Author Topic: Afghan Detainee Mega Thread  (Read 253590 times)

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Offline Cloud Cover

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #125 on: February 07, 2007, 13:54:30 »
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.     

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #126 on: February 07, 2007, 13:59:23 »
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 -
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #127 on: February 07, 2007, 14:04:09 »
...... 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.
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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #128 on: February 07, 2007, 14:16:45 »
Sounds spot on George. Another academic lefty with a personal agenda against the CF.  :threat:
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Offline 3rd Herd

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #129 on: February 07, 2007, 15:26:53 »
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.
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Offline MCG

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Canadian Forces Boards of Inquiry
« Reply #130 on: February 07, 2007, 15:59:28 »
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

Offline MCG

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #131 on: February 07, 2007, 23:09:39 »
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.


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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #132 on: February 08, 2007, 06:39:38 »
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 - Permalink

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

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

 .... 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 ....


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Offline hank011

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #133 on: February 08, 2007, 08:02:48 »
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!
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Offline Rider Pride

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #134 on: February 08, 2007, 08:15:08 »
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?
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Offline Bigmac

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #135 on: February 08, 2007, 08:18:55 »
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!
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Offline geo

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #136 on: February 08, 2007, 08:43:30 »
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
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #137 on: February 08, 2007, 08:47:29 »
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.
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Offline geo

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #138 on: February 08, 2007, 08:49:19 »
(I'm in for a few bucks)
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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #139 on: February 08, 2007, 09:05:29 »
The plot thickens....

From Today's Globe and Mail
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.


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Offline MCG

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #140 on: February 08, 2007, 09:29:30 »
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.  ..."

Offline cplcaldwell

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #141 on: February 08, 2007, 09:47:55 »
I bet Niner Domestic will be by soon to sort that out for us....
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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #142 on: February 08, 2007, 09:54:15 »
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.
The basis of all morality is duty, a concept with the
same relation to a group that self-interest has to individual. R.A.Heinlein

Offline hank011

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #143 on: February 08, 2007, 10:12:12 »
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!
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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #144 on: February 08, 2007, 14:33:32 »
More commentary on the issue from the National Post.  Original article is here, 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.

Offline niner domestic

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #145 on: February 08, 2007, 14:44:32 »
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
« Last Edit: February 08, 2007, 15:02:09 by niner domestic »
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #146 on: February 08, 2007, 15:35:24 »
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...
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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #147 on: February 08, 2007, 15:55:39 »
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?
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Offline MarkOttawa

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #148 on: February 08, 2007, 16:23:26 »
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

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Offline Weinie

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Re: Investigating Treatment of AFG Prisoners by CF
« Reply #149 on: February 08, 2007, 17:19:41 »
   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?
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