Saturday, November 28, 2009

Conservative Afghan Story 3.0

If you listen to all the Conservative apologists, and their media minions, this was apparently the week where Colvin's "account" was completely refuted. All the heavyweights at Committee, offering the sober counter, which rendered Colvin a lone wolf, a flawed source. When sifting through diametrically opposed "accounts", trying to determine who is really credible, one very TELLING dynamic is the consistency. With that in mind, the fact that the Peter MacKay of yesterday, bears NO resemblance to the one from a week ago, tells us where the real evidence lies:
Harper government changes tune on Afghan prisoner issue

The Conservative government now says it was aware of “concerns about the state of prisons" in Afghanistan almost from the day it took office and eventually rewrote a prisoner transfer agreement as those concerns mounted.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay offered a dramatically different Tory narrative on the Afghan torture issue on Friday. This capped a week in which the government went from lampooning as Taliban dupes anyone who alleged prisoner abuse to claiming the government took such reports seriously from the start.

A 2005 prisoner transfer agreement with the Afghan government was eventually renegotiated in May 2007 under intense public scrutiny following explosive media revelations about torture in Afghan prisons.

Now, under the weight of evidence that many international organizations were sounding the alarm about treatment of Afghan prisoners, Mr. MacKay says his government knew of the problems and began to act shortly after taking office in January 2006.

“The decision to change the transfer arrangement would have been as a result of a lot of sources of information including those from Mr. [David] Mulroney, those from other individuals on the ground, Elissa Goldberg, those who were involved in the actual PRT, those who went to Afghan prisons to observe the situation," the minister said outside the Commons.

“That began almost immediately after we took office. … Obviously there were concerns about the state of prisons."

Effectively, MacKay is now admitting that the government was well aware of "concerns" (code for mistreatment) since it took office, and in so doing validating the CHIEF issue, that they did nothing for months and months. It has nothing to do with what the government eventually did, it's all about the period where the knowledge existed and the delay in response, that is where they are culpable. MacKay has moved, because the evidence has forced him. The latest admissions, render his previous statements laughable.

The government position now hangs by a thread, completely relying on no "smoking gun" for cover. This "first hand account" nonsense aside (torturers don't generally pose), the actions of the government contradict their position. Why does MacKay now say we worked to change the transfers immediately, if there was no compelling evidence to suggest the change was required? No evidence of torture, but we acted "immediately"? Nevermind the chronology problem, MacKay is in fact reaffirming what Colvin said, using their own reaction to validate. So, the Canadian government changes policies, based on flimsy "evidence" and not "credible" accounts? If anyone can square the contradictions, please let me know.

Yes, it was a great week for the government side. That's why MacKay is backtracking at an alarming rate and the story changes almost daily.


ottlib said...

Hmmmm, this seems to be the MO for this government.

We saw the same "evolution" of message when they talked about the recession.

True, that was over the course of weeks and months but it was very similar to the way they are messaging the detainee issue.

Mark Francis said...

We need an inquiry. Period.

And this is about the bureaucrats, politicians and senior military brass, not our soldiers on the ground.

Jerry Prager said...

There is a fascinating issue developing around the issue of the violation of parliamentary privelege. Apparently Colvin was ordered by his boss not to bring documents to the committee, in clear violation of the rights of parliament. It goes right to the heart of all that is wrong with this government, they ride roughshod over all niceties of law and custom, including the right of the committee to see documents before asking questions. The Speaker of the House at first deferred from making a decision on the issue because it was in committee, where it first had to be raised as an issue, before it could be dealt with in the House, during the routine delivery of the committee report, which Bob Rae did last yesterday. Questions of privelege, or the violation thereof, supercede everything else in Parliament except Question Period, no bills can be passed, and nothing can occur in the House until the issue is dealt with. The essence of parliamentary democracy is at stake here. If the Speaker supports the government, committees become meaningless because they will have effectively been neutered, in which Canadian democracy becomes even more of a farce than it already is.

marie said...

Have the federal Liberals made up their minds yet as to whether they support or oppose the HST?

You tell us DL because you seem to think your in the loop by most of your comments i've read. As a Liberal voter and living in BC, I DO NOT SUPPORT THE HST SERVICE TAX ONE IOTA but when push comes to shove, I DO NOT SUPPORT THE NDP IN BC either. They are nothing but opportunists. Whether we do have to live with the HST, I would still support Campbell provincially and liberals Federly.

Jack Layton and Stevie are users, Con artist's and persons that do not have Canadians at heart but simply looks after their own necks . Sorry if I'm off topic, but as a resident of BC for forty five years, I have seen the damage an NDP government can do to a province and a community. By the way, you can thank Greasy car salesman Layton for the mess our country is in. If he disagrees as much as he says he does about Harper, he's still backing him as leader. I have said it before and I'll say it again. Layton is too predictable. He brags about voting against harper to keep his government alive knowing full well that those times, his vote didn't matter but when it does, see what he does. He suddenly reads the bill when it is convienient for him and no one else. The NDP should be the ones to stand up first for a vote before the liberals when it comes to voting behind the Cons.I am almost sure that he has sold his soul to devilish Stevie to gain a few more votes who is probably laughing his fool head off at Layton the opportunist. They make good bed partners. His sole goal in life is to become the official opposition regardless of what he has to do to get there. I am surprised that his supporters are still believing him. He's a joke in my book and a total phony.

We do need an inquiry and I agree with you Mark. This inquirey will be about the bureaucrats, politicians and senior military brass, not our soldiers on the ground.

It will prove once and for all who the Reform Alliance Con party and their leader really are.

Steve V said...

Off topic propaganda. Click. Sorry Marie :)

Tomm said...

Mark Francis,

You want an inquiry? Vote NDP or Bloc. The Liberal's won't give you one and neither will the Conservative's. (Ujjal Dosanjh has no shame)

I would humbly suggest to the Prime Minister, that he not put up with any more foolishness on this topic. He should draw a line in the sand. A public inquiry on something that "may" have been done by Afghan police between 2002 and 2007 is not a reason for a Canadian Public Inquiry, unless the person calling for it is willing to rip this country apart for partisan advantage.

Oh and by the way, the International Red Cross came out today to critize Colvin. So what is that now?

Credible People... 5
Guy with Chip on shoulder... 1?

Anonymous said...

Since Tomm won't bother to post it, here is the article to which he's referring:

So a Red Cross official is basically saying they are upset because Colvin revealed their concerns publicly. But the reports they "won't discuss" were provided to McKay's office, as we now know. And the Red Cross did not say the reports were wrong.

Not exactly a stinging rebuke. It almost sounds like this official is trying to keep the Red Cross out of the political cross-fire.

If anything, all of these latest events, including McKay's quickly collapsing excuses and shifting explanations, emphasize the need for a public inquiry.

What is the government hiding? How can they proclaim "national security" concerns for not allowing Parliament to see documents yet leak those same documents to reporters and retired Generals?

Where is the transparency?

Tomm said...


Vote NDP.

Anonymous said...


My advice to you is to actually believe Canada can handle an open and honest discussion about this issue.

Please spare me the melodrama about "ripping the country apart" (as you put it) to find out if the conservative government was slow to respond to reports, and then frantically tried to cover up that fact when questioned about it later?

Oh, I think Canada can handle the truth, even if you can't.

Gene Rayburn said...

Tomm, can't handle the fact that his glorious Reformatards are worse than anyone else.

Must be tough having as big of a mouth as Tomm and being so consistently wrong.

On the side of torture, that sure is standing up for Canada eh Tomm.