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The truth will keep dripping out..

…even if Harper does prorogue. Someone is making sure of that by giving the Globe & Mail’s Paul Koring more unredacted documents of Richard Colvin that he sent to Ottawa -this time about how even Canada’s allies in Afghanistan were extremely critical of our secrecy and handling of Afghan detainees:

Canada was faulted by military allies in Afghanistan over the secretive manner with which it handled detainees in the early months of its Kandahar mission, The Globe and Mail has learned. Reports from the Canadian embassy in Kabul in September of 2006 reveal there was unease within the military alliance about how Canada was handling suspects it rounded up and transferred to Afghanistan’s notorious intelligence service.

One of the complainants was British Colonel Dudley Giles, a senior military police officer with NATO’s International Security Assistance Force the 40-plus nation coalition fighting insurgents in Afghanistan. In August of 2006 he brought his concerns to the Canadian embassy in Kabul, saying Canada was stonewalling on providing basic information on the Afghans it was capturing. “Col. Giles made what can only be described as strong criticisms of the Canadian approach on detainee issues,” Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin wrote in a Sept. 28, 2006, memo that was sent to more than 30 Canadian government e-mail addresses – most of them in the Department of Foreign Affairs.

It wasn’t just Colvin who sent these complaints either:

Diplomatic reports from the same period show that Mr. Colvin wasn’t the only foreign service officer relaying criticisms about detainee transfers to Ottawa. A Sept. 11, 2006, memo from a Canadian NATO staffer alerted the government to the fact that the ICRC had singled out Canada’s practice of handing over prisoners to the Afghans on the battlefield, a practice it feared could result in human-rights monitors losing track of detainees.

..and what we were doing – or not doing , was not even following the NATO alliances rules on detainee transfer:

Canada wasn’t providing details even to its allies on what happened to the suspects it picked up. That is despite the fact that ISAF, the command structure for the war in Afghanistan, imposes legal and operational requirements aimed at ensuring detainees are looked after, transferred and held in accordance with international law.

And who was behind all of this resistance to follow legal requirements? Why, National Defence HQ in Ottawa, that’s who. My blogging colleague Pogge is right; former General Hillier should be recalled to the Afghanistan Committee to explain himself on these new revelations:

He was the CDS during the period when Canadian forces in Afghanistan were refusing to cooperate with our allies and flouting the protocols established by NATO for the ISAF. Instructions to do so may have originated with our political leadership but they would obviously have had to go through the chain of command to reach the boots on the ground. Hillier’s at the centre of it and I think he needs to answer a few more questions. Whether or not he’s in the mood.

As Impolitical says, we can see why the government does not want the full Colvin memos released, or any other unredacted information for that matter on the Afghan detainee issue, and it has nothing to do with matters of national security. It has much more to do with limiting politically damaging – and potentially legally damaging – information from being seen.

As others have said though, it appears the truth will keep drip drip dripping out.

2 comments to The truth will keep dripping out..

  • foottothefire

    HE knew about the bribe, he knew about the theft and as sure as God made little green apples HE knew about the prisoner transfer…and committed a war crime by allowing info silencing. Off to the Hague you go now, laddie.

  • As Impolitical says, we can see why the government does not want the full Colvin memos released, or any other unredacted information for that matter on the Afghan detainee issue, and it has nothing to do with matters of national security. It has much more to do with limiting politically damaging – and potentially legally damaging – information from being seen.

    … which has been my (older) point all along – then again, what do I know? 😉

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