty or not has no bearing on the horror of what was done.

Then they tried to say that this is standard practice in order to reveal concealed items. Yet we need to think very hard on that.

This is what Canada has to say about such searches.

14. Where a staff member believes on reasonable grounds that an inmate is carrying contraband in a body cavity, the staff member may not seize or attempt to seize that contraband, but will inform the Institutional Head.

15. Where the Institutional Head is satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to believe that an inmate is carrying contraband in a body cavity and that a body cavity search is necessary in order to find or seize the contraband, the Institutional Head may authorize in writing a body cavity search to be conducted by a qualified medical practitioner, if the inmate's consent is obtained.

Why the heck do they need a qualified practitioner? Here's a good experiment. Shove some contraband up your butt and then do ten squats. Chances are unless you are trying to smuggle a grand piano into the lock-up it will not fall out. Well it could possibly fall out if you are aggresively gay with a very aggresive partner but this is not the kind of blog where we discuss that kind of thing.

After that, they told those who were unhappy that they could go home. Incidentally the deputy minister who uttered this has since been censured by the prime minister. He then said he accepted the verbal smackdown with an 'open heart'. Yeah an open heart like the dude in Indiana Jones who was sacrificed. Remember the guy who chants and then rips the guys heart out? Yeah an 'open heart' indeed.

Anyway that excuse doesn't hold. It's not about whether the victim was foreign or local. It's about how a public servant who earns public funds carried out their job or abused their position.

So the media tried to cast doubt on whether she was a foreigner and said she was a local arrested for a drug offence. Here's the news fools, it doesn't matter if she was local or foreign, and it sure doesn't matter what she was arrested for. The act was wrong.

Now apparently the discussion is heading to whether it was 'legal'. Without putting too fine a point on it let's just say that killing Jews in Nazi Germany and slavery were perfectly 'legal' at various points in history.

Why is it that we refuse to answer the fundamental questions:

1) Was this act right?

2) If it wasn't then what the heck are we as a nation going to do about it?

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