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This might be why there’s no election over Afghan detainee documents

.. because if this poll is correct, the electorate is overwhelmingly for human rights and for following international law:

A solid majority of Canadians believe prisoners detained by Canadian soldiers have been tortured after being transferred to Afghan authorities, a new Ipsos Reid poll suggests. Pollster John Wright said Canadians are saying they “care deeply” about the possibility of detainees being tortured after Canadian soldiers have transferred them to Afghan custody. “They’re saying it’s not proper, it should have stopped and, if it didn’t, somebody should have done something about it,” he said. … Almost eight in 10 surveyed said that, assuming transferred detainees were tortured by the Afghan authorities, […]


This is just a hunch..

..from seeing some of his responses in QP yesterday (that were also duly noted by media observers) but I’m going to bet that Harper will not comply with the Speakers ruling to turn over unredacted/uncensored documents to Parliament.

I predict he’ll put on a show of appearing to be reasonable, but in the end I suspect he’ll try to precipitate a crisis over this and hope he can cow the opposition parties into backing off, and failing that, will dissolve Parliament when his government is ruled in contempt of Parliament. It appears to me he’d rather take his chances with the electorate and try to fear-monger his way into […]


How conveeeenient.

About the only good thing to say about this next news item is that this is just more evidence to present to the public that the Conservative government must have an awful lot to hide from in these documents, when they’re not only trying not to let Parliament have uncensored access to them, but also are trying to get them lost:

The Military Police Complaints Commission heard Tuesday that documents it has requested regarding the transfer of Afghan detainees could take years to sort out. According to testimony by Maj. Denis Gagnon, the relevant files were “all thrown together in a storage bin, a sea container.” The process of Indexing […]


CSIS involved in interrogating/transferring of Afghan detainees

In the wake of Friday’s allegations from Professor Attaran that Canada turned over prisoners to Afghanistan knowing they’d be tortured in order to get intelligence out of them, this report from the Canadian Press today adds even more fuel to the demands for a full fledged public inquiry and/or the Conservative government turning over all unredacted documents to Parliament:

Security experts stunned by CSIS’s role in questioning Taliban fighters who may have been tortured:

Officers of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service have played a crucial and long-standing role as interrogators of a vast swath of captured Taliban fighters, The Canadian Press has learned..The spy agency’s previously unknown role in questioning […]


Conservatives talking out of both sides of their mouth

Michael Ignatieff came out yesterday with a strongly worded appeal to the Prime Minister to support safe abortion and family planning programs abroad if he was serious about wanting to aid in improving the lives of women overseas.

One of the PMO’s spokespersons, or at least a spokesperson for Harper, came back with this angry retort:

Dimitri Soudas, a spokesman for Harper, said it was “sad” and “pathetic” that the Liberals were using women’s health as a “political football.”

That quote comes today at the same time we see the Conservative Party planning to send out a new 10%’er ad they’re about to release which tries to use soldiers as […]


Do the Conservatives have ADHD (Afghanistan Deficit Hyperactivity-Disorder)?

This is a very curious story over at Macleans on the sequence of events so far. Twenty eight countries have appointed officials to work with Richard Holbrooke on Afghanstan - the U.S. Special Represetative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who was personally picked by President Obama, and who reports directly to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Six months ago, Holbrooke personally requested the Canadian government for a representative from our country, and we still haven’t done anything, and apparently aren’t anywhere close to picking someone:

When Barack Obama appointed him at the beginning of 2009.. several countries immediately named Afghanistan-Pakistan envoys who would serve as direct interlocutors for Holbrooke. The Brits, […]


Another poll shows overwhelming support for Colvin; majority want public inquiry.

Hat tip to Steve V over at Far and Wide for seeing this poll, taken on November 24/25:

49% find Richard Colvin’s testimony credible; 10% side with federal government ministers.

As Steve said, that’s a ratio of 5-1 of people polled who believe Colvin’s testimony over the government’s official version of “no credible evidence”. That’s even higher then the 2-1 margin from the initial poll taken a few days ago on Canadians impressions of Colvin’s testimony.

We also see in the same polling that a majority of people want a public inquiry:

A majority of respondents (53%) support launching a public inquiry on what the government and the Canadian Forces […]


Generals parrot the Conservative line of ‘no reliable information’ on torture.

So, the three military brass, led by the former General Hiller, as expected basically said that Colvin didn’t know what he was talking about when he made his testimony last week. Gauthier even questioned the dates of when Colvin first informed folks, saying they were off by a year.. or at least nothing got to him from Colvin til after the Globe and Mail’s expose on the torture story in 2007. None of these folks heard, or saw, anything on torture reports or concerns apparently from Colvin, or dismissed them.

However, when questioning them, one of the opposition party members on the committee, as reported by Kady O’Malley’s liveblogging of […]


Throw them all in jail for contempt of court.

I don’t know if the tribunal has the authority to do that or not, but if they do, that’s what I hope they do if these witnesses pull this stunt as ordered by the Conservative Federal Government’s Justice Department. Heck, throw some of the Justice Dept lawyers in jail for contempt as well, for ordering this stunt:

Federal lawyers are trying to block government witnesses from testifying before a military watchdog investigating the treatment of Taliban prisoners in Afghanistan, The Canadian Press has learned. The Justice Department has invoked national security and told the Military Police Complaints Commission that subpoenaed witnesses will be allowed to appear at the inquiry, but […]


Some people appear to be a bit oversensitive.

I’ve noticed a few folks who appear to be a bit touchy to criticism. or just to simple questions. Here’s a couple of examples: (read more) […]

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