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Three years ago this month it was Graeme Smith’s reporting on the treatment of Afghan detainees that pushed this issue to the forefront, the government soon thereafter compelled to sign a new transfer agreement. Today, Smith tells us about the notorious operation of Asadullah Khalid, what Canadians knew (or should have known) and how Canada both defended the governor and may have helped fund his work.

A Canadian officer shrugged off a question about whether, in retrospect, Canadians should have monitored the interrogations to make sure prisoners weren’t tortured. “From the Afghan point of view, that would be like your mom sitting down with you on the couch while you’re trying to make out with your girlfriend,” the officer said. “It would have been awkward.”

Separately, Smith talks to a detainee held and tortured at Sarpoza prison.


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  1. It also would have been in line with the Geneva Conventions. How awkward is that going to be?

  2. Paul Martin, Canadian war criminal #1.

    The decision to go to Kandahar, the complete lack of preparedness for everything Canada would face there is entirely on him.

    • How would you know? The Conservative government refuses to release documentation (not publicly, mind you, but to Parliamentarians) relevant to their own (in)actions in the four years they've been in power. They're going to unprecedented lengths to avoid accountability for their own actions.

      Nice that you trust your preferred party so absolutely but I hold politicians to a higher standard.

  3. This goes wider now than politicians TJCook.
    Sadly, it is becoming clear that we learnt nothing in Somalia!
    The officer who is now in jankers for shooting an injured Afghani at point blank range – someone who MIGHT have been Taliban – and now our other ranks knowingly turning over detainees to KNOWN torturers – especially one that the then Foreign Minister in Harper's cabinet – Maxime Bernier – embarassed his colleagues at the time by saying we should get rid of this guy as Governor. I hate to say it of an obvious birkie like Bernier – but maybe he was right!