Do we endorse torture?

The Toronto Star reports from today’s public safety committee meeting.

CSIS will still use information that may have been obtained by torture in national security investigations “if lives are at stake,” a senior CSIS official says.

Geoffrey O’Brian, a CSIS lawyer and advisor on operations and legislation, under questioning by the public safety committee, admitted there is no absolute ban on using intelligence that may have been obtained from countries with questionable human rights records on torture.

The Globe with a fuller account of O’Brian’s explanation.

“We only do so if lives are at stake,” Mr. O’Brian told the standing committee of the House on public safety. “The premise to that is that it happens rarely in the exchanges of information that we have. Second of all, information that may have extracted by methods which are less than the kinds of methods we would like applied to people … the recipient of that information doesn’t know how that information was obtained,” he said.

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