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The Newsroom => Current Operations => Topic started by: Michael Dorosh on September 14, 2003, 16:39:00

Title: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Michael Dorosh on September 14, 2003, 16:39:00
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.combatcamera.forces.gc.ca%2Fphotoarchive%2FHiRes%2F%25212003%2F070203%2FIS2003-2448a%2520copy.jpg&hash=a22d92008314adf7cabfb1bab294a16d)

This crafty RCR has rendered the bird unable to fly, but will he be able to get it to "sing like a canary?"
Title: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: rceme_rat on January 30, 2002, 00:25:00
Latest news on JTF2 is that they took prisoners at the same time as the PM & MND were saying it was all hypothetical.  The MND doesn‘t find out until Friday, and then doesn‘t see fit to brief the PM until after the weekend.  All this after a picture of JTF2 with PWs was in the Globe and Mail.  

Let‘s guess who the pols try to hang this on.

It also continues to spotlight the ugly spectre of the rules of engagement and SOPs for handling prisoners.  The troops deserve to know these things before they have to decide them on the spot.
Title: Re: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: Enfield on January 30, 2002, 01:33:00
I fail to see why JTF2 operatives on the ground in Afghanistan should be expected to pick up the phone on a daily basis and tell Art what they did all day. What did everyone think JTF2 would be doing? Planting daisies?
I don‘t believe that the operations of a military unit in a combat theatre, under foreign authority and operating with allied units, should be of such concern to politicians at home. Once the decision has been made to send them, governmnets role is to step back and not try to control the situation.

I‘m glad that that photo came out, and I hope that it gets turned into a Recruiting Poster by the end of the month.

Chances are, JTF2 has no idea that PW‘s are even an issue.
Title: Re: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: Another Recce Guy on January 30, 2002, 07:35:00
We send our troops to work under foreign command, what the ****  do the military experts in parliament want our guys to do, send the PW here?  Am I the only one who is sick and tried of the guys in Ottawa using the military to try to sore political points?
Title: Re: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: Infanteer on January 30, 2002, 10:15:00
Here is the link to the picture, I can‘t figure out how to paste it here...
 http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/RTGAMArticleHTMLTemplate/C,A/20020129/wdefen2?hub=homeBN&tf=tgam%252Frealtime%252Ffullstory.html&cf=tgam/realtime/config-neutral&vg=BigAdVariabl  eGenerator&slug=wdefen2&date=20020129&archive=RTGAM&site=Front&ad_page_name=breakingnews

Enfield is right, this should be on a poster....
TRAVEL THE WORLD, MEET INTERESTING PEOPLE!
Title: Re: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: Infanteer on January 30, 2002, 10:19:00
Screw it guys, I can‘t get the link to work, just go find it at www.globeandmail.com (http://www.globeandmail.com)
Title: Re: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: Jungle on January 30, 2002, 10:32:00
tried to get the picture here, but can‘t...
Title: Re: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: rceme_rat on January 30, 2002, 11:08:00
1.  Since the issue is a major one to the ministry right now, the ministry should have asked for info on PWs.

2.  Usually, the senior Canadian in theatre remains responsible for providing sitreps to a HQ back home.

3. Are they under command, or just under op control?

4.  Personally, I put the blame on the pols.  They screwed up by speaking out of turn, or worse, by forgetting that we had sent people there and thus nothing was hypothetical anymore.
Title: Re: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: Mike Bobbitt on January 30, 2002, 11:26:00
Here‘s the image:

 (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.globeandmail.com%2FRTGAM_Archive%2Fimages%2F20020129%2Fwdefen2%2F0129JTF2.jpg&hash=ff87631d9f9ec08f4a7bda7eb105783b)
Title: Re: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: Enfield on January 30, 2002, 21:03:00
Is JTF2 supposed to call gome immediatley if they fire a round, are shot at, are in a patrol where someone shoots?

rat is right, the PW debate is a little late when there are already soldiers engaged in ground combat in secret missions.

The debate still seems rather academic... what else are they supposed to do with the prisoners? I think the fact that any mission JTF does will be transported, supplied,and intel provided by the US and may likely have foreign troops on it makes the title of "Canadian taken prisoners" rather dubious. Remember, the other prominent object in the photo is a large American helicopter with "USAF" clearly written on the tail.. lets not forget what made the mission possible. And I‘ll bet their maps say "DoD" on them and not "DND"

If a Canuck is covering while a US soldier handcuffs the prisoner, is that a Canadian prisoner? If a Canadian happens to be the first to see the soon-to-be prisoner, but SAS troopers actually bag him, is that a Canadian prisoner? If a Canadian captures him but during the march back lets an American cover/hold the prisoner is that man still a Canadian prisoner?

We participate in the mission, we can‘t just go halfway. Especially when we don‘t have the capabilities to go all the way alone.
Title: Re: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: rceme_rat on January 30, 2002, 23:37:00
The joys of multinational ops.  At least there isn‘t a great language problem between the major players, unlike on most UN ops.  

As for the maps, they probably don‘t say "DoD" either -- more likely they say "Michelin".  I heard that DoD had a very difficult time finding maps - bought up all available supplies in the U.S.
Title: Re: JTF2 Ops - PWs - Passage of Info
Post by: RCA on January 31, 2002, 00:50:00
There are really two issues here.

1. The military is still the servant of the people of Canada. Therefore SITREPS should be sent back to NDHQ iether daily or unusal occuranse. That is SOP. and I‘d be suprised if that is not the case. NDHQ then breifs the MND who would breif the PM. If this didn‘t happen within 24 hrs after the captures, I‘d be really suprised. The point is the military passes on the info, what the politians do with it is their business. Unfortunaly it looks like the pols screwed the pooch, which is particulaerly bad timings as the 3 PPCLI BG have their move orders now.

2. As to the turning over of prisoner, not an issue as they are under US command and have no resourses to handle POWs. And also just because they turned them over to the US doesn‘t automaticly mean these guys are going to Cuba
Title: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: JasonH on February 14, 2005, 16:22:31
Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
U.S. stymies request for information about fate of Afghans caught in raids
 
a journalist
The Ottawa Citizen

February 14, 2005

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fa123.g.akamai.net%2Ff%2F123%2F12465%2F1d%2Fmedia.canada.com%2Fidl%2Fotct%2F20050214%2F134068-42488.jpg&hash=84a00e83b046e3979b78117545207289)
CREDIT: Andres Leighton, The Associated Press
Detainees are shown in their cells facing Mecca during evening prayers in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in this 2002 photo. Canada has an obligation under the law of armed conflict to track the detainees its troops captured even after they are handed over to another country. However, U.S. officials have repeatedly refused to provide details on Guantanamo prisoners.


Individuals captured in Afghanistan by Canadian special forces were transported to the controversial U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, but American officials have been reluctant to provide the government with information on what has happened to the captives.

Members of the Ottawa-based Joint Task Force 2 commando unit took at least three prisoners in January 2002 and another four during a raid several months later. But attempts by Canadian officers to find out what happened to the people appear to have been stymied by the U.S.

Canadian officials were told that once the captives were transferred to the American detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the U.S. would then decide whether to release them or to continue holding them. At least three of the captives taken in the January 2002 JTF2 raid ended up in Guantanamo Bay, according to records obtained by the Citizen under the Access to Information law. It is not known whether they are still being held there.

American officials also declined to provide further details to the Canadian Forces about what happened to four individuals JTF2 turned over to the U.S after the May 2002 raid.

The U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay has been steeped in controversy since its establishment shortly after the Afghanistan war began. At the time Canadian government officials said they were confident any prisoners turned over to the U.S. would be treated properly by American authorities.

But since then there has been a steady stream of accusations of torture and sexual harassment of the prisoners, all denied by the Pentagon. The latest allegations involve Canadian teenager Omar Khadr, captured by American forces and accused of killing a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan.

FBI agents working at Guantanamo Bay have also raised concerns that support some of the prisoners' allegations about abuse.

Those concerns, made public in December, were contained in e-mails obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a lawsuit against the U.S. government. Recently a U.S. translator assigned to Guantanamo Bay also emerged with similar stories of abuse.

Asked over a two-day period last week for information on what became of the Canadians' prisoners, Defence Department officials said they did not readily have such details. Numbers of prisoners taken by Canadian troops in Afghanistan were also not readily available, Canadian Forces officials said.

In August 2003, a Canadian military intelligence officer reminded colleagues that Canada had an obligation under the law of armed conflict, as well as a national obligation, to track the detainees its troops captured even after they were handed over to another country.

However, right from the moment JTF2 turned over prisoners to the Americans in January 2002, Canadian military officials ran into problems finding out what happened to the captives. On Jan. 29, 2002, then-Commodore Jean-Yves Forcier wrote Canadian officers tried to check on the status and well-being of the prisoners. "U.S. authorities have maintained the position that they will not necessarily provide a status update concerning the detainees in question," he wrote.

Commodore J.P. Thiffault informed Vice-Admiral Greg Madison's office on Feb. 8, 2002 the Americans "could not advise on the future prospect of the detainees because a determination had yet to be finalized and will not be finalized until transferred to GTMO." GTMO refers to Guantanamo Bay.

Prisoners who were transferred by the U.S. to Guantanamo Bay were hooded, chained and sedated, prompting human rights groups to allege such methods were against the Geneva Convention.

In April 2002, then-defence minister Art Eggleton reassured the International Red Cross Canada remained concerned about the care and treatment of those captured and transferred into the U.S. system.

But when Canadian officials tried to find out what happened to the four people turned over by JTF2 to the Americans after a May 2002 raid on the village of Band Taimore, they were told the U.S would not provide further details. When Mr. Eggleton's successor, John McCallum, tried to find out that September what happened to prisoners, he was also unsuccessful. He was told by his senior military officials that "details on the captured individuals are sketchy at this time."

That joint U.S.-Canadian raid is still controversial because a 70-year-old man and a three-year-girl were killed in the operation. Canadian Forces officials stress JTF2 had left the compound before the killings took place. Canadian military reports indicate the elderly Afghan man was in U.S. custody and died after being struck in the head by a U.S. soldier's rifle butt. The girl's body was discovered after the raid at the bottom of the village well. It is believed she fell down the well in the confusion of the night-time special forces strike.

The Canadian reports note while any prisoners were in Canadian custody they were handled properly.

The Pentagon has stated it will not apply the Geneva Convention to prisoners turned over to their forces, but will treat such individuals humanely.

Canadian military police did make one trip to the U.S. "enemy prisoner of war" facility located at Kandahar airfield. According to police that facility was also visited by the International Red Cross. While the facility was austere, the police determined detainees were being properly treated at the time.

But human rights agencies note a number of Afghans have died while in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. Two of those have been classified by U.S. military pathologists as homicides. The third is still under investigation.

Canadian Forces officers were also sensitive concerning the language used to describe its prisoners in official reports. In a report from the Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Ray Henault, the term "persons are captured" was changed to "persons have been taken under custody" before the documents were sent on to the defence minister.

More than 500 people from 40 nations are being detained at Guantanamo Bay. It is unknown how many were captured by Canadian troops. A number have been at the prison for more than three years with no charges laid against them. They have also been denied legal representation. Another 208 prisoners have been released. Of those 62 were transferred to the custody of their home countries.

Last week lawyers for Canadian citizen Omar Khadr alleged at Guantanamo Bay he was drugged, threatened with sexual attack and repeatedly chained in stressful positions.

Mr. Khadr, now 18, has been in Guantanamo for the past 2 1/2 years. His family once lived with Osama bin Laden.

His lawyers allege the federal government failed to protect the Canadian citizen from torture. But Dan McTeague, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, has said the Canadian government was given assurances by the U.S. Mr. Khadr is being treated in a humane way and the government takes the Americans at their word.

According to the FBI e-mails released in December by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Guantanamo prisoners were chained to the floor for 24 hours at a time. No food or water was provided and prisoners were allowed to defecate on themselves.

FBI officers also complained guards used snarling dogs to intimidate prisoners, a tactic the Pentagon had previously denied was being used.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2005

http://www.canada.com/fortstjohn/story.html?id=cf33bada-d84a-4a70-b1be-21686cdef700&page=1
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on February 14, 2005, 18:23:53
"In August 2003, a Canadian military intelligence officer reminded colleagues that Canada had an obligation under the law of armed conflict, as well as a national obligation, to track the detainees its troops captured even after they were handed over to another country."

If thats true then whats the case here. 

On another note the writer seems to like the word JTF2. :)
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Infanteer on February 14, 2005, 18:38:30
 :boring: - must be a quiet news day if all we are falling back on is stories of terrorists being put in a cage.
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: kincanucks on February 14, 2005, 18:45:41
 :boring: :boring: :boring:

Next!
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: JasonH on February 14, 2005, 18:51:48
:boring: - must be a quiet news day if all we are falling back on is stories of terrorists being put in a cage.

Hey, give me a break I'm looken as hard as I can!  :blotto:
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Fishbone Jones on February 14, 2005, 19:29:53
I feel like I'm watching Seinfeld (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fusers.pandora.be%2Feforum%2Femoticons4u%2Fsleep%2Fschla07.gif&hash=13312e8cc81c8e17670770bd667fb1fd)
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: the 48th regulator on February 14, 2005, 21:06:12
I feel like I'm watching Seinfeld (https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fusers.pandora.be%2Feforum%2Femoticons4u%2Fsleep%2Fschla07.gif&hash=13312e8cc81c8e17670770bd667fb1fd)

Roger that, Giddee up!!

Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Fishbone Jones on February 14, 2005, 22:17:09
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fusers.pandora.be%2Feforum%2Femoticons4u%2Fhappy%2F516.gif&hash=dd105efc63802e722c530324a85f11ff)
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: CBH99 on February 15, 2005, 01:20:10
Nobody else worried that provisions under the Geneva Convention are maybe not being followed?  Nobody else cares that our soldiers captured these detainees, and are expected under law to keep tabs on them once they are turned over to a foreign country?  Pity.    >:(
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on February 15, 2005, 01:56:45
"In August 2003, a Canadian military intelligence officer reminded colleagues that Canada had an obligation under the law of armed conflict, as well as a national obligation, to track the detainees its troops captured even after they were handed over to another country."
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: CBH99 on February 15, 2005, 03:28:00
CFL - what was the point of that last post?  You just quoted something that had already been quoted -
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: bgpipes on February 15, 2005, 07:43:55
How do you keep someone from defecating on themselves??.....A cork up the bum eh?? :blotto: :blotto: :blotto:
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Cataract Kid on February 15, 2005, 08:16:01
CFL - what was the point of that last post?   You just quoted something that had already been quoted -
Well, your post above that one says "nobody else worried..."....so draw your own conclusions...  
Quote
"In August 2003,
obviously somebody was worried.....
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: CBH99 on February 15, 2005, 09:50:06
I was referring to this particular topic in this forum, sorry - I should have put two and two together.

Is nobody ON THIS FORUM concerned about the lack of transparency from the United States in regards to his matter?  Is nobody else on this forum concerned that Canadian troops raided several locations and carried out several dangerous missions to capture these individuals, and are now denied access to information that is supposed to be supplied under law?  Is nobody else concerned about the increasingly bold trend of the United States to bend the rules and laws to fit their political agenda?

 What if the situation were reversed (It would never happen, but lets pretend for a minute) - that American troops raided several locations, and captured suspected terrorists - then turned them over to Canadian authorities.  Then, when the American government requested information about those suspects, such as their location and general well-being, they were swiftly denied any information whatsoever, even though by law they are required to keep tabs on their suspects to ensure they are being treated fairly.  They would blow their casket.  Yet somehow, because it is the opposite, its okay?

Thats what I meant by my original post.  Sorry CFL - when I first saw your quote, I must have had a blonde moment.  (If only I had hair).
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: CBH99 on February 15, 2005, 10:02:02
One more thing about this article confuses and concerns me - if anybody out there can explain to me the reasoning behind it, I would very much appreciate it.

"The United States declared it would not apply the laws given under the Geneva Convention, but assured the prisoners would be taken care of humanely".

The suspects were captured during a military operation, and are now being detained in a typical prisoner-of-war scenario (Detained at a facility with other persons captured during similar military operations, during the same campaign - Operation Enduring Freedom).  So why is the Geneva Convention not being applied?  And, isn't the whole point of the Geneva Convention to assure that prisoners of war are treated humanely in the first place?  What purpose does it serve to state that you won't apply the Geneva Convention to "people detained during military operations" (But lets not call them prisoners of war, lets call them detainees) - but yet still state you will treat them humanely?

Also, just to stir the pot and give anybody out there who's eager to jump down someone's throat on here the opportunity...why should other countries follow every rule and regulation provided under the Geneva Convention to a T, when the United States, in this instance, declared it would not?  I'm just adding food for thought here, don't attach your bayonettes just yet.  But if you were a party that is hostile towards the United States, or at the very least, not friendly - why would you bother to apply the Geneva Convention to captured American soldiers when the United States declared it would not apply the Geneva Convention either, under all circumstances.

My points and questions here are: 

-  Why did the United States choose not to apply the Geneva Convention to these particular prisoners?
-  What is the difference between a prisoner of war, and a detainee, when detainees are captured in the same manner and under the same circumstances as a POW?
-  Does anybody find it hypocritical that the United States demands all of its captured soldiers are treated to all the provisions under the Geneva Convention, even though it chooses only to apply those same provisions on a case by case basis?

I'm not trying to sound anti-American, but am I'm not a blind supporter of her either.  Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: CBH99 on February 15, 2005, 10:04:40
Bah crap, last post them I'm going to bed.

"Under all circumstances" should read "Under some circumstances".

Time for bed, can't even think straight now.
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: kincanucks on February 15, 2005, 10:14:27
Lets see, if we make sure that these people are treated properly under the Geneva Conventions then we will be treated properly under the Geneva Conventions if they capture us? Yes that makes sense now.   I feel better knowing that because I wouldn't want to think I would be tortured, degraded or multilated because we didn't make sure that these detainees were not being mistreated. :P

We live in such an insulated world here in Canada and we think our perfect little sprinkle fairy dust on all problems approach can be translated to whatever we do or whereever we go in the world and at the same time we expect other countries and societies to think and act along the same lines.   Perhaps we should pull our heads from our anal cavities and see that the world has dramatically changed and maybe the old way of doing things just doesn't work anymore.   While the Geneva Conventions may have had a place in the world during the last century -   but I highly doubt that because few nations actually adhered to them anyway - I would say that they have little relevance to what goes on now.   Perhaps a code of conduct for terrorists should be developed and maybe Canada can work on that and at the same time improve our international creditability albeit only with a select group of people but we done that it that way before too.
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on February 15, 2005, 10:22:37
Good post, Canuck,
All the GC has become is a club to be brought out as a weapon when required to make a political point[ usually in the form of a news clipping ;)]
....think for a second, a military prison on an island that itself is guarded, if things were really that evil and devious there, does ANYONE think for a second that{a] any visitors at all would be allowed or any info of ANY kind would be given out?  You would hear NOTHING and lots of it, so, once again having a shred of decency in an indecent situation gives the media[et al] cause to shout something about the sky falling.

edit: cause "here" does not mean hear ::)
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: CBH99 on February 15, 2005, 11:41:05
True, good points from both of you.  I guess I was thinking moreso along the lines of the moral highground - and what is done "officially", and namely for the press.  Good points.
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: bgpipes on February 15, 2005, 13:36:17
If you are captured (or kidnapped),by the insurgents,the video cameras come out,and you are beheaded in front of God and everybody, that makes Guantanamo look more like Hawaii everyday eh?? ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: garb811 on February 15, 2005, 14:22:35
While the Geneva Conventions may have had a place in the world during the last century -  but I highly doubt that because few nations actually adhered to them anyway - I would say that they have little relevance to what goes on now.

So what are you advocating as the alternative?

Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Michael Dorosh on February 15, 2005, 14:40:59
Lets see, if we make sure that these people are treated properly under the Geneva Conventions then we will be treated properly under the Geneva Conventions if they capture us? Yes that makes sense now.   I feel better knowing that because I wouldn't want to think I would be tortured, degraded or multilated because we didn't make sure that these detainees were not being mistreated. :P

This is revoltingly stupid, in my opinion.  We don't torture prisoners because "we" are BETTER than "them." Period.  Since when do two wrongs make a right?
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: baboon6 on February 15, 2005, 15:13:28
Absolutely right. This reminds me of a story related about Lt Col Mike Calvert in Charles Allen's book the Savage Wars of Peace. Calvert was commanding the Malayan Scouts (later 22SAS) in the early 1950s. A policeman visiting the SAS mess was regailing some of the officers with stories of how he had tortured captured terrorists. Col Calvert eventually grabbed the police officer and slung him straight out the room. He then told his officers a story from his Chindit days, when he had captured a Burmese who was working for the Japanese. Instead of torturing or killing him, he let the man go, after convincing him that the British were the ones fighting for his freedom, not the Japanese.
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: rw4th on February 15, 2005, 15:43:56
So what are you advocating as the alternative?

I guess the problem here would be that there is no viable alternative in place, and I highly doubt that we will get the leaders of the various terror organizations to attend a conference to hammer out a new â Å“rules of warâ ? agreement. Besides, since its inception the Geneva Convention has never actually been respected by both sides in any war that I know of.

You can't try to fight â Å“by the rulesâ ? against an opponent who doesn't care about your rules; you will lose every time.
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: the 48th regulator on February 15, 2005, 22:20:33
kincanucks

You summed it up perfectly mate. I could not have said it better.   but my favourite line was this;

Quote
We live in such an insulated world here in Canada and we think our perfect little sprinkle fairy dust on all problems approach  can be translated to whatever we do or whereever we go in the world and at the same time we expect other countries and societies to think and act along the same lines

thanks mate, I think that there are too many people out there thinking that they can goad us "rough and tuff" types into a good debate, and then show us the wrong of our waremongering ways.   I am getting tired of it, TORTURE...MISTREATMENT...ISOLATION...how dare they...yep I am sure I need to plug away at another thread proving or disproving any of it....

I think some of our earlier post reflect that, at least mine did.

cheers

tess

btw, the part in yellow had me howling hehehehe fairy dust



Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: SeaKingTacco on February 15, 2005, 23:28:28
In my opinion, we follow the Geneva Convention, not because we have to, but because it is the right thing to do.   The people we fight from time to time may or may not live up to the same standard.   So what?   Descending to the level of torture and mistreatment of our opponent ultimately does us more damage:

1) It damages our soldiers morally and ethically;
2) It makes information we glean (from torture) from our enemy unreliable.   Someone being tortured will just give up what they think the torturer wants to hear;
3) It makes the enemy less likely to want to surrender
4) It is just plain wrong.   We are above it.

Sure, sometimes it appears easier not to follow the Geneva Convention, but in the long view, following it is always the right way to fight.   Winning a victory where you have to descend to absolute moral depravity (and display psychopathic behavior) is not much of a victory in my books.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on February 15, 2005, 23:35:43
"Winning a victory where you have to descend to absolute moral depravity (and display psychopathic behavior) is not much of a victory in my books."

It all depends on what you want to achieve and what situation your in (ie the Mongol Hordes are knocking on your doorstep) that will dictate how far you will go.

If someone invaded this country I would guarantee that the GC would go right out the window.

Besides shouldn't the GC be an on-going every changing document.  Progress with the times.

Who dictates what is inhumane and what is not.  Is Napalm allowed, targeting personal with a 25mm chain gun etc? 
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: SeaKingTacco on February 15, 2005, 23:51:30
"Winning a victory where you have to descend to absolute moral depravity (and display psychopathic behavior) is not much of a victory in my books."

It all depends on what you want to achieve and what situation your in (ie the Mongol Hordes are knocking on your doorstep) that will dictate how far you will go.

If someone invaded this country I would guarantee that the GC would go right out the window.

Besides shouldn't the GC be an on-going every changing document.   Progress with the times.

Who dictates what is inhumane and what is not.   Is Napalm allowed, targeting personal with a 25mm chain gun etc?  

Find another way to win.   Seriously.   Training your soldiers to beat the crap out of, or kill defenseless prisoners is wrong.   Full stop.  

As for killing with either napalm vs a 25mm Chain gun, I don't recollect that the Geneva Convention has anything specifically to say on that subject.

I think that one should endeavour to defeat one's opponent with as little suffering as possible.   I don't imagine that you have time to suffer much if you get hit with a 25mm round...
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Armageddon on February 15, 2005, 23:56:10
Although I took a course involving the Geneva convention last year I am a little fuzzy on the details of it but I believe they are rough, as follows.   
   I believe that the Geneva convention only applies to armed combatants of another military and should the "war" take place so fast that the country is not able to properly organize a defensive military then it must apply to armed combatants (guerrillas).   Since the AL-queda is not a military but a terrorist organization this would mean that it does not have to apply to them.   The other rule is that the convention technically only applies to those countries who agree "formally" that both sides will adhere to the convention.   As a convention it is not a Law as no one country has the right to force it's laws upon another sovereign power (other than the fact the US continuously attempts to do.....but that is a topic for another forum).   That all being said I would hope that the US would try and follow it but who is to say that sometimes a little rough love is not necessary.   I will look through my notes and see if I can find the more specific details and if I need to I will correct my statement but at the present time I thought that I would interject my $0.02 since I don't think everyone should try and think that everyone should live in a spot thinking that everyone always has to be nice to their enemies........
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on February 16, 2005, 00:07:57
I never said it was right or wrong just that it all depends on your goals and your perspective.
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Fishbone Jones on February 16, 2005, 00:17:35
If anyone thinks that the detainees are being mistreated, we'll let them out. Then they can come and live with you. You can take care of them your way. Just not in my neighbourhood, Mr Rogers has moved. ;)
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: George Wallace on February 16, 2005, 00:26:14
Recceguy

Just for you:

Although this was sent to me as a joke, it does hold some relevance in a discussion such as this and our dealings with the Liberal Left:


Quote
The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20016
 
Dear Concerned Citizen:
 
Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.   Our administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was heard loud and clear here in Washington. You'll be pleased to learn that thanks to the concerns of citizens like you, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short.

In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one   terrorist under your personal care.Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday.

Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of admonishment.   It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers.   We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws.   Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. He will bite you, given the chance.   We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling.   Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers.   We suggest you do not ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group.

He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.   Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters (except sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property.   This is a particularly sensitive subject for him, and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the dress code that he will undoubtedly recommend as appropriate attire.   I'm sure your wife and daughters will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the bhurka over time.   Just remind them that it is all part of "respecting his culture and his religious beliefs" - wasn't that how you put it?
 
Thanks again for your letter.   We truly appreciate it when folks like you, who know so much, keep us informed of   the proper way to do our job.   You take good care of Ahmed - and remember...we'll be watching.   Good luck!
 
Cordially...Your Buddy,
Don Rumsfeld

GW
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Cataract Kid on February 16, 2005, 00:34:38
^^^
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Fishbone Jones on February 16, 2005, 00:36:29
Exactly!!! ;D
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Dare on February 16, 2005, 14:04:51
1) It would actually be *against* the geneva conventions to grant prisoner of war status to these illegal combatants. They are not uniformed, no markings and no dog tags. With many cases of perfidy and other such war crimnes (as defined in the geneva conventions), they certainly are less than honourable and not deserving of any privliaged treatment.
2) See #1.
3) No. I do not. The United States is being exceedingly generous to these terrorists, feeding them better than their own soldiers. There is no requirement for them to do a lot of what they are doing under any law.

4) Read the Geneva Conventions.

Quote
My points and questions here are: 

-  Why did the United States choose not to apply the Geneva Convention to these particular prisoners?
-  What is the difference between a prisoner of war, and a detainee, when detainees are captured in the same manner and under the same circumstances as a POW?
-  Does anybody find it hypocritical that the United States demands all of its captured soldiers are treated to all the provisions under the Geneva Convention, even though it chooses only to apply those same provisions on a case by case basis?

I'm not trying to sound anti-American, but am I'm not a blind supporter of her either.  Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: silentbutdeadly on February 16, 2005, 14:55:19
to many bleeding hearts in the government and NDHQ, at least there not shooting, car bombing canadian or any other troops. Also i agree they are getting better treated in cuba! i wish i could have a all expensied paided trip to cuba! :blotto:
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Infanteer on February 16, 2005, 16:54:17
So what are you advocating as the alternative?

This is revoltingly stupid, in my opinion.   We don't torture prisoners because "we" are BETTER than "them." Period.   Since when do two wrongs make a right?

I think too many people look at this as a Black/White statement.  Michael, your answer is a good example.  Just because we choose not to apply the specifics (putting a sandbag on a guys head, giving him to American detention) doesn't automatically mean that we resort to torture and beheading of these people.

As long as we act as a Western liberal democracy and treat these people with a modicum of decency (ie: feed them while they are in captivity, don't torture them, etc, etc) then I don't think we should get to wrapped around the axles about obeying EVERY point and article of a Treaty that clearly is antiquated when it comes to fighting an opponent in a global, "4th Generation" setting.

BTW, in general, don't confuse the Geneva Conventions (which deal with PWs) with the Hague Conventions on Armed Conflict.
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Sapper Bloggins on February 18, 2005, 03:32:56
This righteous sense of Arab victimhood--- which I believe, overlooks what Arab rulers do to others while lamenting its own condition-- emanates from a political tradition of belligerent self-pity.

Enjoy your 'holiday' in Cuba is what I say. How, and why, should we be even considering how these brain-washed fanatics are feeling ::) I think it's time an endeavor was put into place that would help modernize the Arab world. Our troops were only doing their job. out ;)
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: big bad john (John Hill) on February 19, 2005, 08:42:31
Canada has moral obligation to captives
professor: Fate of prisoners turned over to U.S. should be probed
 
a journalist
The Ottawa Citizen

Saturday, February 19, 2005

 
In the wake of the allegations of torture and abuse of prisoners by U.S. guards at Guantanamo Bay and in Iraq, the Canadian government has the moral obligation to inquire about the fate of captives it turned over to the U.S., says a former top U.S. military lawyer.

Law professor Scott Silliman said because of Canada's Charter of Rights and its signature on a 1984 convention prohibiting torture, the Martin government has the moral responsibility to ask the U.S. for an accounting of the prisoners the Joint Task Force 2 commando unit turned over to the Americans.

"If Canada stays mute, if you stay silent, then do you become a partner in what we are doing by your silence?" asked Mr. Silliman, who served 25 years in the U.S. air force's Judge Advocate General's office, and was in charge of that service's lawyers during the first Persian Gulf war.

"Because of your very strong Charter that emphasizes human rights, then I think what Canada needs to do is to stand on your Charter and say that this is an important matter."

But other international law and human rights specialists argue Canada's obligation goes beyond moral grounds. They say there is a legal obligation to ensure the prisoners turned over to the Americans are well treated, and, if that is not the case, then the government should ask for those individuals to be returned to Canadian custody.

A Canadian Forces spokesman, however, says the military continues to trust that the U.S. is treating detainees humanely, despite the ongoing allegations of abuse.

At issue is the fate of those captured in Afghanistan by the Ottawa-based commando team, JTF2, and turned over to the U.S.

At least three prisoners were sent to the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Another four were turned over to the U.S., but it is not clear what happened to them. In early 2002, the U.S. decided against applying the rules of the Geneva Convention to those captured in the war on terrorism. But, President George W. Bush said such prisoners would be treated humanely.

Mr. Silliman said Canada had good reason to accept those assurances at the time and turn over detainees to the U.S. But, with the release of FBI documents indicating abuse of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, as well as the investigation documenting abuse by U.S. military members at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, those claims of humane treatment have been put in doubt, added Mr. Silliman, who teaches national security law at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

The Canadian Forces doesn't agree. "We're confident our allies would stand up to the commitment of treating the detainees in a fashion consistent with the principles of the Geneva Convention," said military spokesman Lt.-Col. Roland Lavoie. "I would make the difference between the country and given individuals who might not do so."

Lt.-Col. Lavoie said the Canadian military is not in a position to follow the cases of individuals it turned over to the U.S. But he noted the International Committee of the Red Cross has checked on the welfare of the Guantamamo detainees. Other Canadian officials have also noted that the Martin government takes the U.S. at its word that prisoners are being treated properly.

But, Mr. Silliman points out Mr. Bush's statement about humane treatment for detainees only covers those individuals held by the U.S. military. Not covered are those being held in separate Central Intelligence Agency compound at Guantanamo Bay, he added.

Amnesty International Canada chief Alex Neve and international law professor Michael Byers say Canada has a legal obligation under the Geneva Convention to follow up on the well-being of the prisoners it turned over to the U.S. If the U.S. does not treat the prisoners humanely, then Canada should request the individuals be transferred back into Canadian custody, they add.

"It has been very clear throughout human rights law and in our own national level courts that you don't get to wash your hands of something simply because you sent an individual on to another country," said Mr. Neve.

The U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay has been steeped in controversy since its establishment shortly after the Afghanistan war began. There has been a steady stream of accusations of torture and sexual harassment of the prisoners, all denied by the Pentagon.

According to the FBI e-mails released in December by the American Civil Liberties Union, Guantanamo prisoners were chained to the floor for 24 hours at a time. No food or water was provided and prisoners were not allowed access to bathroom facilities. FBI officers also complained guards used snarling dogs to intimidate prisoners, a tactic the Pentagon had previously denied was being used. Prisoners who have been released alleged they were tortured. A U.S. translator who worked at Guantanamo has also come forward with information about abuse.

New documents released by the Pentagon this week also detail reports of torture of prisoners by American troops in Afghanistan.

U.S. army officials said yesterday that eight soldiers were disciplined last year for threatening to kill detainees in Afghanistan and taking photographs of the abuse in a series of incidents with parallels to the scandal at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The soldiers, assigned to Fort Drum, New York, were accused of dereliction of duty and were demoted in rank, ordered to forfeit some pay and given other "nonjudicial punishments" for their role in the events a year ago.

More than 500 people from 40 nations are being detained at Guantanamo Bay. A number have been at the prison for more than three years with no charges laid against them. They have also been denied legal representation. Another 208 prisoners have been released. Of those, 62 were transferred to the custody of their home countries.

© The Ottawa Citizen 2005
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Dare on February 20, 2005, 06:16:22
Canada has a moral obligation to Canadians. Not Johnny Jihad the genocidal illegal combatant.

Canada has moral obligation to captives
professor: Fate of prisoners turned over to U.S. should be probed
 
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: FastEddy on February 20, 2005, 17:07:24
Canada has a moral obligation to Canadians. Not Johnny Jihad the genocidal illegal combatant.



Your absolutely right, but I think you will not find too much support, because its not PC or sounds too
selfish.

I think your description of these SOB's is about the most accurate I've heard, of course I could add several additional choice words, but thats not allowed here.

One thing for sure, I think a lot of Canadians have very short memories, heaven forbid, but when  our
complacency has served its purpose and car bombs start going off, maybe the Oh! so Morally Correct and by the Book advocates might take off their Rose Colored Glasses.

The Terrorist's have declared total War on the West and its not going to be won playing by Gentlemans Rules or the Geneva Convention.

If you guys think they have it rough at GT-Bay, you've never done 90 days in a C Pro C Detention Barracks in the 50's. these SOB's deserve every-thing they get, right or wrong.

If Canada is so concerned about their welfare, lets bring them all here to one of Cda's Hilton Hotel Prisons
(of course don't forget the Colored T.V.s) Then our concerned patriots can go visit them every day.










Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: big bad john (John Hill) on February 20, 2005, 17:34:15


The Terrorist's have declared total War on the West and its not going to be won playing by Gentlemans Rules or the Geneva Convention.
I see a lot of casualties coming from Middle Eastern countries too.  Let us remember that they have declared war on everybody who doesn't agree with them.  I've spent some time in the Gulf and I can tell you that there is no love for them in most places over there.
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Acorn on February 20, 2005, 22:45:47
Reading this thread inspired a thought:

Perhaps we are spending too much time on SHARP and not enough time on the Laws of Armed Conflict (which include, but are not exclusively, the Geneva Conventions.)

Acorn
Title: Re: Canada's JTF2 captives vanish at Guantanamo
Post by: Slim on February 20, 2005, 22:53:16
Reading this thread inspired a thought:

Perhaps we are spending too much time on SHARP and not enough time on the Laws of Armed Conflict (which include, but are not exclusively, the Geneva Conventions.)

Acorn

Acorn

A very insightful statement...I believe that it sums up rather well how the majority of the top brass (until the new CDS that is) and the CDN public at large have come to regard the CF. If we are to have an effective army then certain things MUST CHANGE...This would be one of them.

the other thing that comes to mind is the way we have begun training this latest band of young soldiers. I know that the previous generation always says that they had it harder. Maybe so...I read exerts from a speech by Pat Strogren who was quoted as saysing that the only reason we have done so well overseas is due to the training of the cold war soldiers who are still occupying key positions in the units. If this is the case then something must change NOW! Before our army is reduced to a pack of mewling brats who can't soldier because there is no one left to teach them how...

Slim  

P.S. I am not losing any sleep over the detainees in Cuba. they should be happy that they didn't receive much worse!
Title: Canadian's in Afghanistan have been told Geneva Rules don't apply to Taliban
Post by: JasonH on May 31, 2006, 11:53:32
Quote
Troops told Geneva rules don't apply to Taliban

PAUL KORING

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

WASHINGTON — Canadian troops in Afghanistan have been told the Geneva Conventions and Canadian regulations regarding the rights of prisoners of war don't apply to Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters captured on the battlefield.

That decision strips detainees of key rights and protections under the rules of war, including the right to be released at the end of the conflict and not to be held criminally liable for lawful combat.

“The whole purpose of those regulations is to know if Geneva applies,” said Amir Attaran, a law professor at the University of Ottawa who has been pressing the Defence Department for details of its detainee policy for months.

The 1991 Canadian regulations — developed during the Persian Gulf war — included provisions to hold tribunals to determine a detainee's status under Geneva if there is any doubt.

Captured fighters don't deserve these rights because this isn't a war between countries, says Lieutenant-General Michel Gauthier, who commands the Canadian Expeditionary Forces Command and thus oversees all Canadian Forces deployed abroad.

“They are not entitled to prisoner-of-war status but they are entitled to prisoner-of-war treatment,” he said, asserting that all detainees are humanely treated.

“The regulations apply in an armed conflict between states, and what's happening in Afghanistan is not an armed conflict between states. And therefore there is no basis for making a determination of individuals being prisoners of war,” he said.

Since Ottawa first sent fighting forces to Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the government has said that anyone captured by Canadian Forces is treated humanely. For years, detainees were quickly turned over to the U.S. military. But, since last December, a new agreement with Kabul means Canadian troops now turn detainees over to the Afghan military, a move some have criticized because of the Afghans' uneven record of observing human rights.

The decision to ignore the regulations without a legal test of whether detainees in Afghanistan are entitled to PoW status puts Canada “in a very odd situation. It's completely irregular,” Prof. Attaran says.

He believes the government's position that Geneva doesn't apply may be correct but it needs to be tested in court.

According to Canada's Prisoner-of-War Status Determination Regulations, “the commanding officer of a unit or other element of the Canadian Forces shall ensure that each detainee is screened as soon as practicable after being taken into custody to determine whether or not the detainee is entitled to prisoner-of-war status.”

Last updated before Ottawa sent a field hospital to Saudi Arabia in the middle of the Persian Gulf war, the regulations are designed to make sure Canadian soldiers understand and correctly apply the 1949 Geneva Conventions with respect to detainees.

But Canada, following the Bush administration's lead in the United States, had decreed that there are no lawful combatants among the enemy in the current conflict and no screening was required.

Gen. Gauthier concedes that the change in policy could open the door to criminal charges being laid against Taliban fighters.

If a captured enemy fighter is implicated in killing a Canadian soldier — for instance, the Taliban fighter who launched the rocket-propelled grenade that killed Captain Nichola Goddard on May 17 — Ottawa might order him charged with murder and tried.

“I would seek guidance that clearly would come from outside the Defence Department if we wished to pursue this any further from a prosecutorial basis,” the general said.

The change aligns Canada's position on the criminal culpability for battlefield violence with that of the United States. Omar Khadr, the only Canadian held at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is charged with murder for allegedly throwing a grenade that killed a U.S. Special Forces soldier.

Canada has provided few details on the fate of detainees its forces have handed over to U.S. authorities since 2002; neither the number nor the names have been made public. All the government has said is that none are currently at Guantanamo Bay. But it's unknown whether they have been released, or are being held at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or in secret prisons in Eastern Europe.

Similar secrecy cloaks what happens to detainees handed over to Afghan authorities by Canadian Forces fighting in Kandahar province. Gen. Gauthier indicated such transfers occur regularly, if not daily then several times a week. But no numbers are publicly available.

“Our default setting is transfer,” he said. “We haven't held anybody for more than a few hours and we would prefer not to.”

Canadian troops do screen detainees — determining on the spot whether a captive poses a threat and should be handed over to the Afghan authorities or should be freed. Gen. Gauthier said the decision to release those not considered dangerous happens routinely. Both decisions are checked up the chain of command, he said.

Prof. Attaran says the military's policy on transfers doesn't absolve Canada if detainees are then mistreated, tortured or killed.

He argues that if the government wants to be involved in this conflict, then it should take responsibility for those its soldiers detain, at least until a court or tribunal determines it can properly transfer them.

“It seems like they want to treat them as though they are radioactive,” he said.

But Gen. Gauthier said there is no risk that ordinary soldiers or junior officers could face war-crimes charges, even if detainees handed over to the Afghans were tortured or killed.

“Our intention certainly isn't to leave junior folks hanging out to dry at all on this,” he said. “We are on firm legal ground we have no worries about the possibility of prosecution or allegations of criminal wrongdoing for having transferred detainees.”

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060530.wxdetainee30/BNStory/Afghanistan/home (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060530.wxdetainee30/BNStory/Afghanistan/home)
Title: Re: Canadian's in Afghanistan have been told Geneva Rules don't apply to Taliban
Post by: Thucydides on May 31, 2006, 12:15:43
You would need to bend the rules totally out of shape to consider the Taliban, Al Qaeda (or Hezbollah, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam, Sendero Luminoso, PIRA, the FLQ or any other terrorist organization) falling under the ambit of the Geneva convention. This is just applying a bit of common sense to the situation on the ground.

http://www.genevaconventions.org/

Quote
combatant status

Combatants have protections under the Geneva Conventions, as well as obligations.

Convention I offers protections to wounded combatants, who are defined as members of the armed forces of a party to an international conflict, members of militias or volunteer corps including members of organized resistance movements as long as they have a well-defined chain of command, are clearly distinguishable from the civilian population, carry their arms openly, and obey the laws of war. (Convention I, Art. 13, Sec. 1 and Sec. 2)

See wounded combatants for a list of protections.

Convention II extends these same protections to those who have been shipwrecked (Convention II, Art. 13)

Convention III offers a wide range of protections to combatants who have become prisoners of war. (Convention III, Art. 4)

For example, captured combatants cannot be punished for acts of war except in the cases where the enemy’s own soldiers would also be punished, and to the same extent. (Convention III, Art. 87)

See prisoner of war for a list of additional protections.

However, other individuals, including civilians, who commit hostile acts and are captured do not have these protections. For example, civilians in an occupied territory are subject to the existing penal laws. (Convention IV, Art. 64)

The 1977 Protocols extend the definition of combatant to include any fighters who carry arms openly during preparation for an attack and during the attack itself, (Protocol I, Art. 44, Sec. 3) but these Protocols aren’t as widely accepted as the four 1949 conventions.

In addition to rights, combatants also have obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

In the case of an internal conflict, combatants must show humane treatment to civilians and enemies who have been wounded or who have surrendered. Murder, hostage-taking and extrajudicial executions are all forbidden. (Convention I, Art. 3)

For more protections afforded the civilian population, see civilian immunity.

Although all combatants are required to comply with international laws, violations do not deprive the combatants of their status, or of their right to prisoner of war protections if they are captured. (Protocol I, Art. 44, Sec. 2)

A mercenary does not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war. (Protocol I, Art. 37)
Title: Re: Canadian's in Afghanistan have been told Geneva Rules don't apply to Taliban
Post by: KevinB on May 31, 2006, 12:18:11
This has been hashed to death in previous threads...
Title: Re: Canadian's in Afghanistan have been told Geneva Rules don't apply to Taliban
Post by: Fishbone Jones on May 31, 2006, 12:22:34
Yep. We're not going through all this again. Go do a 'search' if really interested.
Title: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on June 03, 2006, 00:36:57
http://sympaticomsn.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20060602/afghanistan_prisoners_060602

As Canadian military brass take fire at home for the policy of handing over prisoners to the Afghan army, Canadian forces on the ground are dealing with the sometimes grim reality of the agreement.

Canadian troops have been aggressively patrolling Afghanistan in recent months, engaging the enemy, raiding suspected hideouts and taking prisoners.

On a recent patrol with Canadian forces "outside the wire" in the Panjwai region of Afghanistan, CTV's Middle East Bureau Chief Janis Mackey Frayer watched the scenario play out as soldiers tried to decide what to do with a suspected Taliban insurgent they captured.

"By law, they are handed over to Afghan authorities," Mackey Frayer said.

"But in this case, during a raid at a compound where a Canadian vehicle had been ambushed, Afghan soldiers threatened summary execution. They were adamant he was Taliban and should be forced to pay."

CTV cameras captured the discussion as it unfolded.

"They want to execute him here. I am obviously not for that. Recommend pickup or holding," says one soldier, speaking over a radio.

"He's probably of low intel value but either we take him or he gets executed. I need you to manage that. Over."

Under the tense circumstances, the Canadian soldiers decide to hold onto the prisoner until he can be delivered to less agitated Afghan authorities -- contravening the current policy on prisoners.

But eventually, the Canadians hand him back to the Afghan soldiers.

For the next 24-hours he remains handcuffed in the back of a pickup truck.

Then he disappears, his whereabouts, and fate, unknown.

When Canadian soldiers first arrived in Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, they handed detainees over to the United States.

Under a new agreement brokered in December however, captured fighters are now handed over to the Afghan military.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he doesn't expect the agreement to change any time soon.

"Well, we have a firm agreement with the Afghan government, and that agreement protects Canada's obligation, Canada's international obligations, and obviously we will stay in touch with Afghan authorities to ensure that that agreement is being honoured," he said.

A recent report in The Globe and Mail claims prisoners captured in Afghanistan are not subject to the protection of the Geneva Convention, because Canada does not consider them to be legal combatants.

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor refuted the reports this week, however.

"When they take prisoners, they will always follow the rules of the Geneva Convention, no lower standard than that," he told the Commons.

The 1949 Geneva Conventions provide protections and rights to prisoners of war, including the right to be released at the end of a conflict, and to not face criminal charges.

Canadian regulations updated in 1991 allow for tribunals to be held in order to determine the status of detainees under the Conventions when there is doubt.

O'Connor also said the Afghan government allows the Red Cross and Red Crescent organizations to monitor prisoners.

Other coalition countries, such as Britain and the Netherlands have prisoner agreements similar with the Afghan government.

The Dutch government, however, takes the agreement one stop further by reserving the right to actually visit the detainees their soldiers take.

The United States is the only country under no obligation to turn over suspected militants to local authorities.

While official numbers are difficult to obtain, it is believed there are at least two hundred suspected Taliban prisoners in Kandahar's three jails.

With a report by CTV's Middle East Bureau Chief Janis Mackey Frayer


So we can't give them to the US and we can't give them to the locals so what do they want us to do?
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: Armymatters on June 03, 2006, 05:54:26
I like what the Dutch have done, which is to reserve the right to inspect any prisoners they hand over to the Afghanis. Perhaps we should add that clause into our agreement, if it isn't there already, and exercise that right fully.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: 2 Cdo on June 03, 2006, 10:27:00
Maybe if we don't want the Afghanis to execute prisoners out of hand we should hand them over to the Americans! :o

Wait, the left wing socialist crowd in Canada would rather not turn in prisoners to the evil US, they would rather have these incidents with the local police forces every time we take prisoners! ::)

Damned if you do and damned if you dont!
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: Rider Pride on June 03, 2006, 10:39:25
By the article, it did not seem to me that they struggled with the policy.

Hand them over to the Afghan authorities. Do not allow prisoners in your possesion to be abused or executed.
Pretty simple guidelines, mix with Law of Armed conflict, and a good chunk of human decency with some common sense, and they will make good decisions. Like they did in the article above.

The soldiers are not conflicted, it is the media who is making the politicians and public conflicted.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: bilton090 on June 03, 2006, 12:45:54
They shoud be summary execution's, the Taliban are not POW's, they are CRIMINAL'S
and MURDERER'S, that's fine the Canadians look after them but after they are turned over to the Afghan authorities if they want to execute them, that's fine! It's there country ! :threat:
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: Rider Pride on June 03, 2006, 13:14:00
They shoud be summary execution's, the Taliban are not POW's, they are CRIMINAL'S
and MURDERER'S, that's fine the Canadians look after them but after they are turned over to the Afghan authorities if they want to execute them, that's fine! It's there country ! :threat:

So by doing onto others as they would do onto us, make us a better people, better soldiers, a country Afghans and others respect...? Or would you rather have Canadian soldiers being tried at the World court?

Part of raising a professional army, which is what we are trying to do with the ANA is to show those soldiers that the only one who has a right to execute people is the gov't and its courts...not the military. To us they are prisioners, to the ANA they may be criminals, but its is not soldier who should be doing the executing.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: GAP on June 03, 2006, 13:20:09
While we all have our desires as to the outcome of these prisoners, they need to be handed over to the proper authority. Only by doing this do we set the example to ANA and ANP. It isn't always going to work out right, but remember we are training a group of people that for 30 years delivered justice immediately and think it is perfectly normal.

What we are not hearing at all, is the outcome of the courts in regards to these prisoners.  Can't find anything at all..any links anyone??
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: Nerf herder on June 03, 2006, 13:20:29
+1 on that Ash.

I saw the footage as well....they didn't struggle with the policy at all.   ::)

The media are blowing things way out of proportion yet again.

Regards
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: bilton090 on June 03, 2006, 13:30:59
So by doing onto others as they would do onto us, make us a better people, better soldiers, a country Afghans and others respect...? Or would you rather have Canadian soldiers being tried at the World court?

Part of raising a professional army, which is what we are trying to do with the ANA is to show those soldiers that the only one who has a right to execute people is the gov't and its courts...not the military. To us they are prisioners, to the ANA they may be criminals, but its is not soldier who should be doing the executing.
 Canadian solders being tried at the world court ?, BULL CRAP ! You do your job, you look after them, then turn the scum over to the Afghan authorities, end of story ! now your crying over scum that kill woman & children. ( public beheading )
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: paracowboy on June 03, 2006, 13:36:58
 Canadian solders being tried at the world court ?, BULL CRAP ! You do your job, you look after them, then turn the scum over to the Afghan authorities, end of story ! now your crying over scum that kill woman & children.
you recommend summary executions and think that we wouldn't hang for it? Of course we would! Use your friggin' head. Any Canadian soldier who conducted an execution would unquestionably be tried and sentenced in Canada, and quite possibly in the World Court.

Nobody is crying over criminals being punished, get a grip. Medic is saying that Canadian soldiers do their job properly, by following protocols and SOP, and by teaching the ANA (part of our role over there) how to be soldiers instead of thugs in uniform.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: bilton090 on June 03, 2006, 14:09:41
you recommend summary executions and think that we wouldn't hang for it? Of course we would! Use your friggin' head. Any Canadian soldier who conducted an execution would unquestionably be tried and sentenced in Canada, and quite possibly in the World Court.

Nobody is crying over criminals being punished, get a grip. Medic is saying that Canadian soldiers do their job properly, by following protocols and SOP, and by teaching the ANA (part of our role over there) how to be soldiers instead of thugs in uniform.
I'm not saying that Canada soldier's should do it, but if the Afghan's do it, crap happen's, ( live by the sword, die by the sword ).
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: paracowboy on June 03, 2006, 14:21:11
I'm not saying that Canada soldier's should do it, but if the Afghan's do it, crap happen's, ( live by the sword, die by the sword ).
guilt by association. We are training the ANA, we are working alongside the ANA. They commit atrocities and war crimes, we are guilty of allowing it, and in the eyes of the folks at home, we are guilty of teaching it. We lose the moral high ground, we lose the War, and we lose the reason we're fighting it.

When we're fighting, kill 'em all as efficiently as possible. Once the fight is over, patch 'em up, search 'em, silinece 'em, speed 'em to the rear, where they can then be processed according to our rules, and the Rule of Law. Do it right, or don't do it.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: bilton090 on June 03, 2006, 14:57:02
guilt by association. We are training the ANA, we are working alongside the ANA. They commit atrocities and war crimes, we are guilty of allowing it, and in the eyes of the folks at home, we are guilty of teaching it. We lose the moral high ground, we lose the War, and we lose the reason we're fighting it.

When we're fighting, kill 'em all as efficiently as possible. Once the fight is over, patch 'em up, search 'em, silinece 'em, speed 'em to the rear, where they can then be processed according to our rules, and the Rule of Law. Do it right, or don't do it.
  You are right Para, if after they get to the rear & are executed great, these cockroaches sould not get any right's ! , they should get exterminated like the rabbit dogs they are !
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: Nerf herder on June 03, 2006, 17:57:31
  You are right Para, if after they get to the rear & are executed great, these cockroaches sould not get any right's ! , they should get exterminated like the rabbit dogs they are !

Obviously you failed the PO on the Geneva Convention and also didn't read Paracowboy's post properly....

He meant bag and tag...not silence as in to kill them    ::)

Someone needs to get a grip....

Regards
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: bilton090 on June 03, 2006, 18:06:15
Obviously you failed the PO on the Geneva Convention and also didn't read Paracowboy's post properly....

He meant bag and tag...not silence as in to kill them    ::)

Someone needs to get a grip....

Regards
But Gen. Gauthier said there is no risk that ordinary soldiers or junior officers could face war-crimes charges, even if detainees handed over to the Afghans were tortured or killed.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: Nerf herder on June 03, 2006, 18:16:23
But Gen. Gauthier said there is no risk that ordinary soldiers or junior officers could face war-crimes charges, even if detainees handed over to the Afghans were tortured or killed.

Not talking about what the General said....what you are saying is completely against the GC and if you were to do something like you have stated...

You'd be standing in front of 12 without your head dress.

Now as to what the General said...the troops can't be held accountable if they hand them over to the ANA.

However, if they do knowing full well that the prisoners would be tortured or executed...well, you see the difference.

As such the troops on the ground did the correct thing.

Regards
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: ArmyRick on June 03, 2006, 18:29:50
If the NDP get in charge then these captured taliban would probably be allowed to come to Canada, apply for refugee status, get free benefits, sue the CF for "aggressive detainment" and eventually become members of the NDP (as one of our MPs in 2012?)..

Sad thought.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: bilton090 on June 03, 2006, 18:32:25
If the NDP get in charge then these captured taliban would probably be allowed to come to Canada, apply for refugee status, get free benefits, sue the CF for "aggressive detainment" and eventually become members of the NDP (as one of our MPs in 2012?)..

Sad thought.
You got that right on !
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: GO!!! on June 03, 2006, 20:17:51
As long as we have a standing agreement negotiated by our government with the Afghan government, there is no "struggling".

You catch someone you suspect as being Taliban, you follow the SOP and turn him over to the Afghans, US, MPs, whoever you are ordered to. If the Canadian public has a problem with it, take it up with whoever negotiated the agreement. If Pte. Bloggins has a feeling that the detainee will be shot, he is more than welcome to add his observation to the patrol report once he returns to the base.

We turned all manner of foreign troops over to their domestic governments (Germany, Japan) knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would be treated to show trials and hung or shot - it was no big deal sixty years ago, and it is no big deal now.

I think that you would be pretty hard pressed to make a case against a Canadian soldier if he followed orders and SOPs, turned the detainee over to the representative of a democratically elected government and the detainee died or was executed in their care.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: Zarathustra on June 03, 2006, 22:23:22
A problem with summary execution is they are very scary for the average civilian. He will wonder if this could happen to him. Someone could accidentally confuse him with a bad guy or someone could threatened him and execute him if he doesn't obey, claiming he was a bad guy. Execution after fair trial feels much more secure for the average civilian because he doesn't feel this could be him. To build trust and respect for the government and the law, I would try to avoid summary executions.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: paracowboy on June 03, 2006, 23:04:12
To build trust and respect for the government and the law, I would try to avoid summary executions.
not to mention the fact that we are working to develop A-stan into a modern nation with a firm grasp of democratic representation and the Rule of Law, with attendant checks and balances to ensure fairness. Summary executions are antithetical to this.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: Michael Dorosh on June 04, 2006, 01:06:25
We turned all manner of foreign troops over to their domestic governments (Germany, Japan) knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that they would be treated to show trials and hung or shot - it was no big deal sixty years ago, and it is no big deal now.

Which show trials were those? Where Germans shot and hung their own people?
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: pbi on June 04, 2006, 10:42:38
The answer here is obviously to attach a protocol to our current agreement with the Afghan Govt, bringing it more into line with the one the NL forces have. Should be no problem with that, if the Afgh govt wants to continue to be seen as "progressive" by the West.

The answer is NOT to descend to the same level of behaviour that we have worked so hard to get away from as a professional Army: if you think we have public support problems now, just wait...

Cheers
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: FormerHorseGuard on June 04, 2006, 12:39:19
i am sure the big problem is mostly  the media who are making a story look bigger then it really is. if i was over there I am sure i would be wondering what  happened to the guy  i turned over to the locals. executions on the spot or in the field are a dirty job, sometimes they are required. I remember reading about the picture of the officer in Vietnam shooting the guy in the streets during the Tet (spelling) offensive and how the media thought it was a morally wrong thing. One story I read had the officer shooting the spy because they caught him with weapons and was fighting soldiers of the government , and the person was not wearing a uniform and that meant he was a spy.

Treat of caputured Taliban is difficult due to the fact there is no rules of warfare being followed on both sides. You cannot have one side playing by the rules and the other side not and have it all nice and ruled by the conventions of various meetings.

No uniform,  carrying weapons engaging in combat with uniformed government troops, in my way of thinking makes them spies and my understanding spies can be shot. 

Big thing to remember that is not North America or Europe, it is a land that has had its own rules of war going back many many years and those rules are never going to change. Western standards are not enforced or wanted there. They have their own code and western soldiers are going to have to grow some thicker skin and so is the media.

At the same time i do not think any Canadian soldier should consider shooting any captured person because the Afghan Government troops do it.
Follow the agreement set up and report what  you saw and your gut feelings as to what  happened or what  you think might happen.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: mainerjohnthomas on June 04, 2006, 13:01:07
Our troops are doing it right already.  We are fighting in Afghanistan, and for Afghanistan.  That means that we are trying to help the Afghan people adjust to the rule of law.  We will hand our prisoners over to Afghan authorities for trial and punishment under Afghan law for crimes committed in Afghanistan.  Obviously, part of helping the Afghans adjust to the rule of law means keeping them from shooting anybody out of hand, and not turning anybody over when the locals blood is up, and due process seems to be in short supply.  If Afghan justice is not what the Taliban face, then we are an occupying power, not an ally of the Afghan people.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: bilton090 on June 04, 2006, 13:41:33
:salute: The last 2 post have been BAG ON !
              IN my past post's I did not say! that Canadian Troop's should execute "POW'S  ;) ;), But I said was if you fallowed SOP's, took names on the hand over,
and not given them to a mob, not standing there when they do it !, If you hied shoots report it.
              Spy's are still able to be shoot, Situ. on the gound will dictate !
 
      What some people were saying is the Political & somewhat Legal side of things,
           But I'll will not be crying a tear for them, But a hi 5,

             SPELL CHECK DIDN'T HELP! SORRY
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: JackD on June 05, 2006, 03:36:40
The big reason and one not mentioned yet about the idea of following correct procedure is the soldier's own mental health - ummm - bear with my reasoning here - you do things right it is easier to live with yourself when you are older. Regulations on prisoner handling and procedures on prisoner handling are there not only for the prisoner's safety, but also for a soldier's mental health. A professional soldier is a soldier, not an executioner, and we are soldiers part of our lives, we are human beings all of our life...
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: mainerjohnthomas on June 05, 2006, 09:49:55
The big reason and one not mentioned yet about the idea of following correct procedure is the soldier's own mental health - ummm - bear with my reasoning here - you do things right it is easier to live with yourself when you are older. Regulations on prisoner handling and procedures on prisoner handling are there not only for the prisoner's safety, but also for a soldier's mental health. A professional soldier is a soldier, not an executioner, and we are soldiers part of our lives, we are human beings all of our life...
     Well said.  Some of what we must do and see is terrible, but necessary; that is a burden we all bear.  To allow what is terrible, and unnecessary leaves us a burden that may be too much to bear.
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: JackD on June 05, 2006, 12:14:05
the curse of Bosnia for many - particularly for the Dutch...
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: pbi on June 06, 2006, 10:54:28
FormerHorseGuard:

I am a bit confused by your position. First you say

Quote
Treat of caputured Taliban is difficult due to the fact there is no rules of warfare being followed on both sides. You cannot have one side playing by the rules and the other side not and have it all nice and ruled by the conventions of various meetings.

then, later, you say:

Quote
At the same time i do not think any Canadian soldier should consider shooting any captured person because the Afghan Government troops do it.
Follow the agreement set up and report what  you saw and your gut feelings as to what  happened or what  you think might happen.

So, which is it?

Your first statement is wrong: Canadian troops are following the Law of Armed Conflict and are guided by the spirit, if not the exact letter, of the Geneva Conventions applying to persons captured in war. Whether we like it or not, there is no real possibility that we will revert to illegal methods. We've been that route, and our Army paid a very heavy and painful price for  years as a result. We have learned that we have to operate within the law, or we will be no better than occupiers.

Cheers
Title: Re: Canadian troops struggle with prisoner policy
Post by: FormerHorseGuard on June 06, 2006, 13:51:14
I am sure the big problem is mostly  the media who are making a story look bigger then it really is. if i was over there I am sure i would be wondering what  happened to the guy  i turned over to the locals. executions on the spot or in the field are a dirty job, sometimes they are required. I remember reading about the picture of the officer in Vietnam shooting the guy in the streets during the Tet (spelling) offensive and how the media thought it was a morally wrong thing. One story I read had the officer shooting the spy because they caught him with weapons and was fighting soldiers of the government , and the person was not wearing a uniform and that meant he was a spy.

Treat of caputured Taliban is difficult due to the fact there is not the same  rules of warfare being followed on both sides. You cannot have one side playing by the rules and the other side not . It woudl be great if both sides had the same rules to follow but it is not the case. Canadians have one set of written rules the other side does not have any written rules.

No uniform,  carrying weapons engaging in combat with uniformed government troops, in my way of thinking makes them spies and my understanding spies can be shot.

Big thing to remember that is not North America or Europe, it is a land that has had its own rules of war going back many many years and those rules are never going to change. Western standards are not enforced or wanted there. They have their own code and western soldiers are going to have to grow some thicker skin and so is the media.

At the same time i do not think any Canadian soldier should consider shooting any captured person because the Afghan Government troops do it.
Follow the agreement set up and report what  you saw and your gut feelings as to what  happened or what  you think might happen.


I did not mean to imply  or ahve anyone think i was implying that Canadian Troops did not follow the rules of engagement set by higher HQ and did not imply that Canadians were not following the various treaties and conventions on rules of warfare.
Title: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Exarecr on February 06, 2007, 07:34:36
The CBC once again has a mission in life. Watching the news this morning the CBC announcer discribbed with what seemed the usual glee that the incident occur ed last year and the  information was obtained through the freedom of information act. You would think listening to the reporting of the accusations that this event was a consealed and every day occurrence. Makes my blood boil. Any thoughts folks?




Edited by Vern to correct typo in Topic Title.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 06, 2007, 08:04:54
- edited 060717EST Feb to add Toronto Star, CTV.ca coverage -

Military investigates claim detainees abused
Civilian agency also wants answers after allegations at least one Afghan was beaten
Paul Koring, Globe & Mail, 6 Feb 07
Article Link  (http://www.theglobeandmail.com//servlet/story/RTGAM.20070206.wdetainee06/BNStory/National/home) - Permalink to both articles (https://milnewstbay.pbwiki.com/17492)

The Canadian military has launched an investigation into allegations of detainee abuse by soldiers in Afghanistan, The Globe and Mail has learned.  Spokesperson Major Luc Gaudet confirmed Monday that the military began its probe last week after being informed that the Military Police Complaints Commission — a civilian body formed to investigate complaints against the military — had received a request for an investigation into the treatment of several detainees. The commission is expected to decide within days whether to launch its own probe — a “public interest investigation” — into the allegations.  At least one, and perhaps three, Afghan detainees “taken captive by the Canadian Forces appears to have been beaten while detained and interrogated by them,” alleges Amir Attaran, a University of Ottawa law professor, in a letter sent to the commission.  The allegations are based on documents obtained by Mr. Attaran under the Access to Information Act outlining injuries in the cases.  The Globe and Mail has examined the military documents obtained by Mr. Attaran that refer to injuries sustained by detainees while in Canadian custody last April ....


Ottawa silent on fate of captured terror suspects
No accounting for scores of detainees that have been handed to Americans, Afghans
PAUL KORING, Globe & Mail, 6 Feb 07
Article Link  (http://www.theglobeandmail.com//servlet/story/LAC.20070206.DETAINEESIDE06/TPStory/)

Scores of terrorist suspects captured by Canadians have disappeared into the murky netherworld of Afghan and American prisons, but Ottawa refuses to say what has happened to them or even if it knows whether any have been tried, charged, or released, or how they are treated.  According to a Canadian Forces log of detainees, 40 had been handed over by April, 2006. From a review of a heavily excised and incomplete set of military police documents, it seems that several dozen more have been captured and handed over to Afghan police since then.  But Canada's Expeditionary Forces Command, headed by Lieutenant-General Michel Gautier, who oversees all Canadian Forces deployed abroad, refuses to account for terrorist suspects captured since May 1, 2006.  Some have apparently been freed by the Canadians who determined -- in a process not made clear -- that they didn't deserve to be handed over to the Afghan police. However, there is no accounting for them either, only the terse notations "fit for release" on medical forms.  Others, dubbed "fit for transfer," disappear into Afghan prisons. Once there, there is no further Canadian oversight.  Canada's out-of-sight, out-of-mind approach means detainees are handed over to others as soon as possible, often within hours. Once gone, the Canadian government, in effect, washes its hands of further responsibility or accountability ....



Canadians accused of Afghan abuse
Probe launched into complaints by three detainees in Kandahar
Bruce Campion-Smith, Toronto Star, 6 Feb 07
Article Link (http://www.thestar.com/News/article/178566)

Two separate probes are underway into a complaint that up to three prisoners suffered injuries while in the custody of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, the Toronto Star has learned.  The allegation, if substantiated, could rock military morale and further undermine public support in Canada's dangerous – and controversial – mission in Kandahar.  Questions are being asked about how as many as three unidentified men suffered injuries to their upper body while being detained by Canadian soldiers in the Kandahar region last April.  And investigators want to know why the military police officers who eventually took charge of the detainees didn't do their own probe of the injuries.  "We have received allegations of mistreatment," Stan Blythe, of the Military Police Complaints Commission, said yesterday. This independent civilian body, responsible for probing reports of misconduct by military police officers, received the complaint of possible abuse last week ....


Military probes allegations of detainee abuse
CTV.ca, 6 Feb 07
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070206/afghan_probe_070206/20070206?hub=Canada)

The military is investigating a complaint that alleges prisoners were abused while in the custody of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.  At least one, and as many as three, Afghan detainees "taken captive by the Canadian Forces appears to have been beaten while detained and interrogated by them," alleges University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran in a letter sent to the Military Police Complaints Commission, an independent civilian body, last week.  The accusations are based on documents that Attaran obtained under the Access to Information Act.  In the documents, there are references to injuries that detainees sustained last April while under the custody of Canadian forces.  Commission chairman Peter Tinsley has notified by letter Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier and Capt. Steve Moore, who heads the military police.  "The complaint suggests various failings by the military police members involved relative to safeguarding the well-being of the persons in custody, and, more particularly, in respect of their failure to investigate the causes of various injuries which may have been sustained while in (Canadian Forces) as opposed to military police custody,'' Tinsley wrote on Jan. 30, reports The Toronto Star ....


Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: the 48th regulator on February 06, 2007, 08:09:56
I merged the topic, for ease of reading and posting.

dileas

tess

Army.ca Staff
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Brihard on February 06, 2007, 10:16:16
Oh bugger, here we go...

The sad thing is the actual findings won't matter- the majority of opinions will be based on headlines, and the way they're written implies a lot that's not necessarily there.

We have a few guys who seem to have actively resisted being taken into custody. I suspect many people get the same sort of superficial cuts and bruises when taken into the drunk tank friday night after they try to resist arrest.

But of course, the Globe's gonna jump all over it...
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Roy Harding on February 06, 2007, 10:24:56
A google search of "Amir Attaran" is revealing.

He comes across as a very intelligent, articulate, forceful, influential, left-wing, bleeding heart liberal.

I hope our Public Affairs people can effectively counter the "spin" that Dr. Attaran is going to bring to this issue.  He appears to be one to be extremely wary of.

Roy

Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Garett on February 06, 2007, 10:52:19
Sounds like BS but it has to be investigated.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Teddy Ruxpin on February 06, 2007, 11:08:22
It sounds to me that Professor Attaran was looking for the smoking gun indicating Canada's very own Abu Gharib...and lo and behold, he's "found it".  As a couple of posters have pointed out, the feeding frenzy has already started - without a wit of questioning the motives of this individual in filing his "complaint":

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Amir_Attaran (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Amir_Attaran)
Quote
...and recently having joined with NGOs to criticize Canada's military for failing to protect the rights of detainees they arrest during their mission in Afghanistan, including to expose those detainees to the risk of torture or transfer to Guantanamo Bay

Despite the ICRC giving Canada an "excellent" rating in reporting how we deal with detainees (how much press coverage did that get?).

Garrett:  if you read the press reporting, it has been investigated - by the MPs - but our friend Attaran doesn't feel that the investigation was done properly (translation: didn't arrive at the political conclusion he wants).  Thus he's raised the "issue" to the MP Complaints Commission, based entirely on ATI documents.  I smell a politically motivated witchhunt on his part - all part of an effort to call our involvement in Afghanistan into question.
Title: Re: Taliban seize town of Musa Qala; residents fear NATO reaction is imminent
Post by: Colin P on February 06, 2007, 11:23:25
Yea, the Glob and spew has a full page spread on allegations that Canadian troops have beaten detainees,not once do they mention the treatment of Western prisoners by Taliban or Iraqi insurgents.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: FSTO on February 06, 2007, 11:42:30
Our friend Steve Staples is on CTV NEWSNET now and guess what? He couldn't wait to mention Somalia.

I thought CTV was a little more balanced than that.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: George Wallace on February 06, 2007, 11:56:39
 ::)

I really don't know who this Professor really is, nor his politics.  I have not been involved in the situation or situations, to which this report addresses.  I do have a few commonsense questions after reading this in the article:

Quote
One of the detainees was seen observing the soldiers but escaped, only to be captured the next day. In a field report, the soldiers described him as "non-compliant." Another is described as being "extremely belligerent" and "it took four personnel to subdue him."

Now has anyone been involved in an incident where it took four people to subdue a belligerent person?  Surely anyone who has been involved with or witnessed such an incident would know that the 'detainee' is going to come out of it with just a few scraps, bruises and/or cuts.  Use your friggin head fella.  Another Lawyer bringing a case to the courts on possible frivolous points.  More money wasted, and a few bucks and a reputation to be made by him.  I really wonder sometimes what people think is going on in areas where violence or war is taking place.  Some Canadians have lead a rather sheltered life, while others use our freedoms to create chaos.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Colin P on February 06, 2007, 12:05:36
As mentioned elsewhere, I notice that they never mention the fate of any westerner who falls into their hands.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: cplcaldwell on February 06, 2007, 12:06:58
Just took a look around for Professor Attaran's bio. It seems he has a law degree (LLB) and is a Doctor (DPhil). Law from UBC and the Doctorate from Oxford.

Strangley he is listed as an immunologist. He has made quite a name for himself challenging large aid organizations on the efficiency of their delivery mechanisms. Particularly in the delivery of Malaria aid to Africa.

Currently employed as an Associated Professor at the U of O (Law and Population Health).

Seems a bit odd that he would have an academic interest in the conduct of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan with those credentials?

However I will not attack him (ad hominem) , it just seems a bit odd that an immunologist would get national coverage on such an (alleged)incident.

Perhaps I will phone the G&M or CTV and share my comments on the Japanese Whaling Fleet, I feel like I want my fifteen minutes.... :-*
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on February 06, 2007, 14:08:27
Hmmm.... I'm confused.
We are in Afghanistan, supporting the Government & defending the population from insurgents who have embeded themselves within the population.
We do not maintain our own network of prisons (thank god!).  Prisoners captured in operations, are dissarmed and transfered to our higher means.... why, pray tell, would we continuously keep tabs on prisoners who have been turned over to the legitimate government of Afghanistan or to ISAF detention facilities - who would then transfer them to Afghan authorities.
Title: Re: Taliban seize town of Musa Qala; residents fear NATO reaction is imminent
Post by: geo on February 06, 2007, 14:18:20
Glob and spew ?

I always refered to it as being the "Mop and pail"
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: NinerSix on February 06, 2007, 14:49:51
I was briefed on how we process detainees.

I'll keep the details to myself, but let me assure anyone who has doubts that they are treated professionally and have no reasons to complain. It has been reported before, that detainees get the same medical treatments as one of our one soldier would.

There even were instances where detainees did not want to be released. 

This is a political ploy, pure and simple.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: 3rd Herd on February 06, 2007, 15:11:11
Watched him on Canada AM this morning being interviewed. A couple of his comments where interesting such as " as an academic researcher it is my job to investigate this given the beating death in Somalia". Next, was his comment about "Canadian Forces handing over prisoners to the Afghanistan government knowing that torture is used". Given the "cover up by DND in the Somalia affair this requires a open public inquiry." My thoughts to him given his high academic credentials are "what is he doing making statements that are not jurried by his equivalents in the academic realm for one". Secondly, it seems that all of his information is secondary sourced and unconfirmed and since he admits researching this for over a year where is his primary research and documentation. Given that he has some connection to International Humanitarian Organizations a trip to Afghanistan for further research does seem out of his reach. Lastly, when questioned more specifically by the Canada AM interviewer there was a significant amount of backtracking. Firm statements at the beginning where more 'whishy washy' at the end. Maybe he is looking for tenurship at Memorial.

Edit:

Having been the receiver of a number of members of the Canadian public who required overnight or long term accommodations courtesy of the local RCMP there are several protocols in place both in the visual realm ie. video and still photo and the textual word when dealling with those that have injuries. I assume that this is standard practice for most law enforcement agencies in Canada. However Afghanistan is Afghanistan and war is war.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: garb811 on February 06, 2007, 15:22:01
If the MPCC does move forward with a "Public Interest Investigation", it is my belief that they are going to rapidly exceed their mandate. 

The MPCC only has the authority to investigate issues that pertain to Military Police who are conducting police duties.  While it is true "custody" is listed as one of the Policing Duties or Functions which the MPCC is able to investigate under the Complaints about the Conduct of Members of the Military Police Regulations (http://www.mpcc-cppm.gc.ca/100/151_e.aspx), the fact that the pertinent entry reads the "arrest or custody of a person" (my emphasis), leads me to believe the intent of those who drafted the Regulations was to mean custody in the sense it is applied to persons taken into custody due to a police function (ie. those who are arrested or detained due to a criminal or service offence) and not to persons detained as a result of military action.  This also makes me ponder the jurisdiction of the MPCC regarding MP at the DB who also exercise the function of custodians while not employed on police duties...

With the inability of the MPCC to investigate the actions of anyone who is not appointed pursuant to Sec 156 of the NDA, the only real issue they may have to run with is the issue regarding the investigation into the injuries, or perceived lack thereof.  Military Case Law has established that the threshold to meet to meet the criteria of an investigation being conducted is actually very low.  Generation of a report and/or notification to superiors regarding an issue is not always required, the MP may conduct an initial, cursory, inquiry and if they are satisfied that no offence has been committed, sum it up.  It’s called “officer’s discretion” and MPs are able to exercise it in the conduct of their police duties, just like our civilian counterparts.  As George Wallace pointed out, a guy who needs four guys to subdue him is going to suffer some road rash, particularly if he needs to be taken to the ground to get him back under control after his hands are restrained.  If the guy demonstrates his continuing active resistance that the person turning him over says is the cause of the injuries in the first place, the answer on how the injuries were sustained is probably pretty obvious to the “investigating” MP.

