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More Afghan detainee documents – this time unredacted..

These unredacted documents were obtained by the Canadian Press. Courtesy of Aaron Wherry at Macleans, they don’t exactly help the government’s case:

The International Red Cross met twice with senior Canadian officials in Kandahar to deliver veiled but insistent warnings about torture in Afghan jails a year before Canada acted to protect detainees. Details of the face-to-face meetings in 2006, outlined in uncensored memos examined by The Canadian Press, undermine the federal government’s claims that diplomat Richard Colvin was a lone voice raising vague concerns about torture.

The Red Cross is prevented by international rules from using the term “torture” and from commenting on one country’s behaviour to another. But the risks were so dire that detainees might be tortured in Afghan jails that the agency felt compelled to alert senior Canadian diplomats and officers in person, say memos made available on a confidential basis to The Canadian Press.

The Red Cross officially will not criticize the Canadian government over what it did or did not do during this time frame, but these documents in my opinion show someone somewhere has decided to stand up for Richard Colvin’s view of how events transpired, and it puts the Conservative government under more scrutiny:

..the new memos show that Colvin’s concerns were in fact shared by a respected humanitarian agency that pushed the diplomatic envelope to get the ear of Canadian officials. The International Red Cross by convention is allowed to raise specific concerns about torture only with the national government of a country. At the first face-to-face meeting, Maj. Erik Liebert, deputy commander of the provincial reconstruction base, was told by the Red Cross that no one in the Canadian military would take their telephone calls. He also heard Canada was too slow to report that it captured prisoners – sometimes taking 60 days – and that “a lot can happen in two months.”

Will the Prime Minister accuse the Red Cross of being against the troops now, too?


4 comments to More Afghan detainee documents – this time unredacted..

  • Bull Caller

    Be careful “marx”, there’s always better players, and they can change the game on you. Shine on you crazy diamond.

  • That CTV story you linked to is really drawing some offensive comments. Today’s CPC talking point seems to be that the detainee issue is a non-story being kept on life support by hyper-partisans.

  • Scotty! Who said that I ever wanted cover? You can only “blow your cover” if you ever wanted cover in the first place! I give people hundreds of cookies every day, just as you gave me a cookie. Blocking a cookie is as easy as apple pie. “C” is for cookie, that’s good enough for me!

    Don’t hate the player, hate the game!


    I love what you yabadaba do! 🙂

  • Big Winnie

    Let’s see what spin MacKay tries to put on this tomorrow. I would like to know how CP managed to get their hands on the doc but yet the committee can’t see them?

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