Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tip of the iceberg

If I were a betting man, I would bet that this is merely the tip of one very ugly iceberg:

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Critics accused the Canadian government of a cover-up Thursday over revelations it had not acted on warnings that Afghan authorities could be abusing detainees handed over by Canadian forces.

The Conservative government regularly dismissed reports of abuse when they first came to light in early 2007, with Prime Minister Stephen Harper accusing his critics of caring more about suspected Taliban members than about Canada's troops.

But an affidavit unveiled at a military police inquiry on Wednesday showed a Canadian diplomat had sent reports about "serious, imminent and alarming" problems with the treatment of detainees in Afghan prisons in May and June 2006.

Government lawyers are trying to prevent the reports from diplomat Richard Colvin being made public and want to block him from appearing at the inquiry.

Things will emerge which will make Somalia look like a child's game. When the dust settles and budgets and units are cut, commissions of inquiry are established and the lid comes off, there will be a lot people pointing fingers - some rightly, some wrongly - but one thing will be clear. There will have been a moment early on, when certain things began to occur, where key civilian and military leaders should have stood up and called it out, instead of blindly focusing on protecting their little hobby war and careers, hoping it'll all go away.

Some things do not disappear.

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