I wonder if the fact that the cost of the MPCC has been questioned before has anything to do with their interest in this obviously frivolous complaint.  In 2004/2005 the MPCC spent $2.985 million dollars pursuing its mandate.  Officially, the conducted 59 files, for a total of $50,943 per file.  Unfortunately, they only monitored 52 of those files and completed 6 files and initiated one other which was ongoing at the end of the fiscal year, giving a staggering total of $426,428.57 per file.   How many bullets does that buy again?

Finally, if anyone can decipher just what this means, I would be most appreciative, as I have absolutely NO clue what it is the reporter is trying to imply::

Quote
The lack of an investigation into the injuries sustained by the three detainees captured near Dukah, about 50 kilometres west of Kandahar, in April last year, stands in sharp contrast to the single investigation conducted by the military into possible detainee mistreatment since the Canadians moved into southern Afghanistan.


If he’s trying to imply that someone showing up with cuts and bruises after being detained during combat ops should be investigated as being possible mistreatment, what does he expect to happen if a detainee shows up with gunshot or shrapnel wounds?  If all the guy got was cuts and bruises during a compound raid, I’d call him lucky…

Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: KevinB on February 06, 2007, 15:26:46
MP 00161
  Thanks for the insightfully commentary.

Of course people know that I am a firm beleiver in the hearts and minds -- two in the heart and one in the mind.  That way no one can accuse you of PUC abuse  ;D
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: COBRA-6 on February 06, 2007, 15:31:57
If the MPCC does move forward with a "Public Interest Investigation", it is my belief that they are going to rapidly exceed their mandate. 

I was wondering about that, thanks for the info.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MCG on February 06, 2007, 17:05:09


At least one, and perhaps three, Afghan detainees “taken captive by the Canadian Forces appears to have been beaten while detained and interrogated by them,” alleges Amir Attaran, a University of Ottawa law professor,


Two separate probes are underway into a complaint that up to three prisoners suffered injuries while in the custody of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, the Toronto Star has learned. 


The military is investigating a complaint that alleges prisoners were abused while in the custody of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.  At least one, and as many as three, Afghan detainees "taken captive by the Canadian Forces appears to have been beaten while detained and interrogated by them," alleges University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran
So, some guys detained in a war have injuries and therefore it must be physical abuse after the capture?  I’m pretty sure that the police injure more people through the act of initially taking them under physical control in order to achieve the detention.  It is going to happen when you capture someone that fights/resists.

I should hope the good law professor has more information to go on. Otherwise he is just dragging the military through the mud for his own political/public reasons.  Can an the CF sue for liable damages when this flagrant allegation is shown to be baseless?

Scores of terrorist suspects captured by Canadians have disappeared into the murky netherworld of Afghan and American prisons, but Ottawa refuses to say what has happened to them or even if it knows whether any have been tried, charged, or released, or how they are treated. 
Why is the media making excitement over last years news item?  The media got all excited about this at the start of the 1 PPCIL tour, and the government put the policy on the internet.  Now we are going to recreate the scandal that wasn’t?

Watched him on Canada AM this morning being interviewed. A couple of his comments where interesting such as " as an academic researcher it is my job to investigate this given the beating death in Somalia".  …  Given the "cover up by DND in the Somalia affair this requires a open public inquiry."
So, as an academic, it is his job to stereotype the members of the CF as some community of villains and assume we are out to do evil across Afghanistan?

As mentioned elsewhere, I notice that they never mention the fate of any westerner who falls into their hands.
It does not matter.  We are better than those who would use torture & abuse against us.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Colin P on February 06, 2007, 17:09:42
Well now that Liberals are out, they can attempt to smear the current government with this, but they better walk carefully or someone may look at a calender.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: 3rd Herd on February 06, 2007, 17:17:32
So, some guys detained in a war have injuries and therefore it must be physical abuse after the capture?  I’m pretty sure that the police injure more people through the act of initially taking them under physical control in order to achieve the detention.  It is going to happen when you capture someone that fights/resists.

I should hope the good law professor has more information to go on. Otherwise he is just dragging the military through the mud for his own political/public reasons.  Can an the CF sue for liable damages when this flagrant allegation is shown to be baseless?
Why is the media making excitement over last years news item?  The media got all excited about this at the start of the 1 PPCIL tour, and the government put the policy on the internet.  Now we are going to recreate the scandal that wasn’t?
So, as an academic, it is his job to stereotype the members of the CF as some community of villains and assume we are out to do evil across Afghanistan?
It does not matter.  We are better than those who would use torture & abuse against us.


off the top of my head yes the CF can sue and has done so. A prime although dated example was the case against the Vancouver Sun for a series of articles published from the 13 to 16 of March in 1942(?). They won and I think received 300.00 in compensation from the paper.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Kilo_302 on February 06, 2007, 18:43:21
If they were "resisting arrest" after a combat operation, and all they got were a few buttstrokes, they were lucky. Then again, most commentators won't understand this.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 06, 2007, 21:35:22
Only a slight tangent - I'm going to repeat a previous rant:

Why is it that people who "obtain" documents via Access to Information Act requests never feel we need to see the documents once they publish their stories?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Back to your regularly scheduled thread.....
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: CrazyCanuck on February 06, 2007, 21:56:24
No matter what somebody does somebody else will criticize, some are just louder at it than others. They are usually in it for their own personal gain or because they have bad feelings to the organization or individual they wish to smear.
He just wants his 15 minutes of fame and in this country the people are 100% willing to give it to him. Who's the true heartless person here?
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: garb811 on February 07, 2007, 02:29:49
Only a slight tangent - I'm going to repeat a previous rant:

Why is it that people who "obtain" documents via Access to Information Act requests never feel we need to see the documents once they publish their stories?  Anyone?  Anyone?

Back to your regularly scheduled thread.....
I believe in many instances it is not in the interest of the persons who make a "scoop" via ATIP to personally release the documents as doing so would actually put their "scoop" into context and detract from the perceived newsworthiness of said "scoop".

Anyone can peruse the released documents for free by attending the Reading Room at Place de Ville, 17th Floor, Tower B, 112 Kent, Ottawa.  While I realize that it is a bit of a trek for you, it is an available option.  I've never tried it but if you might also be able to request that a hard copy be sent to you, although that might involve some $$.  Give them a call at (613) 992-9560 and ask.  Alternately, if there were any retired guys on the site who had nothing to do with their days, maybe they could wander down with a cup (or thermos) of coffee and spend a few days sifting through documents? ;)
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 07, 2007, 07:47:39
I believe in many instances it is not in the interest of the persons who make a "scoop" via ATIP to personally release the documents as doing so would actually put their "scoop" into context and detract from the perceived newsworthiness of said "scoop".

Anyone can peruse the released documents for free by attending the Reading Room at Place de Ville, 17th Floor, Tower B, 112 Kent, Ottawa.  While I realize that it is a bit of a trek for you, it is an available option.  I've never tried it but if you might also be able to request that a hard copy be sent to you, although that might involve some $$.  Give them a call at (613) 992-9560 and ask.  Alternately, if there were any retired guys on the site who had nothing to do with their days, maybe they could wander down with a cup (or thermos) of coffee and spend a few days sifting through documents? ;)

I've had experience asking DND for a copy of ATIP'ed material on CD-ROM (admittedly, it was for stuff on files I was working on directly for another federal dep't, so I can't guarantee quick service otherwise).  You're right about "documents" - one I was personally involved in had HUNDREDS of documents on the CD, but only had 3-4 lines quoted in the MSM story.

Speaking of MSM, here's some of the latest....

Commission to decide whether prisoner abuse hearings will be public
Mike Blanchfield, CanWest News Service, 6 Feb 07
Article Link (http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/news/story.html?id=6df36a9f-4316-4bfd-b053-02d5387d3210&k=7961)

A military complaints commission is expected to decide by week’s end whether hearings into alleged prisoner abuse against Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan will be made public.  University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran has called on the Military Police Complaints Commission to hold a full-blown public inquiry into allegations that Canadian troops may have abused three Afghans they arrested in southern Afghanistan this past April.  The law professor and human rights advocate filed the complaint based on documents he obtained under Access To Information.  Two other military investigations are underway. Both are being held behind closed doors.  A Board of Inquiry will hear evidence in-camera before delivering a public report that will be subject to Canada’s privacy laws. The military police’s National Investigation Service is also currently conducting its own investigation ....


Hillier orders full inquiry into treatment of detainees
Defence Minister O'Connor vows findings will be made public
PAUL KORING , DANIEL LEBLANC and GLORIA GALLOWAY, Globe & Mail, 7 Feb 07
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070207.DETAINEE07/TPStory/National) - Permalink (https://milnewstbay.pbwiki.com/95065)

Canada's top soldier, General Rick Hillier, ordered a full-blown board of inquiry yesterday to probe detainee treatment in Afghanistan as a political storm shook Ottawa over allegations that captives were beaten while in Canadian custody.  As Gen. Hillier and Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor unveiled multiple probes into the detainee-abuse allegations, they also rejected any comparison with Somalia, where elite Canadian troops tortured and killed a teenage captive more than a decade ago and senior officers were embroiled in a cover-up that eventually stained the entire military.  "This isn't Somalia," Mr. O'Connor said outside the House of Commons, when asked what assurances Canadians had that the government wouldn't close down an inquiry if embarrassing revelations emerged.  "Let's get the scale properly," he said, adding that the findings of both a criminal investigation by the military and the board of inquiry would be made public.  Gen. Hillier said: "We learned many lessons from Somalia. One is responsibility of the chain of command. One is thorough training and preparation."  The general said there was "an incredible hyper-sensitivity to handling detainees.  "We understand how important it is to get this right," he said, and added that "if there was a lapse in a process or policies, we'll find that out and correct it."  In Afghanistan, military police investigators will try to find the three Afghans who may have been beaten 10 months ago. Their whereabouts are unknown because once the Canadian military hands them over to Afghan authorities, it keeps no records of whether they are released or charged, or languish in prison ....


Military probes abuse allegations in Afghanistan
Gen. Rick Hillier says all prisoners handled humanely
CBC Online, 6 Feb 07
Article Link (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/02/06/military-probe.html)

Military officials are investigating allegations that three Afghan prisoners were abused while in the custody of Canadian soldiers.  The allegations come from a law professor at the University of Ottawa, Amir Attaran, based on government documents he obtained under the Access to Information Act.  Attaran said he received three documents from the Department of National Defence. They were handwritten reports from Canadian military police in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.  The documents show three men were brought to military police by a single interrogator in one day with injuries to their faces, heads and upper bodies, he told the CBC on Tuesday ....


O'Connor says military probing abuse allegations
CTV.ca, 6 Feb 07
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070206/afghan_probe_070206/20070206?hub=TopStories)

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor says an investigation is underway into allegations that prisoners were abused while in the custody of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.  O'Connor said Tuesday that the information uncovered during those investigations will be made public.  But the defence minister stressed that the probes haven't concluded yet that the allegations are warranted.  If the complaints are indeed substantiated, corrective action will be taken, O'Connor pledged.  University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran lodged a complaint in a letter sent to the Military Police Complaints Commission last week.  Attaran alleges that at least one, and as many as three, Afghan detainees "taken captive by the Canadian Forces appears to have been beaten while detained and interrogated by them." ....


Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: alfie on February 07, 2007, 08:29:05
2 comments first, it only says "while under Candian control" which doesn't nessecarily mean that if anything did happen it was Canadians second , thankfuly the Liberals are not in power as we would likely lose the PPCLI or the RCR regiment over this.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Bigmac on February 07, 2007, 09:01:45
        The manual for handling POWs is "Prisoner of war handling detainees and interogation and tactical questioning in international operations" dated 2004-08-01.  In it the first two steps for an individual to detain a POW is: 1. Disarm them  2. Apply first aid if necessary.
If all they get is a few scrapes and bruises when you disram them I think that is more than acceptable. If they resist harder and are injured further then we medics are obligated to treat them once they are detained. I guarantee Canadian soldiers treat captured combatants far better than most countries.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: niner domestic on February 07, 2007, 09:14:33
Attaran is getting more than his 15 minutes, here:
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,55639.0.html
and here:
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,44610.0.html
and here:
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,57138.0.html
and here:
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,53734.0.html

I'm seeing a pattern of a self appointed guardian of both our Canadian tax dollars and Canadian ethics.  Is he worth anymore of my time reading his treatises of wrongs? Nope.  With all due respect to my learned friend, this is not the way to meet the publish or perish requirements of tenure nor is it sitting well with me that a lawyer, albeit a law professor, is attempting to drum up business - his demeanor with respects to his advocacy of the alledged prisoners if fraught with suspicion - he should know that attempting to plead on behalf of a straw client is a huge no no.   
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: stfx_monty on February 07, 2007, 12:50:25
I would like to echo the sentiments regarding Mr. Attaran's motives. That being said, I think the military needs to take a look and seen to be taking a look. It will cost money, but it's a worthwhile investment.  Nothing like a Royal Commission, just a public inquiry that can establish what happened.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Haggis on February 07, 2007, 13:07:35
Abuse?  Injured during capture in a combat operation? 

On CBC Newsworld this morning, retired MGen Lew McKenzie was quoted as saying "the fact is that I would guesstimate that least 50% of the players in the Super Bowl last Sunday had more injuries to them than these guys that were trying to escape".

Context is a great thing for a journalist to have.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Bobbyoreo on February 07, 2007, 13:32:26
Whats abuse when it comes to prisoners and war. I bruise..cut...I dont understand. I think its good that they are investigating it but even if they find nothing was done wrong by our troops...its still wont be enough for people. They'll just say the Forces are covering it up.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: niner domestic on February 07, 2007, 13:45:05
Just so folks know what is expected of a lawyer when advocating a cause, here's the commentary set out by the Law Society of Upper Canada on criticizing a Tribunal:

4.06 THE LAWYER AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Encouraging Respect for the Administration of Justice

4.06 (1) A lawyer shall encourage public respect for and try to improve the administration of justice.

Commentary
 
The obligation outlined in the rule is not restricted to the lawyer's professional activities but is a general responsibility resulting from the lawyer's position in the community. A lawyer's responsibilities are greater than those of a private citizen. A lawyer should take care not to weaken or destroy public confidence in legal institutions or authorities by irresponsible allegations. The lawyer in public life should be particularly careful in this regard because the mere fact of being a lawyer will lend weight and credibility to public statements. Yet for the same reason, a lawyer should not hesitate to speak out against an injustice.

The admission to and continuance in the practice of law implies on the part of a lawyer a basic commitment to the concept of equal justice for all within an open, ordered, and impartial system. However, judicial institutions will not function effectively unless they command the respect of the public, and, because of changes in human affairs and imperfections in human institutions, constant efforts must be made to improve the administration of justice and thereby maintain public respect for it.

 Criticizing Tribunals - Although proceedings and decisions of courts and tribunals are properly subject to scrutiny and criticism by all members of the public, including lawyers, judges and members of tribunals are often prohibited by law or custom from defending themselves. Their inability to do so imposes special responsibilities upon lawyers. First, a lawyer should avoid criticism that is petty, intemperate, or unsupported by a bona fide belief in its real merit, bearing in mind that in the eyes of the public, professional knowledge lends weight to the lawyer's judgments or criticism. Second, if a lawyer has been involved in the proceedings, there is the risk that any criticism may be, or may appear to be, partisan rather than objective. Third, where a tribunal is the object of unjust criticism, a lawyer, as a participant in the administration of justice, is uniquely able to and should support the tribunal, both because its members cannot defend themselves and because in doing so the lawyer is contributing to greater public understanding of and therefore respect for the legal system.

And if seeking a change in legislation:Seeking Legislative or Administrative Changes

4.06 (2) A lawyer who seeks legislative or administrative changes shall disclose the interest being advanced, whether the lawyer's interest, the client's interest, or the public interest.

Commentary
 
The lawyer may advocate legislative or administrative changes on behalf of a client although not personally agreeing with them, but the lawyer who purports to act in the public interest should espouse only those changes that the lawyer conscientiously believes to be in the public interest.

http://www.lsuc.on.ca/regulation/a/profconduct/rule4/

 



Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Cloud Cover on February 07, 2007, 14:54:30
He's not allowed to advocate for a cause as a "lawyer", because his status with the Law Society is "Not Practising Law- Employed".  He is a member of the bar however I don't think it is settled as a matter of consideration as to whether the rules cited below are applicable to a member not actively practising law but rather is engaged in legal academia. It seems to me that he or the media [or both] are using his legal credentials to add credibility to some form of an agenda with a fairly large anti-military bias.   


I would further add that in fact I did read this man's recent works and have viewed Mr. Staples follow on commentary. Arguably, there is now a sufficient avenue of legal recourse available to those members of the CF who have recently seen their reputations engaged by these two individuals through various allegations. What I find particularly enraging is the conveyance of the rather stupid and completely unfounded comparison of the present situation to what happened in Somalia years ago.     

Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 07, 2007, 14:59:23
A bit more info, this time from the CF:

Investigation Into Allegations of Detainee Abuse in Afghanistan
CFNIS (HQ) / CFNIS (QG) 2007-02 - February 6, 2007
http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=2189

OTTAWA – The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) is currently investigating allegations that detainees were physically abused by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, in the Spring of 2006.

The investigation began last week, within a day of the CF receiving a complaint through the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC). One of the allegations put forward is that some Afghan detainees were abused while in the custody of Canadian troops, pending their transfer to the appropriate authorities.

In accordance with its mandate, the NIS will look into this allegation to determine the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident.

As this matter is under investigation, no additional comment can be made on the specifics of this investigation.

The CFNIS is an independent military Police unit with a mandate to investigate serious and sensitive matters in relation to National Defence property, DND employees and CF personnel serving in Canada and abroad.

-  30 -

Board of Inquiry to examine detainee handling in Afghanistan
NR–07.003 - February 6, 2007
http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=2190

OTTAWA– General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Defence Staff, directed today that a Board of Inquiry (BOI) will be convened to investigate detainee handling by Canadian Forces members in Afghanistan and the circumstances regarding the transfer of three detainees from a Canadian field element to Military Police at Kandahar Airfield that took place April 6-8, 2006.

The BOI is separate from the ongoing military police investigation conducted by the Canadian Forces Investigation Service (CFNIS) into the same incident. As such, the BOI will be undertaken in a manner that ensures it does not interfere with the NIS investigation.

Lieutenant-General Michel Gauthier, Commander of Canadian Expeditionary Force Command, responsible for all Canadian Forces (CF) operations overseas will be the convening authority for the BOI. As such, CEFCOM is responsible for issuing written Terms of Reference (ToR) for the BOI. The ToR will identify the officer that will preside over the BOI, its members and advisors, the security classification or designation and the scope under which the BOI will be responsible for investigating and providing findings and recommendations.

A BOI is an administrative inquiry normally convened to examine and report on complex or significant events. It serves to determine what occurred, how and why it occurred, looks for problems and proposes solutions to reduce the likelihood of recurrence. An administrative inquiry such as a BOI and a CFNIS investigation are distinctly different. In the case of CFNIS investigations, Military Police trained investigators assess evidence to determine if a criminal offence has occurred, and if there is sufficient evidence to lay charges. 

At the completion of the BOI, a report will be submitted to Lieutenant-General Gauthier for review after which it will be forwarded to the Chief of the Defence Staff. The findings, results, and recommendations will then be made public, subject to the limitations on the release of information imposed by the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act.

- 30 -
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: George Wallace on February 07, 2007, 15:04:09
...... It seems to me that he or the media [or both] are using his legal credentials to add credibility to some form of an agenda with a fairly large anti-military bias.  

That is my read on situation from the info provided.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: 2 Cdo on February 07, 2007, 15:16:45
Sounds spot on George. Another academic lefty with a personal agenda against the CF.  :threat:
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: 3rd Herd on February 07, 2007, 16:26:53
Sounds spot on George. Another academic lefty with a personal agenda against the CF.  :threat:

As I stated earlier there are rules for academics. These it seems he has just tossed to the wind. I wonder if this is because his peers would find his results wanting.
Title: Canadian Forces Boards of Inquiry
Post by: MCG on February 07, 2007, 16:59:28
Quote
Purpose

A BOI is convened to inquire into any matter connected with the government, discipline, administration or functions of the CF or affecting any CF member. In short, it is a means of finding facts and obtaining recommendations in relation to any important matter.

When a member of the CF is injured or killed, a BOI is necessary to inform CF authorities, as a minimum, about the cause of the injury or death, whether the member was on duty at the time, whether a person is to blame for the injury or death, and whether the injury or death is attributable to military service.

Composition

A BOI is composed of 2 or more officers and may also include one or more non-commissioned members above the rank of sergeant. Normally, members of the BOI are military, but in exceptional circumstances, a civilian may be appointed. The BOI may be assisted by advisers.

The members of the BOI conduct the investigation and decide on findings and recommendations. The advisers assist the members by providing subject matter expertise and information that will assist the BOI in gathering and analyzing evidence.

Procedures

A BOI hears the oral evidence of witnesses, normally under oath, and receives documentation and other evidence necessary for a full investigation and consideration of the matter.

On completion of the inquiry, the BOI submits minutes of proceedings to the convening authority. These minutes include a narrative, a record of the testimony of witnesses, exhibits, a statement by the BOI, a summary of the evidence, findings and recommendations.

Witnesses

Under the National Defence Act, a witness who may be compelled under Canadian law to testify before a BOI is not excused from answering any question on the ground that the answer may tend to incriminate the witness. However, under that Act, the witness's response may not be used against him or her in another proceeding (including criminal trial or civil trial). This is because the BOI is an administrative investigation and is not intended to lead directly to disciplinary or criminal proceedings. This protection is consistent with section 13 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
http://www.vcds.forces.gc.ca/boi/back_e.asp
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MCG on February 08, 2007, 00:09:39
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070206/afghan_probe_070206/20070206?hub=SEAfghanistan
Quote
O'Connor says military probing abuse allegations
Updated Tue. Feb. 6 2007 11:08 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor says an investigation is underway into allegations that prisoners were abused while in the custody of Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.

O'Connor said Tuesday that the information uncovered during those investigations will be made public.  But the defence minister stressed that the probes haven't concluded yet that the allegations are warranted.  If the complaints are indeed substantiated, corrective action will be taken, O'Connor pledged.

University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran lodged a complaint in a letter sent to the Military Police Complaints Commission last week.

Attaran alleges that at least one, and as many as three, Afghan detainees "taken captive by the Canadian Forces appears to have been beaten while detained and interrogated by them."   The accusations are based on documents that Attaran obtained under the Access to Information Act.

"I discovered that on a single day last year (in April), a single interrogator working for the Canadian military brought three men to Kandahar Airfield," Attaran told Canada AM on Tuesday.

"All three of them had a similar set of injuries to their face, to their head and the most seriously injured man had his eyes swollen, cuts on his eyebrows, a slash across his forehead and a cut on his cheek."

Attaran said it seems the men never received proper medical attention before being handed off to the Afghans, never to be seen again.  He criticized the Canadian military for not having a mechanism in place to monitor what happens to released detainees.  "(It's) shocking because the Afghan government has acknowledged that torture is quite common in their custody," said Attaran. "We are handing detainees to known torturers and we are not apparently bothered enough to investigate what happens to them."

Commission chairman Peter Tinsley has notified by letter Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier and Capt. Steve Moore, who heads the military police, about the allegations.

"The complaint suggests various failings by the military police members involved relative to safeguarding the well-being of the persons in custody, and, more particularly, in respect of their failure to investigate the causes of various injuries which may have been sustained while in (Canadian Forces) as opposed to military police custody,'' Tinsley wrote on Jan. 30, reports the Toronto Star.

The three Afghans were captured near Dukah by a small group of Canadian soldiers.  One of the detainees was seen observing the soldiers but escaped, only to be captured the next day. In a field report, the soldiers described him as "non-compliant."

Another is described as being "extremely belligerent" and "it took four personnel to subdue him."

In the most serious instance, it was said that only "appropriate force" was used and that the suspect was an alleged bomb maker.

A military log says the detainee's injuries included bruises and cuts to his face, arm, back and chest. Some of the injuries were reportedly inflicted while the detainee's hands were tied behind his back.

With files from The Canadian Press
Still sounds like these guys were hurt because they decided to start fist fights to avoid being detained.

Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 08, 2007, 07:39:38
Some of the latest, with the first piece serving as a warning about communications people/spokespersons dealing with public enquiries.....

Detainee whistle blower's 'agenda' attacked
Naval officer tried to intimidate him, law professor says
Paul Koring, Globe & Mail, 8 Feb 07
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070208.DETAINEE08/TPStory/National) - Permalink (https://milnewstbay.pbwiki.com/95492)

The Ottawa law professor who sparked an investigation into the possible abuse of Afghan detainees by Canadian soldiers says he was contacted by a senior naval officer yesterday who tried to intimidate him and impugn his motives.  The officer, Commander Denise LaViolette, a communications specialist for the military legal-affairs department and for the Provost Marshal, the military's chief of police, confirmed that when she returned a telephone call from Amir Attaran, she called him "unprofessional," questioned whether he "had a personal agenda" and eventually hung up on him after an acrimonious conversation.  Cdr. LaViolette's querying of Prof. Attaran's motives came a day after Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor assured Canadians that the government takes the abuse charges seriously.  Prof. Attaran had called Navy Captain Steve Moore, the Provost Marshal, to seek information related to the case.  "It sounded like she wanted to manage the problem by trying to intimidate me," Prof. Attaran said, adding that he found it insulting. "She was impugning my motives and believing that it was inappropriate of me" to have raised the issue of detainee abuse, he said ....


Story of abuse a distraction from key issue

Thomas Walkom, Toronto Star, 8 Feb 07
Article Link (http://www.thestar.com/News/article/179422)

Before everyone goes nuts over the did-Canadians-abuse-Afghan-prisoners story, let's keep one thing in mind.  No one has claimed that Canadian Forces soldiers in Afghanistan roughed up prisoners in their charge. The three prisoners in question (wherever they are) haven't made that claim. Nor, unlike other cases involving disputes between Afghans and foreign troops, have their families or friends. Nor has a Canadian Forces whistle-blower at Kandahar or an investigative journalist or, indeed, anyone in Afghanistan.  Even the University of Ottawa human rights advocate who first raised this issue isn't saying that he necessarily believes the trio were beaten by Canadians. Law professor Amir Attaran is much more careful. All he said, in the complaint letter that finally brought this issue into the public domain this week, was that his reading of declassified military police logs "suggests" that the men were beaten.  Or, in other words, there is enough evidence to warrant an investigation.  Attaran, quite properly, asked the Military Police Complaints Commission, an independent civilian oversight body, to do just that. It, equally properly, agreed. The embarrassed military brass then ordered two additional investigations.  In short, there are now three inquiries looking into whatever may or may not have happened after the three men were picked up by Canadian soldiers last April near a place called Dukah ....


Far-off war injures politicians at home
Jim Travers, Toronto Star, 8 Feb 07
Article Link (http://www.thestar.com/News/article/179333)

 .... It's possible that the spin masters are accurately gauging public capacity for informed debate. Perhaps we are too distracted by daily life or too uninterested in the management of a shrinking planet to seriously consider why or how war emerges as the favoured option.  More certain is that limiting public discussion works better for politicians in the short- rather than the long-term.  While easily stirred by the beat of patriotic drums, opinion turns almost as quickly when things inevitably go wrong.  There is an alternative. Instead of selling war by disguising difficulties, demonizing the enemy and defining victory in absolute terms, governments can be honest about the limited effectiveness of force in modern conflicts, the political aspirations of insurgents and the inescapable 21st century reality that "winning" may be merely a positive adjustment to the status quo ....


Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: hank011 on February 08, 2007, 09:02:48
So, what are we learning from this?

1.)We should not take prisoners but take afghan troops to take prisoners for us(if at all)?
2.)Bombs are not necessary for insurgents to attack canadian troops, they can do it from their canadian university?
3.)Amir Attaran is the pashtun word for "add me to the no fly list"?

Allah sure has blessed us with this guy, thanks immigration canada!
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Rider Pride on February 08, 2007, 09:15:08
This is bull:

Quote
"All three of them had a similar set of injuries to their face, to their head and the most seriously injured man had his eyes swollen, cuts on his eyebrows, a slash across his forehead and a cut on his cheek."

Attaran said it seems the men never received proper medical attention before being handed off to the Afghans, never to be seen again.

Medical treatment for above:
an ice pack for his swollen eye and bandages for his cuts....what more would he want? Surgery?
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Bigmac on February 08, 2007, 09:18:55
Quote
  PROFESSOR AMIR ATTARAN

    Amir Attaran is by training both a biologist and lawyer, and currently Associate Professor
and Canada Research Chair at the Institute of Population Health and the Faculty of Law,
University of Ottawa, Canada.

    Prof. Attaran’s research emphasizes the subject of health, development and human
security in poor countries. His interests include: to study the scarcity of foreign financial
aid spent on controlling epidemic and pandemic diseases; to raise the standard of medical
technology and care for patients in the world’s poorest countries; and to apply Canadian
and international human rights law toward crises affecting transnational justice and
human security.

    Prof. Attaran’s peer-reviewed publications have appeared in the leading journals of both
the legal and biomedical professions, including the Yale Journal of International Law, the
Stanford Journal of International Law, The Lancet, Health Affairs, the Journal of the
American Medical Association, PLoS Medicine and many others. He is also the author of
a recent book (with Prof. Brigitte Granville) on access to medicines in developing
countries. Currently he is an Editorial Consultant to The Lancet, the world’s leading
medical journal.

    Prof. Attaran is a recognized authority on global development and governance issues.
His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Financial Times, International
Herald Tribune, and the Globe and Mail, among others. He is also frequently quoted in
the print and broadcast media, and lectures widely to diverse audiences on public policy
and global development, including at events such as the International AIDS Conference,
the World Economic Forum in Davos, and the World Health Organization. He has
testified by invitation before Canada’s Parliament and the U.S. Senate.

    Prior to accepting his current position at the University of Ottawa, Professor Attaran held
fellowships and lectureships at Harvard University, Yale University, and the Royal
Institute of International Affairs in London. He trained at the University of California at
Berkeley (B.A.), Caltech (M.S.), Oxford University (D.Phil.), and the University of
British Columbia (LL.B.).

    Prof. Attaran has acted a policy advisor to numerous NGOs, the United Nations,
governments and corporations. His past pro bono or paid clients include the
Governments of Brazil and Malawi, Médecins Sans Frontières, Novartis, Pharmacia, the
Sierra Legal Defence Fund, the UN Development Program, and the World Bank.

    Finally, when Prof. Attaran is not in his office, he can frequently be found on a bicycle or
canoe in eastern Canada.
http://iwbconference.informationmanagement.dal.ca/AttaranBio.pdf

    A little background info on Prof Attaran. He definitely has an agenda. Perhaps he is even considering a Nobel Peace Prize in the future. He must love all the recent media attention. Good time to put out a book Prof! I'll buy the book to start my burn barrel!
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on February 08, 2007, 09:43:30
Whether or not these enemy combatants were roughed up or not - I would not know BUT, given that they were taken prisoner while in a combat situation (people shooting at each other) our infantry doing it's damnedest to close with & defeat the enemy,  it is quite possible that disarming same said enemy combatant was the cause of same said injuries....  3 inquiries? 
Cheez! do you realise how many people that is going to tie up for do you know how long?.... Oy vey - pass the Advil AND the Tylenol
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: George Wallace on February 08, 2007, 09:47:29
Perhaps we should give the good Professor cab fare and send him over to investigate.  I hear that the three 'detainees' can not be found.  Perhaps he can go look them up.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on February 08, 2007, 09:49:19
(I'm in for a few bucks)
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: cplcaldwell on February 08, 2007, 10:05:29
The plot thickens....

From Today's Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070208.wdetainee08/BNStory/National/home)
Shared under the Fair Dealings Provisions of the Copyright Act, RSC


Detainee whistle blower's 'agenda' attacked
Naval officer tried to intimidate him, law professor says
PAUL KORING

From Thursday's Globe and Mail

The Ottawa law professor who sparked an investigation into the possible abuse of Afghan detainees by Canadian soldiers says he was contacted by a senior naval officer Wednesday who tried to intimidate him and impugn his motives.

The officer, Commander Denise LaViolette, a communications specialist for the military legal-affairs department and for the Provost Marshal, the military's chief of police, confirmed that when she returned a telephone call from Amir Attaran, she called him “unprofessional,” questioned whether he “had a personal agenda” and eventually hung up on him after an acrimonious conversation.

Cdr. LaViolette's querying of Prof. Attaran's motives came a day after Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor assured Canadians that the government takes the abuse charges seriously.

Prof. Attaran had called Navy Captain Steve Moore, the Provost Marshal, to seek information related to the case.
 “It sounded like she wanted to manage the problem by trying to intimidate me,” Prof. Attaran said, adding that he found it insulting. “She was impugning my motives and believing that it was inappropriate of me” to have raised the issue of detainee abuse, he said.

Cdr. LaViolette, a veteran media specialist, denied her telephone call was an attempt to intimidate.

“I have never made any threats or tried to intimidate anyone,” she said in an interview.

But in an e-mail, she confirmed telling Prof. Attaran, who holds a Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, that “he was not behaving like a professional.”

The Canadian Forces media office provided no response to written questions from The Globe and Mail about whether Cdr. LaViolette's views reflect the official position of the Chief of Defence Staff General Rick Hillier or the Canadian Forces.

Only a day earlier, in announcing that he was ordering a full-blown board of inquiry into the incidents questioned by Prof. Attaran, Gen. Hillier said “the allegations of misconduct and detainee abuse are taken very seriously by both myself and my subordinate commanders.” Gen. Hillier sent Prof. Attaran a copy of that letter. It was a formal reply to the Military Police Complaints Commission, which had received the file outlining the allegations from Prof. Attaran.

Capt. Moore ordered another investigation by a special police unit known as the National Investigative Service, “into potential offences related to the treatment of detainees.” Capt. Moore also asked the Military Police Complaints Commission to delay any public-interest probe it might launch until the NIS investigation was complete. He sent Prof. Attaran a copy of that letter.

Prof. Attaran said that he had tried to contact Capt. Moore after receiving his letter to better understand the call for delay before making the submission to the MPCC that he had been requested to make by its chairman, Peter Tinsley. He left a telephone message at the Provost Marshal's office late Tuesday evening.

“Out of the kindness of my heart, I called him back,” Cdr. LaViolette said Wednesday. She said “nobody knew I was calling him back.” Cdr. LaViolette said she asked Prof. Attaran whether “he had an agenda” because he had been saying he “didn't trust” the military to investigate itself.

Cdr. LaViolette said she had a witness to her half of the conversation but declined to provide any details except to say “that person is a member of my staff.” In her e-mail, Cdr. LaViolette said she told Prof. Attaran “it would not be appropriate at this time for [the Provost Marshal, Capt. Moore] to speak with him as he is the complainant in an ongoing MP investigation and that [Capt. Moore] is ultimately responsible for the investigation.”

Cdr. LaViolette said she was unaware that Capt. Moore had sent Prof. Attaran a copy of his correspondence with the MPCC.

Prof. Attaran insists that he has no agenda other than to alert the appropriate authorities to the possibility of wrongdoing.

“I have an obligation as a citizen,” he said. “I also have a super-added obligation as a lawyer to be vigilant of possible illegality; lawyers are officers of the court. And I have a further obligation as a professor, when it comes to sharing my research and educating policy makers and the public; research and education is what professors do.”

Cdr. LaViolette wasn't the first to sound a disparaging note about Prof. Attaran's efforts this week.

A day earlier, Mr. O'Connor said, “That's apparently his life. He does that sort of thing.”

The minister also said senior officers didn't know about the documents showing a pattern of suspicious injuries that Prof. Attaran found and that led to the criminal investigation and the board of inquiry.

“There are many, many activities going on inside the Defence Department and senior management is not aware of every activity going on inside the department,” he said.


Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MCG on February 08, 2007, 10:29:30
He's not allowed to advocate for a cause as a "lawyer", because his status with the Law Society is "Not Practising Law- Employed". 
So, how would the Law Society view this statement:
“I also have a super-added obligation as a lawyer to be vigilant of possible illegality; lawyers are officers of the court.  ..."
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: cplcaldwell on February 08, 2007, 10:47:55
I bet Niner Domestic will be by soon to sort that out for us....
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: niner domestic on February 08, 2007, 10:54:15
I am working on it...give me a day to do my research and finish my letters.  Suffice to say, I am very vexed over the conduct of this professor.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: hank011 on February 08, 2007, 11:12:12
Access to information shows that captured insurgents all contracted colds while in custody. Perhaps this systematic problem shows a clear cycle of abuse...the PMed guys had to have been performing biological warfare with detainees...I am outraged...get me a lawyer!
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: garb811 on February 08, 2007, 15:33:32
More commentary on the issue from the National Post.  Original article is here (http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=cf6596ab-ac95-4ad9-bb3f-4d772458a492), shared under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.  I find it very interesting that thiat Mr Martin is able to provide quite a bit more detail regarding the circumstances of the captures, something the original (and other?) reporter(s) probably had access to but he, or his editor, didn't feel the need to include to put the issue into better context.  Emphasis' are mine with comments following:

Quote
Bruises don't warrant a military inquiry
 
Don Martin in Ottawa
National Post

Thursday, February 08, 2007

So let's put off hunting down the Taliban, the better to scour Kandahar for three Afghans who may have been injured while resisting arrest by Canadian forces --or may well be dead after a successful stint as suicide bombers.

And in lieu of concern for soldiers being killed or wounded, let "a political storm" (to use one newspaper's breathless hyperbole) erupt at some cuts, bruises and a couple of black eyes that allegedly appeared on a detained trio of suspicious dudes.

In a theatre of war that has claimed 45 Canadian lives and maimed dozens of soldiers for life, the overstretched military is about to waste time and resources defending itself against the hypothetical prospect it may have beaten up several resistant suspects 10 months ago.

A board of inquiry into three men's alleged injuries was called on Tuesday, and military police have been ordered to search for the missing Afghans, who were handed over to local authorities for further questioning.

But try to imagine being the soldiers now accused of mistreating prisoners last April. Your Kandahar deployment has endured the fiercest fighting of a Canadian mission in three decades and suffered three deaths in the previous month.

The Taliban enemy is on the move back into the region by night and sheltered by locals during the day.

You bust down the door of a house fingered by informants as suspicious and find bomb-making devices and fertilizer used in making explosives. You order a "fighting age male" to hit the floor. He refuses. It takes four soldiers to force the yelling, kicking suspect to his knees.

On the same day, a young Afghan is seen watching troop movements from a nearby hill. He tries to flee, but is apprehended and searched. A cellphone, address book, car keys and signal mirror are found. He escapes, is recaptured the next day and refuses to answer any questions.

Fast forward to Tuesday when revelations about upper torso injuries on the above suspects puts Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier under the media interrogation lights and facing comparisons with the 1993 death of a young Somali in Canadian military hands. Oh, puh-LEEZE.

This all started when Ottawa university professor Amir Attaran connected a random series of dots on documents released by the military to produce a picture of alleged brutality even he admits -- and indeed hopes -- may be wrong.

This is not comparable to the torture-to-death of a young Somali, the hellish humiliations of Baghdad's Abu Ghraib or even on par with some victims of nasty RCMP custody.

Mr. Attaran, to the internationally acclaimed academic's credit, is willing to give the armed forces the benefit of considerable doubt. He admits his formal request for an inquiry was based on "guesses" or "inferences" and includes "the possibility of ambiguity and error."

Drawing such tenuous conclusions is not entirely his fault. The military served as its own worst enemy by censoring the documents Mr. Attaran obtained under an Access to Information request to the point where almost any academic hypothesis fits the sketchy field facts provided.


If our secretive armed forces want to force an inquiry rather than release the evidence to prove it's all so unnecessary, well, I guess that's their own damn fault. Still, it seems like such a waste for military brass to shift into damage control for a prolonged inquiry if there's proof of a legitimate explanation for the detainee bumps and scrapes.

Now, I'm the furthest thing from a soldier, but if someone described as a "fighting age male" is caught with material for an "improvised explosive device," ignores verbal and physical commands, yells "belligerently" and moves in an "aggressive" manner toward four stressed-out soldiers, he's asking for injuries. The fact a limb wasn't broken or a skull cracked only suggests the soldiers were being gentle.

Of course, it's possible there's a cover-up happening here, which might be a more egregious development than the physical abuse. When military information disappears, it's usually missing for a reason.

But even the worst possible scenario based on a creative analysis of the released documents -- that a few soldiers used too much muscle in making some Afghan apprehensions -- is not enough to justify the hysterical attention this matter has received.

Only in Canada could the cuts and bruises suffered by a few suspected terrorists give the entire Canadian military a black eye. The murderous take-no-prisoners Taliban can only be laughing at the insanity of it all.

Dmartin@nationalpost.com

© National Post 2007

COMMENTS

Quote
This is not comparable to the torture-to-death of a young Somali, the hellish humiliations of Baghdad's Abu Ghraib or even on par with some victims of nasty RCMP custody.
Not a fair shot at our horse riding brethren but the analogy stands up.  Persons arrested by civilian police (but not MP ;)) end up with worse injuries under far less hostile conditions when the subject resists and must be subdued.

Quote
This all started when Ottawa university professor Amir Attaran connected a random series of dots on documents released by the military to produce a picture of alleged brutality even he admits -- and indeed hopes -- may be wrong.
Quote
Mr. Attaran, to the internationally acclaimed academic's credit, is willing to give the armed forces the benefit of considerable doubt. He admits his formal request for an inquiry was based on "guesses" or "inferences" and includes "the possibility of ambiguity and error."

Drawing such tenuous conclusions is not entirely his fault. The military served as its own worst enemy by censoring the documents Mr. Attaran obtained under an Access to Information request to the point where almost any academic hypothesis fits the sketchy field facts provided.
These are extremely relevant quotes which, if the initial reporter had them, or similar statements, should have been included in the initial reporting.  Those quotes would have put the the allegations by Mr. Attaran  into much better context and would have served to emphasis the fact that the his entire case was circumstantial at best.  These later quotes certainly give him an out if his hypothesis is proven false and makes me wonder what grade the good professor would give one of his students who presented a paper to him in which the student was unable to support their thesis through facts and instead relied upon circumstance and innuendo. 

The more I read about this, the more I have to admire the Professor's manipulation of the MSM to make this story bigger than it is.  At this point, my gut is telling me he may have had a lukewarm reaction from the MPCC along the lines that the issue may be outside MPCC jurisdiction and they would need a legal opinion before making a decision and he forced the issue by finding a reporter who would assist in sensationalising the story.  This would certainly explain the ongoing delay in announcing whether or not the MPCC would initiate a Public Interest investigation as if the MPCC Chairman was sure of the applicability of his mandate to this issue and was as concerned as the MSM has made him out to be, he should have initiated a Public Interest investigation without seeking submissions from anyone.

Quote
But even the worst possible scenario based on a creative analysis of the released documents -- that a few soldiers used too much muscle in making some Afghan apprehensions -- is not enough to justify the hysterical attention this matter has received.
Amen to that.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: niner domestic on February 08, 2007, 15:44:32
Well, a little more digging and I found a letter that the learned professor had penned to the MND on April 7th, 2006.  http://www.ceasefire.ca/atf/cf/{0A14BA6C-BE4F-445B-8C13-51BED95A5CF3}/Attaran_7%20April%202006.pdf

The most telling paragraph of the whole letter is the last one:

My capacity to provide advice on this issue
I write in my individual capacity as an expert in constitutional human rights law. I am an
associate professor and Tier 2 Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, in the
Faculty of Law and Institute of Population Health. Prior to my appointment in Ottawa, I have
held teaching positions at Harvard University, Yale University, and a fellowship at the Royal
Institute of International Affairs. I have experience in public interest and constitutional
litigation, while on the staff of the Sierra Legal Defence Fund in Vancouver.


IOW, he sent an unsolictied letter to the Government and now a year later, is still trying to get onto (in my opinion) the paying portion of any inquiry as counsel or advisor. 

Letter sent to:

Canada Research Council
Law Society of Upper Canada
Dean of University of Ottawa Law School (in receipt of reply - one sentence to thank me for "expressing my opinion". )
Globe and Mail
National Post
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: dapaterson on February 08, 2007, 16:35:24
9er Domestic:

Reading that letter, I can only say "Wow."  A rather incredibile attempt to expand the scope of the Charter to well outside Canada.

Quote
Legally, there is no difference posed by the detention taking place inside Canada, as in the Suresh case, or inside Afghanistan, as with the Arrangement.
(page 3)

Interestingly, he wrote that letter on University letterhead, implying an endorsement of his position by U of O.  I wonder if the Faculty of Law and the University Board of Governors are aware of the University taking this position...
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on February 08, 2007, 16:55:39
If a few cuts and bruises while trying to escape  equals torture the good professer hadn't want to be an Ontario inmate then...........which joint did he not wish to use for a good month or so?
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MarkOttawa on February 08, 2007, 17:23:26
Two posts at The Torch, the first by Babbling Brooks and the second mine:

Desperate fabrication
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/02/desperate-fabrication.html

Afstan: Internal battle at The Globe and Mail
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/02/afstan-internal-battle-at-globe-and.html

And one at Flit:

Damned if you do...
http://www.snappingturtle.net/flit/archives/2007_02_08.html#006056

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Weinie on February 08, 2007, 18:19:41
   I say good on ya Cdr Laviolette, for asking the same question, directly,  that many on here have as well. What is your agenda, Professor?
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Bigmac on February 08, 2007, 18:31:38
9er Domestic:

Reading that letter, I can only say "Wow."  A rather incredibile attempt to expand the scope of the Charter to well outside Canada.

Interestingly, he wrote that letter on University letterhead, implying an endorsement of his position by U of O.  I wonder if the Faculty of Law and the University Board of Governors are aware of the University taking this position...


     He actually gave a presentation 24 Mar 06 at the U of O on the subject at hand and posted his views on the University website. The University obviously is aware and endorse him.
http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1328&Itemid=76
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: E.R. Campbell on February 08, 2007, 18:51:46
     He actually gave a presentation 24 Mar 06 at the U of O on the subject at hand and posted his views on the University website. The University obviously is aware and endorse him.
http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1328&Itemid=76

I'm not sure one can assume that U of Ottawa endorses his views.  I'm sure the university supports his rights to hold and express opinions on a variety of issues.  One of the reasons we want to defeat the Taliban is so that Afghans in Afghanistan might be able to do the same.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: hotelquebec9er on February 09, 2007, 03:56:38
Check out this link:

http://splatto.net/blog/?p=415

This guy has been at it long before this!

I want either his mailing address, or his email address.  This Man nitwit needs an angry letter or three.

Hey, turns out he's slagged the World Bank innapropriately too:
http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/05/attaran_at_it_again.php

*shudder*
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 09, 2007, 05:34:43
My humble comments bolded in brackets.....

(Also, a bit more of the latest MSM because of my insomnia:
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,57138.msg525395.html#msg525395 )

 Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29 (http://www.cb-cda.gc.ca/info/act-e.html#rid-33409), of the Copyright Act.

Detainee briefings routine in '05
Issues relating to Afghan captives were a high priority during his tenure as defence minister, Graham says
Paul Koring, Globe & Mail, 9 Feb 07
Article Link (http://) - Permalink (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070209.DETAINEE09/TPStory/TPInternational/Asia/)

Official Canadian documents show that General Rick Hillier and former defence minister Bill Graham were routinely briefed in 2005 on the transfer and medical condition of Afghan detainees.

The documents -- originally marked "Secret (Canada/USA Eyes Only)" -- have been declassified, and although heavily edited, released under access-to-information legislation.

"These would have been routinely received in my office," Mr. Graham confirmed yesterday. The documents include not only details of the capture and transfer but also the detainee's medical condition and whether he had been injured.

The Canadian Forces didn't respond yesterday when asked whether Gen. Hillier, the Chief of Defence Staff, and current Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor were similarly briefed 10 months ago about the injured detainees, now at the centre of a criminal investigation into possible abuse by Canadian soldiers.

This week, Mr. O'Connor said: "Senior management is not aware of every activity going on inside the department."

(True when it comes to minute operational details, but my own experience leaves me guessing both political and bureaucratic staff are always on the alert for things that the Minister SHOULD know, even if just to brace for any possible flap.)

However, if documents detailing briefings from Gen. Hillier to the then Liberal defence minister represent a pattern that continued once the Conservatives took office, then both the Chief of Defence Staff and the minister would have been briefed within days of the capture and transfer of suspected Taliban fighters.

(Never worked in DND/NDHQ, but as a small cog in the huge government wheel myself, I'm guessing that if every transfer wasn't reported, somethign of this magnitude would be reported on periodically.  Now, how far up the food chain such reports went, or how many may or may not have gotten where, is a question I can't even guess at.)

"If there was a lapse in a process or policies, we'll find that out and correct it," Gen. Hillier said this week after ordering a military board of inquiry to probe the handling and transfer of detainees.

Mr. Graham said not every detainee transfer came to his personal attention. "If there was a red flag, it would have come to me," he said.

At least one of three Afghans captured on April 7 near Dukah suffered injuries while in Canadian military custody. The military says only "appropriate force" was used.

Two investigations are under way: a criminal probe by a special military police unit into possible detainee abuse and a broader board of inquiry.

A third investigation, a public-interest inquiry, may be launched today by the Military Police Complaints Commission.

Mr. Graham said yesterday that he didn't recall seeing every "detainee-transfer situation report" but that detainee issues were a high priority.

(Hence, my guess on at least periodic updates on how many were bagged in any given period, with particularly high-value or unusual circumstances highlighted as required.  Also, keep in mind that Minister and even senior bureaucrats can ask for briefing notes/briefings/decks/whatever to be drafted if they're interested in an update - how often that happened, I can't guess.)

The pattern of documents and briefings, at least as recently as 2005, suggests that the highest-ranking officers and their political masters were advised about detainee issues in a timely fashion.

Mr. O'Connor and Gen. Hillier indicated this week that they knew nothing about the suspicious patterns of facial injuries on three detainees at the centre of the investigations until Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran brought them to the attention of the MPCC.

Prof. Attaran has been accused of behaving "unprofessionally" by a senior Canadian Forces spokeswoman, Commander Denise LaViolette, a judgment the military declined to disavow yesterday despite written questions from The Globe and Mail asking whether Gen. Hillier shares those views.

The hundreds of fragmentary documents released under access law to Prof. Attaran don't include any ministerial briefing notes from Gen. Hillier pertaining to the April 8, 2006, transfer of the three detainees.

The Canadian Forces didn't answer written inquiries from The Globe asking whether the same briefing pattern that existed for Mr. Graham continued for Mr. O'Connor.

However, another document suggests that information on detainee transfers remained a high priority and were brought to the attention of high-ranking officers at Defence headquarters.

A briefing note, dated April 12, 2006, and originally marked "Secret," but since declassified, notes the transfer to Afghan National Police of the three detainees captured in Dukah. Under the heading: "Task Force Afghanistan; Commanders Comments" a note reads: "Detainee transfer went well, even through it was not as fast as we would have liked. All regulations were followed and all reporting is now complete."

There is no mention of injuries.

And despite the commander's notation that all reporting was complete, the document trail is missing several usual items.

The medical report is blank. The normal procedure is for detainees to be pronounced "fit for transfer" or "fit for release."

Similarly, the inventory of one of the detainees' personal belongings wasn't completed. A notation says it wasn't done because the Afghan was injured.


Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: concerneddad on February 09, 2007, 07:07:04
Cold? Bored? Here's something to occupy your time. Access to Information Requests (AIR). Here's a hypothetical. You ask Customs Border Services to mail copies of all arrest reports in which officers injured travelers they arrested Windsor ON in January 2007. You receive a reply that two officers indicate in one report of arresting an individual with a 357 Magnum after he pointed it at them. They report they pepper sprayed him and used their batons to subdue him. He was hit on the head and across the face, he received a cut above his left eye and two teeth were knocked out. The officers explained that the individual, (6'4' 230lbs.), was uncooperative even after being subdued and handcuffed. He kicked one officer in the groin and hurt his own wrists trying to free himself from the 'cuffs. The officers explained that after being treated by medics the suspect was turned over to local police. Normal practice before the court appearance.

Now your fun starts. You ask for the name of the officers, pictures of suspect and his name. You receive a reply that due to privacy laws this information can't be given out. Now you have your "proof" the suspect was abused. Why are the refusing to name the people involved? Where are the pictures? How can you believe it was his left eye that was cut? Why was he turned over to police so quickly? You demand an investigation of abuse on this individual and are told that yes your complaint will be investigated because such charges are so serious that they are all investigated whether they are true or not. Now you have them on the run. Isn't the fact that they are investigating proof that something is wrong? Why wasn't the public told about this abuse in January? Is the Minister aware of this abuse? If not why not? Isn't he aware of what goes on at border crossings? Can Customs Officers investigate themselves? They are a team after all aren't they? Is the media aware of this "abuse"?

See how easy it is? With any luck the media will pick this up and you'll have your 15 minutes of fame, post it on Youtube and you'll get 30.

Next, ask Fisheries and Oceans how many lobsters are sold in markets with one claw missing. Pictures please.. ;)
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: BernDawg on February 09, 2007, 09:02:53
Interesting read I found this AM.

http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=af9e68d7-f0f5-4a21-a8a9-7ae11e266d07

Not all reporters suck, it seems.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: George Wallace on February 09, 2007, 09:58:26
Interesting!

The conspiracy continues to get more interesting as more information comes to light.  Although not named in this link, the good Professor as a member of U of Ottawa's Law Faculty is implicated through association in this CAIR fund raiser for "University of Ottawa, Arar-Mazigh Scholarship."  Other links in this article may even be more incriminating.

http://www.caircan.ca/ann_more.php?id=2821_0_9_0_C

It seems this Professor has a very defined course that he set out to follow.  Quite a Fifth Columnist.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MCG on February 09, 2007, 10:43:09
The conspiracy continues to get more interesting as more information comes to light.  Although not named in this link, the good Professor as a member of U of Ottawa's Law Faculty is implicated through association in this CAIR fund raiser for "University of Ottawa, Arar-Mazigh Scholarship."  Other links in this article may even be more incriminating.
I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be looking at in that site.  I don't see his name let alone a "very defined course."
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: George Wallace on February 09, 2007, 10:52:04
Interesting!

The conspiracy continues to get more interesting as more information comes to light.  Although not named in this link, the good Professor as a member of U of Ottawa's Law Faculty is implicated through association.............

Does this make any more sense?   
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MCG on February 09, 2007, 11:05:53
You will have to spell this out for me.  "Implicated" in what?
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: George Wallace on February 09, 2007, 11:26:12
I am reading this as the Law Students and Law Professors, as activists, from U of O, participated in the background researching articles for the Arar defence.  This dinner is a recognition of their actions and a fund raiser for the U of O scholarship in honour of Arar-Mazigh.  The Professor having an interest in the politics of that region, without a doubt was a contributor and/or mentor to Law Students involved in the Arar defence.

Quote
The dinner will recognize the contributions of a handful of journalists, activists, lawyers  and MP’s, who were instrumental in affecting real change in Maher and Monia’s ordeal. Additionally, members from Muslim communities across Canada will be present at the event.

The February 14 dinner will mark the inauguration and establishment of the Arar-Mazigh Scholarship, offered through the  University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law. Proceeds from the dinner will go towards the scholarship, and will be awarded to students making significant contributions in the fields of human rights and civil liberties.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 09, 2007, 11:40:42
Cold? Bored? Here's something to occupy your time. Access to Information Requests (AIR). Here's a hypothetical. You ask Customs Border Services to mail copies of all arrest reports in which officers injured travelers they arrested Windsor ON in January 2007. You receive a reply that two officers indicate in one report of arresting an individual with a 357 Magnum after he pointed it at them. They report they pepper sprayed him and used their batons to subdue him. He was hit on the head and across the face, he received a cut above his left eye and two teeth were knocked out. The officers explained that the individual, (6'4' 230lbs.), was uncooperative even after being subdued and handcuffed. He kicked one officer in the groin and hurt his own wrists trying to free himself from the 'cuffs. The officers explained that after being treated by medics the suspect was turned over to local police. Normal practice before the court appearance.

Now your fun starts. You ask for the name of the officers, pictures of suspect and his name. You receive a reply that due to privacy laws this information can't be given out. Now you have your "proof" the suspect was abused. Why are the refusing to name the people involved? Where are the pictures? How can you believe it was his left eye that was cut? Why was he turned over to police so quickly? You demand an investigation of abuse on this individual and are told that yes your complaint will be investigated because such charges are so serious that they are all investigated whether they are true or not. Now you have them on the run. Isn't the fact that they are investigating proof that something is wrong? Why wasn't the public told about this abuse in January? Is the Minister aware of this abuse? If not why not? Isn't he aware of what goes on at border crossings? Can Customs Officers investigate themselves? They are a team after all aren't they? Is the media aware of this "abuse"?

See how easy it is? With any luck the media will pick this up and you'll have your 15 minutes of fame, post it on Youtube and you'll get 30.

Next, ask Fisheries and Oceans how many lobsters are sold in markets with one claw missing. Pictures please.. ;)

BANG on!  Great example..... 

Like statistics and bikinis, what ATIP request responses reveal is interesting, but what they don't reveal can be vital.

Again, show us what you got, media or professor (like that'll ever happen).
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: cplcaldwell on February 09, 2007, 11:46:25
Quote
show us what you got, media or professor


Or prod them a little bit...

Paul Koring to host an online conversation at the Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070208.wlivekoring0208/BNStory/specialComment/home) website at noon

Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Babbling Brooks on February 09, 2007, 12:48:34
Quote
Or prod them a little bit...

Paul Koring to host an online conversation at the Globe and Mail website at noon

I took your advice - here are my questions:

Mr. Koring, why does the "working hypothesis" (Prof. Attaran's words, not mine) of an activist vehemently opposed to Canada's detainee policies merit front-page coverage in Canada's National Newspaper for three days running now? If the allegations of abuse by CF members prove false, will your paper continue to milk the story by switching to the detainee transfer agreement between Canada and the Afghan government, the issue Prof. Attaran has been raising for at least a year now with almost no publicity? Why does Professor Attaran's account of a phone spat with a CF Public Affairs officer merit an entire story of its own in the G&M, and is this article not itself an attempt to intimidate the CF and anyone else who would question your motives or those of Prof. Attaran? Why have you and Prof. Attaran not publicly posted the documents obtained under Access to Information for the public to review, instead insisting on interpreting them for us yourselves? Do you not feel it important to advise the public of your own opinion of Canadian detainee policy so that we can understand the perspective from which you are presenting this information? Do you know why Prof. Attaran, as a lawyer who first made the official complaint that sparked the DND investigations would be calling the Provost Marshal (the CF's own "police chief") late at night in the first place? Do you feel that call by a complainant lawyer involved in any other internal investigation would be appropriate? Given that Prof. Attaran has stated publicly both that "It is inexcusable that they [the CF] have not investigated" and "In light of what happened a decade ago in Somalia, I very much doubt that [the military] should investigate internally," do you not worry that he won't be satisfied by any answer from DND? And if so, why do you feel his intransigent and extreme point of view deserves national attention and a combative and confrontational journalistic approach from you?

They cut you off at 2000 characters, so that's all I was able to get in.  I'll be interested to see if it gets through their editorial filter...watch and shoot.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: cplcaldwell on February 09, 2007, 12:51:28
Well done BB, I will tune in with bated breath ...
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: niner domestic on February 09, 2007, 13:12:06
here you go, the good professor is now crying foul at being beseiged by opposing correspondence to his "quest".  Interestingly, is the last paragraph:

He makes no apologies for this somewhat unorthodox academic practice.

"I have not noticed it is improper to rely on one of the most, I think, essential institutions, of a free society -- and that is its press -- to make policy re-evaluation, and ultimately policy change, happen."

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070209.wdetaineeprofile09/BNStory/specialComment

I think even LSUC is going to have a tough time letting this process slide by. Cases argued in the media are never good law, policy or government.   
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: cplcaldwell on February 09, 2007, 13:15:44
Quote
Cases argued in the media are never good law, policy or government.
   


Quite right, but they do offer recreation to the mob between lynchings....
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Babbling Brooks on February 09, 2007, 14:34:08
Boy, they sure took the shears to my questions.  I've posted a parsing of Koring's responses here: http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/02/you-want-conversation-you-got-my-half.html

I believe both Koring and Attaran have an agenda: they think the Canadian detainee transfer policy is wrong, and they're using this manufactured controversy to push their pet issue into the limelight.

Neither one seems to care one bit that they're dragging the Canadian soldier through the mud to do it.  Or that their stunt might well unfairly reduce public support for the Afghan mission and potentially condemn millions of ordinary Afghans to a more brutish and short existence by hastening Canada's withdrawal from the beleaguered nation.

What a couple of selfish turds.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: 3rd Herd on February 09, 2007, 14:44:52
BANG on!  Great example..... 

Like statistics and bikinis, what ATIP request responses reveal is interesting, but what they don't reveal can be vital.


Absolutely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. They only lead to more interesting information searches at oblique angle's and "there is more than one way to skin a cat". I also find it interesting how he got the info so quick while several of us on the site have been waitting for up two two years for archival material/ATIP. They claim understaffing.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Colin P on February 09, 2007, 14:54:39
I notice that most people that complain about the Parisian scandal in Iraq are totally ignorant of what went on there prior to the Americans. I guess mass graves and electrical torture of gentails, pulling of fingernails and sodomy by Iraqi on Iraqis are just to boring to talk about.

Gee my uncle spent 5 years in a German POW camp without any hope of release until liberated by Allied troops. Also why don't those same Human rights crusaders go to the various AQ breeding grounds and try to convince them to sign the Geneva Convention so our guys will get decent treatment if captured?

If I had to choose which nation to held as a miltary prisoner of war or similar, it would be the US.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: North Star on February 09, 2007, 15:29:32
I think we (mbrs of the CF) need to take a chill pill on this one.

1) The professor has an agenda. Yes, big deal. He got his hands on some ambiguous stuff, and now he's pushing himself on the front pages of newspapers trying to shamelessly promote himself on the backs of soldiers. However, this is the norm. People always will use the CF as a tool for their own agenda: remember the "Soldiers with guns" ads? He's carrying on in the lefty-Canadian tradition of criticizing the CF without thought to the consequences. We should be used to it by now.

2) An investigation can't hurt. I doubt anyone will be found at fault, given the high standards and paranoia we have concerning detainees and the trifling nature of the injuries sustained by the three detainees. At the end, all I suspect will be left standing is a bill to Johnny Canuck taxpayer. Heck, it may even give one of the troops being investigated a reason to sue somebody as the number of investigations seems quite excessive and tantamount to harassment...

3) It's possible that any one of the three detainees may be dead - not by out hand, but by the usual things that kill people in Afghanistan. If that's the case, expect more headlines and sensationalism. Stay calm and simply mutter "S$%t happens".

4) Expect that people supportive of the CF will step up to the plate and defend us. Embrace those who do a good job - reject those who get too enthusiastic. I already read one article that was supportive.

5) This will blow over. I mean, come on. The Globe and Mail will get back to harping on Kyoto soon enough. Defence issues in general bore Canadians. The National Post will support the CF to the hilt, as will Sun Media. CTV and CBC will only hang onto the story if the bureaucratic details of who's investigating who doesn't give them a headache, and the CBC is so heavily monitored by pro-CF bloggers that if they don't paint a fair picture they'll pull in the Ombudsman. As for CanWest, see NP.

So relax. Drink a beer. Sit back, and watch our tax dollars at work.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Colin P on February 09, 2007, 15:56:50
The problem is that no matter how much the Government and the forces do to clear their name, it won't be good enough, because we are always hiding something according to this type, there was a cover up some 15 years ago, so there must be a cover now is the way they think. This will be use to poison peoples minds, regardless how much or how little validity it has. I find the radical anti-war, government, Conservatives types firmly believe the end justifies the means.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: North Star on February 09, 2007, 16:00:14
Colin P - I agree, but to quote a friend in politics, "if there's no chance in heck they'll give us their vote, why even try to convert them?" Sure, the anti-crowd will moan and wail, but they always will. The average Canadian has already written them off.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Cloud Cover on February 09, 2007, 18:33:24
I think even LSUC is going to have a tough time letting this process slide by. Cases argued in the media are never good law, policy or government.   


You can forget the whole LSUC angle. The complaints officers/discipline committee will simply seek direction from the more powerful benchers on this matter. I'd be surprised if they dont make special arrangements to protect him and throw a recognition dinner in support of his efforts.   
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MarkOttawa on February 09, 2007, 20:15:00
Damian Brooks of The Torch will be on The World Tonight with Rob Breakenridge, CHQR, Calgary, at 2040 EST tonight.
http://www.am770chqr.com/station/blog_the_world_tonight.cfm
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/02/you-want-conversation-you-got-my-half.html

Listen live.  Disclosure: I also post at The Torch.

Mark
Ottawa

Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 09, 2007, 21:53:52
Just wrapped up, and sounded great - well done!

Just curious - I've been skimming a ton of material on this, but I haven't seen where Dr. A. said nothing the CF can do will satisfy him.

Thx, and keep on spreading the word!
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Babbling Brooks on February 09, 2007, 21:58:52
Thanks Tony.  That was a little nervewracking - my first radio interview.  As far as Attaran's contradictory statements, Bruce Rolston at Flit juxtaposed them quite nicely here: http://www.snappingturtle.net/flit/archives/2007_02_08.html#006056

Quote
"It is inexcusable that they [the military] have not investigated. This is not right."
--Afghan detainees' rights advocate and law professor Amir Attaran, Feb. 7, on allegations that an Afghan detained at an apparent bomb-making facility received superficial injuries while resisting attempts to take him into custody.

"In light of what happened a decade ago in Somalia, I very much doubt that [the military] should investigate internally."
--Attaran again, Feb. 8, upon hearing that the military had immediately launched separate criminal and administrative inquiries into his allegations
.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MarkOttawa on February 09, 2007, 22:03:33
Babbling:

+1 :salute:

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 09, 2007, 22:05:04
Thanks Tony.  That was a little nervewracking - my first radio interview.  As far as Attaran's contradictory statements, Bruce Rolston at Flit juxtaposed them quite nicely here: http://www.snappingturtle.net/flit/archives/2007_02_08.html#006056
.

You sounded BANG on - smooth, convincing.

Live radio is always harder - in spite of the fact that you can do the interview in your underwear....  ;)
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Babbling Brooks on February 09, 2007, 22:57:31
Tony, I also forgot to mention Attaran's remarks on CPAC this past Tuesday evening, where he characterized the CF investigations as "worthless" and "of no value to me."  It's pretty clear to me from those remarks that he won't be satisfied by any course the CF takes on this issue.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Just a Guy on February 10, 2007, 00:09:58
It might be pretty naive of me, something I don't often admit to, but I actually beleive in our system and the truth of this matter...
Canada will learn that we are the most humane of all Military Elements serving in Afghanistan, in that we go above and beyond the call, and many instances provide a level of care and oversight they do not receive in their everyday lives...

From a perverse view I think this could actually be a good news story when the details come out....

We will be standing tall and proud throughout this (as long as we can keep the minister from talking) knowing we are represented by the finest men and women in Canada...

Lastly, and however much it pains me, the very thing we have all fought for over there is the very thing that this wacko is demonstrating. In most places of the world he would have been shot, beaten or jailed. In Canada we go to extraordinary lenghts to answer his concerns.... For those of us who have served in the Armpits of the world, which country would you rather live in ???

This doesn't mean I don't think he isn't a complete .... 'cos I do,  He's the price for the Terry Fox's we produce,  Female education, freedom of religion, flushing toilets and the best hockey teams in the world and Tim Hortons.... to name just a few


Just a Guy


Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 10, 2007, 09:39:50
Some of the latest media this AM:

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,57138.msg525886.html#msg525886
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: milnews.ca on February 16, 2007, 13:12:37
Interesting who's getting into the messaging act - shared with the usual disclaimer....

Sensitive' military police given retraining
Bruce Campion-Smith, Toronto Star, 16 Feb 07
Article link (http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/182477)

OTTAWA–Military police officers in Kandahar were given refresher training in use-of-force techniques following a complaint that some officers treated an Afghan prisoner too harshly.

But the training was directed at the police officers who made the complaint out of concern they might be "too sensitive" in their own handling of belligerent prisoners, sources say.

Meanwhile, the Privy Council Office, essentially the Prime Minister's own department, is now handling the communications strategy on the issue of Canada's treatment of prisoners in Afghanistan, a signal that Conservatives are worried this sensitive topic could blow up on them.

The issue hit the headlines again earlier this month with the revelation that three prisoners had suffered injuries – bruises and lacerations – while in the custody of Canadian troops last April. A law professor who learned of the injuries complained to the military, saying the men may have been mistreated.

However, the military police officers involved in the transfer of one of those prisoners from a unit returning to the Kandahar base after a patrol filed their own complaint at the time.

In a written statement, the defence department concedes that a complaint was made.

"It was alleged that some military police had firmly grabbed the arms of one detainee while taking him into a military transport vehicle," reads the statement released to reporters.

Two senior members of the National Investigation Service, a special branch of the military, interviewed personnel involved in the transfer as well as other witnesses and concluded that the prisoner was handled in a "highly professional manner.

"A qualified use-of-force military police instructor who happened to be near the site of the transfer ... confirmed this," the defence department statement says.

"The military police involved in the transfer had handled the detainee consistent with laws, regulations and orders," read the written response.


However, sources confirm that some military police officers who thought the prisoner had been handled roughly got "refresher" training following the incident.

"It was thought they might be too sensitive in their expectations for how to deal with non-compliant training," one government source said.

For its part, the defence department is keen to keep a lid on the topic with the Privy Council Office quietly steering the communications strategy behind the scenes.


Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: BernDawg on February 16, 2007, 14:15:14
Well, once you start digging.....
I notice we haven't hear much from the Prof lately
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: tank recce on February 16, 2007, 14:55:32
Did I read that right?

These guys are getting refresher training - not because they abused anybody - but because Higher's afraid they'll be too GENTLE?! :rofl:
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Bigmac on February 21, 2007, 09:20:56
Quote
Amnesty slams Canada over Afghan detainees Rights groups seek to argue before court that transfer of captives violates law

PAUL KORING

Canada's practice of turning detainees over to Afghan security forces, widely accused of torture and abuse, violates international law and the Charter of Rights, Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association say.

The two groups will today file an application in Federal Court in Ottawa seeking judicial review of the military's controversial policy. Named as respondents in the action are Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor, General Rick Hillier, Canada's Chief of the Defence Staff, and Attorney-General Robert Nicholson.

The legal action will be announced today by Alex Neve, Amnesty International Canada's Secretary-General, and Shirley Heafey, a B.C. Civil Liberties Association board member.

"There's a very strong chance of it winding up in the Supreme Court," said Paul Champ, who is acting on behalf of Amnesty and the BCCLA.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070221.AMNESTY21/TPStory/TPInternational/Asia/

      Here we go, the battle in court begins. Put your helmets on! :warstory:
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: niner domestic on February 21, 2007, 09:55:31
So AI and the BCCL would rather tie up a Canadian court with an action (a JR) and crow proudly that it will end up in the Supreme Court (at a rather hefty cost) than donate the fees that would be spent on such a case to the Afghan orgs so they can address the human rights violations in their own country.  Wow, the apparently hypocrisy is stunning that these groups can sit in their positions of social and economic privilege and use up valuable court docket time to chase their windmills.  If it were me, I'd rather be sending the legal and human rights gurus *TO* A'stan to work with the country to resolve their issues not use a foreign state to decide or legislate Afghan law. 

I take particular issue with a group that claims to be using the court system to forward decide a case.  By that I mean that no one should begin a case with the presumption that the rulings with be appealed to a court of higher competence.  No judge makes their ruling based on the assumption that they will be appealed, no lawyer should be doing the same. To make such a premature statement, is preempting a ruling that may not have ground to appeal - no errors in law, fact or that the ruling was patently unreasonable.  I can only hope that they will be foolish enough to lead those comments in their evidence that they have to produce in 30 days and that the presiding justice has an obiter dictum about using the courts that way.  (any side bets that eye witnesses won't be on the list of evidence?)


Attaran is also connected to AI, so why doesn't this development surprise me? He's not happy to wait for the inquiries he forced to respond. 
 


Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Babbling Brooks on February 21, 2007, 10:30:21
Quote
So AI and the BCCL would rather tie up a Canadian court with an action (a JR) and crow proudly that it will end up in the Supreme Court (at a rather hefty cost) than donate the fees that would be spent on such a case to the Afghan orgs so they can address the human rights violations in their own country.  Wow, the apparently hypocrisy is stunning that these groups can sit in their positions of social and economic privilege and use up valuable court docket time to chase their windmills.  If it were me, I'd rather be sending the legal and human rights gurus *TO* A'stan to work with the country to resolve their issues not use a foreign state to decide or legislate Afghan law.

Niner Domestic, you are right on the money.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on February 21, 2007, 10:36:00
The other point is that this fella has no interest in going to Afghanistan to debate the issue 1st hand.  The whole thing is an academic exercise for this guy.

In the end, what is he going to accomplish?

Tell Canadian troops not to take prisonners?
Tell the CF that we have to start operating a Prison for ennemy combatants?
Tell the Canadian Gov't to "get out of Afghanistan!" ?

What is he trying to say?

Really!
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: niner domestic on February 21, 2007, 10:56:08
Well, I'm sure he/they would be more than happy to visit A'stan as long as it was on the taxpayer's dime.  It goes back to an earlier comment I made about these types of academics, do-gooders, wannabe legal/social superheroes never appear to put their money where their mouth is.  I have in the past asked the question of these groups, why are you not working with the current Afghan government in pressing forward to ratify their constitutional changes (to also include charters that protect against torture as the SA Government had to include in their constitution) and advocating to have them become signatories to the GC?

The silence is, and has been quite deafening.   
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: GAP on February 21, 2007, 16:40:18
The CTV report....

Groups want soldiers to stop giving up detainees
Updated Wed. Feb. 21 2007 2:38 PM ET Canadian Press
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070221/humanrightsgroups_afghanistan_070221/20070221?hub=Canada)

OTTAWA -- Human-rights groups are petitioning the Federal Court of Canada to stop Canadian soldiers from giving up control of enemy combatants captured during fighting in Afghanistan.

Amnesty International and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association have asked the federal government to put a stop to transfers of detainees until the court reaches a decision on the constitutionality of surrendering captives to foreign governments, especially those with questionable human-rights records.

A lawyer for the groups says Canadian troops have captured between 40 and 50 Taliban and al-Qaida fighters since they joined the war on terrorism in Afghanistan in 2002.

The groups say there is no monitoring of compliance with federal government commitments to assure that prisoners will not be tortured and that the rules of the Geneva Conventions will be respected once the detainees are turned over to Afghan authorities.

The groups say reports by the International Committee of the Red Cross on conditions faced by detainees turned over to Afghan authorities have not been made public.

Amnesty's Alex Neve says Afghanistan, with which Ottawa has a detainee-exchange agreement, is notorious for its use of torture
More on link
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Colin P on February 21, 2007, 16:42:48
Well the next time I see AI fundraisers on Robson St, I will be sure to grill them on how AI wants Canada to handle prisoners and why I should donate my money so they can take my government that I voted for to court?
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: George Wallace on February 21, 2007, 17:03:25
These people must be watching too much Dr. Who.  That or they are from a parallel universe where we have taken over Afghanistan, as opposed to being 'invited' by the democratically elected Government of Afghanistan to give them aid.  If the tables were turned and we had Afghan troops here, on the invitation of our Government, would they be holding the Afghans to the same standard?  Would they be condemning the Afghans for turning over their captives to Canadian troops to be dealt with by the Canadian Government's policies?  I think not.  They would be condemning the Canadian Government for any mistreatment of captives. 

