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Good framing of the public inquiry demands by Layton

Layton’s summary is that if the Government of Canada refuses to start a judicial public inquiry into the Afghan Detainee Issue, then an international body (ie. The International Criminal Court) will potentially do it instead. We don’t want that:

“It’s very important that we take control of this here in Canada because if we do not, then we’re going to find that international bodies are going to start asking questions and conducting their own investigations if we don’t take hold of that responsibility here,” Layton told reporters in Ottawa on Thursday.

The 2nd part of the good framing tactic – playing down that the NDP will ask the ICC to […]

Parliamentary showdown on torture documents - this will be very interesting

Kady O’Malley informs us that there will be a very interesting vote tonight. The Liberals have put forth a motion calling on the Conservative government to turn over all documents as requested by the Afghanistan committee in uncensored format. No big deal, right? The Conservatives will just ignore this motion like every other motion they’ve lost, you think.

The difference between this motion and other motions however, is that this motion has legal weight behind it that would compel the government to turn over documents as ordered by Parliament if it passes. The motion reads:

That, given the undisputed privileges of Parliament under Canada’s constitution, including the absolute power […]

Call up the Hague - Globe shows proof of detainee abuse exists.

Defense Minister Peter MacKay and the rest of the Harper government keeps blathering on about “no credible evidence of torture”. What exactly is this then? And testimony from Canadian soldiers, no less:

Sworn testimony by senior Canadian officers and rare uncensored documentary evidence contradict Defence Minister Peter MacKay’s repeated assertions that no proof exists of even a single case of a Canadian-transferred detainee abused by Afghan security forces. In one well-documented case in the summer of 2006, Canadian soldiers captured and handed over a detainee who was so severely beaten by Afghan police that the Canadians intervened and took the detainee back. Canadian medics then treated the man’s injuries. The […]

Are Canadian officials already being investigated by the ICC?

A very interesting snippet at the end of this Globe and Mail story, which is discussing the documents that show the Red Cross alerted Canadian officials to possible torture going on in Afghan detention facilities:

Separately, two human-rights professors, acting on Mr. Colvin’s testimony, have asked the International Criminal Court in The Hague to expand a preliminary analysis of allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan to include figures beyond retired general Rick Hillier and former defence minister Gordon O’Connor.

That type of wording would seem to imply a preliminary investigation is already being undertaken by the ICC, and that they’re already looking at Hillier and O’Conner’s actions (or lack […]

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