Peter MacKay knew the day after Canadian Forces in Afghanistan stopped transferring prisoners to Afghan custody.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay expressed Canada's outrage and dismay directly to Kandahar's governor within hours of diplomats discovering a clear case of prisoner abuse last fall.Well now, that would be a good thing. It's the proper way to deal with the issue. He might have even scored a few brownie-points if he'd come back to Canada and given Parliament the details.
Mr. MacKay was in Kandahar on Nov. 6 visiting troops when the Canadian army decided to halt the handover of captured Taliban fighters to Afghan authorities.
The fact that the government kept the decision secret has infuriated opposition MPs.
"He was there, he knew something," said Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre.
"Why didn't he tell us? Is it because he was told not to say anything by a Prime Minister's Office that is controlling everything?"
The news that a prisoner had been allegedly beaten unconscious using an electrical cable and a hose in the custody of Afghanistan's notorious intelligence service angered Mr. MacKay, said a senior Conservative, who spoke on background.
Mr. MacKay immediately demanded to speak to Governor Assadullah Khalid, whose responsibility includes all provincial detention facilities.
The Defence Minister told the governor, a former Northern Alliance commander whose hatred of the Taliban is legend on the streets of Kandahar, that the abuse was "absolutely unacceptable."
But he didn't do that, did he?
Instead, MacKay lied to Parliament.
That's all three of them: Harper, MacKay and Buckler.