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Afghan Detainee Mega Thread

  • Thread starter Thread starter rceme_rat
  • Start date Start date
If I was Harper, I'd release it. I'm willing to bet it wouldn't be long before some dufus of an MP leaked the info to the media, thereby proving the CPC's point.
recceguy said:
If I was Harper, I'd release it. I'm willing to bet it wouldn't be long before some dufus of an MP leaked the info to the media, thereby proving the CPC's point.

He may be waiting for the appropriate "I told you so" moment.
Detainee documents will never see light of parliamentary day
By Don Martin, Calgary HeraldApril 29, 2010
  Article Link

When creating Stephen Harper's DNA, the Almighty forgot to insert the compromise chromosome.

That's why the prime minister stood in the House of Commons on Wednesday to insist he was still the final guardian of sensitive files, refusing to cower before the new clout of his parliamentary opposition.

Less than 24 hours after Speaker Peter Milliken ruled that Parliament has more bite without exception than any prime ministerial muzzle, Harper signalled little or no change in the government's position on keeping thousands of Afghan detainee documents under a shroud of secrecy.

The acts and laws guarding national security will prevail, Harper declared, and that means the same statutes the Justice Department used to justify heavy censorship will remain in force as heavy black markers scrawling across sensitive paperwork.

"The government cannot break the law, it cannot order public servants to break the law, nor can it do anything that would unnecessarily jeopardize the safety of Canadian troops," warned Harper in what was essentially an echo of his position before the Speaker's historic ruling on Tuesday.

If that's unsatisfactory to what Conservatives now call the "unholy coalition" of opposition forces, well, too bad. Harper may be open to "reasonable suggestions" because the government "depends" on keeping the confidence of the House, but it won't break laws to avoid losing that confidence.

New Democrat Leader Jack Layton picked up on the subtle inference immediately. "Is the prime minister telling us today that he is going to defy the ruling of the Speaker and the will of the House in order to go to an election?"

Well, not quite, not yet. But it was Harper who raised the spectre of this showdown as a confidence threat and he didn't seem to run away from the possibility it could end up in voter hands.

Ironically, hours earlier there was every indication of speedy resolution to the standoff.

Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff sounded conciliatory as he dispatched his top procedural negotiator to a meeting with the government. Oft-cranky Public Safety Minister Vic Toews went all warm and fuzzy about searching for "some kind of compromise," going so far as to admit that opposition MPs "are entitled to see documents but of course they have to maintain secrecy in respect to those documents."

That had some insiders speculating that a meeting today among party representatives could produce an accord by the weekend with some MPs granted special clearance to search for proof Canadian soldiers handed over Taliban prisoners to Afghan authorities knowing they faced certain torture.

Silly people. Have they learned nothing about this prime minister in the last four years?
More on link
Afghan detainee docs: CDS sticking it to government?

The moment that John McCallum used the phrase "war crimes", I knew this was going to be a witch hunt. I don't doubt for a moment that we handed over detainees that were ultimately tortured. Did the commanders on the ground know? Perhaps, perhaps not. The fact remains that the Canadian public:

a. didn't want us to bring them here;
b. didn't want us to maintain our own "Guantanamo" style facility;
c. didn't want us to release them;
d. nor did they, apparently, want us to hand them over.

FFS people... you have to pick one option and live with the outcome.
ModlrMike said:
The moment that John McCallum used the phrase "war crimes", I knew this was going to be a witch hunt. I don't doubt for a moment that we handed over detainees that were ultimately tortured. Did the commanders on the ground know? Perhaps, perhaps not. The fact remains that the Canadian public:

a. didn't want us to bring them here;
b. didn't want us to maintain our own "Guantanamo" style facility;
c. didn't want us to release them;
d. nor did they, apparently, want us to hand them over.

FFS people... you have to pick one option and live with the outcome.

You left out the fact that the people we turned them over to were the Afghans.  It is their country.  It is their Police. 

