Rarely do you see such a lopsided finding:
49% find Richard Colvin’s testimony credible; 10% side with federal government ministers
Five to one, find Colvin more credible than the government. Two polls now with the same theme on the crediblity front. This means that these attempts to dismiss his information haven't "struck a cord" with pretty much anyone. Even in Alberta, only 24% believe the government. Further, this lack of support for the government position means that even bedrock Conservatives aren't buying the retort.
The only highlight for the government, as this all unfolds, Canadians aren't necessarily blaming anyone for the torture itself:
Still, Canadians are not ready to point fingers. While one-in-five (21%) blame politicians in Ottawa for the alleged mistreatment of Afghan prisoners, 16 per cent think the Canadian troops in Afghanistan are responsible. A More than a third of respondents believe neither is to blame (36%) and one-in-four (27%)
I believe it's this kind of sentiment that the government is hanging their hat on, an almost passive acceptance that "shit happens", to put it crudely.
However, this debate over a public inquiry isn't one the government is winning:
majority of respondents (53%) support launching a public inquiry on what the government and the Canadian Forces knew about reports of prisoner torture in Afghanistan, while 36 per cent are opposed.
A pretty decisive opinion, in spite of all the baggage surrounding the idea of public inquiries. The government can blame themselves, because their resistance to handing over documents has fueled the idea of an inquiry, to get to the bottom of the confusion.
A couple quick comments on Mulroney's testimony today:
-Apparently, everybody knew that torture was commonplace in Afghanistan, including Mulroney, but a different, more humane culture seemingly existed where Canadian detainees were sent. It's almost farcical to hear Mulroney admit public knowledge, but then make the distinction there was no evidence that it involved Canadian detainees. So, torture was everywhere, just not where we were? Take leave of your senses. That doesn't pass the sniff test, it's merely a way to try and bridge the chasm between knowledge and culpability. Weak.
-Yesterday, there was no knowledge from the military of the Governor using torture. Today, Mulroney not only admits knowledge, but then says the Governor's home was inspected. Okay.
-Mulroney basically said that opinion was heard, in reference to Colvin, but then the high ups would make a decision and surrogates were to accept that policy. Mulroney painted Colvin as a dissenter, who ultimately couldn't accept decision making that didn't completely reflect his personal opinion. I didn't like the tone of Mulroney here, basically it amounted to "you said your piece, we're not addressing it, DEAL".
-We all know that the detainee transfer question evolved over time, and measures were enacted to change the hand over process. Rehashing this, over and over, is completely and utterly irrelevant to what happened prior to that VERY PUBLIC and ALREADY KNOWN change in direction. Meaningless, after the fact, padding.