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Brit media picks up Colvin story, & more folks come to the defence of Colvin.

Well, it appears some of the British press have started to notice the Colvin testimony and are interested in hearing about it: Courtesy of Impolitical, here’s an op-ed from Colin Horgan for the Guardian:

Time for truth about torture

After a whistleblower revealed Canadian complicity in the torture of Afghan prisoners, a full public inquiry is vital

MacKay spent his Thursday afternoon on the major Canadian news networks, attempting to undermine Colvin’s testimony. But given Colvin’s high rank and non-partisan position, it seems difficult to imagine what Colvin might have to gain from lying…

A public inquiry is necessary. Taking this discussion outside of partisan bickering in the House seems essential to finding out what Colvin knew, who else might have known what he did, and what role – if any – Canada has played in the abuse of Afghan civilians. Colvin’s allegations point to moral corruption – that’s not what Canadians were told would be achieved in Afghanistan. As it does for Britain or the US, Canada’s role in Afghanistan walks a fine line between defining who we want to be, and the kind of criminals we’re supposed to be fighting against. We need to know which side we’re walking on.

As well, we note more folks coming to the defense of Richard Colvin – this time from a former “senior NATO public affairs official”, who also noted that Prime Minister Harper and his PMO were obsessed with trying to control the message on this back in 2007 when this scandal first erupted:

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office used a “6,000-mile screwdriver” to oversee the denial of reports of Afghan detainee abuse when the scandal first erupted in 2007, according to a former senior NATO public affairs official who was then based in Kabul…The former official, speaking on condition his name not be used, told the Toronto Star that Harper’s office in Ottawa “scripted and fed” the precise wording NATO officials in Kabul used to repudiate allegations of abuse “at a time when it was privately and generally acknowledged in our office that the chances of good treatment at the hands of Afghan security forces were almost zero.”

…Many NATO officials in Kabul were also aware how seriously Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin was following the issue, he said. “Richard Colvin behaved as a straight-up-and-down person, completely honest and doing his job to the best of his abilities,” the former official said. “He had to be terribly careful. He couldn’t speak to us about this. But it was clear that the tone at the Canadian Embassy had changed. It became far more politicized – and it was clear that Richard Colvin was struggling enormously to do his work on the question of detainees.”

Very interesting, isn’t it, how folks in the diplomatic core and even those who worked in NATO are coming to the defense of Richard Colvin? Perhaps the attacks of Colvin that has taken place this week by Peter Mackay and others in the Conservative government was a bridge too far for them. It appears more then a few have had enough of seeing the smear job being attempted on his work and his reputation from the Conservative government, and have risen to his defense (and also have started pointing out how Harper and company appears to have done everything in their power to keep a lid on this story, rather then properly investigate it).


2 comments to Brit media picks up Colvin story, & more folks come to the defence of Colvin.

  • I remember when this was discussed in 2007 and Gordon O’connor paid the deny game.

    I might ask Peter MacKay if he has proof that the Taliban threw acid into the face of schoolchildren or blew up buses. Did he see them? Can he say that really happened or is it based on heresay?

    Is he sure it was the Taliban or maybe it was the Americans?

    See Mr. MacKay, there are some things you just know. You don’t need to see the blood, the scars are there.

  • liam

    Can Harper and his regime be impeached for this embarassment to Canada’s dignity and pride?

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