Another thing no one has bothered to mention is the "Catch and Release" program that is going on.  We catch an insurgent, and the Afghan courts release them due to lack of evidence from Afghan sources.  To me, this sounds a little like we have "Westernized" their Court System, doesn't it.

The Canadian Government and the Canadian people are ignorant.
Afstan: The true nature of up and at 'em Attaran/Speaker Milliken's ruling is right

It's not about detainees at all; it's about forcing an end to the CF's combat mission, the sooner the better. Read the excerpts below from a piece of his in the Ottawa Citizen and draw your own conclusions. And note the persistent prof's political participation--and his exquisitely selective reading of the 2008 House of Commons' motion on our Afghan mission...

Afghan detainees: The news not fit to print

No bleed, no lead. And almost no coverage at all. The invaluable and brave Christie Blatchford of the Globe and Mail takes on her own industry...

...quite sad. I guess a country gets the media it deserves.

The incomparable Christie Blatchford takes on the "torture" issue:


From screams to whimpers on Afghan detainees

Allegations that fuelled shooting match replaced in some arenas with Celine’s new swimming pool to almost nothing at all

Christie Blatchford

Published on Friday, Apr. 30, 2010 7:51PM EDT Last updated on Sunday, May. 02, 2010 10:50AM EDT

The same week that House of Commons Speaker Peter Milliken made his historic ruling that Parliament has the right to see all the documents about Afghan detainees, the very man whose sensational allegations fuelled the whole shooting match was being delivered a thumping.

How amusing, except it isn’t.

Richard Colvin is the diplomat whose testimony at a special committee last fall – chiefly, that torture of the Afghan prisoners Canadian soldiers handed over to their fellow Afghans was “standard operating procedure” and that he had warned senior military officials about it to no avail – was given war-sized treatment in the press.

His allegations were front-page news across the country, led to stern editorials in several major newspapers a day later, and added gasoline to the fire already simmering about alleged Canadian complicity in torture and government stonewalling of efforts to view uncensored documents on the subject.

But when Gavin Buchan, the former political director and senior official on the ground in Kandahar (but for two months, when Mr. Colvin replaced him) for most of 2006 and part of 2007, and Major General (Retired) Tim Grant, the commander of the Canadian military effort in Afghanistan during the same approximate time period, came to testify before the committee on Wednesday, their evidence collectively a profound rebuttal of Mr. Colvin’s claims, the media coverage was a whisper.

Of the four major newspapers that put Mr. Colvin’s claims on their front pages – The Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen – last November, only The Globe even deigned to cover Mr. Buchan’s and Mr. Grant’s evidence in a separate story, this a piece by my colleague Bill Curry. The story appeared on Page 13.

The Citizen, in a story about the really big news of the week – Mr. Milliken’s ruling – made passing mention of Mr. Grant’s evidence, but didn’t say what it was and didn’t refer at all to Mr. Buchan’s testimony.

The Post ran no story about what the two men said, nor did the Star, which did, however, devote a startling chunk of its front page to a photo of the backyard water park Celine Dion has built her son in Florida.

There were some extenuating circumstances: At the same time on Wednesday that Mr. Buchan and Mr. Grant addressed the special committee on the mission to Afghanistan, Nazim Gillani, the mysterious businessman involved with former Tory MP Rahim Jaffer, was sitting down before the microphone next door at another special committee.

In one room was the huge crowd of the press, slavering to hear from the guy allegedly linking “busty hookers,” cocaine and the Tories; in the other, where the Afghanistan committee was holding court, there was only The Globe’s Mr. Curry and two other reporters.

If it is a rather shocking indictment of the attention span of the modern press – so fleeting it renders the proverbial New York minute an eternity – not to mention its collective appetite, it would matter less if the story that was almost wholly overlooked wasn’t so significant.

But what Mr. Buchan and Mr. Grant had to say was important and cast doubt on the veracity of Mr. Colvin’s claims.

