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CSIS involved in interrogating/transferring of Afghan detainees

In the wake of Friday’s allegations from Professor Attaran that Canada turned over prisoners to Afghanistan knowing they’d be tortured in order to get intelligence out of them, this report from the Canadian Press today adds even more fuel to the demands for a full fledged public inquiry and/or the Conservative government turning over all unredacted documents to Parliament:

Security experts stunned by CSIS’s role in questioning Taliban fighters who may have been tortured:

Officers of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service have played a crucial and long-standing role as interrogators of a vast swath of captured Taliban fighters, The Canadian Press has learned..The spy agency’s previously unknown role in questioning detainees adds a new dimension to the controversy about the handling and possible torture of prisoners by Afghan security forces. It also raises more questions about the critical early years in Kandahar when the Canadian military found itself mired in a guerrilla war it had not expected to fight.

..Intelligence expert Wesley Wark says the revelations are disturbing, partly because CSIS would have had no specialized knowledge of how to elicit information from Afghan prisoners.“I find that stunning,” said Mr. Wark, a historian at the University of Toronto.

3 comments to CSIS involved in interrogating/transferring of Afghan detainees

  • Ian

    A public inquiry would be fine but the government MUST also hand over these documents to parliament. For one thing, no government can be allowed to simply ignore the law. For another, we can’t afford to wait two or three years to find out what went on here.

  • Dana

    Similar revelations are surfacing in London as well. Conceivably there will yet be revelations in the other participating NATO-ISAF countries.

    Torture, or if you prefer “enhanced interrogation”, will become normalized.

    This will have to happen because western democracies will not, under any circumstances, accept that they have crossed a moral divide.

    Therefore there was no moral divide in the first place. The churches will lead the way in carefully nudging the dialogue toward this conclusion.

    The previous understandings of the techniques formerly known as “torture” were in error. Our morality, our humanity, our legal and medical frameworks will be adjusted accordingly.

    We will become accustomed to a new frame of reference on the matter. The courts will concur – as indeed they already are beginning to show signs of doing.

    And we will see, in the not too distant future, that similar techniques will become acceptable in domestic criminal investigations as well.

    This is the triumph of human consciousness. We can adapt to anything.

  • This also seems to be a rather troubling revelation, when put into perspective:
    “The spies would sometimes make recommendations on which Taliban prisoners to hand over to the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s notorious intelligence service, the sources said.”

    At this time, did the CSIS know NDS was a torturing outfit? Did they transfer detainees knowing the NDS was a torturing outfit?

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