'If there are specific problems' - Macleans.ca

‘If there are specific problems’


The Prime Minister responds to last night’s CBC report.

“These reports continue to be things that have been said before, and our position is the same: Whenever there are specific allegations of abuse under the agreement, action is taken to investigate those,” Harper told reporters at an event with Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty in Mississauga. “There is a rigorous arrangement of monitoring and oversight in the new prisoner agreement, and it has continued to work effectively. As I say, if there are specific problems, they are investigated and appropriate action has been taken. That has been the case for over three years.”

For the record, a pair of Mr. Harper’s ministers assured the House late last year that no substantiated allegations of abuse existed. That 2006 field report seems to confirm one such case and suggest that similar abuse had happened in the past. A Board of Inquiry investigation into the events described in that field report was completed last month, but does not yet appear to have been released publicly.


‘If there are specific problems’

  1. Hey, listen, the Tories are leading in the polls. Rick Hillier is a hero. So there.

  2. As I say, if there are specific problems, they are investigated and appropriate action has been taken.

    How sad is it that when I read this quote from my own Prime Minister, I have to wonder to myself if by, "appropriate action has been taken" he means "the results of the investigation, and all of the initial reports that led to the investigation, have been redacted from the record".

    Even if the Prime Minister hadn't completely destroyed my confidence in his transparency, and the transparency of his government, I wouldn't believe ANYONE who told me "Trust me, everything's being handled appropriately now. We can't show anyone else the evidence proving that we're handling everything appropriately now, but trust me, if you could see it you'd be pleased." I'd like to say that I can trust him, but how many times now have the Tories needed to backpedal when something they said couldn't possibly be true turned out to be true, and we found out about it only after the underacted documents were released?

    Fool me once…

    • "As I say, if there are specific problems, they are investigated and appropriate action has been taken…"

      Let's put that another way: 'As I say, if there are specific problems, they are investigated and all legally-available information has been released.'

      If I were playing the Legal Weasel Words Drinking Game, I would pass out right about now.

      Hey "principled Canadian conservatives" – defend this. I freakin' dare you.

  3. The memo referenced by the CBC report did not discuss "specific problems" or a "specific incident". Just that the Afghan secret police routinely carries out specific incidents and problems. So you're in the clear until the Afghan secret police report some of these incidences eh Harper?!

  4. Too bad for Mr. Harper that the conventions don't give a hoot about "specific" incidents.

    Wonder how the Hague is these days?

    • Please, keep fantasizing about war crimes charges for politicians you hate on the basis of policy decisions. Please. It's like the birthers with Obama: whatever tenuously valid legal argument you have is swallowed whole by the utter implausibility of the outcome you're wishing for.

      • Wow. That's sure a long-winded way of saying "I hope not!"

        • No, it's a pretty straightforward way of saying "Keep doing this thing you're doing, because it makes the most virulent Harper-haters look like lunatics who can't be trusted with power and whose favoured policies should be shunned."

          No member of this government will be treated as the war criminals you so fervently believe they are. That's not a hope; it's a fact. To think otherwise may help you get worked up into an enjoyably righteous rage, but it's not realistic.

  5. Kinda reads like a lawyer vetted it first.

  6. Impressive. The Taliban prisoner comfort squad are still flogging this dead horse.

    A pitty the single field note, a rejection by the Supreme Court to hear a case by the same two groups continue to get played by through a copy and paste media.

  7. Unfortunately it is mostly a problem of general contempt for the truth and parliament. There are specific instances of this, but correcting any one does not address the malaise.

  8. The other sad consequence of Harper's handling of this issue is that it further erodes support for an extension, of some sort, of our role in Afghanistan (which I would support). Could Harper and MacKay have done a worse job of selling this mission at home? I suspect that their secretive approach makes the handling of the detainee issue seem much worse (in the eyes of the public paying attention to it) than it really is. I agree with commentators who say he should swear-in Ignatieff so that he may view all documents on his own. If Harper has nothing serious to hide, Ignatieff will still accuse of the Harper government of too much secrecy but may just move on, so the two major parties can focus on carving out our future role in Afghanistan.

  9. One specific problem seems to be the omission of "substantiated" from whatever dictionary Aaron uses…

  10. I do not agree. I was serving while he was CDS. He cares more for himself, he did not care (look after) for the troops as far as I was concerned. If any Military was to be chosen, then Rick Hilier or Lou MacKenzie. They cared for the troops, especially Hillier, he would make an excellent Commander in Chief.