"If these documents were released [in full], what they will show is that Canada partnered deliberately with the torturers in Afghanistan for the interrogation of detainees," he said.
"There would be a question of rendition and a question of war crimes on the part of certain Canadian officials. That's what's in these documents, and that's why the government is covering up as hard as it can."
The Afghan detainee story is the lead on both CBC and CTV, with the former doing the heavy journalistic lifting. One can be sure, that this issue will dominate Ottawa next week and beyond. The allegations are explosive, which will embolden the opposition to REJECT the latest stall tactic from the government.
Personally, I'm inclined to believe these allegations, because the seriousness entirely fits with the gov't reaction to date. From the outset, the Conservatives have seemingly over-reacted in trying to obstruct any type of examination. It is the way the gov't has conducted itself that suggests something scandalous is at the heart. If you have nothing to hide, you don't operate in this way. In fact, these charges are completely consistent with a government desperate to hide information. Apologists have argued "nothing to see here", but that argument is undermined by the Conservatives posture. I've always felt there was much more to this story, not because of what we've learned, but because of the lengths the Conservatives have gone to obstruct.
Politically, one has to wonder if this is a game changer? This detainee story once again dominates Parliament, with the added weave being prorogation. The entire narrative centers around a government usurping Parliament's will, operating outside of the law, covering up information, misusing it's power to thwart accountability. It's a potentially fatal concoction, because once a government loses it's moral authority, history shows its days are ultimately numbered.
Rather than this story fading, as the Conservatives had hoped, we now have a situation where the stakes have been raised. While Conservatives took some comfort from the fact that detainee treatment wasn't a top tier concern of Canadians, the issue has morphed into an entirely different set of questions. This story has reached scandal proportions, with all kinds of domestic and international considerations. Attaran is correct to characterize these allegations as much more serious than the Somalia affair, they could well dominate the political landscape for months. Calls for an inquiry will grow louder, more leaks will emerge, the Conservatives have boxed themselves into an untenable position. There is no upside now, political damage a foregone conclusion, the only question, extent.
In the final analysis, these allegations only serve to cement the view that Harper ran from Parliament, to thwart accountability. The government is right back where they left off prior to proroguing, but in reality it is much worse. Canadians will now demand full disclosure and the entire spring session(and beyond) will be hijacked by these charges.