The memorandum, drafted by officials at the Department of Foreign Affairs, says that if "NGOs, relatives, media or otherwise, make credible allegations that detainees transferred by CF [Canadian Forces] to Afghan authorities have been potentially abused following their transfer," officials must inform the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Red Cross "and to follow up separately to address potential concerns with the conditions of detention."
First drafts of the documents were written as early as March 2007, months before the Globe and Mail reported that 30 transferred Canadian detainees were "beaten, whipped, starved, frozen, choked and subjected to electric shocks during interrogations."
The obvious- the government was aware of abuse problems and were preparing a SOP to deal with any revelations. What the CBC doesn't do is join this revelation with another made by the Chronicle Herald last December. In that article, we learned that the Red Cross was concerned about torture allegations, so the Conservatives devised a 8 point strategy to appease. This communication strategy was put in place in February 2007, around the same time these other rules were applied:
The document also warned officials to prepare "an interdepartmental approach" for dealing with "the potential scenario where allegations of mistreatment or torture are substantiated."
...No. 1 on the eight-point plan for officials was to "Prepare standard key messages (ie. importance of adhering to obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law regarding the treatment of detainees.)"
What you have is a congealing picture of the government desperately trying to get their messaging in order, as well as laying down channels to deal with allegations. It defies logic that a government would go to the lengths of co-ordinating messaging strategies between agencies, as well as documenting how to deal with allegations, if they were UNAWARE that credible torture existed. We have a gov't working behind the scenes to prepare the ground, in case of public release. All of these measures PRIOR to any public hint of wrongdoing.
Taken in totality, you have see a flurry of activity, within all departments involved to formulate a damage control plan, and it's multi-layered. It is entirely clear, that this was a government BRACING for public disclosure. This amount of effort is never expended unless the government was aware of credible allegations, unless they feared actual proof existed. The CBC release show the gov't expected allegations, at the same time we have evidence of a public relations campaign to deal with the issue. Hello!