Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Conservatives Not "Credible" On Torture

The first public feedback on the torture question, provides overwhelming rejection of the Conservative retort, in the face of Colvin's allegations. Even amongst Conservative supporters, the government argument finds conflicted support:
Tories not believed in Aghan torture case: Poll

The Canadian Press Harris-Decima survey indicates Canadians are twice as likely to believe whistleblower Richard Colvin's claim that all prisoners handed over by Canadian soldiers to Afghan authorities were likely abused and that government officials were well aware of the problem.

Those who identified themselves as supporters of Prime Minister Stephen Harper's Conservatives were most inclined to give the government the benefit of the doubt. But even they were almost evenly split, with 40 per cent buying the government's take on the issue and 34 per cent buying Colvin's.

Moreover, fully 70 per cent said it's unacceptable that Canadian forces would hand over prisoners if it's likely they'll be tortured. No less than 60 per cent in any region and even a majority of Conservative supporters subscribed to this view.

Harris-Decima chairman Allan Gregg said the results suggest the government's initial strategy of attacking Colvin's credibility has backfired badly.

There's a common sense element to it all. Why would a respected diplomat put his reputation on the line, if he didn't feel strongly that he was correct? Hard to see the "upside" in coming forward, unless there was something to his claims. The Conservative rebuttal doesn't pass the sniff test, and the characterization of "backfire" is appropriate.

The resistance to produce all the requested documentation only feeds the COVER UP angle, another NO WIN for the government.

It remains to be seen if this issue moves the support numbers, but clearly the government is losing the dueling narrative battle.

11 comments:

Marpman said...

Is this government truly credible on any issue? From the economy, public health/safety (H1N1), the isotope crisis, the arts, cheque-gate and now Canada's stance on torture while in captivity this government shows a complete lack of anything.
In a typical right-wing manner...you are on your own now...good luck to us all.

Marpman said...

Whoops...missed a biggie....the environment....oh yeah, we have a stance on that one...we will do what the 'other' guys do. Never mind.

Steve V said...

Obama is going to Copenhagen, so I guess Harper will follow.

Lizt. said...

A waste of taxpayers money if he and Prentice go to Copenhagen. Both will say the same thing, anyway.
Harper sure knows how to spend money left and right...there will nothing left for the Environment.
He is crazy to think he can get ahead of Colvin. He will be in worse shape if he dismisses Colvin.

Steve V said...

To cutback on emissions, they should just stay home. Plus, we won't be embarrassed again on the world stage.

JimBobby said...

If Harper doesn't go, Elizabeth May will be the only party leader there to represent Canada.

Gene Rayburn said...

isnt embarassment on the world stage a key factor of being conservative?

rockfish said...

The CONs' game will just be to muddy the faith in Corbin's testimony - they don't have to prove themselves right. Just as they don't need to show that they have a plan, just throw mud at the other guy's.
Unfortunately, it's worked very well for them (to a point) and could work for them in the coming week. There needs to be one more 'game-breaker' item to come forward, whether in a leaked document or a witness, to make this stick, I think.

Joseph said...

Isn't it sadly laughable how the "Made in Canada" environmental plan morphed into the "We'll Wait to Follow Everyone Else" meme so seamlessly?

Jerry Prager said...

Even Hillier is now defending the Con position, as far as I'm concerned however, Canadian generals are wannabe Pentagonians, and when you combine Harper's urgency to join the Bush League before George W. stepped off the stage, what we end up with is a government and military command playing very dangerous games of power for some very dubious reason, but then I've never had any respect for Hillier or Harper: Hillier wanted a Tim Hortons at the Canadian base in Khandahar, and that said everything just about everything I needed to know about how well Hillier understood where he was and why he was there.

rockfish said...

Is there a chart which depicts the periods that Colvin was 'on the ground' and Hillier was 'on the ground' so that it could provide a picture of who's got more field experience?