Seems these people have a warped understanding of the International Law.  I would say that they really don't have any understanding of any Law period.  They are "Lefties" who have only one agenda; that to condemn the West.  If Canadian troops, under the legal restraints of Afghan Law, Government, et al, hand over captured 'Terrorists' we are evil.  If Canadian troops keep captured Taliban or Al Queda, then we are evil.  These 'blood suckers' from the Left, are too stupid to realize that if we don't hand over these prisoners to the legal Government of the nation (Afghanistan) we are breaking International Laws and Conventions.  It may be different if we had been a 'conquering' Army, but we aren't.  Something they still haven't figured out.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on February 21, 2007, 17:17:51
Hmmm, lets go over our options,....turn them over to the Afganian Government,..bad, turn them over to the Americans,..bad...keep 'em,..bad, obviously as they keep bringing up one incident in Somalia,.....well thats it then,

Amnesty International Wants AQ/Taliban Shot On Sight
byline Monk Brucehouse

Today officials from AI demanded that Canadian soldiers reduce the strain on long suffering Taliban by shooting them on sight.  More on link subsciber service (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,57285.0.html) ;)

Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: 3rd Herd on February 21, 2007, 17:27:39
A small note here, from personal observation many NDP supporters are involved with B.C. Civil Liberties Association. Social justice for one and all. I could name a few but then I would be back before his honor, but your honor "in the name of equality I just wanted to let them be equal with those that did not make it back"
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Yrys on February 21, 2007, 17:29:43
[hijack

Bruce, you know, for some people, your post may be a better insensitive to subscrive
then any contest  ;D

hijack]
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on February 21, 2007, 22:49:45
Hmmm, lets go over our options,....turn them over to the Afganian Government,..bad, turn them over to the Americans,..bad...keep 'em,..bad, obviously as they keep bringing up one incident in Somalia,.....well thats it then,

Amnesty International Wants AQ/Taliban Shot On Sight
byline Monk Brucehouse

Today officials from AI demanded that Canadian soldiers reduce the strain on long suffering Taliban by shooting them on sight.  More on link subsciber service (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,57285.0.html) ;)

I see you came to the same conclusion as I did.....
Musn't take prisonners.
Dissarm them, ask them to bring back more guns so you can dissarm them yet again, and again, and again..... we'll bankrupt Osama in short order.... That must be THE plan! :???
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: niner domestic on February 22, 2007, 08:03:49
Just a reminder that if one advocates for the rights of one group then another group will suffer the imbalance of the backlash.  So with advocating for the so called prisoners of A'stan (who for the most  part are the extreme. radical, Islamic fundamentalist who would support the following punishment) and ignoring the rights of Islamic student bloggers in Egypt these organization have only created a dichotomy on who's rights will trump. 

 http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070222/Egypt_blogger_070222/20070222?hub=TopStories

How ever will these groups make their choices now?
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on February 22, 2007, 09:15:34
9D
you're thinking too much 8)
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MarkOttawa on February 23, 2007, 21:50:46
A post at The Torch (see second half):
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/02/canadian-forces-deux-nations.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Colin P on February 25, 2007, 15:42:47
Well I think the Van doos going to the sandbox will actually be a good thing, it will cause a quiet sense of pride amongst working class Quebecers and the troops will be sending back stories and reports about the real world, not massaged by the media.   
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: 3rd Herd on February 25, 2007, 16:08:58
Well I think the Van doos going to the sandbox will actually be a good thing, it will cause a quiet sense of pride amongst working class Quebecers and the troops will be sending back stories and reports about the real world, not massaged by the media.   

Differences of opinion between
"Quebecers and other Canadians on defence matters are nothing new. Indeed, as long as surveys have recorded the public’s preferences, French Canadians or Quebecers have been less supportive of militarism and war. The most salient manifestations of this tendency, of course, came when conscription sharply divided French and English Canadians during the two world wars. During the Cold War, as James Iain Gow documented in a 1970 article, French-speaking Quebecers’ opinions continued to reflect isolationism and opposition to militarism and imperialism, but Gow noted an evolution toward more openness. Today, although surveys still register slightly lower measures of internationalism in Quebec, few would argue that the province is isolationist. Anti-militarism, however, remains present. In a recent study for the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, Jean-Sébastien Rioux calls this pattern the “common wisdom,” and sees little evidence against it. As he rightly observes, however, this does not mean that Quebecers are invariably hostile to the military or incapable to accept the sacrifices required in pursuit of a sound defence policy. If they can be convinced by sensible arguments that a given military venture serves their country’s best interests, they won’t stand against it."  
Martin, Pierre. ALL QUEBEC’S FAULT, GAIN? QUEBEC PUBLIC OPINION AND CANADA’S REJECTION OF MISSILE DEFENCE. OPTIONS POLITIQUES, MAI 2005. (pgs. 40-44)

Quebeckers, whose mostly French-speaking Royal 22nd Regiment is just arriving in Kandahar ahead of what is expected to be months of renewed fighting against a resurgent Taliban, want most strongly (71 per cent) to scrap any combat role for the Canadian Forces. If the Vandoos start taking casualties, anti-war sentiment in Quebec may harden. Again, Albertans and Quebeckers are on opposite sides of the issue: 65 per cent of Albertans want Canadian troops to fight on while 60 per cent of Quebeckers want to "abandon this mission."

KORING, PAUL. “Canadians split on mission, but strongly support troops”, Globe and Mail.


Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on February 25, 2007, 17:47:27
3rd... regardless of what official surveys say, people I deal with DO support the Cdn Military.  Those who are against it want canadian troops out of IRAQ immediately.

Given that we aren't there and have not been there for any of the current round of fighting, I can safely assure them that their wish is my command :)
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: 3rd Herd on February 26, 2007, 13:27:01
Geo,
"Those who are against it want Canadian troops out of IRAQ  immediately." ???
All the people I am currenting dealling with support the troops especially those in Afghanistan. I tossed in that post to illuminate the historical perspective. Maybe this time around there will be a massive up swelling of support in Quebec, although I highly doubt it. Which to some extent I find strange given the amount of former military personal living in that province.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on February 26, 2007, 13:32:14
well... to date, there has not been any massive upswell against Afghanistan - to which I can say.... no news is good news.

When 5CMBG provided their forces to the Multinaitonal Bde in Kabul, there was no opposition and I can't see why things would be any different this time around

WRT the Iraq thing... I know, was just to show ya that there are "peacenicks" who are not well informed and have tunel vision.  Please re-read my 2nd para
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: 3rd Herd on February 26, 2007, 14:03:01
well... to date, there has not been any massive upswell against Afghanistan - to which I can say.... no news is good news.

When 5CMBG provided their forces to the Multinaitonal Bde in Kabul, there was no opposition and I can't see why things would be any different this time around

WRT the Iraq thing... I know, was just to show ya that there are "peacenicks" who are not well informed and have tunnel vision.  Please re-read my 2nd para

I would add in a couple of thousand undergrads. Given that this week around U of C it is "Landmine Awareness Week". Had fun with a couple of those over the weekend pointing out their data was 10 years old. I then provided them with some more up to data, picture a rapidly deflating balloon. Then I got mildly chastised for being somewhat hard on them, afterall they are just under grads. If you be going to a 'gun fight' you had better make sure your ammo is up to date.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on February 26, 2007, 17:54:30
Ayup
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: niner domestic on February 27, 2007, 11:05:50
And continuing in the saga of complete waste of the MPCC's resources is yet another investigation. This one spurred by the BCCLA and Amnesty Int'l.  http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=f77f7499-5b68-4e6e-a8e2-35dea63867ae&k=62198
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on February 27, 2007, 15:24:22
heh.... at least all the investigations are on the same subject and can be run concurrently.
Title: Afghan rights commission to act as detainee watchdog for Canadians
Post by: MCG on February 28, 2007, 23:57:03
Quote
Afghan commission to act as detainee watchdog
Updated Wed. Feb. 28 2007 7:44 PM ET
Canadian Press

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- The Kandahar office of Afghanistan's human rights commission has agreed to act as watchdog for detainees captured by Canadians to ensure that valid complaints of abuse are investigated, The Canadian Press has learned.

The secret agreement with military commanders papers over concerns raised by human rights groups about the practice of handing captured Taliban prisoners over to Afghan authorities who have a reputation for torture. It could also take some of the fire out of a burning debate over allegations that Canadian troops abused detainees last spring.

"Canadians respect human rights very well," Abdul Quadar Noorzai, the Kandahar manager of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, said in an interview. He was eager to trumpet the agreement signed last Friday with Brig.-Gen. Tim Grant, commander of Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

"It is one of the greatest acts taken by them and I really appreciate it from the core of my heart," said a beaming Noorzai, who's been working for a year to carve out such an arrangement.

Marc Raider, a spokesman for the Defence Department in Ottawa, confirmed the existence of the agreement and said it builds on a December 2005 technical arrangement signed between Afghanistan's defence minister and Canadian Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier.

That initial deal, which has been criticized by human rights groups, obliges Canadian troops to turn over captured militants to local authorities but does not allow Canada any say in their treatment once handed over.

The agreement signed by Hillier recognized the Afghan human rights commission but did not set out a specific role for the agency. Last Friday's agreement changed that. Not only does Canada have to notify the International Committee of the Red Cross when it transfers a prisoner to Afghan custody, it now must also inform Noorzai's office.

"It's simply an added layer of protection," said Raider, who wouldn't comment on whether the agreement would satisfy critics.

Noorzai said he is now free to investigate and document cases of suspected detainee abuse, whether the allegations involve Canadian troops or Afghan authorities. There are well documented cases of torture in Afghan prisons.

On Monday, Canada's Military Police Complaints Commission opened a wide-ranging investigation into allegations that on 18 occasions troops handed over prisoners knowing they would be abused. Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association lodged the complaint that prompted the investigation.

Similarly, at least three investigations are going on into the alleged beating of three captured Taliban who were picked up near the village Dukah, 50 kilometres west of Kandahar, on April 7, 2006. According to prisoner-transfer logs obtained and released to the media by an Ottawa law professor, the prisoners suffered lacerations and contusions.

Prof. Amir Attaran said the injuries appear to have been inflicted while the men were in Canadian custody - an allegation the military denies but is nonetheless investigating.

The new agreement signed with the Afghan human rights commission gives potential victims a way to get their complaints investigated, documented and presented to either Canadian authorities or the local judiciary for prosecution, Noorzai said.

The complaint must be well founded.

"I need to prove the allegation," Noorzai said.

"If the case has facts behind it, I have to do something for the person."

Canada is the only NATO country to strike such an arrangement so far. The Afghan commission hopes other alliance members will do the same.

The negotiations were started almost a year ago when Nader Naderi, commissioner of the Afghan human rights commission based in Kabul, went to Canada and met with the minister of defence.

Noorzai said eventually he would like to see the agreement expanded, or a separate arrangement signed, that would allow the commission to report on civilian shootings by foreign troops.

...
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070228/afghan_hr_070228/20070228?hub=Canada
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: GAP on March 02, 2007, 10:34:28
Canada loses track of Afghan detainees
Military investigators unable to locate three men allegedly abused by troops
PAUL KORING From Friday's Globe and Mail
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070302.wdetainee02/BNStory/Afghanistan/?cid=al_gam_nletter_newsUp)

WASHINGTON — The three detainees at the heart of multiple probes into allegations of abuse by Canadian soldiers have disappeared while in Afghan custody, a seemingly grave breach of the Canada-Afghan pact on detainee treatment, The Globe and Mail has learned.

That poses significant challenges for the criminal probe and raises new doubts about government assurances that all detainees are properly treated and accounted for.

Major Robert Bell, senior operations officer for the Canadian National Investigation Service, said in a brief telephone interview that NIS investigators have been unable to determine what happened to the three men, but said they are still working on the case.

When asked to confirm information that Military Police have been unable to find the three men Canadian troops handed over to Afghan National Police on April 8, 2006, Major Bell said: “No we haven't.”
More on link
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MarkOttawa on March 02, 2007, 16:41:38
Babbling Brooks takes on the Ottawa Citizen:

Just plain wrong
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/03/just-plain-wrong.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Colin P on March 02, 2007, 17:07:54
Let me guess they were males, dark hair, rough hands, wearing turbans and answer to Abdullah and Mohammad………
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on March 02, 2007, 17:08:24
Hmmm....

Lemme see if I get this straight
We fight with & capture a bunch of beligerents
In the process they might have gotten banged up a little bit - but not killed
We take Afghan TB and hand them over to the Afghan gov't representatives, employees of an elected government.........
Then it's our fault when these guys go missing?

Might as well have shipped em out of Afghanistan and put them up in a Holliday Inn Express
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on March 02, 2007, 22:34:31

WASHINGTON — The three detainees at the heart of multiple probes into allegations of abuse by Canadian soldiers have disappeared while in Afghan custody, a seemingly grave breach of the Canada-Afghan pact on detainee treatment, The Globe and Mail has learned.

That poses significant challenges for the criminal probe and raises new doubts about government assurances that all detainees are properly treated and accounted for.


...OK, now the "Mope and Wail" has officialy became just a little more trustworthy than the National Enquirer.......and sinking fast.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: MCG on March 04, 2007, 17:15:21
Quote
Afghan prisoner transfer deal toughened: O'Connor
Updated Sun. Mar. 4 2007 3:15 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor says a new provision has been added to Canada's prisoner transfer agreement with Afghanistan.

The news comes just days after news broke this week that three Afghan prisoners who are considered key witnesses in the probe into allegations of abuse by Canadian soldiers, have disappeared.

Speaking on CTV's Question Period on Sunday, O'Connor said Canada has signed an agreement that requires an Afghan human rights group to monitor treatment of detainees.

"What we've done is we've added to it recently. We've added another process getting the Afghan Human Rights Commission involved. We just signed another agreement with them at the local level," O'Connor said.

However, he said the agreement has been in the works since last June, and is not the direct result of the prisoners' disappearance.

The transfer agreement originally signed in 2005 by Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier, stipulated that detainees will not face execution after Canadian troops hand them over. It also requires that "accurate written records accounting for all detainees" be kept by both Canada and Afghanistan.

But Canada has no power to follow up and ensure that the provisions are followed once the prisoners have been handed over.

Other forces, such as the Dutch, British and Danish, have such stipulations written into their handover agreements, but Canada's only sets out that the International Committee of the Red Cross is responsible for the treatment and tracking of the prisoners.

Now, he said, one more "level of comfort" has been added into the deal.

"We're there in support of the Afghan government and when we get insurgents who break the law we hand them over to the authorities," O'Connor said.

"We want assurances that they're treated in accordance with the Geneva Convention. I know according to the rules of law they don't have to be treated under the Geneva Convention, but we insist that they are. We are reliant on the International Red Cross to monitor this and now we're asking the human rights organization to also do it."

Suspected militants captured in Afghanistan do not fall under the Geneva Convention, according to the military, because they do not wear a uniform and are not fighting for a recognized state.

O'Connor refused to speculate on what may have happened to the three missing prisoners, but said no one should jump to conclusions until the National Investigation Service has completed its probe.

He pointed out that the families of Afghan prisoners often find the means to get them released.

"Theoretically, everyone is member of a tribe and sometimes tribes get their people out of prison either through influence or paying fines...so it's quite a revolving door," O'Connor said. But he added that "anyone can be found."

The disappearance of three Afghan detainees -- key prisoners in the investigation into alleged abuse by Canadian soldiers -- has prompted strong criticism over the prisoner handover agreement.

Critics say Canada is putting too much faith in the Afghan military to treat suspected militants with respect, claiming they are often subjected to torture and even execution.

"This is a tremendous failing on the part of the Department of National Defense and I worry about it," Amin Attaran, a law professor from the University of Ottawa, told CTV Newsnet on Friday.

"It's just minimal basic requirement of taking care of any living person that you treat them without any kind of risk of torture, that you shelter them properly and you do not give them to known torturers as the Afghans currently are."

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070304/qp_occonnor_070304/20070304?hub=TopStories
Title: Red Cross contradicts Ottawa on detainees
Post by: GAP on March 08, 2007, 08:33:36
Red Cross contradicts Ottawa on detainees
Aid agency confirms it does not monitor Canada-Afghan deal on prisoner treatment
PAUL KORING From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070308.wdetainees07/BNStory/National/home)

WASHINGTON — The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed Wednesday that it has no role in monitoring the Canada-Afghanistan detainee-transfer agreement, in direct contradiction to assurances Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor has made to the House of Commons.

The Red Cross also said that it would never divulge to Ottawa any abuses it might identify in Afghan prisons.

“We were informed of the agreement, but we are not a party to it and we are not monitoring the implementation of it,” Simon Schorno, a spokesman for the ICRC, said in an interview.

In his most explicit statement to the House of Commons on May 31, Mr. O'Connor said: “The Red Cross or the Red Crescent is responsible to supervise their treatment once the prisoners are in the hands of the Afghan authorities. If there is something wrong with their treatment, the Red Cross or Red Crescent would inform us and we would take action.”
More on link
Title: Re: Red Cross contradicts Ottawa on detainees
Post by: GAP on March 08, 2007, 08:38:23
What I think is very relevant here is this quote in the article

Quote
Mr. Schorno said the ICRC has no arrangement with Canada to visit detainees in the custody of Canadian Forces and has never done so. It has no complaints or any other conclusions about Canadian treatment of detainees because it has no arrangement with Canada. Mr. Schorno said the Red Cross has never inspected any Canadian cells in Afghanistan. “The ICRC doesn't visit detainees in Canadian detention,” he said.

The Red Cross is right they don't inspect Canadian prisoner cells, because we turn all of the individuals over to the Afghans...There's a lot of word games going on here
Title: Re: Red Cross contradicts Ottawa on detainees
Post by: niner domestic on March 08, 2007, 08:59:36
Yes Gap, you are on the money with the word game.  I think a more telling quotation is from Kellenberger,  “Canada is scrupulous about notifying the Red Cross when it takes prisoners and hands them over.”

In my humble opinion, this whole paper witch hunt by Koring, Attaran and BBCLA has always been about money, prestige in the way of awards and research grants and CV padding.  It has little to do with the plight of a captured TB agent and as I have often asked these groups, pick one...either the rights of the TB agent upon capture or the rights of a female school teacher wanting to teach in a province of Afghanistan.  I have yet to see a court case/inquiry launched by these groups for the rights of the school teacher.  They conveniently left that up to the NATO troops to secure.   
Title: Re: Red Cross contradicts Ottawa on detainees
Post by: geo on March 08, 2007, 09:52:59
+1  9D
Title: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: GAP on March 09, 2007, 09:54:03
O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Defence Minister acknowledges Canada is not informed on the treatment and transfer of detainees it apprehends in Afghanistan
ALEX DOBROTA Globe and Mail Update
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070308.wdetainees0308/BNStory/National/?cid=al_gam_nletter_newsUp)

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor, in an about-face from earlier comments, acknowledged Thursday that the International Committee of the Red Cross does not inform Canada of the treatment of detainees captured by Canadian troops and transferred to Afghan authorities.

In a terse statement released to The Globe and Mail Thursday evening, Mr. O'Connor said: "It was my understanding that the ICRC could share information concerning detainee treatment with Canada.

"I have recently learned that they would, in fact, provide this information to the detaining nation, in this case Afghanistan."

Those comments contradict several assurances Mr. O'Connor made in the House of Commons. In May, Mr. O'Connor told MPs that the Red Cross would report any detainee abuse to Canadian authorities.
More on link
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: milnews.ca on March 09, 2007, 10:01:21
In a terse statement released to The Globe and Mail Thursday evening, Mr. O'Connor said: "It was my understanding that the ICRC could share information concerning detainee treatment with Canada.  "I have recently learned that they would, in fact, provide this information to the detaining nation, in this case Afghanistan."

Here is the statement, to let you judge just how "terse" (adj., crisp: brief and to the point; effectively cut short; "a crisp retort"; "a response so curt as to be almost rude") the statement was:

Statement by the Minister of National Defence
News release NR-07.013, 8 Mar 07
Statement (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=2217)

OTTAWA - I would like to respond to the article in the Globe & Mail of March 8 entitled “Red Cross contradicts Ottawa on detainees”

At the outset, I would like to clarify one point. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has indeed carried out several visits to detainees in temporary Canadian custody in Kandahar. This is consistent with Canada's commitment to cooperate with the ICRC in fulfilling its mandated responsibilities under international humanitarian law to monitor conditions of detention.

On December 18, 2005, the previous Liberal government signed an arrangement with the Government of Afghanistan regarding the transfer of detainees from the Canadian Forces to the Afghan authorities. As per this arrangement, we continue to transfer all persons detained by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan to Afghan authorities, and to notify the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The article makes reference to comments that I made in the House of Commons last May. It was my understanding that the ICRC could share information concerning detainee treatment with Canada. I have recently learned that they would in fact provide this information to the detaining nation, in this case Afghanistan.

That said, Canadian officials maintain an open and constructive dialogue regarding detainee issues in Afghanistan with the ICRC, in Ottawa, Geneva and in the field. Canada strongly supports the role of the ICRC, one of its most valued partners, in the promotion of international humanitarian law and in its mandate regarding the protection of detainees. ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger, during his visit to Canada in September 2006, underscored this fact when he expressed his appreciation for the excellent cooperation between the ICRC and Canada.

With respect to the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), while there is no requirement mandating additional notification under international law, Canada has chosen to enter into an arrangement in support of the AIHRC's constitutional mandate to monitor the overall situation of human rights in Afghanistan.

This will also provide an additional avenue for Afghans to obtain information on the whereabouts of their relatives, if they are believed to have been detained. The AIHRC is appreciative of this measure.

Gordon O’Connor
The Minister of National Defence

-30-
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: Rider Pride on March 09, 2007, 10:09:08
Media mountain building.
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: geo on March 09, 2007, 10:32:49
and people wonder why the capable and competent people of the country think & pass on the prospect of running for office.... it's not worth it!  Media hatchet jobs!
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: E.R. Campbell on March 09, 2007, 10:54:15
Media mountain building.

It is that, but: whether through ignorance or idleness O’Connor misled the House.  That’s a mortal sin for a minister of the crown.

The minister has only two real responsibilities:

•   To represent (protect, promote)his/her department’s programme in cabinet and cabinet committees; and

•   To be politically accountable for the department in parliament – and, indirectly, therefore, to Canadians.

The doctrine of ministerial responsibility has changed and is still changing in Westminster style parliamentary democracies.  We are all falling into line with our American cousins where the system of checks and balances requires a high degree of political oversight of the judiciary, the (upper levels of the ) bureaucracy and the military.  It is, now, quite normal for formerly ‘faceless’ and ‘fireproof’ civil servants to be grilled by parliamentary committees – just as they are in the US by congressional committees.  This is, probably, good and proper because Canadian senior officials have been political almost from the get go.  Diefenbaker, Pearson, Clark, Trudeau, Mulroney, Chrétien and Harper all ‘shook up’ the top levels of the civil service because, in some measure, they doubted the political neutrality or policy bent of the most senior officials.

We now accept that ministers should not resign over every glitch in the administration of their department because ministers cannot – and ought not to be expected to – micromanage every aspect of their portfolio; that’s why officials exist and officials ought to be accountable to someone beyond the Auditor General – although the power of that office is great.  The pendulum of accountability swung too far one way during Mulroney’s administration and waaaay too far the other in the Chrétien regime.  Ministers ought not to fall on their swords every time a lazy, ignorant press corps gets its collective knickers in a knot, but ministers, despite M. Chrétien’s protestations to the contrary, are not paragons of virtue either.

One thing which has not changed, however, is that ministers are expected to tell parliament the truth – not necessarily the whole truth but no untruths.  O’Connor has failed – more than once.

It appears to me that O’Connor is lazy.  I know he’s not a stupid man or a careless one – once briefed he usually had a firm grip on a subject.  I think he had fewer briefings than many other ministers thought necessary – and perhaps in less depth, too.  Perhaps he thought/thinks he is protected by his knowledge, perhaps he’s just getting too old for long, detailed briefings on subject that might seem like administrivia.  For whatever reason he appears to me to be just about the least informed minister in parliament – maybe for a very long time.

However, all is not black: he has done well at the cabinet table and in front of the all-important cabinet Priorities and Planning Committee (I think the Tories still call it that) where the key political decisions re: defence spending and policy are made.

The media has been out to get O’Connor from Day 1.  He’s not a nice, warm friendly sort and, worse, he has played media favourites, according to rumours I heard back in Ottawa last year.  The media went after him, hard, over the unfounded non-story that O’Connor was a lobbyist; they’re at it again.  This time it might stick.  He may have to go.

I don’t think Prime Minister Harper knows, thinks or cares much about defence policy and the Canadian Forces.  He is, I think focused on one, key, big foreign policy issue: Restoring Canada to Leadership Status in the world community.  Our defence policy, our mission in Afghanistan, and our military people are tools which he will use to accomplish that important goal.  Personally, I think that’s how prime ministers ought to think and operate.  Canada is not about the Canadian Forces – we (you, actually, except when I manage to stay awake at a regimental dinner night) are tools, our job, our raison d’être is to give Canadian governments options to protect and promote Canada's interests in the world.  Prime Minister Harper has, again and again, defined our vital interests as including a leadership role and he has, also more than once, noted that the sacrifices Canadian military members make – including the supreme sacrifice - is part of the price Canada pays for that leadership role.  I will not be surprised if, despite his services to Canada, DND and the Conservative Party, Harper dumps O’Connor as a political liability.
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: GAP on March 09, 2007, 11:27:52
Not before the next election
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: Hebridean on March 09, 2007, 11:37:43
Let's have better follow-up of the captured enemy?
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: Colin P on March 09, 2007, 11:46:43
Of course the Liberals are all too aware of the details of the agreement as they negotiated it! Better send a letter to the papers reminding them who made this deal.  :rage:
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: Hebridean on March 09, 2007, 11:52:47
ut the conservatives are in power in now.  The are aware of the situation.  We can't keep blaming the Liberals they have not been in power for over a year :)
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: Colin P on March 09, 2007, 12:28:36
The deal was signed in 2005 under the care and direction of the Liberals and carried on by the CPC, O'Conner can be blamed for a sloppy staff that didn't brief him on the details. but any short-comings with the deal are the direct result of the Liberal party policies.
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: Hebridean on March 09, 2007, 12:36:20
                  I guess. Cats out of the bag now, though.  I don't think the Liberals or the DND staff were aware at the time of how may prisoners the CF would be capturing.  I hope O'Connor makes it a priority though.
Title: Re: O'Connor issues about-face on detainees
Post by: MarkOttawa on March 09, 2007, 16:58:38
I'm afraid I agree with E.R. Campbell; the CDS may also bear some responsibility.  A post at The Torch:

Afghan prisoners: Prof. Attaran's agenda/Minister O'Connor
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/03/afghan-prisoners-prof-attarans.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: O'Connor to meet with Afghan rights commission
Post by: GAP on March 11, 2007, 13:05:01
O'Connor to meet with Afghan rights commission
Updated Sun. Mar. 11 2007 11:48 AM ET CTV.ca News Staff
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070311/coaltion_taliban_070311/20070311?hub=TopStories)

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor is in Kandahar for a visit with Canadian troops and to meet with the Afghan Human Rights Commission.

Earlier this month, Canada finalized a deal with the commission to monitor the treatement of Taliban detainees handed over to the government of Afghanistan.

The cooperative effort came just days after news broke that three Afghan prisoners who are considered key witnesses in a probe into allegations of abuse by Canadian soldiers disappeared.

The disappearance evoked strong criticism of Canada's prisoner handover agreement.

O'Connor was also criticized for claiming that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) monitored the treatment of the detainees and that they would report back to Canadian officials if anything was wrong.

The ICRC denied the claims saying they would never tell Ottawa about any abuses.

Simon Schorno, a spokesman for the ICRC, told The Globe and Mail that the ICRC can only make known its assessments or interventions to the government whose facilities it is visiting. Under its own charter, the ICRC is not allowed to disclose findings to third parties.

Operation Achilles  

Coalition forces involved in Operation Achilles are slowly making progress against the Taliban in Afghanistan, a NATO spokesman said Sunday.

Squadron Leader Dave Marsh said British commandos backed by NATO air strikes have taken out Taliban strongholds south of Lashkargah -- in the northern Helmand province.
More on link

Title: Re: O'Connor to meet with Afghan rights commission
Post by: GAP on March 12, 2007, 09:44:27
An update

O'Connor meets with Afghan rights commission
Updated Mon. Mar. 12 2007 6:51 AM ET CTV.ca News Staff
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070311/coaltion_taliban_070312/20070312?hub=TopStories)

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor met with the head of the Afghan Human Rights Commission on Monday in an attempt to defuse a controversy over the treatment of battlefield detainees.

"He has even gone to an Afghan prison today to personally see the conditions that some of the detainees would be put in," said CTV's Tom Clark in Afghanistan.


O'Connor also held extensive meetings with Canadian staff in an effort to fully understand how the prisoner transfer process works, said Clark.

Meanwhile, Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier made a surprise visit to Kandahar on Monday and will join up with O'Connor.

The pair will tour the frontlines of Canada's mission in the region, said Clark.

Earlier this month, Canada finalized a deal with the Afghanistan Human Rights Commission to monitor the treatment of Taliban detainees handed over by Canadian troops to the government of Afghanistan.

"I want to look the man in the eyes and I want to be confirmed that they are going to do what they say they are going to do," O'Connor said Sunday of his meeting with the commission head in Kandahar. "I just want an assurance from him that they will monitor and inform us of any abuses."

The co-operative effort was announced just days after news broke that three Afghan prisoners who are considered key witnesses in a probe into allegations of abuse by Canadian soldiers disappeared.

The disappearance evoked strong criticism of Canada's prisoner handover agreement.
More on link

Title: Re: O'Connor to meet with Afghan rights commission
Post by: GAP on March 13, 2007, 14:02:34
Another update

O'Connor to meet with Afghan human rights leader
Updated Tue. Mar. 13 2007 6:53 AM ET Canadian Press
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070313/oconnor_detainees_070313/20070313?hub=World)

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor has set up a new meeting with an Afghan human rights leader to discuss Canada's detainee policy.

O'Connor is to meet with Abdul Noorzai of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission on Wednesday at the NATO base in Kandahar.

The two men were supposed to hold discussions Monday in Kandahar city but the meeting was cancelled at the last moment.

Canada has signed an agreement with the commission to monitor the treatment of Taliban prisoners that are handed over to the Afghan government.

O'Connor has said he wants Noorzai's group to ensure it's capable of the job, which would include reporting on any prisoner abuse.

The minister has been criticized over Canada's policy on the handing over of detainees.
More on link
Title: Re: O'Connor to meet with Afghan rights commission
Post by: GAP on March 14, 2007, 10:02:36
The Meeting happens

O'Connor meets with human rights group director
Updated Wed. Mar. 14 2007 7:57 AM ET CTV.ca News Staff
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070314/oconnor_rights_070314/20070314?hub=TopStories)

After meeting with the head of an Afghan human rights commission charged with monitoring the fate of Afghan detainees handed to local authorities, Canada's defence minister says he's reasonably confident the group is up to the task.

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor met Wednesday with Abdul Noorzai, the regional director of the Afghanistan Human Rights Commission at a holding centre at the Kandahar base.

O'Connor, who arrived in Afghanistan on the weekend, was reportedly supposed to meet with Noorzai on Monday, but the meeting was cancelled without explanation about an hour before it was supposed to take place.

Noorzai did not speak to media representatives after the meeting, but he has said the commission has limited resources and faces challenges such as security concerns and a small staff. He also said his inspectors sometimes have trouble actually getting into prison facilities.

After the Wednesday meeting, O'Connor said Canada will work with the commission to assist in transporting prisoners and ensuring the group has access to them while they are under detention.

"The minister did say he will give the human rights commission resources, some help to be able to go out and follow prisoners who are taken by Canadian soldiers when they are handed over to the Afghans," said CTV's Paul Workman, reporting from Kandahar.

"And that's really the worry here, Canada just doesn't know what happens to these prisoners after they are handed over," Workman told CTV's Canada AM.

Canada's prisoner handover agreement, signed in 2005, does not include provisions for the Canadians to monitor the treatment of detainees after they are handed over.
More on link
Title: Re: O'Connor to meet with Afghan rights commission
Post by: GAP on March 15, 2007, 09:54:59
Prisoner transferred to Afghans vanished
Disappearance calls into question pact struck with ANA for handling detainees
GLORIA GALLOWAY From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070315.wdetainees15/BNStory/Afghanistan/?cid=al_gam_nletter_newsUp)

OTTAWA — A Taliban fighter captured by Canadians last summer went missing within hours of being placed in Afghan custody.

The disappearance, recorded in documents forwarded to The Globe and Mail, underlines the pitfalls in the controversial agreement — signed between Canada and Afghanistan in 2005 — to turn over Taliban prisoners to Afghan authorities.

During and after a frenzied battle in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province that left one young Canadian dead and three others wounded, Canadian soldiers claimed six prisoners, the documents show.

One of the captured men was sent by helicopter to a military hospital at the Kandahar Air Field (KAF), where soldiers hoped to question him after his recovery. He died from his injuries three days later, his identity still unknown.

More on link
Title: DND doubts watchdog's role in Afghan abuse probe
Post by: GAP on March 16, 2007, 07:56:55
DND doubts watchdog's role in Afghan abuse probe
OLIVER MOORE From Friday's Globe and Mail
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070316.wxdetainees16/BNStory/Afghanistan/home)

The Department of National Defence says it doesn't believe a military watchdog has jurisdiction to look into a complaint about the handover of prisoners in Afghanistan.

The dispute may end up in a court showdown between DND and the Military Police Complaints Commission. If DND refuses to co-operate in its investigation, the commission says, it may be forced to hold public hearings.

In a letter, DND says it is set to seek a judicial review, but has given chairman Peter Tinsley until Monday to explain why the commission accepted the complaint from two civil-liberties groups.

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and Amnesty International Canada lodged the complaint last month, arguing military police are typically the last Canadians to have custody of prisoners before they are given over to Afghan authorities. The groups said troops handed prisoners over to Afghan authorities, even though they should have known Afghan police and the security directorate "routinely tortures prisoners."

More on link
Title: Re: DND doubts watchdog's role in Afghan abuse probe
Post by: Yrys on March 16, 2007, 08:17:02
I was just wondering the same thing about people asking
the Army to explain itself about the transfer. Laws goes with territory,
i.e. Canadian laws applied to Canada, Afghan laws to Afghanistan .

I understand that some Canadians might question the usage overt there,
but isn't not under Canadian laws ?
Title: Re: DND doubts watchdog's role in Afghan abuse probe
Post by: Babbling Brooks on March 16, 2007, 13:20:29
I'm no lawyer, but I'm wondering what the good Colonel and his fellow JAG officers are thinking with this move?  I've put up a post at The Torch about this:

http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/03/what-are-they-thinking.html

It seems to me that the MPCC has the "letter of the law" mandate to conduct such an investigation, even if it is stretching the intent of the Committee's scope.  It's a backdoor way to attack the policy, by attacking the front-line MP's who are executing the detainee transfer agreement, but I don't see how DND can stop it.

In fact, I don't see why they'd want to even try.  Even if the JAG's office gets its way and the MPCC investigation into the detainee transfer issue is shut down - which is a long shot, IMO - it's not going to make the issue go away entirely.  The attack on the policy will still be prosecuted in the press, and with more vigour than ever because of a perception that they're now "fighting The Man!" and "speaking truth to power."

In other words, even if the JAG lawyers win this battle, they'll be hurting the CF's overall PR war.  Unless I'm missing something...
Title: Re: DND doubts watchdog's role in Afghan abuse probe
Post by: garb811 on March 16, 2007, 16:03:39
In other words, even if the JAG lawyers win this battle, they'll be hurting the CF's overall PR war.  Unless I'm missing something...
While I generally agree with your writing, on this issue you're missing quite a bit, some of which I articulated in the thread CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,57191.msg524132.html#msg524132).  The crux of the matter is that the MPCC was created with a very specific and extremely limited mandate; to investigate complaints related to the conduct of Military Police personnel conducting Policing Duties and MP complaints of interference and obstruction from the Chain of Command, period.  The Complaints About the Conduct of Military Police Regulations (http://www.mpcc-cppm.gc.ca/100/151_e.aspx#ComingIntoForce) further reinforce this point by specifically excluding certain categories of activity:
Quote
(2) For greater certainty, a duty or function performed by a member of the military police that relates to administration, training, or military operations that result from established military custom or practice, is not a policing duty or function.
In this specific instance, it is my belief that the custodial duties being performed by MP were Detention Operations as defined in established Canadian doctrine, NOT Policing Operations. 

While to you this may seem to be a senseless PR battle, it is not.  While I won’t deign to comment on the broader issues being put forth by JAG, for MPs this will have a very serious bearing on how we will conduct our duties domestically and on Ops.  What’s next, MPs being investigated for an excessive Use of Force complaint submitted by Amnesty International when they engaged the enemy while following ROE on Ops because in the MPCC's opinion, application of force is a policing duty?  Now suddenly the MPCC is investigating not only the MP but also the ROE issued for the Mission?  What about if we transfer a civilian we arrested to the RCMP (as we are unable to hold civilians in cells in Canada) and that person subsequently dies in cells?  Is the MPCC going to launch an investigation because Human Rights Watch complains we should have known the person stood the possiblity of dying in RCMP custody given the number of persons who have done so in the last 10 years?  Suddenly the MPCC is not only investigating the MP who did the transfer but also the RCMP?  What about the fact that MP Jr NCOs are likely the ONLY ones who will be subjects in this inquiry as they are probably the only ones who actually physically conducted the transfers?  Might as well give the press another Somalia analogy to push...scapegoats anyone?

Although it may look bad in the press at the moment, silent acquiescence to this is not in the best interest of the CF or the personnel involved.  Kudos to the JAG for taking a stand and moving against this disgraceful attempt by the MPCC to broaden its mandate and public profile on such spurious grounds.
Title: Re: DND doubts watchdog's role in Afghan abuse probe
Post by: Babbling Brooks on March 16, 2007, 17:32:05
MP 00161, I agree with you that the MPCC are overstepping the intent of their mandate, which I tried to articulate in my post.  I'm just not convinced they're overstepping the letter of their mandate.  In other words, I don't think this challenge is going to work.

You may have a point as far as detention as part of a military operation versus custody as part of a policing function, but I don't know that I'd want to bet the PR farm on that argument in front of a civilian judge.

As far as the chilling effect on MP conduct going forward, I can see where you're coming from.  The ROE of the mission is exactly what's under the microscope here, which is why I think it's a backdoor way to attack it - drag the MP's through the mud in order to criticize their orders.  I'm still not sure that an attack from within DND on a public agency created to be a watchdog on a subsection of DND is the best way to push back, though.

I'll link back to this discussion from the blog so that folks can see your perspective on the whole thing.  Thanks for laying the argument out.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: garb811 on March 17, 2007, 09:09:17
Thanks for linking back to this thread, it saved me having to type in two places.   ;)

I doubt it will be possible to “de-link” the prisoner transfer agreement from the actual actions of the individual MPs, unless there is an “opt out in case of suspected torture” clause which could have been invoked.  If the "de-link" can't happen, I believe the only possible course of action the MPCC has in this specific complaint is to investigate and rule on the legality of the prisoner transfer agreement in order to determine the legality of the MP actions.  This is clearly not within the mandate of the MPCC in any way, shape or form as the negotiation, signing and continuance of the agreement is not within the purview of MP personnel.

Fortunately one of the roles of the courts is to interpret laws and regulations when there is a dispute as to what the intent of the law or regulation actually is.  In the past, the courts have erred on the side of caution in relation to granting authority beyond that intended by the drafters of the legislation, (see R vs Nolan  (http://scc.lexum.umontreal.ca/en/1987/1987rcs1-1212/1987rcs1-1212.html) for how the SCC carefully limited the mandate of MP to avoid creating an “uber police force” with cross-Canada jurisdiction and greater powers of arrest than any civilian agency) and I have full confidence that the courts will again rule in a manner which clearly disallows the MPCC from going beyond the intent of why it was created.

The Federal Government has to take action in this instance, if they do not precedent will be set and suddenly the MPCC will be in the position to investigate all manner of Federal treaties, agreements and legislation via the pretence of investigating complaints of MP conduct.  Although it is JAG who is the public face of this, you can bet that many OGD legal advisors are in on the action in the background…
Title: O’Connor can’t be that blind
Post by: GAP on March 19, 2007, 09:46:17
O’Connor can’t be that blind
By SCOTT TAYLOR On Target
Article Link (http://thechronicleherald.ca/Opinion/565507.html)

OVER THE PAST few weeks, Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor has been facing an increasing barrage of questions concerning the Canadian military’s handling of Afghan detainees.

Initially, O’Connor had deflected the responsibility for the continued monitoring of apprehended Taliban suspects to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

We were told that prisoners captured by Canadian soldiers were transferred to Afghan security forces at the earliest possible opportunity and from that point forward, the Red Cross would ensure the physical well-being and oversee the legal proceedings of the accused Afghans and inform Canada of any wrongdoing.

This all sounded well and good until the Red Cross publicly contradicted O’Connor by saying that its agency has traditionally not informed third parties, such as the Canadian government, once detainees were in the possession of another government.

When it became obvious that Canadian officials were not quite sure what happened to Afghan prisoners after our forces relinquished control, O’Connor flew to Kandahar to sort matters out for himself.

The purpose of the hastily organized unannounced visit to Afghanistan was so that O’Connor could meet face-to-face with the head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Abdul Qadar Noorzai. It is now Noorzai’s organization the Canadian government will trust to ensure that any abuses inflicted upon our ex-prisoners will be dealt with by the Afghan authorities.

However, by their own admission, the commission has limited resources, little clout with the local police and only eight staff members to monitor Afghanistan’s southern provinces. For example, it was noted the commission have no access to Uruzgan, north of Kandahar province, because it is too dangerous to visit.
More on link

Title: Re: O’Connor can’t be that blind
Post by: Quag on March 19, 2007, 11:23:20
At least Mr. O'Connor was proactive in remedying the problem.  I wasn't sure just how the outcome of this mix up would be, however I think that the action Mr. O'Connor did makes it harder for the media to bash him and the CF.  Key word: Harder...
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Colin P on March 19, 2007, 12:12:59
Funny thing as soon as the media announced that the AI was involved in taking Canada to court about the prisoners, all of the AI fundraisers disappeared off of the street here, now that it’s quieted down they are back. Just had a discussion with one, asked them what AI solution to the problem was…

He said we should treat them as POW and hold them. I said since most insurgencies last 10-15 years, Canada is supposed to hold prisoners for that amount of time until a peace treaty is signed????

Then he babbled about the US and Gitmo bay saying they had put 800 people there, I asked him how many they had released, 400 he admitted, he then went on about them not getting a fair trial, I mentioned that POW’s aren’t supposed to be tried unless accused of a war crime….he started babbling and I left.
Title: Re: O’Connor can’t be that blind
Post by: ArmyVern on March 19, 2007, 12:34:04
Yes indeed. Yes it's quite interesting that:

Quote
This all sounded well and good until the Red Cross publicly contradicted O’Connor by saying that its agency has traditionally not informed third parties, such as the Canadian government, once detainees were in the possession of another government.


Now that the Red Cross has admitted that it's agency has traditionally NOT informed third parties or the Canadian Government as to detainee status of prisoners; that the media can spin-cycle this into an O'Connor/CF shortfall and problem.

Fact of the matter is: Prisoners are handed over to local authorities. The Red Cross then becomes involved. As per tradition...the Red Cross is not under any obligation to inform a third party (Canada in this instance) who no longer have any jurisdiction/authority over that prisoner.

The Red Cross would be obligated to deal with the Nation holding the prisoner (Afghanistan) and the Nation from where the prisoner originates. Period. Anyone else is a third party...and is no longer involved in the process. Unless the prisoner is a CANADIAN...our government is not involved after that transfer has occured. Nor is any other nation who has handed over prisoners. The CF has handed the prisoners over to HN authorities, and has acted IAW the Geneva Conventions. The Red Cross is involved from that time and their duty/obligation to inform ends at the HN and the birth/nationality nation of that prisoner.

What is the problem here?? Why is this being made out to be a Canadian Government problem?

Title: Re: O’Connor can’t be that blind
Post by: Yrys on March 19, 2007, 12:52:04
What is the problem here?? Why is this being made out to be a Canadian Government problem?

I think most Canadians don't realise that our laws don't applied there, they only applied in Canadians territory.
And for some of them, since the CF is handling the prisoners, they think they should thread them humanly, by
Canadians standard and not hand them to the Afghan. They react emotionally, and not rationally.

( I spell check : )
Title: Re: O’Connor can’t be that blind
Post by: scoutfinch on March 19, 2007, 13:06:45
Yrys:

Please provide the basis for your opinion vis a vis Afghan emotional vs rational treatment of prisoners.  Some might argue that treating them humanely is pandering to emotion whereas a rationale approach would extract the information required from them without consideration of touchy feely human rights.

Be careful of the application of stereotypes when uninformed.  It serves no purpose.
Title: Re: O'Connor to meet with Afghan rights commission
Post by: GAP on March 19, 2007, 15:10:50
O'Connor apologizes for detainee statements
Updated Mon. Mar. 19 2007 1:58 PM ET CTV.ca News Staff
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070319/oconnor_detainees_070319/20070319?hub=TopStories)

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor has formally apologized in the House of Commons for inaccurate comments he made about the monitoring of detainees handed over to the Afghanistan government.

O'Connor has received heavy criticism for wrongly claiming that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) observed detainees under the conditions of the prisoner handover agreement and that they would report back to Canadian officials if anything was wrong.

"I fully and without reservation apologize to the House for providing inaccurate information to members," O'Connor said Monday in Parliament. "I regret any confusion that may have resulted from these statements.

"The answers I gave were provided in good faith. I take full responsibility and do so without hesitation."

O'Connor also tabled letters to correct information he and other DND officials provided to the House of Commons.

In a report by The Globe and Mail earlier this month, the ICRC denied O'Connor's initial claims saying they were not responsible for monitoring the Canada-Afghanistan detainee-transfer agreement.

The ICRC said they only report findings to the country that is holding the detainees.

O'Connor made it clear Monday that he understood saying the "International Committee of the Red Cross is under no obligation to share information with Canada on the treatment of detainees transferred by Canada to the Afghan authorities."

The apology corrects numerous statements he made in the past, including one to the House on May 31, 2006:

"The Red Cross or the Red Crescent is responsible to supervise their treatment once the prisoners are in the hands of the Afghan authorities. If there is something wrong with their treatment, the Red Cross or Red Crescent would inform us and we would take action."
More on link
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Gnr_Harrison on March 20, 2007, 16:53:50
I watch a news clip on the internet about O'Connor being attack in the house of commons about the AFG Prisoner.. But like said earlier no one is talking about what would happen to a CF member if they were to fall in to the AFG hands.  The thing is we are giving ROE's to follow and onces the prisoner is truned over to high it is out of the CF members hands!!
Title: Re: Taliban seize town of Musa Qala; residents fear NATO reaction is imminent
Post by: Sassy on March 20, 2007, 18:07:43
Yea, the Glob and spew has a full page spread on allegations that Canadian troops have beaten detainees,not once do they mention the treatment of Western prisoners by Taliban or Iraqi insurgents.

Bravo I agree Colin.

It's a war zone, and isn't Afghanistan now a democratic country?  So it's up to that country to decide what happens to enemy combatants and criminals-isn't it? Of course the odd soldier might snap and smack a detainee, that's hardly torture.  The media is more concerned with the enemy or criminal element than they are with our soldiers' well being.  The country is run on a Tribal System, what does the media expect us to do try and run a Canadian style penal system in a country with beliefs that haven't evolved in the past hundred years.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on March 20, 2007, 18:19:00
hmph...

The press expects us to fight by following the rules of the Marquis of Queensbury


- To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a twenty-four foot ring or as near that size as practicable.
- No wrestling or hugging allowed.
- Rounds to be of three minutes duration and one minute time between rounds.
- If either man fall through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, ten seconds be allowed to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner; and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the ten seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his awart in favour of the other man.
-  man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.
No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.
- Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee (is) to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest, to that the match can be won and lost, unless the backers of the men agree to draw the stakes.
- The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new.
- Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee's satisfaction.
- A man on one knee is considered down, and if struck is entitled to the stakes.
- No shoes or boots with springs allowed.
- The contest in all other respects to be governed by the revised rules of the London Prize Ring.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Babbling Brooks on March 20, 2007, 18:32:58
Librarian, there seem to be a number of reasons some Canadians are exercised about the transfer policy.  Firstly, there's the legal aspect: Canada has signed on to treaties that forbid handing anyone over to authorities that are known to torture, and they submit that Afghanistan falls into that category.  Secondly, both the Dutch and the UK have more comprehensive agreements with the Afghan gov't that provide for follow-up with detainees they took into custody, while in an Afghan prison - so the Cdn agreement looks worse in comparison.  Thirdly, there's a concern (shared by folks I know in uniform) that this agreement sets Taliban free to go back to fighting Canadians, since the Afghan prison system is...leaky (bribes, threats, etc).

For me, the question is not whether this agreement is perfect or if it's flawed - it's undoubtedly flawed.  The question is whether any of the suggested fixes will actually work, and if they do, at what cost - not just money, but opportunity cost by taking focus away from other projects.  I've written more about it here: http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/03/choices.html

Oh, and Geo, speaking of the Marquis of Queensbury, you'll like this: http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2006/12/fair-fight-is-one-you-didnt-plan.html
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on March 20, 2007, 19:38:48
Sooo... the only way to ensure the TB are treated humanely would be to give them immigration papers and bring them over here, put them on welfare, medicare, Canada Pension, Old age security and.... because they faught the soviets in the bad old days...veterans pensions from DVA.

I don't think so!

We are allied to a democraticaly elected government.  Their standards of culture, hygene and pert much everything else are below our standards BUT, we aren't bringing over to Canada the entire population of Afghanistan..... are we?

If we don't trust our Ally then what the heck are we doing there in the 1st place?
Should we listen to these bozos and roll up our carpets and go home?
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Babbling Brooks on March 21, 2007, 11:34:15
MP 00161, from O'Connor's recent statements in the HofC, I believe JAG has been told to back off challenging the mandate of the MPCC.  From Monday's Hansard:

Quote
Mr. Michael Ignatieff (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, the role of the Red Cross is not the only issue on which the minister is misleading Canadians.

Last week we learned that the Minister of National Defence was challenging the jurisdiction of the Military Police Complaints Commission to investigate alleged abuse of detainees in Afghanistan. The minister's action contradicts the commitment made in the House, “there are three investigations going on. We are not going to interfere with those investigations”.

Why did the minister mislead the House saying he would not interfere when he is interfering?

Hon. Gordon O'Connor (Minister of National Defence, CPC): Mr. Speaker, I am not interfering in any of the ongoing investigations. There are four ongoing investigations and they will continue.

Mr. Michael Ignatieff (Etobicoke—Lakeshore, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, when the minister was questioned in this House about the investigation by the Military Police Complaints Commission, he stated, “—I do not interfere with, nor will ever interfere with, any investigative process”.

Now his department is contesting the commission's jurisdiction.

Why did the minister mislead this House by stating that he would support this investigation when he knew very well that his department was plotting to derail it?

Hon. Gordon O'Connor (Minister of National Defence, CPC): Mr. Speaker, currently four investigations are ongoing and four investigations will carry on to their conclusion, at which point we will learn whether there has been any wrongdoing or improper following of procedures. We will wait for the outcome of the four investigations.

Full post about it here: http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/03/ok-now-im-really-confused.html

This looks to me like a complete charlie foxtrot.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on March 21, 2007, 13:57:48
this sounds like grand prix wrestling at it's best / worst.... two wrestlers looking to gain advantage over the other.... something out of a "B" movie.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Gnr_Harrison on March 21, 2007, 17:49:09
Sooo... the only way to ensure the TB are treated humanely would be to give them immigration papers and bring them over here, put them on welfare, medicare, Canada Pension, Old age security and.... because they faught the soviets in the bad old days...veterans pensions from DVA.

I don't think so!

This is something that our buddy Jack Layton would love to do for them!!  Lets be happy that we have a Prime Minister that will stand behind his troops.
Title: Top military officers off base on detainee file
Post by: GAP on March 22, 2007, 09:54:03
Top military officers off base on detainee file
Minister given questionable information on safeguards for prisoners, papers show
JEFF ESAU Special to The Globe and Mail
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070322.DETAINEES22/TPStory/TPNational/Politics/?cid=al_gam_nletter_thehill)

OTTAWA -- Beleaguered Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor wasn't the only person at National Defence who was off base regarding detainee follow-up in Afghanistan. A gaggle of senior military officers and top civilian departmental officials also seem to have had it wrong, and they repeatedly drafted responses for Mr. O'Connor to deliver to Parliament, documents show.

On Monday, the minister apologized to Parliament for "providing inaccurate information" about prisoner safeguards in Afghanistan. As minister, he said, he took "full responsibility" for repeatedly asserting that the International Committee of the Red Cross would tell Canada of any detainee abuse or torture once captives were handed over to Afghan authorities.

The ICRC never tells third parties about its inspections and monitoring of prisoners, and reports back only to the government holding the captives. That principle has been central to its role for nearly 150 years and is crucial to its ability to deal confidentially with all parties to a conflict.

But according to documents entitled Advice for the Minister and made public under the access to information law, a high-level group of half a dozen senior policy, legal and parliamentary advisers told the minister to imply that the ICRC would inform Canada if detainees it handed to Afghanistan were mistreated.
More on link

Title: Re: Top military officers off base on detainee file
Post by: GAP on March 23, 2007, 08:36:27
And to further add to nonsense and confusion there's this.....

Could it be that the bureaucracy is playing fast and loose with the information it dolls out to the MND??


CIDA contradicts Ottawa on funding Afghan monitor
PAUL KORING  From Friday's Globe and Mail
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070323.wxdetainee23/BNStory/National/home)

Canada has not funded the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission for years, despite the government's insistence that it plays a vital role in safeguarding captives transferred by Canada to Afghanistan's notorious prisons.

The detainee issue has already ensnared Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor in its coils -- he was forced to apologize in the House on Monday for misleading MPs on the issue -- and now the question of funding is further complicating the Conservatives' story.

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan said Monday, that "the government of Canada has funded the Independent Human Rights Commission to the amount of $1-million."

Mr. Van Loan did not mention that the $1-million was given five years ago by the previous Liberal government.

"No new money has been issued to AIHRC by CIDA" since 2002, Greg Scott, a spokesman for the Canadian International Development Agency, said in an e-mailed reply to The Globe and Mail.

On Monday, Mr. Van Loan and Mr. O'Connor were keen to explain that the AIHRC could monitor detainees, thus meeting Canada's obligations under international law to make sure they weren't abused, tortured or killed in Afghan custody.

Mr. O'Connor had just apologized to Parliament for misleading MPs about the role of the International Committee of the Red Cross in informing Canada about the fate of transferred prisoners.

During a raucous Question Period, as Mr. Van Loan defended both Mr. O'Connor and the arrangements with the AIHRC, he made no mention that the $1-million was old money.
More on link
Title: Re: Top military officers off base on detainee file
Post by: mover1 on March 23, 2007, 08:56:33
Its all about politics. What are we supposed to do with the detainees. Ship them to Canada and let them do time in our Prisons. OR hand them over the the local government and let them deal out justice as their country sees fit.

Most of the sensationalism and perceived wrong doing is a by product of a very arrogant opposition party who think they are the only ones who have the god given right to run the country and the liberal biased media.

My personal views, and these are totally my own. If we catch them and turn them over to the locals then we also hand over the responsibility to the locals. It isn't our place to keep tabs on these guys forever. Amnesty international, the red cross and the U.N. should be there to keep an eye on everything.
All of the energy wasted in parlament over this issue could have been used for something else. Lets try to fix our own home grown detainee problem. Lets keep tabs on our pedophiles and criminals rather than some guy half a world away.
Title: Re: Top military officers off base on detainee file
Post by: Cloud Cover on March 23, 2007, 09:13:33
I wonder if GAP has hit the nail on the head. Could it be that there are quite a number of non-neutral appointees in the bureaucracy who are purposely feeding misinformation upwards to ministers, who then make public statements based on that information? 

Perhaps an investigation of the antics of bureaucrats, opposition politicians and the media who are close to the prisoner issue is in order. Something along the lines of the Somalia type of inquiry.
Title: Re: Top military officers off base on detainee file
Post by: c_canuk on March 23, 2007, 10:07:40
I think the Detainee argument is messed up anyway

the bleeding hearts want us out, because our "invasion"  ::) of Afghanistan is forcing our morals and culture on them, then they turn around and tell us we can't turn over people from Afghanistan, that have broken the laws of Afghanistan, in Afghanistan, to the law enforcement of Afghanistan, because they don't believe in how they might treat their prisoners based on their morals and culture.

Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: mover1 on March 23, 2007, 14:20:41
Or write all the parties and tell them to stop trying to win a future election and start concentrating on the here and now of running the country.
Title: Re: Top military officers off base on detainee file
Post by: Sassy on March 23, 2007, 20:11:18
I think the Detainee argument is messed up anyway

the bleeding hearts want us out, because our "invasion"  ::) of Afghanistan is forcing our morals and culture on them, then they turn around and tell us we can't turn over people from Afghanistan, that have broken the laws of Afghanistan, in Afghanistan, to the law enforcement of Afghanistan, because they don't believe in how they might treat their prisoners based on their morals and culture.



LOL I concur with every word you wrote.  Dealing with these people is like beating your  head against a brick wall, it just gets more and more painful.

Mover, again I agree with words. I would also like all parties to start concentrating on running this great country.  I would also add that I am sick and tired of the NDP and the Liberals using our troops to gain political support.  They walk over the backs over loyal  hard working individuals to gain support and votes from the very people who loath our Military and it's members.  I need to find a brick wall now.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on March 24, 2007, 12:42:44
Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.
http://digital.montrealgazette.com/epaper/viewer.aspx

Quote
A medieval justice, at first glance
CANADIAN GUARDS are working to improve conditions at the Kandahar penitentiary where Taliban are held
GRAHAM THOMSON C ANWEST NEWS S E RVI C EEDMONTON JOURNAL
SARPOZA PRISON, AFGHANI STAN – To step inside the Kandahar penitentiary that holds Taliban prisoners is to stumble backward into the Middle Ages.

This is a dark place of open-pit fires and heavy stone walls where inmates hang dried meat from hooks and grope their way by candlelight.

If you have ever toured the dungeons of an ancient English castle, then you have visited an Afghan prison.

The conditions are appalling and would, at first glance, seem to lend credence to allegations in Canada that Taliban prisoners suffer abuse at the hands of Afghan authorities.

However, these prisoners are not being singled out for special punishment. This is how prisoners live in Afghanistan, whether they staged an ambush against a NATO convoy or knifed someone in a fight.

Next door to the Taliban wing is the section holding the common criminals. The two are identical. Teenage boys live in slightly better conditions in the segregated juvenile section.

Then there is the women’s wing, which echoes with the heartbreaking sound of children. There are 22 children here, the youngest 5 months old, incarcerated with their mothers because they have nowhere else to go. This prison doesn’t know whether it’s medieval or Dickensian.

What’s just as shocking to Western sensibilities is learning women are jailed here for simply disobeying their husbands or rejecting an arranged marriage.

It is into this world that two guards from Canada’s Correctional Service have stepped, hoping to improve life not only for the prisoners but also the prison guards – their living conditions are as dreadful as those of the inmates.

This, after all, is a Third World prison.

“The conditions are terrible,” said Ric Fecteau, who is taking a 12-month leave of absence from his job as a supervisor at the Edmonton Maximum Institution to work here.

“They’re sleeping on a concrete floor with an Afghan-type mattress that needs to be replaced. The walls are crumbling and need to be replastered and rebuilt, so the actual conditions, the sanitary conditions, everything, is terrible.”

Since arriving here on Feb. 2, Fecteau and Linda Garwood-Filbert from the Stony Mountain Institute in Manitoba have laid the foundations for a training program – and have discovered a crucial aspect of life in here, the treatment of prisoners, is surprisingly enlightened.

“The relationship between the prison police and the inmates tells an entirely different story because you would see guards walking right in and having conversations with the prisoners,” Fecteau said. “Here are guards and prisoners being very polite with each other.”

They are also polite to Garwood-Filbert, the only woman allowed inside the male wings. The guards treat her with deference as they accompany her through the dank hallways where peering prisoners stand idly behind locked gates, apparently as curious about the Canadians as the Canadians are of them. There is no tension. Some inmates smile shyly.

Fecteau credits a large part of the relaxed atmosphere to Afghanistan’s complex world of inter-tribal relationships where many people – including the guards and prisoners – are related by blood, tradition or geography.

That goes for the Taliban prisoners. These are not the hardline “Tier 1 Taliban” who are shipped off to the maximum security Pul-i-Charkhi prison near Kabul. These are the low-level fighters who probably picked up a gun or fired a rocket because they needed a job and the Taliban pays well by Afghan standards – about $12 a day.

Fecteau is still finding his way around the Afghan system and acknowledges he can’t know everything that goes on in this medium-security prison, which he visits unannounced at least three times a week. But so far he has seen no evidence of abuse and has even taken a few of the prisoners aside and questioned them through his own interpreter.

“Does your family know you’re here?” he’ll ask them. “Is everything okay? Is there something you need to tell me? Are you being beaten?” The answer, he says, is: “No.”

“Some look quite insulted when I ask them if they’re getting enough to eat or if the staff are treating them well. They start looking a little irritated that you actually asked that question. Now, when you ask them about the conditions they’re perfectly willing to show you the damp floor, the mattresses, the blankets, the things that desperately need to get fixed. But at no point has any one of them ever raised that question (of abuse).”

After 26 years as a prison guard, Fecteau says he’d know pretty quickly if the prisoners were lying or if guards were trying to hide something from him. His relationship with his counterparts here certainly seems friendly and open.

“We try our best to treat everyone equally,” said Colonel Mohammed Ismail, who is eager to show off the prison. “It doesn’t matter whether they are Taliban, political prisoners or other criminals.”

As a journalist, I am not allowed to interview the Taliban prisoners. Speaking through an interpreter, Ismail says the “national security” prisoners are not fanatics and don’t cause trouble. The message from him is everybody gets along about as well as can be expected under Third World conditions.

Indeed, the life of prisoners is on par with conditions for many struggling Afghans on the outside.

The real hardship cases are the women jailed for disobeying sharia laws; they bring their children here if there’s no family to look after them.

“I don’t pretend to understand why they’re there but I have to respect that that’s part of the Afghan culture,” Garwood-Filbert said. “The more we respect the culture the better we can move forward with our issues.”

Those issues include training the guards, fixing up the prison and providing supplies as basic as flashlights for the guards and prisoners to use in the largely sunless cells. Canada will also provide money to expand the prison’s fledgling apprentice programs to teach inmates such employable skills as carpet-weaving and carpentry.

It is all part of the monumental task of helping build a working judicial system in a country with a patchwork of traditional, religious and codified laws where many people are illiterate. Developing a humane correctional system is as important to a functioning judicial system as are the police and the courts – and all are crucial to bringing Afghanistan into the 21st century.

“Right now, the system is not perceived by the people as being impeccable and impartial,” said Gavin Buchan, the main political adviser with Canada’s reconstruction team in Kandahar.

“If it was, that would significantly increase the government’s credibility.”

Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: FastEddy on March 25, 2007, 02:31:34
Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29, of the Copyright Act.
http://digital.montrealgazette.com/epaper/viewer.aspx


Like I said else where, I had a 2000 word rant written but decide just to say


                                                      "SO WHAT"
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: TCBF on March 25, 2007, 03:26:08
After Holland was liberated in 1945, did we tell the Dutch how to treat the 'collaborators'? Nope.  We stood by as they had their heads shaven - and worse.  Their business, not ours

How soon we forget.

Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: geo on March 25, 2007, 11:17:45
Like I said else where, I had a 2000 word rant written but decide just to say


                                                      "SO WHAT"

Uhhh.... Eddy - what were you planning to rant about?

This article was relatively well balanced and was quite clear that the low end taliban that are incarcerated in Afghan prisons ARE as well treated as the remainder of the prison population - that their jailers are not monsters AND that there is no widespread individual or institutionalized abuse as has been suggested by the doogooders over here.

- Were ya itchin to give me a speeding ticket or something?

Chimo!
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: FastEddy on March 26, 2007, 02:02:22
Uhhh.... Eddy - what were you planning to rant about?

This article was relatively well balanced and was quite clear that the low end taliban that are incarcerated in Afghan prisons ARE as well treated as the remainder of the prison population - that their jailers are not monsters AND that there is no widespread individual or institutionalized abuse as has been suggested by the doogooders over here.

- Were ya itchin to give me a speeding ticket or something?

Chimo!


If there was Abuse, its their Prison, its their Nationals, its their Country, its their Law & Order, I'd still say "SO WHAT". As far as the Horrific Conditions of their Prisons, again "SO WHAT".

In passing, if we are there to rebuild their County, that last things I'd be concerned about is their Prison and Criminals. (other than they are being caught and theres a place to put them).

I also understand the findings get the CF's and us off the hook. But we should have never been accused in the first place.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: proudnurse on March 26, 2007, 02:32:37
In our Soldiers efforts to ensure the prisons are of sanitary conditions, etc. Doesn't that tell us they are working hard to stabilize the country in ALL aspects? At least that is what it says to me as I read along here. It speaks volumes, as to the wonderful job that our Soldiers are doing.

~Rebecca
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: FastEddy on March 26, 2007, 03:47:53
In our Soldiers efforts to ensure the prisons are of sanitary conditions, etc. Doesn't that tell us they are working hard to stabilize the country in ALL aspects? At least that is what it says to me as I read along here. It speaks volumes, as to the wonderful job that our Soldiers are doing.

~Rebecca


Unless I read the article wrong, its two Correction Specialist types that did the inspections and will make or try to Westernize their Prisons. (ON OUR TAX DOLLAR)

Of course our Troops are doing a fine job and what they are trained for. In addition they are Good Will Ambassadors. But they are not responsible for Foreign Policy or the revaping of Afghanistan's Penal System

You can care or bleed to your Hearts content about their Prison Conditions.

But the Launchers of RPG's, IED's, Motoars at our Troops. I couldn't care a Sweet .... about their Sanitary conditions or if they have stand up to their knees in S..t.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: proudnurse on March 26, 2007, 13:13:03
Eddy,

I'm sitting here doing my best to put my thoughts into words when I write this. When it comes to IED's, RPG's, etc..... it makes my heart break every time when I hear of another Soldier being wounded or killed by cowardly acts of Terror, because that is what those attacks are.

On another note, our Troops are in my thoughts and prayers as they are working hard over there, helping the people of Afghanistan, and working hard to stabilize the country in ALL aspects.

Cheers, Rebecca

Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: FastEddy on March 26, 2007, 15:34:25
Eddy,

I'm sitting here doing my best to put my thoughts into words when I write this. When it comes to IED's, RPG's, etc..... it makes my heart break every time when I hear of another Soldier being wounded or killed by cowardly acts of Terror, because that is what those attacks are.

On another note, our Troops are in my thoughts and prayers as they are working hard over there, helping the people of Afghanistan, and working hard to stabilize the country in ALL aspects.

Cheers, Rebecca




I'm sure those are all of our sentiments.

But we were talking about Prison Reform and Conditions which probally touched the hearts of many of the DO GOODERS.

Just as a point of interest, IMO, the Article harps on the Harmony and coexistence among the Prisoners, well its just those extrem conditions and circumstances that has given them a common bond and they certainly don't want to make things any harder or worse than they are.

Cheers,
Title: Ottawa silent as time runs out for response on detainees
Post by: GAP on April 12, 2007, 10:32:26
Ottawa silent as time runs out for response on detainees  
Decision not to counter rights challenge may signal intent to make Charter argument
PAUL KORING From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070412.wxdetainee12/BNStory/National/?cid=al_gam_nletter_newsUp)

The government has allowed a court deadline to pass without challenging claims by human-rights groups that its policy of turning detainees over to Afghan security forces exposes them to torture in violation of Canada's obligations under international law and the Charter of Rights.

Amnesty International and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association filed an application in Federal Court in Ottawa this year seeking judicial review of the military's controversial policy. The 30-day period for a government response ran out Tuesday.

The two groups are now in a position to ask a federal judge to order an end to all detainee transfers. "We could apply for an injunction," Jason Gratl, BCCLA's president, said yesterday. "We haven't decided," he said, adding that he hoped Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor would act.

"A voluntary cessation of transfers is the appropriate ethical and moral thing for the government to do," Mr. Gratl said in a telephone interview. "We shouldn't have to force them."

Mr. Gratl said he still hoped the explanation for the government's decision not to file counterarguments in court was that "having nothing positive it can say," it has decided to "announce a solution rather than a defence."

But there was no hint that the government was about to comply with demands from Amnesty and the BCCLA that the Canadian Forces build a prisoner-of-war camp in Afghanistan to hold battlefield detainees rather than turn them over to Afghan secret police, who have a notorious reputation for torture and extrajudicial killings.

Both the Justice Department and the Department of National Defence declined to explain why they allowed the 30-day period to expire without making any response.
More on link

Not sure whether this is going down the course the government wants, or it is something that is going to turn around and bite their tail, but this has huge implications regarding detainees....
Title: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: Rider Pride on April 25, 2007, 03:42:45
If you were to even remotely scan a Globe and Mail newspaper this week, you will have seen screaming headlines about the treatment of Afghans prsioners in thier jail system. CTV news is giving lots of coverage to he issue as well.

I believe that this issue, along with our casualties will become the hammer that beats down the present government. Hence it is becoming a strategic issue in Canadian politics, our foriegn policy and how we are going to be able to conduct business overseas.

read for yourself, I provide the general newspaper and network links:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

http://www.ctv.ca/



Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTVglobemedia
Post by: Steenburg on April 25, 2007, 07:16:48
Hold the phone and just one rock picking minute here. I saw nothing here to say that the particular prisoners were even Taliban fighters captured by Canadian troops! It seems this particular prison has everyday Afghan accused arrested by there own police! what in the hell are the NDP and the Libs talking about! And how is this the Canadian governments fault! Afghanistan's justice system is dark ages compared to our own, well duh!!! Like that's a shocker!
I really hope that the government has people looking into this media report and points out what a general assumption the opposition is making of this news story.  war crimes the left experts say. More like everyday Justice going back many generations Afghan style. Did the reporter even witness any of these atrocities! No. The way the media has been talking I thought Id see men being kept is rat invested siting only cages. Now the prison did look bad but I think Turkish prisons are worse judging what has been shown in documentaries over the years. As for the primitive water and toilets in the prisons, yes I'm sure they are bad by Canadian standards, but I bet the homes many of the Afghan population live in would appear that way to.
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: Baden Guy on April 25, 2007, 09:03:34
For those who doubt that torture is taking place.


What Ottawa doesn't want you to know

Government was told detainees faced 'extra judicial executions, disappearances, torture and detention without trial'

http://tinyurl.com/32ujg6

Globe & Mail

By PAUL KORING 

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 – Page A1



The Harper government knew from its own officials that prisoners held by Afghan security forces faced the possibility of torture, abuse and extrajudicial killing, The Globe and Mail has learned.

But the government has eradicated every single reference to torture and abuse in prison from a heavily blacked-out version of a report prepared by Canadian diplomats in Kabul and released under an access-to-information request.

Initially, Ottawa denied the existence of the report, responding in writing that "no such report on human-rights performance in other countries exists." After complaints to the Access to Information Commissioner, it released a heavily edited version this week.

Among the sentences blacked out by the Foreign Affairs Department in the report's summary is "Extra judicial executions, disappearances, torture and detention without trial are all too common," according to full passages of the report obtained independently by The Globe.

The Foreign Affairs report, titled Afghanistan-2006; Good Governance, Democratic Development and Human Rights, was marked "CEO" for Canadian Eyes Only. It seems to remove any last vestige of doubt that the senior officials and ministers knew that torture and abuse were rife in Afghan jails.

It leaves untouched paragraphs such as those beginning "one positive development" or "there are some bright spots."

But heavy dark blocks obliterate sentences such as "the overall human rights situation in Afghanistan deteriorated in 2006."

It's not clear why such internationally agreed and obvious observations are blacked out of the Canadian report. No national-security issues seem involved, nor are there personal privacy issues, reasons often cited for excising information.

A comparison of the full text -- parts of which were obtained by The Globe -- with the edited version shows a pattern of excising negative findings with positive ones left in.

There was no explanation for blacking out observations such as "military, intelligence and police forces have been accused of involvement in arbitrary arrest, kidnapping extortion, torture and extrajudicial killing."

Although the findings aren't surprising - they echo other, and widely publicized, reports by Louise Arbour, the UN Human Rights Commissioner, the U.S. State Department, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, and various international human-rights groups - the report by Canada's own diplomats seems to undermine the government's claims that it was unaware of the fate likely faced by detainees handed over by Canadian troops to Afghan security forces.

The report raises a red flag for any government bound by the Geneva Conventions and responsible for safeguarding transferred detainees from torture and abuse.

It makes repeated dark references to the reputation and performance of Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security, or intelligence police. Most prisoners captured by Canadian troops are now turned over to the widely feared NDS, which is considered tougher but perhaps less corrupt that the Afghan National Police. "Allegations of torture and arbitrary detention by NDS officials have also been reported," the full text of the report says.

Another portion that is blacked out reads "widespread allegations of corruption and human-rights violations exist with respect to the Afghanistan National Police (ANP) and Ministry of Interior (MOI)."

Little of this is new, none of it is surprising. In March, when the U.S. State Department issued its annual report, it made clear that Afghan prisons, where Canada consigns detainees captured by its troops, were rife with torture, abuse and corruption. The report echoed equally grim assessments issued earlier by the United Nations and Afghanistan's own independent Human Rights Commission.

"Security and factional forces committed extrajudicial killings and torture," the U.S. report said. The most recent report by Ms. Arbour found: "The NSD, responsible for both civil and military intelligence, operates in relative secrecy without adequate judicial oversight and there have been reports of prolonged detention without trial, extortion, torture, and systematic due process violations."

The Globe first asked Foreign Affairs on March 7 if Canadian diplomats compiled and wrote similar reports on Afghan human-rights conditions. "No" was the answer.

On March 22, in response to an Access to Information Act request, Jeff Esau, a journalist and researcher working for The Globe, received the following response to his request for the report:

"Please be advised that Canada does not produce an annual human rights report analogous to the reports produced by, for example, the United States or the United Kingdom. Therefore no such report on human rights performance in other countries exists," wrote Jocelyne Sabourin, Director of the Access to Information division at Foreign Affairs.

An earlier access request, filed Jan. 29 by Amir Attaran, a University of Ottawa law professor, asked specifically for the human-rights report on Afghanistan and noted that Foreign Affairs had, in the past, made such reports available to non-governmental organizations.

It also noted that the report on Syria had been referenced in the report on the Maher Arar case.

It was only after the 30-day deadline for a response had long passed and Mr. Attaran complained to Information Commissioner Dan Dupuis, that the edited version was delivered this week, eradicating all reporting of torture and abuse beneath the censor's black pen.



 
 
 
 
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: geo on April 25, 2007, 09:10:06
Applying the standards of detention provided to Canadians and others (who do crimes in Canada) does not make sense.

The Afghans have a prison system.  They have a code of conduct (of sorts) and treat their prisonners accordingly.  The jails might be a throwback to what we think of as the dark ages BUT, to provide north american correctional accomodations to the TB prisonners would be giving them a standard of living that is higher than what is experienced by the general afghan population.... and THAT really does not make any sense (does it?)
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on April 25, 2007, 09:12:58
..and actually several different human-rights groups[most notably AI] accuse Canada of torture in its prison system.

Perception, perception, perception........
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: GAP on April 25, 2007, 09:37:08
..and actually several different human-rights groups[most notably AI] accuse Canada of torture in its prison system.

Perception, perception, perception........

Well of course!! The poor dears are being held against their wills, and that has to account for something!!
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: Osotogari on April 25, 2007, 10:26:30
What do you expect with the Ottowa/eastern Canada press?  They're all Libs, and they resent that the Libs aren't in power any more so they think they're on a crusade.  The Duffy show is a case in point, except for when they had Dave Rutherford on as a guest host and that will never happen again. 

Before and just about right through the last election they were all over the "hidden agenda" and "scary" coverage and now they're trying to come up with something else. 
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: geo on April 25, 2007, 10:57:46
Before and just about right through the last election they were all over the "hidden agenda" and "scary" coverage and now they're trying to come up with something else. 

And ever since, the Conservatives have been placing TV spots smearing the Liberal's fearless Leader.

Every party has their agenda
Title: Canada to get access to detainees
Post by: GAP on April 25, 2007, 19:50:54
Canada to get access to detainees
 TheStar.com - News April 25, 2007 Canadian Press
Article Link (http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/207137)

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Gordon O’Connor said today that Canada has reached an agreement with Afghan officials to check on the status of detainees.
He made the comment under intense questioning at the House of Commons foreign affairs committee today over what he knew about allegations of torture of detainees.

O’Connor said officials have negotiated a deal with the governor of Kandahar that will let them visit detainees handed over by Canadian troops.

O’Connor and Prime Minister Stephen Harper both insisted again today that they had no knowledge of any specific reports of abuse.

A newspaper report today said the Canadian embassy in Kabul warned the Conservative government last year about Afghanistan’s poor human-rights record and allegations of torture within the country’s justice system.

But Harper says that document is an annual report produced for the Foreign Affairs Department that talks about the general state of the Afghan prison system.

He acknowledged that there are “human rights challenges” in Afghanistan.
More on link
Title: Torture part of life in Afghanistan: Khan
Post by: GAP on April 25, 2007, 21:29:59
Torture part of life in Afghanistan: Khan
Updated Wed. Apr. 25 2007 4:36 PM ET Canadian Press
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070425/khan_torture_070425/20070425?hub=Politics)

OTTAWA -- Torture is just part of the grinding conditions faced daily in Afghanistan's "tribal culture," suggests Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Mideast adviser.

