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Continued bad optics for the Conservatives re: Afghanistan Committee

#1 Bad optic – The Conservatives will continue to boycott the Afghanistan Committee investigating the Afghan detainee situation, meaning there will be no quorum and no formal hearing, renewing the charges of this government trying to coverup and squelch the truth over this messy affair for them.

#2 Bad optic: That hasn’t stopped the opposition members from having witnesses testify ‘informally’:

According to the NDP, there are two witnesses scheduled for tomorrow: Amnesty International lawyer Paul Champ, and retired diplomat Gar Pardy. Here’s the explanation, courtesy of Paul Dewar’s office:

Champ is Amnesty’s lawyer in the case on detainees. He can speak on the information that led Amnesty and BCCLA to take the government to court on this issue. He can also speak to the government’s attitude in court and at the MPCC hearings re sharing of information and documents. Gar Pardy is a high-level former diplomat who was significant in organizing the letter-writing campaign by former diplomats in support of Colvin. He can speak to the chill on the information when Ministers attack the credibility of our diplomats. The witnesses have agreed to testify at an informal meeting if the Conservatives boycotted the parliamentary meeting again.

…meaning there should be a fair bit of media coverage – regardless of it being informal testimony or not – of what these 2 important witnesses have to say.


6 comments to Continued bad optics for the Conservatives re: Afghanistan Committee

  • Dana

    It strikes me that perhaps a well worded petition to the ICC asking for an investigation and signed by as many Canadians of conscience as can be found might be of use.

    The petition could state, among other things, that the government of Canada, being unwilling to conduct an appropriate and thorough investigation, we the undersigned request the ICC conduct one in order to ascertain whether international law or the Geneva Conventions have been violated.

    Somehow this stain must be removed.

  • Dana

    Scott, why did the opposition parties wait until the day before the xmas break to mount their vote. It had been clear for weeks that the Harperites weren’t going to release the docs. So why the day before the break?

    I agree with you that our best (and probably only) hope of ever getting to the bottom of this is if the ICC investigates.

    But what will that say about the state of the nation? That in the face of possible violations of international law Canadians were so lax that they didn’t even rise up and force the government of the day to conduct their own investigation.

    After the ICC investigates (hopefully) will we hear choruses of “We didn’t know!”. ?

  • Dana

    Bad optics. Right.

    No noticeable changes on recent polls equals bad optics.

    You know I’m not a Harper fan but I have to say something here.

    We’re all dreaming in technicolor if we think the idea that spanky white Canadian soldiers turning dusky skinned people over to other dusky skinned people to be tortured is a firecracker.

    A strong majority of Canadians wouldn’t raise an eyebrow if Mohawks were being turned over to Cree to be tortured. Even if it was happening within our borders.

    For one thing they wouldn’t know the difference between the two nations. For another they’d think it had something to do with casino operations.

    We have a huge problem in trying to create a response to the Harperites.

    For example: we still tend to take it for granted that by and large the Canadian people are rational, non-racist, altruistic, generous, liberal and so on. Its no longer reasonable to take that for granted.

    It’s late and I’m tired and I want to go to bed now.

    But I just bet if you think about the way that certain ingrown and traditional views about ourselves impede our capacity to take meaningful action ….

    You understand…

    I’m going to re-write my will to leave money to finally destroying this demonic political hybrid.

    I encourage other like-minded citizens to do the same. Its going to take years and years.

    • @Dana, I disagree with you – I think that Canadians don’t appreciate cove-rups, such as what this government is doing, and the opposition needs to keep the pressure on this government to cough up the documents in the New Year, starting with getting the Speaker to issue his Warrant and order the docs be turned over to Parliament.

      Also, more importantly, international courts and bodies don’t care about Canadian political public opinion, regardless of where it is. They care about whether or not Canada may have been complicit in breaking Geneva Conventions laws, and they also care about whether the government is impeding investigation into whether those breaches of int’l law occurred.

      If they believe that is the case, they will act

  • Big Winnie

    Now I know what it means when Baird says the government is “transparent”!!

  • Yes! I was hoping they would carry on informally. It’ll get the news out.

    Would it be too obvious to put some conservative cardboard cutouts in chairs? LOL.

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