Thursday, May 17, 2007

More on Krieber in Wainwright

The Toronto Star and The Montreal Gazette both published stories today on the cancellation and/or denial of a visit by Dr. Janine Krieber to CFB Wainwright to visit military families.

Jason Cherniak, whose post on Saturday past started all this, has this to say today.

What I have to add are only questions:

Which "higher-ups" did Lt.-Col. Normand Rochon, base commander, feel the need to "consult"? Why? Is the climate so charged that he was unsure what would or wouldn't bring down a rain of disapprobation if he decided the unapproved way? Or is he base commander in name only?

Are military families so intrinsic a component of training exercises that visitation has to be curtailed? What about the families of members in Afghanistan? Would they be occupied with the training exercise too even though their family members are deployed overseas? Who would be allowed to visit them? Who else would not?

The training exercise excuse rings hollow to my ears. I suspect it's what Rochon was instructed, or rather ordered, to say by those anonymous higher-ups.

Ditto the canard about "international visitors" whose identity must be protected. If their identity must be protected they are surely kept away from members of families on base anyway lest someone reveal their presence by inadvertently saying something in the supermarket checkout line or at school.

The Military Family Resource Centre, is located in Building 400 on the base. So is the Canadian Forces Housing Agency. Those being the only 2 offices I can easily locate as being in that building I'll make the rash leap that there are no operational offices in Building 400. Unless both the Family Resource Centre and the Housing Agency are relegated to a couple of cubicles, which I prefer not to believe of DND. At any rate The Military Family Resource Centre is certain to be the location of any meeting Dr. Krieber might have had with military families.

Why would operational, international visitors be in the vicinity of either of those offices? Is base security so overextended seeing to the protection of these international visitors that a visit to the families by a Canadian sociologist would stretch security past it's breaking point? Whose security is being protected - the members, the families, Canadian visitors or the international visitors?

The smell hasn't gone away for me yet.

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