‘If you know what I mean’


The CBC finds an account of a 2007 interrogation.

Canadian soldiers were given permission to interrogate detainees captured by Afghan security forces, and at least one soldier followed through, according to documents released Thursday by the federal government.

In at least one case, a soldier assigned to question an Afghan prisoner later expressed concern Afghan forces had abused the detainee before the questioning took place, the documents say.

The revelation is contained in more than 2,500 pages of military detainee documents tabled Thursday by the Conservative government. The documents also show it took almost two years for military police to get around to investigating the soldier’s allegation.


‘If you know what I mean’

  1. Is there any chance at all that the conservatives haven't actually looked closely at these docs themselves? Cuz it would be a tad embarrassing if there was politically incriminating evidence in them.

    • Here's hoping the Conservatives are more interested in fixing the problem (if there is one) than avoiding embarrassment.

      I'm not optimistic.

  2. So what's under the stuff they actually blacked out?

  3. "The documents also show it took almost two years for military police to get around to investigating the soldier's allegation."

    Oh, dear. Smells like a fresh can of worms, there.

    • Not really. Unless you think we are also responsible for the manner in which the Afghan security forces treat prisoners who they have captured themselves. Since Afghanistan is an independent nation responsible for its own internal affairs, we can help them develop effective and humane police and prison systems, but we can't run them, and have never claimed responsibility for doing so. This allegation of abuse was not something that would fall under Canadian jurisdiction in any case.

      • Allegations of mistreatment and torture have to be reported to authorities who can deal with them. If we let allegations fester for years without either investigating or reporting it to those whose responsibility it would be to do so, I'd call that a goof-up.

    • "They ended the investigation after they learned the detainee had not been captured by Canadians but by Afghans."

      Oh dear. Smells like a your fresh worms are only good at catching red herrings

      • And they hadn't concluded that until they actually looked at the case, which is what it took them two years to even do.

  4. Oh dear, Iggy and Jack and all their little helpers herein will be gratified that our very own CBC has found evidence which may suggest that one of our soldiers may be guilty of potentially insensitive internal reportage of a suspicion in the Aghan war theatre.

    • nice try

    • I didn't realize one needed to be a Liberal or dipper to believe it's not a good idea to take two years to run what would appear to be a cursory investigation into an allegation of torture.

  5. All the more reason not to let it fester for two years before investigating.

  6. Maybe they were busy investigating things they actually had jurisdiction over?

      • I didn't think combat engineers were the ones investigating incidents of torture. I could be wrong.

  7. The opposition wanted to look at unredacted documents (in camera). They wanted to question witnesses. The government obstructed both efforts. The House voted to support the opposition. The government ignored the majority vote. The government shut down Parliament, released selected documents to Christie Blatchford, continued its assault on one Canada's top diplomats (Colvin), hired a retired judge with no standing in or responsibility to Parliament to review what it has been withholding (no deadline), and then document-dumped redacted record no one asked for onto the House.

    We've been in this war going on 9 years now. Perhaps it's time to sort out what's gone right and what's gone wrong with our policies and actions … so we can, perhaps, sort our what to do next? Oh yeah, then there's that democracy thingy we keep carping about. Telling countries like Afghanistan about the importance of the rule of law. It would be nice to lead by example.

  8. "He noted the detainee appeared injured and had been engaged in labour, working to stack a pile of bricks."

    This constitutes torture?!?! No wonder it took the MPs 2 years to investigate it, it wasn't a credible claim!

  9. It is clear from the story that the initial soldier who did the interview, along with his supervisor (Capt Parker), were both aware that the detainee was not captured by Canadian soldiers. And there was therefore no complaint or request for an investigation made to Canadian Military Police.

    It appears that sometime later, in pursuing (apparently redundant) due diligence, someone higher up in the chain of command – either civilian or military – asked the Military Police to look into the circumstances.

    They confirmed, once again, that they really didn't have any jurisdiction as the detainee was never in Canadian custody.

    What goes unsaid is that they were probably unable to verify the current condition of the detainee, since he'd probably been lost in the shuffle of the Afghan's notoriously bad prisoner record system (Dozens of the pages released yesterday contain uncensored considerations about what to do about this problem. It is interesting reading).

  10. Now that journalists and MPs are pouring through these documents and posting excerpts and summaries online, they could at least provide the friggin page numbers so we can reads the stuff, too.

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