Wajid Khan says he doesn't support that kind of abuse, but life isn't easy in the impoverished country torn apart by almost 30 years of war. "Keep in mind it is Afghanistan we're talking about," he said Wednesday in a brief interview.

"Every day people that are living over there are living in substandard conditions."

The Conservative government is on the defensive amid reports that dozens of Afghan detainees handed over by Canadian troops were allegedly tortured by Afghan interrogators.

Khan says at least some of those prisoners might have been shot on the spot had they been detained by other parties instead of Canadian soldiers.

"They might have saved their lives, because had the other parties found them first, they would've probably shot them. These things happen in those tribal cultures.

"But I'm not supporting it. There should be no torture. It is not acceptable, and the government is doing as much as (it) can."

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor is under increasing pressure to resign after misleading MPs about the government's ability to ensure detainees aren't abused in Afghan custody.

Published reports have chronicled disturbing allegations from Afghans who say they were whipped with electric cables and beaten by Afghan interrogators before being released.
More on link
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: Osotogari on April 25, 2007, 22:11:08
Quote
And ever since, the Conservatives have been placing TV spots smearing the Liberal's fearless Leader.

Of course, but the party paid for those.  CTV, CBC, TorStar, Globe&Mail, et al were doing their bit for the Libs for free.
Title: Re: Torture part of life in Afghanistan: Khan
Post by: retiredgrunt45 on April 26, 2007, 03:44:21
So what the human rights advocates are really saying is that it's alright to shoot and kill these taliban, but its not alright to spare their lives, capture them and hand them over to the Afghanistan authorities for fear they will be tortured. If these yokels worked for me i would have fired their sorry a**** long time ago for stealing money from me, if that's the only pathetic argument they could have come up with.

Can't have it both ways people. Either you shoot them or you turn them over. And we all know what would happen if it were the latter.

I really wish these people would get their heads out of their arse and take a good hard look at where this is all taking place. Its a stones throw back to before the dark ages. These people have lived this way for a thousand years and voila just like magic you expect to go in and change the mindset of an entire culture overnight. Some of these people have never seen a westerner before we arrived.  But hey who are we to question a panel of supposedly highly educated people. But remember this yokels a PHD can't take the place of cruel hard reality. So go back to your private clubs, cognac parties and to your fantasy world, because it doesn't exist out here, especially not in a country called Afghanistan.

 Give me a break and quit stealing my air...
Title: Re: Torture part of life in Afghanistan: Khan
Post by: Baden Guy on April 26, 2007, 08:20:44
http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/207417

Who's watching the generals?
 TheStar.com - News - Who's watching the generals?
 
April 26, 2007
James Travers

OTTAWA–At the centre of the first crisis to threaten Stephen Harper's government is a failure to impose adequate civilian oversight on a military at war. Generals who considered Afghanistan prisoners merely a nuisance had unusual freedom in crafting an agreement that sacrificed safeguards for convenience.

"The military never saw the detainees as a problem," says a source with intimate knowledge of the defence department process. "They saw them as a nuisance that would blow up in the press from time to time."

The high command was half right. The treatment of prisoners captured by Canadians and handed over to the Afghan army is again exploding, this time spectacularly. But more than a passing annoyance, it's putting Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor in jeopardy and dripping acid on already frayed public support for a mission that has claimed 55 Canadian lives.

Almost as troubling for the Prime Minister are the fissures now appearing in a government tightly under his control. Official Ottawa isn't just talking, it's furiously leaking.

Drip by drip, the deepening information pool is drowning any remaining Conservative hopes of taking advantage of Liberal disarray in a spring election. More importantly, it's the source of questions the government doesn't want to answer.

The most hazardous come from a foreign affairs report warning that Afghan prisoners were at risk of abuse, torture and even murder. A heavily edited public version is more positive, but the clandestine copy raises fears for prisoner safety while suggesting that the government is either downplaying or hiding the dangers.

What's now becoming clearer is this: Politicians and civil servants allowed the military extraordinary freedom in striking a late 2005 agreement on the transfer and treatment of prisoners. Finalized in the dying days of Paul Martin's administration and signed in the frenzied run-up to the last election, the document was drafted within the defence department and signed by Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier.

Two elements warrant special attention. One is that the agreement is between the two militaries, not the two governments. The other is that the foreign affairs department – the apparent source of the leaked report – wasn't involved in any significant way.

Of the two, the first is intriguing, the second is more significant. It's symptomatic of a trend that began with Liberals, is accelerating under the Conservatives and helps explain why military concerns were more central to the agreement than human rights.

According to sources, that was so pronounced that extending Geneva Convention protection to prisoners was an afterthought inserted only at the insistence of then defence minister Bill Graham. Even so, the military priority was to dump its detainees on the Afghan army as quickly and with as little public fuss as possible and, most of all, avoid operating its own jail.

Those priorities have been preoccupations of armed forces since at least 2002 when a photograph showing Joint Task Force 2 soldiers with Afghan prisoners sparked a political firestorm. Along with putting the lie to Liberal claims that Canada had not taken prisoners, it exposed Ottawa's policy of turning them over to a U.S. administration operating notorious detention centres.

One ad-hoc defence department solution was to let Afghans operating alongside Canadian troops take control of prisoners. But suspicions about abuse and concerns over Canada's legal liabilities persuaded the Liberal government to move to a formal agreement.

But it and Conservative efforts failed to provide durable guarantees. More damaging politically, O'Connor didn't understand the agreement and earlier this year was forced to apologize to the House of Commons for misleading it about the role of the International Red Cross.

These are multifaceted issues, and the failures now inflaming parliamentary debate have more than one cause. Still, there is an identifiable pattern.

One repeating part is profound military resistance to civilian control. It's understandable – if hardly acceptable in a democracy – that soldiers don't welcome what they dismiss as amateur oversight of technical operations involving life and death.

Harper compounded that problem when he appointed as defence minister a bumbling former Cold War general and arms industry lobbyist. As well as a political embarrassment, O'Connor is proving too weak to exert much control over Hillier, who is enormously popular with the troops and, in a break with Canadian tradition, a willing and powerful political player.

Adding other layers of complexity, Harper is using the Afghanistan mission as a wedge political issue. The unforeseen result is increasingly damaging to the Prime Minister.

O'Connor's performance doesn't instil public confidence, questions linger about what the government knew, or wanted to know, about prisoner abuse and there are even more disturbing doubts about political as well as bureaucratic control over the military. A prime minister positioned far above his cabinet and party must now answer those questions and dispel those doubts if he is to control the damage of this government's first crisis.



I watched O'Connor yesterday being questioned in front of the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee. The man is in over his head politically, rigid and brittle to most aggressive questions. Meanwhile Hillier was smooth and unflappable. Even the JAG officer was comfortable answering questions and was in command of his portfolio.

Sorry but it's time for O'Connor to go. Guess it proves the old adage mentioned here that you never put a military man in charge of Defence.  :(






 
Title: Re: Torture part of life in Afghanistan: Khan
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on April 26, 2007, 09:07:04
Quote,
"The military never saw the detainees as a problem," says a source with intimate knowledge of the defence department process. "They saw them as a nuisance that would blow up in the press from time to time."
Quote,
According to sources, that was so pronounced that extending Geneva Convention protection to prisoners was an afterthought inserted only at the insistence of then defence minister Bill Graham.


Yup, the old "according to sources",..........mediaspeak for I can lie, cheat and make things up as I wish.

JT, methinks you needed a column, any column, about this *cough* story and well, since you had no one who would actually talk to you..........
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: geo on April 26, 2007, 09:14:49
Of course, but the party paid for those.  CTV, CBC, TorStar, Globe&Mail, et al were doing their bit for the Libs for free.
The press wasn't all that delicate in their handling of the Liberals... what goes around, comes around
Title: Re: Torture part of life in Afghanistan: Khan
Post by: niner domestic on April 26, 2007, 09:56:43
Ok, so yet another journalist is attempting to have their name put up for a Pulitzer for investigative journalism...(didn't realize that there was a particular category for "journalists that find those amazing hidden and secret sources").

Along with the rest of this journalist's peers are those professor's professing their expertise (it's an inside academic joke) who are also now jumping, no leaping on the band wagon and tripping over each other to get the scoop and in their case, the proverbial cash cow of a research grant.  I think what is most disappointing to me about this type of journalism and academia is that they are *all* late for the party and don't realize it. 

In 1994, two Calgary women (W4WAfghanistan) noticed what was going on in Afghanistan and tried to sound the alarms. They were ridiculed and ignored by these very journalists and academics as radical feminists - some even called them bored haus fraus.  In 1928, Afghan women were at risk as their King abdicated power over to tribal authority.  Not one western journalist raised a typewriter key over that.  In 1978, when the Communist People's Democratic Party came to power, Professors barely registered, if at all, that in their lectures on International law.  No one in the western journalism field thought that in 1980, there might be a continuing problem with the rise of the Mujahidin, it was considered a good thing as long as they dealt a blow to the Soviets.  I haven't seen any of these journalists citing from the works of Guglielmo Verdirame, Valentine M. Moghadam or the numerous reports such as the 1999 Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women- Mission to Pakistan and Afghanistan all of which were trying to address the ills of Afghanistan society. 

If they want to read about human rights abuses, let them all run off to the libraries and read the literature and scholarship from the 80s and 90s.  There are many more real sources there than JT or any other journalist could ever come up as his/their hidden sources.  Now in 2007 after they have all been late for the party, these journalists and academics are trying to catch our attention by putting a spin on their late stories to make it appear we, Canadians, are at at fault. 

I see the only award this kind of journalism is going to get is the famed Putz Prize. 

Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: jimb on April 26, 2007, 10:10:48
I have to wonder, what exactly is the individual CF guy suppossed to do with a captured Taliban fighters? Should he kill them outright, as they were just recently trying to do to him?  NO, not right, either morally, or under the Geneva convention rules.

Should he let them go? Not right either.

Should he follow orders and turn them over to the Afghans ?  Yes. Can he control what happens to them afterwards ? No.

Does he know that the Afghans have a 180 degree opposite idea about " human rights" than we do ?  Yes. Can we affect that, as a military force.? Probably not. Can  we pressure the Afghans to "clean up their act " Yes, we can, but they don't have to listen to us.

Should the CF attempt to place "monitors " in the Afghan prisons?  You tell me your thoughts on this one? Could the Red Crescent do that job of monitoring prisoner treatment ?

And finally, who is going to "set the media straight " about this topic?  In my opinion, the vast majority of the Canadian media, both in Canada, and in Afghanistan, are so off base at to be considered " defeatists " and  at the very least are putting out a very skewed version of the facts. Not all, but most.

Jim B. Toronto.
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: geo on April 26, 2007, 10:23:59
jimb...
it's one hell of a big hot potato IMHO

Am confused by what the MND was saying yesterday though... we do (or don't) have an agreement with the Afghan prisons to monitor.

The CF or someone else (definitively someone else per CDS) will have visiting rights.

Oy Vey!

Pass the Excedrin!
Title: Re: Torture part of life in Afghanistan: Khan
Post by: geo on April 26, 2007, 11:10:21
9D   +1
Title: Hillier dismisses allegations of war crimes
Post by: Technoviking on April 26, 2007, 11:35:47
From the ctv.ca website at http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070425/afghanistan_abuse_070426/20070426?hub=TopStories

Canada's top soldier says he is paying little attention to reports that two human rights professors have requested The Hague investigate the possibility he has committed war crimes.
Chief of Staff Gen. Rick Hillier and Defence Minsiter (sic) Gordon O'Connor have both been named in a 14-page letter to the International Criminal Court by Michael Byers of the University of British Columbia and William Schabas, director of the Irish Centre for Human Rights in Galway.
The professors claim "possible war crimes" have been committed by Hillier and O'Connor, resulting from the prisoner transfer agreement between Canada and Afghanistan, and have asked the ICC to investigate.
On Wednesday, controversy arose over the agreement amid reports that Canadian officials knew prisoners captured by Canadians and handed over to Afghans security forces were at risk of torture, abuse and even execution.
Later the same day, O'Connor announced a new deal had been struck to allow Canadians to monitor the prisoners after they are transferred.
Hillier said he has more important things to worry about than the new accusations against him.
"I concentrate on setting our young men and women, Canada's sons and daughters, up for success," Hillier said Thursday on CTV's Canada AM.
"I concentrate on reducing the risk to them as they execute that mission on our behalf, and they do execute it very, very well and so I just let, if you will, the theatrics of these kinds of things go on around me. I've got a job to do. I'm going to do that job," he said.
Hillier said the new agreement to check up on prisoners is a positive step forward in an ever-evolving relationship.
"I think it's just a logical reaction to some allegations that have taken place. And I think it's a good response to say, we'll just be more transparent and more clear going forward from here. I thought it was a very logical step and obviously we're ready to support," Hillier said.
The Globe and Mail revealed Wednesday that the federal government has received a report that raises alarm bells over the treatment of prisoners handed to Afghan security forces -- a document that officials first denied existed.
In the wake of the report in The Globe, Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor told a foreign affairs committee on Wednesday that officials have now struck the new deal with the governor of Kandahar that will let them visit Afghan detainees handed over by Canadian troops.
Hillier, who signed the original handover agreement in 2005, lauded the development.
He said the Canadian contingent in Afghanistan will continue to provide mentoring within the prison system in Kandahar, but experts from Corrections Canada and the RCMP will take the lead on ensuring detainees are well treated.
Canadian troops will not be directly involved in entering Afghan prisons and monitoring prisoners, however. He said the troops' responsibility ends when the detainees are handed over.
"It's very much a supportive role. We do what is necessary to help the transparency and help ensure allegations like this are not going to be part of the future because there will be eyes on, if you will. It's very much a supportive role from the soldier's perspective," Hillier said.
He pointed out that the other NATO countries working in Afghanistan, and NATO itself, have similar policies to hand detainees over to the Afghan security forces.
"All of them do it with some confidence and an increasing engagement to build the capacity of the Afghan government to be able to handle people better, set up the appropriate prison systems," Hillier said.
He also pointed out that Afghanistan has an elected government, and is responsible to ensure its prisoners are treated well. Hillier added that he is not phased by the ongoing controversy.
Allegations rejected
On Wednesday, both O'Connor and Prime Minister Stephen Harper rejected suggestions that the government intentionally buried the fact it was aware of allegations that prisoners were being abused in the hands of Afghan authorities.
Liberal Leader Stephane Dion asked Harper during question period on Wednesday why he withheld the information that he had on received the "damning report."
But Harper insisted his government received no specific reports on possible abuse of captured Taliban fighters in Afghanistan.
The prime minister said the document mentioned in the newspaper is an annual report produced for the Foreign Affairs Department that talks about the general state of the Afghan prison system.
However, he said the government has no evidence of specific allegations of abuse.
Answering a question in French, Harper conceded there are "human rights challenges'' in Afghanistan.
Title: Re: Hillier dismisses allegations of war crimes
Post by: Infantry_ on April 26, 2007, 11:51:11
War crimes, What a joke do this guys really know what they are talking about?
Title: Re: Hillier dismisses allegations of war crimes
Post by: cplcaldwell on April 26, 2007, 12:16:20
There's several things here.

All IMHO

First, CDS is quite right to say that his job is to ensure that the mission and the welfare of the troops is his primary responsibility. I watched him this morning (on NewsNet) and he was his usual straight shooting self. Whilst some may say he seemed combative (well, shyte, he's a soldier...) I think he made it quite clear that the system will deal with the issue and he will stick to his job. After all his mandate is a few feet wide and several miles deep. The broader strokes on this issue must be dealt with by the government as a whole.

I wonder how quickly DFAIT will step up to the plate on this. After all in the 'three D' scenario , is not 'development' and 'diplomacy' a DFAIT thing? Is not the development of the rule of law, civil law I mean, under those other "D's".

I fully accept that the situation has evolved and that the government has reacted appropriately. I wonder though, at a Ministry, (knowing full well that a couple of contrarian legalists and the Globe and Mail were "gnawing on a bone") that seems so intransigent.

Why could the government, knowing full well that this issue was beginning to boil, have not gotten this new agreement a week (month? year?) ago?

Finally of course, the whole issue is now on fire. No independant confirmation of these stories seem to be presented, but it won't matter. Recommending charges to an international tribune is a grandstand, but it won't matter. Even if it were a fact, what difference does it make? (30 guys got beat up by the cops in a country coming out of 35 years of civil war..come on !) the real progress is being made, but that won't matter either.

How dangerous is this whole affair to the mission?
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: jimb on April 26, 2007, 13:24:47
If i had a say in this,................which I don't. I'd prefer to see the Red Crescent doing it, if only for the optics of having a Internationally recognised Muslim aid organisation doing the monitoring. Bearin mind that "prisoners " in a Afghan jail may very well be your ordinary garden variety thief or ner do well, not just a Taliban guy. They don't get any breaks either, in their day to day treatment. But what can you expect in a backward country, that has been  ravaged by war over the past 30 years ?   



   My last thought is this....Is it just me, or does the "terrorist hand book " seem to have a page about "crying out about human rights and torture " as soon as they are caught ? Seems to be standard operating procedure, by now.  And of course, trust the media to take the word of a terrorist, over what our CF  guys might have to say about the subject.  I too feel it is time to call a "terror supporter " by their full  names. But perhaps not on this website. <grin>

Jim B.
Title: Re: Afghan prisons, politics and CTV Globemedia
Post by: Baden Guy on April 26, 2007, 13:58:24


   My last thought is this....Is it just me, or does the "terrorist hand book " seem to have a page about "crying out about human rights and torture " as soon as they are caught ? Seems to be standard operating procedure, by now.  And of course, trust the media to take the word of a terrorist, over what our CF  guys might have to say about the subject.  I too feel it is time to call a ""terror supporter"  by their full  names. But perhaps not on this website. <grin>

Jim B.

I think there has been enough information available to state that torture is taking place. The question before the public is how should the government of Canada respond.

One should use caution with such a term as ""terror supporter " and in using it in this public forum to describe a member of the media.
Title: Re: Hillier dismisses allegations of war crimes
Post by: niner domestic on April 26, 2007, 14:28:01
Just a little tidbit, a group in BC called Lawyers Against the War attempted in 2004 to petition the International courts to have President George Bush charged with war crimes.  They failed miserably. This latest attempt is striking me as a copy cat to something that has already been done. 

The credibility of these groups in my opinion, is sinking fast and these press conferences, motions, litigation are attempts to excuse themselves for being late for the party as well as perhaps secure donations, grants or funding from an international agency(ies). 

However, that said, this latest attempt to tar and feather the CDS and Min of Def, may very well prove to attract the opposite effect these groups are looking for and that is, civilian support for the mission and these leaders. 

Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF And AFG Penal System- merged
Post by: Technoviking on April 26, 2007, 14:40:41
(Sensible's note to mods)
I put the Hillier accusation of War Crimes in a different thread, because though related to the original story, it is not about the investigation of treatment of AFG prisoners, but rather an attempt by a member of Canada's so-called intelligentsia to undermine the mission on a tangent theme.
(Just so people realise that although I knew of the original thread, in my opinion, I decided to start a new one on a separate though related topic)
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF And AFG Penal System- merged
Post by: Baden Guy on April 27, 2007, 08:51:11
http://tinyurl.com/2d6lhh
Globe and Mail

O'Connor a liability to a vital mission


Friday, April 27, 2007 – Page A20


Every day that Gordon O'Connor remains Defence Minister undermines Canadian confidence in this country's important mission in Afghanistan. As that confidence suffers, so, too, does confidence in the Conservative government. Why then does Prime Minister Stephen Harper leave him in the job?

The answer is not flattering to Mr. Harper. Like U.S. President George W. Bush, he hates to be seen to waver. He will not or cannot admit mistakes. Having left Mr. O'Connor in place in a major cabinet shuffle in January, the Prime Minister is in the same position as the Woody Allen character who falls out of the balcony on opening night: He must return the next night and fall out again, lest anyone think he did so by mistake the first time.

The result is that Mr. O'Connor's job is safe, even as he stumbles into an international human-rights mess in Afghanistan. Wednesday, he did an about-face and admitted that yes, torture is bad and Canada may not be doing all it should to prevent the abuse of detainees turned over by this country's military to Afghan authorities. Better late than never, we suppose; but the deal he announced (still not written down, apparently, except perhaps on the back of a napkin) falls short in a couple of key ways.

The deal is an improvement on the current one, in which an understaffed Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (one person with two assistants, and the responsibility of covering all prisons, military and otherwise, in the south) acts as this country's eyes and ears. Instead, Canada, like the British and the Dutch, will be able to monitor the detainees itself. But the new deal, while apparently applying to a Kandahar prison run by the secret police, may not allow Canada access to other prisons overseen by that same police force.

More fundamentally, why should Canada, the Dutch and the British bear this responsibility separately? Don't the coalition forces together have more leverage than any country acting on its own? Shouldn't the North Atlantic Treaty Organization coalition lean on the Afghan government to clean up its act? Perhaps the worry is that, if NATO monitors the treatment of prisoners in detention, any torture that occurs would be a blemish on the entire force, rather than just a single country. But as things stand now, torture is not likely to abate, and the stain will likely soon spread over NATO anyway. NATO needs to hold President Hamid Karzai government's feet to the fire -- in the metaphorical sense only -- to clean up its act.

Canada's soldiers have behaved honourably and courageously. No evidence has emerged that they have tortured anyone. But while Canadian leaders cite the soldiers' accomplishments ("the change in the life of Afghan moms and dads and sons and daughters is absolutely incredible because of our great work," General Rick Hillier, chief of the Defence Staff, said on Canada AM yesterday), Mr. O'Connor's presence as the public face of the mission means support will continue to bleed away. That's a terrible shame. Mr. Harper should admit his mistake and ask Mr. O'Connor to step aside.
 
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF And AFG Penal System- merged
Post by: Brad Sallows on April 27, 2007, 12:47:42
Some people need to think it through.  Quite apart from the jurisdiction of the Afghanistan government in Afghanistan, where do objectors propose to hold detainees and how do objectors propose to resolve detainee status at the end-of-mission?  It will be a sad thing indeed if detention by Canadians becomes a ticket to a refugee claim, and even sadder once the exploit is widely known.
Title: Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF And AFG Penal System- merged
Post by: TCBF on April 27, 2007, 21:27:38
The real danger here is that the new levels of nausea regarding the treatment of detainees may sub-conciously thwart a soldiers split second decision to give some poor shmuck a lucky break.

I don't mean the guy who has is hands up or who is 'hors de combat', I mean a border-line case where the enemy was not in the process of surrendering or was hors de combat, but still was dealt with in a non-lethal manner.  You know: a buttstroke where a bayonet thrust would have been perfectly acceptable.

Nothing in the LOAC requires one to go out of ones way and accept risk in such a case.

Thus: Don't be surprised if enemy KIA goes up, and EPW goes down.

Not quite the consequences the do-gooders intended, is it?
Title: Re: Hillier dismisses allegations of war crimes
Post by: Cloud Cover on April 27, 2007, 22:25:20
Just a little tidbit, a group in BC called Lawyers Against the War attempted in 2004 to petition the International courts to have President George Bush charged with war crimes.  They failed miserably. This latest attempt is striking me as a copy cat to something that has already been done. 

The credibility of these groups in my opinion, is sinking fast and these press conferences, motions, litigation are attempts to excuse themselves for being late for the party as well as perhaps secure donations, grants or funding from an international agency(ies). 

However, that said, this latest attempt to tar and feather the CDS and Min of Def, may very well prove to attract the opposite effect these groups are looking for and that is, civilian support for the mission and these leaders. 



With each failed attempt they learn a little bit more, they figure out where they went wrong and then they try again. One day they will succeed. Notice this time they are forum shopping between the ICC and the FCC?
Title: Re: Afghanistan Debate: Why we should be there (or not) & how we should conduct the mission (or not)
Post by: gordjenkins on April 28, 2007, 08:32:26
Re -prisoner transfer :
Not as simple as that - check out Macleans -this weeks edition for background and discussion

http://www.macleans.ca/homepage/features/article.jsp?content=20070427_143457_8448

'This is really all Hillier's fault'The law professor who helped kick off the detainee debate on where Canada went wrong

Kate Lunau, Macleans.ca | Apr 27, 2007 | 2:35 pm EST

International law expert Amir Attaran has been front and centre as revelations of torture in Afghan prison cells have surfaced. Attaran filed an Access to Information Act request on Jan. 29 asking for the human-rights report on Afghanistan. He received a censored version of the report earlier this week, after the 30-day deadline for a response had passed and he had complained to Information Commissioner Dan Dupuis.
The Canada Research Chair of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa, Attaran spoke with Macleans.ca

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


"Macleans.ca: What do you think of the new deal to monitor the treatment of detainees that Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor announced this week?

Amir Attaran: Remember this agreement - deal - is limited to the NDS (Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security). It's also limited to Kandahar. If the NDS put a person in Kabul, we wouldn't have a right to inspect under the deal that has been struck.

In fact The Globe and Mail reports that people have been transferred to Kabul. And we have transferred, as recently as last year, detainees not to the NDS. We've transferred them, for example, to the Afghan National Police. We've transferred them to the Afghan National Army.

We're not giving people consistently to the NDS, so what good will it do to inspect [only] at the NDS? This is a scam.

Macleans : How far does the original agreement struck between Afghanistan and Rick Hillier go?

AA: This is really all Hillier's fault - I'm kind of pained to see O'Connor taking it in the teeth, because O'Connor is going down for what Hillier engineered. Hillier signed that agreement and placed no limitation on the rights of the Afghans to transfer persons, even abroad, even to other countries.
Title: Re: Afghanistan Debate: Why we should be there (or not) & how we should conduct the mission (or not)
Post by: Chris Pook on April 28, 2007, 13:58:45

http://www.macleans.ca/homepage/features/article.jsp?content=20070427_143457_8448

'This is really all Hillier's fault'The law professor who helped kick off the detainee debate on where Canada went wrong

Kate Lunau, Macleans.ca | Apr 27, 2007 | 2:35 pm EST

Macleans : How far does the original agreement struck between Afghanistan and Rick Hillier go?

(Amir Attaran): This is really all Hillier's fault - I'm kind of pained to see O'Connor taking it in the teeth, because O'Connor is going down for what Hillier engineered. Hillier signed that agreement and placed no limitation on the rights of the Afghans to transfer persons, even abroad, even to other countries.


Interestingly I heard the same comment made by another individual on Mike Duffy. He was excusing the Liberal Party and Bill Graham that they were too busy getting re-elected to conduct the affairs of government and the Gen. Hllier took it upon himself to act in the name of Canada.  Therefore Gen. Hillier is to blame not the missing-in-action Government of the Day.

It strikes me that Gen Rick may be the real target here.  As long as he remains as CDS, appointed by Paul Martin and supported by Bill Graham, then he remains the biggest millstone around the Liberal Party of Canada when it comes to Afghanistan.

They supported him.  He supported the mission.  They supported the mission.  He still supports the mission. They no longer support the mission.  They have changed their minds. They are inconstant/fickle/in error then/in error now.
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: Flip on April 28, 2007, 14:52:31
I read a column in the Sun today that suggested that Canadians by and large
don't really care.  I'm inclined to agree. 

The Liberals are just P.O.d about Mr Harpers' comment about the Liberals caring more for the bad guys than the good guys.  The first round went to Harper.
I wouldn't be surprised if somehow the last round on this went to Harper.

Prof. Attaran needs to be informed that a de-facto "take no prisoners" policy
could result from HIS behaviour.  If anyone was going to get labeled
"Taliban Supporter" I would limit it to Prof. Attaran and Stephan Dion.
Taliban Jack will NEVER shake that moniker. Even though he (the NDP)voted
against the 2009 deadline.  I'm still puzzled about that.

I would leave the Globe alone on this one.
The papers just do what papers do. It's like blaming the dog when he hasn't
had his walkies.

 
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MCG on April 28, 2007, 15:04:57
I'm starting to think that some academics are really just on personal crusades to crucify the CDS.

If nothing else we can see that there has been an effort to protect detainees that we hand to the Afghan government & where weaknesses are found improvements have been made.  Under the initial scheme, the ICRC was informed of handovers.  Sure they don't report back to Canada, but the ICRC does communicate with the offending nation in order to improve/rectify violations of international law.

However, Canadians wanted positive feedback that our detainees were treated humanly after we handed them over.  The Afghan Government has a mechanism of its own to look into this: a human rights commission.  It seems reasonable that establishing an agreement with this organization to monitor the detainees would meet our need of positive confirmation of humane treatment.  When that organization makes it known that it is incapable of providing that confirmation, then a new arrangement is made for Canadians to directly confirm the treatment of detainees.

Amir Attaran is concerned that we have handed detainees to various Afghan authorities in the past but that the current agreement is only with one of these organizations.  Is he assuming that we will still hand detainees to ANP & ANA (we could set a policy only to give them to the NDS)?  Is there a less confrontational way that he could have raised in concerns?

It seems that there is no honest desire to fix the problem.  There is only a desire to make an example of (read crucify) people who are more than ready to improve the situation were problems are found but who failed to get the perfect solution from the start.  The only effect initiating MPCC investigations or ICC allegations will be sour the receptiveness of the military toward the individuals raising the concerns.  It is kind of like calling the local police ERT before asking a reasonable neighbor to turn down the radio; you might have a legitimate concern but you only look like an *******.
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: milnews.ca on April 28, 2007, 18:01:38
Now, for a little something from a Corrections Canada official on the ground (highlights mine), shared with the usual disclaimer...

Progress in Afghan prison promising: PRT member
Lisa LaFlamme, CTV.ca, 27 Apr 07
Article link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070427/sarposa_feature_070427/20070427?hub=TopStories)

After three months of working inside Kandahar's Sarposa Provincial Prison, Canada's Director of Correctional Operations Linda Garwood-Filbert has learned to keep her expectations in check.

"Measuring progress on a Western level, people would probably say there isn't any, but on an Afghan level I think it's encouraging," she tells CTV News.

As members of Canada's Provincial Reconstruction Team, Garwood-Filbert and her colleagues make regular visits to Sarposa.

Their mandate is to mentor prison staff, help instil rule of law, confidence in government and improve the overall standard of both inmate treatment and the facility itself. It's a broad umbrella that covers everything from staff salaries (about US$70 a month for male correctional officers and $50 for women) to sanitation, cell conditions, and monitoring whether sentence conditions are followed.

"They understand we're not trying to take over," says Garwood-Filbert, adding they try not to push them in areas they don't want to go.

"But any time we've asked for documents, we've been able to go through their daily logs, we've been given access to every area of the prison and I get a sense that they're very sincere."

Over time, they've built a partnership, a relationship. In fact, the warden now calls her 'sister,' which in Afghan culture is a sign of respect and friendship.

Garwood-Filbert's personal passion is improving the situation for female prisoners, most of whom are incarcerated with their children. The female warden, with whom she works closely, lives right on the site.

"She is a 24-7 officer so we would like to bring in more officers. Shift work is not an Afghan concept, it's a Western concept. It might work here, it might not -- we'll only know if we try it," she says.

Lack of access to detainees became an issue this week as allegations of abuse emerged against detainees handed over by NATO soldiers, including Canadians, to Afghan authorities. The facility accused of the greatest mistreatment is the prison run by the National Directorate of Security (NDS), Afghanistan's feared intelligence police. After an initial period of detention at NDS, prisoners are often transferred to Sarposa.

Garwood-Filbert has not worked inside NDS but in her time at Sarposa, while she has heard stories, she has seen no signs of abuse with her own eyes.

She has access to prisoners but admits "we can converse with prisoners but it's not as private as I would like it to be and down the road that is something we will look at."

It is her understanding that the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) is given private access to the inmates. However in an interview with CTV News, AIHRC Commissioner Abdul Qadar Noorzai says that was not the case until Thursday of this week. "We couldn't go there but now our people can go anywhere they want, prison, NDS, and other offices."

The new promise of transparency comes following negotiations between Ottawa and Kandahar when the issue exploded in the House of Commons.

When asked what her Afghan counterparts would think of the perception in Canada that detainees are abused, Garwood-Filbert shakes her head.

"I think they would be very confused by that perception because that's certainly not how they are working, not in the prison I work in. They would want to send the message back to Canada that those situations, on the whole, are not happening," she says.

She stresses that the warden at Sarposa has even asked for human rights training and that recently she was presented with a new Inmate Constitution.

"It is very similar to something you would see in Canada," she says. The constitution deals with an inmate's right to prayer, visitors, exercise and food.

Garwood-Filbert says she is not naïve enough to think that cases of abuse don't happen but believes in the progress her team is making.

"It's a generational project, we're probably looking at 20 years but I think a good 5 years would probably show a significant impact," she says.

Also encouraging is the fact that jailers from rural districts are cycling through the city's prison in order to learn from their Canadian mentors.

'If we get it right in Sarposa, we have an ability to have an impact in the whole of Southern Afghanistan," Garwood-Filbert says.

CTV's Lisa LaFlamme conducted this interview with Canada's Director of Correctional Operations Linda Garwood-Filbert in Kandahar on April 24, 2007.


Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MarkOttawa on April 28, 2007, 18:13:04
A post by CTV's David Akin on his blog:

"Torture in Afghanistan: The Liberals knew"
http://davidakin.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/4/28/2910789.html

A Google translation of the La Presse story is here:
http://translate.google.com/translate?sourceid=navclient-ff&hl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyberpresse.ca%2Farticle%2F20070428%2FCPACTUALITES%2F704280478%2F6488%2FCPACTUALITES

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MarkOttawa on April 28, 2007, 18:22:33
A guest-post at Daimnation!:

Eddie the Ego
http://www.damianpenny.com/archived/009349.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MCG on April 28, 2007, 22:12:39
Quote
Afghan ambassador says Canada has not monitored prisoners
Juliet O'Neill, CanWest News Service
Published: Saturday, April 28, 2007

OTTAWA - Urging an end to the "political circus" over Afghan detainees, Afghanistan's ambassador to Canada says no Canadians, including corrections officers, have monitored treatment of prisoners turned over by Canadian military forces.

However, Ambassador Omar Samad said in a Global National interview that Canadian officials will soon have "unrestricted access" to prisons under an agreement currently being worked out with Canada in the wake of political uproar over alleged torture of detainees.

Samad contradicted assertions by Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day that Corrections Canada officers have been monitoring prisoner treatment - an assertion Day repeated in the Commons Friday, saying they are there "to see if there are cases of torture."

Samad said Corrections Canada officers have for many months, under their mandate to help build Afghan police capacity, had access to some prisons in Afghanistan and may have come across prisoners.

"It doesn't mean those were detention centres of people who were arrested by Canadian forces," Samad said. "So if this has created confusion, I think that we all need to take a step back and define what we're talking about and to bring some clarity to this instead of turning it into a political circus."

"From the Afghan point of view, it's clear there was no followup or monitoring of detainees caught by Canadian forces turned over to Afghans, especially to the NDS (National Directorate of Security) that took place prior to this current time."

Day came under fire in the Commons earlier, with opposition MPs saying the corrections officers, sent in February to help prison reconstruction efforts, have no mandate to monitor prisoners or enforce a Canada-Afghanistan prisoner transfer agreement.

The minister had trumpeted their role Thursday after three days of confusion and contradiction about alleged abuse of prisoners turned over by Canadian troops, access to Afghan prisons and enforcement of a Canada-Afghan prisoner transfer agreement under which the Afghan human rights commission was to monitor prisoner treatment.

Day had said Thursday that corrections staff had made 15 visits to Afghan jails. But his spokeswoman, Melissa Leclerc, had said later they have no mandate to monitor prisoner treatment.

On Friday, Day told the Commons "they are there to support the Afghan officers by training them in the work that they do in the prisons and also to ensure, to see if there are cases of torture."

After question period, deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff said Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor should be "put out of his misery" after five days of contradictions and confusion on the Afghan detainee affair.

And former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler told reporters that Canadians must be trained specifically to recognize torture and abuse if they are going to be part of a systematic monitoring system.

"You can't have a drive-by inquiry by some corrections officials who may in fact not even know that it's part of their mandate to monitor the detainees and to understand if there have been situations of torture and inhumane treatment," Cotler said.

Samad said Afghanistan will investigate "if there really have been abuses," and he said cooler heads should prevail "instead of making this more and more confusing for everyone."

He added his issue is not how Canadian politicians have handled the controversy. "My issue is how Afghanistan and my country and my government and my people are portrayed and seen through this political debate that is taking place, which in many cases is not accurate."

He said Afghanistan wants to correct any mistakes that have been made, any abuse that has taken place.

"We are serious about our obligations under international law and Afghan laws," he said.
http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=d3c60a90-cca2-4489-816c-ea3abd1b9f9f&k=67187
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MarkOttawa on April 29, 2007, 10:51:49
Is Canada's defence minister a war criminal? 
Political and military leadership has been playing fast and loose with torture, says Michael Byers
Toronto Star, April 29
http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/208200

Quote
His tormentors were the Afghan police, he said, but the Canadian soldiers who visited him between beatings had surely heard his screams."

Of the news reports last week, this is the most damning. For it suggests that Canadian soldiers have not only transferred detainees into a known risk of torture, but actively participated in the interrogations the alleged torture was intended to aid...

...any Canadian soldier who transfers a detainee into a known risk of torture could be prosecuted in the International Criminal Court. Or, because torture and complicity in torture give rise to "universal jurisdiction," they could be prosecuted in the domestic courts of any country, anywhere.

The same applies to anyone "up the chain of command" who orders a transfer into a known risk of torture, either specifically or as a matter of policy.

Last Wednesday, William Schabas and I sent a letter to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court asking him to open a preliminary examination of Gordon O'Connor, the Canadian minister of national defence, and Gen. Rick Hillier, the Canadian chief of the defence staff.

Professor Schabas, who teaches at the University of Galway in Ireland, is Canada's foremost expert on international criminal law and a recipient of the Order of Canada.

We wrote our letter because of a growing body of evidence that suggests Canada's political and military leadership has been playing fast and loose with torture.

For more than a year, O'Connor and Hillier refused to renegotiate a defence transfer arrangement that provided almost no protections for the rights of Afghan detainees or the obligations of Canadian soldiers – notwithstanding the fact that at least three other NATO countries had much better arrangements in place.

O'Connor misled the House of Commons on the role played by the International Committee of the Red Cross in overseeing detainees and has been confused – at best – about the activities and capabilities of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Now, in the face of credible reports of torture, O'Connor and Hillier have refused to order an immediate halt to any further transfers of detainees.

The refusal to stop the transfer of detainees is staggering. It suggests a complete disdain for one of civilization's most fundamental rules.

It is this possibility of a policy of war crimes, crafted by two of Canada's most senior officials, that we believe will attract the attention of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court...

while the International Criminal Court would usually defer to Canada's justice system, it will not do so if Canada "is unwilling or unable genuinely to carry out the investigation or prosecution."

In this instance, it seems doubtful that the Canadian government will investigate and prosecute itself.

The prohibition on transferring to torture matters enormously. It protects our soldiers, since their opponents will fight to the death rather than surrender if they have reason to believe they might end up being tortured. It facilitates the mission, for protecting human rights is a key factor in winning hearts and minds. And it upholds Canada's hard-fought reputation as a civilized, law-abiding nation that strives to do good on the world stage.

It is not for me to decide whether Canada's defence minister and chief of the defence staff are war criminals. But the news reports and the applicable rules of international law certainly suggest that possibility. That, in itself, makes me furious beyond belief.

Michael Byers holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia. He is the author of War Law: Understanding International Law and Armed Conflict. His next book, Intent for a Nation, will be published in June.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: Journeyman on April 30, 2007, 09:06:22
In the Globe & Mail today (http://www.rbcinvest.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/PEstory/LAC/20070430/DETAINEE30/) (Mon 30 Apr), the circus damning the CF continues. I won't repeat the whole article, but two lines caught my attention:

Quote
detainees described how Canadians tied their hands with plastic straps, marking the start of nightmarish journeys through shadowy jails and blood-spattered interrogation rooms.
Notwithstanding the literary descriptions of interrogation rooms, zap-strapping a detainee is "torture"? If a field-expedient restraining device, serving the same purpose as hand-cuffs, is torture, I guess the opposition parties need to start investigating Canadian police departments.

And then wa-aaaay down in the article, (once it's obvious the reporters are saying nothing of value, so the witch-hunters have probably stopped reading).....
Quote
None of the abuse was inflicted by Canadians, and most Afghans captured -- even Taliban sympathizers -- praised the Canadian soldiers for their politeness, their gentle handling of captives and conditions in their detention facility.
Well, no way we can let the Canadian readership get that message   ::)

Now if only the government and media would take a cue from the Taliban sympathizers.   ;)

Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: ArmyVern on April 30, 2007, 11:26:00
Well, no way we can let the Canadian readership get that message   ::)

Now if only the government and media would take a cue from the Taliban sympathizers.   ;)

Well we can't have Canadians getting the obvious message right off the bat could we? That would just be totally against the MSM's current leanings towards left-wing spin.
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: CTD on April 30, 2007, 12:05:58
Who cares. I mean if we capture bad guys in their Country, then we hand them over to their authoritys with in that country. We have no direct control over what happens to them in the end. If they get tried and are hanged what are we to do. It is nto our society to dictate what is done.
We are there to help rebuild a system that has for the most part been in place for many years. They are making head way.
For the Liberals/NDP and the other partys to make such a big claim about this.

Why don't we ask for some Terrorists to come over here and start doing their thing and see how they feel after a few years of dealing with car bombs, and major killings. I bet there tone changes on the whole torture deal.

What is torture, and what is it that the Afgans have done.
Did they beat to an inch of there life, did they shock, zap, water torture? Or did they keep them up all night, not allowing them to sleep?

I liked the one video of the US Commander, where he said, No prisoners, kill everyone of them people. In referance to the enemy.
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: Babbling Brooks on April 30, 2007, 12:28:51
Anyone else wonder exactly how effective the lauded Dutch and British detainee transfer agreements actually are at preventing abuse at the hands of Afghan authorities?

http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/04/time-to-ask-question-yet-again.html

Just because it's been written down doesn't mean its happening as written.  Where are our valiant investigative journalists on this one?
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MCG on April 30, 2007, 12:37:21
For curiosities sake, has there ever been a public outcry when detainees on a peacekeeping operation were handed back to their national authorities?
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: Babbling Brooks on April 30, 2007, 13:14:40
Quote
For curiosities sake, has there ever been a public outcry when detainees on a peacekeeping operation were handed back to their national authorities?

Excellent question.  I'd guess the first step is to determine if there have been any instances where we detained people and handed them back to a questionable local authority.  Then we can see if there was any outcry at the time.

Anyone out there with any first-hand experience in the matter?
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: TCBF on May 01, 2007, 02:34:54
I do know of an incident where apprehended persons were released lest the aprehending call sign be ordered to turn them over t0 the local police (manned by a different ethnic group).

We thought the Sgt made a pretty slick move at the time.

This was about seven years ago.
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: milnews.ca on May 01, 2007, 08:49:02
Well, well, well...

Today, the media is all OVER a Human Rights Watch open letter (http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/11/28/afghan14684.htm) on how Afghan detainees were being treated in November 2006.

Well, I did a bit of searching - how many Canadian media outlets wrote about this letter when it was posted to the HRW web page in November of last year?  I did a search for "Human Rights Watch" and "Afghanistan" for all of November 2006, and collected all the results -- you be the judge.... (http://milnewstbay.pbwiki.com/f/HRWLetterNov2006.htm)
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MarkOttawa on May 01, 2007, 10:19:42
Jonathan Kay analyzes the sheer silliness of the "debate" in Canada (I would call it sophomoric, not "grad school"):
http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=0f8439e5-da7b-4cf0-8519-78dc0a7ae184

Quote
Last week's headline-hogging story was alleged prisoner abuse in Afghanistan. Well, not so much alleged prisoner abuse in Afghanistan itself, but rather what different Canadian politicians had to say about alleged prisoner abuse in Afghanistan. "Ottawa stirs storm of confusion," blared The Globe and Mail in an especially breathless Friday banner headline. And then another front page Globe splash on Saturday: "The government's changing story."

Even if the charge of Canadian wrongdoing remains unproven, the barrage of accusations made for compelling Question Period theatre. Certainly, it was enough to relegate the following boring news factoid to the back pages: According to a survey of Afghanistan by researchers at The Johns Hopkins University, the country's infant mortality rate has declined markedly since the Taliban were ousted in late 2001...
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/27/world/middleeast/27kabul.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Scratch that. It turns out we're a nation of war criminals. Or so I am informed by University of British Columbia professor Michael Byers, who claimed in Sunday's Toronto Star that the available evidence suggests Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor and Chief of Defence Staff General Rick Hillier are "playing fast and loose with torture," and are pursuing a "policy of war crimes." Byers is asking the International Criminal Court to examine the case, a path that could (in theory) result in the incarceration of O'Connor and Hillier in The Hague.

But why stop there? As Byers himself writes, the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court targets not only torturers but everyone "up the chain of command." Shouldn't that mean Stephen Harper and everyone in his Cabinet?

And that's not all. As Joel-Denis Bellavance reported in La Presse on Saturday, documents obtained from Canada's Foreign Affairs Department show that the Liberal government was warned in 2003, 2004 and 2005 that torture was an ongoing practice in Afghan prisons. Yet Paul Martin nonetheless signed a 2005 agreement by which our soldiers would transfer detainees to Afghan custody. Following on Byers' initiative, maybe we should be preparing to cuff former defense minister Bill Graham -- not to mention his boss Paul Martin, and perhaps even his one-time environment minister.

This all sounds like a joke, which I suppose it is. But Byers' modest proposal hits on a serious problem: While our soldiers are at war with Islamist terrorists, our elites -- including not just the usual suspects in the ivory tower, but senior media figures and opposition politicians -- are treating the whole exercise like one big human rights grad seminar.

I'm not disputing the seriousness of the torture allegations: Not only is torture inhumane, but empirical evidence suggests it's not even much use at getting information from true terrorists. However, I object equally to the idea that our tangential, involuntary involvement in the alleged mistreatment of a few dozen suspects amounts to "war crimes."..

...As the infant mortality numbers cited above show, NATO troops have made a difference -- but only because they've cut necessary deals with a dubious national government propped up by dubious local warlords.

As a matter of grad-seminar morality, no, this isn't perfect. But the only other option in a place like Afghanistan is to send in hundreds of thousands of troops and take over the country lock, stock and barrel-- which no one advocates; or to get out of the place entirely, which would amount to sending it back to the Middle Ages...

Mark
Ottawa

Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MCG on May 01, 2007, 10:47:43
Excellent question. 
I suppose the partner to that question is - woud there have been a public outcry if detainees were taken on a peacekeeping operation and Canada decided keep the detainees as opposed to returning them to their national authorities?
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: Colin P on May 01, 2007, 11:15:19
I'm starting to think that some academics are really just on personal crusades to crucify the CDS.


Starting? Having spent to much time on left wing websites, I can assure you that Hiller is considered to be the person that singlhandly turned our peacekeepers into bloodsucking babykillers..... ::)

He is target #2, you can guess who #1 is.
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MarkOttawa on May 02, 2007, 15:22:47
Two posts at The Torch--the first an excellent bit of research on Prof. Byers by Damian Brooks, the second by me making Colin P's point:

I guess context doesn't matter anymore
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/05/i-guess-context-doesnt-matter-anymore.html

Globe guns for Gen. Hillier
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/05/globe-guns-for-gen-hillier.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: The Afghan Prisoner Debate a needless distraction for troops: Hillier
Post by: MCG on May 02, 2007, 17:05:10
Quote
Allegations a needless distraction for troops: Hillier
Meagan Fitzpatrick, CanWest News Service
Published: Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Some Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan are angry about the political bickering raging at home over allegations of detainee abuse, the chief of the defence staff said.

“Let me just come out and say very frankly here, I met a variety of soldiers who are pissed off,” Gen. Rick Hillier told reporters at the Kandahar air base.

“They are angry that these allegations have detracted from the overall mission here – the focus back in Canada, specifically, on the enormous amount of good that is being done, on the incredible things that are happening here in Kandahar province and around the rest of Afghanistan, and the additional security and the stability and the hope for a future that we are bringing to millions of Afghans.”

Hillier arrived in Afghanistan Wednesday morning along with the Stanley Cup and a group of former NHL players and other guests who wanted to visit with the troops.

Canada’s top soldier said despite the as-yet unproven allegations that detainees handed over by Canadian soldiers to Afghan authorities have been tortured, he’s keeping focused on the mission.

“We have business to do. You heard what my focus is — that’s looking after Canada’s sons and daughters as they do the job here and that’s what I remain focused on,” Hillier said.

Noting that the Canadian government is investigating the prisoner-torture allegations, Hillier said the governor of Kandahar province also expressed frustration over the issue.

“Part of my discussion with the governor of Kandahar this afternoon was him articulating his frustrations to me at allegations being made here about his country, about his government, being accepted as straight fact back in Canada and taking the focus away from the incredible amount of good that’s been done here for millions of people to give them a more secure and stable lifestyle,” Hillier said.

Troops had a chance to have their pictures taken with the Stanley Cup. A ball hockey game between soldiers and the NHL stars will also get underway Thursday.

“It’s a tension-breaker, it’s a stress reliever,” said Hillier. “What’s most important is it’s a connection to Canada.”
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: Teddy Ruxpin on May 02, 2007, 17:20:57
Sadly, this is what passes for debate regarding this issue on the G&M site:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070502.whillier0502/CommentStory/Afghanistan/#alertForm (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070502.whillier0502/CommentStory/Afghanistan/#alertForm)

Frightening...
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MarkOttawa on May 02, 2007, 18:50:34
Another post at The Torch, giving a Conference on Defence Associations' e-mail:

Afghan detainee agreement: Falsities in the press
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/05/afghan-detainee-agreement-falsities-in.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: GAP on May 03, 2007, 09:42:01
Human rights groups in court on detainee issue
Updated Thu. May. 3 2007 8:17 AM ET CTV.ca News Staff
Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070503/detainee_humanrights_070503/20070503?hub=TopStories)

Amnesty International and the B.C. Civil Liberties Union will be in court today asking a federal judge to grant an injunction that would halt the transfer of Afghan detainees from Canadian custody to local authorities.

The Conservative government has been on the defensive after allegations surfaced that detainees were tortured after being released from Canadian care.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier signed the prisoner handover agreement back in 2005.

However, the deal has been criticized because it has no clause that allows Canada to follow up on the treatment of detainees handed over to the Afghan government.

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day may have inadvertently helped the case of the human rights groups after he acknowledged Monday that Canadian correctional officers heard allegations of torture by Afghan officials.
More on link
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MarkOttawa on May 03, 2007, 10:00:17
 Gen. Hillier was no loose cannon
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/05/gen-hillier-was-no-loose-cannon.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Canadian officer testifies abuse of one Afghan detainee reported to military
Post by: MCG on May 04, 2007, 10:48:30
Quote
Canadian officer testifies abuse of one Afghan detainee reported to military
Mike Blanchfield and Andrew Mayeda, CanWest News Service
Published: Friday, May 04, 2007

OTTAWA - Afghan police beat up a prisoner given to them by the Canadian Forces, according to the first evidence of abuse of a detainee transferred by Canada to Afghanistan which emerged Thursday in documents filed in the Federal Court.

Col. Steve Noonan, a former task force commander in Afghanistan, disclosed the incident in a sworn affidavit filed with the court as part of the government's response to a legal challenge by Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association to stop all further transfers of detainees by the Canadian military to the Afghan government.

Noonan's disclosure comes after repeated denials by the Conservative government that it had no specific examples that any detainee transferred by Canadian troops to Afghan authorities was later subject to abuse or torture. The detainee issue has mushroomed into a major political problem for Prime Minister Stephen Harper and several of his Conservative cabinet ministers.

Harper continued Thursday to dismiss allegations of prisoner abuse and blamed his political opponents for making it an issue.

"This is based on nothing more than a handful of unsubstantiated allegations from Taliban prisoners and I think, quite frankly, it has detracted unnecessarily from the good work Canadian men and women are doing in the field in Afghanistan under dangerous circumstances," the prime minister told a news conference in Mission, B.C.

But court documents, including a transcript of Noonan's cross-examination earlier this week, already filed in Federal Court revealed that a prisoner captured by Canadian troops was abused by the Afghans.

"In this case, the CF learned that the detainee had been beaten by the local ANP," Noonan said in his affidavit, using the acronym for Afghan national police. "When we learned of this, they approached the local ANP and requested that the detainee be given to them."

The Afghans turned the prisoner over to the Canadians who then gave him to provincial Afghan police authorities.

When Amnesty lawyer Paul Champ tried to get more details on the incident - when it happened, what injuries were sustained, whether the Afghan police were charged - federal lawyer J. Sanderson Graham shut down all further questioning of the incident citing "national security" interests.

"It threatens Canada's national security to know when the Canadian Forces observed local Afghan national police beating a detainee that they transferred to that unit?" Champ asked.

"We object to any questions on this incident generally," Graham replied.

Citing reports by the U.S. State Department, the United Nations and Canada's Foreign Affairs Department, Amnesty and the civil liberties association have charged that detainees transferred by Canada to the Afghans are subject to torture in its prisons, and that the transfers should be halted. They also question why the military does not build its own prison camps for detainees.

In a surprise twist, Thursday's hearing was adjourned because court was told that the Canadian and Afghanistan governments had signed a revision of their prisoner transfer agreement earlier that morning.

Justice Michael Kelen announced the key details of the agreement that expands on the controversial December 2005 deal originally signed by Canada and Afghanistan.

Under Thursday's amended deal, Canadian officials will be granted unrestricted access to all Afghan prisons, where its prisoners are transferred, and they will be able to conduct private interviews with prisoners away from the eyes of their Afghan jailers.

"What happened this morning is a major development; it probably wouldn't have happened if this court case wasn't happening," Kelen said from the bench before adjourning the hearing.

The court challenge will continue at a yet-to-be-determined date, once lawyers from both sides have had a chance to cross-examine relevant witnesses on the amended agreement signed in Kabul.

Earlier this week, Champ grilled Noonan about why Canadian troops do not build their own prison camps in Afghanistan given that the military has a published manual that gives detailed instructions of how to do this.

Noonan said the military had a concern that running their own camps would force them to redirect large numbers of troops to running such a facility.

"The other concern that we do have is that without proper training, without experience in it, the execution of that may go wrong as has been evidenced in my understanding of - of, for example the Abu Ghraib situation," Noonan testified, referring to the scandal that rocked the U.S. military in Iraq three years ago over its abuse of inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison it operated in Baghdad.

"Our folks have not been exposed to, historically, nor have been for at least my generation to the holding of detainees or prisoners of war, either one, in our generation," Noonan added. "We don't know the risk - the lack of knowledge that we have in the actual conduct of it is significant."

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said Thursday the enhanced agreement with the Afghan government was better than the original version signed by the previous Liberal government in December 2005.

"We have done what was asked by others of Canadians. We are going to see that that is implemented by the Afghan government," MacKay said.

Senior Liberals downplayed their party's role in negotiating the original agreement to transfer detainees to Afghan authorities.

The Liberals said Thursday they have never denied crafting the original deal, which was signed in December 2005 by Gen. Rick Hillier, Canada's chief of the defence staff.

"The issue is not about what happened in 2005," said Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre.

He said the "embarrassment" over the issue has been caused by the Conservative government's failure to improve on the agreement and ensure the Geneva convention banning torture is respected.


Omar Samad, Afghanistan's ambassador to Canada, said Thursday's amendments now give Canadian officials more access to his county's prisons than any other NATO country.

Samad pledged that after being ravaged by a generation of war, Afghanistan would - with help of Canada and its allies - rebuild its institutions and get rid of systemic abuse in its prisons.

"This process has started - getting rid of lawful activities - and will continue," Samad said in an interview.

But the head of Amnesty International Canada said that the new deal did not go far enough to stop abuse in Afghan prisons.

"You don't prevent torture in country where it is rampant and systematic, as it is in Afghanistan, by sending in monitors on an occasional basis. It simply doesn't work," said Alex Neve.
Edit to emphasise a few lines.
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: Babbling Brooks on May 04, 2007, 13:59:18
For those who haven't yet seen it, the supplemental detainee transfer agreement is up on the web:

http://geo.international.gc.ca/cip-pic/afghanistan/pdf/agreement_detainees_030507.pdf

I've put up a brief post on the topic here:

http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/05/revised-agreement.html
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MCG on May 04, 2007, 14:50:25
Quote
Afghan scandal flares over specific allegations

Updated Fri. May. 4 2007 12:08 PM ET

Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- The Conservative government's reprieve over allegations of prisoner abuse in Afghanistan was short-lived.

Over the last two weeks, at least five cabinet ministers have insisted that Canadian officials were not aware of "specific" reports of captured Taliban being abused after they were handed to Afghan authorities.

But testimony given by a senior military officer in Amnesty International's lawsuit - meant to stop the prisoner transfers - outlines a specific case.

All three opposition parties accused the Conservatives of misleading Canadians and demanded to know when the government became aware of the report.

This latest contradiction follows a statement by Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day earlier this week, who confirmed that correctional officers had received two reports of prisoner abuse.

In both instances, the government is refusing to release details of the incidents, claiming it might violate national security.
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MCG on May 05, 2007, 01:18:35
Looks like the drama is not going to end any time soon.
Quote
Afghan scandal flares over specific allegations
Updated Fri. May. 4 2007 6:28 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

...

Meanwhile, Amnesty International's legal proceedings were reportedly put on hold when the new agreement was signed, so that it could examine the new details.


However, the efforts were again underway after Amnesty examined the re-written agreement and said it still wasn't adequate and wouldn't prevent abuse.
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20070504/afghan_scandal_070504/20070504?hub=TopStories
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: bilton090 on May 05, 2007, 01:22:44
  I can just hear it now, war crimes & prisoner torture because we put a sand bag over there head !
    We capture them, then turn them over to the Afghan authorities, then they are out of our hands !, it's the Afghan's country let them run it themselves !

     Chimo from outside the wire      :salute:
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: geo on May 05, 2007, 12:30:58
Just imagine the fieldday we'd have with the press if we started to operate our own prison in Afghanistan (or possibly Hann Island) The doogooders and rabble would have a field day with us cause we would be holding onto the detainees for an indefinite period... cause we would not have the authority to reintegrate these TB into Afghan society.....

A no win situation... just like a lawyer wants it.....
Title: Re: The Afghan Prisoner Debate & Torture Fears
Post by: MarkOttawa on May 05, 2007, 13:07:35
The incident involving Col. Noonan appears not a clear-cut as the media have been reporting:

Clarification
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2007/05/clarification.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: How should Canada treat Afghan detainees - CPAC
Post by: GAP on May 06, 2007, 11:58:19
On Now....at the hour
 
 Sunday Sound Off:  
11am ET / 8am PT
Internet Viewing Link (http://www.cpac.ca/forms/index.asp?dsp=template&act=view3&section_id=22&template_id=22&lang=e)

This week, we want to know what you think. Join host Catherine Clark and her guests Col. Pat Stogran, Vice President of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre and Amir Attaran, Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa, as we ask " How should Canada treat Afghan detainees?"
 
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: alfie on May 07, 2007, 08:31:33
tounge in cheek here, Have Stephen Dion and Taliban Jack serve them drinks on the plane to Canada where we can coddle them in our prison.
The media needs to get with the program, it might be time to elect news people seeing as they are mouth pieces for the opposition anyways.

There now I feel better
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: GAP on May 07, 2007, 14:52:23
I see the human rights groups have expanded their sights....It worked in Canada, let's go after Israel

Report: Israel's Shin Bet uses torture illegally in interrogations
Two human rights groups say Palestinian prisoners routinely abused, though Israel dismisses the charges.
By Arthur Bright | csmonitor.com May 07, 2007 at 11:40 am EDT
Article Link (http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0507/p99s01-duts.html?s=mesdu)

The Israeli security service agency Shin Bet routinely violates international law by torturing Palestinian prisoners, according to a new report released by two Israeli human rights organizations.

B'Tselem and HaMoked, both of which work to fight violations of Palestinians' human rights, write in their joint report that their findings came from interviews with 73 West Bank Palestinians who were arrested and interrogated by Shin Bet, also known as the Israel Security Agency (ISA), between July 2005 and January 2006. The report, published Sunday, found that Shin Bet's interrogations, which averaged 35 days long for the 73 Palestinians interviewed, routinely included physical and mental abuse that approached torture, as well as outright torture in many cases.

...the ISA routinely operates an interrogation system involving the psychological and physical ill-treatment of interrogees. This system includes several key aspects: The isolation of the interrogee from the outside world; the use of conditions of incarceration as a means to apply psychological pressure and to debilitate the interrogee physically; the shackling of the interrogee in painful positions; the humiliation of the interrogee; and the use of threats. In a minority of cases, probably those defined as "ticking bombs," the ISA also uses violent interrogation methods that constitute full-scale torture (beating, the tightening of handcuffs, the sudden pulling of the body, the bending of the back, and so on).

Moreover, many ISA interrogees arrive at the interrogation facility after having been "softened up" by the soldiers who execute the arrest and who hold the detainees pending their delivery to the ISA. This "softening up" includes beating, painful shackling, humiliation, and the denial of vital needs. Although we do not have evidence to show that the motives of these soldiers or their commanders is to "soften up" the detainees ahead of their interrogation, this is the outcome in practical terms.

Haaretz writes that the Israeli Supreme Court declared an absolute ban on torture in 1999, though the ruling allowed methods of creating pressure or discomfort, so long as such methods were not meant to break morale. The ruling did allow torture, however, in cases defined as "ticking bombs," where interrogation might prevent an imminent terrorist attack. In such cases, the court ruled that interrogators would not face discipline.
More on link
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: alfie on May 08, 2007, 15:06:46
Torture, wasn't that what we did in basic, no sleep, forced marches, pushups pushups, sleeping in the rain, getting yelled at etc etc
Me thinks thou protest too much.
If there actually is torture thats one thing but the left needs to get with the program.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: MarkOttawa on May 08, 2007, 16:36:18
Silly me--I thought "occupying" Afstan was a Bad Thing:
http://www.rbcinvest.theglobeandmail.com//servlet/ArticleNews/PEstory/LAC/20070508/DETAINEES08/International/international/internationalAsiaHeadline/3/3/6/

Quote
Liberals opened Question Period yesterday with accusations that the Conservative government had covered up the extent of the problem.

And later, outside the Commons, Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre said he believed that all people captured by NATO troops fighting in Afghanistan - and even those captured by the Afghans themselves [emphasis added] - should be protected in the same way as those the Canadians take into custody.

I suspect the Afghans may be taking a dim view of Denis the Thug.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: Colin P on May 11, 2007, 19:25:57
The problem of course is that the left will not allow mere facts to get in the way of a good blood letting. Since they signed the bloody agreement it's not surprising they were well prepared to point out it's weaknesses.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: stealthylizard on May 11, 2007, 20:15:21
Torture, wasn't that what we did in basic, no sleep, forced marches, pushups pushups, sleeping in the rain, getting yelled at etc etc
Me thinks thou protest too much.
If there actually is torture that's one thing but the left needs to get with the program.

There was actually a call a few years ago, right after the breaking story of Abu Ghraib, to end all "torturous" activities, many of which were included in most basic training regimens in the world.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: scas on May 11, 2007, 20:36:41
not to take away from this thread in any way. But what makes the liberal critic qualifed to be asking/accusing these kinds of things?
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: stealthylizard on May 11, 2007, 20:47:22
Politicians, especially those that are given the job as a ministry critic, don't need any qualifications.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on May 12, 2007, 20:54:38
http://www.winnipegsun.com/News/World/2007/05/12/4174033-sun.html

Reproduced under the 'Fair Dealing Act'

No signs of tortureCages, ceiling chains not found as officials look to disprove torture claims
By SCOTT TAYLOR
 
KANDAHAR -- For weeks now members of the Canadian media have been portraying the Afghan National Directorate of Security as "evil torturers" and their detainee prison as a "living hell."

Anxious to set the record straight and to improve their tarnished image, the NDS provided me with a three-hour unrestricted access to their infamous detention centre in Kandahar.

"Many of the stories broadcast in Canada are lies or fabrications," explained Col. Noor Mohammed Balak Karzai, the deputy director of the NDS in Kandahar. "When I saw these reports I was very angry, and it made the people of Kandahar very angry as well."
One reason why the NDS took such unprecedented measures to open their facilities was their desire to maintain good relations with the Canadian battle group.

"The Canadian (soldiers) have a better attitude than some other NATO troops -- including the Americans -- and people will pass along advance warnings to the NDS if they suspect Canadians are being targeted," Karzai explained. "That is why we are angry that the Canadian media did not observe the reality before publishing their negative stories."
 
To get to the detention centre we were met by an NDS plainclothes escort at the governor's guesthouse and driven to an unmarked prison just a few blocks away. Although there is a series of road barricades to negotiate before the main vehicle gate, the NDS detention centre is surprisingly void of heavy security. There are no guard towers or bunkers, just a walled compound topped with razor wire, not unlike any other government building in Afghanistan.

While discrete in appearance the detention centre's location is certainly no secret. The families of suspected Taliban detainees are allowed to visit prisoners and bring them food once a week and a number of these visitors were present when we arrived.
The officials explained they can hold suspects for 72 hours. If they believe that the case warrants further investigation, the suspect can remain for 15 days. Any longer requires a court order extension.

"If we (the NDS) have made the arrest, the processing procedure is usually quite quick as we make sure we have sufficient evidence prior to apprehending them," Karzai said.
"The delays occur when we receive prisoners from other agencies such as NATO troops, and we have to begin an investigation with very little information."

The tour began in the basement cells where eight shackled men sat or reclined on their dirty bedding. This was the "general population" area of the prison and while it was evident that the facility had been recently cleaned, there was no lingering odour of human excrement or filth (which would have been difficult to mask just for our tour).
Some prisoners seemed amused at the intrusion while others stared blankly at us as we filmed them. On the other side of the basement were the solitary cells. Narrow enough for each occupant to barely lie down on his grubby mat, all inmates in this section were shackled at the feet and kept behind locked doors.

All of the doors were opened for us to inspect the conditions and to examine the state of the prisoners. In all cells the prisoner had reading material -- usually the Koran, plus water bottles and a few personal items. While some solitary cells were kept completely darkened, we were allowed to light these in order to view and photograph them.
Nowhere in the entire complex of cells was there any sign of the cages in which detainees were allegedly confined. Following the prisoner inspection we were shown the guard's quarters on the second floor. Here the NDS security force resides eight to a room, sleeping on bunk beds lined with bedding equally filthy to that of the prisoners.

The interrogation room was a spartan office with a couple of desks -- like any police station interview room, only with more battered furniture. While the NDS denied that they used beatings and torture to extract confessions and intelligence from suspects, they did not divulge what methods they did use to coerce prisoners.
The one prisoner present in the interrogation room during our visit was a suspect in a kidnapping case. As the night watchman at a school where the kidnap victim was held, the prisoner was believed to be implicated. Through an interpreter he told us that his family was aware of his situation and had visited him.

Not evident was the alleged ceiling chains from which prisoners claim to have been suspended during interrogations. The cracked plaster ceiling, in fact, looked barely capable of supporting the weight of the flimsy light fixture, never mind an adult male. Every office, cupboard and toilet facility was opened for inspection, including a visit to the roof and dining facility.

Huge chunks of a freshly slaughtered sheep were being boiled in an immense cauldron over an open fire. "The prisoners receive the same food as the guards and prison staff," Karzai explained. "They receive bread and tea for breakfast, meat and rice for lunch and dinner."
The yogurt for prisoner consumption was heavily watered down in a large pot. Admittedly, the food appeared to be unappetizingly thin fare, but prisoners' family and friends supplement this ration.

At the conclusion of the tour Karzai again pointed out the importance of maintaining good relations with Canadians. He said he would also be willing to negotiate a new arrangement whereby the Canadian military could routinely have access to the facility in order to monitor the prisoners they hand over.

"The detention centre is not a nice place to be," admitted one senior NDS official. "It's not supposed to be. But we do not do those things which (Canadian) media have accused us of having done."
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: GAP on May 12, 2007, 21:24:47
Quote
"The Canadian (soldiers) have a better attitude than some other NATO troops -- including the Americans -- and people will pass along advance warnings to the NDS if they suspect Canadians are being targeted," Karzai explained. "That is why we are angry that the Canadian media did not observe the reality before publishing their negative stories."  

This kinda says it all...
Title: Torture Claims proven to be false - awaiting media apology....
Post by: Cdn Blackshirt on May 13, 2007, 00:27:26
I expect full coverage on media as well as apologies from the Liberal and NDP Party regarding their previous behaviour.

I will now start holding my breath.


Matthew.   ::)


Quote
NO SIGNS OF TORTURE
Cages, ceiling chains not found as officials look to disprove torture claims
By SCOTT TAYLOR
 
KANDAHAR -- For weeks now members of the Canadian media have been portraying the Afghan National Directorate of Security as "evil torturers" and their detainee prison as a "living hell."

Anxious to set the record straight and to improve their tarnished image, the NDS provided me with a three-hour unrestricted access to their infamous detention centre in Kandahar.

"Many of the stories broadcast in Canada are lies or fabrications," explained Col. Noor Mohammed Balak Karzai, the deputy director of the NDS in Kandahar. "When I saw these reports I was very angry, and it made the people of Kandahar very angry as well."

One reason why the NDS took such unprecedented measures to open their facilities was their desire to maintain good relations with the Canadian battle group.

"The Canadian (soldiers) have a better attitude than some other NATO troops -- including the Americans -- and people will pass along advance warnings to the NDS if they suspect Canadians are being targeted," Karzai explained. "That is why we are angry that the Canadian media did not observe the reality before publishing their negative stories."

To get to the detention centre we were met by an NDS plainclothes escort at the governor's guesthouse and driven to an unmarked prison just a few blocks away. Although there is a series of road barricades to negotiate before the main vehicle gate, the NDS detention centre is surprisingly void of heavy security. There are no guard towers or bunkers, just a walled compound topped with razor wire, not unlike any other government building in Afghanistan.

While discrete in appearance the detention centre's location is certainly no secret. The families of suspected Taliban detainees are allowed to visit prisoners and bring them food once a week and a number of these visitors were present when we arrived.

The officials explained they can hold suspects for 72 hours. If they believe that the case warrants further investigation, the suspect can remain for 15 days. Any longer requires a court order extension.

"If we (the NDS) have made the arrest, the processing procedure is usually quite quick as we make sure we have sufficient evidence prior to apprehending them," Karzai said.

"The delays occur when we receive prisoners from other agencies such as NATO troops, and we have to begin an investigation with very little information."

The tour began in the basement cells where eight shackled men sat or reclined on their dirty bedding. This was the "general population" area of the prison and while it was evident that the facility had been recently cleaned, there was no lingering odour of human excrement or filth (which would have been difficult to mask just for our tour).

Some prisoners seemed amused at the intrusion while others stared blankly at us as we filmed them. On the other side of the basement were the solitary cells. Narrow enough for each occupant to barely lie down on his grubby mat, all inmates in this section were shackled at the feet and kept behind locked doors.

All of the doors were opened for us to inspect the conditions and to examine the state of the prisoners. In all cells the prisoner had reading material -- usually the Koran, plus water bottles and a few personal items. While some solitary cells were kept completely darkened, we were allowed to light these in order to view and photograph them.

Nowhere in the entire complex of cells was there any sign of the cages in which detainees were allegedly confined. Following the prisoner inspection we were shown the guard's quarters on the second floor. Here the NDS security force resides eight to a room, sleeping on bunk beds lined with bedding equally filthy to that of the prisoners.

The interrogation room was a spartan office with a couple of desks -- like any police station interview room, only with more battered furniture. While the NDS denied that they used beatings and torture to extract confessions and intelligence from suspects, they did not divulge what methods they did use to coerce prisoners.

The one prisoner present in the interrogation room during our visit was a suspect in a kidnapping case. As the night watchman at a school where the kidnap victim was held, the prisoner was believed to be implicated. Through an interpreter he told us that his family was aware of his situation and had visited him.

Not evident was the alleged ceiling chains from which prisoners claim to have been suspended during interrogations. The cracked plaster ceiling, in fact, looked barely capable of supporting the weight of the flimsy light fixture, never mind an adult male. Every office, cupboard and toilet facility was opened for inspection, including a visit to the roof and dining facility.

Huge chunks of a freshly slaughtered sheep were being boiled in an immense cauldron over an open fire. "The prisoners receive the same food as the guards and prison staff," Karzai explained. "They receive bread and tea for breakfast, meat and rice for lunch and dinner."

The yogurt for prisoner consumption was heavily watered down in a large pot. Admittedly, the food appeared to be unappetizingly thin fare, but prisoners' family and friends supplement this ration.

At the conclusion of the tour Karzai again pointed out the importance of maintaining good relations with Canadians. He said he would also be willing to negotiate a new arrangement whereby the Canadian military could routinely have access to the facility in order to monitor the prisoners they hand over.

"The detention centre is not a nice place to be," admitted one senior NDS official. "It's not supposed to be. But we do not do those things which (Canadian) media have accused us of having done."


Copyright 2007 - Toronto Sun....

Title: Re: Torture Claims proven to be false - awaiting media apology....
Post by: ArmyVern on May 13, 2007, 00:29:27
Locking this one up.

Until I find the other various threads containing the same article to merge.

Vern
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on May 13, 2007, 00:31:28
Not fast enough....hehehe.
Merged
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: ArmyVern on May 13, 2007, 00:33:14
Not fast enough....hehehe.
Merged
Dammit.  >:(

I guess Mike should stop paying me!!  ;D
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 13, 2007, 12:50:27
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Front/835090.html

Quote
"Many of the stories broadcast in Canada are lies or fabrications," said Col. Noor Mohammed Balak Karzai, deputy director of the directorate in Kandahar. "When I saw these reports I was very angry, and it made the people of Kandahar very angry as well."

One reason the directorate took such unprecedented measures to open its facilities was a desire to maintain good relations with the Canadian battle group in Kandahar.

"The Canadian (soldiers) have a better attitude than some other NATO troops, including the Americans, and people will pass along advance warnings to the NDS if they suspect Canadians are being targeted," said Karzai.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: Jarnhamar on May 21, 2007, 11:26:29
We can't have terrorists being tourtured by the very people that they murder and kill.
What we should do is take ALL prisoners and send them back to Canada.

THAT will really curb attacks on Canadian soldiers.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: SeaKingTacco on May 21, 2007, 11:41:52
Quote
We can't have terrorists being tourtured by the very people that they murder and kill.
What we should do is take ALL prisoners and send them back to Canada.

THAT will really curb attacks on Canadian soldiers.

Flawed Design- I cannot tell if you are being sarcastic.  How, exactly, does Canada remove from a sovereign country (without the permission of it's government), prisoners?  Does that not basically tell the Afghan Govt that we have no confidence in it; that we believe they will never get their house in order. Once these prisoners hit Canadian soil, we put them where, exactly?

Besides, it has yet to be actually proven that torture has taken place- all that we have are a bunch of Taliban allegations to a Globe and Mail Reporter.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: George Wallace on May 21, 2007, 11:51:25
Mike

We really need that "Sarcasm epicon"!
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: SeaKingTacco on May 21, 2007, 12:02:54
Ahh- it was sarcasm.

Good Stuff.
Title: Re: CAN Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
Post by: Hollywog on May 26, 2007, 14:53:29
Oh bugger, here we go...

The sad thing is the actual findings won't matter- the majority of opinions will be based on headlines, and the way they're written implies a lot that's not necessarily there.

We have a few guys who seem to have actively resisted being taken into custody. I suspect many people get the same sort of superficial cuts and bruises when taken into the drunk tank friday night after they try to resist arrest.

But of course, the Globe's gonna jump all over it...


Now if heads were being lopped off and putting the videos on youtube the msm's would have sympathy. 

Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: Otto Fest on May 26, 2007, 22:13:15
I have no sympathy for the prisoners, they have no status in any system.  The only thing I'm concerned about is the decency and honour of the CF.  We should go out of our way to ensure that anyone who wants to surrender at riflepoint or otherwise is treated well.  In WW2 the Germans surrendered to us rather than the Brits, Yanks, or God forbid the Russians.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: Technoviking on May 26, 2007, 22:33:38
In WW2 the Germans surrendered to us rather than the Brits, Yanks, or God forbid the Russians.
Now THAT'S a generalisation if I ever heard one!  What of the 250 000 who surrendered to the Yanks and Brits in early 43 in Tunisia, or the 90 000 who surrendered to the Soviets at Stalingrad around the same time?  Also let us not forget the "arrangements" (alleged, anyway) between Canadians and the SS in Normandy.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: tomahawk6 on May 26, 2007, 23:04:09
Once the prisoners are turned over to the Afghan government then they are no longer our concern. The only thing that can be done is to try and impress upon our allies the need to treat prisoners humanely, something that is a somewhat alien notion to the Afghanis. Gitmo has gotten some bad knocks but it is still far better than being held in an Afghan prison or even a Mexican prison for that matter.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: Otto Fest on May 27, 2007, 21:56:11
Actually, that Generalization has a bit of anecdotal and empirical data behind it.  In both The Forgotten Soldier and Ashes of Honour there is debate among the Germans who to surrender to.  Of those who surrendered at Stalingrad, only 5% ever lived to see Germany again.  The Germans used Russian prisoners to produce Typhus Serum.  Many German POWs spent more than 10 years in Russia and The Ukraine reconstructing destroyed territories.

