Tuesday, July 25, 2006


"[T]he effect of periodic internments is very beneficial in stabilizing public opinion."

No, not a leak from a Harper cabinet discussion around the recent arrest of seventeen Muslim men in Toronto (or a Martin or Chretien cabinet discussion around a secret trial detention). Rather, a quote from an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in the 1940s. He was speaking about the wonderful side benefits that could be obtained from the arbitrary detention of pacifists, Quebec nationalists, freethinkers, rabble rousers, Communists, Japanese Canadians, Italian Canadians, Jehovah's Witnesses, and other ne'erdowells that was a broadly supported part of the Canadian state's efforts to defend liberty during World War II.

One can be forgiven for the confusion, however.

[Quote from page 85 of Ross Lambertson, Repression and Resistance: Canadian Human Rights Activists, 1930-1960. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005.]

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