In defending the government when Opposition MPs challenged him and his CSIS director, Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan suggested that Ignatieff's writings show he is the one who would tolerate coerced statements.
Van Loan told a committee two weeks ago that Ignatieff wrote "that sometimes you have to be willing to rely on lesser evils. That was his whole point."
When Liberals objected that the minister was misrepresenting Ignatieff's position, he pressed on.
"I believe he said that to defend democracy sometimes you have to resort to things like coercive interrogation," said Van Loan, "and even violations of civil rights was one of his phrases. I think another phrase is to defend democracies you can't rely on herbivores. We need carnivores. Those are some of the things in his hypothetical discussion. We aren't into those hypothetical discussions in the government. We have a clear policy. Our clear policy is that we don't condone the use of torture."
The attacks on John Kerry's war record fit like a mass production mold with Rove's political campaigning. While great armies probe an enemy's defenses for weaknesses, "Bush's Brain" has always tried to batter his opponents where they are strongest. Kerry's profile as a combat-tested officer ready to assume the role of commander in chief was a problem for the Bush campaign. So Rove went after it. "Look, I don't attack people on their weaknesses," he once told reporters in Texas during a campaign. "That usually doesn't get the job done. Voters already perceive weaknesses. You've got to go after the other guy's strengths. That's how you win."