Von Kleist died in Soviet captivity after thirty years; Von Manstein was released from western detention after serving 4 years of a 12 year sentence.

I must assume the 'arrangements' you refer to have to do with the R Wpg R.  I don't think they're alleged as I've spoke with their veterans.  I'll throw Malmedy in just for reference.  In Other Causes it's also alleged that the Americans had a program to minimize the German POW problem as well.

My father complained that German POWs were treated better than the Canadian soldier were.

So, yeah, quite a generalization.

Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: pbi on May 29, 2007, 08:45:29
Once the prisoners are turned over to the Afghan government then they are no longer our concern..

Well...in a very narrow military sense they might  not be "our concern", but (at least in Canada) they have surfaced twice now as objects of political and public concern (the earlier incidence being when JTFII took some baddies captive in the early days of our presence in Afgh). And, since anything political/public pretty rapidly translates into an effect of some sort on us, it does end up being our concern.

Public  and political scrutiny of the military are generally both good and important in the long run (although it stings sometimes...), and if we appear to do somehing that attracts attention, we have to accept the fact. I would much rather have a public and a political system who are uncomfortable about torture and the abuse of prisoners, thereby reminding us of the importance of staying out of that swamp ourselves, than a blind or complicit public that doesn't care.

Quote
The only thing that can be done is to try and impress upon our allies the need to treat prisoners humanely, something that is a somewhat alien notion to the Afghanis
I agree with this, overall. If we are really going to "win" in Afgh, or in any  other COIN op, IMHO it will be by offering the population something better than what they have, in a manner that they can accept. It will not be ignoring or winking at torture or other stupid atrocities. If we want to appear "better", we have to walk the walk.
While we (the NATO "we")  need to keep the pressure on the Afgh Govt and security forces to change, we can't do it for them nor should we. If we want them to change permanently, they will have to do it from within, genuinely. 

Cheers


Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: geo on May 29, 2007, 08:59:39
When you're dealing with a country that is just coming out of the stone age (no matter how many modern gadgets are around) you have to expect a rocky and bumpy ride.  It is simplistic and unrealistic for anyone to expect the Afghan Gov't to have the capacity to operate & behave like a modern "1st world" country.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: pbi on May 29, 2007, 09:56:50
When you're dealing with a country that is just coming out of the stone age (no matter how many modern gadgets are around) you have to expect a rocky and bumpy ride.  It is simplistic and unrealistic for anyone to expect the Afghan Gov't to have the capacity to operate & behave like a modern "1st world" country.

Well, the people who make up the GoA and the leadership of its security forces aren't really "just coming out of the stone age": most of them have been pretty well educated and they understand much more than people seem to be willing to give them credit for. IMHO the biggest problem lies further down the chain with lesser officers and officials who don't get the bigger picture and can't kick old habits. And, even "modern" countries can revert to torture and uncontrolled abuse pretty easily. Just to pick a few examples, look at the British concentration camps during the South African War, the French use of torture throughout their colonial empire up to and including Algeria, and the behaviour of various police and security agencies in various South Amerrican countries that are otherwise fairly modern.

Cheers
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: geo on May 29, 2007, 10:22:04
PBI,
Don't disagree with you. 

The GoA leadership might well be educated but the lion's share of the population hasn't benefited from the same oportunities.

There is a little bit of ruthlessness in all of us.  Our own troops reaction in Normandy (alleged or true) to the viciousness of the SS is but one example.

I think that almost everyone is "trying to do the right thing" and that we are all headed in the right direction - but old habbits are hard to break - esp when viciousness & brutality delivers results.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: pbi on May 29, 2007, 10:29:40
There is a little bit of ruthlessness in all of us.  Our own troops reaction in Normandy (alleged or true) to the viciousness of the SS is but one example.

I think that almost everyone is "trying to do the right thing" and that we are all headed in the right direction - but old habbits are hard to break - esp when viciousness & brutality delivers results.

Good point-I just returned from the annual Cdn Inf Conference meeting, during which one of the guest speakers described the importance of keeping rage and anger under control in combat, or more specifically in those few minutes immediately following an engagement when the blood is stil pumping and trigger fingers are twitchy-this is the moment when many war crimes have happened throughout history. His point was that it takes very strong and aggressive leadership at the tactical level to stop it.  IMHO if you examine most atrocities you will not have to look very far to find a tactical leader who either gave perrmission, set a criminal example, or "looked the other way".

Cheers
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: geo on May 29, 2007, 17:38:03
+1 pbi
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: garb811 on June 08, 2007, 08:58:06
Link to article, (http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=bd142e1f-31fb-44c3-aaeb-c32d5e503d60) posted in accordance with the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

Quote
Charter defence ends at border, top court rules
Canadians accused of crimes abroad aren't guaranteed same rights as at home
 
Janice Tibbetts
The Ottawa Citizen

Friday, June 08, 2007

Canadians accused of crimes abroad are not protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms when they're being investigated by Canadian or foreign police, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled yesterday.

"When individuals choose to engage in criminal activities that cross Canada's territorial limits, they can have no guarantee that they carry Charter rights with them out of the country," wrote Justice Louis LeBel.

The decision was a loss for Lawrence Richard Hape, a Canadian businessman from Newmarket, Ont., who was convicted in Canada of laundering the proceeds of drug money after an investigation of his trust company in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the late-1990s. Mr. Hape, who is in his mid-50s, was sentenced to 30-months imprisonment following his 2002 trial.

Mr. Hape unsuccessfully argued that the Supreme Court should overturn his conviction because the RCMP violated his Charter right to be free of unreasonable search and seizure when they conducted covert raids of his company, downloaded information from his computer system and seized more than 100 boxes of records.

The top court accepted the Crown's argument that the Charter doesn't apply because the Turks and Caicos police, not the RCMP, were in charge of the investigation on the islands.

"In a co-operative investigation, Canada cannot simply walk away when another country insists on following its own investigation and enforcement procedures rather than ours," Judge LeBel wrote.

He said it is necessary to maintain goodwill among countries "in an era characterized by transnational criminal activity and by the ease and speed with which people and goods now cross the border."

While the court's ruling in Mr. Hape's case was unanimous, the judges split into three camps over whether the Charter should ever apply outside Canada's borders.

Judge LeBel, writing for the five-judge majority, said the only exceptions to the general rule are when foreign countries flout accepted international norms and conventions, such as violating human rights or committing crimes against humanity.

"Deference to the foreign law ends where clear violations of international law and fundamental human rights begin."

Justice Ian Binnie, writing separate but concurring reasons, warned that the majority has prematurely boxed in the court with its declaration that the Charter is all but void for police investigations in foreign countries.

"Issues of more far-reaching importance will soon confront Canadian courts, especially in the context of the 'war on terror' and its progeny," Judge Binnie wrote. "We should, in my view, avoid premature pronouncements that restrict the application of the (Charter)."


Mr. Hape's lawyer, Alan Gold, was unavailable for comment.

The ruling, which upholds two earlier decisions in the Ontario courts, builds on four Supreme Court rulings during the 1990s on whether the Charter applies outside Canada, including two decisions that were rendered against Canadians who argued they were not given a proper warning about their right to a lawyer when they were questioned by American authorities.

In 1988, the Supreme Court also ruled that the RCMP could obtain the Swiss banking records of Karlheinz Schreiber, a German-Canadian businessman, without a judge's prior approval. In that case, the court found that the Charter didn't apply because the RCMP were only making the request, and it was Swiss authorities who were carrying it out.

In the fourth case, the Supreme Court ruled that the Charter did apply abroad and the judges ordered a new trial for an American being tried in Canada. The court found that Vancouver police officers had interrogated the man in the United States without advising him of his right to a lawyer.

The difference between that case and Mr. Hape's, the court decided, is that the interrogation was conducted by Canadian authorities rather than foreign ones, so there was no interference with another country's sovereignty.

I believe this ruling is going to have a huge impact on the ongoing complaints and investigations with relation to treatment of those Canada has turned over and think the bar has been raised to the point where the activists now have to prove vice simply allege human rights abuses in order to make a Charter challenge.  It is obvious the Court has taken notice of ongoing issues and is fully anticipating these issues will soon land on its docket. 

Bold is mine.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: GAP on June 08, 2007, 09:42:03
And nor should the Canadian Constitution apply outside of Canada. I do not think we should export our rules and expect them to be applicable in other countries, nor do I think Canadians, who participate in criminal acts outside of Canada, think they should be judged under our rules.

Lately there has been a huge hue and cry for the poor Canadians accused/convicted of crimes elsewhere being brought home for proper treatment/judgement.

Nah.....sucker, you violate their laws, you pay their price.....and maybe we won't cancel your citizenship, because you have done nothing the endear yourself to Canada.....Kadhar is a prime example
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: D Squared on June 08, 2007, 12:24:30
+1 GAP
I agree wholeheartedly.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: MCG on June 14, 2007, 21:00:10
It's never ending.
Quote
Tories under fire again over detainee controversy
14/06/2007 5:47:35 PM 
Opposition parties are blasting the government on the Afghan detainee controversy once again, this time over the question of who will have access to results of a probe into torture allegations.

Afghan detainees captured by Canadians have made allegations that they're being abused after being handed over to local authorities.

Canadian officials heard the complaints while visiting prisons under the agreement signed in early May that allows Canadians greater access to prisoners.

Since signing a revised prisoner transfer agreement, the Conservatives have insisted the International Red Cross will be informed of the results of the investigation by Afghan authorities.

But the Red Cross says it has no such role in the war-torn country and isn't expecting a report of any kind.

Liberal Leader Stephane Dion said the Red Cross contradicted the government's claims that the organization is kept informed of the progress of Afghan authorities' investigations into allegations of detainee abuse.

Dion said the head of the Red Cross, in Kabul, confirmed that his organization "does not have access to inquiries into torture in Afghanistan."

"Will the prime minister admit that today the only ones who are investigating allegations of torture in afghanistan are the afghan authorities?" said Dion.

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan said the revised agreement put the onus on the Afghans to investigate abuse complaints, to take corrective action and to advise both Canada and the Red Cross.

Van Load said the Red Cross has a right to visit detainees "at any time" and that right "derives from international law."

"And I think everyone in this House is well familiar with our supplementary agreement that we entered into with the government of Afghanistan, and that reaffirms a role for the Red Cross," Van Loan told the House.

"But of course in that agreement -- and everybody knows because it was tabled in this House -- sets out quite clearly that the onus is on the government of Afghanistan to advise Canada."

Dion then accused the government of censoring passages of a report outlining the realities of the detainne situation in Afghanistan in order to avoid further embarrassment on the issue.

He said the prime minister's own office produced a report last November that the threat of the Taliban in Afghanistan could "split the country in two." This report was never published, said Dion, and the Harper government instead published a very "rosy" report that indicated the situation on the ground was better than it was.

"This is no way to support troops in Afghanistan, how could the prime minister let the report be tabled when he knew it was false?" said Dion.

"You would have to be living under a rock not to realize that our troops are meeting great challenges in Afghanistan," responsed Van Loan. "And we are very proud of the work that they are doing and we are quite sure that the Liberal leader is aware of that as well. Something he never talks about is the progress in Afghanistan..."
http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/TopStories/ContentPosting.aspx?feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V2&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20070614%2fafghan_detainees_070614&showbyline=True
Title: Hillier muzzles military over detainees
Post by: GAP on July 09, 2007, 12:52:28
Hillier muzzles military over detainees
ALAN FREEMAN AND JEFF ESAU From Monday's Globe and Mail July 9, 2007
Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070709.wdetainees09/BNStory/Afghanistan/?cid=al_gam_nletter_newsUp)

OTTAWA — The office of General Rick Hillier, Canada's top soldier, has halted the release of any documents relating to detainees captured in Afghanistan under the federal Access to Information Act, claiming that disclosure of any such information could endanger Canadian troops.

According to documents made available to The Globe and Mail, the Strategic Joint Staff, a newly created group that advises Gen. Hillier, has been reviewing all Access to Information requests about detainees since March, shortly after the detainee controversy first erupted.

The Strategic Joint Staff has given strict guidance to National Defence's director of Access to Information, Julie Jansen, on what documents should be withheld. The result is that the flow of documents about detainees has virtually dried up and the department has summarily rejected requests for the same kind of documents it released earlier.

In recent letters responding to requests filed on behalf of The Globe and Mail, Ms. Jansen has “exempted in its entirety” the disclosure of detainee transfer logs, medical records, witness statements and other processing forms. The department said the information could not be disclosed for national security reasons.
More on link
Title: Re: Hillier muzzles military over detainees
Post by: milnews.ca on July 12, 2007, 00:24:19
http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=2372

Statement by the Deputy Minister of National Defence on the Access to Information Review Process
NR–07.067 - July 11, 2007

OTTAWA – Several recent media stories have claimed that the Department of National Defence (DND) is blocking “any and all information about Canada's mission in Afghanistan.” This is not only inaccurate and misleading, it also implies that Defence officials are somehow acting in bad faith.

Canadians expect the Department and Canadian Forces to protect the security of Canadian troops who are in harm’s way, and to mitigate the risks they face as much as possible.  In addressing information requests, the Department applies all appropriate procedures and Access to Information protocols; as well, departmental processes are consistent with Treasury Board guidelines.

DND has received hundreds of requests for operational information, including requests for all operational plans, planning documents, tactical techniques and procedures, and lessons learned.  As a result of this unprecedented demand for sensitive information, the Strategic Joint Staff was given responsibility to review recommended severances in accordance with the standard Access to Information (ATI) process.  This review allows for operational oversight that ensures consistency in the release of information; it does not constitute a change to the standard ATI process in DND.  This is being done for one reason and one reason alone: to ensure there is no inadvertent release of information that could assist the enemy and put Canadian, allied or Afghan lives at greater risk.

DND fully understands its responsibilities under the Access to Information Act, and the importance of providing appropriate information to the public.  There must, however, be a balance between our responsibility to make information available to the public and our responsibility to protect the lives of our men and women in uniform.  The safeguarding of some information specific to the mission in Afghanistan is fundamental to the safety of Canadian and Allied personnel.

-30-

NOTE TO EDITORS:  Mr. Ward P.D. Elcock, Deputy Minister of National Defence, has authorized the release of this statement.
Title: Re: Hillier muzzles military over detainees
Post by: Blackadder1916 on July 16, 2007, 11:56:09
Gen Hillier responds to to an editorial written concerning this issue (http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=458193e6-bf38-4501-91c4-06c57dc43b74) with a letter to the editor.

http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=f23cc7f2-572d-47f2-868a-a19bf783ac16
Quote
Military secrecy necessary: Hillier
 
The Edmonton Journal Monday, July 16, 2007

Re: "Military secrecy serves society ill," Editorial, July 12.

As chief of the defence staff, I have the honour and responsibility to lead our fine young men and women in the missions set before them by the government of Canada. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and airwomen face real danger on many missions they are asked to deploy on -- none more so than Afghanistan.

We strive to reduce risks to those great Canadians as much as possible by ensuring they have the right equipment, training and leadership. It is also our responsibility to protect operational security and information that could be potentially used by our adversaries to attack and kill our soldiers and those who we are there to help -- the people of Afghanistan.

Deputy minister Ward Elcock has issued a statement saying that the Department of National Defence "applies all appropriate procedures and Access to Information protocols; as well, departmental processes are consistent with Treasury Board guidelines.

"DND has received hundreds of requests for operational information, including requests for all operational plans, planning documents, tactical techniques and procedures, and lessons learned. As a result of this unprecedented demand for sensitive information, the Strategic Joint Staff was given responsibility to review recommended severances in accordance with the standard Access to Information (ATI) process.

"This review allows for operational oversight that ensures consistency in the release of information; it does not constitute a change to the standard ATI process in DND. This is being done for one reason and one reason alone: to ensure there is no inadvertent release of information that could assist the enemy and put Canadian, allied or Afghan lives at greater risk.

"DND fully understands its responsibilities under the Access to Information Act, and the importance of providing appropriate information to the public. There must, however, be a balance between our responsibility to make information available to the public and our responsibility to protect the lives of our men and women in uniform. The safeguarding of some information specific to the mission in Afghanistan is fundamental to the safety of Canadian and Allied personnel."

Gen. R.J. Hillier,

Chief of the Defence Staff, Ottawa
Title: Re: Hillier muzzles military over detainees
Post by: Punisher_6D on July 18, 2007, 11:25:22
From the Globe:

NDP takes on Hillier over files access
MATT HARTLEY

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

July 18, 2007 at 2:15 AM EDT

The NDP has threatened to haul General Rick Hillier before a House of Commons committee unless the Department of National Defence explains within 10 days the “stonewalling and unreasonable delays in obtaining detainee records.”

In a formal letter addressed to Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor, NDP defence critic Dawn Black said she will move to recall the standing committee on national defence and call Gen. Hillier, the deputy minister and “all relevant officials” to testify – unless the department provides “an explanation of the rationale, legal or otherwise, for the department to deny the release of information related to detainees.”

The letter also calls for an explanation of Gen. Hillier's involvement in the decision not to release the documents. Ms. Black said in an interview that she is most concerned with the lack of civilian oversight concerning how to apply the access-to-information process at National Defence.

“From my reading of the Access to Information Act, the only position for the Chief of Defence Staff is that he's subject to the act. He's not meant to administer the act,” she said.

More on link:  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070718.wdefence18/BNStory/National/home
Title: Re: Hillier muzzles military over detainees
Post by: Nemo888 on July 18, 2007, 11:38:43
Sounds like the press wants us to do their job for them.  All I ever seem to read is armchair quarterbacking on one side and public affairs press releases barely reworded on the other. Now they even do stories about other reporters stories. When did journalistic integrity and competence go down the toilet? The public must be wondering now. If the detainees were well treated how could that endanger our soldiers? Wouldn't that make them safer? This is not looking too good from a PR standpoint. Joe Public doesn't really get the finer points of Op Sec unless its explained slowly with short words. Perhaps the public should be told the truth. That we don't have resources to handle our detainees, but if you would like us too you need to pay for it. I think that would shut done the debate pretty quickly. Everyone wants caviar on a Kraft Dinner budget.

Anyway, back on topic. Get your own stories you hacks. You can't have access to operational info during a war.
Title: Re: Hillier muzzles military over detainees
Post by: Fishbone Jones on July 18, 2007, 11:39:29
It's already been explained:

Quote
"This review allows for operational oversight that ensures consistency in the release of information; it does not constitute a change to the standard ATI process in DND. This is being done for one reason and one reason alone: to ensure there is no inadvertent release of information that could assist the enemy and put Canadian, allied or Afghan lives at greater risk.

Just the 'Dippers' fishing for BBQ votes on the backs of the soldiers again.

Title: Re: Hillier muzzles military over detainees
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 18, 2007, 11:51:19
The NDP is in a furious, near life-or-death struggle with the Greens and the Liberals (a two front war!) in several (maybe 20+?) seats in Greater Vancouver and Toronto and even, in one case, in Montreal.

The very survival of the NDP may be at stake.  The Liberals may be in a worse situation - a three and, in Quebec, even a four front war.

You, those of you in uniform, are props in the theatrics with which the war is being fought, for now.
Title: Re: Hillier muzzles military over detainees
Post by: Greymatters on July 18, 2007, 14:00:35
“From my reading of the Access to Information Act, the only position for the Chief of Defence Staff is that he's subject to the act. He's not meant to administer the act,” she said.

In other words, we're not supposed to think, just do as we are told?   ::)

Title: Re: Hillier muzzles military over detainees
Post by: Punisher_6D on July 18, 2007, 14:27:32
Yes, fall in line and eat your SOYLENT GREEN.  Oops, I meant to post that in the "Army food is 'cheaper than a dog's dinner'" thread. ;D
Title: Re: Hillier muzzles military over detainees
Post by: E.R. Campbell on July 19, 2007, 12:59:35
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Globe and Mail is a fine example of a drive-by smear perpetrated by columnist Lawrence martin against Gen. Hillier:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070718.wcomartin19/BNStory/Front/home
Quote
Too often, access is denied to hide wrongdoing

LAWRENCE MARTIN

From Thursday's Globe and Mail
July 18, 2007 at 11:12 PM EDT

Under what might be called the incarceration of information, as opposed to the freedom of it, two remarkable examples made it to the forefront last week. News from the trial of Conrad Black overshadowed them. But they shouldn't be forgotten.

One was the revelation that our Department of National Defence monitored Steven Staples, head of the Ottawa-based Rideau Institute, because he opposed the war in Afghanistan. A report was produced on his activities, including a speech to a Halifax peace group. The report was sent to 50 officers, including two brigadier-generals. Confronted with the allegation, DND officials tried to cover it up. They initially denied the activity.

The second example featured General Rick Hillier, our top soldier. He halted the release of documents related to detainees captured in Afghanistan. The detainee story caused the government and Gen. Hillier's department many embarrassing moments in the spring. So, basically, they decided, as per the detainee file, to ignore access-to-information laws. They are invoking that old standby, “reasons of national security,” to get around them.

The generals, it seems, are becoming increasingly aggravated by the democratic process and the freedoms therein.

Take, for instance, this Staples fellow. What a menace he is. His group works on behalf of the poor, on behalf of curtailing the nuclear weapons buildup, on behalf of peace. Whew! With that kind of track record, no wonder he's in trouble.

But it doesn't stop there. In addition to Afghanistan, Mr. Staples was also a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq and things such as missile defence. Need any more be said? Bring on the wiretappers.

Actually, we don't know how much snooping DND did on him. The records that were finally released, after the Ottawa Citizen filed a complaint with the country's Information Commissioner, covered only a 15-day period last year. It's reasonable to assume that there was more surveillance and that DND is monitoring many others among the half of the Canadian population opposing the war in Afghanistan. The department is well-positioned to know who's who – its deputy minister, Ward Elcock, used to be the head of CSIS.

On the prisoner detainee file, no one should be surprised at the clampdown. Canadians who are sending their kids off to war will not even be told how many prisoners are being taken over there. The file simply got too hot.

In the spring, a parliamentary committee heard allegations that the Department of Foreign Affairs engaged in a cover-up to prevent the release of a scathing report on the detainees' treatment in Afghan jails. The full story has yet to emerge, and it likely never will.

Lest anyone think the media have been overly harsh, it needs to be noted that they are not the only ones alleging the incarceration of information. In May, Robert Marleau, the new federal Information Commissioner, issued a report. Mr. Marleau was said to be a more lenient fellow than his predecessor, John Reid, who had repudiated the government's performance. But Mr. Marleau couldn't find a way to sugar-coat what was going on.

He looked, for example, at the performance of the Privy Council Office. On the bureaucratic ladder, you can't get any higher than this club, which is the arm of the Prime Minister's Office. He found its compliance with access regulations to be dismal. “Too often, access is denied to hide wrongdoing,” Mr. Marleau said, “or to protect officials or governments from embarrassment, rather than to serve a legitimate confidentiality requirement.”

The government, it need be recalled, promised a new era of transparency and accountability. After Liberal malfeasance, it was elected, in at least some measure, for this very reason.

Some might wish to remind the generals and others of the pledge. And they need to be reminded more than once. In many cases, what happens is that officials wait for the media blow-over effect. They realize that, after a couple of days, journalists will move on to other fare. Stories such as Steven Staples being put under surveillance will be forgotten, and they will be off the hook.

The media's memory has to be longer. They can't allow it to happen.

First: on the Staples file, Martin fails to note that the “monitoring” was probably done by DND public affairs officers intent on countering the rubbish Staples propagates.  That the file only made it as far as two BGens shows that it was completely unimportant – a ‘technical’ investigation designed to inform specialists.

Second: Martin has no idea, none at all, about why it might be important (or not) to control information about detainees.  Nor does he care.  It is an excuse to smear the CDS, a man for whom Martin has frequently expressed contempt because Hillier is too American for Martin’s taste.  It is a petty, personal spat which the Globe’s editors have ‘elevated’ to their opinion pages.

This is classic yellow journalism.

Title: Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cross
Post by: GAP on September 15, 2007, 22:14:03
Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cross
Article Link (http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5h6WqLhNT9WfLodz8JlQ9c58_rTlQ)

HALIFAX (CP) — Ottawa should examine whether Canada needs its own detention facility in Afghanistan, a legal adviser with the Canadian Red Cross said Saturday.

"I'm not saying that it's ideal that our country detains, but it should be an option," said Isabelle Daoust during a panel discussion.

The discussion, which focused on Canada's role regarding the treatment of detainees in the war-torn country, was part of a one-day humanitarian conference at Dalhousie University.

Daoust, who's based in Ottawa, said the federal government must find a way to ensure the rights of detainees in Afghanistan are being upheld.

"That's a political decision that needs to be taken by our government," she said in an interview following the panel discussion.

There have been allegations that some prisoners taken by the Canadian military were abused after being transferred to Aghan jails.

In response to the claims, Ottawa renegotiated its prisoner transfer agreement with Afghanistan to give Canadian officials access to the detainees once they were transferred to Aghan authorities.

Amnesty International has launched a court challenge to bar Ottawa from transferring any more prisoners to the Afghan jails.

Hilary Homes, a campaigner with the human rights group, said NATO countries ultimately have to decide how to handle detainees.

"These countries have together to decide can they do something jointly," Homes, who also took part in the panel discussion, said in an interview.

"If they do that, can it also involve some Afghan officials and be part of that long-term reconstruction that needs to take place? ... There is the capacity, if they choose to have it, to detain somebody in the right conditions."
More on link
Title: Re: Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cros
Post by: milnews.ca on September 16, 2007, 09:29:37
And Amnesty International jumps into the fray as well - usual disclaimer...

NATO has responsibility to ensure prisoners are cared for: Amnesty
RICHARD CUTHBERTSON, Halifax Chronicle-Herald, 16 Sept 07
Article link (http://www.hfxnews.ca/index.cfm?sid=62837&sc=89)

Monitoring alone won't ensure that detainees don't face the possibility of torture after they are handed over from Canadian Forces to Afghan authorities, says a campaigner for Amnesty International.

Hilary Homes said in an interview that immediate protection issues of detainees after their transfer aren't being dealt with. NATO must take responsibility, and that could include running their own detention facility in Afghanistan, she said.

Homes was speaking at a panel discussion yesterday at the Dalhousie's law school on Canada's responsibility toward Afghan detainees. The discussion was part of the third annual conference on International Humanitarian Law.

Allegations have emerged that some prisoners taken in custody by the Canadian Forces were tortured after they were transferred to Afghan authorities. In May, a new agreement was signed which allowed Canadians officials unrestricted access to transferred prisoners in order to monitor their treatment.

Amnesty International has launched an action in the Federal Court of Canada and is seeking an order that would prevent such transfers.

While monitoring is an important part of making sure that detainees are treated properly, Homes said it looks at the general condition. It's limited when tracking the fate of individual prisoners.

"Monitoring does not guarantee an investigation, it does not guarantee anyone held accountable, and it does not guarantee redress," Homes said.

"Those are fundamental parts of what it means to prevent torture in the future. Again, it does not guarantee that orders will even be issued not to torture."

A NATO detention facility could be run with the help of Afghans, Homes said, as part of the reconstruction effort.

The audience at the panel discussion also heard from a senior advisor for international humanitarian law for the Canadian Red Cross. In an interview, Isabelle Daoust said that deciding what body of law governs detainees is sometimes blurry.

"I think that the confusion rests around people who are sporadically taking up arms and committing crimes like setting up a bomb," Daoust said. "And so you're unsure if this is part of the legitimate fighting that's going on or rather corresponds to criminal activity."

Daoust said that traditional POWs are legitimate combatants being held, not for punishment, but simply until the fighting ends.

But, she said: "What we're seeing now is people being captured and interrogated and being accused of terrorism acts or criminal behaviours, yet it doesn't seem like any charges are being brought against them and therefore you have a sense that their detention is indefinite."


Title: Re: Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cross
Post by: Rider Pride on September 16, 2007, 16:56:46
Ludacris.

Two torpedoes for there floating idea:

1. As most Afghans detainees do not belong to a uniformed milita but a terrorist/insugent group, they are criminals not POWs and must be tried and judged under the law of the land (which happens to be Afghanistan) and,

2. who will run and monitor the facility after Canada military pulls out of Afghanistan?
Title: Re: Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cross
Post by: geo on September 16, 2007, 18:44:40
to this I say :P 
Pzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
Title: Re: Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cros
Post by: Nerf herder on September 16, 2007, 22:19:30
Hmmm....the Liberals, Bloc and NDP want us out completely and the Red Cross wants us to build and man prisons.

Someone not paying attention to the news lately methinks.

Regards
Title: Re: Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cros
Post by: Thucydides on September 17, 2007, 00:45:52
Hmmm....the Liberals, Bloc and NDP want us out completely and the Red Cross wants us to build and man prisons.

Someone not paying attention to the news lately methinks.

Regards

More likely no one is paying attention to the historical background or the situation on the ground. I still get astonished looks from people when I tell them we arrived in Kandahar in 2002, and I am surprised that no one has had a stroke or seizure when I describe the progress of the PRT.

Suggestions like pulling out, ISAF building and manning prisons, "we are losing" etc. can only occur when the "debate" is happening in a vacuum. Even with only limited exposure from being on KAF itself provides enough insight that these ideas never even entered my mind (there being little or no evidence whatsoever to support them).

Since there is no evidence to support these sorts of ideas, the next step for the reader is to look for the true motive behind them.
Title: Re: Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cross
Post by: HDE on September 17, 2007, 01:00:35
I'd think part of the plan would be to accord Afghan detainees the same rights and protection as accorded to Canadian prisoners in Canadian prisons.  That'd be a real mess to resolve.
Title: Re: Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cross
Post by: DocBacon on September 18, 2007, 21:34:34
I believe that the IRC and other NGO's with vision problems (they don't see any difference between the NATO, ANP and ANA forces and the Taliban) will push for captured combatants to be treated as we would treat criminals in the west: same standards of evidence, same presumption of innocence, same access to lawyers.  If we don't deliver such treatment, and who can in a combat zone, then we are guilty in the media of maltreatment of our prisoners and we become the oppressive bad guys in this scenario.

Going down that road is a no-win.  IMHO we stay the course and turn over our prisoners to the legal authorities and let the IRC try a moral equivalence argument with someone who has had to live under the oppression of the Taliban.
Title: Re: Ottawa should consider opening Cdn detention centre in Afghanistan: Red Cross
Post by: Brad Sallows on September 19, 2007, 13:18:44
Any combatant (legitimate or not) may be detained for the duration of hostilities.  No lawyers are necessary.  Think of WWII prison camps.  He may be paroled.  At the end of hostilities he must be released to his own forces (or nation).  It won't be our job to provide protection against the possibility of his meeting a bad end at the hands of anyone with a grudge.

Any illegimate combatant, or any legitimate combatant who commits a crime under his own rules of conduct, international law, or such rules as we reasonably impose on those in detention, may be tried as a criminal by whoever has jurisdiction.  Since we aren't going to bring these people to Canada as refugees, they will have to be released to face whatever fate awaits them.  We may as well do it immediately as later; regardless, justice should be timely.  People who believe we need to safeguard detainees' welfare against the authorities of Afghanistan or any other nation have not thought the problem through.

If anyone proposes to bring them here as refugees, I will be exceedingly enraged.
Title: Re: Fears of Torture: What should Canada do with Afghan Prisoners?
Post by: garb811 on October 01, 2007, 09:36:57
And more on the non-news front of this never-ending saga of the investigations into the allegations of abuse, but at least now we know that people who are subject to an investigation "might" be subject to being charged.  Whodathunkit?!

Posted in accordance with the Fair Dealings proviosions of the Copyright Act:  Charges weighed against military police
 (http://www.rbcinvest.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070930.wdetainees1001/front/Front/frontBN/rbc-front)

Quote
PAUL KORING
From Monday's Globe and Mail

Several military police officers may face charges or disciplinary action for failing to call a full investigation into how Afghan prisoners were injured while in Canadian custody, according to sources close to the multiple investigations into allegations of detainee abuse.

But the Canadian Special Forces soldiers who captured and transported the Afghans suspected of being Taliban insurgents are expected to be cleared of using abusive or excessive force, the sources said.

Although the criminal investigation into allegations of abuse and military police conduct is continuing, The Globe and Mail has learned that no evidence points to unwarranted beatings or abuse of the three Afghans who suffered suspicious injuries, including facial cuts and bruises.

Sources familiar with the multiple (and in some cases parallel) investigations spoke on condition that they not be identified.

Nearly eight months after the probes were launched, soon after The Globe published articles about suspicious and unexplained injuries suffered by Afghan detainees while they were in the custody of Canadian soldiers, none of the inquiries are complete.

But the key criminal probe by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, created to be sufficiently independent that it can examine military police conduct and other sensitive issues, is nearing completion.

“They are looking at whether the MPs failed to launch an investigation despite knowing that detainees had been injured by other MPs,” one source said.

A similar although apparently far less serious instance did result in a full-blown CFNIS investigation only two weeks after the incident involving the three Afghans captured by Canadian special forces.

In the second incident, military police ordered a CFNIS probe after it “was alleged that some Military Police had firmly grabbed the arms of one detainee while taking him to a military transport vehicle” on April 23, 2006. “The investigation was conducted by two senior members of the CFNIS” and included questioning of “all personnel involved in the transfer as well as with independent witnesses who confirmed that the detainee was handled in a highly professional manner,” the Canadian Forces said last spring in describing the only investigation into an allegation of detainee abuse.

The glaring disparity between that careful and immediate investigation and the apparent absence of any inquiry into the far more serious incident two weeks before now lies at the centre of the current CFNIS probe into the conduct of military police.

The circumstances surrounding how the detainees came to suffer facial cuts and bruises have yet to be fully explained.

What is known is that Canadian Special Forces soldiers captured the three Taliban suspects near the village of Dukah on April 6, 2006. One escaped and was recaptured the next day. They were then bound and flown in a U.S. Chinook helicopter – although still guarded by Canadian Special Forces soldiers – to Kandahar airbase. According to the Canadian Forces account, it was as the suspects were being handed over to Canadian military police after disembarking from the helicopter that the fracas that resulted in injuries occurred.

Although “already restrained by nylon straps to his wrists, … the detainee used his legs to leverage himself off the back of a vehicle in an effort to generate resistance against the Military Police escorting him. In accordance with proper use of force procedures, Military Police used appropriate physical control techniques to restrain,” according to the official version of the incident released last spring in response to questions from The Globe.

Whether the current NIS probe will come to the same conclusion – that the MPs used only appropriate force to subdue the prisoner – won't be known until the criminal inquiry is complete.

That issue is separate from whether senior military police in Kandahar should have called in the CFNIS to investigate at the time, not nine months later when the high command in Ottawa reacted to published reports detailing the injuries.

The CFNIS won't comment on the progress of its inquiry. Nor will it say whether it ever managed to track down the detainees who were released by the Afghan police after being handed over by Canadian troops.

“That matter is still part of the ongoing investigation,” Captain Cindy Tessier said. She declined to confirm or deny that the former detainees had ever given their side of the story to CFNIS investigators.

Meanwhile, two other investigations are on hold waiting for the CFNIS probe to finish its questioning of several key figures, believed to be senior military police officers who were in a position to order an investigation into the detainee injuries at the time but didn't.

“Witnesses must first be interviewed by the CFNIS and then released by them,” said Lieutenant-Commander Philip Anido, a spokesman for the Board of Inquiry established to look into Canadian Forces polices and practices regarding detainees.
Title: Re: Ottawa silent as time runs out for response on detainees
Post by: GAP on October 22, 2007, 15:38:37
Feds urge dismissal of challenge to detainee policy
Updated Wed. Oct. 17 2007 5:01 PM ET The Canadian Press
 Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071017/detainee_policy_071017/20071017?hub=Canada)

OTTAWA -- A federal lawyer characterized a legal challenge to the government's prisoner transfer policy in Afghanistan as "a political submission'' that should be thrown out of court.

Government counsel J. Sanderson Graham told the Federal Court of Canada on Wednesday there's no evidence to support the case mounted by human rights groups.

If successful, the motion to strike the application for review would derail the case before the parties get to the heart of the matter.

Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association contend a December 2005 transfer arrangement between Canada and Afghanistan lacks adequate safeguards to prevent torture of prisoners.

Allegations have persisted since April that some prisoners taken by the Canadian military were mistreated after being handed over to the Afghan government.

The government confirmed in May there had been accusations of abuse in six individual cases, and that Canada was looking into the complaints.

Ottawa has renegotiated the 2005 agreement with Kabul to allow Canadian officials to check up on the detainees following their transfer.

Graham said the rights groups have not produced specific evidence showing anyone has actually been abused. They cannot rely upon assumptions for which there is no proof, he said.

In a response filed with the court, Amnesty International and the Civil Liberties Association say such specifics are unnecessary. They note that in deportation and extradition cases the Federal Court has simply demanded evidence that there is a serious risk of torture in the destination country.

"The standard of proof in such matters cannot and must not be too onerous.''

The human rights groups say reports of widespread of abuse in Afghanistan mean that handing detainees over to local authorities exposes them to substantial risk of torture, a violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights.
More on link

Title: Re: Ottawa silent as time runs out for response on detainees
Post by: Fishbone Jones on October 22, 2007, 16:23:17
Sounds like they had their bluff called. If their moral indignation is still slighted, they'll have to pull out their own wallet now. If that's the route they go, it should take years......and lots and lots of their money, only to prove their bias as baseless.
Title: Re: Ottawa silent as time runs out for response on detainees
Post by: GAP on October 22, 2007, 16:42:58
+1

Their case is pretty vague.....that's like saying that somewhere in the world people eat dogs, therefore we should have a law against eating dogs...........(they taste good)
Title: Feds dismiss latest report on detainee abuse
Post by: GAP on October 29, 2007, 19:37:00
Feds dismiss latest report on detainee abuse
Updated Mon. Oct. 29 2007 5:28 PM ET The Canadian Press
 Article Link (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071029/detainee_report_071029/20071029?hub=TopStories)

OTTAWA -- The federal government is dismissing an incendiary newspaper report about the continued abuse of detainees in Afghanistan.

Prisoners at an Afghan jail in Kandahar are being bashed with bricks, having their fingernails ripped out, getting electrocuted, being forced to stand up without sleeping and are whipped with electric cables, Montreal La Presse reports.

The newspaper cites interviews with three prisoners and independent sources like a spokesman for the Afghan Human Rights Commission and a prison boss.

The Conservative government in Ottawa responded to similar reports last spring by saying it had a new a deal to monitor detainees.

On Monday, the government responded to the latest report by dismissing it as Taliban propaganda.

"We do expect these kinds of allegations from the Taliban,'' said Tory House leader Peter Van Loan.

"It is their standard operating procedure to engage in these kinds of accusations.''

But Montreal La Presse painted a different portrait after a recent visit to a Kandahar prison.

A spokesman for the Afghan Human Rights Commission is quoted as saying that about a third of prisoners are still being tortured by Afghanistan's secret service before they are taken to prison.

"The Canadians give us a sealed envelope with the names of the prisoners. The problem is that list never corresponds to the one compiled by the secret service,'' said commission spokesman Shamuldin Tanwir.
More on link
Title: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: GAP on November 06, 2007, 09:55:04
Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Charter challenge can proceed, court says
DANIEL LEBLANC From Tuesday's Globe and Mail November 6, 2007 at 3:21 AM EST
 Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071106.wcourt06/BNStory/Afghanistan/?cid=al_gam_nletter_newsUp)

OTTAWA — The Harper government failed in its first attempt to quash legal efforts by human-rights groups to halt the transfer of detainees to local authorities in Afghanistan.

In a ruling Monday, the Federal Court rejected Ottawa's argument that a beefed-up deal with the Afghans last May provided detainees all necessary protections against torture.

Madam Justice Anne Mactavish affirmed that Amnesty International and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association have the right to fight the matter on behalf of Afghan detainees, who have little or no access to Canadian courts.

The two groups launched a challenge under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms earlier this year against the transfer policy. They are seeking an injunction to prevent any more prisoners from being handed over to the Afghans.
More on link
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: ArmyRick on November 06, 2007, 10:03:29
Fine. I guess we will build our "guantonamo bay" facility up some where in Baffin Island. After all, the CF can guarantee we can provide humane treatment.
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: GAP on November 06, 2007, 10:06:05
Fine. I guess we will build our "guantonamo bay" facility up some where in Baffin Island. After all, the CF can guarantee we can provide humane treatment.

Well, since the poor polar bears go hungry from spring to fall, we will nourishing a natural resource.....let the evironmentalist slam us for that!!
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: FusMR on November 06, 2007, 10:06:51
Now what !!  They will force the reopening of the POW camp in Farnham ??  ::)  I think, it's not the good way to help them if we do the detension for the afghan goverment.  They have to do it and learn how to do it.   My 2 cent !!
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: Thucydides on November 06, 2007, 10:16:24
Solution:

Turn the Taliban detainees over to Amnesty International and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association in Kandahar province and let them deal with the detainees there. I know the Canada border Security Agency should never allow undocumented and unhygenic individuals access to Canada
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: bilton090 on November 06, 2007, 10:48:23
Solution:

Turn the Taliban detainees over to Amnesty International and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association in Kandahar province and let them deal with the detainees there. I know the Canada border Security Agency should never allow undocumented and unhygienic individuals access to Canada
              No, turn the Taliban detainees over to Amnesty International and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, so they can be put up in there homes so  they can look out for the Taliban safety, at all times, and pay for them too !, maybe marry a few of there kids off to them, you know the son you didn't have, one big happy family. And they can have a Taliban detainees family picnic once a year, and X-mas doesn't that sound like fun ! , all the little Taliban kids running around. Gee that sounds great !  :'(
 
                                                                                                         
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: E.R. Campbell on November 06, 2007, 10:58:46
If, and it's a big IF, we lose on appeal after appeal then the only acceptable solution will be to build a POW cage (I think that's still the right word) in Afghanistan to be administered by Afghans and Canadians.

Gen. Hillier has stressed that they are Afghanistan's prisoners - we just help and suppport the ANA in its own, sovereign territory. That is how it MUST be - to claim otherwise is to claim that we are invaders/occupiers. If Canadian courts decide that we must violate Afghanistan's sovereignty by exercising some control over Afghanistan's prisoners then we can do that while mentoring the Afghans on POW handing.
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: geo on November 06, 2007, 11:28:12
We violate Afghanistan's sovereignity if we tell the Afghans how to run their own show
We violate Afghanistan's sovereignity if we remove any Afghans from their country without their permission
We violate Afghanistan's sovereignity if, to the Afghan people, we take over responsibilities (building & running prison) that should be dealt with by the Afghan people.
We violate Afghanistan's sovereignity if we do what Amnesty international & the BC Civil liberties Assn are asking us to do.

Short of handing over sovereignity of Han island to the Afghans & establishing a TB colony there.... not sure what can be done to make everyone happy.
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: TCBF on November 06, 2007, 11:39:34
There is a VERY thin red line between looking out for prisoner's rights and essentially 'discouraging' the taking of prisoners at all.   Lawyers will not understand this.  Soldiers will.
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: Brad Sallows on November 06, 2007, 14:43:22
On what Charter grounds is the Charter challenge being mounted?

If the Charter is applied extraterritorially, what is the difference between a detainee and someone who successfully clears the gates of a Canadian compound and claims refugee status?

What are our options if the Afghan government makes a concise and clear legal declaration that all persons not covered by a SOFA shall be immediately subject to Afghan legal jurisdiction?
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: geo on November 06, 2007, 14:54:02
Brad,
The are not challenging the charter, they are challenging our actions under the Cdn charter of rights

From their perspective, if we have captured the troops and they are under our control, then we are on the hook and responsible for how they are looked after as a detainee..... forever and ever, amen!

What are our options - per the doo-gooders?... Catch & release!
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: Zip on November 06, 2007, 15:53:24
Waitacottonpickinminute...

Aren't these the same hug thy neighbour types that constantly decry Gitmo as "illegal" or a "fascist internment camp"? Now they WANT us to make a carbon copy?

WTF?

I can already see the pressitute article being written... 

Quote
Prisoner Ahmed Raman Kahn, known only as prisoner 328597 in the ubiquitously named Baffin Island detention facility hasn't seen his wife and children in over 3 years and Amnesty International is calling for him to either be released in Afghanistan or for his immediate family to be flown to Canada and housed at the government's expense.

Khan, who claims he has been abused in the Canadian government facility said in addition that the cold temperature and arctic climate were "cruel and unusual punishment".

Jack Layton has begun campaigning for the facility to be closed and all the "unlawful detainees" to be released by the 'Bush like' Harper Conservatives...
:brickwall:
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: milnews.ca on November 06, 2007, 16:25:59
If, and it's a big IF, we lose on appeal after appeal then the only acceptable solution will be to build a POW cage (I think that's still the right word) in Afghanistan to be administered by Afghans and Canadians.

Here, here - I had to take a deep breath or two, but let's realize the only thing the courts have agreed to is to HEAR the case.  I think we're still quite some distance from changing our SOPs just yet.  Unless, of course, someone (political) in the system flinches...

+100 to "we're here to help the Afghans, not do the job for them" and "they're AFGHAN prisoners, not CANADIAN prisoners".
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: Thucydides on November 06, 2007, 16:57:47
Here, here - I had to take a deep breath or two, but let's realize the only thing the courts have agreed to is to HEAR the case.  I think we're still quite some distance from changing our SOPs just yet.  Unless, of course, someone (political) in the system flinches...

+100 to "we're here to help the Afghans, not do the job for them" and "they're AFGHAN prisoners, not CANADIAN prisoners".

I'm sure clever government lawers can keep things tied up until at least the end of the Afghanistan Compact in 2011  ;)
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: bilton090 on November 06, 2007, 17:54:59
Waitacottonpickinminute...

Aren't these the same hug thy neighbour types that constantly decry Gitmo as "illegal" or a "fascist internment camp"? Now they WANT us to make a carbon copy?

WTF? +1 on the camp

I can already see the pressitute article being written... 
 :brickwall:
            + 100 on the  :brickwall:    And your story not that far from left
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: Brad Sallows on November 07, 2007, 14:50:56
>Catch & release!

That works.  Catch and parole. Take them to a camp and intern them until they promise not to engage in hostilities if released; then show them out the front gate.
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: geo on November 07, 2007, 15:00:39
>Catch & release!

That works.  Catch and parole. Take them to a camp and intern them until they promise not to engage in hostilities if released; then show them out the front gate.

Ayup, we release them.... and if they get captured by Afghan authorities once they have been released, not really our problem anymore, is it?
Title: Re: Ottawa overruled on Afghan detainees
Post by: pbi on November 08, 2007, 19:19:38
I'm sure clever government lawers can keep things tied up until at least the end of the Afghanistan Compact in 2011  ;)

I just read a copy of the BC Court decision to allow the proceeding of the case. The Govt of Canada  tried to block the application but sadly their objection reads like a list of hastily-thought up obstacles thrown desperately in the path of something that they know they probably can't stop. In the end the judge ruled that while the applicants have yet to prove the merits of their actual case against the Govt, the case can go ahead to court. According to a legal type I spoke with, there is probably very little danger that the end result would be individual soldiers being prosecuted. The people moving this application are out to get public figures at a much higher level, in order to make their point that Canada shouldn't have entered into that agreement.

Quote
That works.  Catch and parole. Take them to a camp and intern them until they promise not to engage in hostilities if released; then show them out the front gate.

OK....this is a joke, right.....?

Cheers

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: X-mo-1979 on November 08, 2007, 19:58:12
Hand them all over to the ANA.They LOVE taliban.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: aesop081 on November 08, 2007, 20:01:22
Hand them all over to the ANA.They LOVE taliban.

Do you even understand what we are talking about ?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: X-mo-1979 on November 08, 2007, 20:09:11
I hope.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: geo on November 08, 2007, 21:51:36
Hand them all over to the ANA.They LOVE taliban.
That is what we are doing right now... and are being dragged over the coals for.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: aesop081 on November 08, 2007, 21:57:21
That is what we are doing right now... and are being dragged over the coals for.

Hence why i asked if he understood the issue before saying something like that
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: geo on November 08, 2007, 21:58:45
(I was attempting to explain to him... not you :) )
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Brad Sallows on November 09, 2007, 22:23:03
>OK....this is a joke, right.....?

No, I'm serious.  Once they're free men, the Afghans can pick them up if the Afghans wish or let them go.  Last time I checked Canada was under no obligation to protect anyone not in Canadian custody, otherwise our soldiers would be constantly intervening between locals and police in every ******* to which we send soldiers.  If the ex-detainees resume hostilities, eventually one of two things will happen: they'll be KIA, or be picked up again.  On the second go, once a positive ID is established there's a straightforward prosecution (for breaking parole) and into a proper clink (not a prison camp) they go.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: DocBacon on November 10, 2007, 01:31:56
And Brad, you know that if we let that happen - you know, the due course thing - we'll either be castigated in the press for "allowing" recidivism or for not providing a proper environment for the effective rehabilitation of the wayward. 

But seriously folks, we're truly stuffed here since the process of creating a safe opportunity for the evolution of good Afghan governance involves risk and exposure for the troops and death or capture for the enemy.  If we fail to provide a safe enough environment we're losing, if we have to kill the terrs we're losing, and if we lose any of ours....

It seems that the Canadian public is just not prepared for the cost of creating a civil society from whole cloth.  I believe our soldiers know, and are prepared to make the investment, but the CBC is perched on the shoulders of every soldier there just waiting to create a sh**storm if anyone gets hurt.

So, as a previous poster has pointed out, if the treatment of prisoners becomes too onerous there won't be as many prisoners taken.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: TCBF on November 10, 2007, 03:31:39
... So, as a previous poster has pointed out, if the treatment of prisoners becomes too onerous there won't be as many prisoners taken.

- Well, I was kind of hoping I wasn't being that direct.

 ;D
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: DocBacon on November 10, 2007, 11:50:04
Well, TCBF, history has that habit of repeating itself. 
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on November 13, 2007, 13:14:09
It looks like the same theme is going to be used all through the various NATO countries.....

Dutch accused of complicity in torture in Afghanistanby
 Vanessa Mock 13-11-2007
 Article Link (http://www.radionetherlands.nl/currentaffairs/071113-torture-afghanistan-mc)

Dutch forces in Afghanistan have been accused exposing their detainees to torture and flouting international obligations. Amnesty International says troops from NATO's ISAF mission in the country are handing over detainees to Afghan authorities, despite consistent reports that these are using methods such as whipping and beatings against inmates.
 
"There is evidence that torture takes place within the Afghan detention system," says Susi Dennison of Amnesty's Europen Union office, adding:

"There is no way that ISAF troops - including those of the Dutch government - can know that torture will not take place when they transfer detainees to Afghan authorities."

Worthless safeguards
The Dutch, British and Belgian and other ISAF contingents have signed a deal with Afghan authorities to ensure that inmates are treated in accordance with international standards. This 'Memorandum of Understanding' should guarantee these forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross full access to the detainees.
 
But in all these cases, Ms Dennison insists that this Memorandum "is not being fulfilled and independent human rights monitors are not getting full access."
More on link
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Eggy on November 13, 2007, 17:28:18
Amnesty is accusing all those countries without having any facts. They suspect torture taking place or have heard anything to that extent and suddenly all the NATO nations are complicit in torturing Afghans. It probably works with the media lapping everything up as long as itás negative news for the military.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Chris Pook on November 13, 2007, 19:09:11
"There is no way that ISAF troops - including those of the Dutch government - can know that torture will not take place when they transfer detainees to Afghan authorities."

Three readings and I finally think I have the sense of this sentence.  The wonders of double negatives.

There is no way that I can know that I will not choke on a chicken bone the next time that I eat at KFC either.  The future is always unknowable.  But as is being pointed out, this is probably more about Amnesty finding uniform talking point that they can use to raise their profile across the board.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MCG on November 15, 2007, 23:23:47
Quote
Opposition claims cover-up in alleged detainee abuse
Updated Thu. Nov. 15 2007 8:14 PM ET
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- Detailed, specific, first-hand accounts about the abuse of Canadian-captured Afghan prisoners were in the hands of the Conservative government 48 hours after the first media reports appeared last spring, court records show.

As cabinet ministers downplayed or even denied the existence of the allegations, the government had two reports that prisoners complained they were stepped on, kicked while blindfolded, subjected to electric shocks, or made to stand up for days.

During the first week of the scandal, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day consistently denied any evidence of torture.

Internal government e-mails and situational reports prepared by Canadian officials in Kandahar, released as part of a Federal Court action by Amnesty International and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, show diplomats and investigators spoke to two prisoners, who provided graphic statements on April 25, 2007.

Those claims were forwarded immediately to Ottawa.

The revelation has opposition parties wondering how much the government knew and when it became aware that prisoners, captured by Canadians but handed over to Afghan authorities, were potentially abused in violation of international law.

Published reports on April 23 suggested as many as 30 prisoners had been mistreated by the Afghans.

Two days later, Corrections Canada officers and an official at Canada's provincial reconstruction base conducted a prison visit. Reports were filed that night to both the Foreign Affairs Department and the Correctional Service of Canada.

"To our surprise, even though NDS officers accompanied us throughout the visit, two prisoners came forward with complaints of mistreatment,'' wrote Gavin Buchan, the political director of the reconstruction base.

On April 26, in response to a question in the House of Commons from deputy Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff, Harper described claims of prisoner abuse as "baseless allegations.''

Day was also quoted that day as saying: "We have no proof of the allegations.''

In the same question period, he described published reports of abuse as "false allegations'' and accused the opposition of believing Taliban propaganda.

He conceded Canadian officials had visited Sarposa prison in Kandahar and made only a passing reference to their findings.

"We are concerned about those people,'' he said, answering a question by Liberal House Leader Ralph Goodale. "Two of the individuals talked to our officials and our officers raised the issue of their being in leg irons. We do not think they should be in leg irons.''

Government House Leader Peter Van Loan was even more adamant when he appeared on CTV's Question Period on April 29: "We have yet to see one specific allegation of torture. If they have one, we'd be happy to chase it down.''

It wasn't until five days after the reports were filed that Day reluctantly conceded that the leg-iron allegations he had spoken about were more serious and likely involved torture.

"Yes, they have actually talked to detainees about the possibility if they were tortured or not,'' Day said on April 30, in response to a reporter's question. "They actually had a couple of incidents where detainees said they were.''

But Buchan's heavily censored April 25 report showed the torture claims of the inmates were obvious from the start.

One prisoner "went on to state that he had been interrogated by foreigners. He alleged that (censored) beat him and gave electric shocks. He also stated he was bound by his feet and hands and was made to stand for 10 days.''

A second inmate complained "he had been kicked and beaten while blindfolded'' and that guards "had stepped on his belly.''

Out of 19 prisoners viewed during the visit, the report said seven indicated they were captured by Canadian troops.

"When asked about prisoner treatment we did indicate that two inmates had stated they had been tortured,'' said the nine-page document.

"While we saw no immediate evidence of abuse, matters would require further investigation and/or corroboration. The response regarding the prisoner who stated (censored) had abused him was that he had been questioned by (Afghan National Police).''

Canadian diplomats on the ground pursued the claims, but were told by the Afghan intelligence chief in Kandahar "there was no substance, and that it was a transparent attempt by hard-core Taliban to discredit the government,'' said an April 30 email.

Liberal defence critic Denis Coderre says the government was evidently eager to accept the explanation of the people accused of torture.

"Franky this was a cover-up,'' he said Thursday. "This government misled the House. This government lied to the Canadian people.''

It remains unclear how much of the reports were shared directly with Harper, Day and other members of the Conservative front bench -- even though the government was under daily attacks over published reports of abuse.

Late Thursday, a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier dismissed the criticism as an opposition attempt to grab headlines.

"Since signing this supplementary arrangement, there have been real improvements in the monitoring and tracking of prisoners,'' said Neil Hrab in an e-mail response.

"The behaviour of the opposition, while sensationalist, is not surprising because they refuse to admit that the process is working.''

Hrab's comments did not answer the central question of why the Conservatives chose to deny and downplay the first-hand accounts of possible torture.

The abuse revelations prompted the government to sign a revised prisoner deal with the Afghans, one that allowed Canadian authorities to check on the staus of those captured.

Since last spring seven prisoners have complained about torture, the latest being the most serious case where diplomats saw evidence of physical abuse.

In the Commons on Thursday, Bernier said he has spoken with his Afghan counterpart, who's promised a full investigation.

"Somehow I don't think a phone call is going to cut it,'' NDP defence critic Dawn Black said.

"The government's policy is to hand over detainees to Afghan authorities and hope they do the best they can.''

The sense that the torture claims are part of an insurgent conspiracy still lingers.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the Commons that he's sure Coderre has "more questions to pose on behalf of Taliban prisoners."
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20071115/afghan_prisoners_071115/20071115?hub=Canada
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Brad Sallows on November 16, 2007, 09:11:25
Allegations are not evidence.   I'd at least like the media to distinguish one from the other, determine which (perhaps both) a source provides and to what extent, and be clear which is being referred to in each instance.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Zip on November 16, 2007, 10:37:54
Allegations are not evidence.   I'd at least like the media to distinguish one from the other, determine which (perhaps both) a source provides and to what extent, and be clear which is being referred to in each instance.

I've heard the Media use the word "allegation" but it's used interchangeably with other words like, oddly enough, evidence... As in "Amnesty International says it has evidence that..." Therefore the word has lost practically all meaning to the public through this news speak tactic of joining words with definite legal connotations to words that imply hearsay and innuendo.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on November 16, 2007, 11:21:50
Afghan prisons: What Ottawa knew
Bloody floors, constant use of leg irons and few checks on authority revealed in declassified government files
PAUL KORING AND ALAN FREEMAN From Friday's Globe and Mail November 16, 2007 at 4:18 AM EST
 Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071116.wdetainees16/BNStory/Afghanistan/home)

WASHINGTON, OTTAWA — The Harper government knew prison conditions were appalling long before The Globe and Mail published a series of stories last April detailing the abuse and torture of prisoners turned over by Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan's notorious secret police, documents released this week show.

The heavily censored documents also show that at the same time as senior ministers were denying evidence of abuse, officials on the ground in Afghanistan were collecting first-hand accounts from prisoners of mistreatment.

Although large sections of the more than 1,000 pages of documents and messages between Ottawa, Kabul and Kandahar remain blacked out, two disturbing pictures emerge from the pile.

First, that despite working hard to create the impression of careful follow-up in monitoring of detainees, efforts have been hampered by a chaotic and unreliable Afghan system in which scores, perhaps hundreds, of detainees have vanished.
More on link
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: old medic on November 17, 2007, 01:52:47
French foreign minister defends Canada's treatment of Afghan prisoners
By THE CANADIAN PRESS
http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/War_Terror/2007/11/16/4661859-cp.html

Quote
PARIS - The French foreign affairs minister is defending the treatment of Afghan prisoners by Canadian soldiers.

Bernard Kouchner said Friday that France has total confidence in Canada when it comes to the way captured Afghans have been treated.

The French minister expressed support for what he called his Canadian friends after meeting in Paris with federal Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier.

Kouchner says he is confident human rights and international agreements have been respected.

Bernier told reporters that Afghan authorities have assured him they will carry out a detailed and transparent investigation of prisoner treatment that he has requested.

Kouchner also says he hopes that Canada and France will work together to help open up access to health care for the civilian population.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Sheep Dog AT on November 17, 2007, 14:18:16
I wouldn't have expected that.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on November 17, 2007, 14:47:48
General rules out NATO-run prisons
Remarks follow claims of abuse in Afghan jails
http://www.thestar.com/News/Canada/article/277302

Quote
Setting up separate NATO-run jails to hold battlefield detainees who might otherwise be tortured is out of the question, the alliance's military chief says.

Gen. Ray Henault, the Canadian chair of NATO's military committee, said creating detention facilities that are run by the International Security Assistance Force would put too much demand on the already difficult Afghanistan mission and undermine the Afghan government, which has responsibility for its own penal system.

"We consider this to be something done in concert with international standards. That's the way we intend to continue doing business," Henault said...

Liberal MP Denis Coderre said the documents prove "Canada has violated the Geneva Convention" and "must stop the transfers, bring back the prisoners and respect this convention."

Henault rejected accusations there is "systematic" torture in Afghan jails, or at the hands of its secret police, and said he is not aware of any individual cases of abuse.

"But it would probably be inappropriate for me to say that there is nothing like that that ever happens in Afghanistan."

An aide to Henault added that probes of torture allegations are "going to put the pressure where it needs to be, which is on the Afghan government." Indeed, Afghan President Hamid Karzai has already warned the country's police against using physical abuse and has launched an inquiry into torture allegations.

In the meantime, Henault said responsibility for improving the country's prisons falls to organizations like the Red Cross, Afghanistan's human rights body and the government, not NATO.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Canada quietly halted Afghan detainee transfers
Post by: kilekaldar on January 23, 2008, 20:47:34
Canada quietly halted Afghan detainee transfers

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080123/afghan_080123/20080123?hub=TopStories

Updated Wed. Jan. 23 2008 6:45 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Canadian soldiers halted the transfer of Afghan detainees last November, after a "credible allegation" that a prisoner had been tortured by local authorities in Kandahar, according to a letter from the Department of Justice.

Earlier this week the B.C. Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) released documents it said were given to federal government officials and that detailed reports of detainee abuse.

Large portions of the documents were censored but they contained interviews with detainees who claimed they had been "whipped with cables, shocked with electricity and/or otherwise hurt" while in Afghan custody in Kandahar.

The group released the documents as part of its legal efforts to pressure the government into taking action on the issue. Amnesty International has also called on Canada to stop transferring detainees.

On Tuesday, the Department of Justice sent a letter to the groups' lawyers, saying that soldiers had temporarily halted the transfers.

"Canadian authorities were informed on November 5, 2007, by Canada's monitoring team, of a credible allegation of mistreatment pertaining to one Canadian-transferred detainee held in an Afghan detention facility," wrote senior counsel J. Sanderson Graham. "As a consequence there have been no transfers of detainees to Afghan authorities since that date. The allegation is under investigation by the Afghan authorities. Canada will resume transferring detainees when it believes it can do so in accordance with its international legal obligations.

Amnesty International said Wednesday that the government had kept the decision to halt transfers a "secret," and revealed the move only because of legal action by the groups.

"The Government's decision amounts to a concession that the May 2007 Monitoring Agreement has failed to prevent torture by Afghan authorities," Jason Gratl, president of the BCCLA, said in a press release Wednesday.

"It is unfortunate that the Government has chosen, yet again, to reveal new developments on detainees only when an injunction hearing is pending. The Canadian public has a right to know this information and shouldn't be hearing about it only because the government is being sued."

Amnesty International and BCCLA said they will continue legal action against the government because officials have not stopped transfers "indefinitely."

More to come...
Title: Re: Canada quietly halted Afghan detainee transfers
Post by: milnews.ca on January 23, 2008, 22:10:29
And here's the news release (http://www.bccla.org/pressreleases/08afghanJan23.pdf) (.pdf) from those taking the credit.....

GOVERNMENT CEASES AFGHAN DETAINEE TRANSFERS
British Columbia Civil Liberties Association news release, 23 Jan 08

The Government of Canada has informed the BC Civil Liberties Association and Amnesty International Canada that it has ordered the Canadian Forces to cease all transfers of detainees into Afghan custody due to allegations of torture, effective November 5, 2007. The Government kept this decision a secret until now.

“The Government’s decision amounts to a concession that the May 2007 Monitoring Agreement has failed to prevent torture by Afghan authorities,” said Jason Gratl, president of the BCCLA. “It is unfortunate that the Government has chosen, yet again, to reveal new developments on detainees only when an injunction hearing is pending. The Canadian public has a right to know this information and shouldn’t be hearing about it only because the government is being sued.”

“The government could have anticipated at the outset that monitoring of detainees is inadequate to deal with the risk of torture. The torture of detainees that occurred since May 3, 2007 was both predictable and avoidable,” said Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada.

Amnesty and BCCLA’s injunction application, set for January 24, 2008, will proceed because the Canadian Government has refused to stop transfers indefinitely or agree to give notice to the organizations when detainee transfers will resume. In light of the new information, Federal Court Justice Anne Mactavish has ordered Brigadier General Joseph Paul Andre Deschamps to appear tomorrow and give testimony before arguments begin.

The application to determine whether the Charter of Rights and Freedoms binds Canadian Forces operating abroad to refrain from transferring prisoners of war to face a significant risk of torture continues to be set for January 25, 2008. Both motions will take place at 9:30 am in the Supreme Court of Canada building in Ottawa.


Title: Re: Canada quietly halted Afghan detainee transfers
Post by: Mr.Newf on January 23, 2008, 22:49:02
Oh I love this comment (not in the article, a comment made by someone there)

Quote
The Conservative Government of Canada SUPPORTS torture!
as long as it's part of the war on "terrorisim"
::) I hate people who know nothing about what they are talking about.

BZ on the Government with this.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: George Wallace on January 24, 2008, 08:55:41
 ???

So?  Are we now using a "Catch and Release" program?  Are the Taliban now listed as an "Endangered Species"?  Or have we now adopted the "Paracowboy Method"?  (Those not familiar with this "Method" - Please use the Search Function and read.)  Perhaps we are now bringing them to Canada and billeting them with Registered members of the New Democratic Party?  Have we set up a Gulag in some remote area of the world where we detain them?  This is ridiculous.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: geo on January 24, 2008, 12:05:10
I'm with ya George.... what have we done with em since then?
Has immigration Canada set up shop at KAF so we can put the TB on the dole here at home?

If anyone is asking.... Han island is still uninhabitated & available.... also, considering both we & Denmark are involved with the TB, this could be a win,/win situation...... but only if someone is asking

Cheers!
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Baden Guy on January 24, 2008, 14:14:04
Looks like we aren't the only ones having this problem:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/07/world/asia/07bagram.html

January 7, 2008
Foiling U.S. Plan, Prison Expands in Afghanistan
By TIM GOLDEN
Correction Appended

WASHINGTON — As the Bush administration struggles for a way to close the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, a similar effort to scale down a larger and more secretive American detention center in Afghanistan has been beset by political, legal and security problems, officials say.

The American detention center, established at the Bagram military base as a temporary screening site after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, is now teeming with some 630 prisoners — more than twice the 275 being held at Guantánamo.

The administration has spent nearly three years and more than $30 million on a plan to transfer Afghan prisoners held by the United States to a refurbished high-security detention center run by the Afghan military outside Kabul.

But almost a year after the Afghan detention center opened, American officials say it can accommodate only about half the prisoners they once planned to put there. As a result, the makeshift American site at Bagram will probably continue to operate with hundreds of detainees for the foreseeable future, the officials said.

More at link


Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on January 25, 2008, 18:57:29
Lawyers say applying Charter rights in Afghanistan would violate sovereignty
Article Link (http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5jwyJ6OYWUXfozZ646Ts5KlWQRIHA)

OTTAWA - Federal lawyers argued the Charter of Rights and Freedoms doesn't follow the flag and apply to Afghan war prisoners turned over to local authorities by Canadian troops.

Doing so, said federal attorney J. Sanderson Graham, could create a legal "patchwork" in which prisoners turned over to Afghan officials by the Canadian military enjoyed Charter rights while prisoners held by other countries' armed forces didn't.

And Brian Evernden, another government lawyer, said Canada would be violating Afghanistan's sovereignty by enforcing the Charter in the war-torn country.

At issue during Friday's marathon day in court was which laws - Canadian or international - govern the detention and transfer of prisoners to Afghan authorities.

Lawyers for a pair of human-rights groups are fighting for Charter rights to apply to interactions between Canadian troops and their prisoners, even in foreign countries.

But the attorneys for Amnesty International and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association can't just "pick and choose" when and where the Charter applies, Evernden said.

"My friend is not in a position where he can pick and choose the Charter rights at issue," he said. "That is, if good things happen, the Charter does not apply, and if bad things happen, the Charter does apply."
More on link
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Thucydides on January 26, 2008, 23:21:38
More interesting stuff to sort out.

http://unambig.blogspot.com/2008/01/so-where-does-all-this-leave-us-on.html

Quote
Saturday, January 26, 2008
So Where Does All This Leave Us On Afghanistan?

There are countless questions yet to be answered, but in the aftermath of the revelations of the past two days, there are some interesting things to note. The first is the political opportunism of Stephane Dion, who sees a potential weakness in the Harper government, and has used this time to accuse the government of "lying". There's every indication that Stephane Dion might be right, as the December 6 decision to halt detainee transfers was likely handed down to General Rick Hillier, who would inform Peter MacKay as a matter of procedure. There's further evidence that Peter MacKay knows perfectly well what's going on, as shown in an interview last night:

    "I'm not going to do anything that's going to endanger the lives of Canadian Forces personnel or Afghans involved in this operation," he said. "If [Mr. Dion] wants to be irresponsible and talk about the briefing he received, that's a decision for him."

Regardless, we haven't heard all of the facts yet, and I'm not going to make any snap judgments until we have. Having said that, it's interesting to note that NATO is also curious as to what is going on, having not been notified of the procedural change. For those who think it's inappropriate for ordinary Canadians to know what's going on in Afghanistan, perhaps the central military command might be one you would tell that to at the very least:

    Dion's disclosure came as the Afghan detainee affair rippled overseas to NATO headquarters, where Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has asked Canada to explain its Nov. 6 decision to quietly suspend handing over detainees captured by the Canadian Forces to the Afghan government.

    That detainee policy shift - publicly disclosed this week in a Justice Department letter - appears to contravene NATO's guidelines that Afghan detainees must be transferred within 96 hours.

In light of this fact, along with possible contraventions of the Geneva Convention, we should at least be taking this more seriously than we are. NATO itself has said that the policy developed for detainee transfers was very clearly developed with the understanding that Afghanistan is a sovereign nation in which Canada is an invited guest. Canada would therefore not have NATO authorization to change a policy in separate detention systems.

Of course this also creates some concern about the future of the mission, and the integral support that is necessary from the Liberal Party in order to extend it beyond February of 2009. And since Stephane Dion has known about this for two weeks, it comes then as a bit of a surprise that Stephane Dion told reporters that he was "open to debate" on Afghanistan and the Manley Panel Report. Since Stephane Dion was already aware of an issue which he is now using to question the ability of the Conservatives to govern, was it disingenuous of him to suggest that the Liberals would be willing to debate the merits of working with the Conservatives toward a mission extension? It seems even Stephen Harper is aware of that need, as Victor Wong reported yesterday:

    Interesting comments on the Manley Report — it was the one item on the agenda where he didn’t attack the Liberals, congratulating them instead on starting the mission and taking it seriously. He also praised the Report, saying everyone should read it. While not actually endorsing its findings, I think it’s a signal that he’s willing to collaborate with the Liberals pro-stay MPs to implement the Report recommendations. It’s something to keep a watch on.

What we do know is that the Manley Report helped to educate many Canadians on the importance of extending the Afghan mission, as evidence from a new Ipsos Reid poll released on Friday. The number of Canadians who now want to withdraw from Afghanistan has dropped to 37%, with 45% believing we should stay under a more "supportive" role such as training Army and police officers.

The Torch today offers up what has come to define the problem with the Afghan mission: communication. Citing the same Ipsos Reid poll, The Torch suggests the increase in support for mission is reflective in an increase in communication. And that deficiency has been of utmost clarity in this Conservative government, culminating now in the recent detainee issue. It could be suggested that either a cabinet war committee, or a civilian adviser could oversee and ensure Canada's involvement in this mission and a greater scrutiny from the public eye:

    Canadians can understand tactical considerations or operational security as long as they are used judiciously and correctly. Blanket policy directives serve as nothing more than band-aids on an open political wound. We do the Canadian military a great injustice when we allow political parties of any stripe to use them for their partisan ends.

Posted by Raphael Alexander at 11:37 AM   
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on January 26, 2008, 23:50:39
Enough said:

Government out of the loop on detainees? Give me a break
By CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD 
http://199.246.67.249/servlet/ArticleNews/printarticle/gam/20080126/BLATCHFORD26

Quote
Oh, please: The Stephen Harper government didn't know that the Canadian military had stopped handing over Afghan detainees last fall, after Canadian monitors found what they called a credible allegation of torture?

This claim, made Thursday night by the Prime Minister's communications director, Sandra Buckler, was being hastily retracted by Ms. Buckler less than 24 hours later.

"I should not have said what I said to you," she told The Globe and Mail's Campbell Clark yesterday. "I misspoke, and I wanted to make sure you were aware of that." Then she refused to say whether she "misspoke" because she said something she shouldn't have or because she said something that was wrong, and declined further comment. And she - madness! -- is the PM's communications director.

Knock me down with a feather: Ms. Buckler misspeaks, slurs the Canadian Forces and gives credence to all those who were already, as Mike Duffy noted Thursday on CTV NewsNet, pointing the finger of blame at Chief of the Defence Staff Rick Hillier and what? She gets to say, albeit in a magnificently unhelpful way, "Oops"?

 Off with her head...

Yet what is far more interesting than the duplicitous double-speak coming from this government is what it reveals both about its control-freak mentality (that if its first instinct is to say nothing, its second is to blame someone outside the circle of wagons, often the military) and the troubling, giddy eagerness with which the claim was sucked into the 24-7 media machine and spun out virtually unaltered for hours at a stretch...

...with Gen. Hillier in the air Thursday when this story broke - he was en route to resume the rare holiday he had already interrupted to return to Ottawa to discuss the Manley report, apparently with the PM and cabinet - there was in his absence no one willing or able to risk disputing Ms. Buckler's now-discredited allegation that the Canadian Forces had kept the government in the dark.

A second factor, I think, is that every story now, whether it is about Paris Hilton or the mission to Afghanistan, is subjected to the same unquestioning hyperbole. We in the press seem to suffer somewhat from a version of what in badly behaved children is called oppositional defiance disorder; we mistrust our own institutions such that we are fully prepared to accept, at least for story purposes, that the Canadian military would try to keep the government, which soldiers know better than anyone else is properly its master, out of the loop...

There's a nice post on the whole "detainee" question at Barrel Strength:
http://www.barrelstrength.com/2008/01/26/when-semantics-attack/

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: TCBF on January 27, 2008, 00:14:39
This We All Know To Be True: 

The more inconvenient taking prisoners becomes, the less prisoners will be taken.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: FSTO on January 27, 2008, 02:05:32
I don't know if this is op sec or not but how many suspects/pirates/taliban/mercs/whatever the flavour of the week is with the media/politicos have the folks in A-stan caught since the "new" policy was put in place? 1, 10, 100? Who knows and in the end who cares. My Army brethren have done a bang-up job of everything they have been asked to do and more. All this in-spite of the cornucopia of Monday morning generals that we have in Canada. It is enough to make you weep that these clowns (PMO office, DFAIT, Liberal, NDP, CBC, CTV, Sun Media, Rabble.ca, Blue Lemons, etc.) question, dissect, criticize, pick apart, grumble, praise EVERY GD THING THEY DO. And all with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.
JHC, the armchairs were up in arms because we took prisoners, they were up in arms because we didn't take prisoners, they'll soon be up in arms because the John Howard Society isn't in theatre to make sure the prisoners rights aren't violated!

Enough already, put the mission to a vote in Parliament, make a goddamn decision to stay or go and be done with it.

Rant over
Title: Re: Shame on Lawrence Martin’s Unnamed Official
Post by: milnews.ca on January 27, 2008, 09:23:51
A bit more to feed the flames - highlights mine.  Is it just me, or is an elected official here happy to let the MILITARY look like they make the final decisions on this one?  As opposed to those we elected to govern saying, "the buck eventually stops with us"?  Also, I hope nobody is using OPSEC as an excuse for not considering the policy question closely enough at the highest levels.  Shared with the usual disclaimer....

MacKay looks for improved conditions
MURRAY BREWSTER, Canadian Press, via Halifax Chronicle Herald, 27 Jan 08
Article link (http://thechronicleherald.ca/Canada/1034510.html)

OTTAWA — Canada will resume handing over captured Taliban fighters to Afghan authorities as soon as the army is confident there is no risk of torture, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Saturday.

The agreement signed with President Hamid Karzai’s government last May will be honoured, MacKay insisted at the end of a closed-door strategy session.

The handovers will recommence once "we see there are improvements. . . in the Afghan prison," he told reporters.

