Monday, December 07, 2009


Peter MacKay is either a speaker of mistruth or a complete incompetent of biblical proportions. MacKay was so unequivocal in his blanket denial, which in and of itself was problematic from the onset. Today's story in the G and M isn't surprising, in fact I've been waiting for it. See, when your argument is basically reduced to an admission of frequent "mistreatment" throughout the theater, with the lone exception being your jurisdiction, you're just asking to be exposed as a fraud. In MacKay's defence, he has been constantly cornered into a forever narrowing box, sensible retorts almost impossible, apart from admitting the obvious.

If MacKay holds to his "no knowledge" defence, then it should be followed up with a frantic "how the hell didn't you?":
Proof of detainee abuse exists, despite MacKay's denials

Sworn testimony by senior Canadian officers and rare uncensored documentary evidence contradict Defence Minister Peter MacKay's repeated assertions that no proof exists of even a single case of a Canadian-transferred detainee abused by Afghan security forces.

The rescue incident dates from June of 2006, during the period when ministers and senior officers now insist they were completely unaware of repeated warnings of the risks of abuse and torture being filed by diplomat Richard Colvin.

I agree with Scott, as I argued previously, that it's time for the opposition to demand a resignation. Too often, that demand is made, and because of it the validity of the request gets lost in the partisan noise. However, in this instance, MacKay is clearly stonewalling any attempt to get to the bottom of this torture issue, or he has no business being a Minister of any kind, simply not fit to hold high office. IF, there was all this information available about detainee transfers, and it never made to MacKay's desk, then we need an inquiry for this matter alone, to address the glaring holes in government operation. It is almost scandalous, that this information never made to the Minister in question, given that we know key foreign diplomats, the Red Cross, the Commission in charge of the transfers which you relied on, the Afghan Prime Minister, our allies, etc, were all taking this issue quite seriously, concerns were RAMPANT. Why wasn't the military sharing this information with the government? Why were staff in MacKay's office withholding this information, should they not come forth and explain their behavior?

Canada may be guilty of war crimes. In this account out today, we clearly see that soldiers on the ground were entirely aware of their international requirements, they understood the parameters and protocols. MacKay himself has admitted that torture concerns are serious, and the government's eventually reforms, in the face of public disclosure, speak to the gravity. It is simply indefensible to claim ignorance, but I suppose the alternative of misleading is worse.


Jesse said...

I doubt he'll resign... wouldn't having him step down be a sign that the government acknowledges something happened? I can't see them changing their line ("nothing to see hear").

And I wonder about making this about MacKay, and not Harper. He's the only face of this government; this is his problem.

Steve V said...

I note MacKay is absent from QP today.

Big Winnie said...

I noticed that too Steve...Having Baird answer questions regarding the detainees, when Hawn was still in the house, is inexecusable.

What I still find amazing is that the CONs are still deflecting the blame by accusing the opposition parties of accusing the military of not performing their duties when, in fact, the government (read PMO) makes the policy, the military follows said policy...The issue rests solely with Harper, MacKay and others in the government.

It's time for the ICC, since the current regime refuses to do so, to have a full inquiry (both Liberlal and CON governments) and let the cards fall where thay may.

This is not a partisan issue, this is a Human Rights issue!

JimBobby said...

This is not a partisan issue, this is a Human Rights issue!

Sadly, when a political party doesn't believe in upholding human rights, it becomes a partisan issue.

Big Winnie said...

So true JimBobby and yet so sad. We're no better than those countries we've condemned for human rights violations.

Steve V said...

I thought Harper was the champion of human rights?

Northern PoV said...

DEMAND a resignation.

wow, bold move!