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Will Ms. Joya face the same attacks on her as Richard Colvin?

It’s what this government does best when threatened with a view contrary to the spin they wish to put out. It’s possible however that in the case of Ms Joya, MacKay and company will probably just dismiss this as more “second-hand information” and try not to go over the top with their rebuttals. You never know though with this bunch:

Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin’s claim that detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons were likely tortured is true and an “open secret” in her country, a former Afghan MP said in Ottawa on Thursday…Malalai Joya, a human rights activist who was suspended from the Afghan parliament in 2007 for openly […]

Verbal semantics used to justify ignoring Colvin's reports?

A couple of other bloggers have already mentioned this, but it’s worth repeating. Did the Generals testimony yesterday really refute Colvin that strongly?

Look at what one of Colvin’s redacted reports say, courtesy of Boris over at The Galloping Beaver:

From Richard Colvin’s reports beginning in May 2006 :

3. Of the XXX detainees we interviewed XXX said XXX had been whipped with cables, shocked with electricity and/or otherwise “hurt” while in NDS custody in Kandahar. This period of alleged abuse lasted from between XXX and XXX days, and was carried out in XXX and XXX. XXX detainees still had XXX on XXX body; XXX seemed traumatized. This alleged […]

Generals parrot the Conservative line of 'no reliable information' on torture.

So, the three military brass, led by the former General Hiller, as expected basically said that Colvin didn’t know what he was talking about when he made his testimony last week. Gauthier even questioned the dates of when Colvin first informed folks, saying they were off by a year.. or at least nothing got to him from Colvin til after the Globe and Mail’s expose on the torture story in 2007. None of these folks heard, or saw, anything on torture reports or concerns apparently from Colvin, or dismissed them.

However, when questioning them, one of the opposition party members on the committee, as reported by Kady O’Malley’s liveblogging of […]

In other news, Colby Cosh is back.

More on the Afghanistan inquiry soon, but in case you missed it, Colby “I think global warming is overblown” Cosh, recently let go by the departed from the National Post, has found employment at Macleans. You can guess what he’s writing about – he’s picked up where he left off by spewing the same nonsense on climate change that he was spewing at the NP.

It’s no surprise he’d try to claim that all these hacked emails somehow discredit global warming and climate change, but as other more credible people on this file show, they clearly don’t do that. Colby is just blowing hot air here.

UPDATE – 12:03 pm […]

Canadians believe Colvin, reject torture – poll (PS: Join the Facebook group demanding a public inquiry)

It appears the furious attacks on Richard Colvin’s testimony – and the man’s reputation – has backfired on the Conservatives:

Canadians aren’t buying the Harper government’s assertion that there’s no credible evidence Afghan detainees were tortured, a new poll suggests…Fifty-one per cent of respondents said they believe Colvin’s testimony to the committee last week. In stark contrast, only 25 per cent said they believe the government’s contention that the diplomat’s claims are flimsy and not credible.

Even more strongly noted in this poll, Canadians are totally against turning over prisoners if it’s known they’ll be tortured:

Moreover, fully 70 per cent said it’s unacceptable that Canadian forces would hand […]

Gerald Keddy's non-apology apology

Shorter Gerald Keddy (my and others interpretation):

I only believe the unemployed are no-good bastards, I shouldn’t have actually said they were.

This is supposedly one of the “moderates” in the Conservative Party – that should tell you something about their current ideological makeup.

(H/T to my friend Ryan)

Think you've seen this movie before? You have indeed.

It seemed like the Conservatives were in a big rush to get current Canadian ambassador to China – and formerly Richard Colvin’s boss – David Mulroney back to testify to try and refute Colvin’s claims that his reports on torture in Afghanistan were ignored or even discouraged – with Colvin mentioning Mulroney’s name as one of those who had done the ignoring/discouraging. They were in such a rush that they got him a plane ticket to appear before he was even formally invited by the Afghanistan committee.

The opposition parties aren’t going to allow that until the Harper government turns over relevant government documents on the Afghan torture file […]

Afghan agency reported 400 cases of torture - 47 of them in Kandahar.

I’m presuming that Peter MacKay and the rest of the Conservative government will claim since this agency didn’t actually, you know, see the torture first hand, it’s ‘not reliable’:

An Afghan agency, at one time entrusted to monitor Canadian-captured insurgents in Kandahar, says it has documented nearly 400 cases of torture across the war-ravaged country…The Conservative government has described Colvin’s allegation as hearsay, unsubstantiated and “simply not credible.” However, the Afghan commission said it uncovered 47 cases of abuse in Kandahar, which was ranked third in terms of the number of abuse claims in the country.

“Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment are common in the majority of […]

Brit media picks up Colvin story, & more folks come to the defence of Colvin.

Well, it appears some of the British press have started to notice the Colvin testimony and are interested in hearing about it: Courtesy of Impolitical, here’s an op-ed from Colin Horgan for the Guardian:

Time for truth about torture After a whistleblower revealed Canadian complicity in the torture of Afghan prisoners, a full public inquiry is vital

MacKay spent his Thursday afternoon on the major Canadian news networks, attempting to undermine Colvin’s testimony. But given Colvin’s high rank and non-partisan position, it seems difficult to imagine what Colvin might have to gain from lying…

A public inquiry is necessary. Taking this discussion outside of partisan bickering in the House […]

Arar commission counsel rejects the 'have to see it to believe it' defence of the government.

A lot of professional diplomats and other credible persons are coming to Richard Colvin’s defence today. This Star column is an interview with Paul Cavalluzzo, the senior commission counsel at the Maher Arar inquiry. He says the Conservative government’s claims of needing “first hand evidence” to believe that torture was being committed in Afghanistan is not very credible and very similar to what Maher Arar faced:

…Cavalluzzo, a respected Toronto lawyer, cited similarities between the Conservative government’s hard-line position and Canada’s role in the torture of Arar in a Syrian prison.. “I saw many similarities because his (Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s) position seems to be that unless you see the […]

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