But MacKay was adamant that military commanders on the ground will make the determination as to whether conditions in Afghan jails are good enough to allow for transfers.

He threw a blanket of operational security around what criteria field commanders will use to make their decision.


"We are not going to give the Taliban our playbook," he said. "We are not going to discuss the things we are doing operationally."

His comments will likely steel the determination of human-rights activists, who’ve been fighting in Federal Court to end the practice once and for all.

Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association have fought a protracted legal battle, arguing that Canada is in danger of violating human rights law when it delivers prisoners into the hands of possible torture.

Government lawyers tried last week to have the case thrown out, arguing the transfers had been suspended, but human-rights groups countered that the handovers could resume at any time.

The international agreement governing the reconstruction of Afghanistan estimates it will be 2010 before that country’s prison system is in good enough shape to be considered free of possible abuse.

"I don’t think Canada or the Canadian Forces can be confident for a few years that that country will have the capacity to safely manage prisoners," said Paul Champ, the lawyer for Amnesty.


Title: Re: Shame on Lawrence Martin’s Unnamed Official
Post by: sgf on January 27, 2008, 12:08:25
all this just re enforces my belief that there is no political party in this country that truly cares one iota about the Canadian Military. Present day the miltiary is being used as a pawn to obtain votes. I dont know whats worse being neglected and ignored as it was for years or this.
Title: Re: Shame on Lawrence Martin’s Unnamed Official
Post by: Brad Sallows on January 27, 2008, 12:23:17
>"I don’t think Canada or the Canadian Forces can be confident for a few years that that country will have the capacity to safely manage prisoners," said Paul Champ, the lawyer for Amnesty.

So what?  If we leave, the Afghans will manage their own prisoners.  They may never have the "capacity to safely manage prisoners" in the manner desired by us.  We do not have a duty to do everything the Afghans can't or won't do just because we're there.  The Afghans are not collectively children from whom privileges and responsibilites must be taken while the adults are in the room.
Title: Re: Shame on Lawrence Martin’s Unnamed Official
Post by: sgf on January 27, 2008, 15:47:01
if nothing then is going to change for the better for the people of Afghanistan, is NATO there then simply to rid the country of the Taliban?
Title: Re: Shame on Lawrence Martin’s Unnamed Official
Post by: Zip on January 27, 2008, 17:22:46
if nothing then is going to change for the better for the people of Afghanistan, is NATO there then simply to rid the country of the Taliban?

sgf, Amnesty and their Ilk are utopians of the highest order.  Afghanistan could be run by angels and led by Mother Terresa from heaven and they would be bemoaning the lack of Afghan involvement in the government and cursing the christian crusaders. ::)
Title: Re: Shame on Lawrence Martin’s Unnamed Official
Post by: GAP on January 27, 2008, 17:33:49
if nothing then is going to change for the better for the people of Afghanistan, is NATO there then simply to rid the country of the Taliban?

Are you just twigging on that....NOTHING else happens until security happens....even in dreams.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Baden Guy on January 27, 2008, 19:42:03
Enough said:

Government out of the loop on detainees? Give me a break
By CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD 
http://199.246.67.249/servlet/ArticleNews/printarticle/gam/20080126/BLATCHFORD26

Mark
Ottawa

And;

"The result in this case was that with Gen. Hillier in the air Thursday when this story broke - he was en route to resume the rare holiday he had already interrupted to return to Ottawa to discuss the Manley report, apparently with the PM and cabinet - there was in his absence no one willing or able to risk disputing Ms. Buckler's now-discredited allegation that the Canadian Forces had kept the government in the dark."

So no one short of Gen.Hillier found it prudent   to go up against Ms.Buckler.   :(

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: TCBF on January 27, 2008, 20:58:20
You have to marvel at the genius of NOT sacking Ms Buckler immediately.   Now that her 'lack of moral fibre' is evident, any future PR flops - her fault or not - will be explained away in back rooms and unatributable quotes as "poor girl was always out of her ethical league, but the boss wanted to give her a chance" or "wanted the last bit to blow over so she could at least leave town on a high note.." etc.

Brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant: she just volunteered to be a fall-girl.

 
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on January 27, 2008, 21:20:26
You have to marvel at the genius of NOT sacking Ms Buckler immediately.   Now that her 'lack of moral fibre' is evident, any future PR flops - her fault or not - will be explained away in back rooms and unattributable quotes as "poor girl was always out of her ethical league, but the boss wanted to give her a chance" or "wanted the last bit to blow over so she could at least leave town on a high note.." etc.

Brilliant.  Absolutely brilliant: she just volunteered to be a fall-girl.

Not necessarily. The liberal stategist of "beer and popcorn" fame is still very active.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: stealthylizard on January 27, 2008, 21:21:57
What happened to the detainees when Paul Martin was the PM?  Or did this whole issue only occur after Harper was elected, or is this just more hypocrisy?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on January 28, 2008, 08:10:35
Its a disgrace that this happened under any Canadian PM.. doesnt matter if it was a liberal or conservative one.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MG34 on January 28, 2008, 08:57:50
Blah blah blah, who really gives a damn about some Taliban prisoners, hand them over or hold them ourselves to eventually hand them over makes no difference,either way they are out of the fight. They are terrorists and not subjected to any protection, the fact that we choose to offer it should be the discussion ender as far as the government s concerned.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Zip on January 28, 2008, 09:10:50
Blah blah blah, who really gives a damn about some Taliban prisoners, hand them over or hold them ourselves to eventually hand them over makes no difference,either way they are out of the fight. They are terrorists and not subjected to any protection, the fact that we choose to offer it should be the discussion ender as far as the government s concerned.

The fact is, as tough and cool as this sounds we as a society are judged not by how we treat those we deem worthy but by how we treat those who are categorically UNWORTHY.



Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on January 28, 2008, 09:28:33
Blah blah blah, who really gives a damn about some Taliban prisoners, hand them over or hold them ourselves to eventually hand them over makes no difference,either way they are out of the fight. They are terrorists and not subjected to any protection, the fact that we choose to offer it should be the discussion ender as far as the government s concerned.

wow
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on January 28, 2008, 09:48:20
sgf......have you actually been somewhere in this world and seen anything other than Canada?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MCG on January 28, 2008, 19:14:22
Quote
Opposition MPs tee off on Afghan detainees issue
Updated Mon. Jan. 28 2008 3:32 PM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

Opposition parties used their first question period of 2008 to batter the government on the Afghan detainees issue, with a focus on honesty and openness.

"Why did the prime minister hide the truth from Canadians?" Liberal Leader Stephane Dion asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Monday in the House of Commons.

"That allegation is completely false," Harper shot back.

The Canadian military stopped transferring prisoners to the Afghan authorities on Nov. 6, the day after an allegation of torture was identified.

Dion noted that Defence Minister Peter MacKay was in Afghanistan at the time and yet it took three months for the stoppage to become publicly known.

Harper said the government revealed there was "credible evidence of a particular case of abuse."

The information was revealed to a court last week "to show clearly that the Canadian Forces ... always respect our humanitarian and international obligations," he said in French.

Deputy Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff noted that on Nov. 22, MacKay told the House there was not a single proven instance of detainee abuse in Afghanistan.

Given that MacKay was in Kandahar when the abuse case surfaced on Nov. 5, "was the minister asleep, out of the loop, or did he knowingly withhold information from this House?" Ignatieff asked.

"What I said at this time was absolutely true," MacKay said, adding the detainee transfer agreement remains in place.

Under the enhanced May 2007 agreement, Canada has greater access to prisoners and can be more proactive, the minister said.

NDP Leader Jack Layton also focused on the detainee issue, as did Bloc Quebecois MP Claude Bachand.

Layton noted that U.S. authorities issued press releases on prisoner captures and transfers in Afghanistan. "Why is this government ... continuing to keep Canadians in the dark?" he said.

Because the transfer agreement with the Afghan government remains in place, there may be more transfers. "That's why the government hasn't announced there won't be transfers, because there could well be," Harper said.

He added if Canada were to follow the American model, it would be sending prisoners to the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"To be clear, that is not the policy of this government," Harper said.

The Manley panel

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe used his questions to ask Harper about the government's response to the Manley panel's recommendations on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan.

Harper said earlier he would be holding a vote on extending the mission, which is set to end in its current configuration on February 2009, sometime this spring.

There is a major NATO summit scheduled for April in Bucharest, Romania, at which the issue of more troops to help Canada in the insurgent hotbed of Kandahar province will be discussed.

"Will the prime minister act in a responsible manner and hold the vote on our mission before going to the summit?" Duceppe asked.

"This is a very important issue. I hope all parties in this House will take the time we need to consider the matter and make our decisions," Harper said.

Duceppe said Harper wants Canada to stay in Afghanistan at any price.

Harper said the mission's extension depends on getting additional troop from Canada's NATO allies.

The Liberals avoided the Manley report.

CTV's Graham Richardson told Newsnet that the Manley report -- Manley is a former Liberal cabinet minister -- puts the Liberals in a difficult position. Liberals want to end Canada's combat role in February 2009 while the Manley report recommends the combat part of the mission continue, but shift to increased training for Afghan soldiers and police.

None of the leaders asked questions about the economy despite the recent turmoil.

....

http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080128/parl_resumes_080128/20080128?hub=TopStories
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Brad Sallows on January 28, 2008, 21:56:49
>The fact is, as tough and cool as this sounds we as a society are judged not by how we treat those we deem worthy but by how we treat those who are categorically UNWORTHY.

I'd prefer we be judged as a society on the basis of how we treat those who are categorically UNLUCKY, with the UNWORTHY understanding that they are SOL and had best stay out of our way because we have neither time nor money to spare for the welfare of anyone except the UNLUCKY.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: kilekaldar on January 29, 2008, 07:43:42

Detainee fallout: take few, free quickly
Details of new policy – and top soldier's outrage – emerge as government ministers refuse comment, citing operational secrecy

MICHAEL VALPY

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080129.wdetainees29/BNStory/Afghanistan/home

January 29, 2008 at 2:00 AM EST

The Canadian Forces are holding insurgent detainees at their Kandahar Air Force base rather than turning them over to Afghan authorities, are taking fewer prisoners and are quickly releasing some of them.

The information, provided to The Globe and Mail by sources, answers questions about Canada's new policy for handling detainees that Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other ministers repeatedly refused to provide Monday, citing the need for combat operational secrecy.

Reports have also emerged that General Rick Hillier, Chief of the Defence Staff, was furious with the Prime Minister's Office's handling of the military's new policy and angrily telephoned Mr. Harper Friday night after letting it be known he was “tired of being used” in political controversy.

After the revelation last week that Canadians ceased turning detainees over to the Afghan authorities in early November after discovering credible evidence of torture, the Prime Minister's Office initially said it hadn't been informed of this by senior officers.

Gen. Hillier was said to be “absolutely livid” when he learned of this.

Mr. Harper's chief spokeswoman, Sandra Buckler, retracted the statement the next day but refused to say where the detainees were being held.

Mr. Harper told the House of Commons Monday that his government will “never” answer questions about how many prisoners Canadian troops take or where they are kept. He also said the bilateral agreement governing the transfer of prisoners to Afghan authorities is still in place.

However, on Nov. 14, Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle quoted German General Egon Ramms as saying NATO was aware that transferred detainees were being abused by Afghan authorities and that Canadian troops in Kandahar had stopped handing over prisoners until their safety and human rights could be guaranteed.

The presence of a detention facility at Kandahar Air Force base (KAF) has long been known. Prior to Nov. 5, detainees were held at the facility until they either were turned over to Afghan authorities or released. Now sources say either their detention is continued at KAF or they are released – reports Mr. Harper will not confirm.

One well-placed source who spoke to The Globe and Mail Monday on condition of anonymity said that, in addition to being told that Canadian detainees were being held at Kandahar Air Force base, he understood some insurgents detained in joint Canadian Forces-Afghan National Army combat operations were being turned over to the Afghan military in a “grey zone” action.

He said he has been told that Canadians have been content in some cases to allow operations to be labelled as Afghan-led military proceedings. Thus, detainees passed into Afghan military hands with no records kept.

Since the Canadian military's decision to stop transferring detainees became known, there has been rife speculation on what is being done with them, with three options being mentioned: that Canadians were holding detainees at KAF; that Canadians were transferring detainees to the Americans; and that Canadians had simply stopped detaining people.

Transferring detainees to the Americans would be, in the words of one federal politician, “the red-hot issue” because of the harsh interrogation techniques the U.S. military uses.

Janice Gross Stein, director of University of Toronto's Munk Centre for International Studies and co-author of a widely lauded book on Canada's military engagement in Afghanistan, said, “I would be astonished if the Canadian Forces were transferring detainees to the Americans, absolutely astonished.”

She also said she had not heard of any “grey zone” transfers but commented: “That would be a very dangerous thing to do.”

When Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion and deputy leader Michael Ignatieff visited Afghanistan earlier this month they were briefed on the policy change but did not see detainees, Mr. Ignatieff said Monday. He said they were given few details and he could not confirm or deny whether detainees were being interned at KAF.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on January 29, 2008, 17:41:08
sgf......have you actually been somewhere in this world and seen anything other than Canada?

one of the reasons that Canada is even in Afghanistan is  respect for human rights, so honestly thats why I was taken aback at that statement. I also feel that neither the libs or tories have taken care of the detainee problem and thats not right and frankly the problem is still not being taken care off.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Technoviking on January 29, 2008, 18:16:10
Actually, it has been taken care of, and is being taken care of.  Once a credible allegation of abuse/torture came to light, the CF immediately ceased prisoner transfers IAW the agreement with Kabul.  The government was informed.  The opposition was informed.  Now it's a big stink, because Canadians weren't informed. 
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: stegner on January 29, 2008, 18:30:31
It's a big stink because Sandra Buckler tried to blame Hillier for not informing the government and she was forced to retreat from such a bold faced lie.   
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on January 29, 2008, 19:53:51
sandra was acting on orders of the PMO office, she certainly did not say this on her own accord
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Technoviking on January 29, 2008, 20:10:47
sandra was acting on orders of the PMO office, she certainly did not say this on her own accord
And what evidence do you have for this?  If she took orders from *someone* within the PMO, who was it? 
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on January 29, 2008, 20:25:17
her boss, the PM ..who else...
with the record that Harper has on allowing anyone in his office and cabinet to speak on their own, do you honestly think that what she said was not on direct orders from him? ... and if she had spoken on her own, he would have fired her by now
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Zip on January 29, 2008, 20:44:59
her boss, the PM ..who else...
with the record that Harper has on allowing anyone in his office and cabinet to speak on their own, do you honestly think that what she said was not on direct orders from him? ... and if she had spoken on her own, he would have fired her by now

You know talking like you have insider knowledge or know people (sandra?) personally in this group will just get you bombarded by calls to...
PROVE IT
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on January 29, 2008, 20:51:34
Watch this interview with Maj.-Gen. (ret'd) Lewis MacKenzie on "Mike Duffy Live". Love that third rum and Coke on the beach.
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/HTMLTemplate?tf=/ctv/mar/video/new_player.html&cf=ctv/mar/ctv.cfg&hub=TopStories&video_link_high=http://esi.ctv.ca/datafeed/urlgen2.aspx?vid=28766&video_link_low=http://esi.ctv.ca/datafeed/urlgen2.aspx?vid=28766&clip_start=00:00:00.00&clip_end=00:07:27.00&clip_caption=Mike%20Duffy%20Live:%20Maj.-Gen.%20(ret'd)%20Lewis%20Mackenzie%20on%20the%20question%20period%20debates%20focusing%20on%20the%20mission&clip_id=28766&subhub=video&no_ads=no&sortdate=20080129&slug=rae_afghanistan_080129&archive=CTVNews

Here's the relevant bit from a CTV News story:
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080129/rae_afghanistan_080129/20080129?hub=TopStories
Quote
...
According to Canadian Maj.-Gen. (Ret.) Lewis MacKenzie, the endless parliamentary uproar probably likely plays a role in the military's reason for keeping prisoner information to itself.

"Back in the Netherlands the people aren't hanging on every word the commander says," he told CTV's Mike Duffy Live on Tuesday evening, referring to one of three countries involved in the mission known to disclose prisoner information to its public.

"There are detainees being taken, they are being taken somewhere. I think commanders are getting somewhat teed off about how they're being micromanaged and micro-analyzed."

MacKenzie also responded to rumours the Kandahar airfield base -- which is staffed by many local citizens -- had been infiltrated by the Taliban.

 "I can guarantee you it's been infiltrated," said the retired general. "There's never been a mission in my life where the locals don't infiltrate civilian staff.

"You assume you've been infiltrated," he added, noting a popular strategy is to disseminate false information throughout the base in order to fool those who may use it maliciously. "Some people back here seem to think (war is) some sort of sterile by-the-book type of activity. I'm sorry, it doesn't work that way."..

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: PMedMoe on January 29, 2008, 21:01:28
"This is not a parlour game; this is a bloody war!"

 :salute:
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on January 29, 2008, 21:26:43
You know talking like you have insider knowledge or know people (sandra?) personally in this group will just get you bombarded by calls to...
PROVE IT

insider knowledge? only what every Canadian knows.. and how is what control Harper has over his Cabinet, the PMO, and his staff and his distain for the media...
do you honestly believe that Buckler spoke on her accord? with prior approval from the PMO office?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Brad Sallows on January 29, 2008, 21:39:46
If you're allowed to just make crap up based on what you think is likely or many people would believe, what's the point in expecting anyone to hold a rational discussion with you?  Sure, your hypothesis seems likely.  But why not just prove it?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Zip on January 29, 2008, 21:52:14
insider knowledge? only what every Canadian knows.. and how is what control Harper has over his Cabinet, the PMO, and his staff and his distain for the media...
do you honestly believe that Buckler spoke on her accord? with prior approval from the PMO office?

And I would argue that Canadians know very little.  The people who keep repeating these accusations are those that either have a political axe to grind or are in the business of amplifying small (often inconsequential) traits to sell newspapers.

As far as his "distain" for the Media, does demanding that the press actually investigate stories constitute distain?  Isn't that what journalism is?

You see, I've been told by someone close to the inner workings of the Liberal party that they made a concerted effort to feed news and information to the press in order to control the message.  As a result the press corps on the Hill became complacent, and instead of practicing due dillegence on a story merely regurgitated the message they were fed.

So when the current government took control and stopped the spoon feeding the press became indignant about doing their job.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on January 29, 2008, 22:18:39
 you are probably right about Libs feeding stories, I dont doubt that at all. Actually Rick Mercer in his rant tonight seemed to be right on the mark regarding this

having said all that, where did Buckler get that information that she misspoke about..
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Technoviking on January 29, 2008, 22:29:12
having said all that, where did Buckler get that information that she misspoke about..
I don't know.  And neither do you.  Nobody knows, but I highly doubt that the PM told her to say "Tell them that the military didn't tell us", especially when he knew that the leader of the opposition was also aware of the situation.

The PM may have been born at night, but he wasn't born last night.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: stegner on January 29, 2008, 22:45:04
Though several Conservative MP's defended Buckler post facto-this was certainly under the direction of Mr. Harper. (see attached article)http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080126.whcaucus0126/BNStory/National/?cid=al_gam_mostdiscuss (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080126.whcaucus0126/BNStory/National/?cid=al_gam_mostdiscuss)
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Technoviking on January 29, 2008, 22:49:37
Though several Conservative MP's defended Buckler post facto-this was certainly under the direction of Mr. Harper. (see attached article)http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080126.whcaucus0126/BNStory/National/?cid=al_gam_mostdiscuss (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080126.whcaucus0126/BNStory/National/?cid=al_gam_mostdiscuss)
You are incompetent.  At no place in there does it even suggest that Mr. Harper told her to lie to the media.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Zip on January 29, 2008, 22:56:16
You are incompetent.  At no place in there does it even suggest that Mr. Harper told her to lie to the media.


Agreed.  Were you perhaps expecting us to not read the article stegner?  You should be posting at adolescent-supersniper-JTF-master.com  if you expect that sort of infantile argument to work.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: stegner on January 29, 2008, 22:59:46
Where did I say in my post that Harper told her to lie?  Ummm...nowhere! So I am not getting your criticism.  All I said is that he had MP's defend her after the fact.  That is all.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Technoviking on January 29, 2008, 23:01:38


Where did I say in my post that Harper told her to lie?  Ummm...nowhere! So I am not getting your criticism.  All I said is that he had MP's defend her after the fact.  That is all.



Right here.  I bolded it for you.
Though several Conservative MP's defended Buckler post facto-this was certainly under the direction of Mr. Harper. (see attached article)http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080126.whcaucus0126/BNStory/National/?cid=al_gam_mostdiscuss (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080126.whcaucus0126/BNStory/National/?cid=al_gam_mostdiscuss)
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: stegner on January 29, 2008, 23:05:29
Motarmann post facto means after the fact, thus it follows my post deals with what was done after the fact.  Again hence the post facto.  The fact in this instance being Buckler lying to the press.   Again nothing about Mr. Harper asking to her to lie as there is no evidence of this  and this circumstance would be pre facto or simply facto. That is why I attached the article about what happened after.  Does this clear things up?  Sorry for the confusion. 
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Zip on January 29, 2008, 23:08:50
Motarmann post facto means after the fact, thus it follows my post deals with what was done after the fact.  Again hence the post facto.  The fact in this instance being Buckler lying to the press.   Again nothing about the lying as this would be pre facto or simply facto. That is why I attached the article about what happened after.  Does this clear things up?  Sorry for the confusion. 

 ??? Why would you make a statement about Buckler being defended after the statement?  Certainly she could not be defended prior to it.  What is your point?  ???
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Technoviking on January 29, 2008, 23:10:04
I know my Latin: I'm a Roman Catholic after all.
Now, re-read your post.  In one sentence, you say that she was defended post facto.  Then you say "this was certainly under the direction of Mr. Harper".  Given the theme of this thread, "this" could reasonably refer to your previous statement that the PMO, and therefore PM Harper, was responsible.  The inference was clear.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: stegner on January 29, 2008, 23:15:15
My comments is to suggest that perhaps what she said is indefensible and should have not been defended by members of the government.  She should have been taken out to the woodshed or perhaps even behind the barn, but certainly not defended. 

Mortarman Rockpainter the post-facto defense of Buckler was under the direction of Mr. Harper or the PMO or whatever.  This is not to say that the mis-statement of Buckler was under such direction though as there is no evidence to suggest this. 
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Zip on January 29, 2008, 23:32:49
My comments is to suggest that perhaps what she said is indefensible and should have not been defended by members of the government.  She should have been taken out to the woodshed or perhaps even behind the barn, but certainly not defended. 

Wow, I want to work for you.  NOT!  You are saying that someone who has proven their worth and risen to a position of considerable importance should be "Taken out to the woodshed"?  Go ahead and put that leadership plan into practise and see where it gets you. 

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: RangerRay on January 30, 2008, 01:37:18
Watch this interview with Maj.-Gen. (ret'd) Lewis MacKenzie on "Mike Duffy Live". Love that third rum and Coke on the beach.
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/HTMLTemplate?tf=/ctv/mar/video/new_player.html&cf=ctv/mar/ctv.cfg&hub=TopStories&video_link_high=http://esi.ctv.ca/datafeed/urlgen2.aspx?vid=28766&video_link_low=http://esi.ctv.ca/datafeed/urlgen2.aspx?vid=28766&clip_start=00:00:00.00&clip_end=00:07:27.00&clip_caption=Mike%20Duffy%20Live:%20Maj.-Gen.%20(ret'd)%20Lewis%20Mackenzie%20on%20the%20question%20period%20debates%20focusing%20on%20the%20mission&clip_id=28766&subhub=video&no_ads=no&sortdate=20080129&slug=rae_afghanistan_080129&archive=CTVNews

Here's the relevant bit from a CTV News story:
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080129/rae_afghanistan_080129/20080129?hub=TopStories
Mark
Ottawa

Thanks for that link, Mark.  As usual, L.Gen. Mackenzie puts things in perspective.

The short version is that the Mope and Wail is WAY off the mark.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: FSTO on January 30, 2008, 01:50:10
Thanks for that link, Mark.  As usual, L.Gen. Mackenzie puts things in perspective.

The short version is that the Mope and Wail is WAY off the mark.

I like Mike Duffy but it seems if anyone raises a question about the validity or honesty of a reporters story he quickly changes the subject.
Case in point tonight when Gen Mackenzie sunk Valpy's Globe and Mail Story he immediately shifted the story on another tack.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on January 30, 2008, 07:30:00
I don't know.  And neither do you.  Nobody knows, but I highly doubt that the PM told her to say "Tell them that the military didn't tell us", especially when he knew that the leader of the opposition was also aware of the situation.

The PM may have been born at night, but he wasn't born last night.

nobody knows?.. oh.. i am sure that who ever told her what to say in her press release knows, i wonder where she gets her information for thse press releases...
since she has been communications officer for the govt, she has received her instructions from harper and the pmo.. i hardly think nothing has changed this time
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on January 31, 2008, 16:42:49
NATO determined to put more troops in Afghanistan
Mike Blanchfield and Brian Hutchinson ,  Canwest News Service Published: Wednesday, January 30, 2008
 Article Link (http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=085e1c00-0d3c-4d8f-b4e4-f9dfd14dd50c&k=27060)

This starts the fifth paragraph down....

As Harper received NATO's endorsement, the Conservatives continued to come under fire in the House of Commons over its handling of Afghan detainees, particularly a new policy that prevents Canada from handing over suspected Taliban insurgents to local authorities.

But Canwest News has learned that Afghanistan National Army soldiers working beside Canadian "mentors" continue to detain prisoners.

Detainees taken under such circumstances are transported directly to local Afghan jails.

Their treatment is not monitored by Canadian troops or Canadian government officials, a well-placed source in Kandahar has told Canwest.

The arrangement appears to circumvent rules that now prevent Canadians from delivering suspected insurgents to Afghan detention facilities. That practice ended in November because of concerns that the detainees, if released to Afghan authorities, might be subjected to torture.

One "credible" claim of torture was made by a prisoner transferred under the old system. The report was not immediately made public, nor was the resulting change in Canadian policy. The delay has caused a political uproar in Ottawa.

Sources have told Canwest that suspected insurgents apprehended by Canadian troops are, in fact, now being held at a detention centre at Kandahar Airfield, and are being treated in accordance with the Third Geneva Convention.
More on link
Title: CAN Considering Wing in Kabul Prison for Detainees???
Post by: milnews.ca on February 05, 2008, 08:36:14
So far, only spotted this in the French MSM - clarifications from anyone with better French than me (and most CERTAINLY better than Google translations shown below) always appreciated. 

For a bit of background, the Wikipedia entry on Pul-e-Charki prision (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pul-e-Charkhi_prison).....

A Canadian arm in a prison in Kabul?
Michele Ouimet, La Presse, 3 Feb 08
Original French (http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080204/CPACTUALITES/80203132/5910/CPACTUALITES) - Google English (http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyberpresse.ca%2Farticle%2F20080204%2FCPACTUALITES%2F80203132%2F5910%2FCPACTUALITES&langpair=fr%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8)
Quote
The Harper government plans to construct a building within the walls of the prison in Kabul, Pul-e-Charkhi, to house prisoners captured by Canadian soldiers.  The director of Pul-e-Charkhi, Dawlat Mohammad Aziz, who released the news.  "The Minister of Justice called me to register the visit of Canadians," he told La Presse, who visited Pul-e-Charkhi. They discussed a plot. There were people from the embassy and the reconstruction team in Kandahar as well as representatives of the Afghan secret service."  A deputy director showed me the place chosen by Canadians. Pul-e-Charkhi is a huge prison that hosts 3200 prisoners. It is composed of several buildings, mostly in a state of advanced decrepitude.  The land that Canadians have inspected is located near the Block 1, where criminals are imprisoned and some political prisoners.  This decision occurs in a political context explosive. Over the past week, the opposition parties in Ottawa behind the Harper government on the plight of Afghan prisoners captured by Canadian soldiers. In the wake of torture allegations published in La Presse on October 29, the army suspended, in secret, the transfer of prisoners to the Afghan authorities .....


The project is under study, confirms Bernier
Gilles Toupin, La Presse, 5 Feb 08
French version (http://www.cyberpresse.ca/article/20080205/CPACTUALITES/802050502/1019/CPACTUALITES) - Google English (http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cyberpresse.ca%2Farticle%2F20080205%2FCPACTUALITES%2F802050502%2F1019%2FCPACTUALITES&langpair=fr%7Cen&hl=en&ie=UTF-8)
Quote
"Canada is not in the construction industry of prisons," said in the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Minister, Maxime Bernier, in response to information published by La Presse yesterday, which revealed the government's intention Harper to construct a building inside the prison in Kabul, Pul-e-Charkhi, in order to accommodate the Taliban captured by Canadian soldiers.  Bernier responded to a question from the Liberal critic for defence, MP Denis Coderre.  However, La Presse reported yesterday, but the prison director Pul-e-Charkhi in Kabul who himself has confirmed that Canadian officials had visited the prison there are ten days to determine where to be restored this Canadian arm.  The foreign minister, interviewed later on the air of an English-language television channel, has finally confirmed the information by saying that his ministry was considering this scenario.  "We do not need a Canadian Guantanamo," as stated Denis Coderre, who called Bernier "the worst foreign minister" in Canadian history.  Coderre emphasized that the information published by La Presse was can no longer be credible since it came from the Minister of Justice of Afghanistan. He recalled that the prison Pul-e-Charkhi also houses a wing, equipped with blows of millions of dollars, where the Americans imprison their own prisoners, then the nickname given by Guantanamo Afghans to this section of the prison ....

Wikipedia on said American wing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pul-e-Charkhi_prison#American_expansion)
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on February 07, 2008, 18:27:39
Judge rejects temporary ban on detainee transfers
The Canadian Press February 7, 2008 at 1:57 PM EST
 Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080207.wdetainban0207/BNStory/National/home)

OTTAWA — A judge has refused to temporarily stop Canadian soldiers from transferring enemy prisoners into Afghan custody.

Federal Court Justice Anne Mactavish says the matter can be reviewed if troops resume the transfers, which military authorities stopped in November after finding evidence of torture in Afghan jails.

Amnesty International Canada and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association had sought the temporary injunction pending the outcome of their case for a broader ban.

Judge Mactavish says there are “real and very serious concerns” over how effective Canadian efforts have been to ensure the safety of their prisoners.

But she says those concerns have been rendered moot, at least for now.

The judge refused to grant costs in the case
More on link

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: geo on February 08, 2008, 09:56:39
Send "Amnesty International Canada and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association" to Sudan & Chad (amongst other places) for a while.
Let them see what the real world is doing
Title: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 18, 2008, 06:53:27
<sarcasm>
Of course, it COULDN'T possibly be the Taliban's fault for not letting people speak to witnesses or the people who were allegedly abused, right?
</sarcasm> 

Shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29 (http://www.cb-cda.gc.ca/info/act-e.html#rid-33409), of the Copyright Act.

Military probe into alleged Canadian abuse hits brick wall
Investigation into mistreatment of detainees in our custody deliberately stalled, critics say
PAUL KORING, Globe & Mail, 18 Feb 08
Article link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080218.DETAINEES18/TPStory/National) - .pdf permalink (http://milnewstbay.pbwiki.com/f/AbuseProbe-globeandmail-180545Feb08.pdf)

After more than a year, the criminal probe into whether Canadian soldiers beat and abused Afghan detainees while military police turned a blind eye remains incomplete and critics say it is being deliberately dragged out.

No charges have been laid, there's no hint when the investigation might end and one person is dead: An Afghan intermediary sent by investigators to try to make contact with the alleged victims was killed by the Taliban.

The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service, the special military police unit conducting the investigation, rejects accusations that it is running out the clock. "It's absolutely a top priority," said Captain Cindy Tessier, referring to Operation Camel Spider, as the probe has been dubbed. Capt. Tessier said five investigators have been working on the case full-time for a year; more than 70 people have been questioned in three countries and huge piles of documents have been sifted and read.

But she could offer no estimate as to when the investigation might wrap up.

Amir Attaran, the University of Ottawa law professor who uncovered the suspicious and unexplained pattern of injuries among detainees, is not convinced the military is serious in its belated and long-running efforts to investigate.

"When the military is investigating the military, which is inconvenient for the military, is it any wonder that the military rags the puck?" he said.

Meanwhile, the military medical records for detainees from the spring of 2006 - when the detainees were allegedly abused and beaten and then treated by Canadian doctors at the main base on Kandahar Air Field - have mysteriously gone missing. "No one at KAF has an explanation for the missing Roto 1 files other than to speculate that it was poor organization," says one report by a CFNIS investigator marked "secret," which was released heavily censored.

The CFNIS is a special unit, independent of usual military police reporting, that was created in 1997 with a mandate to investigate serious and sensitive matters related to Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces. Its independence permits it "to conduct thorough investigations without fear of influence" from the military chain of command, according to the CFNIS.

Few details of its probe have emerged. Another CFNIS report, from June of 2007, admits that efforts to track down, win the confidence of, and then interview the three detainees allegedly abused while in Canadian custody have failed. "It would be highly unlikely that investigators will be able to interview the detainees" after the grim news that an interlocutor sent by investigators "had been targeted by the Taliban and assassinated."

Sources familiar with the general thrust of the investigation, who discussed its progress on condition that they not be identified, suggest that its focus has shifted from whether one or more detainees was beaten by soldiers or military police to why no military police investigation was launched at the time.

In fact, military police failed to investigate the beatings between April of 2006, when they occurred, and 10 months later when The Globe and Mail reported that Prof. Attaran had furnished the documents to the Military Police Complaints Commission. Once the story broke, multiple investigations were launched.

In its official account of the beating, the military admitted the detainees had been hit but concluded that military police had "used appropriate physical control techniques" to restrain the prisoners, even though their hands were already bound behind their backs.

But the government flatly insisted there was no cause for public concern as its policies regarding detainees guaranteed they were safe both in Canadian custody and after transfer to Afghan prisons. Since then, reports have shown that Afghan detainees have been tortured in Afghan custody, and the government twice changed its policy on handing over prisoners before stopping handovers altogether.

In additional to the CFNIS criminal probe, Canada's top soldier, Chief of the Defence Staff General Rick Hillier, ordered a board of inquiry to investigate all of the policies, procedures and training regarding the capture, treatment and transfer of enemy prisoners that he once disparaged as "detestable murderers and scumbags."

"We'll peel back the layers of the onion and we'll determine what, if anything, occurred, did that meet our policies and processes for handling detainees, do we have to improve anything," Gen. Hillier said. That board is still peeling and hasn't reported. In his last public comment, in December, Lieutenant-Commander Philip Anido said it was awaiting witnesses still not released by the CFNIS and that any report was months from completion. No interim reports or recommendations have been issued.

It has already confirmed it lacks the mandate to examine what happened to detainees after they were given to Afghan security forces - either under the new or old transfer agreements. Now that those transfers have been suspended, it is not clear what value any recommendations will have about a mostly changed system now no longer in use.

The board did not respond to written questions from The Globe and Mail seeking when it might conclude, what it was currently doing and how much it has cost during its first year of existence.

Meanwhile, the Military Police Complaints Commission, an independent, civilian body, also launched an investigation on receipt of the documents found by Prof. Attaran. Both that probe and a second MPCC investigation based on a complaint made by Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association remain unfinished.

Prof. Attaran said he has been told "the MPCC is being obstructed by the Canadian Forces, who refused to give the MPCC evidence."

Stanley Blythe, chief of staff at the MPCC, said "good progress" has been made, although he confirmed that MPCC investigators are waiting - and have been for months - to interview witnesses not yet released by the CFNIS probe. Mr. Blythe said he could provide no estimate when either MPCC investigation might conclude.

Given the delays, which he believes the military is deliberately creating, Prof. Attaran said, "it is totally baffling to me why the MPCC has not invoked its power to hold a public hearing as it is entitled to do."


Title: Re: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: KevinB on February 18, 2008, 08:01:53
FYI the already was an Op Camel Spider during the 2004 Elections -- so the MP's should at least call it Camel Spider 2
*nothing valuable to add other than whoeever named it was a clueless bufoon.
Title: Re: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 18, 2008, 08:35:12
FYI the already was an Op Camel Spider during the 2004 Elections -- so the MP's should at least call it Camel Spider 2
*nothing valuable to add other than whoeever named it was a clueless bufoon.

Makes one wonder whether the Op names are selected at random, or via a "Wheel of Op Names" - maybe they should try this (http://www.ubique.ch/codename/) next time?
Title: Re: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: George Wallace on February 18, 2008, 09:35:30
Perhaps we should send Prof Amir Attaran over as an Intermediary.  He seems to be so up to speed on the situation.
Title: Re: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: milnews.ca on February 18, 2008, 09:45:09
Perhaps we should send Prof Amir Attaran over as an Intermediary.  He seems to be so up to speed on the situation.

My first out-loud chuckle of the day - thank you!
Title: Re: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: Old and Tired on February 18, 2008, 10:07:32
Maybe he can take Steven Staples as a travelling companion ::).  Perhaps we could have a fundraising drive to buy Jack Layton a ticket over as well. ^-^
Title: Re: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: cplcaldwell on February 18, 2008, 10:55:35
Note to Dr Attaran;

You are now at 14.5 minutes of fame. Make the next 30 seconds count.

This is one of the guys who calls for an inquiry, based on virtually no evidence (remember; no names, no solid dates, no independent witnesses ...) gets a virtual passel of inquiries and now bee-atches at the progress?

30 seconds left buds, make it count....
Title: Re: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: Teeps74 on February 18, 2008, 12:04:45
I love this, they claim we are dragging our heals... That we do not want anything to come of this. If that was the case, why don;t we just say "F**k off!" to the guy, and further, why are we continuing to spend millions of dollars on the investigation? Travelling the country, and indeed, three different countries now, is not cheap.

Investigations, especially ones that could potentially destroy people, must never be rushed... This article tells me that the one on going is being very detailed. Of course, personally, I do not for a second beleive that accusations against us, the soldiers are founded for a second...
Title: Re: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: Simian Turner on February 18, 2008, 12:06:28
UFC's Tito Ortiz and the USO have already had an Op CS and CS II.  http://www.ocstour.com/  Interesting name choice.
Title: Re: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: geo on February 18, 2008, 14:24:57
....... "rags the puck?"...
Though I understand what he's trying to insinuate... where does he get these expressions?
Certainly not from this web site.
Title: Re: DF Detainee Probe Delayed (As Taliban Kills Intermediary)
Post by: Rodahn on February 18, 2008, 14:51:32
An Afghan intermediary sent by investigators to try to make contact with the alleged victims was killed by the Taliban.

Ah yes, a wonderful way of winning the hearts and minds of the people.......
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Colin P on February 19, 2008, 15:20:43
Let me see has the Taliban filed a formal complaint about the treatment of it's members to the Red Cresent or similar body?

The people challenging the government as stalling, should fly to Pakistan to interview these people themselves.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 22, 2008, 08:22:23
According to the Military Police Complaints Commission (http://www.mpcc-cppm.gc.ca/index_e.aspx), we're now also seeing it doesn't appear to be DND holding things up, either (highlights mine) - shared in accordance with the "fair dealing" provisions, Section 29 (http://www.cb-cda.gc.ca/info/act-e.html#rid-33409), of the Copyright Act.

Top officials stall probe into detainees, group charges
Norma Greenaway, The Ottawa Citizen, 22 Feb 08
Article link (http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=e4ac1118-ff0d-477c-ba4b-514336be5da2)

The independent Military Police Complaints Commission accused key government authorities yesterday of impeding its public interest investigation into whether Canadians who have transferred detainees to Afghan authorities "aware or wilfully blind" to the prospect that such detainees could be subject to abuse.

The commission said its year-old investigation is at risk of failing for lack of information and it points the finger at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and Correctional Service Canada (CSC), both of which have been "significantly" engaged in the detainee issue.

The commission said requests for help from the ministers responsible have gone unanswered, and that it has not ruled out resorting to public hearings, thereby gaining the power of subpoena.

"Ultimately, the success of this public interest investigation process is dependent on the voluntary co-operation of government authorities," said the letter, written by commission lawyer Julianne Dunbar.

"If the co-operation sought from such (organizations) as DFAIT and CSC is not forthcoming, the commission is very concerned that this will frustrate the completion of the investigation and that the commission will, therefore, not be able to issue a report which fully addresses the serious allegations raised in this complaint."

The commission gave the Department of Defence better grades, crediting it with establishing the Detainee Information Support Team, with a mandate to respond to the commission's requests for information and documents.

The commission launched its inquiry after receiving a complaint last February from Amnesty International Canada and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association that on at least 18 occasions, Canadian military police had transferred detainees to Afghan authorities "notwithstanding alleged evidence that there was a likelihood they would be tortured."

Alex Neve, secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, said the commission's blunt letter tells a sad story of unnecessary government secrecy.

"It's really disheartening and distressing to see the extent to which they've faced obstruction and stonewalling in their effort to move forward with the complaint," he said yesterday.


Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on February 23, 2008, 09:36:43
Short US think tank report (http://www.csis.org/media/csis/pubs/080213_deeks_afghanistan.pdf) (2 pages, .pdf), but lays out interesting options for detainees....

Quote
.....What should ISAF do in the short term? The good news is that two ongoing reviews of strategy in Afghanistan—one by NATO and the other by the U.S. Department of Defense—give ISAF states the political impetus to rationalize their detention policies. Only a few real options exist:

First, ISAF could build and run its own detention facility, as the international force in Kosovo did. This would buy time to help the Afghans improve their detention operations. It also would let ISAF transfer detainees among its contingents more easily and gather better intelligence from detainees. An ISAF-wide facility would be preferable to separate facilities run by each ISAF partner, as it would permit burden sharing and would be easier to explain to the partners’ publics.  This is the best solution, but it will be a hard sell, particularly in Europe. To work, ISAF would need to establish uniform, robust standards for detainee treatment.

If ISAF lacks the will or money to build a new facility, another option exists: the use of U.S. facilities. With common standards of treatment and guaranteed access to their detainees, U.S. allies in Afghanistan might overcome their concerns about transferring detainees to U.S. facilities.  Even this solution faces a hiccup.

Some ISAF partners worry that they lack a legal basis for conducting longer-term detentions in Afghanistan, which suggests another approach: NATO states could seek a new UN Security Council
resolution explicitly authorizing security detentions in Afghanistan. The resolution could establish the basis on which ISAF could detain people—as was done for the Multi-National Forces in Iraq—and incorporate detailed treatment standards for ISAF internment facilities ....
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread - MPCC to hold public-interest hearings
Post by: MCG on March 12, 2008, 15:32:00
Quote
Inquiry launched over Afghan detainees issue
Updated Wed. Mar. 12 2008 10:54 AM ET
CTV.ca News Staff

Canada's Military Police Complaints Commission is to hold public-interest hearings into the handling of Afghan detainees by Canadian military police.

The move announced Wednesday comes more than a year after the commission first started to investigate the matter.

"The principal difficulty which has given rise to this decision has been the government's refusal to provide the commission with full access to relevant documents and information under the control of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)," commission chair Peter A. Tinsley said in a news release.

"Ordering a public interest hearing is necessary to ensure a full investigation of the grave allegations raised in this complaint."

The commission began its investigation on Feb. 26, 2007 following a complaint by Amnesty International Canada and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

Those groups allege that military police allowed detainees to be transferred to Afghan authorities even though they knew of evidence the detainees could be tortured.

But in investigating that claim, "there's been roadblocks put up all along the way," Robert Fife, CTV's Ottawa bureau chief, told Canada AM on Wednesday.

Tinsley said the decision could cost up to $2 million and add months to the investigation.

"However, we are simply left with no other choice. Given the relevance of the information under the control of DFAIT and CSC, the Commission must now seek to compel those documents which the government has failed to provide voluntarily," he said.

The hearings will have the power of subpoena -- and the commission promised it will be used. The hearings will begin in about one month.

"It will be aired in public, so we should be able to get to the bottom of whether ... we knew they were going to be tortured," Fife said.

This announcement precedes Thursday's vote on whether to extend the current Afghan mission until July 2011.

The extension is contingent on NATO providing at least 1,000 more troops and some additional equipment to help Canadian troops.

Fife said Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants the resolution passed before he goes to a NATO meeting in Bucharest, Romania on April 2.
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080312/afghan_detainees_080312/20080312?hub=TopStories
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: garb811 on March 12, 2008, 16:20:16
And more on the Detainee issue.  This is could/should impact upon the MPCC Public Interest Hearings.  Appeal to be filed by the usual suspects in 3...2....1....  Shared in accordance with the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

Judge dismisses Charter appeal in Afghan detainee transfers (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/03/12/afghan-detainees.html)

Quote
Commission 'left with no other choice,' chair says
Last Updated: Wednesday, March 12, 2008 | 1:10 PM ET Comments0Recommend0CBC News
A federal judge has ruled the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not apply to Afghan prisoners captured by Canadian troops.

The court's decision came just hours after Canada's civilian-run military police watchdog announced it will hold public hearings into the military's detainee transfer policy in Afghanistan, in response to "delays and difficulties" in obtaining relevant documents and information from government authorities.

...
Title: The Charter does NOT apply to Aghan detainees.
Post by: stegner on March 12, 2008, 19:47:38
FYI

The Federal Court of Canada ruled today that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms does NOT apply to Afghan detainees.   The link of the attached article is here:  http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080312/afghan_detainees_080312/20080312?hub=TopStories (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080312/afghan_detainees_080312/20080312?hub=TopStories)

Quote
Charter does not apply to Afghan detainees: ruling

Updated Wed. Mar. 12 2008 3:36 PM ET

CTV.ca News Staff

Canada's Federal Court has rejected Amnesty International's bid to have the Charter of Rights and Freedoms apply to Afghan detainees captured by Canadian soldiers.

Justice Anne McTavish ruled that Afghan detainees do have rights under the Afghan constitution and international law, but they do not have rights under the Canadian Charter.

"(The court has) accepted the government's arguments. We are obviously very pleased about that," said Prime Minister Stephen Harper in question period.

Amnesty International had hoped to stop Canada from transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities. The move followed reports that some detainees were being tortured by the Afghans.

"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person under the Charter and international law. Individuals detained by Canadian Forces must not face the threat of torture after being transferred," Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, said in a press release last year.

While calling today's ruling a "big loss" for Amnesty International, CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife noted that the human rights group did win on another matter today. "The (Military Police Complaints Commission) is going to hold public hearings on the way Afghan detainees have been transferred by military police," reported Fife.

Public hearings

The move announced Wednesday comes more than a year after the commission first started to investigate the matter.

"The principal difficulty which has given rise to this decision has been the government's refusal to provide the commission with full access to relevant documents and information under the control of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC)," commission chair Peter A. Tinsley said in a news release.

"Ordering a public interest hearing is necessary to ensure a full investigation of the grave allegations raised in this complaint."

In question period, the prime minister said his government has been cooperative.

"There is no refusal to cooperate. In fact, the Justice Department has made very clear that it will provide all information that it can provide under the law," said Harper.

The commission began its investigation on Feb. 26, 2007 following a complaint by Amnesty International Canada and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

Those groups allege that military police allowed detainees to be transferred to Afghan authorities even though they knew of evidence the detainees could be tortured.

But in investigating that claim, "there's been roadblocks put up all along the way," Robert Fife, CTV's Ottawa bureau chief, told Canada AM on Wednesday.

Jason Gratl, a spokesperson for the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, said he believes the Tories will not be forthcoming with relevant information.

"The government is going to squirm and squirrel and use every means at its disposal, hoping to avoid disclosure," Gratl told The Canadian Press.

"We're expecting Mr. Tinsley to be up to the task of holding the government to account."

Tinsley said the probe could cost up to $2 million and add months to the investigation.

"However, we are simply left with no other choice. Given the relevance of the information under the control of DFAIT and CSC, the Commission must now seek to compel those documents which the government has failed to provide voluntarily," he said.

The hearings will have the power of subpoena -- and the commission promised it will be used. The hearings will begin in about one month.

"It will be aired in public, so we should be able to get to the bottom of whether ... we knew they were going to be tortured," Fife said.

Late last year, Canadian officials appear to have come across at least one case where an Afghan detainee was tortured. Canada stopped transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities after the revelations, but has recently resumed the practice.

The announcement of a complaints commission probe precedes Thursday's vote on whether to extend the current Afghan mission until July 2011.

The extension is contingent on NATO providing at least 1,000 more troops and some additional equipment to help Canadian troops.

Fife said Prime Minister Stephen Harper wants the resolution passed before he goes to a NATO meeting in Bucharest, Romania on April 2.


The actual ruling can be read here T-324-07 IN THE MATTER OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CANADA et al. v. CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE STAFF FOR THE CANADIAN FORCES et al. :  http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/rss/T-324-07%20Decision.pdf (http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/rss/T-324-07%20Decision.pdf)

For the record IRON RICK: 1  Amnesty International: 0
Title: Re: The Charter does NOT apply to Aghan detainees.
Post by: Yrys on March 12, 2008, 19:52:34
For the record IRON RICK: 1  Amnesty International: 0

Why would you concluded that ?!?
Title: Re: The Charter does NOT apply to Aghan detainees.
Post by: stegner on March 12, 2008, 19:57:44
Amnesty international sued the CDS.  Note the name of the case: IN THE MATTER OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CANADA et al. v. CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE STAFF FOR THE CANADIAN FORCES et al.
Title: Surprise, Surprise, The Taliban Are Not Canadians
Post by: GAP on March 13, 2008, 18:05:28
Surprise, Surprise, The Taliban Are Not Canadians
Thursday, March 13, 2008
 Article Link (http://unambig.blogspot.com/2008/03/surprise-surprise-taliban-are-not.html)

Federal Court Judge Anne Mactavish has ruled that Afghan prisoners captured by Canadian troops are not protected under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. In fact, as it would logically follow, they are afforded rights under the Afghan constitution and are protected under international humanitarian law. Amnesty International had been seeking an injunction of transfers by arguing the Canadian Charter applies to Taliban prisoners under control of Canadian troops. Judge Mactavish argued that just because they are not protected under Canadian law, this does not mean that Canadian troops can act with "impunity".

Canada's independent Military Police Complaints Commission, however, has complained that the federal government has refused to provide unfettered access to uncensored documents. Stephen Harper has rejected the claim. The MPCC wants a public hearing and the authority to issue subpoenas for witnesses and documents from Foreign Affairs about the alleged torture allegations.

Of interest, Victor Wong points out the precedents which led to Judge Mactavish's ruling:

Were Charter standards to be applied in another state’s territory without its consent, there would by that very fact always be interference with the other state’s sovereignty. . . . As a consequence, the majority of the Supreme Court was of the view that Canadian law, including the Charter, could only be enforced in another state with the consent of the other state.

Obviously, Afghanistan would not consent to allowing Canadian Charter rights to be applied to Afghan prisoners in Afghanistan. In light of this ruling, the only things which remains to be proved is that Canada has taken steps adequate to ensure the removal of torture concerns from detention facilities in Kandahar province.
More on link

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: geo on March 14, 2008, 11:40:08
Hmmm... federal judge has ruled.....

Which means that the detractors will take it to the next court.
It aint over till the fat lady sings - or the Supreme court rules.....
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Technoviking on March 14, 2008, 15:09:58
Unless there is a "REALLY Supreme Court", this is it for the Birkenstock Brigade on this one.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 14, 2008, 16:31:59
MY question is:

Where was Amnesty International, Bono et al when Afghanistan was run by the Taliban?

Ohhh...sorry...the "rights" of terrorists are far more important.....yes I know I'm being sarcsatic, but I find it incredulous that an organization that is supposed to stand for human  rights WON"T STAND UP TO TIN POT DICTATORS. It seems that Amnesty International et al only get involvled if the US or Canada has been alleged to violate human rights.
Case in point....the lady jailed in Mexico...where are they?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Colin P on March 14, 2008, 16:34:31
MY question is:

Where was Amnesty International, Bono et al when Afghanistan was run by the Taliban?

Ohhh...sorry...the "rights" of terrorists are far more important.....yes I know I'm being sarcsatic, but I find it incredulous that an organization that is supposed to stand for human  rights WON"T STAND UP TO TIN POT DICTATORS. It seems that Amnesty International et al only get involvled if the US or Canada has been alleged to violate human rights.
Case in point....the lady jailed in Mexico...where are they?

Not to mention, which government drew up the detainee agreement and why did the "do-gooders" not challenge it back then? I ask this question of all of the AI types whoring for money on Burrard st. I tell them no because they are meddling in the internal politics of a democracy.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: geo on March 16, 2008, 12:57:26
MY question is:

Where was Amnesty International, Bono et al when Afghanistan was run by the Taliban?

Ohhh...sorry...the "rights" of terrorists are far more important.....yes I know I'm being sarcsatic, but I find it incredulous that an organization that is supposed to stand for human  rights WON"T STAND UP TO TIN POT DICTATORS. It seems that Amnesty International et al only get involvled if the US or Canada has been alleged to violate human rights.
Case in point....the lady jailed in Mexico...where are they?
There are more canadians in Mexican jails.  There are two reservists who are there now.  One was on HLTA from KAF & his Class A buddy who joined him for the vacation break.... If things go well, they should be released by July.... if things go badly, they'll be there for quite a while yet.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 16, 2008, 13:48:19
Geo maybe AI should get off their high "holier than thou" horse and press the government of Mexico...oopps...sorry, musn't offend the Mexican government must we?
As far as I'm concerned, AI is at the very least playing "useful fools" (Stalin said that) to the Taliban, Al Qaeda and various other terroritst organizations while truly innocent people rot in Third World prisons. Yet AI has the TEMERITY only to sue or go after democractic nations.
Hypocrites!!
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: geo on March 16, 2008, 14:49:37
Worst part of the story is that, while you are a guest of the Mexican state, they do not provide with room and board... just room.  Food has to be paid for by the Family...
A perverse part of Mexican justice is that if the family demonstrates too much money (family members regularly flying down to Mexico to visit the boys IS a demonstration of wealth)... the family is shaked down for more payola...
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Colin P on March 17, 2008, 11:49:35
Had a chat with the girls on Burrad street, fundraising for AI. Seems they belong to a company that is hired by AI to get donations, this type of fundrising is frowned upon as most groups realize there is a finate amount of donation dollars out there and monies used in Admin costs achieve no benefit and take from all. AI has become a donation *****.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on March 17, 2008, 11:56:43
How does AI get funded? By who? Other than the people on the street asking for donations.

I bet it would be interesting to see who really provides AI's funding...
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: garb811 on April 14, 2008, 04:24:06
This one slipped through on a slow news day.  Shared in accordance with the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.
Ottawa tries to halt military police commission probe of Afghan prisoners (http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/War_Terror/2008/01/29/4800561-cp.html)

Quote
Ottawa tries to halt military police commission probe of Afghan prisoners

By Murray Brewster, THE CANADIAN PRESS
     
OTTAWA - Federal lawyers are attempting to shut down an investigation by the military police complaints commission into the handling of Taliban prisoners captured by Canadian troops in Afghanistan.

Government counsel have asked the Federal Court for a judicial review, claiming the independent commission doesn't have the jurisdiction to "either investigate or hold a hearing into the complaint " filed by Amnesty International Canada and the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.

The two organizations filed a complaint last year with the commission about the military police practice of transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities.

The government's application to halt the police commission's investigation was quietly filed Friday in Federal Court.

More on link.

Many of the arguments now being presented were discussed in this thread back at the start of this fiasco...
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on April 15, 2008, 08:44:55
This, along with the gaffe from Bernier, isnt making for a very good week for Harper and the Afghan File.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: ArmyVern on April 15, 2008, 10:17:26
This, along with the gaffe from Bernier, isnt making for a very good week for Harper and the Afghan File.

Uhhmmm hello troll,

Did you miss this bit:

The two organizations filed a complaint last year with the commission about the military police practice of transferring prisoners to Afghan authorities.

What's to investigate -- transferring prisoners to the authorities of a sovereign nation is LEGAL, and IAW the Geneva Conventions, and THE international standard.

Those soldiers doing such -- committed NO crime ... ergo there's NO crime to investigate reagrding their transferring those prisoners.

Get off your trollish path. It's becoming rather bland and weary ...
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Teflon on April 15, 2008, 10:42:43
sgf - Your funny, I almost like you,... in a 3 stooges kinda way
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on April 15, 2008, 19:16:38
nyuk, nyuk, nyuk,....
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on April 16, 2008, 08:54:23
sgf - Your funny, I almost like you,... in a 3 stooges kinda way

I never quite got the logic of adults  making fun of people and name calling. You do lose a bit of your credibility when that happens.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on April 16, 2008, 09:56:24
sgf - This is the land of free speech, I'm sure you would agree.

If you don't want to be called names, don't post garbage that no one takes seriously. You've been warned by the mods....

That's all I have to say.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on April 16, 2008, 10:42:37
It seems to be the land of free speech, anywhere but here. I dont see any garbage being posted in this thread. Both those issues are very much in the forefront this week. Personal attacks are not tolerated on this site, does that mean that name calling is not a personal attack?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: George Wallace on April 16, 2008, 10:44:42
It seems to be the land of free speech, anywhere but here. I dont see any garbage being posted in this thread. Both those issues are very much in the forefront this week. Personal attacks are not tolerated on this site, does that mean that name calling is not a personal attack?

Could you point out the exact incident and the exact name some individual was called?  I remember someone saying you were "funny".  Is that name calling?

After stating that, I see we will have to put this train back on track, as you have just derailed it.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: garb811 on April 16, 2008, 12:57:54
OK sgf, I'll bite. 

Make some kind of meaningful comment on how, exactly, this is isn't making a very good week for Harper and the Afghan file, other than the usual complaints from the usual suspects and I'll be more than happy to debate you on them.  I'd suggest you read this entire thread from the start prior to posting as none of these issues the MPCC jurisdiction is being challenged on are rocket science...I pointed them out over a year ago. 

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: sgf on April 16, 2008, 14:38:40
The reasons I said Harper is not having a great week are because of the following


Maxime Bernier's mispeak in regards to the removal of Khalid as governor of Kandahars province

The lastest development in the Afghan Detainee issue

and The raid on Tory HQs by the RCMP

How can any one of those be a good thing for a party, let alone all three in the same week.


Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on April 16, 2008, 14:47:31
Don't bother, she's gone.
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,72967.msg701493.html#msg701493
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: garb811 on April 16, 2008, 14:48:56
 ::)

Have you read the Mandate of the MPCC on its own website?
Have you read Part IV of the NDA?
Have you read the Complaints About the Conduct of Members of the Military Police Regulations?
Have you read my posts to this thread?

How, exactly, in your opinion, is the court challange on the MPCC's jurisdiction to investigate the handling of detainees in Afghanistan contributing to a not so great week for the Government in light of the foregoing material?

Edit:  Ahh well...
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on April 16, 2008, 15:48:03
I wanted to tell sgf off so I did....and got a reply that said I was insecure. I went to reply back, but the inbox was full.....I was too late....
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 01, 2008, 10:30:28
I know it's been a bit, but here's some new developments - MERX listing for some "help needed" below.....

Defiant military watchdog widens detainee hearings
Canadian Press, 30 Sept 08
Article link (http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5hln_JolMj3c8coiBB8MoF8yEhqsA) - Order of Military Police Complaints Commission (http://www.mpcc-cppm.gc.ca/300/Afghan2/2008.09.30_e.pdf) (.pdf)

A defiant military police watchdog agency has decided, despite government objections, to widen public hearings into the way Canadian soldiers handled detainees in Afghanistan.  The Military Police Complaints Commission will expand its hearings into allegations by Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Union that the Canadians handed detainees over to torture by Afghan authorities.  In the complaint filed in 2007, it was alleged that military police handed over prisoners on at least 18 occasions even though there was evidence of torture in Afghan jails.  The commission now will widen the time frame of its investigation by a year. It will also go beyond the issue of whether the transfers of detainees were appropriate, looking as well at whether senior officers failed to investigate allegations of torture by Afghan authorities ....



MERX posting (http://www.merx.com/English/Supplier_Menu.Asp?WCE=Show&TAB=1&PORTAL=MERX&State=7&id=159792&FED_ONLY=0&hcode=%2bfSOKHiRqfEUOwnkq0%2byQQ%3d%3d) - .pdf attached if link doesn't work
Quote
....Phase II concerning a Public Interest Investigation

- Assisting investigator of a sensitive public interest investigation.
- Meet with Chair, lawyers and other members of the team on a regular basis to discuss progress of the investigation.
- Submits regular written updates on the progress of the investigation.
- Review of voluminous documentation, policy and legal documents related to the file.
- Prepare for and conduct witness interviews.
- Extensive travel across Canada with possibility of travel abroad.
- Submit an investigation report.
- Assist in the preparation of the Interim and Final Report as required....

More on links
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on October 01, 2008, 10:32:45
Very poor timing on this, unless there are people intent on injecting the issue into the election campaign....
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 01, 2008, 10:36:57
True, but some could say this is like a court of sorts - arms length and all that.  Besides, can you imagine the furor if it was found out that the work was actively BLOCKED during the campaign?  Can't win, really...
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: TCBF on October 01, 2008, 19:11:45
- Picture a gigantic earthquake hitting BC.  Kelowna is now oceanfront real estate...  We ask the world for help and the world responds with a multi-national force under UN charter.  Suddenly, a New Zealand CIMIC team operating in the US AOR catches two locals trying to hi-jack a truck carrying humanitarian supplies.  The SOP is to hand over the detainees to the local RCMP survivors, but rumour has it that the local Horse Police have adopted a few pragmatic procedures that violate both NZ and US police procedures, and the NZ Army - backed by the USA - refuse to hand over Canadian citizens, in Canada, to Canadian authorities...

NOW does everyone understand the question?

 8)

Edit: the question above is intended for those who don't understand the issue, not for those who do.

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: garb811 on October 01, 2008, 22:40:20
I know it's been a bit, but here's some new developments - MERX listing for some "help needed" below.....

Heh...that listing has retired MP written all over it.  Wouldn't that be a fine how do you do!
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on October 03, 2008, 16:02:32
Soldiers didn't abuse Afghan detainees, probe says
Nicole Baer, Canwest News Service   Published: Friday, October 03, 2008
 Article Link (http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=858836)

OTTAWA -- A military police investigation into allegation of abuse of three Afghan detainees by Canadian Forces soldiers has cleared the military of any wrongdoing.

The investigation by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service "found no evidence that any of the three detainees were mistreated or abused during capture, detention or transfer to Afghan authorities," according to a report released Friday.

The investigation also found that the injuries sustained by one of the prisoners in the April 2006 incident occurred when the prisoner tried to seize a Canadian soldier's weapon.

"In light of the circumstances, it was concluded that CF [Canadian Forces] personnel applied reasonable force within the scope of their duties and acted in accordance with the rules of engagement," the report said.

Lt.-Col. Gilles Sansterre, the investigative service's commanding officer, said the service "spent considerable time and resources on this complex investigation."

"The investigation was a thorough process which included in excess of 100 interviews across Canada, the United States and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan."

The investigators also determined that a second detainee sustained "minor scrapes when he attempted to escape by jumping over a steep embankment," noting that the injuries were actually sustained before the prisoner was transferred to the military police's custody.

"The third detainee sustained no injuries during the course of his capture," the report said.
More on link
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Eye In The Sky on October 03, 2008, 17:56:04
Same story here on the CTV website (http://news.sympatico.msn.ctv.ca/abc/home/contentposting.aspx?isfa=1&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V3&showbyline=True&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20081003%2fafghan_detainees_081003).

Military police cleared of prisoner-abuse claims

Canadian military police did not abuse three suspected Taliban prisoners after they were captured in April 2006, an investigation has found.

The probe was conducted by the Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) after University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran launched a complaint in January 2007.

Attaran alleged that at least one, and as many as three, Afghan detainees taken captive by the Canadian Forces appeared "to have been beaten while detained and interrogated by them."

Attaran also claimed the men never received proper medical attention and were then handed off to the Afghan National Police.




Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Huzzah on October 04, 2008, 09:10:24
 Anybody think that Attaran will now admit that he was wrong,etc.?...don't think we
should hold our breath while we're waiting.
  He'll now have to move on to some other issue,real or invented,to try and further
his career.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on October 04, 2008, 09:20:50
I think Attran has already moved on....

was it not him (among others) spewing the garbage about Canadian soldiers condoning the abuse of young boys by the ANA and ANP, by ignoring the pratice....?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 04, 2008, 09:28:54
CF Statement (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=2786) and Backgrounder (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=2787) now posted....

A reminder:  more to come (sadly, more bones for the Attarans of the world to chew on)...
Quote
....Concurrent processes

There are two other processes underway on the same incident.

The Military Police Complaints Commission is conducting its own investigation following Professor Attaran’s complaints that Military Police should have investigated the injuries to the three detainees. Any further details would have to be addressed to the MPCC directly.

A National Defence Board of Inquiry (BOI) into in-theatre handling of detainees is also ongoing. The BOI is a much broader process that will look at many factors including whether changes to orders, directives, procedures and training are warranted. The BOI suspended its activities in June 9, 2008 to expedite the CFNIS disciplinary investigation. The Board will resume its inquiry now that the CFNIS investigation has concluded.

For further information, visit the National Defence Board of Inquiry (BOI) Website (http://www.vcds.forces.gc.ca/boi_2007/intro_e.asp).....

Was it not him (among others) spewing the garbage about Canadian soldiers condoning the abuse of young boys by the ANA and ANP, by ignoring the pratice....?

That one appears to have been started rolling by a Chaplain (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,77328.msg724734.html#msg724734).
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: garb811 on October 07, 2008, 21:30:40
I took the time to read the MPCC Chair's written Decision with regard to the Public Interest hearings and...I hate to admit it but I'm actually intrigued about where this is now going and his reasoning on why the MPCC does have jurisdiction in this case. 

I find it particularly interesting that there appears to be a disconnect between the MP Branch and others outside the Branch as to where Detainee/PW Handling lies within the scope of the Police Operations mandate.  The MP Branch stance is that Detainee/PW Handling is not a portion of the policing mandate but rather lies within the realm of traditional military operations whereas outside the Branch, the view by those already interviewed by the MPCC is that the Detainee/PW issue is within the realm of Policing.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: TCBF on October 08, 2008, 02:14:09
- Historicaly, I do not believe MPs were used in our Detainee or POW Camps.  I believe that was the purvue of the Veterans Guard of Canada.  However, the MPs may have had a field role in securing the PWs into the rear areas, and the RCMP certainly did POW escorts on the CNR and CPR.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 08, 2008, 06:41:51
Historically the Canadian Provost Corps had four roles:

• Traffic control – including helping the Q Staff* with route planning;†

• Care and custody of all prisoners in the operational area;

• Operation of Canadian detention barracks;

• Assisting units in the maintenance of good order and discipline by e.g. running garrison guard rooms and patrolling occupied towns.

I believe the Provost Corps managed POW camps in Canada but they were guarded by the Veterans Guard – an auxiliary, reserve force (http://www.cmhg.gc.ca/html/glossary/default-en.asp?letter=V&page=1&t=) of First World War veterans raised to guard vital points and POW camps.

In post war military plans, POWs were to be handed over to CProC detachments as quickly as possible – and after only cursory interrogation by unit intelligence personnel. Those MP detachments might operate as far forward as brigade admin areas. They would, very quickly, move POWs to safe, secure ‘cages’ where CIntC people would be able to interrogate them and examine their equipment.

In our planning for the Third World War (on the North German Plain (1950-1970)) we saw the traffic control function as being, far and away, the most important, but prisoner handling was also seen as a vital task and it was one for which the old 4CIBG/CMBG Provost Platoon trained assiduously – Canada did not want to be seen as a country that did not take exercise proper care and custody of its prisoners, not after how some of our s were treated by some German formations.


-----------------
* Quartermaster General’s Staff – now the G -4
† Including e.g. calculating route capacity

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: TCBF on October 08, 2008, 15:28:17
† Including e.g. calculating route capacity

- Using pretty much the same techniques and tables the Bde Recce Sqn has access to.  The Bde Recce Sqn and MP Pl often shared Tfc Control msns.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: garb811 on December 19, 2008, 17:40:58
Shared in accordance with the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.  Original article is at:  Charter doesn't protect Afghan prisoners: court (http://)

Quote
Afghan prisoners captured by Canadian troops and handed over to local authorities can't rely on the Charter of Rights to protect them from torture, says the Federal Court of Appeal.

In a unanimous ruling made public Thursday, a three-judge panel rejected a legal challenge by Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.

The human rights groups expressed "considerable dismay" at the ruling and issued a joint statement vowing to carry on their fight. They plan to file for leave to take the case to the Supreme Court of Canada.

...

So, this round goes to the side of sanity and reason.  Not a surprise in the least to see they now want to take to the SCC.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Technoviking on December 19, 2008, 18:07:48
Wow, just seeing this again, almost as if for the first time.  I wonder what their argument was to even go forward to suggest that persons caught by us would be subject to the Charter?  I mean, enemy spies are subject to the Code of Service Discipline, but detainees?  Come on!
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rider Pride on December 19, 2008, 18:25:51
My question is: who is paying for this legal challenge by Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association?

Who is bankrolling their lawyers, and why?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Yrys on December 19, 2008, 18:36:37
Amnesty International has chapters in a lot of countries.
These chapters have to ask for money from supporters and
to the public (they're considered as a charity in Canada,
so they can emitted charity permit) and send some money
to the headquarter (London England, I believe).

Usually, around the world, each country has the right to only
one chapter. They made an exception here in Canada, ''to
reflect the duality of the cultures'' or something like that.
So there is an anglophone chapter somewhere (Toronto?)
and a francophone one in Montréal.

But there is also a lot of ''clubs'' if you will in a lot of place : schools, citys, etc.
They receive informations from the local chapter on which human right to act
(send letters, make public noise about) (about prisonners of opinions, politicals
ones, etc) and try to raise money for the local chapter.
chapter or a particular right...

I think that cover some of yours questions  :P.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Colin P on December 22, 2008, 23:19:27
The AI fundraisers you see on the streets of Vancouver wearing a yellow AI vest are a company that solicits donations for a portion of the take, they don't advertise the fact to much.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Yrys on February 21, 2009, 22:31:06
Obama Upholds Detainee Policy in Afghanistan (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/washington/22bagram.html?ref=world), NY Times, February 21, 2009

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration has told a federal judge that military detainees in Afghanistan have no
legal right to challenge their imprisonment there, embracing a key argument of former President Bush’s legal team.

In a two-sentence filing late Friday, the Justice Department said that the new administration had reviewed its position
in a case brought by prisoners at the United States Air Force base at Bagram, just north of the Afghan capital. The
Obama team determined that the Bush policy was correct: such prisoners cannot sue for their release.

“Having considered the matter, the government adheres to its previously articulated position,” wrote Michael F. Hertz,
acting assistant attorney general.

The closely watched case is a habeas corpus lawsuit on behalf of several prisoners who have been indefinitely detained
for years without trial. The detainees argue that they are not enemy combatants, and they want a judge to review the
evidence against them and order the military to release them.

The Bush administration had argued that federal courts have no jurisdiction to hear such a case because the prisoners
are noncitizens being held in the course of military operations outside the United States. The Obama team was required
to take a stand on whether those arguments were correct because a federal district judge, John D. Bates, asked the
new government whether it wanted to alter that position.

The Obama administration’s decision was generally expected among legal specialists. But it was a blow to human rights
lawyers who have challenged the Bush administration’s policy of indefinitely detaining “enemy combatants” without trials.

The power of civilian federal judges to review individual decisions by the executive branch to hold a terrorism suspect
as an enemy combatant was one of the most contentious legal issues surrounding the Bush administration. For years,
President Bush’s legal team argued that federal judges had no authority under the Constitution to hear challenges by
detainees being held at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere.

The Supreme Court rejected the Bush administration’s legal view for prisoners held at Guantánamo in landmark rulings
in 2004 and 2006. But those rulings were based on the idea that the prison was on United States soil for constitutional
purposes, based on the unique legal circumstances and history of the naval base.

Rights lawyers have been hoping that courts would extend those rulings to allow long-term detainees being held at
United States military bases elsewhere in the world to sue for release, too. There are about 600 detainees at
Bagram and several thousand in Iraq.

Jack Balkin, a Yale Law School professor, said it was too early to tell what the Obama administration would end up
doing with the detainees at Bagram. He said some observers believed that the Obama team would end up making a
major change in policy but simply needed more time to come up with it, while others believed that the administration
had decided “to err on the side of doing things more like the Bush administration did, as opposed to really rethinking
and reorienting everything” about the detention policies it inherited because it had too many other problems to deal
with.

“It may take some time before we see exactly what is going on — whether this is just a transitory policy or whether
this is really their policy: ‘No to Guantánamo, but we can just create Guantánamo in some other place,’ ” Mr. Balkin
said.

After becoming president last month, Mr. Obama issued orders requiring strict adherence to antitorture rules and
shuttering the Guantánamo prison within a year. He also ordered a review of whether conditions there meet the
standards of humane treatment required by the Geneva Conventions, and a review of what could be done with
each of the 245 detainees who remain at the prison.

On Friday, government officials said that a Pentagon official had completed the Guantánamo report, concluding
that the site complies with the Geneva Conventions’ requirements for humane treatment — including procedures
for force-feeding prisoners on hunger strike by strapping them down and inserting a nasal tube, a practice prisoners’
lawyers have denounced. The report does recommend that some prisoners be given greater human contact, however.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Yrys on February 21, 2009, 22:37:53
 'No US rights' for Bagram inmates (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7903005.stm), BBC News, February 21, 2009

Detainees being held at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan cannot use US courts to challenge their detention,
the US says. The justice department ruled that some 600 so-called enemy combatants at Bagram have no
constitutional rights.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fnewsimg.bbc.co.uk%2Fmedia%2Fimages%2F45050000%2Fjpg%2F_45050245_41290821.jpg&hash=1b390e9b29639769002a47eb11c3c65c)

Most have been arrested in Afghanistan on suspicion of waging a terrorist war against the US.

The move has disappointed human rights lawyers who had hoped the Obama administration would take
a different line to that of George W Bush. Prof Barbara Olshansky, the lead counsel in a legal challenge
on behalf of four Bagram detainees, told the BBC the justice department's decision not to reform the rules
was both surprising and "enormously disappointing".

The BBC's Kevin Connolly in Washington says the move has angered human rights lawyers, with one saying
the new White House was endorsing the view of the old one, that prisons could be created and run outside
the law.

It is certainly evidence that having set the tone for his administration by announcing plans to close Guantanamo
Bay, Mr Obama intends to adopt a much more cautious approach to the problem of detainees held elsewhere
by the US military, our correspondent says.

'Homicides admitted'

Last year, the US Supreme Court gave suspects held at the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the right
to challenge their detention. Following that ruling, petitions were filed at a Washington district court on behalf
of four detainees at Bagram.  The judge then gave the new administration an opportunity to refine the rules
on appeals.

In a two-sentence filing, justice department lawyers said the new administration had decided not to change
the government's position. "Having considered the matter, the government adheres to its previously articulated
position," said acting assistant Attorney General Michael Hertz in papers filed at the court. The US justice
department argues that Bagram differs from Guantanamo Bay because it is in an overseas war zone and
prisoners there are being held as part of ongoing military action.

Prof Olshansky said the conditions at the Bagram facility, which is near the Afghan capital, Kabul, were worse
than those at Guantanamo Bay, adding that there was a lack of due process available to detainees. "The situation
in Bagram is so far from anything like meeting the laws of war or the human rights treaties that we're bound to,"
she told the BBC. "There are no military hearings where the detainees can present evidence," she added. "Torture
has led to homicides there that have been admitted by the US." "It's quite a severe situation, and yet the US is
planning a $60m new prison to hold 1,100 more people there."

The US military considers Bagram detainees unlawful combatants who can be detained for as long as they are deemed
a threat to Afghan national security.
Title: MPCC: CAN MPs Didn't Abuse Detainees (But Study, Changes Needed in MP System)
Post by: milnews.ca on April 27, 2009, 15:35:04
This out (http://www.mpcc-cppm.gc.ca/400/nr-cp/2009-04-27-1-eng.aspx) from the Military Police Complaints Commission:
Quote
.... The Commission’s report issued today concludes there was no harm done to the detainees while in military police custody and the injured Afghans were provided with a high standard of medical care.

However, the report criticizes military police for failing to investigate the cause of head injuries to one of the detainees when it was their duty to do so. There is no evidence to suggest a cover-up, according to the Commission, but the report does point to a general failure by military police to understand their duties and responsibilities, to respect the directions set by the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM), and to meet the expectations of senior operational commanders in Afghanistan.

In its most far-reaching finding, the MPCC maintains that the measures taken in response to the 1997 Somalia Inquiry report “…have not been fully successful in structuring, positioning and resourcing the military police to enable performance at the required standard…”

The Commission concludes its report by recommending further study into the status and role of the military police to develop a more complete command and control structure, to enhance the overall working relationship between leadership in the military police and the broader Canadian Forces, and to improve training and resourcing for military police ....

