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Colvin returns fire.

Diplomat and intelligence officer Richard Colvin sent forth his detailed counter-rebuttal to the government’s talking points and friendly witnesses that tried to discredit his testimony to the House of Commons Afghanistan Committee. There is some devastating stuff here, that counters point by point the list of points the government and their friendly General witnesses tried to use against his testimony – here are a couple of the 16 counterpoints Colvin uses:

2. . ‘As soon as we were informed, we fixed the problems.’

From Colvin’s rebuttal:

All this information ‐‐ internal reporting from Canadian officials in the field, reports from the US and UN, plus face‐to‐face interventions with policy‐makers ‐‐ had no visible impact on Canadian detainee practices. From February 2006 (when the Canadian battle group first deployed) to May 3, 2007 (when Canada signed a new Memorandum of Understanding on detainees that gave us the right to monitor), our detainees continued to be transferred to the NDS, despite a substantial risk of abuse or torture.


10. ‘Ottawa encouraged accurate, rigorous, factbased reporting.’

From Colvin’s rebuttal:

Interdepartmental Coordinator for Afghanistan David Mulroney suggested that the only reason reports were edited was to remove ‘opinion’ or ‘non‐fact based’ information. This is not correct. Instead, embassy staffers were told that they should not report information, however accurate, that conflicted with the government’s public messaging. […] In September 2007, an embassy staffer, in response to a written request from DFAIT’s Afghanistan Taskforce to contribute to a security assessment by one of our NATO allies, sent a report that security in Kandahar had got worse and was likely to further deteriorate. Mr. Mulroney severely rebuked the officer in writing.

This should show even more clearly why the Conservative government and Peter MacKay/General Hillier in particular were going after Colvin’s credibility and reputation so savagely. Until the the recant of the “no credible evidence of torture” claim by General Natynczyk, he was and is the single most dangerous person to completely undermine their messaging on Afghanistan and what was really going on vis-a-vis the detainees and what Ottawa really knew was going on.


3 comments to Colvin returns fire.

  • I nominate Richard Colvin for “Canadian of the Year.”

  • Dana

    I wish I still had the faith I once had in Canada.

    I don’t though. It started dieing during the Chretien years, accelerated during Martin’s brief tenure and has died completely with Harper.

    I don’t think anything other than an ICC investigation is going to get to the bottom of this and maybe not even then.

    In the meantime I wonder how long it will take before other nations begin to realize they cannot trust Canada’s word any more.

    I wonder how long before we’re relegated to the rogue lists.

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