Concerns and complaints -

Concerns and complaints


The Globe details the frustrations of two military commanders who found the detainee reporting process to be lacking.

In May, 2007, after allegations that prisoners were being abused, Ottawa toughened its detainee transfer agreement to provide for monitoring visits that allowed Canadians to ensure Afghans weren’t torturing captives. The federal government has held this up as a “robust monitoring system” that ensured it could quickly react to abuse.

But six months later, the Canadian Forces clearly felt monitoring and reports weren’t reaching them. Brig.-Gen. Laroche in his letter lamented “the fact that meaningful investigation reports into previous abuse allegations have yet to be received.” He said this meant there could be a “larger systemic problem” concerning detainees. “This puts this headquarters and indeed the Canadian Forces, in a difficult position.”

Meanwhile, the CBC’s experiment in citizen journalism produces several more redaction curiosities.


Concerns and complaints

  1. I find it interesting that the December document release found such remarks as "Canada bears a residual responsibility for any detainees it transfers to the Afghan authorities" — otherwise known as what this entire thing is about — to be security risks.

    Also interesting: the original release of the same document says "The Cdn Provost Marshall in Kabul has told [redacted] that he would be pleased to provide the information," followed by more redaction. The recent release removes all redaction from that sentence, revealing a completely different picture as it now completes with "but he received explicit instructions from NDHQ not/not to do so."

    It does make me wonder who precisely the people doing the first redaction were and what instructions they were given.

  2. I believe the word "Resign" is in order somewhere here.

    And no, I'm not talking about "the troops."

  3. I'd like to see the CBC's web server stats to see how many Taliban have been downloading these redacted docs.

    • And how, pray tell, do you categorize a particular page-view as "Taliban" or not?

      (Besides, even if you could do so with a guaranteed degree of accuracy, the CBC wouldn't have those stats. Those copies of the documents are hosted on Scribd, thereby saving you tax dollars by decreasing the bandwidth costs of the CBC.)

      • Well, presumably they'd be getting to the documents via the CBC website, which would allow them to track the IPs by geography. But you're right, some normal Afghans maybe interested as well as the Taliban. So I'll change my inquiry to how many of those requests are coming from Afghanistan that are not CF.

        • Associating IPs by geography isn't really that accurate though. What if they're accessing via a satellite uplink that registers as another country? What if they're using one of the many freely available proxy services? What if the info is just plain wrong? (I've had the latter pop up enough, with a number of sites believing that I'm in the US as opposed to Canada based on how I was getting my 'net access at the time.)

          Besides, wouldn't it be possible to get the documents elsewhere? When they got tabled in the House they would have entered the public record, which I'm sure means that there are plenty of other ways to get them.

        • Charles H does show the problem, but I agree that it would be interesting if we could have those stats.