Entire report here (http://www.mpcc-cppm.gc.ca/alt_format/300/3700/2007-003/2007-003-eng.pdf) (77 pg. 1.9 MB .pdf).
Title: Federal Court: “Public Interest Hearing” Shouldn't be Blocked
Post by: milnews.ca on April 28, 2009, 21:41:17
This just in (http://cas-ncr-nter03.cas-satj.gc.ca/rss/2009%20FC%20246%20Decision%2028-04-2009.pdf) from the Federal Court of Canada (.pdf):
Quote
.... The Attorney General of Canada seeks an order staying a “Public Interest Hearing” to be held by the Military Police Complaints Commission until the final determination of two applications for judicial review brought by the Attorney General. The hearing is to examine complaints received by the Commission with respect to the transfer of detainees held by  Canadian Forces’ personnel in Afghanistan to the custody of Afghan authorities. The Attorney General’s applications for judicial review challenge the jurisdiction of the Commission to investigate the subject matter of the complaints.  For the reasons that follow, I find that the Attorney General of Canada has not demonstrated with clear and convincing evidence that irreparable harm will result if the stay is not granted. As a consequence, the motion will be dismissed ....
Full judgment (25 pg.) attached.
Title: SCOC: We Won't Hear Case for Charter Rights for AFG Detainees
Post by: milnews.ca on May 21, 2009, 12:19:10
This from the Canadian Press:
Quote
Canada's top court will not hear arguments that foreign prisoners of Canadian troops in Afghanistan should be protected by the Charter of Rights.  Amnesty International and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association had hoped to argue that the Charter should follow soldiers overseas. The groups say it violates the Charter to hand over foreign prisoners to Afghan custody without assurance they won't be tortured.  As is usual practice, the Supreme Court of Canada gave no reasons for dismissing the widely debated issue ....

A bit more at CanWest News Service (http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Charter+rights+extend+Afghan+detainees+court/1616047/story.html) and CBC.ca (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/05/21/court-afghan-prisoner-abuse021.html)
Title: Re: SCOC: We Won't Hear Case for Charter Rights for AFG Detainees
Post by: FastEddy on May 21, 2009, 14:41:31
This from the Canadian Press:
A bit more at CanWest News Service (http://www.windsorstar.com/news/Charter+rights+extend+Afghan+detainees+court/1616047/story.html) and CBC.ca (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/05/21/court-afghan-prisoner-abuse021.html)


For once they got it right.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on May 21, 2009, 14:55:23
I see Attran is still trying to make it an issue.....ahhhh....the cost of becoming a celebrity in your own mind......
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MCG on May 21, 2009, 23:08:43
Quote
Supreme Court will not hear Afghan detainee case
Updated Thu. May. 21 2009 12:47 PM ET
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA -- The Supreme Court of Canada refused Thursday to hear arguments that Canadian troops in Afghanistan should apply the Charter of Rights in their dealings with prisoners.

That leaves it to the Military Police Complaints Commission to investigate whether foreign captives delivered to Afghan custody by Canadian troops are routinely tortured.

The high court gave no reasons for its decision to refuse the case, its usual practice in dealing with requests for hearings.

"The evidence was plain that Canadian-transferred detainees are being tortured," said Paul Champ, lawyer for Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association which brought the case.

"It is disappointing that the Supreme Court did not view this situation as warranting the attention of the highest court in the land."

The two groups have complained to the military police commission, which starts related hearings Monday.

Champ had hoped to argue before the high court that handing foreign prisoners to Afghan authorities without assurance they won't be tortured violates the charter.

The Federal Court of Canada, in a ruling essentially upheld by Thursday's decision, said the charter does not automatically apply and that captives must rely on international legal protections.

Amnesty International says Afghan prisoners have no effective way of enforcing such protections -- except through the Charter of Rights.

"Detainees held by the American army in Afghanistan are protected by the U.S. constitution, but individuals captured by Canadian Forces are not protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms," Champ said.

A spokeswoman for National Defence said the federal government is pleased with the Supreme Court's decision.

"The transfer of detainees to Afghan authorities is assessed on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with international law," said Melanie Villeneuve in an email response.

"Any decision to transfer made by the commander . . .takes into consideration the facts on the ground and input from other government departments including Correctional Services Canada and Foreign Affairs."

The fate of Afghan detainees has been the subject of intense and sometimes nasty debate in Parliament. The Harper government once accused opposition MPs who raised the issue of being more concerned about the fate of Taliban captives than Canadian troops.

Ottawa temporarily stopped the contentious transfers after published reports detailed claims of torture by foreign prisoners.

The government then announced in 2007 that it had signed a new deal with the Kabul regime allowing Canadian officials access to inspect prisons after captives were handed over.

But Amnesty International says there's little reason to believe much changed after that. The group has accused the federal government of stonewalling requests for detailed information on the number of detainees transferred and their subsequent fate.

At the very least, Amnesty says NATO forces should be jointly operating a prison site with Afghan officials to ensure human rights are upheld.

A study last year by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission -- a watchdog group supported by Ottawa -- found that fewer than 20 per cent of Afghan law-enforcement officials were aware it's illegal to torture crime suspects.

The commission found that "torture and cruel, inhumane and belittling behaviour" is widespread among Afghanistan's police and security agencies.
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20090521/supremecourt_detainees_090621/20090521?hub=Canada

It seems to me that the courts came to the right & most reasonable/intelligent conclusion.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 07, 2009, 19:06:37
According to this report, reproduced under the fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Globe and Mail web site, Peter Tinsley (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/about-notresujet/bio/peter-a-tinsley-eng.asp), Chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission, has adjourned his hearings for a while, until courts deal weith the government’s motions:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/security-blanket-covers-key-evidence-at-torture-probe/article1315612/
Quote
Security blanket covers key evidence at torture probe
Military watchdog adjourns hearing into treatment of Afghan detainees after government lawyers question scope of investigation

Murray Brewster

Gatineau, Que.
The Canadian Press

Wednesday, Oct. 07, 2009

A military watchdog has adjourned public hearings into the alleged torture of Afghan prisoners for a week while lawyers battle over the scope of its investigation.

The chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission, Peter Tinsley, stopped the hearings into complaints filed by two human-rights groups hours after they began Wednesday.

He said he would rule next week on whether the hearings would continue while he appeals the court-ordered restrictions.

The probe is looking into what military police in Kandahar knew – or should have known – about the possible abuse of prisoners Canadian soldiers handed over to Afghanistan's notorious intelligence service for interrogation.

Justice Department lawyers argued before the commission Wednesday that public hearings should be suspended until the courts ultimately decide the scope of the investigation.

It would mean a two-month delay, said Alain Prefontaine, the lead government lawyer on the case.

“I was hopeful that when the Federal Court ruled on the proper corners of this inquiry that we'd be able to move things along more quickly,” he said during a break in the hearings.

But with an appeal in the offing and the possibility a higher court could change the boundaries of the investigation, an adjournment would be the only fair solution, he said.

Beyond the government's plea to suspend the hearings, a lawyer for the former head of military police also asked for a delay.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fbeta.images.theglobeandmail.com%2Farchive%2F00217%2FAfghan_-_Taliban_217103artw.jpg&hash=49fd7e046cdbb95bae322cfd0bc1b48d)
Graeme Smith/The Globe and Mail
A suspected Taliban fighter sits inside the national-security wing of Sarpoza prison in Kandahar in April of 2007.

The lawyer for retired navy captain Steve Moore, who was until last June the military's Provost Marshal, told the inquiry the federal government has given him access to some documents needed in his client's defence.

But using national security provisions, federal lawyers have barred the police commission from seeing the documents until they have been censored for possible security violations.

Mr. Prefontaine said the government is simply trying to uphold the law and is following the rules for disclosure of sensitive information.

Both he and Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Wednesday there is no attempt to obstruct the commission.

In addition, a written statement filed by a former Canadian diplomat, with information about the possible torture of Afghan prisoners, has been sealed on the grounds of national security.

Lawyers for the commission haven't been allowed to read the document filed by Richard Colvin, who worked at Canada's provincial reconstruction base in Kandahar in 2006.

He was there when Canadian troops first began handing over captured Taliban fighters to Afghan authorities and signalled to the commission that he had information on what military police knew about alleged torture in Afghan prisons.

But federal lawyers have tried to have him removed from a witness list and said information contained in his statement must be vetted under Section 38 of the Canada Evidence Act, which prohibits the release of national security information and punishes those who don't comply with up to five years in prison.

Mr. Prefontaine said he doesn't know what Mr. Colvin's statement contains – or what information the former diplomat may possess, but defended trying to strike him from the witness list.

In about two months Mr. Tinsely’s term as Chair of the MPCC will expire and the hearings may have to be delayed even further while a new Chair is appointed and brought up to speed.

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: FastEddy on October 08, 2009, 01:59:58

[/quote]

Well isn't that just too damn bad.

And on a more serious note, Capt S. Moore Navy Provost Marshal, whats the matter, either the Navy doesn't have enough Ships or the Military Police doesn't have enough Senior Officers ?

And to all the Taliban Prisoners at the Sarpoze Prison, "HAVE A NICE DAY".

Cheers.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: garb811 on October 08, 2009, 02:16:30

And on a more serious note, Capt S. Moore Navy Provost Marshal, whats the matter, either the Navy doesn't have enough Ships or the Military Police doesn't have enough Senior Officers ?
We're a purple trade.  Ever stop to think that the obvious, and true, answer is Capt(N) Moore was a MPO wearing the Naval uniform? 
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on October 14, 2009, 12:23:44
Afghan detainee curse could claim MacKay
John Ivison,  National Post
Article Link (http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=289ecb2a-e5b6-4053-a12f-ac7b204111eb)
 
Peter MacKay should tread lightly or the curse of the Afghan detainees will claim yet another victim.

Allegations of abuse of detainees handed over by Canadian troops in Afghanistan have already had a career-limiting impact on two defence ministers. Now they have come back to haunt the present holder of that office.

Mr. MacKay has been winning good reviews for the no-nonsense way he has handled the Defence portfolio. It helps that the government is spending billions on military procurement but, beyond that, Mr. MacKay is deemed well-suited to a job he appears to enjoy.

His reputation took a hit when he won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party by agreeing not to merge with Stephen Harper's Canadian Alliance, only to later renege on that pledge. But his solid performances at Foreign Affairs and National Defence means he is now considered a real contender to succeed Mr. Harper, if he chooses to enter an eventual leadership race.

But all that good work would be for nothing if the detainee issue wreaks its usual havoc. Back in 2002, Mr. MacKay's Liberal predecessor, now Senator Art Eggleton, was involved in a detainee-related controversy over what he knew and when he knew about the transfer of Taliban fighters. He was eventually cleared of deliberately covering up the facts but when he was later involved in an unrelated incident involving a former girlfriend, he was cut loose by Jean Chretien. Those close to the controversy were in no doubt that the damage had been done by the detainee issue.

Another former defence minister brought low by detainees was Gordon O'Connor. Mr. O'Connor was asked in the House of Commons to open up the Liberal-negotiated prisoner transfer agreement with the Afghan government to ensure detainees were treated fairly. He refused, saying there was no need to do so because the Red Cross monitored the fate of prisoners after their transfer -- a position considerably undermined when it was contradicted by ... er, the Red Cross. The minister was forced to apologize for misleading the House and was later moved to the National Revenue portfolio.

Again, no one was in any doubt that the curse of the detainees had struck again.
More on link
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 14, 2009, 15:17:15
Afghan detainee curse could claim MacKay
John Ivison,  National Post
Article Link (http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=289ecb2a-e5b6-4053-a12f-ac7b204111eb)
 
Peter MacKay should tread lightly or the curse of the Afghan detainees will claim yet another victim.

Allegations of abuse of detainees handed over by Canadian troops in Afghanistan have already had a career-limiting impact on two defence ministers. Now they have come back to haunt the present holder of that office.

Mr. MacKay has been winning good reviews for the no-nonsense way he has handled the Defence portfolio. It helps that the government is spending billions on military procurement but, beyond that, Mr. MacKay is deemed well-suited to a job he appears to enjoy.

His reputation took a hit when he won the leadership of the Progressive Conservative party by agreeing not to merge with Stephen Harper's Canadian Alliance, only to later renege on that pledge. But his solid performances at Foreign Affairs and National Defence means he is now considered a real contender to succeed Mr. Harper, if he chooses to enter an eventual leadership race.

But all that good work would be for nothing if the detainee issue wreaks its usual havoc. Back in 2002, Mr. MacKay's Liberal predecessor, now Senator Art Eggleton, was involved in a detainee-related controversy over what he knew and when he knew about the transfer of Taliban fighters. He was eventually cleared of deliberately covering up the facts but when he was later involved in an unrelated incident involving a former girlfriend, he was cut loose by Jean Chretien. Those close to the controversy were in no doubt that the damage had been done by the detainee issue.

Another former defence minister brought low by detainees was Gordon O'Connor. Mr. O'Connor was asked in the House of Commons to open up the Liberal-negotiated prisoner transfer agreement with the Afghan government to ensure detainees were treated fairly. He refused, saying there was no need to do so because the Red Cross monitored the fate of prisoners after their transfer -- a position considerably undermined when it was contradicted by ... er, the Red Cross. The minister was forced to apologize for misleading the House and was later moved to the National Revenue portfolio.

Again, no one was in any doubt that the curse of the detainees had struck again.
More on link


I'm afraid the "Cure of the Afghan Detainees" is in the same league of the "May This House Be Safe From Tigers (http://www.opednews.com/articles/opedne_ed_marti_080511_may_this_house_be_sa.htm)" prayer - it works because of the coincidence that wild tigers are quite rare in London and New York. (And, by the way, the story and the prayer predate Alexander King, circa 1960.) Must be a really slow opinion day.
Title: What the KPRT Political Staff Officer Says He Saw
Post by: milnews.ca on October 15, 2009, 07:06:17
CanWest/Global (http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Diplomat+reported+Afghanistan+prisoner+abuse+2006/2100604/story.html):
Quote
One of Canada's former top diplomats in Afghanistan says he repeatedly sounded alarms to his superiors and the military about handing captives over to Afghan control — warnings that began almost a full year before the government publicly claimed it had no credible reports of detainee abuse.

Richard Colvin, in an affidavit unsealed Wednesday by the Military Police Complaints Commission, said he wrote his first report, raising "serious, imminent and alarming" concerns of detainee abuse only one month after arriving in Afghanistan in April 2006.

"I soon became aware of a number of what, in my judgment, were problems in Canadian policy and/or practice, including regarding Afghan detainees," wrote Colvin, in an affidavit dated Oct. 5 of this year.

"I spent considerable time on the detainee file and sent many reports on detainee-related issues to Canadian officials."

In his affidavit, he said also gave first-hand evidence of the abuse and even torture that he learned about while visiting Afghan detainees in jail in June 2007....

More from Canadian Press (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091014/national/afghan_prisoners_diplomat), Toronto Star (http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/afghanmission/article/710552--ottawa-had-early-warning-of-torture-in-afghan-jails), Toronto Sun (http://www.torontosun.com/news/columnists/greg_weston/2009/10/15/11406541-sun.html), Globe & Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/canadians-warned-early-that-afghan-detainees-faced-torture/article1323231/) and CBC News (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/10/14/affidavit-afghan-detainees.html)
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: PMedMoe on October 15, 2009, 20:04:08
MacKay denies knowing about Afghan torture
Article Link - CTV News (http://news.sympatico.ctv.ca/abc/home/contentposting.aspx?isfa=1&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V3&showbyline=True&date=true&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20091015%2fmilitary_commission_091015)

Defence Minister Peter MacKay says he wasn't aware of warnings authored by a Canadian diplomat that prisoners in Afghanistan faced the risk of being tortured if transferred to local authorities.

"I have not seen those reports in either my capacity as minister of National Defence or previously as minister of Foreign Affairs," he told The Canadian Press.

MacKay was responding to an affidavit that diplomat Richard Colvin filed to the Military Police Complaints Commission on Wednesday, which said that government officials knew of the risks because he personally warned them in writing in 2006.

Colvin -- who is now an intelligence officer with the Foreign Affairs department -- said in his written statement that he filed two reports in 2006 that examined potential problems with the handover of prisoners by the Canadian military to the local authorities.

"Judging these problems regarding Afghan detainees to be serious, imminent and alarming, I made investigations and detailed my findings formally in my reporting from the PRT," he wrote in the affidavit.

His statement contradicts earlier assurances by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other high-ranking officials that they had not received any credible reports from Canadian officials about prisoner abuse.

Cabinet ministers had also assured the public that the opposition was misled by Taliban propaganda, and that in fact, the government has not received a credible allegation of prisoner abuse.

That revelation has resulted in opposition calls for an official public inquiry into issue.

However, the Canadian government said that when the allegations came to light in the spring of 2007 that they had never received any prior warning about the risk of torture.

The content of the first report is still covered by national security. Colvin said the second report gave specific findings that "dealt with two issues, one of which concerned the risk of torture and/or actual torture of Afghan detainees."

But opposition MPs say the government may be hiding something.

"Peter Mackay and the prime minister must come forward and tell Canadians exactly what they knew, and when they knew it. That is the clearest, fastest, and most honest way to proceed," said NDP defence critic Jack Harris on Thursday.

The NDP is now calling for a public inquiry into the issue.

More on link
Title: Headline nit picking, and previous Minister's statement
Post by: milnews.ca on October 15, 2009, 21:49:53
Interesting - note the difference between the CTV story headline:
"MacKay denies knowing about Afghan torture" (http://news.sympatico.ctv.ca/abc/home/contentposting.aspx?isfa=1&feedname=CTV-TOPSTORIES_V3&showbyline=True&date=true&newsitemid=CTVNews%2f20091015%2fmilitary_commission_091015)
and the Canadian Press story headline:
"MacKay denies seeing Afghan torture warnings " (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091015/national/afghan_torture_inquiry)

Also, this, from CanWest (http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Ministers+they+were+told+Afghan+detainee+abuse+fears/2106194/story.html), on what the former Defence Minister said:
Quote
"I always tell the truth and I said it in Parliament, I said it in committees and I'll say it today: I was never made aware of any allegations of prisoner abuse, period," O'Connor said in an interview with Global TV.

"Nobody came to me and said 'Minister, there are prisoners being mistreated.' Nobody."

O'Connor had no explanation for why he may have been left out of the loop about the reports.

"Maybe they were dealt with at the lower levels and found not to be credible," he said.

- edited to include O'Connor quote -
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on October 19, 2009, 11:30:16
 National Post editorial board: When in Afghanistan...
Posted: October 16, 2009, 8:30 AM by NP Editor
Editorial
Article Link (http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/10/17/338979.aspx)

The Conservative government continues to face accusations that it is deliberately trying to sandbag an inquiry into when Canadian military police first knew they might be transferring Afghan prisoners to Afghan detention facilities where they might be tortured or made to suffer privations by other Afghans. The issue, at this point, is the period of time between May 2006, when Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin first warned of the possibility that Canadians were indirectly implicated in “serious” prisoner abuse by the sovereign government of Afghanistan, and May 2007, when the government agreed to strengthen procedures for following up on Canadian captives in Afghan custody.

Many of the news stories about this controversy are careful to mention that Canada is bound to comply with the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners and victims of war. If it were the case that the totality of the Conventions applied, there might be good reason for the expectation of civilian oversight and deep investigation. But most of the provisions of the Conventions don’t apply directly to the war in Afghanistan, since it is not a conflict of “international character” under their terms. The full Conventions are relevant only by a sort of verbal game which turns them into a permanent, universal norm for wars featuring non-state actors.

This is part of a questionable trend in international law that began even before 9/11: Liberal critics generally would like to eliminate the distinction between our obligations to a traditional warring state and our obligations to insurgent and guerrilla groups. This includes groups such as the Taliban that use terror against civilians and themselves regard the Geneva code as ridiculous.

There are core rules that do apply to the Conventions’ contracting parties in absolutely all military conflicts: namely, that noncombatants and the wounded should not suffer murder or assault, should not be used as hostages, should not be gratuitously humiliated, should not be subject to summary execution, and must receive medical treatment and the necessities of life. But combatants healthy enough to be jailed instead of hospitalized — such as those Afghan prisoners at the root of the current controversy — aren’t entitled even to this second-hand protection. This fact makes the case for running roughshod over our own military and national security, in pursuit of the rights of those combatants, much weaker.

The fact is that Canada, as an invited participant in a foreign civil war on behalf of the sovereign power there, faces an intractable logical difficulty. We’re fighting for a backward culture that does not accept all of our ideas about human rights — against an even worse subculture that not only has the most attenuated notions of human rights conceivable, but is a standing threat to the peace of the whole world. In such an environment, it is inevitable that Canadian soldiers will be complicit, if only indirectly, in procedures that do not meet our own rarefied due-process standards. Short of Canadians building their own prison and court system in Afghanistan, or sending every single detainee we catch to face Canadian criminal justice, Afghanistan’s dirty fight will always leave some kind of black mark on those Canadians who are fighting it.

Our one message to the government’s liberal critics is that Canada may someday be involved in a war on this particular model that they actually favour, even if they don’t favour this one. Wars these days tend not to be fought in Belgium and Britain — but in places such as Darfur and Chechnya, where the concepts of human rights and due process are bad jokes. Do they want to make it impossible for us ever to do battle against the truly intolerable on behalf of the merely questionable?

That is the question that non-government intervenors and academics increasingly seem to be raising: not whether the Canadian military should have been in Afghanistan, but whether it can ever go anywhere and still conform to their notions of right conduct.

In matters of human rights overseas, let us not permit the great to become the enemy of the good.
National Post
end of article
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Journeyman on October 19, 2009, 12:00:43
National Post editorial board: When in Afghanistan...
A well-considered editorial.
However I doubt if any opposition parliamentarians are thinking so philosophically. All that matters is grasping for any anti-ruling party sound bites.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 20, 2009, 08:20:08
Interesting how this is coming out at about the same time as advance coverage of Hillier's new book - makes one wonder the motives of the "senior sources within the federal government and the Canadian military"....

Top brass knew about torture allegations: gov't and military sources
Peter Harris and Norma Greenaway, Global News, 19 Oct 09
Article link (http://news.globaltv.com/world/story.html?id=2112718)

Quote
According to insiders, it turns out Ottawa was indeed aware of reports from a senior Canadian diplomat, which repeatedly warned that Afghan detainees turned over to local authorities risked being tortured.

Global National has learned from senior sources within the federal government and the Canadian military, that diplomat Richard Colvin's warnings reached Retired Gen. Rick Hillier, chief of defence staff at the time.

Hillier did not respond to Global National's requests for an interview Monday.

Canada's current top soldier says he's working to get to the bottom of what happened to Colvin's reports. Gen. Walter Natynczyk, chief of defence staff, said Friday he did not yet know where the diplomat's reports landed back in Ottawa, who read them, and what was done with the information....


MacKay probes fate of Afghan torture warnings
Murray Brewster, The Canadian Press, 19 Oct 09
Article link (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091019/national/afghan_cda_prisoners)

Quote
Defence Minister Peter MacKay says he intends to find out why reports warning of the possible torture of Afghan prisoners early in the Kandahar mission never made it to his desk.

He says neither he, nor his deputy minister ever saw diplomat Richard Colvin's reports that were circulated widely within both the departments of Foreign Affairs and National Defence, as well as among senior military commanders.

MacKay, who has held both the defence and foreign affairs jobs, told the House of Commons that he wants to know where the report "stopped" in the system.

He made the assurance as two Commons committees are set Tuesday to open their own investigations into the handling of Afghan prisoners by the Canadian military ....
Title: DND DM Didn't See Reports, Either...
Post by: milnews.ca on October 20, 2009, 14:49:35
...according to Minister MacKay, speaking during Question Period in the House of Commons yesterday (1st question (http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2#SOB-2893276) and 2nd question (http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2#SOB-2893301) on issue), with an interesting new tidbit in yellow:
Quote
we receive hundreds, if not thousands, of reports annually through the Department of National Defence, as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs. That is why it did not make it to my desk .... I intend to hear from the Department of Defence, as well as foreign affairs, as to where this report stopped, because it did not make it to the deputy minister or my desk.

Title: BQ Reportedly Blocks MP Probe into Detainee Fracas
Post by: milnews.ca on October 20, 2009, 16:32:40
This (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091020/national/afghan_cda_prisoners) from CP:
Quote
The Bloc Quebecois has apparently blocked a proposed wide-ranging investigation by MPs into the handling of Taliban prisoners by Canadian soldiers.

Liberal defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh tabled a motion before the Commons defence committee to probe allegations that captured fighters were handed over to known torturers in the Afghan prison system.

The committee met behind closed doors today, but a Twitter posting by Dosanjh says separatist MPs have blocked the motion, which needed the support of all oppositions parties to succeed.

He said the BQ was in league with the Conservative government, which has been accused of stonewalling a separate commission investigation into what military police may or may not have known.

On a third front, a special Commons committee on Afghanistan will consider two opposition motions Wednesday: one asks to call several witnesses, including a former diplomat whose warnings about torture early in the Kandahar mission appear to have been ignored.

It also appears, if you believe these Tweets (http://twitter.com/KeviNDP), that Mr. D. got his wrist slapped for Twittering to this effect - nothing left on UD's Twitter site (http://twitter.com/ujjaldosanjh) on the issue as of this posting.
Title: Hillier: I told PMO about risk of abuse
Post by: milnews.ca on October 21, 2009, 08:28:16
Highlights from the Globe & Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/pmo-told-of-afghan-jail-conditions-hillier-writes/article1331741/):
Quote
By Spring 2006, as military operations in Kandahar province expanded, Canadian troops started taking an increasing number of prisoners. As previously agreed, the prisoners were transferred into Afghan custody. In Spring 2007, The Globe and Mail reported on allegations of abuse of detainees in Afghan prisons. Mr. Hillier acknowledged that was to be expected.

"Their judicial and prison systems were still somewhat nascent, and there was always some risk that abuse could occur," he wrote.

The military decided to make frequent unannounced visits to Afghan prisons to monitor conditions, but the first visit raised sufficient alarms that "we lost confidence that basic, responsible measures were in place to ensure the humane treatment of prisoners."

The book does not say when the first visit took place or how long the time lag was until the transfers were stopped in December, 2007. The Globe and Mail has reported that the first inspection visit was in May, 2007. Transfers resumed in early January, 2008.

Throughout the process, Mr. Hillier writes, the federal government was kept fully informed of the military's handling of prisoners, which contradicts statements from the Prime Minister's Office.

Also, compare what the Minister said in Question Period Monday (links to Hansard) ....
Quote
We receive hundreds, if not thousands, of reports annually through the Department of National Defence, as well as the Department of Foreign Affairs. That is why it did not make it to my desk (http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2#SOB-2893276) …. I intend to hear from the Department of Defence, as well as foreign affairs, as to where this report stopped, because it did not make it to the deputy minister or my desk. (http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2#SOB-2893301)
.... to what the Globe said he said outside the house:
Quote
"There are hundreds if not thousands of documents, reporters, memos, advice that come through all departments," Mr. MacKay told reporters outside the House of Commons.  "The fact that one report or a series of reports weren't read by a minister or a deputy minister shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone."

Latest from Tuesday's Hansard for Question Period here (http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2#SOB-2898868) and here (http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Pub=hansard&Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=40&Ses=2#SOB-2898907).

- edited to add 20 Oct 09 Hansard links -
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 21, 2009, 11:54:03
Hillier's comments are, potentially, very damaging.

First: it is, as Minister MacKay says, very normal that the minister sees only a very few of the thousands of documents that arrive in his/her office suites each week - staff deal with the overwhelming majority of issues: routine ones and, often, quite toxic ones - especially where ministers may not "want" to be too well informed.

Second: Gen. Hillier would, almost certainly, have kept his colleague, the Deputy Minister of National Defence, appraised of this issue. They, jointly, would have, almost equally certainly, have kept the Privy Council Office "in the loop."

But: it does not necessarily follow that either the MND or the PMO would have been informed - for any number of good and valid reasons, including the fact that the information had been lodged with staffs. It's called passing the buck and generals do it just as well as civil servants.

I would be surprised if someone as savvy as Gen. Hillier took this kind of information to the PMO, which is a very political place. To do so, and to be found out, could be construed would be evidence of the CDS being politically partisan. Hillier ought to have been way to smart to do that.

I anticipate yet another Liberal demand for yet another public inquiry; I doubt much will happen because I think the ongoing MPPCC probe will be shackled and new ones will be avoided; I also expect that Hillier, Colvin and many others will be called to testify by one or more HoC Committees. I also expect much heat and little light. Advice to ministers is protected - even from parliamentary committees.


Edit: typo
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 21, 2009, 12:42:40
But: it does not necessarily follow that either the MND or the PMO would have been informed - for any number of good and valid reasons, including the fact that the information had been lodged with staffs. It's called passing the buck and generals do it just as well as civil servants.

I would be surprised if someone as savvy as Gen. Hillier took this kind of information to the PMO, which is a very political place. To do so, and to be found out, could be construed would be evidence of the CDS being politically partisan. Hillier ought to have been way to smart to do that.

In light of this, it would be nice to see more than what the Globe & Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/pmo-told-of-afghan-jail-conditions-hillier-writes/article1331741/) had this morning - the headline says this:
Quote
PMO told of Afghan jail conditions, Hillier writes
and the article says this:
Quote
Mr. Hillier writes, the federal government was kept fully informed of the military's handling of prisoners, which contradicts statements from the Prime Minister's Office.

In early 2008, a spokeswoman for Mr. Harper "had told the media that the Canadian Forces - me, specifically - had not informed the Prime Minister that we had stopped the transfer of detainees from Canadian to Afghan custody," Mr. Hillier says in his book.

In fact, they had been kept fully informed, he stated. "We had made sure everyone knew that we were stopping those transfers - it was a sensitive issue, after all.

"... so there I was, [on vacation] working on my second rum and Coke, being blamed for something that simply wasn't true. I shut off my BlackBerry and had a third drink."
I look forward to reading the book (or hear from others who have) about if he indeed, as the headline says, spoke to PMO directly.  It IS a political place, but since, like DMs, he's appointed by the PM, it doesn't sound entirely outside the realm of possibility.

I anticipate yet another Liberal demand for yet another public inquiry; I doubt much will happen because I think the ongoing MPPCC probe will be shackled and new ones will be avoided; I also expect that Hillier, Colvin and many others will be called to testify by one or more HoC Committees. I also expect much heat and little light. Advice to ministers is protected - even from parliamentary committees.
Agreed...
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Old Sweat on October 21, 2009, 15:04:15
i have just checked his book again. Hillier devotes pages 457 to 468 to the handling of prisoners issue. He states on page 466 that "The Government of Canada was well aware of our decision [to stop the transfer of prisoners], and Foreign Affairs, wiht CIDA, the RCMP and Correctional Service Canada, were mandated to help the Afghans improve . . ."

He then responds on the same page re Sandra Buckler's claim that "the Canadian Forces - me specificall thaty- had not informed the Prime Minister that we had stopped the transfer of detainees from Canadian to Afghan custody." General Hillier writes "The previous fall [2007], we had told Foreign affairs, CIDA and the rest of the government that unless inspectors visited Afghan jails continually and built confidence that those detained by us were still being treated humanely, we were not going to transfer any more." and then adds in the next paragraph, "We had made sure everyone knew that we were stopping those transfers - it was a sensitive issue, after all, in the newspapers almost every day . . ."

Tony, the short answer is that nowhere does he say he told the PMO, but the inference is that key departments and thus the central agency - the PCO - were aware. Whether that is to allow the PMO some wiggle room or not is moot.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on October 21, 2009, 15:33:33
Tony, the short answer is that nowhere does he say he told the PMO, but the inference is that key departments and thus the central agency - the PCO - were aware. Whether that is to allow the PMO some wiggle room or not is moot.
Seen - so it's another case of "headlines not exactly matching the story" syndrome, in that he told a range of officials officials, but it's not clear whether he spoke to PMO specifically  - or at least FAR less clear than the Globe's headline makes out.

Thanks for sharing this, OS - very much appreciated.
Title: Latest from Hansard (21 Oct 09)
Post by: milnews.ca on October 22, 2009, 10:03:29
Questions to the Defence Minister and responses here (http://is.gd/4vMfJ) and here (http://is.gd/4vMk7):
Quote
We improved a transfer agreement that would ensure visits. In fact, as recently as today I understand there have been 175 visits to Afghan prisons with respect to ensuring that conditions are proper .... We have invested over $132 million in improving the justice system of the country .... In fact, we met last night to talk about Afghanistan and there is now a program to train female Afghan prison guards.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on October 24, 2009, 10:18:36
This is extracted from Norman Spector’s blog on the Globe and Mail (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/blogs/spector-vision/extra-read-all-about-it/article1335247/[i) web site:

Quote
Le Devoir is reporting that Conservative Ministers Gordon O'Connor and Peter MacKay knew in 2006 that prisoners in Afghanistan were at risk of torture. Rick Hillier says in a interview with reporter Alec Castonguay that Amnesty International wrote to O'Connor in 2006 to warn him that this would be in contravention of the Geneva Convention: "He consulted me before replying to the letter. We spoke about it often, in every briefing," Hillier said, adding that the situation worsened in 2007, which led to a halt in transfers for several months. "It was only in the autumn of 2007 that we concluded that we would have to change the way we did things.”
Title: Testifying Diplomat Denied Funding for Own Legal Counsel
Post by: milnews.ca on October 26, 2009, 22:01:57
From the Canadian Press (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091026/national/afghan_prisoners_lawyer):
Quote
The Harper government is refusing to pay the legal bills of a federal official whose warnings of possible torture in Afghan jails sparked a political storm, The Canadian Press has learned.

The Foreign Affairs Department gave preliminary approval to Richard Colvin's request to use an independent lawyer in September.

But it now says it won't pay the first set of bills until his lawyer discloses to the Justice Department who she has been talking with in relation to the case - something that could be a breach of ethical rules.

His pleas for the department to reconsider and to also give its final blessing for his use of an outside counsel have been turned down.

It's the latest development in an escalating dispute between the federal government and the diplomat-turned-intelligence officer, who has signalled he has relevant information about what military police knew - or didn't know - about the possible abuse of prisoners by Afghan authorities.

Colvin opted last summer to retain his own lawyer rather than rely on the Justice Department's stable of attorneys and, under federal guidelines, Ottawa is obliged to cover the cost.

But the government has now demanded to see the "accounts" and detailed notes compiled by his lawyer, Calgary-based Lori Bokenfohr.

The accounts would detail the names of who Bokenfohr has been speaking with in relation to Colvin's case, including the length and dates of such discussions.

Such information falls into the category of solicitor-client secrecy, she suggested ....
Title: PM, Foreign Affairs Minister Deny "Intimidation" of Former Diplomat
Post by: milnews.ca on October 28, 2009, 11:16:32
From Hansard of Question Period yesterday (http://is.gd/4FUlo):
Quote

Hon. Jack Layton (Toronto—Danforth, NDP):  Mr. Speaker, the Conservatives have been doing everything in their power to muzzle and prevent diplomat Richard Colvin from telling what he knows about what happened in Afghan prisons. He has had to hire his own lawyer but the government has come in with every intimidation approach and delay tactic it can come up with.  He has to pay for his own lawyer but now the government is saying it will not pay the bills unless his lawyer reveals the list of  absolutely everyone she spoke with.  That is unbelievable. No lawyer should ever be asked to do that. No lawyer would do that. To do so would be to break the ethical contract.  What has the government got to hide? Let Colvin speak.

Right Hon. Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, there are so many inaccuracies in that question, I do not know where to start. At least the NDP is asking its questions from the floor of the House today.  There is a policy in place that covers Mr. Colvin and that covers the legal bills of any public servant. The rules are no different for Mr. Colvin than they are for any other public servant.

More here (http://is.gd/4FUqB):
Quote
Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ):  Mr. Speaker, Richard Colvin, who informed the government of possible cases of torture in Afghanistan, was told by the Conservative government that his lawyer's fees would not be covered even though he had obtained preliminary approval.  The only explanation for the government's reversal is that it does not want the truth to come out about the Afghan prisoners who were tortured in Afghanistan.

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, in reply to the direct question of whether or not the fees of Mr. Colvin's lawyer will be paid, the answer is yes. There are procedures to be followed and the government will ensure that his fees are paid under the appropriate circumstances.
Title: Latest, from 28 Oct 09 Hansard....
Post by: milnews.ca on October 29, 2009, 11:25:48
..... here (http://is.gd/4Hb7I):
Quote
Mr. Claude Bachand (Saint-Jean, BQ):  Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said yesterday that the fees of Richard Colvin's lawyer would be paid, but that there are procedures to be followed.  Can the minister assure us that the procedures he is referring to do not mean that in order for Mr. Colvin's lawyer to get paid, she would have to become an informant and disclose the names of the people she spoke to in this affair?

Hon. Lawrence Cannon (Minister of Foreign Affairs, CPC):  Mr. Speaker, at no time did I say that the defence would have to disclose any type of information that would breach client-solicitor privilege. There are procedures to be followed and the parties are being asked to follow those procedures just like everyone else does when the government covers legal fees.
Title: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: riggermade on November 10, 2009, 19:12:09
Just heard this on Global
Title: Re: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: ivan the tolerable on November 10, 2009, 19:23:59
As I read it, this would apply to Taliban prisoners held by the Canadian Forces at Kandahar - ONLY!

This has nothing to do with other Taliban prisoners or the Taliban in general.

Erm, exactly how many do we have, at the moment?
Title: Re: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: mariomike on November 10, 2009, 20:11:27
"Health minister "disturbed" over plans to give H1N1 vaccine to Afghan detainees: KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Afghan detainees in Canadian custody are being offered the H1N1 shot, military officials say - a move that took federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq by surprise Tuesday amid growing concern at home about Canada's dwindling supply of swine-flu vaccine.":
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091110/national/afghan_cda_flu

"Taliban prisoners to get vaccine before Canadians: It's bad enough that nobody can explain how some Canadian inmates are receiving the H1N1 vaccine while most university students are still waiting.":
http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/11/10/don-martin-taliban-prisoners-to-get-vaccine-before-canadians.aspx


Title: Re: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: leroi on November 10, 2009, 21:42:42
So long as our Canadian Forces members stuck over there fighting for Canada get the vaccine before the taliban detainees, then I think it's a sound & sage decision.

We've seen in the past how the MSM and other interest groups and even politicians jump all over our military, pre-condemn them in fact, WRT to any slight mis-step--whether real or imagined--involving prisoners.

Even though I'm personally unhappy with the decision, I understand its necessity. Besides, if CF members are in close contact with enemy detainees, then it's imperative.

However, I'm confused on one point: I thought Canada turned enemy detainees over to the government of Afghanistan as their responsibility? Should the responsibility to vaccinate detainees not rest with Afghanistan rather than Canada? ???

Title: Re: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: GAP on November 10, 2009, 21:50:19
Under the Geneva Conventions the prisoners must receive the same equivilant treatment as Canadian Soldiers.....if you think there is a big hullaballoo over giving the shots, just have one die of H1N1 and watch the fireworks go off....
Title: Re: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: leroi on November 10, 2009, 21:59:31
Gap,  thank you. That is what I was trying to say but you have done so more concisely. :nod:
Title: Re: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: Target Up on November 10, 2009, 22:43:57
Under the Geneva Conventions the prisoners must receive the same equivilant treatment as Canadian Soldiers.....if you think there is a big hullaballoo over giving the shots, just have one die of H1N1 and watch the fireworks go off....

frig 'em.  Inform them that the vaccine was incubated in live pigs and give them the choice.  And if they all die of the flu, extra rice and fish heads for the troops.
Title: Re: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: mariomike on November 10, 2009, 23:08:08
"Health minister "outraged" over plans to give H1N1 vaccine to Afghan detainees:
But later Tuesday, amid the controversy touched off, a spokesman for the Department of National Defence in Ottawa said that offering vaccinations to detainees "would be based on medical need and at this point there is no plan to vaccinate" them.":
http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5i-RP6rTbCIELUdx5dIgQ1t07qAVw
http://www.cbc.ca/video/news/player.html?clipid=1325915327

"About those Geneva Conventions: The military says prisoners in Afghanistan will be offered the H1N1 vaccine. The military says this is in accordance with the Geneva Conventions. Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq says this is outrageous.":
http://www2.macleans.ca/2009/11/10/about-those-geneva-conventions/

Washington:
"The possibility that detainees would get vaccinated became a political and public relations headache for the Obama administration at a time when many Americans are still waiting for doses that are scarce.":
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/10/AR2009111009179.html?

"No H1N1 vaccine for Guantanamo, White House says:"
http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNews/idUSN0351869520091103

"H1N1 vaccinations to be offered to Guantanamo Bay detainees: Washington (CNN) -- The Pentagon will offer the H1N1 vaccination to detainees at the U.S. facility at Guantanamo Bay, officials there said Friday.":
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/10/30/guantanamo.h1n1.shots/index.html

Here's one more about a Hunger Strike: The prisoners did not have supper or breakfast:
"Gail Latouche of Corrections Canada, who oversees mentoring of guards at the prison, said she was made aware of the situation "in a telephone call from the prison at 11 a.m. today. The prisoners did not have supper or breakfast. It was termed a hunger strike."
http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2204170

Newfoundland: "H1N1 cancels Remembrance Day school event":
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2009/11/10/nl-h1n1-rememberance-1110.html
Title: Re: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: Delta on November 10, 2009, 23:30:50
Under the Geneva Conventions the prisoners must receive the same equivilant treatment as Canadian Soldiers.....if you think there is a big hullaballoo over giving the shots, just have one die of H1N1 and watch the fireworks go off....
I thought Geneva Conventions only applies to the traditional uniformed members of opposing armies, not irregular combatants like the guerrilla Taliban fighters.
Title: Re: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: helpup on November 10, 2009, 23:48:49
It means to me that this is a slow news day, the numbers we are talking about are minimal, it can be argued that it is our responsibility to perform that service and in the end it will also help protect us.  But then again it is late I am still at work and am not reading too much into the backstory on this one.
Title: Re: What do you think of Taliban getting H1N1 shot ahead of Canadians?
Post by: Love793 on November 11, 2009, 14:53:09
I thought Geneva Conventions only applies to the traditional uniformed members of opposing armies, not irregular combatants like the guerrilla Taliban fighters.

Nope, all PWs, detainees, Pers of Interests, bad dudes, Fighting Aged Guy awaiting questioning etc, get treated the same. Its up to the international courts to decide whom is a PW and whom isn't. In the mean time we treat them all the same, in accordance w/the LOAC (including the Geneva and Hague Conventions) and National Caveats.
Title: Liberal Party fundraising "to uncover the truth"
Post by: milnews.ca on November 25, 2009, 15:17:55
This just out over lunch (Eastern Time) from the Liberal Party of Canada via e-mail mailing list - emphasis mine:
Quote
Friend--

Canada’s reputation as a human rights champion is on the line. Let’s stop Stephen Harper before he makes Canada a place we can’t recognize.

The Afghan detainee scandal has the government’s spin machine on overdrive. First the Conservatives called Richard Colvin, the courageous public servant who testified about prisoner abuse at a parliamentary committee last week, a Taliban “dupe.” Now, we've learned that Mr. Colvin copied the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs on his warnings, suggesting that those at the highest levels of government were aware of the situation.

It’s textbook US Republican-style attack politics, except this time it’s undermining Canada’s mission to bring democracy and respect for the rule of law to Afghanistan. We owe it to our troops, our diplomats, and to Canada’s international reputation to find the truth about what happened. In times like these, no one can afford to sit on the political sidelines.

Thank you,

Rocco Rossi
National Director, Liberal Party of Canada

(....)

PS. Your donation right now is timely for tax reasons, too. Political donations entitle you to a tax credit of up to 75 per cent. That means that the after-tax net cost of your $100 donation will be as little as $25. So please make a donation now and help the Liberal Party uncover the truth.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Thucydides on November 25, 2009, 15:48:03
Watching Bob Rae backpeddle furiously on CTV Monday evening when the CPC guest offered to release documents dating back to 2002 put it all in perspective for me.

I also note the same Liberals are blocking another Canadian diplomat who is willing to come forward with information, because this person isn't following the "narrative" of torture.

More political "Gotcha". I doubt that the reality has little match-up with the accusations.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Journeyman on November 25, 2009, 16:05:46
Quote
I doubt that the reality has little match-up with the accusations.
I also doubt that the sheeple will note the follow-up to the initial, scandalous accusations....even if the CBC or CTV were to give it the same degree of publicity
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on November 25, 2009, 16:20:46
I also doubt that the sheeple will note the follow-up to the initial, scandalous accusations....even if the CBC or CTV were to give it the same degree of publicity
A mighty big "if" (not to mention other MSM) ....
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on November 25, 2009, 16:34:40
I love it when the "righteous" indignation of Red Bob Rae is decimated.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on November 25, 2009, 18:12:42
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/top-general-dismisses-diplomats-testimony-on-afghan-detainee-abuse/article1377222/

Well the 'good" old Globe and Mail starts off it's report of todays Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, during wich Rick Hillier testified, like this:

"The architect of Canada's costly military mission in southern Afghanistan....."




Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: mariomike on November 25, 2009, 23:38:15
"Suspects in Canadian soldiers' deaths handed to Afghans: Concerns about Canada's handling of Afghan detainees has also raised an entirely different question: What was done with captured Afghans suspected of killing or wounding Canadian soldiers?":
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/11/25/afghan-suspects-soldiers025.html
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Thucydides on November 26, 2009, 08:54:52
The big boss wades in:

http://news.ca.msn.com/top-stories/cbc-article.aspx?cp-documentid=22718252

Quote
Colvin testimony on torture 'ludicrous': Hillier

Canada's former chief of defence staff Rick Hillier slammed a diplomat's testimony that all detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons were likely tortured by Afghan officials, saying it's "ludicrous."

Hillier also told the House of Commons committee investigating the issue that is it was "absolutely false" to say he saw Richard Colvin's 2006 reports alleging abuse during his time as Canada's top soldier.

But Hillier said that the reports, which he subsequently reviewed, contain no warnings of the suspected torture.

He said the reports, written in May and June 2006, "said nothing about abuse, nothing about torture or anything else that would have caught my attention or indeed the attention of others."

"There was no reason based on what was in those reports for anybody to bring it to my attention and after having read that, I'm absolutely confident that was indeed the case," Hillier said Wednesday.

The retired general appeared before the committee joined by Maj.-Gen. David Fraser, who led troops on the ground in Kandahar, and Lt.-Gen. Michel Gauthier, who was responsible for overseas deployments in 2006.

Hillier repeated what he said publicly last week, that he never heard suggestions that Canada may have been indirectly complicit in the torture of detainees in Afghanistan.

His testimony comes a week after the testimony of Richard Colvin, a former senior diplomat with Canada's mission in Afghanistan.

Colvin alleged that prisoners were turned over to Afghanistan's notorious intelligence service by the Canadian military in 2006-07 despite warnings that they would be tortured.

Colvin said that all detainees were likely tortured.

"How ludicrous a statement is that from any one single individual who really has no knowledge to be able to say something like that, and we didn't see any substantive evidence to indicate it was that way," Hillier said.

Colvin had said he began informing the Canadian Forces and Foreign Affairs officials about the detainee situation in 2006 with verbal and written reports.

Colvin also testified he sent a least one letter directly to Hillier and sent almost all his reports to senior military commanders, both in Afghanistan and Ottawa.

But Hillier said it was "absolutely false" for anyone to suggest that he had known about this or had read the report.

'Nothing could be further from the truth'

Hillier also slammed Colvin's claim that many of the detainees who had been arrested were innocent people, saying "nothing could be further from the truth.

"We detained, under violent actions, people trying to kill our sons and daughters, who had in some cases done that, been successful at it, and were continuing to do it."

Hillier said they may have detained the occasional farmer, but that they were "almost inevitably immediately let go."

The Conservatives have also claimed they never saw any of these reports and have questioned the credibility of Colvin's testimony.

Colvin now works as a senior intelligence official at the Canadian Embassy in Washington.

Gauthier also denied he had heard any allegation of torture in 2006.

"To be clear and precise about this, last week’s evidence states categorically that the very high risk of torture in Afghan prisons was first made known to senior members of the Canadian Forces in May of 2006 and repeatedly thereafter," Gauthier said.

"In actual fact, I and others received such warnings in a substantial way for the first time more than a year later than that."

Gauthier also said that Colvin's 2006 reports from May to September never mentioned the risk of torture or suspected torture. He said the word torture does appear in a Dec. 4 report, but could be "reasonably interpreted to be a warning of torture."

"I can very safely say there is nothing in any of these 2006 reports that caused any of the subject matter experts on my staff nor by extension me to be alerted to either the fact of torture or a very high risk of torture. Nothing," Gauthier said.

He said during his time in Afghanistan, no one, at any time, raised allegations concerning torture in Afghan jails.

Fraser also said he was never told about the alleged torture of prisoners: "If I had, I would have done something about it," he said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has promised the committee will get "all legally available" documents, but Colvin's lawyer said the Justice Department has clamped down on his client and won't allow him to make public his reports.

With files from The Canadian Press
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on November 26, 2009, 11:55:10
Yeah, but read the comments posted in all media from your fellow citizens.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Baden Guy on November 26, 2009, 12:45:07
http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20091125/afghan_detainees_091125/20091125?hub=TopStoriesV2

Was Robert Fife drinking on the job??

I thought his report was a professional and  accurate account of the Inquiry meeting.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: leroi on November 26, 2009, 13:44:54
These three Generals did a superlative job--very impressive.  I particularly liked the way they contextualized the mission and commended their subordinates-made it clear they were taking responsibility as senior command.  I'll watch it again on CPAC but I didn't detect any evasiveness in their responses. They were straight shooters.

 Too bad Harris Decima polled Canadians before the Generals' side of the story was public.  The poll results are a response of  media responses to Colvin's allegations only.  I bet those results would be drastically different now that the Generals have given their side of things.

I think many Canadian will watch this with a sense of what an onerous responsibility these guys had and what an awesome job they did--and continue to do--for Canada. 


Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on November 26, 2009, 16:50:02
Too bad Harris Decima polled Canadians before the Generals' side of the story was public.  The poll results are a response of  media responses to Colvin's allegations only.  I bet those results would be drastically different now that the Generals have given their side of things.

Don't worry, I think the pollsters (of all parties) will be busy in the next while on this one.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Fishbone Jones on November 26, 2009, 17:09:59
....and the poll, yesterday, from CNews
http://cnews.canoe.ca/  (http://cnews.canoe.ca/)

 

2009-11-25

Do you think Afghan detainees were tortured?

Yes   30%
No   10%
I don't care   56%  
Unsure   3%

Which pretty well sums up my feelings on the subject also. The only ones that truly care, for the wrong reasons of course, are the press (to sell advertising) and the political opposition (to make hay). Total and complete waste of everyone's time and money.
 
 
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: mariomike on November 27, 2009, 10:10:00
"N.B. military widow feels betrayed: A Fredericton military widow says she feels betrayed by the Canadian Forces and federal government.":
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2009/11/26/nb-military-widow.html
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: GAP on November 30, 2009, 17:09:09
It would seem the MSM is finally waking up to Coven's duplicity...


 Richard Colvin's story of widespread torture and indifference is unravelling
November 30, 9:42 AMCanada Politics ExaminerBrian Lilley
Article Link (http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-22884-Canada-Politics-Examiner~y2009m11d30-Richard-Colvins-story-of-widespread-torture-and-indifference-is-unravelling)

Leaks abound on the issue of torture in Afghanistan.  Those supporting and those opposing the claims of Richard Colvin are trying hard to make sure that Canadian journalists have access to the documents at the centre of the controversy.

The Globe and Mail columnist and Newstalk 1010 commentator Christie Blatchford has her hands on redacted copies of Richard Colvin's emails and finds his evidence wanting.

As you read Blatchford's two columns, one Saturday and one Monday, it is important to remember what Colvin's allegation was in his testimony to the special Commons committee on the Afghan mission. "According to our information, the likelihood is that all the Afghans we handed over were tortured," Colvin told MPs. "For interrogators in Kandahar, it was standard operating procedure."

Blatchford's run down of the memos in today's column and the words of retired General Michel Gauthier testifying before that same committee tell a different story. Colvin was concerned about the amount of information Canadian soldiers were collecting on Afghan prisoners, lamenting that it was not enough to adequately track them through the prison system. That's a far cry from saying all were tortured and that the government knew this and failed to act for 18 months.

Given the email trail, I'll have to agree with Blatchford.  Richard Colvin discovered the torture issue at the same time as Grahame Smith of The Globe and Mail. The memos warning directly of torture don't begin until The Globe reporting began, which makes me wonder which man was the source for the other? Was Smith the source for Colvin's sudden flurry of emails on detainees being tortured? That seems more likely at this point than a diplomat like Colvin giving vital information on torture to a journalist before alerting his superiors.
Much More on link
 
 Christie Blatchford
These are the supporting links quoted in the article above
E-mail trail only adds to Afghan questions
 Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/e-mail-trail-only-adds-to-afghan-questions/article1381168/)

For a week, diplomat Richard Colvin's accusations about Canada's handling of its Afghan prisoners – and their subsequent alleged torture at the hands of Afghanistan's National Directorate of Security – dominated headlines and Parliament, despite the fact that no one had seen the e-mails in which Mr. Colvin said he had tried to wake Ottawa to the problem he saw as so serious.

The Globe and Mail now has what appears to be the entire collection of the e-mails Mr. Colvin sent on the subject during the 17 months he spent in Afghanistan from April of 2006 to October of 2007. A couple are virtually completely blacked out; some are heavily redacted, others rattle on at such length they could have done with a little more redacting.

It seems to have been Mr. Colvin's visit to the provincial prison in Kandahar city on May 16, 2006, that first triggered his concern. But that inspection and an earlier one upon which he relied, made in December of 2005 by the International Committee of the Red Cross, were, in the Afghan context, practically sunny about their findings.
More on link
 

 Christie Blatchford
Memos show so-called whistleblower seized cause late in game
 Article Link

The act of "whistle blowing" as it is commonly understood incorporates an element of the new, of being the first to raise an alarm. As the activist Ralph Nader defined it about 35 years ago, a whistleblower is someone for whom "the public interest overrides the interest of the organization he serves" and who thus blows the whistle on wrongdoing.

Whatever else, the diplomat Richard Colvin was no such creature.

By his own records, he was seized with the Afghan-detainee issue only after a series on alleged prisoner abuse appeared in The Globe and Mail in the spring of 2007.

Again by his own account, during his eight months in Afghanistan in 2006, he sent only six reports on the subject of detainees, three of which Mr. Colvin has described as being solely about process or policy and not potential abuse.
More on link
 

 Red Cross rebukes diplomat over Afghan torture allegations
 By Matthew Fisher, Canwest News ServiceNovember 29, 2009
 [url=http://www.canada.com/news/Cross+rebukes+diplomat+over+Afghan+torture+allegations/2282914/story.html]Article Link (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/columnists/christie-blatchford/pattern-of-memos-shows-so-called-whistleblower-seized-cause-late-in-game/article1382176/)

KABUL, Afghanistan — A senior Red Cross official has criticized a Canadian diplomat for publicly alleging the organization believed Canada handed detainees over to Afghan authorities knowing they would likely be tortured.

“What (Richard) Colvin has said publicly has put us in an awkward situation. What he claims to know should not be put out in a public place,” said Eloi Fillion, deputy director of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Afghanistan, where it has a staff of 120 foreigners and 1,500 locals.

Colvin, now deputy head of intelligence at the Canadian embassy in Washington, made headlines this month with his allegations that the Canadian government and the military turned a blind eye to widespread torture in Afghan jails.

The senior diplomat said he wrote more than 12 reports while he was posted in Afghanistan, beginning in May 2006, warning of “serious, imminent and alarming” problems about the treatment of detainees following their transfer by Canadian troops.
More on link
Title: Parliamentary Motion Calls for Public Inquiry
Post by: milnews.ca on December 02, 2009, 08:46:50
From the Canadian Press (http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091201/national/afghan_cda_abuse):
Quote
The House of Commons has voted in favour of holding a judicial inquiry into the treatment of Afghan detainees, but the majority motion will likely be ignored by the governing Conservatives.

The Harper government, citing national security concerns, has been fiercely resisting attempts to fully probe the sensitive issue of whether Canada met all its international legal obligations in the handover of Afghan prisoners captured by Canadian troops ....

Motion of Parliament, 1 Dec 09
Quote
That, in the opinion of the House, the government should, in accordance with Part I of the Inquiries Act (http://is.gd/59Y9n) (link to legislation), call a Public Inquiry into the transfer of detainees in Canadian custody to Afghan authorities from 2001 to 2009.

Transcript of motion debate and vote (43pg PDF) here (http://www.scribd.com/doc/23496353/Hansard-House-of-Commons-debate-Detainee-Motion-1-Dec-09).
Title: CDS does about-face on incident involving Afghan detainee
Post by: S.M.A. on December 09, 2009, 16:09:45
Quite a development:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/091209/national/afghan_cda_abuse

Quote
OTTAWA - Canada's top military commander has done a stunning about-face that turns up the heat on the Harper government in the Afghan detainee controversy.


Gen. Walt Natynczyk called a news conference Wednesday to correct information he gave a day earlier about a detainee who was beaten by Afghan police.


Natynczyk told the House of Commons defence committee Tuesday that Canadian troops had questioned the man in June 2006, but never detained him.


But Natynczyk now says Canadian troops did indeed capture the man and hand over to Afghan police before taking him back into custody when they saw him being beaten.


That appears to fly in the face of the Harper government's claim that there is no credible evidence that Canadian-captured prisoners were abused prior to 2007
.
 

The military chief said he was provided with the correct information Wednesday after staff reviewed the record and found the section commander's report. He has ordered an investigation to determine why the information took so long to come to light.


"I regret that I only have this information at this point," Natynczyk said. "I looked at my watch at 9:06 this morning when I received this report and I thought, 'My goodness, why have I not had this information? Why didn't we have this information back in 2006 and 2007."


The main line of defence for the government has been that there is no evidence of Canadian-captured prisoners being abused by the Afghans prior to 2007.


Opposition parties raised the incident Tuesday as proof that the Harper government knew of credible incidents of torture and of the dangers of transferring prisoners.


Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff said Natynczyk's revelation proves again that there must be a public inquiry into why prisoners continued to be handed over in 2006-07 despite reports of torture in Afghan jails.


"The Forces have behaved impeccably in this case ... the issue is why the government didn't," he said.
 

The government has ruled out a public inquiry.


The news comes a day after the detainee controversy flared anew following an unprecedented letter from 23 former ambassadors who condemned Conservative attacks on the credibility of diplomat Richard Colvin. They said it threatens to cast a chill over Canada's foreign service.


Colvin testified before a Commons committee that Canadian officials were warned about possible torture in 2006 but took little or no action to halt the transfer of prisoners to Afghan authorities.


A series of secret memos examined by The Canadian Press support his assertion and show the government placed more emphasis on writing key messages on how Canada respects human rights, rather than fixing the transfer arrangement.


MacKay and others in the Conservative government have tried to discredit Colvin's testimony. They accused him of basing his reports on hearsay, and some have painted him as a dupe of Taliban propaganda.


The NDP demanded MacKay's resignation Tuesday, accusing him of misleading the House of Commons over what the government knew about the possible torture of prisoners handed over by Canadian troops - and what it did about the allegations.

All opposition parties pounced on the government in the Commons in the wake of the letter, repeating demands for information and an inquiry. But the government ignored questions and criticism as the countdown to Parliament's holiday recess approaches.

Title: THAT didn't take long....
Post by: milnews.ca on December 09, 2009, 16:54:59
First out of the critic's news release gate - Team Iggy (http://www.liberal.ca/en/newsroom/media-releases/17081_natynczyks-detainee-bombshell-proves-conservatives-must-call-public-inquiry-and-mackay-must-step-aside):
Quote
Following General Walter Natynczyk’s stunning revelation that documents prove a Canadian-transferred afghan detainee was tortured in 2006, Liberals renewed their demand for a public inquiry into the government’s handling of detainees.

“Minister MacKay’s credibility is in tatters and he can no longer continue in his position, but the real issue is a public inquiry,” said Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff. "After weeks of spin and misinformation from this government, a public inquiry is the only way to ensure that the facts are brought to light in a non-partisan fashion and action is taken to ensure that we're meeting our human rights commitments, now and in the future."

"General Natynczyk is doing everything he can by investigating this matter internally. The government should follow suit and answer the question of why they allowed these abuses to go unchecked for so long,” added Mr. Ignatieff.

After reviewing the record, Chief of Defence Staff General Natynzyk today admitted that an afghan detainee rescued by Canadian soldiers from torture at the hands of afghan police was in fact transferred from Canadian custody in June 2006 – in direct contradiction to information supplied by the Conservative government.  Despite having this information, the government did not did not monitor, investigate or stop transfers until November 2007.

“No one will believe anything Peter MacKay says from this point forward and he must be relieved of his duties,” said Liberal Defence Critic Ujjal Dosanjh. “Only a public inquiry can give Canadians the truth and change our human rights policies.”

PDF attached in case it disappears link doesn't work.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 09, 2009, 17:05:33
"Bombshell, Stunning turnaround, game changer, compromises, political thundercloud, major reversal" - CTV

This is about one person being turned over. One.

Puke.

And Baden Guy, it was the delivery, not the content.

Can't wait for Jane Taber and her ilk to put words on paper about this.
Title: Chief of the Defence Staff Statement
Post by: milnews.ca on December 10, 2009, 08:03:26
From the CF web site (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/view-news-afficher-nouvelles-eng.asp?id=3217):
Quote
In May of 2007, I issued a statement related to the events of 14 June 2006, regarding an incident that took place on the battlefield during combat operations in the Panjwaii district of Afghanistan.

Yesterday, I reiterated that information before the Standing Committee on National Defence.  I referred to the actions taken by the Canadian Forces, who intervened to safeguard an individual that the Afghan National Police (ANP) had in custody, when they saw something was not right.  I based my assessment on the operations reports, which I confirmed by speaking to a number of members of the chain of command that were part of Task Force Ryan in June of 2006.

This morning, at about 9 a.m., I was briefed by my staff, who have been researching the case to ensure the completeness of all the information that we have been using, especially surrounding the most recent report that we saw in the Globe and Mail on Monday. Today, they provided me with a statement by the section commander.  When I read that report, I realized it was not totally consistent with the operations report and the information provided to me by the chain of command.

Canadian Forces personnel were involved in a joint operation and they were supporting the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police.  After reviewing this new information presented to me, I want to correct my statement made to the Standing Committee on National Defence yesterday, and indeed in May of 2007. This new information presented to me sheds important details on what occurred on the 14th of June. The individual who was beaten by the Afghan police was in fact in Canadian custody and, then, the Afghan National Police took control of him to facilitate his movement from the battlefield to Forward Operating Base Wilson.

I did not have this information in May of 2007, nor yesterday when I made my statement, but am responsible for the information provided by the Canadian Forces and am accountable for it today.  I intend to investigate why it took so long for this information to get to the Chief of the Defence Staff, both my predecessor and me.

Nonetheless, I accept the Military Police report to be accurate.

I am proud that our soldiers acted courageously and ethically when they retrieved the individual from the Afghan National Police when it was apparent that he had been injured. That is the kind of decisive action soldiers make on a battlefield and I’m proud of our soldiers.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on December 10, 2009, 08:50:10
I watched the "leader" of the Liberal Party of Canada and his false indignation at the CDS's statement. Give me  a break, Michael I!!
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 10, 2009, 09:19:25
Here, reproduced under the fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Globe and Mail, is a cogent analysis of the politics of this situation:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mackay-may-be-indefensible-but-his-job-is-safe/article1395273/
Quote
MacKay may be indefensible, but his job is safe
Harper would never fire his minister over the treatment of Afghan detainees, because it's not a ballot question and never will be

John Ibbitson

Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009

In a different time, over a different issue, with a different minister, a resignation might be in the offing. But in these times, when the issue is Afghanistan, and when the minister is Peter MacKay - not likely.

"Ministerial responsibility" is an anachronistic phrase that used to hold cabinet ministers responsible for whatever goes on in their department. It lost any meaning back in 1991, when then-foreign minister Joe Clark refused to resign over the al Mashat affair, blaming his staff for the arrival of Iraq's former U.S. ambassador as an immigrant, with inside help.

Today, a minister is as responsible as a prime minister says he is. Defence Minister Peter MacKay should never have openly attacked the credibility of a senior public servant, Richard Colvin, who had warned back in 2006 that Afghans captured by Canadian troops were being tortured by Afghan jailors.

The Defence Minister absolutely should not still have his job, after insisting that there was no credible evidence of such torture in 2006, only for evidence to emerge this week so compelling that even Chief of Defence Staff Walter Natynczyk admitted yesterday it proves abuse occurred.

But while Stephen Harper did not explicitly confirm his confidence in Mr. MacKay in the House yesterday, it is somewhere past unlikely that he will ask his Defence Minister to step down. The reasons for this are threefold:

First, Afghan detainees, even innocent ones, are not sympathetic people. And this government's popularity hasn't suffered even though there is compelling evidence that our mission in Afghanistan is a failure - for all the bravery of our troops, there were too few of them to secure their sector from Taliban infiltration, which is why the Americans now plan to flood that sector with their own forces.

Most voters appear to have concluded that the effort was noble, even if the results have been disappointing. Detainee abuse is not, and never will be, a ballot question.

Second, the timing is starting to work in the government's favour. Parliament rises for its Christmas break at the end of the week, and doesn't return until late January. Some convenient votes in the House short-circuited the efforts of a parliamentary committee to grill Mr. MacKay along with Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon. The opposition majority may be able to keep the committee functioning, but the truth is the holiday season and the January break are the government's best friends right now.

Third, and most important, Peter MacKay is a partner in the Conservative coalition. Don't forget that this government is in office only because Mr. MacKay agreed to merge his Progressive Conservatives with Mr. Harper's Canadian Alliance back in 2003. Firing Mr. MacKay would split the party. And with his deep Atlantic roots, the Conservatives wouldn't have a safe seat in Atlantic Canada if the member for Central Nova were forced out of cabinet.

So unless something new and very large comes to light, Mr. MacKay is safe.

A public inquiry is also highly unlikely, despite opposition demands for one. Not only would it prolong a story that the government believes will eventually go away, such an inquiry would vindicate opposition accusations of incompetence and covering up.

The Conservatives might, instead, revive the Military Police Complaints Commission investigation of the charges, which they have previously tried to stymie.

Something has to be done about these charges of abuse. The MPCC is arguably the best forum for investigating them.

This government's best asset is its own cussedness. Liberals want to be seen as virtuous; they want people to think they believe in human rights - even the rights of those who quite possibly tried to kill our own soldiers.

But nobody believes Stephen Harper or Peter MacKay has ever lost an hour's sleep over what might have been going on in Afghan prisons. Anyway, it was three years ago. We fixed it in 2007. Move along.

Objectively, the abuse of Afghan detainees is hugely important. Canadian soldiers and officials might have been complicit in violating the Geneva Conventions. Their political masters were cavalier, at best, or negligent, at worst, in how they handled the matter. Heads should roll.

But politically, this is an issue that doesn't resonate outside Ottawa. The revelations haven't moved the polls. The Liberals are in what is turning into typical disarray. Firing Mr. MacKay is the one thing Mr. Harper could do that would undermine his own party while helping to unify his opponents.

You think Stephen Harper is nuts?


Something has to be done” ... Yes, indeed! But Ibbitson doesn’t go far enough.

There needs to be some formal, legal answers to the questions:

     1. Why were the provisions for detainee handling and transfer so weak until 2007?

     2. What were the options, from 2002 until 2006? The Americans? NATO? A Canadian “cage?” The Afghans?

     3. Who made these decisions?

     4. Why were detainees handed over to the Afghans, at all? It appears that there was a well founded knowledge, within the Government of Canada, that the Afghans were quite unable
         to exercise their responsibilities under international law?

The issue is much, much deeper than “who knew what and when?” That’s a very local, inside the Queensway, question that means nothing to most Canadians. But Paul Dewar (http://www.pauldewar.ca/) and Ujal Dosanjh (http://ujjaldosanjh.liberal.ca/default.aspx) have both suggested that ministers and officials and generals are war criminals. If something is not done to put those charges to rest then we may know, for certain, that someone like Amir Attaran (http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/index.php?option=com_contact&task=view&contact_id=28&Itemid=286) or Michael Byers (http://www.politics.ubc.ca/index.php?id=2456)*will try to move the issue to the International Criminal Court (http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC?lan=en-GB) on the basis that, under Article 17 (http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/EA9AEFF7-5752-4F84-BE94-0A655EB30E16/0/Rome_Statute_English.pdf) of the ICC’s charter (The Rome Statute), Canada has not investigated the matter.

To date, the ICC has done nothing to suggest that it intends to deviate from its legal mandate, but that has not prevented a mob of disparate groups and individuals from using the ICC as a backdrop for political theatre. Threats are continuously made, by these mobs, against countries and leaders. That the threats are groundless and meaningless does not stop the media from trumpeting them and, in the process, blackening names, tarnishing reputations and reducing a country’s global political capital.

I don’t know what level of investigation is sufficient; the ICC will, I guess, be satisfied with almost anything; folks like Attaran, Byers* et al are unlikely to be satisfied with anything except a full blown judicial inquiry into detainees, the entire Afghan mission, Conservative foreign policy and the evil USA.

But: I think Ibbitson has the politics right: this is issue will compel neither MacKay’s resignation nor a judicial inquiry and the timing (Xmas) works in the government’s favour.

But: sooner or later Canada will have to find a way to answer some fundamental questions about how we, any nation, for that matter, prosecutes 21st century wars (à la Afghanistan) within the constraint of 19th century ideals.


---------------
* I have no idea what Profs. Attaran and Byers might do but they have been, publicly, active and vocal on this issue so they provide a useful example of the sorts of qualified, credible people who might want to use tools like the ICC to advance their views.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 10, 2009, 10:30:35
ERC

I enjoyed reading your points to the G & M column.

Anyway we know from what soapbox Ibbitson will be writing from (and the rest of the media in Canada):

"A public inquiry is also highly unlikely, despite opposition demands for one. Not only would it prolong a story that the government believes will eventually go away, such an inquiry would vindicate opposition accusations of incompetence and covering up".

Ibbitson, knows everything. Instead of an inquiry, he and his highly experienced, intelligent, insightful elk should just tells us the results of their knowledge. Oh wait they are. Maybe they should govern Canada. No more election costs.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 10, 2009, 11:12:52
ERC

I enjoyed reading your points to the G & M column.

Anyway we know from what soapbox Ibbitson will be writing from (and the rest of the media in Canada):

"A public inquiry is also highly unlikely, despite opposition demands for one. Not only would it prolong a story that the government believes will eventually go away, such an inquiry would vindicate opposition accusations of incompetence and covering up".

Ibbitson, knows everything. Instead of an inquiry, he and his highly experienced, intelligent, insightful elk should just tells us the results of their knowledge. Oh wait they are. Maybe they should govern Canada. No more election costs.


Actually, a properly mandated inquiry would look back at everything from 2001 until the present - to the grave discomfort of the Liberal Party of Canada who:

1. Sent us to Afghanistan and, specifically, into combat in Kandahar; and

2. Were the government of the day when -

a. the decisions to transfer Afghan detainees to the Afghan government was made (rather than transfer them to the US or to build a Canadian facility), and

b. the (inadequate) 2006 agreement was signed.

The current government can and should argue, with considerable merit, that Canada was dumped into the crap by a series of incompetent Liberal administrations that were careless, even cavalier about our international requirements and agreement (Kyoto anyone?) and the Conservatives (too slowly, to be sure) identified and, eventually, corrected the major problem.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 10, 2009, 11:56:56
So why does the media in Canada think that history started with the election of the CPC? Why do they not state facts as you presented?
Why? We all know why. What I find interesting is reading some of the comments to various media items made by our fellow citizens. I read as many as I can stomach. I hope the LPC has an army of idiots who write (flood) comments to every media column. If not......
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 10, 2009, 12:23:14
...
The issue is much, much deeper than “who knew what and when?” That’s a very local, inside the Queensway, question that means nothing to most Canadians. But Paul Dewar (http://www.pauldewar.ca/) and Ujal Dosanjh (http://ujjaldosanjh.liberal.ca/default.aspx) have both suggested that ministers and officials and generals are war criminals. If something is not done to put those charges to rest then we may know, for certain, that someone like Amir Attaran (http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/index.php?option=com_contact&task=view&contact_id=28&Itemid=286) or Michael Byers (http://www.politics.ubc.ca/index.php?id=2456)*will try to move the issue to the International Criminal Court (http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC?lan=en-GB) on the basis that, under Article 17 (http://www.icc-cpi.int/NR/rdonlyres/EA9AEFF7-5752-4F84-BE94-0A655EB30E16/0/Rome_Statute_English.pdf) of the ICC’s charter (The Rome Statute), Canada has not investigated the matter.

To date, the ICC has done nothing to suggest that it intends to deviate from its legal mandate, but that has not prevented a mob of disparate groups and individuals from using the ICC as a backdrop for political theatre. Threats are continuously made, by these mobs, against countries and leaders. That the threats are groundless and meaningless does not stop the media from trumpeting them and, in the process, blackening names, tarnishing reputations and reducing a country’s global political capital.

I don’t know what level of investigation is sufficient; the ICC will, I guess, be satisfied with almost anything; folks like Attaran, Byers* et al are unlikely to be satisfied with anything except a full blown judicial inquiry into detainees, the entire Afghan mission, Conservative foreign policy and the evil USA.

But: I think Ibbitson has the politics right: this is issue will compel neither MacKay’s resignation nor a judicial inquiry and the timing (Xmas) works in the government’s favour.

But: sooner or later Canada will have to find a way to answer some fundamental questions about how we, any nation, for that matter, prosecutes 21st century wars (à la Afghanistan) within the constraint of 19th century ideals.


---------------
* I have no idea what Profs. Attaran and Byers might do but they have been, publicly, active and vocal on this issue so they provide a useful example of the sorts of qualified, credible people who might want to use tools like the ICC to advance their views.


Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s National Post, is an example of why something needs to be done to defuse the “war crimes” allegations:

http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2324790
Quote
Knowledge of torture abets war crime, professor says

Allison Cross, Canwest News Service

Thursday, December 10, 2009

OTTAWA - There is significant evidence to indicate the Canadian government knew in 2006 that Afghan detainees were being tortured and abused, says a Canadian professor of international law, who adds if detainees were handed over to Afghan forces, that would likely constitute a war crime.

"The law is clear. Where there are substantial grounds for the risk of torture ... there is an absolute obligation to stop that transfer," said Errol Mendes, of the University of Ottawa, yesterday. "[The law] doesn't say, as [Defence Minister] Peter MacKay keeps on saying in Parliament, that you have to have proven allegations."

The international law indicates there need only be substantial grounds for the risk of torture, he said.

The law in question is aiding and abetting a war crime, which is outlined in the Geneva Conventions, and has also been incorporated into the Criminal Code of Canada.

General Walter Natynczyk yesterday said that Canadians troops did take an Afghan detainee into custody before the man was turned over to local authorities. The detainee was beaten and eventually rescued by Canadian troops.

"If there is knowledge or foreseeability that by handing someone over, that person is going to be subject to torture or inhumane treatment, then that could likely constitute aiding and abetting a war crime," said Payam Akhavan, a McGill University law professor.

Professors Mendes (http://www.commonlaw.uottawa.ca/index.php?option=com_contact&task=view&contact_id=49&Itemid=286) and Akhavan (http://people.mcgill.ca/payam.akhavan/) are not fruitcakes – not, at least, as far as I know. But both are suggesting, pretty explicitly, that war crimes were committed and that Canadians, in Afghanistan and in Ottawa, were complicit.

Thus, somehow, the government must investigate - if only to allow people like Generals Michel Gauthier and David Fraser can clear their names.

There must be no question that the Geneva Conventions exist and that we are bound by them. But George W Bush recognized the problem of applying the Geneva Conventions (http://www.lawofwar.org/Torture_Memos_analysis.htm) to modern unconventional war – even if his conclusions were inherently flawed. We must recognize the difficulty, too. We must find ways to make fighting and winning and obeying the law possible in places like Afghanistan (or worse than Afghanistan (as Africa will be)).

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on December 10, 2009, 16:07:59
So I guess I am to assume the first thing that we should have expected "over there" to move into the 21st century was prisons??
I thought we all understood things take time but now, AFTER THE FACT, we are looking for scrapegoats?


