Thursday, December 03, 2009

Nefarious- "Evil, Wicked, Sinful"

Peter MacKay's choice of word, to deflect criticism that vital information is being withheld from the Parliamentary Committee:
"most importantly to protect Canadian citizens, soldiers and civilians who are working in missions like in Afghanistan where they could be put in harm’s way, their lives could be literally be at risk if certain information is made public for a nefarious purpose."

Our elected officials, looking into allegations of torture and international illegalities, is equated to a "evil, wicked" endeavour. I don't have words.

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A few comments from another story today. People will remember, that at the time of the first media accounts of systematic torture of detainees, the primary government defence was to rely on the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission to placate. The government used this Commission for cover, and yet just prior to the time the Conservatives were offering the AIHRC as monitoring screen, that group was "so alarmed at its lack of access that officials complained to President Hamid Karzai".

One, how can the Prime Minister and Defence Minister claim a lack of credible concern, when the agency they cite had brought their concerns to the HIGHEST officials in Afghanistan. Isn't there a logical disconnect, to know that Karzai was getting first hand complaints and Foreign Affairs officials weren't passing on information to the Minister.

Here's the KICKER. Remember that MacKay argued that while there was knowledge of torture generally in Afghanistan, there was no evidence of any allegations within the Canadian sphere? This defied common sense on the most basal level, the argument was basically "torture everywhere, except where we were". Now we learn that MacKay might have been technically correct. It appears there were no credible accounts from Afghan prisoners from the Canadian sector, because NOBODY had access to those facilities, NOBODY had a CLUE what was going on:
the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) had little or no access to the Kandahar detention facility run by Afghanistan's intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security. NATO forces, including Canada, usually hand over their prisoners to the NDS.

"As a result, the commission is unable to monitor the condition of the detainees, as per their agreements with the Canadians, Dutch and others," a commissioner of the Afghan monitoring agency told Colvin.

Stunning.

5 comments:

Tof KW said...

Ya, so because the AIHRC had no access to say otherwise, Kandahar province was the only place in Afghanistan where the local prison system didn't torture detainees.

If anyone believes this, I have primo beachfront property for sale by Tuktoyaktuk.

Joseph said...

Hey Steve,

I know you kinda like Coyne, but did you see him on the "At Issue" panel last night. The spittle was flying at his contempt that the Opposition leaders didn't rally behind Harper after his slight in Canada. He was raging at the horror of politics not ending at the water's edge, like "it's supposed to."

Maybe you could send him an email and ask him if his strong feelings extent to the countless times Harper has launched political salvos from foreign soil. I'm just not as familiar with that little corollary, I guess.

What was particularly surprising was how the other participants, including Mansbridge, just let it slide by. It practically screamed to be at least mentioned, but no. Chantal even offered her own nod to his opinion.

I was stunned. Are they studying Faux News tapes at CBC "newsworld" now?

Steve V said...

"I know you kinda like Coyne"

Not really a big fan, he's just a reflex contrarian. His moral indignity routine wears thin. When he's not on a crusade, I find him quite insightful.

Quite a newscast, first that nonsense from him, then Murphy the fossil becomes unhinged. Liberal media ;)

Joseph said...

I was just teasing you a bit ;).

Yes, watching Rex gives me that cringy "I feel so sorry for the old man" feeling, hoping it won't be me someday ;). So I avoided him though I did catch a little from the other room.

Hope all is well.

Steve V said...

It's a bit funny, the way the sceptic crowd is now seizing on one faculty and extrapolating that all of the science is now bunk. I guess all that ice is back at the north pole now... Meanwhile, 300 climatologists in CANADA, with no affiliation, send Harper a letter demanding immediate action.