From Mr. Buchan’s opening statement: “I would like to close on a personal note. Since the committee hearings last November, I have struggled with a fair amount of self-doubt. It has been alleged that in the period leading up to March, 2007, Canadian authorities knew we were transferring detainees to torture.

“I was the DFAIT [Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade] representative on the ground. I was the person meeting with the local representatives of the AIHRC [Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission] and the ICRC [International Committee of the Red Cross], but it was only in April 2007 that it became clear to me [through a Globe story] that our detainee arrangement was not working.

“I was left wondering if I had overlooked information I should have seen.

“If everybody supposedly knew, then what had I missed?

“My review of documentation in preparation for this meeting has gone some way to reassure me.

“I saw nothing in the record through March, 2007, that indicated Canadian-transferred detainees were being abused.”

From Mr. Grant’s opening statement:

“I paid attention to this issue constantly. Without question, information from the ambassador and the embassy was important. But I also spoke to our allies, the Red Cross, the AIHRC and the United Nations. I made use of every possible source of information to inform my decisions, including dedicated legal advice.

“At no time before April, 2007, did anyone express to me that they had concerns involving transfers, and that includes Mr. Colvin, who had ample opportunity to do so.”

From committee questions to Mr. Buchan and Mr. Grant:

Q: When you took over for Mr. Colvin, you would have received briefing or handover notes. … Did any of these documents allege that the Canadian-transferred prisoners were being abused?

Mr. Buchan: “In the handover note that I received on my arrival in Kandahar in July, 2006, there was no reference to the detainee issue whatsoever … there was nothing to that effect in the note.”

Q: Why do you think Mr. Colvin said he had warned officials back in 2006?

Mr. Buchan: “I won’t presume to speak for Richard or his motivations. What I will say is that in April, 2007, there were some very vigorous exchanges between the embassy in Kabul and headquarters in which he [Mr. Colvin] put forward strong, and I believe entirely legitimate views, but the key thing here is timing.

“Those views were expressed in April, 2007, not in the period prior.”

Mr. Grant: “I have no idea, I have no idea. I saw Richard on numerous occasions, both when he came to Kandahar to visit and when I went to Kabul on business … But at no point did he come and say, ‘General, there’s an issue.’”

Q: How do you respond to criticism that Canada has turned a blind eye to torture?

Mr. Buchan: “It’s something that I personally, I feel, touches me. It, it offends me, because as I said in my statement, had I been conscious at any stage in my assignment of the abuse of Canadian detainees, I would have reported that to headquarters and I would not have rested until something was done.”

Mr. Buchan and Mr. Grant are hardly the only witnesses at the committee who have raised grave doubts about Mr. Colvin’s claims – that long list includes former chief of defence staff Rick Hillier, Lieutenant-General (Retired) Mike Gauthier, General Dave Fraser and David Mulroney, Mr. Colvin’s boss – but they are among those most short-changed by the press. These men aren’t lightweights. Either they are all remembering wrongly, or Mr. Colvin is, and it appears the press already has decided which version we prefer – you know, when we’re not more interested in busty hookers or Celine’s backyard.
Lookie what's holding up the paperwork (highlights mine) - from the Toronto Sun/QMI:
The Conservative government has not decided whether it will let Bloc Quebecois MPs view potentially sensitive military secrets.

The Tories’ house leader Jay Hill told QMI Agency the government has not agreed to allow members of the Bloc review confidential documents related to the transfer of Afghan detainees.

“We haven’t got to the point yet where we have made any decisions,” Hill said.

Opposition MPs emerged from their second meeting with government ministers Monday feeling more “confident” a deal could be struck — possibly by week’s end.

NDP defence critic Jack Harris said “an emerging consensus” was forming and the parties were discussing ways to allow a group of MPs, with representatives from each political party, to vet uncensored documents.

But Hill said nothing had been decided and all options were still on the table, including tasking former Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci to do the job and report back to MPs.

Bloc Quebecois Leader Gilles Duceppe said his MPs shouldn’t be barred.