I think we should be using this as a measure of success ie., "four years ago the conditions prisoners could expect from the local forces was abysmal, but with our continuing help and foresight........"
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 10, 2009, 16:20:46
...
I think we should be using this as a measure of success ie., "four years ago the conditions prisoners could expect from the local forces was abysmal, but with our continuing help and foresight........"


Indeed we should, but some will argue, with legal merit, that: since we are signatories of the Geneva Convention; and since the Convention must apply everywhere, all the time, or it will be useless when we want it used to protect our people; and that since we knew (in 2002 and 2005/06) that the Afghans were incapable of detaining people according to the standards we know are applicable; then "we" - the government and, especially, the military, had a duty to do something "better" than we did.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on December 10, 2009, 21:53:35
Even though I know you are correct I do believe sometimes all we can do is all we can do............and then try and make it better.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on December 10, 2009, 23:04:56
E.R., as usual, well summed up...

In have to admit I'm still wrestling with this one, but it appears to be somewhat similar to the alleged sexual abuse of children discussed at passionate length elsewhere here:
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 11, 2009, 07:38:39
I addressed part of this, via PM, with another member and I’ll repeat some of what I said (with a few edits) here, in public. I trust my correspondent will not mind.
--------------------
Sometime between 2001 and 2006 "we" (whoever "we" was, then – and there were several ‘thens’) decided that it would be best, maybe just least worst, to hand "detained" Afghans over to the Afghan authorities on the (sensible) grounds that it's their war and we are there to help, only.

As I see it, there is a case, maybe not a very good one, that Afghan insurgents are not covered by the Geneva Conventions - but I doubt anyone will try to argue that.

Given that they are covered, as civilians, we had options:

1. 'Catch and release' - not militarily sound;

2. Detain them in a NATO managed "cage" - the best idea, except that none existed, none exists now and NATO appears disinterested in the subject;

3. Hand them over to the US, who have a "cage" at Bagrham (sp?) - but in 2005/06, in the wake of abu  Ghraib (sp?), our cabinet did not want to do that because of bad political optics and real concerns about whether or not the US was acting in accordance with the Geneva Conventions;

4. Build a Canadian POW cage/camp in Kandahar and maybe even a camp in Canada - that was (still is, I think) a practical impossibility; or

5. Hand them over to the Afghans - despite the fact that we must have understood that the Afghans had no capability, even if they had the inclination, to run a prison system to our standards.

So, I reiterate, we picked the least worst choice and now we have a problem.
--------------------


Again, this is a problem of 21st century warfare being conducted against a backdrop of 19th century morality. The mechanization or industrialization of war, seen especially harshly in the US Civil War and then in the Boer War, prompted men and women of ‘goodwill’ to demand that war return to a more ‘civilized’ mode – when uniformed soldiers fought well away from towns and civilians. The lessons of the Boer War were fresh and real: the Boers on commando, like the Mahdi’s Army (Khartoum, 1885), eschewed most of the trappings of conventional military operations but they were, clearly, an organized, military force conducting operations against conventional military forces. But unconventional operations were not the exclusive province of ‘others’ – consider T.E. Lawrence’s Arab forces and the SOE in Yugoslavia and France. (SAS and the like are not good examples: they were, and are, normally, uniformed and are, often, engaged against an identifiable enemy.) But modern armies, especially their special forces, countering insurgencies, often fight for the loyalty (hearts and minds) of the people – as Templer et al suggested. We take 'war' to the people; as Gen (ret'd) Sir Rupert Smith suggested (in The Utility of Force, London, 2005) we make "war amongst the people." But: we (Canada) have agreed that all this must be done while adhering to the Geneva Conventions.

It’s called squaring the circle and, as in mathematics, it might be impossible because one is trying to do something rational with tools that are, essentially, transcendental – related to e.g. ‘virtue.’

If you think Afghanistan is bad, wait until we start to operate, and e.g. take prisoners detainees, in Africa. That will be a nightmare.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 11, 2009, 09:45:31
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing  provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Globe and Mail is a very slightly off topic aspect of the detainee imbroglio:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/mps-join-forces-to-order-release-of-afghan-records/article1396446/
Quote
MPs join forces to order release of Afghan records
Rare motion orders Tories to release confidential documents on detainees, a scenario that could call rights of Parliament into question

Steven Chase and John Ibbitson

Ottawa
 Friday, Dec. 11, 2009

Opposition parties have set the stage for a confrontation pitting the rights of Parliament against national security concerns by forcing through an extremely rare Commons motion ordering the Harper government to release confidential records on detainees captured in Afghanistan.
The Liberals, NDP and Bloc Québécois, which together outnumber the Harper Conservatives in Parliament, passed a motion by a 145-143 vote that seeks to compel the release of thousands of uncensored documents on Afghan prisoners.

If the Conservatives ignore the order, as expected, opposition parties could vote to find the government in contempt, sparking a battle that might result in the courts being asked to weigh the limits of parliamentary privilege.

Ministers or other MPs found in contempt could be admonished and embarrassed by being compelled to appear before the Bar of the House – the floor of the Commons – to face a grilling from MPs.

But this House order-to-produce is a rarely used power and one that is in potential conflict with laws – such as those concerning privacy and national security – that Parliament itself has passed.

The Commons adjourned Thursday night and the debate will continue outside the House until it reconvenes in January.

The Tories have been on the hot seat since Nov. 18, when diplomat Richard Colvin alleged that likely all detainees captured by Canadian soldiers were tortured after being transferred to Afghan hands in 2006 and early 2007. But the Conservatives have resisted all demands to release uncensored copies of the documents on detainees.

However, the opposition is now emboldened after stunning military revelations on Wednesday that a Canadian-captured detainee was abused in June, 2006, after being handed over to the Afghans – contrary to Tory government assurances that there was no evidence prisoners were tortured.
The Harper government responded to Mr. Colvin's testimony with a series of attacks on his credibility, an onslaught that this week brought a letter of protest from former ambassadors against the diplomat's treatment.

On Thursday, the number of former ambassadors putting their names to the letter climbed to 95. The open letter castigates Ottawa for dismissing Mr. Colvin's 2006 and 2007 torture warnings as irrelevant and suspect – a move ex-ambassadors fear casts a chill over the foreign service's ability to report frankly from abroad.

“I have never seen foreign-service officers come together like this before in my life,” ex-ambassador Gar Pardy, an organizer, said of the effort.

The list, now approaching 30 per cent of all retired Canadian ambassadors, in the last day signed up ex-heads of mission such as former Liberal cabinet minister Allan Rock and James Bartleman, who once served as Ontario's lieutenant-governor.

During a debate on the opposition motion to produce documents, Defence Minister Peter MacKay warned divulging confidential records would jeopardize Canada's troops by revealing things that “could be helpful to the enemy.”

But Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh said opposition parties are prepared to take steps to safeguard the documents and protect the information.

“The government can't act like a dictatorship where Parliament is not supreme any more,” the Liberal MP said.

The motion the opposition parties passed says they are relying on what they call the “undisputed privileges of Parliament under Canada's constitution, including the absolute power to require the government to produce uncensored documents when requested.”

Ned Franks, a constitutional expert and professor emeritus at Queen's University, warned that Parliament might lose out if the dispute ever reaches the courts because judges could rule that MPs have to respect secrecy laws. He said he'd like to see “one side or the other back down” instead of the Tories being forced into a corner.

“My guess is the government will say no and then you get into something that the House of Commons has really tried to avoid for many, many years – that somebody might want to refer this to the courts,” Prof. Franks said. “And then courts would be ruling on parliamentary privilege.”

Bloc Québécois Leader Gilles Duceppe vowed to use Parliament's power to force the government to release records.

“We will push this for as long as it is possible,” he said.

But Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon maintained the government is bound to respect those parts of the Canada Evidence Act that safeguard national security.

“That's the law, and we abide by the law,” he said.

The dispute is reflected in duelling legal opinions between Parliament, whose officers are independent of the government, and the Justice Department, over whether Parliament itself is bound by the statutes – such as the evidence act – that it passes.

The Justice Department is arguing in a letter circulated by the Tories that there are legislated limits to what can be released under privacy and security laws that politicians must respect. But Robert Walsh, Commons law clerk, has countered that MPs in parliamentary committees have the power to read uncensored documents.

Canadian courts traditionally have been wary of wading into disputes over the rights and powers of Parliament. Unless a political resolution can be found, however, they may have no choice.

Separately, the opposition plans to keep the pressure on the Tories by restarting parliamentary hearings on the Colvin affair early in January, far before the House resumes sitting. And a military watchdog agency plans to resume separate hearings into the detainee issue next March. But critics fear that a new chair the Tories plan to appoint for the Military Police Complaints Commission will not be as keen to probe the matter as was the departing head, Peter Tinsley. His tenure ends today and the Tories have declined to extend it.

Now, my understanding – which may be deeply flawed – is that Canadian parliamentarians do not, automatically, get any security clearance just because they are elected. (Can one of our resident lawyers confirm or deny that for me, please?)

(Parenthetically: I suspect the US has some formal mechanism to provide (nearly?) the highest clearances to some (most? all?) legislators. When Canadian MPs are sworn in to the Privy Council, as ministers, they do have clearances for some information. Hasty security clearances are done at the behest of the PCO. Note: I am pretty nearly absolutely certain that, here in Canada, the highest security ‘clearances’ (there are levels above Top Secret) are rarely shared by more than a tiny handful of people and never with politicians or senior bureaucrats who never have a “need to know.” I will guarantee that a few decades ago it was normal for the CDS (and most admirals and generals) to have no ‘need to know’ about great masses of very, very highly classified stuff. I am pretty sure they were 99.99% disinterested, too.)

But this is important because parliament has enacted laws about security – some with pretty stiff penalties. Now parliamentarians demand that the government disobey parliament’s own laws. What fun.

I hope, in a slightly perverse way, that the Conservatives ‘surrender’ and provide the uncensored documents because then one of two things could happen:

1.   The senior officials or military officer who actually sends the documents can be afrrested and charged with a very serious offence – releasing classified information to people who are not allowed to receive it. The resulting court case would, eventually, I think, tell parliamentarians that being elected still makes them nobodies – unless they are ministers; or

2.   I am absolutely certain, Ujal Dosanjh will be proved wrong – someone, maybe a Bloquiste, maybe a Liberal, maybe a Dipper – they are all equally irresponsible – will leak the documents and Canada’s national security and global trustworthiness will be badly damaged and once again the inherent worthlessness of parliamentarians will be proven. It may then be possible to try some (several) parliamentarians with some pretty serious crimes and, once again, let the courts deal with a key issue.

In either case the rules governing parliamentary privilege will be clarified.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 11, 2009, 10:08:18
...
I am absolutely certain, Ujal Dosanjh will be proved wrong – someone, maybe a Bloquiste, maybe a Liberal, maybe a Dipper – they are all equally irresponsible – will leak the documents and Canada’s national security and global trustworthiness will be badly damaged and once again the inherent worthlessness of parliamentarians will be proven. It may then be possible to try some (several) parliamentarians with some pretty serious crimes and, once again, let the courts deal with a key issue.
...


As a follow up: just a few minutes ago, on CBC Radio's The Current (http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/) stand-in host Linden MacIntyre (http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/linden.html) said to Conservative MP Laurie Hawn (Parliamentary Secretary to the MND) something like "the opposition wants the uncensored documents so we can all see what happened." The media knows, with absolute certainty that whatever is given, in confidence, to parliamentarians WILL be leaked to the media.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Old Sweat on December 11, 2009, 10:34:59
Edward

It is in the nature of the beast to leak information, no matter how highly classified, and the media will see nothing wrong in publishing it. Certainly it is not an exclusively Canadian trait, even if our MPs and journalists have even less sense of the implications than just about anybody else on the planet.

A few months back I was watching CNN and Wolf Blitzer was arguing with interviewing a senior Pentagon official. At one point Blitzer said words to the effect, we can't understand how you reached that conclusion, we have all the information you do. The reply was simply, "No, you don't."
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on December 11, 2009, 11:31:34
Letter of mine in the Globe and Mail today (no idea how they go the title):

Oh-oh, it's about trust
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/letters-to-the-editor/oh-oh-its-about-trust/article1396617/

Quote
The Conservative government is being criticized mercilessly for not realizing in 2006 that detainees faced a risk of torture when transferred to Afghan authorities.

But surely the Liberal government that authorized the signing of the detainee transfer agreement in December, 2005, with the Afghan government must equally have known of that risk. It is highlighted in the U.S. State Department 2004 and 2003 reports on human rights in Afghanistan (the latest available in 2005), and in a similar 2004 report by Human Rights Watch. Why aren't the Liberals being asked what they knew and when they knew it?

Mark Collins
Ottawa

Related Torch post, with links to the documents:

Afghan detainees: Surely the Liberals showed contempt for international law...
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2009/12/afghan-detainees-surely-liberals-showed.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 12, 2009, 09:13:58
I wish the communications people in the party offices of the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats would all read Christie Blatchford’s latest column, which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Globe and Mail, because I think her views are in the Canadian national mainstream:

 http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/our-soldiers-could-teach-mps-a-thing-or-two-about-duty-and-honour/article1398233/
Quote
Our soldiers could teach MPs a thing or two about duty and honour

CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD

Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009

cblatchford@globeandmail.com

I am not one of those smart Ottawa reporters who, having suffered through too many Question Periods, know what constitutes torture better than anyone else. Nor am I a mandarin, politician or aide, all of whom have endured the same, plus the practice of jackal journalism, which is what the modern game has become.

So perhaps, when such good people raise their voices, as they did this week, and cry "Torture! Cover-up! Bombshell!", I should simply defer to their greater collective wisdom and yield the floor.

Alas, I am constitutionally unable. Also, for the most part, I think they're blowing smoke out their bums. Besides, since Parliament has now ordered the government to produce thousands of uncensored documents on Afghan detainees, it seems clear that whether officially or through leaks, many of these documents over the coming weeks and months will one way or another be making a public appearance.

I confess my biases right now.

I spent a good part of 2006 in Kandahar - three tours of between four to six weeks each in about 10 months, with another tour in '07 - as an embedded reporter, which means I travelled with Canadian troops. I counted on them to keep my *** safe, and they did. I liked them hugely. The experience was one of the most significant of my life (if not on a par with the drama of being, say, in a budget lockup) and I treasure every minute of it. I made some lifelong friends, and I love some of these men.

In all that time, I never saw Canadian soldiers behave less than honourably. I saw them treat with kindness a wounded Taliban soldier, and a dead one with respect. I might have seen them detain some Taliban too, but that particular day, I was sitting, too scared to move, inside a light armoured vehicle, left witless by the fighting the night before.

I hold no particular brief for the Stephen Harper government, or any of its ministers, or the institution that is the military. I think they have all handled the detainee file clumsily, and that what they needed to say, ages ago, was that the detainee agreement wasn't very good to start with, and that they muddled along for the first year, finally fixing it in 2007.

If they wanted to be partisan about it - and Mr. Harper's government is said by its critics to be fiercely partisan about everything - they could have pointed out that the agreement was the result of the great wide streak of anti-Americanism that ran through the Jean Chrétien government circa 2005, when detainee policy was first fixed.

Canada should have agreed to hand over prisoners to the Americans, where they could have been ably monitored by embedded Canadian Military Police; such arrangements are common among allies.

Instead, to avoid that hideous spectacle, the government of the day opted for handing over prisoners to the barely functional institutions of a country that had been pulverized during decades of war and whose culture is demonstrably punitive, physical and primitive. It made no sense then, and not much more now.

All of which is to say, perhaps the coming release of documents, whether by trickle or flood, will reveal government or high-level military duplicity. I haven't a clue.

My faith begins and ends with the Canadian soldier and goes as far up the chain as his commanding officer, with a couple of generals, whom I have come to know a little, above them thrown in for good measure.

With that in mind, I offer the following observations.

The first is that the hysteria of this week to the contrary, there is still no evidence that any prisoners taken by Canadian soldiers and handed over to Afghan authorities were tortured.

What there is, after General Walt Natynczyk's clarification late this week - this was the "bombshell," though I prefer the French as per the Liberal Party's news release, "La bombe lancée par Natynczyk" - is one case of an Afghan who was sort of and only briefly in Canadian custody, handed over to Afghan authorities, and then rescued by Canadian soldiers, though not from torture.

What happened, I have been told by an army source, is this.

On June 14, 2006, a Canadian Military Police officer who was working with the Afghan National Police was on the scene when the ANP stopped a van leaving a battle. The ANP said one of the three men inside was definitely a Taliban. The MP photographed the man and wrote his name down, but agreed to let him travel with the ANP back to Patrol Base Wilson. It was a 15-minute trip. Back at the base, the MP dutifully checked on the fellow and found the ANP beating him with their shoes. The MP then took the man back and made him an official detainee.

The event was reported, but was considered by everyone to be a minor, low-level battlefield incident. The ANP unit in question had had one of their own killed just the day before. This is not to justify what they did to the fellow, but torture, to my mind, it was not.

So that's one thing.

Secondly, the MP didn't photograph the man purely to show he was in good condition when he got into the ANP truck. Canadians were routinely photographing every prisoner they detained, in part because most Afghans don't carry identification and sometimes have only one given name, but also so that international monitors, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, had solid evidence of who was who.

Thirdly, it would be helpful if politicians on all sides of the House remembered to make the distinction between the conduct of Canadian soldiers - who by every account behaved exactly as Canadians would want them to behave - and the detainee issue.

The Conservatives can't deflect every question by pointing to the yellow support-the-troops pins on their lapels; they have no patent on patriotism. If I were a member of that government, I'd release every document I could, protecting only names and information that must be protected.

But neither can Opposition members casually toss around words like torture and phrases like complicity in torture and expect to be simultaneously seen as defenders of the troops: After all who, if not the Canadian Forces, would have been complicit in the torture they allege?

Finally, I remind everyone who wants to comment upon all of this to be aware that what they are doing is parsing, reviewing and assigning nuance to decisions that were made on the battlefield, in the warmth and sometimes the heat of battle. I have every confidence in those decisions, and the soldiers who made them, and very little in anyone else.

Let me be clear: I think Blatchford is, intentionally, understating the problem, just as much as e.g. Paul Dewar and Ujal Dosanjh are, also intentionally, overstating it. Dewar and Dosanjh and their colleagues from the BQ are, recklessly, tossing about terms like ‘complicit in torture’ and ‘complicit in war crimes’ – one cannot blame many (most?) Canadians for wondering if there is something ‘wrong.’ Equally damaging – to the ‘truth’ – is the government’s contention that asking fair, albeit partisan, questions = dissing the troops: what arrant nonsense!

I agree with Ibbitson and others that this is not a ballot question but, interestingly the combined opposition parties could find themselves facing an election on the issue because if, as it likely will, the government refuses to provide the unredacted documents Parliament has demanded then Parliament may bring the government – the whole cabinet – to the “bar of parliament” and may then vote on finding the government in contempt of parliament. Such a vote must, I believe, be a vote of confidence and the government should fall on it – if all members of all parties show up to vote. That’s not something the Liberals want right now – an election in which government secrecy and misinformation is an issue is not in the Liberals’ best interests; there is no clear distinction between them and the Conservatives. Additionally the Conservatives will wrap themselves in the flag and so on – an issue on which (most?) Canadians trust them more than they trust the Liberals.

The bad rap the Conservatives are getting, from the media and from Canadians, broadly, if the polls are to be believed, is a self inflicted wound. Conservative communications remain weak and inept. Some, actually many, too many Conservatives eschew the simple, helpful truth when a partisan cheap-shot is available.

But the simple, helpful ‘truth’ no longer matters very much – not when people like Generals Michel Gauthier and David Fraser have been, publicly, called liars and, in effect, war criminals. It is too late to ‘tell the truth.’ The media have made up their tiny minds; their only fear is that this easy story, so full of sound and fury, might die during a long Xmas recess and they (journalists) might have to find a new flame of controversy to fan. Too bad.

But, Blatchford misses the main question: how do we prosecute a 21st century war, a war amongst the people, with 19th century rules? Until we start to address that question this issue should matter to us: military folk, bureaucrats, politicians and citizens.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: old fart on December 16, 2009, 12:58:00
Sick of the Detainee Bullshit and the likes of Paul Dewar, Dosanjh etc.

At his last news conference which ended minutes ago Dewar offered, “does anyone in this country not think this is important”....well Dewar and co, I for one don’t.

Colvin just wanted to make a name for himself and this was his issue.  In his defence, it is written he had one maybe six trips outside the wire;  so what to that.   What a joke!  Colvin knows nothing about anything.

Dewar’s latest, Afghans can’t read so they could not have read or used the Al Qaeda tactic of offering to any Westerner after capture a claim that they have been abused.  Is  Dewar et al that naive that these folks can only learn a Tactic if they have seen it in print.  What garbage!

The NDP and others are playing into the hands of the murdering scum, they know this but just don’t care how they make their political hay...

So Dewar, to answer your question “does anyone in this country not think this is important”....Up yours.

As for Colvin, words fail me.....so on that note.   :christmas happy:  It's off to my anger management class.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: leroi on December 17, 2009, 01:33:06
Sick of the Detainee Bullshit and the likes of Paul Dewar, Dosanjh etc.

At his last news conference which ended minutes ago Dewar offered, “does anyone in this country not think this is important”....well Dewar and co, I for one don’t.

Colvin just wanted to make a name for himself and this was his issue.  In his defence, it is written he had one maybe six trips outside the wire;  so what to that.   What a joke!  Colvin knows nothing about anything.

Dewar’s latest, Afghans can’t read so they could not have read or used the Al Qaeda tactic of offering to any Westerner after capture a claim that they have been abused.  Is  Dewar et al that naive that these folks can only learn a Tactic if they have seen it in print.  What garbage!

The NDP and others are playing into the hands of the murdering scum, they know this but just don’t care how they make their political hay...

So Dewar, to answer your question “does anyone in this country not think this is important”....Up yours.

As for Colvin, words fail me.....so on that note.   :christmas happy:  It's off to my anger management class.
:2c:
Can't speak for all Canadians but in my neck of the woods, other than a few activists who'll jump on any 'down-with-Canada-bandwagon' Canadians ARE sick of it and are ignoring it, are dismissing it, as nothing more than a political pie-throwing contest. I talked to someone yesterday commenting on the opposition's stance, saying, "big deal ... Canada found a problem and they fixed it."

Afghanistan is a country where the mere accident of being a woman married to a man practicing sharia law is torture; therefore, Dewar, Colvin et. al. would be more credible opponents if they challenged Harper's pre-mature pull-out plans in light of the true victims in Afghanistan--females, children, education, dams, water, agriculture, SECURITY, females, children, hope.

I don't understand why Colvin's advancing this now--Canadians have already had two years of it--thanks to the G&M. It's getting to be like eating too much turkey--tiresome.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 17, 2009, 07:05:31
...
I don't understand why Colvin's advancing this now--Canadians have already had two years of it--thanks to the G&M. It's getting to be like eating too much turkey--tiresome.

We need to be really careful with this one. The media, in general, thrive on controversy and when none exists they have to find ways to create it.  There is just enough legitimate news in this issue to play it out for a long time.  It's easier to understand than Copenhagen.

The Globe and Mail, especially, has a dog in this fight: they 'broke' the story and it  has been suggested, in the Globe and Mail] (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/e-mail-trail-only-adds-to-afghan-questions/article1381168/) that Colvin only got active after the G&M's Graeme Smith told him (and other officials) that the story was coming. This is, very much, the Globe and Mail's story and they want to keep it alive.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on December 17, 2009, 08:27:04
We need to be really careful with this one. The media, in general, thrive on controversy and when none exists they have to find ways to create it.  There is just enough legitimate news in this issue to play it out for a long time....
Not to mention the opposition feeding the frenzy for all it's worth as a way to make the Tories look bad, further keeping the fires stoked.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 18, 2009, 07:33:51
Now we have something with a ring of truth, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/the-buck-stopped-nowhere-at-foreign-affairs-on-colvins-warnings/article1404797/
Quote
The buck stopped nowhere' at Foreign Affairs on Colvin's warnings
No one was in charge in the early part of the Afghan mission, Canada's biggest overseas commitment since the Korean War

Campbell Clark

Ottawa

Friday, Dec. 18, 2009

As Richard Colvin fired off warnings about the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan in 2006, the diplomat's missives bounced into the computers of Foreign Affairs without ever really landing.
Inside the Department of Foreign Affairs, the biggest Canadian overseas commitment since the Korean War was organized like any other file. Diplomats in Kabul and Kandahar had different supervisors. In separate corners of the department's Sussex Drive headquarters in the Pearson building, the peacekeeping desk would handle one memo, the human rights desk another, defence relations a third.

Mr. Colvin sparked a firestorm at the highest levels in Ottawa when he told a parliamentary committee that he warned for a full year that detainees Canadian troops handed over to Afghan forces faced torture before the government began to monitor them.

But behind that furor is another story: outside the combat-focused military, no one was in charge in the early part of the Afghan mission.

A scattered batch of mid-level officials, lacking the incontrovertible proof that Canadians had no means to find, didn't have the overall responsibility or weight to push for big change.

“The buck stopped nowhere,” said one official involved in the Afghan mission.

In early 2007, the Conservative government charged senior official David Mulroney with bringing together generals, diplomats and aid workers to create a broad Afghanistan strategy.

But the new crew clashed with the old: frustrated Afghanistan hands felt they'd gone from being leaderless to having their views dismissed.

In November, Mr. Colvin told the parliamentary committee that everyone knew, or should have known, Afghan detainees were being tortured. For that he was excoriated by cabinet ministers and generals.

Both sides spoke with the indignant tone of people who were convinced they were telling the truth. Some hinted at dysfunction, but what they didn't fully admit was this: that Mr. Colvin was a voice in the wilderness when no one was in charge, and an irritant once someone was.

From the first plans for the deployment to troubled Kandahar province in 2005, how to deal with detainees was a vexing question.

U.S. allies were tainted by the treatment of detainees in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison; Canadian generals said the Forces were too stretched to operate their own jail.

So prisoners were transferred to Afghan authorities, quickly, even as the military insisted soldiers were not trained to monitor what happened to them. No one really thought the half-dozen diplomats in Afghanistan could do it. The death of diplomat Glyn Berry in January, 2006, made Foreign Affairs reluctant to send more.

The military treated the few civilians there with disdain. When ambassador David Sproule visited the Kandahar base, he was assigned a corporal's quarters, not a major's. “He was the ambassador for all of Afghanistan except Kandahar,” said one official.

Back in Ottawa, Afghanistan diplomats had no chain of command. The Kabul embassy reported to an Afghanistan desk officer, but the Canadian diplomat in Kandahar reported to a peacekeeping branch; mid-level officials scattered through Foreign Affairs headquarters had charge of issues related to human rights, justice, detainees, or defence relations in Afghanistan and several other countries.

Mr. Colvin's warnings about possible abuses worried some – they knew Afghan justice had a bad reputation – but mid-level officials didn't have the weight to make it a priority with top officials or the military, and responded by tinkering. Several officials insisted in testimony at the committee that Mr. Colvin's warnings, until mid-2007, were never the alarm that would have triggered action: specific, verified evidence that a Canadian-transferred detainee was tortured.

“If they'd seen that, somebody would have reacted,” one official with knowledge of the mission said. But he admitted that since no one monitored detainees, Mr. Colvin couldn't provide it: “It was a chicken and egg thing.”

Not until January, 2007, more than a year after the mission began, was a civilian, Mr. Mulroney, given the power to pull Afghanistan's strands together, and to demand action.

But Mr. Harper's new point man would alienate old Afghanistan hands, and the man who had been acting like a Cassandra for so many months. To Mr. Mulroney, the old school were endlessly harping freelancers who needed discipline and direction; to the veterans, Mr. Mulroney was there to issue orders to put the Harper stamp on Afghanistan strategy, not discuss their views about problems.

“The few people … in Foreign Affairs that had been working on the file up until that point were basically told, there's a new regime in town, and it's going to be top-down. We're not looking so much for advice,” said one person close to the events.

Mr. Mulroney recruited a big new task force, many with no Afghanistan experience, replacing the scattered experts, and had to bring officials from other warring departments together. Mr. Mulroney told the parliamentary committee that officials struggled in March and April of 2007 to plan a monitoring system amid many complex issues. One official insisted Mr. Mulroney listened to Mr. Colvin's warnings, but didn't want “the same memo over and over.”

Mr. Mulroney needed the co-operation of generals, who hated having a diplomat vet their plans. The military had long viewed Mr. Colvin as a nuisance because he persistently pushed different views on issues such as limiting civilian casualties and removing Kandahar's governor, and interrupted during officers' briefings.

“It became easy to discount Richard because he's a pain in the ***,” recalled an official. “David could go to senior military people and say, ‘I understand. People like Colvin, they're part of the old mentality, and I'm going to rein them in.' It threw them an olive branch.”

But at the end of April, 2007, Mr. Harper's government was under fire in Parliament over the treatment of detainees after The Globe and Mail published prisoners' accounts of torture.

Mr. Mulroney issued orders for diplomatic pressure. Mr. Colvin replied that Canada needed a new transfer arrangement with Afghanistan – and Mr. Mulroney curtly told him to follow his orders.

Despite the clash, a new transfer agreement was drafted within days and signed immediately by Afghanistan's government.

But the breach between Mr. Colvin and Mr. Mulroney, between old hand and new regime, was entrenched, although hidden from public view. It would take almost three years before that breach was revealed, still raw, before the Parliamentary committee.

This passes my smell test; the stench of stupidity is all too evident.
 
Our colleague dapaterson like to remind us (http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=91056.msg898401#msg898401) that we should ” never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence." My impression of DFAIT in the ‘90s was of a once proud institution stripped of its special status and staffed, too often, with lazy, second raters, there to fill a quota rather than develop and implement the best foreign policy for Canada. Other government departments, including e.g. DND and Industry Canada, had cherry picked authority as they felt necessary – necessary to get their jobs done because they (the other departments) understood that DFAIT wasn’t up to the job.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 18, 2009, 09:31:10
ERC, please explain what "staffed, too often, with lazy, second raters, there to fill a quota" means. What quota?

And what party was in power when this all started.? It is not stated in the article.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Baden Guy on December 18, 2009, 09:39:01
Certainly  not the Conservatives fault.
Harper is  DFAIT.  :(
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 18, 2009, 10:12:09
ERC, please explain what "staffed, too often, with lazy, second raters, there to fill a quota" means. What quota?

And what party was in power when this all started.? It is not stated in the article.


There were, I suspect, many quotas – none ever called by that name. We went from a highly merit based system (‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s) that actively discriminated against almost anyone who did not fit O.D. Skelton’s (http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=ArchivedFeatures&Params=A2125) ‘model’ – a young, robustly Christian/Protestant (preferably Orange Order Presbyterian)  man, a small town Ontarian, who had been to Oxford or Cambridge, to a system that aimed to be inclusibe and representative and which, of necessity, could not attract and retain elites. There were no women, until during the 2nd World War, very few Francophones, and, of course, no one who was not lily white. After 1967 Trudeau set out to change all that; he did. The quality of the staff work in DFAIT suffered; so did morale; other actions and attitudes made things worse – including Mulroney’s well document mistrust of the senior public service – which was somewhat understandable when you consider Pearson (http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1957/pearson-bio.html), Gordon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walter_L._Gordon), Sharp (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitchell_Sharp) and Massé (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcel_Massé), all senior civil servants who became Liberal cabinet ministers.

The so called golden age of Canadian diplomacy occurred during the (mostly Liberal) King, St Laurent, Diefenbaker and Pearson eras. The demise began with Trudeau and has continued, unabated, in my view, ever since. There is no way to return to the system that, at least in part, made the golden age possible but I am not convinced that DFAIT cannot be reformed and made, again, worthy of its high calling.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 18, 2009, 10:25:05
Thanks. Great to have you here.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on December 18, 2009, 18:09:05
E.R. Campbell:  The changes in DFAIT you point out are in fact prevalent throughout the Public Service as a whole, which has also declined accordingly in quality.  The exception is, natch, PCO where there is minimal movement towards any affirmative action and where positions are rarely posted widely for competition.  Those who are to rise fast and high are, er, selected and groomed.

Mark
Ottawa

(Ex-Ext Aff).
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 18, 2009, 19:36:55
E.R. Campbell:  The changes in DFAIT you point out are in fact prevalent throughout the Public Service as a whole, which has also declined accordingly in quality.  The exception is, natch, PCO where there is minimal movement towards any affirmative action and where positions are rarely posted widely for competition.  Those who are to rise fast and high are, er, selected and groomed.

Mark
Ottawa

(Ex-Ext Aff).


Quite right; I have seen the effects in other government departments where the quality of work is markedly lower than, say, 30 years ago.

My impression is that Finance has also, along with PCO, been able to remain fairly selective - albeit not as much as in the past. The Bank of Canada looks like it is still a pretty exclusive shop.

I was lunching, a few weeks back, with a research scientist from a large government department: interesting, challenging, indeed important and fulfilling work but she's looking to move on because the leadership - middle management to as far up as she can see - is inept and technically ignorant. The people selected to manage do not know what the 'workers' (scientists) do and, therefore, are unable to lead anywhere except towards professional frustration.


Edit: typo
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Baden Guy on December 18, 2009, 20:06:42
I was lunching, a few Weeks back, with a research scientist from a large government department: interesting, challenging, indeed important and fulfilling work but she's looking to move on because the leadership - middle management to as far up as she can see - is inept and technically ignorant. The people selected to manage do not know what the 'workers' (scientists) do and, therefore, are unable to lead anywhere except towards professional frustration.

I have acquaintances who are or have worked at an Ontario Ministry and that is an exact description, comment for comment, of their situation. I don't know what that signifies but it is a sad state of affairs.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Retired AF Guy on December 18, 2009, 20:23:23
For another take on Colvin (first of two), here, produced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act, are some comments from writer/blogger Terry Glavin  (http://transmontanus.blogspot.com/):

Quote

At last, a scandal.

The Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin has staked his entire reputation on the outcome of the hysterically-named "torturegate" spectacle unfolding in Ottawa, so he should be expected to fight fierce and shrewd. And fair play to him. In the story so far, a casual observer could be forgiven for thinking that the federal cabinet and the senior echelons of the Canadian Forces are riddled with war criminals, and that this Colvin guy is some kind of folk hero. He's winning.

The problem is that as the fight gets dirtier, and deeper into only-one-of-us-gets-outta-here-alive territory, it's becoming exceedingly difficult to discern what Colvin purports to reveal as fact from his characterizations and opinions of those purported facts. And it doesn't help that he tends to put spins on things in an increasingly too-transparent effort to make his own case appear more credible than it might otherwise be.

As in his account  (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20091216/colvin_letter2_091216/20091216?hub=Canada) of a March, 2007 inter-agency meeting he attended in Ottawa, in which he offered to the "12 to 15 officials" around the table his opinion of the Afghan intelligence service, the NDS, thus: "The NDS tortures people, that's what they do, and if we don't want our detainees tortured, we shouldn't give them to the NDS." Colvin then claims: "The response from the Canadian Expeditionary Force Command (CEFCOM) note-taker was to stop writing and put down her pen."

I take it that we are invited to infer from this that some stenographer had been intimidated into taking pains to ensure that no trace of such revelations ended up in the official record. But it seems to me just as likely that Colvin's persistently-uttered, strongly-held and widely-emailed opinions about the general wrongness of federal detainee-transfer policy were immaterial and irrelevant to the meeting's proceedings, and were maybe getting just the tiniest bit tiresome, besides.

But there is something that screams off the pages of his latest testimony, and it cannot be left to stand unexamined. Colvin quite clearly insinuates that his one-time boss, Arif Lalani, Canada's former ambassador to Afghanistan, is both a coward and a liar.

As in: "For example, Ambassador Lalani instructed that we not report that the security situation was deteriorating. This followed an embassy report to Ottawa in which we noted that the Afghan Minister of Defence judged security to be getting worse - a view shared by our allies, and corroborated by violence trends and other metrics. Nevertheless, Mr. Mulroney sent instructions via Ambassador Lalani that we should either not mention the security situation at all, or to assert that it was getting better. The ambassador accordingly sent a report in which he said security was improving."

This goes far beyond the substance of Colvin's complaints so far, which have been more or less along the lines of 'Everyone ignores me' or 'No one takes me seriously' or "No one listens to my advice.'

I'm finding myself increasingly on the side of the NDP's Paul Dewar, in this respect: Instead of trolling through allegations and spin-meistering and recriminations and grievances about who might have been less than assiduous about which complaints about what alleged incidents based upon which dubious or reliable evidence regarding things that may or may not have happened three years ago, maybe there should be a federal inquiry after all, but it should take a much closer look at what the hell is really going on, right now.

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Retired AF Guy on December 18, 2009, 21:10:35
The second of two parts from Terry Glavin:

Quote

A closer look at Richard Colvin's claims about the lies of his lying bosses and their lies

As I noted here [see part one], Richard Colvin has quite clearly insinuated that his one-time boss, Arif Lalani, Canada's former ambassador to Afghanistan, is both a coward and a liar. Turns out there is rather more going on here (or less, if you like) than that, and I suspect it betrays a lot about this preposterous affair that will, sadly, take a lot of the fun out of it too.

In his most recent instalment  (http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20091216/colvin_letter2_091216/20091216?hub=Canadal), Colvin claimed that Lalani had been instructed by Ottawa to withhold information, "however accurate, that conflicted with the government's public messaging," and consequently Lalani reversed the intent of an embassy report in order to give its opposite meaning: the report initially referred to a deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, but Lalani changed the report to read that "security was improving."

Colvin cites this alleged incident to refute Ottawa's claim that it "encouraged accurate, rigorous, fact-based reporting" from Kabul and wasn't interested in "opinion" or "non-fact based information." This is "not correct," Colvin states, and then he goes on to reiterate the claim that the security situation in Afghanistan was actually getting worse, which was what the Afghan Minister of Defence thought, and which was also "a view shared by our allies, and corroborated by violence trends and other metrics." Colvin adds that in September, 2007, a Canadian embassy staffer was "severely rebuked" in writing for merely stating what Colvin presents as the overwhelming, evidence-based consensus that things were getting worse, not better.

It looks terrible, doesn't it?

A closer look shows that in fact, the state of the security situation in Afghanistan at the time was rather less a matter of fact and very much a matter of contested opinion - and Colvin's account, which we might now pause to describe as his own "public messaging," however accurate, relies almost wholly on opinion even now, and seems to play rather loosely with the facts besides.

In February, 2007, a memorandum from the British Defence Ministry reckoned that the security situation across Afghanistan was actually "broadly stable," though "fragile" in places  (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmdfence/408/408we02.htm). "Insurgent groups are able to launch small scale local attacks, particularly in the South and East, but at present they do not pose a strategic threat to the long term stability of Afghanistan."

In August, a United Nations security assessment  (http://media.mcclatchydc.com/smedia/2007/10/01/16/UNAMA_2007_Afghanistan.source.prod_affiliate.91.pdf) noted that while most analysts assessed security to be deteriorating in Afghanistan through the first eight months of that year, "the nature of the incidents has, however, changed." The UN report cites a noticeable shift from "large-scale armed clashes in the field" to "asymmetric or terror-style" attacks. "The former do still take place and as air support is often used, casualty figures are still high. On average however these clashes are fewer and smaller than in 2006. Possible reasons include the high numbers of Taliban fighters killed during summer 2007 including many mid-level and senior commanders. Another reason must be the realization that these types of attacks are futile against a modern conventionally equipped military force supported by a wide range of air assets. The Afghan National Army (ANA) has also been improving throughout 2007."

Make of this what you will, but it would seem rather less than accurate and fact-based to report simply that the security situation in Afghanistan was deteriorating. A proper assessment would avail itself of some elaboration, and nuance, and perhaps the resort to some French words to get the point across, even. Which is what I thought diplomats were for.

What Colvin has also strangely expunged from his own account is the fact that the debate about whether the security situation in Afghanistan was improving or not was a rousing and highly amusing political "controversy" that was playing out in the pages of Canada's newspapers at the time. This has also been oddly forgotten by those very same newspapers, which are at the moment making such a great lark out of it all (don't reporters even check their article morgues anymore?)

Colvin's boss, Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier, was in Afghanistan around the time of the alleged rumpus to which Colvin alludes, publicly insisting that security was getting better, not worse  (http://www.thestar.com/News/article/264295). This was laying it on a bit thick, given the nuances and all, but Bernier was making some political hay of it. Which is what I thought politicians were for.

That's the most necessary context you'll need to have at hand in order to make sense of what's really going on here. Sadly, because it conflicts with Colvin's recent "public messaging," it tends to drain some of the high drama out of the whole story. Then, as now, Colvin wanted his opinion to stand unchallenged, and unedited, even if it stood in direct contradiction to his boss's opinion and made his boss look like a piker, besides. Which is not what I thought diplomats were for.

And at the end of the day, just whose opinion proved the soundest? Not that it matters to political affairs in Ottawa, but who was right, and who was wrong?

Around this time last year, I'd been in Kabul for a only couple of days when a huge headline in the UK Telegraph proclaimed: 'Kabul Now More Dangerous Than Baghdad At It Worst.' As I made my rounds of the city in the following weeks and found the place filled with some of the friendliest and most hospitable and welcoming people I've ever met in my life, I now and then amused myself by wondering just how lovely a place Baghdad must have been all this time.

Even now, the business about "violence trends and other metrics" in Afghanistan isn't something to which le mot juste readily presents itself. Still, it would be hardly a stretch to say something like: "The security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated badly since 2007."

But these things are complicated.

If you ask Mohammad Halim Fidai, governor of the central Afghan province of Wardak, he will tell you that the security situation has vastly improved, and it's improving all the time, and the reason you don't know that is because of the newspapers you read  (http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=3868244).

"I think the question should be why the security situation is improving," he said. "Security is improving day by day, not deteriorating. Unfortunately due to the disinformation by the international media and also lack of capacity and resources of the Afghan government to provide information to the public, it has created an image of that security is deteriorating in the country."

Maybe yes. Maybe no. It's hard to say. Je m'excuse. But what should be completely clear by now to anyone who has been following any of this is that something rather more important is at stake than the reputations of certain diplomats or former foreign ministers. Behind all the "torturegate" histrionics is the fight for the way ordinary Canadians view our "combat role" in Afghanistan, which began in earnest with the history-changing, Canadian-led Operation Medusa, down in Kandahar, in 2006:

If Kandahar fell, and it was reasonably close run last year, it did not matter how well the Dutch did in Uruzgan or how well the British did in Helmand. Their two provinces would also, as night followed day, have failed because we would have lost the consent of the Pashtun people because of the totemic importance of Kandahar.

That praise comes from a 2007 report of a British parliamentary committee on defence, not a Canadian parliamentary committee  (http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200607/cmselect/cmdfence/408/40806.htm). Kandahar did not fall, because Canadians held it. The report goes on: "Since the defeat of the Taliban by ISAF Forces in Operation Medusa, concern has grown that the Taliban insurgents might adopt more 'asymmetric' tactics against ISAF including increasing their use of suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices (IEDs). According to Anthony Cordesman, Chairman of the US-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), there has been an increase in suicide attacks from 18 in 2005 to 116 in 2006 and an increase in attacks from IEDs from 530 to 1,297 in 2006. The devastating impact of such attacks was demonstrated over the weekend of 16 / 17 June 2007, when a suicide bomber exploded a device in the North Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif, and the following day, a similar exploding device killed 35 people in Kabul. . ."

That's the complexity involved. Win on the battlefield, and the next thing you know, suicide bombers are detonating themselves in the streets of Kabul. But if you lose on the battlefield, you lose all of Kandahar, and Uruzgan, and Helmand, and the patience of the fierce Pashtun people, too. Lose all that, and Afghanistan would be gone, and you'd have to ask yourself what would happen next in Mazar-e-Sharif, and Kabul, and in Pakistan, the Maghreb, the Levant, the Horn of Africa. . .

Canadians won on the battlefield. Afghanistan is still a sovereign republic. Things are looking up. So sorry.

Je m'excuse.

My take on this is that this has degenerated into a whole lot of "he said/they said."  Who is telling the truth?   I don't know, but as Mr. Glavin has posted there may be more to Mr. Colvin's postings then we think. And as E.R. C. mentioned earlier people/organizations do have an agenda. The G & M to sell papers and make money. Then there is the Opposition, who's main goal is to embarrass the Tories. Unfortunately, most people have forgotten that we are in the middle of a war and this posturing does have consequences over in Afghanistan.

Well, 'nuff said for now. Its Friday night and there's beer in the fridge calling my name. Ciao!
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: greentoblue on December 18, 2009, 21:44:42
Unfortunately the Soldiers themselves are now being dragged into this cluster foxtrot.  *Sigh*:
Canada's troops being investigated for Afghan abuse - CBC
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/12/18/troops-afghan-investigation018.html

Quote: "The documents reveal that in 2008, military police launched six separate investigations into allegations of abuse involving Canadian troops.

"The military police determined that the allegations were unfounded in five of the six cases, and the remaining investigation is ongoing," said Major Paule Poulin, a spokesperson for the Canadian Forces Provost Marshall."

Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: RangerRay on December 18, 2009, 23:20:35
I have acquaintances who are or have worked at an Ontario Ministry and that is an exact description, comment for comment, of their situation. I don't know what that signifies but it is a sad state of affairs.

I think this is common in civil services across the country, or even across the western world.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on December 19, 2009, 09:48:32
Unfortunately the Soldiers themselves are now being dragged into this cluster foxtrot.  *Sigh*:
Canada's troops being investigated for Afghan abuse - CBC
http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2009/12/18/troops-afghan-investigation018.html

Quote: "The documents reveal that in 2008, military police launched six separate investigations into allegations of abuse involving Canadian troops.

"The military police determined that the allegations were unfounded in five of the six cases, and the remaining investigation is ongoing," said Major Paule Poulin, a spokesperson for the Canadian Forces Provost Marshall."


I worked in Corrections for almost 10 years. Every year we had several staff investigated because an inmate whined that he was abused etc.
I would imagine the Taliban are well informed about detainee abuse and how to complain about it.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Bruce Monkhouse on December 19, 2009, 13:14:34
Unfortunately the Soldiers themselves are now being dragged into this cluster foxtrot.  *Sigh*:

Not unfortunate at all, just proves to the naysyaers whom is on the side of common decency..............

20+ years in Corrections, many use of forces, and more than happy to be investigated so that my actions can speak for themselves.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: greentoblue on December 19, 2009, 15:40:04
We'll have to disagree.  First off, I see this whole episode as a politically motivated attempt to discredit and hound the government with the military as "collateral damage".  Second, the fact that five of six investigations proved that the allegations had no merit will mean nothing to the political parties, the broader public and the enemy (can we even say enemy anymore?).  The politicans and their self-styled allies will use these revelations as further ammunition to demand a public inquiry; the same cast of characters will use it to bemoan the contrast between our so-called "peacekeeping tradition" to our warfighting one now; and the enemy will quickly add it to their arsenal of Info Ops propaganda.  In short, this is a distraction that is taking away our focus from operations.  My  :2c:
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on December 19, 2009, 17:08:18
We'll have to disagree.  First off, I see this whole episode as a politically motivated attempt to discredit and hound the government with the military as "collateral damage".  Second, the fact that five of six investigations proved that the allegations had no merit will mean nothing to the political parties, the broader public and the enemy (can we even say enemy anymore?).  The politicans and their self-styled allies will use these revelations as further ammunition to demand a public inquiry; the same cast of characters will use it to bemoan the contrast between our so-called "peacekeeping tradition" to our warfighting one now; and the enemy will quickly add it to their arsenal of Info Ops propaganda.  In short, this is a distraction that is taking away our focus from operations.  My  :2c:


You are correct that:

1. Part of this is "a politically motivated attempt to discredit and hound the government with the military as "collateral damage";"

2. "The fact that five of six investigations proved that the allegations had no merit will mean nothing to the political parties, the broader public and the enemy;" and

3.  "The politicans and their self-styled allies will use these revelations as further ammunition to demand a public inquiry; the same cast of characters will use it to bemoan the contrast between our so-called "peacekeeping tradition" to our warfighting one now; and the enemy will quickly add it to their arsenal of Info Ops propaganda."

But

It is a lamentable fact that a very few soldiers will break the rules and some detainees (and others) will be abused. When it is reported/suspected we must all hope that the chain of command will investigate and will release findings - good and bad - so that everyone can be assured that 99.9% of Canadians soldiers are doing the right things and doing things right (that's from a leadership vs management description by Warren Bennis (http://books.google.ca/books?id=1VlnNlj_P0sC&printsec=frontcover&dq=inauthor:Warren+inauthor:G+inauthor:Bennis&cd=4#v=onepage&q=&f=false)) and the 0.01% who screw up are punished.

I think Bruce Monkhouse has the right take: he welcomes a review of his actions because he is  certain he stayed in bounds.

Yes, some people will exploit our good work and ignore our good intentions. No we should not stop doing the good work for the right reasons.
Title: Latest from CF of probes of individual incidents
Post by: milnews.ca on December 21, 2009, 22:20:34
According to this (http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/view-news-afficher-nouvelles-eng.asp?cat=00&id=3231) just out today (PDF attached if link doesn't work), 12 probes of allegations of detainee mistreatment have been carried out between 2006 and now.  ALL allegations of mistreatment have been unfounded (with one probe still in progress on other issues).

Possible headline:  CF FINDS NO PROOF OF DETAINEE MISTREATMENT IN INCIDENT PROBES

And when will we see that headline?  Riiiiiiight...
Title: I stand corrected....
Post by: milnews.ca on December 22, 2009, 08:22:22
...and pleasantly surprised to be wrong on this one....

"Detainee abuse claims unfounded: military police" (http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2009/12/22/afghan-mistreatment-claims.html) (CBC.ca)
Quote
All allegations of mistreatment of Afghan prisoners by Canadian troops investigated so far have been unfounded, the Canadian Forces Military Police said Monday night.

In a release, the military police said troops "acted appropriately when interacting with the detainees." ....
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on December 22, 2009, 10:24:27
Want to bet that the head of The Canadian Forces National Investigation Service (CFNIS) will be called before the Committee to explain themselves.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: leroi on December 23, 2009, 11:41:02
Stephen Harper defends Canadian Forces ...


Torture Issue Afghan Problem, Not Canadian: PM

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/torture-issue-afghan-problem-not-canadian-pm/article1409630/

(Reproduced in accordance with the Fair Dealing provision of the Copyright Act.)
Campbell Clark
Globe & Mail:  December 22, 2009
(BBM)

Allegations of detainee torture are about a problem in Afghanistan that is beyond Ottawa's control, Prime Minister Stephen Harper says. Mr. Harper and his cabinet have been taking a beating since a diplomat told a Parliamentary committee that the government ignored warnings that detainees captured by Canadian soldiers were likely tortured after they were handed over to local forces, but Mr. Harper insisted it's an issue for the Afghans to settle.

“The allegations are not being made – I hope – against Canadian soldiers,”
Mr. Harper said in a year-end interview with the French-language television network TVA. “… Our diplomats reformed the transfer system. We are speaking here of a problem among Afghans. It's not a problem between Canadians and Afghans. We're speaking of problems between the government of Afghanistan and the situation in Afghanistan. We are trying to do what's possible to improve that situation, but it's not in our control.”

Richard Colvin told the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan last month that the government ignored his repeated warnings in 2006 and 2007. Since then, the government has insisted there was no proof of torture, and moved in May, 2007, to ensure that Canadian officials could monitor detainees in Afghan jails. But opposition politicians have called for a public inquiry into whether the government turned a blind eye to potential torture, insisting that under international law, Canada cannot transfer prisoners who might be tortured.

“Mr. Harper is flat wrong,” Liberal MP Bob Rae said, adding that the Geneva Conventions set out a greater legal responsibility for forces handing over detainees. “Canada cannot transfer prisoners if we think there's a prospect of their being tortured. Period.” Canada moved troops into the Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan in late 2005, and the government has taken the position that Taliban insurgents don't technically qualify for the protections of the Geneva Conventions, but Canadian soldiers and officials will treat them as though they did.

In the TVA interview, taped on Monday and released yesterday, Mr. Harper called changes in an agreement with Afghanistan's government in 2007 to allow monitoring of detainees a great success. “The system works very well,” he said. “It's not perfect. There are problems from time to time.”

On Tuesday, opposition politicians continued to press the issue, holding informal hearings of the committee because a Tory boycott meant an official meeting could not be held. But it appears the Conservatives sent a young staffer to record the proceedings, one who left hurriedly after stand-in Liberal chair Bryon Wilfert commented on the “long arm of the PMO.” One informal witness, Amnesty International lawyer Paul Champ, insisted that the revamped 2007 agreement on transferring detainees has not worked. “We do not believe the problem was fixed,” he said. “The risk of torture remains.”

The Canadian Forces have stopped transfers three times this year because of concerns about torture allegations, and Canadian officials have heard graphic accounts of torture, accompanied by corroborating physical marks, since they began monitoring detainees in 2007, he noted.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on December 29, 2009, 17:22:01
Post at The Torch:

"Torture in Afghanistan: The Liberals knew" redux
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2009/12/torture-in-afghanistan-liberals-knew.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: TCBF on December 31, 2009, 23:59:11
- I have often thought that the eventual passing of the last of our WW2 vets will cause the gloves to come off on all sides, once those who fought what many Canadians call 'Our Last Good War' are no longer here to answer questions. Then, those of us serving will really be under the microscope, and labelled as 'War Criminals'.

- In any case, I think that any investigation should go all the way back into WW2.  As the Cdn Army helped liberate France, Belgium and the Netherlands, they no doubt often turned over local collaborators and combatants (Dutch SS, etc.) to the Resistance movements. Those resistance movements represented their governments in exile, which are the forebears of their governments today.  Should we not ask the French, Belgian and Dutch governments how they treated the traitors we handed over to them?

- Do you think they set a good example for Afghanistan to follow?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on January 01, 2010, 00:08:24
From Terry Glavin:

"The news managers here in Canada have trouble understanding the Afghan story. . ."
http://transmontanus.blogspot.com/2009/12/news-managers-here-in-canada-have.html

Quote
When I did this interview with Rex Murphy - it's about the bizarre disconnect between the here-and-now reality of Afghan detainee transfers in the real world, in Kandahar, and the "Afghan detainee" preoccupations of certain media personalities embedded in the Ottawa press gallery - it was late at night. I'd been up for hours. I'd just arrived at Camp Mirage after a flight from Kandahar Air Field in one those of those flying warehouses known as Globemasters and a fierce thirst was upon me. This is my excuse for being a bit impatient and stern about it all, although I reckon I did hold up my end fairly well anyway.

But you really need to listen to this interview with Matthew Fisher on the subject, towards the end of an conversation that provides a rare overview of Canada's engagements in Afghanistan in their proper context. I awaited Matthew's verdict on the "detainee issue" with some trepidation, because there is no Canadian reporter who knows these subjects better than Matthew does. As it turns out, Matthew was even more full-throated about it all than I was...

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Hamish Seggie on January 03, 2010, 20:43:16
- I have often thought that the eventual passing of the last of our WW2 vets will cause the gloves to come off on all sides, once those who fought what many Canadians call 'Our Last Good War' are no longer here to answer questions. Then, those of us serving will really be under the microscope, and labelled as 'War Criminals'.

- In any case, I think that any investigation should go all the way back into WW2.  As the Cdn Army helped liberate France, Belgium and the Netherlands, they no doubt often turned over local collaborators and combatants (Dutch SS, etc.) to the Resistance movements. Those resistance movements represented their governments in exile, which are the forebears of their governments today.  Should we not ask the French, Belgian and Dutch governments how they treated the traitors we handed over to them?

- Do you think they set a good example for Afghanistan to follow?

I seem to remember Mussolini and his mistress hanging from a lamp post. I also seem to remember French women who had collaborated with the Nazis had their heads shaved so everyone could see who the collaborators were.
Would the acid thrower be considered a war criminal?
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: mariomike on January 03, 2010, 21:13:17
I also seem to remember French women who had collaborated with the Nazis had their heads shaved so everyone could see who the collaborators were.

If they were lucky. I have read accounts from Canadian airmen shot down in France who evaded capture and joined the Resistance. They reported that young French girls in their teens were machine-gunned by the Resistance for consorting with Germans.
Ref: "Massacre Over the Marne: Massacre at Robert-Espagne" page: 190-191.

I don't know how widespread this was. The time period reported was after D-Day and before the Liberation.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on January 04, 2010, 18:55:01
At last, we are getting down to brass tacks in this opinion piece, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Toronto Star:

http://www.thestar.com/comment/article/744743
Quote
Accusations of war crimes risky for Liberals

Ezra Levant

Earlier this month, Ujjal Dosanjh, the Liberal defence critic, described a lone diplomat's allegations as "the fact that this government ignored the warnings of torture, sent prisoners to Afghan jails at the risk of torture, which is a war crime, which is an absolute war crime."

There's not a lot of wiggle room there.

Pressed to clarify if he was accusing Canadian soldiers of committing war crimes, Dosanjh immediately backed down: "I have not mentioned our troops once."

Then what did he mean?

Dosanjh has indeed directed his criticisms at the Canadian Forces. On a national TV panel, he criticized Canadian military leaders for being "morally weak" and accused the Canadian Forces – not just the Conservative government – of a "cover-up."

Other Liberals have gone even further. On CTV, Liberal spin doctor Warren Kinsella compared what Canadians are doing in Afghanistan to what Americans did in Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi jail where prisoners were tortured by rogue U.S. troops. Despite the interviewer's statement that there was no comparison with Abu Ghraib, Kinsella repeatedly insisted "we don't know that." Not even Richard Colvin, the diplomat at the centre of the storm, has alleged that Canadian Forces committed any torture.

It's one thing to slander the government – taking harsh criticism is part of the job description of politicians –but to suggest the men and women of the Canadian Forces are war criminals is demoralizing to our troops overseas who have enough to worry about without being a partisan punching bag.

Our soldiers probably don't worry too much about what a politician says about them. But winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people is a high priority in this operation and Canada's ethical reputation is particularly important as we train the Afghan army. It's one thing when a Taliban propagandist claims that the Canadian Forces are immoral crusaders – it's quite another when a Liberal front-bencher says they're "absolutely" accused of war crimes.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff has done something strange by making two former NDP premiers – Dosanjh and Bob Rae – his point men on this issue. Although Canada's involvement in the Afghan war was a Liberal initiative dating back eight years, it has always been a sore point for the party's left wing. The party was able to control its anti-war, anti-military and anti-U.S. instincts for the four years the Liberals managed the war. But since then, their anti-war faction has been ascendant.

From a partisan point of view, it's risky. Ignatieff knows from experience how hurtful accusations of war crimes can be. In 2006, he accused Israel of crimes in its war against Hezbollah and it led to the resignation of his Toronto leadership campaign co-chair. If accusing foreign allies of war crimes is a political faux pas, surely making the same accusation against our own troops is far worse.

The bubble of Parliament Hill is not a good place to get a read on public sentiments about the war. As CSIS boss Dick Fadden noted this fall, it has become fashionable in some media, legal and political circles to cast terrorists as lovable folk heroes and to view our security and military services as untrustworthy thugs. But if recent polls are any guide, that elite opinion is not shared by grassroots Canadians who universally admire the moral fibre of our troops and their personal sacrifices.

Ignatieff should rein in his loose cannons for the good of the country. But he should also do it for the good of his party. Given his past writings supporting the use of torture and targeted assassinations, it's unlikely that many anti-war activists would choose his party over the purer peaceniks of the NDP, Bloc and Green party. Even with Dosanjh and Rae on the file, Ignatieff isn't likely to pick up votes on this issue. But he can lose mainstream voters.

The Liberals' increasing anti-troops radicalism shows how marginalized the party has become out of power. Four years ago, the Liberals could handle grave responsibilities of state like prosecuting a war. Now they indulge in sloganeering more suited to a permanent opposition party.

Ignatieff eventually apologized for his Israel war crimes comment. Will he ask Dosanjh and Kinsella to apologize for theirs?

Ezra Levant is a Calgary-based commentator and Conservative volunteer.

Levant is right: Dosanjh, most notably, has accused Canadian soldiers of war crimes. That’s the crux of the complaint LGen (ret’d) Gautier made when he testified, under oath, and said he and his wife were shocked to be watching TV and to hear him (Gauthier) being called a war criminal by a Canadian politician. Dosanj has tarred Gauthier and Fraser (then the commander on the ground) and Hillier with the war criminal brush. It is time for him and his party (Prince Michael Igfnatieff must lead) to demand that criminal  charges are pressed against several Canadian generals and some of their bosses and subordinates, too.  Either that or Dosanjh, et al, should go out into the garden and eat worms* – which is about all he’s/they’re fit to do.

In any event the Conservative Party and its media friends – and it has some – should call the Liberals out on this.


----------
* Thanks to James Kennaway (http://theoscarsite.com/whoswho4/kennaway_j.htm) for that excellent phrase.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on January 12, 2010, 15:46:08
A post at The Torch:

Facts: The previous Liberal government and Afghan detainees
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2010/01/facts-previous-liberal-government-and.html

Quote
Further to this post,

'"Torture in Afghanistan: The Liberals knew"'redux
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2009/12/torture-in-afghanistan-liberals-knew.html

here is a translation from a friend of a story in La Presse, April 28, 2007;
http://www.cepes.uqam.ca/spip.php?article478
draw your own conclusions over what should be the extent of any enquiry, should one be held. And what happened to those detainees transferred to the Americans? Where is, and was, the outcry?

'The Liberals were in the know'...

One wonders why the current media "cover-up" continues concerning what the Liberal government knew and when they knew it.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Old Sweat on January 13, 2010, 11:51:06
Yesterday on CBC Newsworld John McCallum accused Canadian soldiers of commiting war crimes in Afghanistan. Rather than pursuing the issue, the interviewer changed the subject. While the CPC highlighted his statements, the MSM largely has chosen to ignore them.

The interview and the resulting story on the CBC website may be viewed here. (If it is not available, check smalldeadanimals.com)

http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/01/the-wc-puddledid-mccallum-step-in-it.html
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on January 13, 2010, 13:05:35
McCallum must be collecting empties again to say something that unsubstanciated. No parliamentary privilege. Sue the *******.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on January 13, 2010, 14:38:49
If you want to read the up to date summary of the Liberals stating the CF committed war crimes, including the video clips of who said what, read  Ezra Levant:

 http://ezralevant.com/2010/01/the-liberal-smear-campaign-aga.html

Disgusting. and of course the media love repeating it, with no counterpoints. In fact, the media reinforce the LPC.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on January 13, 2010, 15:01:33
Everybody's said it better than I can, so I offer a bit of librarian-style support to the cause:

1)  Here's a link (http://is.gd/6cKOR), via Archive.org, to the April 2007 French-language article highlighting what the Liberals knew about detainee conditions then, and

2)  Here's a link (http://milnewsca.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/torture-en-afghanistan-april-2007.pdf) to the PDF of that article in case the Archive.org link doesn't work.

Now, I can't wait to see MSM get on the Liberals' case on this.....
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fmilnewsca.files.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F10%2Fcricket.gif&hash=039eb70ba68ff9c0dd173fe192b8c618)
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on January 13, 2010, 22:05:37
More at The Torch:

Maybe some former Liberal ministers should be worrying about their asses
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2010/01/liberal-ministers-might-do-well-to.html

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Thucydides on January 14, 2010, 18:09:53
More comments on what the Liberals knew:

http://alphamikefox.blogspot.com/2010/01/what-liberals-knew.html

Quote
What the Liberals Knew
 
From the Torch, originally from the La Presse (can't find it online, except in cache)

Canadian diplomats stationed in Kabul warned the former Liberal government in 2003, 2004 and 2005 that torture was commonplace in Afghan prisons. In spite of these warnings, the Martin government signed an agreement with the Karzai government in December 2005 to hand over all Canadian-captured prisoners to Afghan authorities, Foreign Affairs documents obtained by La Presse reveal.

From 2002 to 2005, the Canadian practice regarding Afghan detainees suspected of Taliban ties was to hand them over to US military authorities. Ottawa decided to shift its transfers to Afghan authorities, however, in response to abuse allegations at the Guantánamo Bay internment center and the controversy that erupted over revelations of torture and degradation at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
The December 2005 agreement to transfer detainees to Afghan authorities was concluded despite the content of annual reports from Canadian diplomats covering broad assessments of Afghanistan’s progress in human rights protection and the development of democratic institutions. According to a 2004 report: "The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission concludes from its monitors’ assessments that torture remains a current practice, particularly during the early stages of police investigations, in order to extract confessions from prisoners.”

While the Afghan government was not accused of condoning physical violence in the treatment of prisoners, a 2005 report filed by Canadian diplomats noted that the Afghan military, police and intelligence services were implicated in arbitrary arrests, kidnappings, extortion, torture, and the murder of criminal suspects. Police commanders and officers were also implicated in many allegations of rape. The alleged victims included women, girls and boys.

While Liberal deputy leader John McCallum was defence minister in 2003, his colleague Bill Graham was foreign affairs minister. In an interview, Mr McCallum told La Presse had never seen the Foreign Affairs’ documents. Mr Graham took over as defence minister in June 2004 and still held the post when Canada signed the agreement in December 2005.

An anonymous Liberal source, well acquainted with the situation, said the Martin government believed that the situation had improved in Afghan prisons when the agreement was concluded: "From 2002 to 2005, we transferred our prisoners to the Americans. But that became politically untenable because of the stories about Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. These events, and our certainty that things had improved in the Afghan prison system, conviced us to sign the detainee transfer agreement with the Afghans," the source explained.

However, the Martin government had received annual reports that ill-treatment in Afghan prisoners was commonplace, and the reports closely compare with the report disclosed in a Toronto daily newspaper Wednesday that has caused such a stir in the House of Commons. That document shows that going back to 2006, torture has been a routine practice in Afghan prisons. Opposition parties cited these reports to accuse the Harper government of closing its eyes on violations of Afghan prisoners’ rights. The Globe and Mail also reported this week that about 30 Taliban prisoners say they were abused by local Afghan police after they were transferred by Canadian soldiers.

The Harper government didn’t help its cause this week, making several contradictory statements about Afghan prisoners captured by Canadian soldiers and delivered to local authorities in the Kandahar area. Defence minister Gordon O'Connor was the source of the confusion and plunged the Conservatives into embarrassment. The minister initially said that the Independent Human Rights Commission monitors the condition of prisoners to ensure they are well treated, but the commission does not have the financial means nor the staff to undertake the task.

Then, on Wednesday, Mr O'Connor said that Canada had concluded an agreement with authorities in Kandahar allowing Canadian soldiers a right of access to Afghan detainees to ensure they’re not being ill-treated. This was contradicted 24 hours later by prime minister Stephen Harper, who confirmed in the House of Commons on Thursday that no formal agreement exists to allow this access, but that the Canadian authorities hoped to conclude one soon.

Then public safety minister Stockwell Day added to confusion when he said that for several weeks Corrections Canada staff had been afforded access to the Afghan prisons in the Kandahar area. Then Mr Day moderated his remarks by affirming that two Corrections Canada staff members had been sent to Afghanistan to advise local prison authorities, and then he he explained that their mandate had been
broadened so that they could look into the the practice of torture in Afghan prisons.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on January 14, 2010, 18:27:14
Try to find this in the mainstream print and TV media.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Baden Guy on January 14, 2010, 20:26:21
Yesterday on CBC Newsworld John McCallum accused Canadian soldiers of commiting war crimes in Afghanistan. Rather than pursuing the issue, the interviewer changed the subject. While the CPC highlighted his statements, the MSM largely has chosen to ignore them.

The interview and the resulting story on the CBC website may be viewed here. (If it is not available, check smalldeadanimals.com)

http://www.cbc.ca/politics/insidepolitics/2010/01/the-wc-puddledid-mccallum-step-in-it.html

Yes it is still available on the CBC site. As far as I can see he is clearly talking about the government not military personal.


McCallum: "I think the bigger weight is bread-and-butter issues, jobs and getting your children to school and all of those things. But I also think Canadians do care about democracy and about the high-handed, undemocratic attitude and actions of this government and I think proroguing adds to the total character picture of Mr. Harper, and the fact that  they may have been committing war crimes, handing over detainees knowing that they were very likely to be tortured, that is a war crime. And the fact that they're covering it up, I think many Canadians do care about those things as well as caring about economic issues."

Meharchand: "You know, we could digress here and talk about who's handing over, is it the Canadian soldiers who you're accusing of war crimes, is it the government, I don't want to go there in this interview."

McCallum: "It's the government."  
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on January 14, 2010, 21:14:07
Baden Guy: The fact remains that the government that authorized the policy, which the CF in the field were bound to follow, of turning over detainees to the Afghans was the Liberal one that agreed to the Dec. 2005 agreement.  So if there is any (perishingly small) chance of any war crimes action being brought anywhere the responsible Liberal ministers would be first in the dock.

Especially given the information concerning Afghan government treatment of prisoners about which those Liberal ministers should have been well aware.  Pots and kettles and all that.

To repeat:

Maybe some former Liberal ministers should be worrying about their asses
http://toyoufromfailinghands.blogspot.com/2010/01/liberal-ministers-might-do-well-to.html

An idea.  Let all responsible ministers, Liberal and Conservative, senior bureaucrats and CF officers, be tried and thrown in the clink if we Canadians are to be so, er,  über-punctilious.  I cannot think of any other country that is so sillily senstive to its self-centred sensibilities.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on January 14, 2010, 21:47:12
Yes it is still available on the CBC site. As far as I can see he is clearly talking about the government not military personal.


McCallum: "I think the bigger weight is bread-and-butter issues, jobs and getting your children to school and all of those things. But I also think Canadians do care about democracy and about the high-handed, undemocratic attitude and actions of this government and I think proroguing adds to the total character picture of Mr. Harper, and the fact that  they may have been committing war crimes, handing over detainees knowing that they were very likely to be tortured, that is a war crime. And the fact that they're covering it up, I think many Canadians do care about those things as well as caring about economic issues."

Meharchand: "You know, we could digress here and talk about who's handing over, is it the Canadian soldiers who you're accusing of war crimes, is it the government, I don't want to go there in this interview."

McCallum: "It's the government."


But the "government" didn't turn anyone over to the Afghans; its armed servants (as opposed to its civil servants) did that and, arguably, perhaps they should not have done so. If the government gives an unlawful order then soldiers are, by law, duty bound not to obey it. McCallum and Dosanjh know that; they know that MacKay and Harper didn't do anything wrong but they still toss out the accusations when they must know that the dirt can hit only uniformed military people: Hiller (their prime target, I suspect), Gauthier, Fraser and so on down the line. The "war crimes" talk threatens soldiers only. Mark my words, some smart, anti-Western civil rights lawyer will, sooner later, file charges against Hiller et al saying that the 2005 (Liberal) agreement was manifestly improper and Hillier and his subordinates, being reasonable men, must have known that but they proceeded to obey an unlawful command anyway and they are, de fact, guilty of a war crime.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: ModlrMike on January 14, 2010, 23:19:58
ER, you've hit the nail on the head.

Nuremberg was quite clear in establishing that there is no difference between those who give the orders and those who carry them out. Regardless of what McCallum thinks he said, it's quite clear to me what he actually said.

(Not intending to invoke Godwin's Law here.)
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: MarkOttawa on January 14, 2010, 23:23:12
E.R. Campbell: I think we are saying much the same thing in a different fashion.  From the Torch post previously linked to:

Quote
...
Those who legally would have prime responsibility for war crimes would the members of the government (first the Liberals, then the Conservatives), the senior bureaucrats and the senior CF officers responsible for putting, and then keeping, that policy in place...

But really it is all a Canadian political and media nonsense without, as said in the comment below,

Quote
... any (perishingly small) chance of any war crimes action being brought anywhere...

Except perhaps one must concede in Canada, what with professors Byers and Attaran and their ilk.  In no serious country would this matter ever have become the obsession it has here.  From which I draw my own ineluctable conclusion.

Mark
Ottawa
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: Rifleman62 on January 15, 2010, 00:44:19
I was wondering if Baden Guy read  Ezra Levant's blog, and if he did, what he now thought of the LPC, as a retired member of the CF.

Must be the water.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on January 25, 2010, 12:53:01
This is getting ridiculous.

Colvin is muddying the waters again, according to this report, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/richard-colvin-faces-reprisal-for-detainee-testimony/article1443048/
Quote
Richard Colvin faces 'reprisal' for detainee testimony
Letter accuses Conservative government of retaliating against diplomat who blew whistle on Afghan torture by refusing to pay his legal bills

Steven Chase

Ottawa

Monday, Jan. 25, 2010

The Canadian diplomat who charged that Ottawa turned a blind eye to his warnings about torture of Afghan prisoners now says he's being punished by the Harper government for speaking out.
Richard Colvin's lawyer talks of this "reprisal" in a letter released today that says Ottawa is ignoring his requests for further legal aid funding as he prepares to appear before an inquiry investigating the handling of Afghan prisoners.

Mr. Colvin, who reignited the long-simmering Afghan detainee issue last fall, is entitled to government funding because he's a public servant.

But the government has failed to respond to requests to resolve the legal bills of Mr. Colvin, who was posted to Afghanistan for 17 months between 2006 and 2007. It offered an initial amount last fall, which Mr. Colvin's lawyers said was insufficient to cover costs.

The Conservatives launched harsh attacks on the public servant after his testimony before a Parliamentary committee last fall, dismissing his credibility and suggesting he'd been duped by Taliban propaganda.

Mr. Colvin first emerged on the Afghan file last October when he told the Military Police Complaints Commission via affidavit that he'd raised early red flags about the torture of prisoners back in May and June of 2006.

"Coupled with the government's public attacks on Mr. Colvin and his testimony before the Special Committee on ... Afghanistan, our client is left with the reasonable belief that the denial of further legal indemnification is a reprisal for his participation before the committee and the commission," lawyer Owen Rees wrote in a letter sent to the Military Police Complaints Commission today.

The commission is preparing to resume hearings into the Afghan detainee matter in late March and Mr. Colvin's testimony is expected to play a role in this inquiry.

Without legal representation, Mr. Rees said, it would be difficult for Mr. Colvin to continue to testify before the commission.

"The government of Canada's inaction in this regard is impeding our client's ability to participate as a witness before the commission with the assistance of legal counsel, which is appropriate and necessary given the complexity of the legal issues raised, including the government's claims of national security confidentiality," he wrote.

The government has denied all of Mr. Colvin's allegations.

"There are incredible holes in the story that have to be examined," Defence Minister Peter MacKay told the Commons at the time, rejecting calls for a public inquiry.

With a report from The Canadian Press

I hold no brief for or against Colvin but, on a political level, he is dangerous to the government and it and the Conservative brand are taking unnecessary hits from him and his lawyer.

The solution is simple: a full blown public inquiry that goes all the way back to 2001/02 and asks:

•   How did we get into this mess, in the first place?

•   Who approved the original, unsatisfactory detainee handling procedures?

•   Why did they, whoever ‘they’ were, approve an unsatisfactory arrangement?

•   Why did it take so long to change the procedures?

•   Etc

A full inquiry will, immediately and permanently, shut down the anti-government propaganda machine being fuelled by the Liberal Party of Canada and the media.

A full inquiry will assign a major share of the blame to the governments of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin – governments in which Ujjal Dosanjh and John McCallum served as ministers.

A full inquiry will defuse attempts by e.g. Attaran et al to haul Canadian military members (or, maybe, politicians) in front of some international kangaroo court.

I cannot understand why Harper doesn’t pull the plug on Colvin, Dosanjh, McCallum, etc and put the whole thing into long term legal limbo.
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: milnews.ca on January 25, 2010, 13:28:31
It appears the current gov't is afraid to even talk about what we'll be doing in Afghanistan down the road, sp I can't see it being too willing to pick up the "public enquiry" baton and run with it, even if (as laid out by you E.R.) it would level the playing field and look at the ENTIRE picture, not just the latest snapshot, that is "handling of detainees."
Title: Re: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread
Post by: E.R. Campbell on January 26, 2010, 10:19:10
Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright Act from today’s Ottawa Citizen, is an opinion piece that advocates the wrong inquiry:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/opinion/op-ed/different+kind+inquiry/2480449/story.html
Quote
A different kind of inquiry: Somalia vs. Afghanistan

BY GRANT DAWSON AND STEPHANIE CARVIN,

CITIZEN SPECIAL
JANUARY 25, 2010
 
A prisoner abuse scandal has again found a place in Canadian newspapers. Now it is Afghanistan. In the 1990s, it was Somalia.

With the Afghanistan scandal, the government desperately wants to avoid another Somalia Inquiry. Tom Flanagan, Prime Minister Stephen Harper's former campaign adviser, has even suggested that the main reason behind the proroguing of Parliament was to shut down any inquiry on the scandal.

Yet the government has good reason to be concerned. The Somalia Inquiry -- which dragged on for two years, an