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A closely watched Committee appearance today

This has the potential to be a big deal today, if the previews are correct:

Handling of Afghan prisoners covered up: report

The testimony of a Canadian diplomat before a parliamentary committee Wednesday is likely to provide disturbing information about the government’s handling of Afghan detainees, CBC News has learned. The testimony of diplomat Richard Colvin is expected to provide details of what sources describe as an “unusual system” that saw Afghan detainees transferred to Afghan prisons, with little care about the conditions there. “I think it will be a difficult story for Canadians,” a source told the CBC, adding they could be both surprised and disturbed by what Colvin says.

A source familiar with the handling of detainees during the time Colvin was in Afghanistan, said the diplomat could reveal ugly information about the way the government responded to the reports. The government could end up accused of being simply unwilling to deal with the torture claims or of “looking the other way,” as the source put it.

This was the diplomat who was blocked earlier this year from testifying at the Military Complaints Commission by the Conservative government, claiming what he had to say would “breach national security”. It may turn out to be they were blocking his testimony because it could be both politically embarrassing and damaging to them. However, the Conservatives will not be able to silence him at this Committee, as Kady O’Malley explains:

Subpoenaed to appear before the military complaints commission investigating alleged prisoner abuse, his testimony was briefly blocked by government lawyers earlier this fall on the grounds that his story could run afoul of national security laws. But, as members were recently reminded by House Law Clerk Rob Walsh, parliamentary privilege puts the committee above that, and every other, law of the land; they have the right to ask whatever questions they want, and — perhaps even more importantly, given the government’s efforts to silence this particular witness — to have those questions answered.

Kady will be live-blogging the testimony here at 3:30 pm EST. I imagine I’ll be either updating this blogpost or doing a new one.

UPDATE @ 5:11 pm: Pogge’s right – The fat is indeed in the fire. I’m a little harsher then Pogge however – I think every Conservative MP on that Committee was acting stupidly with their questions – no doubt with the aid of the Prime Minister’s Office.

2 comments to A closely watched Committee appearance today

  • I’m a little harsher then Pogge however…

    In my own defence, the day’s business wasn’t done when I posted. I’m not done either. I just can’t do it justice right now.

  • It doesn’t matter which party is in power, when shit like this happens they all try to sweep it under the rug,… Although, the CPC were suppose to be this new, accountable and transparent governement,… yet it seems they are just as bad as governments of old,…

    Did we ever have this ideal Government in our history? Or is just a dream?

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