“We have mandates just as legitimate as theirs,” he said.

Bloc MPs would “have to swear allegiance to Canada and the Queen” if they want access to sensitive information, said Manitoba Tory MP James Bezan.

“If they are not prepared to do that, then I don’t see any way that we can give them the documents,” he said
Board Of Inquiry To Release Findings Related To June 2006 Afghanistan Detainee Incident
MA – 10.016 - May 6, 2010

OTTAWA – Rear-Admiral Paul Maddison, Commander of Joint Task Force Atlantic and Maritime Forces Atlantic and president of the Board of Inquiry (BOI) into the 14 June 2006 Afghanistan detainee incident, will announce the findings of the BOI in a news conference to be held at 1:30 p.m., Friday 7 May, Conference Room D, National Defence Headquarters, located at 101 Colonel By Drive.

The report will be made available prior to the start of the news conference. Media are asked to arrive by 1:00 p.m. Entrance will be through the Nicholas Street security gate.

Media may join the news conference by telephone at the following number: 1-877-974-0447 for all calls from within North America: 416-644-3421 for calls from outside North America.

Media wishing to attend are required to pre-register online at http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/news-nouvelles/media/contact-eng.asp or by calling the DND Media Liaison Office no later than 0900 Friday at 613-996-2353/1-866-377-0811.

This, from the PM today (highlights mine):
Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that the Leader of the Official Opposition was sworn in today as a Privy Councillor by the Governor General of Canada.
“In my former role as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, I was granted membership to the Queen’s Privy Council,” said Prime Minister Harper. “I was pleased to offer the same courtesy to Mr. Ignatieff in December of 2009.”

Privy councillors are members of The Queen's Privy Council for Canada, established under the Constitution Act, 1867 to advise the Crown. The Privy Council includes all past and present Cabinet ministers, as well as a number of select persons.  Members are appointed by the Governor General, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

“We owe our parliamentary heritage to the grand traditions of Westminster,” noted the Prime Minister.  “Being granted access to the Queen’s Privy Council is both an honour and a privilege.”

During the swearing in ceremony, privy councillors swear an oath of allegiance and the Privy Councillor's Oath which includes maintaining the secrecy of Confidences of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada.  Privy councillors are subject to the Security of Information Act.

Jack?  Gilles?  Any comments?  ;D
I don't get this part of the statement...................

“In my former role as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, I was granted membership to the Queen’s Privy Council,” said Prime Minister Harper. “I was pleased to offer the same courtesy to Mr. Ignatieff in December of 2009.”
GAP said:
I don't get this part of the statement...................

Guesses on my part:
1)  "The Liberals were nice enough to let me in on some secrets, so I thought same-back-at-them would be fair."
2)  "It's not as if he hasn't had any time to think about it."
3)  "Sometimes, process happens."
4)  "It took a while for him to take the bait!"
From the news release (highlights mine):
The Board of Inquiry (BOI) report for the 14 June 2006 Afghanistan detainee incident was made public today.  The Board of Inquiry confirmed that Canadian Forces members acted appropriately on 14 June 2006, taking positive action when they realized an individual in Afghan custody had been mistreated. The Board also concluded that there were differences of interpretation of the March 2006 Theatre Standing Order (TSO) on Detainee Handling at all levels, but these issues were proactively resolved in subsequent rotationsto the point where Canada has an effective and clear detainee management policy.

The Board made no recommendations based upon this investigation, as the issues identified have already been addressed and improvements were made to the TSO and the detainee documentation and reporting process. The report concludes, “It is clear that lessons identified across the chain of command since 2006 have been applied to shape substantive improvements in detainee documentation and reporting. These improvements assure the timely passage of all necessary and relevant operational, legal, and military police information regarding detainees across the tactical and operational levels of command.” .....

More in the statement made at today's news conference and in the BOI report.

I await with interest what MSM picks up on.
milnews.ca said:
I await with interest what MSM picks up on.

