Thursday, January 21, 2010

Must-read Thursday.

Oh, man, this is adorable:

A month ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time Peter MacKay , and Minister of Defence at the time Gordon O'Connor all denied ever seeing any of the 16 reports "circulated widely throughout the Foreign Affairs and Defence departments and also shared with senior military commanders in Ottawa and Afghanistan" warning that Afghan authorities were abusing detainees handed over by Canadian forces.

How did they all manage to miss all those reports from Richard Colvin, the second in command of Afghan reconstruction at the time? we asked ourselves, somewhat rhetorically.

As Alison points out, CP's Murray Brewster provides the answer:

Canadian diplomats in Afghanistan were ordered in 2007 to hold back information in their reports to Ottawa about the handling of the prisoners, say defence and foreign affairs sources.

The instruction — issued soon after allegations of torture by Afghan authorities began appearing in public — was aimed at defusing the explosive human-rights controversy, said sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

There was a fear that graphic reports, even in censored form, could be uncovered by opposition parties and the media through access-to-information laws, leading to revelations that would further erode already-tenuous public support.

Here, let me tighten that up for you: The Harperites ordered people not to send them any reports about the abuse of Afghan detainees, then subsequently claimed -- in all honesty -- that they've never seen any reports about the abuse of Afghan detainees.

That's just precious.

1 comment:

The Seer said...

Allison: "The instruction was passed over the telephone by senior officials in the Privy Council Office and reinforced in follow-up conferences between Ottawa and Kabul, as well Ottawa and Kandahar, sources said." Ibid

Seer: "I guarantee you that nobody in DFAIT or CF carried tales about “torture” to the minister on paper."

Ti-Guy: 'And we should care...why?" Ibid