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More potentially explosive testimony at Afghanistan Committee

More explosive then Colvin’s testimony, if true:

An Afghan-Canadian who served as translator to Canada’s military levelled potentially explosive allegations at a Commons committee today, saying Canadian troops transferred “innocent” men to Afghanistan’s notorious intelligence service and once shot an unarmed man in the back of the head.

Malgarai Ahmadshah, adviser to the former commander of Canada’s Joint Task Force Afghanistan unit, was speaking to MPs probing the detainee issue and this country’s relationship with the Afghan National Directorate of Security…Mr. Ahmadshah also alleged the Canadian government transferred detainees to the NDS with the understanding they would be abused in order to extract more intelligence information from them. “They were […]

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Another brick removed from the wall of secrecy surrounding Afghan detainees

This document hardly makes the Conservative government look good. To paraphrase the article, (since I continue to refuse to directly quote the CBC news articles while they have that iCopyright scheme in place), the Conservative government was warned last year that our relationship with the Afghanistan government’s intelligence agency was not only risky, but possibly illegal.. and this warning was delivered while Canadian officials were defending the relationship.

Reports like this continues to suggest that the reason that the Conservative government continue to refuse to turn over unredacted Afghanistan detainee documents is less to do with national security, and more to do with at a minimum trying to prevent acute […]

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A big blue herring

Yea, the saying is usually a “red herring”, but I felt it appropriate to change it to blue to coincide with the Conservatives, whose colour is blue of course. Anyhow, regardless of the herring’s colour, that’s what this excuse for voting against a Liberal motion calling on the government to include family planning in any G8 maternal health initiative. Apparently, it’s anti-American:

Conservative MPs will vote against a Liberal motion today to include family planning as part of the G8 maternal and child health initiative..it was clear the government had seized upon the second part of the Liberal motion which attacks the right-wing policies of the former George Bush government […]

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‘So be it’

If the Conservatives and Prime Minister Stephen Harper threaten to dissolve Parliament and force an election rather then be forced to turn documents over to Parliament (and having the spectacle of Parliament’s Sergeant-At-Arms seizing the documents/arresting Cabinet Ministers for contempt of Parliament), that’s their prerogative, and their problem. Nowhere in any of the motions of the opposition parties points of order do they state that the failure to produce documents would be considered a loss of confidence in the Conservative government.

The fact that the Conservative government would rather face an election then turn those documents over to either a public inquiry judge or a Parliamentary committee with proper national […]

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The opposition parties stand up for democracy today.

The Speaker has been handed 3 separate points of privilege by the 3 opposition parties today, all asking that the Speaker find the Conservative government in contempt of Parliament for their refusal so far to turn over all unredacted documents referring to Afghan detainees and their treatment (as demanded in a Parliament vote before Christmas), if they continue to refuse to turn over said documents to Parliament.

The liveblogging of the event here from Kady. The full wording of Liberal Derek Lee’s motion here at Maclean’s from Aaron Wherry.

What happens next? Well, the Speaker has reserved judgment for today after hearing arguments. If he rules in favour of the […]

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So asking questions about the detainees is an insult to the Cdn troops?

That’s apparently Stephen Harper’s view from his Google Youtube “interview”.

Normally, I’d be outraged, and post a long-winded rant about what a misleading and idiotic a statement that is, except Harper and his government (see Peter MacKay) have been saying that schtick for awhile (and a large portion of the Canadian electorate/public aren’t buying it) so it doesn’t surprise me he’d repeat it in a scripted tightly controlled “interview”.

Good response here though from a commentator at Susan Delacourt’s blog, that bears repeating:

Our troops didn’t commit torture, they reported it. Ottawa ignored, neglected and denied that those reports did exist, and, tried to destroy the reputation of the person […]

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Conservative version of ‘If you’re not with us, you’re against us’

There is one section of the Conservative government that has definitely not gone on vacation during prorogation; the Prime Minister’s Office, known also as the PMO. They’ve sure been a busy bunch lately; when they’re not smearing respected law professors, they’re going after bankers and finance folks who actually know a thing or two about how the economy works, but who have the gall to disagree with the Conservative government’s narrative. They’re also throwing out hyperbole at opposition MP’s when protesters decide to let the PM know they don’t appreciate or agree with his ideological policies, and casting aspersions on former heads of non-partisan commissions they’ve let go, too.

The […]

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You mean people other then the locals actually can read what I spout? – various Tory MPs.

Seriously, I almost get the feeling Conservative MP’s who have been talking to their local media seem to think that no one else but the locals will read the local interview. Witness the latest attempt by a Conservative MP to justify the prorogation of Parliament; Ron Cannan, MP for Kelowna-Lake Country gives it a go in an interview with the Kelowna media:

For him, prorogation is an opportunity for the Conservative government to concentrate on the economy by implementing the next phase of its economic stimulus program and prepare a new budget. If parliament was in session then the opposition parties could vote non-confidence and force an election before those […]

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Dear Cheryl Gallant

You forgot to explain to your constituents in your overly demagogic newsletter how you can justify killing over 30+ of your government’s bills – many I might add, that your government slammed the opposition parties and Senate over for not passing as quickly as you thought they should; particularly the “law and order” bills your government deemed so crucial and important to get passed. They weren’t crucial and important enough, apparently; shutting down Parliament to stall further Afghan detainee questions on the Parliamentary committee you happen to sit on was, however.

I know your riding isn’t exactly full of progressives, since you still manage to get elected there despite being […]

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EKOS poll: The first hints of discontent with Harper’s prorogue?

Kady O’Malley of CBC details the EKOS poll that has just come out this AM, which shows a Conservative drop and the Liberals now only trailing the Conseratives by 5 percentage points:

Conservatives: 33.1 (-2.8) Liberals: 27.8 (+1.1) NDP: 16.0 (-1.0) Green: 13.4 (+2.2) Bloc Quebecois: 9.8 (+0.6) Undecided: 14.7

Regionally, the Liberals have managed to take back the lead in Ontario – the first time in a long time in an Ekos poll – and the Cons have really slipped back in Quebec (specific numbers available at the aforementioned and linked to Kady article).

Speaking of Kady, her analysis of the poll:

…let’s take a moment to ponder the […]

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