I doubt we'll see anything reported. They're only interested in the negative side of this story.
The little I have seen is along the line of the troops knew that detainees were being tortured, which is not quite what the board concluded. For example, this Canadian Press, story which appeared on the Globe and Mail web site and is reproduced under the fair dealings provision of the Copyright Act, puts a negative spin on the story, peaking in the last paragraph where it comes close to claiming Canadian troops were war criminals.

Afghan authorities beat detainees ‘on a whim,’ military inquiry finds
Ottawa — The Canadian Press
Published on Friday, May. 07, 2010 2:14PM EDT

A military board of inquiry says Afghan authorities regularly beat enemy prisoners “in the street and elsewhere” and most Canadian soldiers were well aware of the fact.

The probe into an incident involving a suspected Taliban fighter who was beaten in the street in front of Canadian troops says soldiers on the ground had ongoing concerns about the Afghan police.

The report says the “practice of corporal punishment being meted out on an apparent whim in the street and elsewhere was common and was observed and commented upon by most Canadian Forces members.”

The investigators say the suspected Taliban fighter who was beaten in June, 2006, after he was turned over by the Canadians wasn't deemed a detainee so the incident wasn't reported to military brass.

The board found that while a detainee-reporting process was in place during the incident, it fell to soldiers and commanders to determine when someone was actually in Canadian custody. In this case, the troops on the ground didn't consider the suspected insurgent a Canadian detainee.

The probe made no recommendations because it found the military now has a clearly defined process of documenting and reporting detainees.

The investigation stems from an incident in which Canadian soldiers captured a suspected Taliban fighter and handed him over to local police. Afghan police then beat the man to the point where the Canadians had to intervene.

A report on the incident was apparently uncovered only in December, leaving egg on the face of the country's top military commander. General Walter Natynczyk, the Chief of Defence Staff, told the Commons defence committee that troops had questioned the suspected insurgent, but never detained him.

But Gen. Natynczyk corrected himself a day later, saying Canadian troops did indeed capture the man and gave him to Afghan police before taking him back into custody when they saw him being beaten.

The Chief of Defence Staff then ordered an investigation to determine why the information did not get to him or Rick Hillier, the general who served before him. Rear-Admiral Paul Maddison, commander of the navy's East Coast operation, headed the board of inquiry.

Opposition parties say the episode shows the governing Conservatives had credible proof of torture and knew of the dangers of transferring prisoners as far back as 2006.

The Tories maintain they had no solid evidence of Canadian-captured prisoners being abused by the Afghans before November, 2007.

Diplomat Richard Colvin told a Commons committee last fall 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. Mr. Colvin said all prisoners turned over by Canadian troops to the Afghans were probably then abused by their captors.

Knowingly transferring a prisoner into a situation where they may face a risk of torture is a violation of the Geneva Conventions and a war crime. A Commons committee and the quasi-judicial Military Police Complaints Commission have been looking into the issue of alleged detainee abuse for months.

Here, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions (§29) of the Copyright ct from the Ottawa Citizen is an excellent opinion piece by Prof. Paul Chapin (Queen’s), himself a former senior official in DFAIT:

End the inquisitionb]
A committee that should be monitoring our role in Afghanistan has been hijacked for political ends by wild accusations of torture and nothing in the way of proof


MAY 8, 2010

It was the beginning of the end of McCarthyism when an honourable man finally had had enough.

In 1954, Senator Joe McCarthy had directed his anti-communist inquisition at the U.S. Army and was bullying a witness at a hearing when the chief army counsel, Joseph Welch, told him to stop.

"Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or recklessness. ... You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

The gallery burst into applause, leaving McCarthy bewildered. "What did I do, what did I do?" A few months later, the Senate censured him for his abusive conduct. His career was over.

One hopes such a moment will arrive soon in Ottawa.

