Friday, October 16, 2009

Harper denies seeing Afghan torture reports

Looking more like Dick all the time, Steve.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has now joined then Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter MacKay and then Minister of Defence Gordon O'Connor in denying he ever saw any of the 16 reports from the political director at the Canadian-run Afghan reconstruction base in 2006 warning that Afghan authorities were abusing detainees handed over by Canadian forces.

Yesterday Murray Brewster at CP described those reports from Richard Colvin, now deputy head of intelligence at the Canadian embassy in Washington, as "circulated widely throughout the Foreign Affairs and Defence departments and also shared with senior military commanders in Ottawa and Afghanistan."

Yet somehow they escaped the collective notice of MacKay, O'Connor, and Harper :

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Friday that he did not see reports in 2006 that suggested there was evidence detainees had been tortured after they were handed over to Afghan prisons by Canadian Forces in Afghanistan.
Harper said he didn't see the reports "at the time."
"There were allegations of Canadian troops involved in torture. We’ve been very clear that's not the case," the prime minister said."
"At the time"? There were 16 reports from May to December. When exactly was "at the time"?

And "allegations Canadian troops involved"?
No. Not at all. Don't pretend to be protecting the troops. This was never about the troops.
This was about you putting those troops in the appalling position of transferring their prisoners to certain abuse.
The "allegations" now are that you are covering it up .

The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, "at the time": "Torture continues to take place as a routine part of police procedures. The AIHRC has found torture to occur particularly at the investigation stage in order to extort confessions from detainees."

Louise Arbour, the Canadian UN rep who you summarily dismissed, and the U.S. freakin' State Department, "at the time": "Afghan local authorities "routinely" torture detainees".

Peter Van Loan, Con house leader "at the time", called all this "allegations by the Taliban"

Me, "at the time" : "Canada is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions. We simply don't have time to go back and re-fight and re-argue all the battles for some semblance of civilization that we have already won. And we certainly don't have time for any government that hasn't figured this out yet."

More : Boris, POGGE, Thwap, Impolitical, A Creative Revolution

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