Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Canada halts transfers of Afghan prisoners

Says the Globe and Mail.

Which proves Harper and Day were wrong all along and their political opposition was right.
The Harper government quietly stopped transferring prisoners into Afghan custody months ago after compelling evidence of torture was discovered, the government admitted Wednesday on the eve of a federal court hearing.

The government kept the its decision under wraps, even as it prepared to fight rights groups seeking a halt to transfers and as it tried to drum up public support for extending Canada's commitment to wage war on the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

Justice Department lawyers admitted Wednesday that detainee transfers were halted 10 weeks ago.

In early November, a prisoner told Canadian diplomats in an interrogation room in a secret police jail in Kandahar that he had been beaten and then told them where they could find the electrical cable and rubber hose used by his torturers. The Canadians found them beneath a chair.

“Canadian authorities were informed on November 5, 2007, by Canada's monitoring team, of a credible allegation of mistreatment pertaining to one Canadian-transferred detainee held in an Afghan detention facility,” the lawyers said in a letter sent Wednesday to Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

That is one correct decision followed by a bad one.

Once proof of torture was obtained the only decision the Harperites could have made was to cease transferring prisoners into Afghan custody.

But why the secrecy? There is no operational imperative to keep the basic information classified. So, it was political. After Montreal La Presse visited the Afghanistan in October 2007 and reported prisoner abuse, which is now consistent with that discovered by Canadian diplomats in Afghanistan, this is what government house leader Peter Van Loan had to say:

"We do expect these kinds of allegations from the Taliban," said Tory House leader Peter Van Loan.

"It is their standard operating procedure to engage in these kinds of accusations."

That would be fair enough if it wasn't for the fact that what La Presse discovered was completely true. And when the Harperites discovered that it was indeed true, what did they do?

They kept it a secret.

These guys behave just like their fellow travelers to the south. They can't handle being wrong, cannot admit an error and despise having to accept that somebody other than they can actually have a better handle on a situation than them.

They are right-wing authoritarians and they would rather chew off their own arms than admit a mistake.

And they expect us to believe them when they tell us how things are going in Afghanistan.

Why should we? The Conservatives keep getting caught with their pants around their ankles.

What a pack of morons.

H/T Scott

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