The special committee

In March 2008, the House of Commons approved a government motion that set parameters for Canada's future engagement in Afghanistan, including ending Canada's presence in Kandahar in July 2011. In addition, the motion proposed the establishment of a special committee to meet with ministers and officials, travel to the region, and "make frequent recommendations on the conduct and progress of our efforts in Afghanistan."

Instead, for many months now, the special committee on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan has been conducting hearings intended to uncover evidence that government officials and Canadian Forces personnel have been guilty of war crimes in Afghanistan. First came the denunciations, then the hunt for proof. An inquisition by any definition.

The hue and cry has become so loud and insistent, the public hears only from the accusers. Some of Canada's most distinguished citizens have been called war criminals, those who have dissented have been called liars or dupes -- and normally responsible politicians and media outlets, whether out of fear or expediency, have allowed outlandish claims to go unchallenged.

If we are to get at the truth about Afghan detainees, we need to restore some decency to our political discourse. Then we need to dispel myths that have become conventional wisdom through repetition.

Detainee myths

First myth: It's about detainees in Afghanistan. Wrong, it's about politics in Canada. The priority for the opposition parties is winning seats in the next Parliament, and to do so they need to drive down the government's public approval numbers before an election is called. The detainee issue offers a convenient stick with which to beat the government. It's a thin stick, but special interests, partisan academics and much of the media have been supportive and the government has not fought back well.

Second myth: It's about doing what's best for Afghans. Wrong, it's about getting Canada out of Afghanistan as soon as possible -- and no later than July 2011. If the opposition parties were genuinely concerned for the welfare of that afflicted country, they would not just have negotiated the terms for Canada's future involvement in Afghanistan but also endorsed them. In fact, only Conservatives and Liberals voted for the March 2008 resolution. So let's not credit the NDP and the Bloc with pious motives. With the Liberals split over the issue, opponents of Canada's engagement in Afghanistan are putting maximum pressure on the government to ensure there is no backtracking on the decision that Canada leave next summer -- and leave Afghans to their fate.

Third myth: It's about torture. Wrong, it's about feigning outrage over torture while searching for evidence it has occurred. Regrettably for the inquisitors, no evidence has yet been uncovered: no mutilated bodies, maimed survivors, photographs, first-hand accounts, or authoritative reports documenting specific cases with names, dates and places. Not a single individual appearing before the committee has yet provided any such evidence, beginning with the first one. As recently as May 5, the best a representative of Human Rights Watch could offer was further hearsay without corroboration, some dating back to before Taliban rule and none involving Canada. In contrast, the committee has heard many hours of testimony from military commanders, ambassadors, and senior officials refuting allegations Canada delivered detainees over for torture. When their assertions about torture have been probed, the inquisitors have slipped into talking about "abuse" -- then reverted to discussing "torture" when next the issue arises.

Does torture occur in Afghanistan? Probably. It's a society that's been brutalized for more than 30 years and is in the midst of a vicious insurgency that has specialized in targeting civilians. But if torture does occur, there's no evidence it's the rule rather than the exception -- and plenty of evidence serious efforts are being made to improve the Afghan justice system, including millions of Canadian dollars invested.

Fourth myth: It's about Canadian collusion in war crimes. Wrong, it's about Canada respecting its international obligations in wartime while making an extraordinary effort to help rebuild a war-torn society. Canadian Forces are in Afghanistan under the authority of the UN Security Council, under the command and control of NATO, and in support of the sovereign government of Afghanistan. They are expected to treat detainees humanely, and they do so. They are also legally obliged to transfer them to the custody of the Afghan government without undue delay. At issue is whether Canada has any legal obligation in respect of detainees after transfer. Prevailing opinion to the contrary, there is a strong argument that Canada's responsibility for detainees ends when they are handed over and that the onus is on Afghanistan, not Canada, to keep track of them and deal with them pursuant to Afghan law, including international conventions Afghanistan has entered into.

The Canadian government should have expressed itself on the matter. As it happens, the British government has. In a November 2008 letter to the House of Commons Defence Committee, the Defence Secretary wrote that "The U.K. does not have legal obligations towards the treatment of individuals we have detained once they have been transferred to the custody of another state, whether in Iraq or Afghanistan or through the normal judicial extradition process." In January 2009, the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs noted that arrangements negotiated with both Iraq and Afghanistan "ensure that detainees transferred by the U.K. are treated in accordance with those States' respective international human rights obligations including prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment." But, the secretary added, "We consider that ongoing monitoring and access to individuals, transferred in the above circumstances and who remain in Iraqi or Afghan detention, does not reflect a continuing legal obligation on the part of the United Kingdom in respect of such individuals."

Fifth myth: It's about a cover-up. Wrong, it's about the government redacting or withholding documents for the same reasons previous governments have done so. Not in all of Canada's history -- or in that of any country with a Westminster model of government -- has it ever been held that the government of the day must share classified information with backbench MPs who request it. Governments have a job to do, including preserving national security and protecting the confidences of communications with foreign governments. Equally, governments have recognized that the national interest sometimes requires sharing sensitive information with opposition members. In such cases, the parties have improvised ways to make this happen without compromising the national interest. Only internal turmoil can explain why the great Liberal Party of Canada, once considered the natural governing party of Canada, would today countenance an idea that would so damage its future ability to govern.

Time to stop

When he was elected president in 1952, Dwight Eisenhower was the great hope for those who wanted to see an end to the human wreckage McCarthy caused. But Eisenhower would not intervene. "I just will not, I refuse, to get into the gutter with that guy." It was a noble sentiment he later regretted.

Would that good people in our own time not wait too much longer to intervene.

Paul Chapin is a former director general for international security at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He is an adjunct professor in the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University and a director of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

I am 100% with Prof. Chapin; this mess has been twisted and bent all out of shape. I have no problems with people like Prof. Attaran and Byers or the BC Civil Liberties Union; they are, I believe honest and well intentioned people who are pursuing commendable goals (peace, proper conduct, etc) even though, I believe, they are (unintentionally) in league with our enemies and even though I believe their ‘standards’ are too rigid for the 21st century.

My problem is with the people, led by a handful of wholly unprincipled Liberal and NDP politicians, like Ujjal Dosanjh, but including “special interests, partisan academics and much of the media,” who have played partisan politics with an important national interest. They, especially Liberal politicians who served in the cabinets of Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin, are a disgrace to parliament and Canada and one hopes that Canadians will wake up to that fact and, at the first opportunity – the next general election, will toss them on the political dung heap where they belong.

We, all of Canada, has been dragged into the gutter by a few overly partisan political hacks and a media that smells (government) blood and does not mind misrepresenting the facts – lying to be crude – when it helps to sell papers or TV time. It is, as Prof. Chapin says, past time to intervene and for Canadians to recapture the moral high ground from parliament.
And, too bad only a handfull will read the piece. Some will start to read it, then stop as it does not fit into what they believe.
Let's see if MSM applies the principle of "no deal can be perfect" to the ruling government now that we've heard it from the Liberals - this from the Canadian Press:
A former Liberal minister says an Afghan detainee-transfer deal signed under his watch wasn't perfect but it was the best Canada could do at the time.

Bill Graham told a parliamentary committee Wednesday that the 2005 agreement signed by Gen. Rick Hillier, then chief of defence staff, wasn't without its shortcomings.

Perhaps the deal's biggest weakness was a lack of provision for monitoring Canadian-captured prisoners once they had been turned over to the Afghans.

A subsequent deal, signed by the Conservative government in the spring of 2007, included measures for Canadian officials to keep tabs on detainees, such as allowing them into Afghan jails.

"In the end, the agreement wasn't perfect," Graham said of the first deal.

"No agreement is." ....
So, Liberals make a less-than-perfect deal, nobody says anything, and Conservatives make a less-than-perfect deal, try them as war criminals? ? ?  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight...