The Board of Inquiry report -

The Board of Inquiry report


The BOI report into the incident of June 14, 2006 is available here. The following is parts E and F of the findings.

The Board found that by virtue of his personal and professional readings, the multitude of rumours the 3 Section Commander had heard within Task Force ORION and his own direct observations of the casual violence with which the Kandahar City Afghan National Police went about their duties, he was predisposed to think the worst of the Afghan National Police, especially those for whom he had already formed a low opinion [REDACTED]. The Section Commander genuinely believed that the Afghan National Police had assaulted prisoners in the past. The Board also found that despite all the innuendo and chat about Afghan National Security Forces prisoner abuse, the Section Commander had nothing but rumours by way of evidence to conclude that there was systemic Afghan National Police prisoner abuse.

The Board also found that in the opinion of those Canadian Forces members who had the opportunity to work with them, the level of reliability and professionalism of the Afghan National Security Forces in general, and that of the Afghan National Police in particular, was low. For some specific groups of Afghan National Police, the levels were even worse. The practice of corporal punishments being meted out on apparent whim in the street and elsewhere was common and was observed and commented upon by most Canadian Forces members. Corruption and bribery were also observed. Specific abuse of prisoners in general was not observed by Canadian Forces members (other than the 14 June 2006 incident), though the casual violence of the cultural practices of the country in general applied to the Afghan National Security Forces and its prisoners generally. All Canadian Forces members felt there was a professional obligation to help mentor the Afghan National Security Force with whom they worked to help in the process of professionalizing them.

More from the Canadian Press, CanwestCBC, CTV and Reuters. At the end of the news conference announcing the release of this report, a Radio-Canada reporter pursued—better than I had moments earlier—this distinction between “direct observations of casual violence” and “specific abuse of prisoners” with Rear-Admiral P.A. Maddison.

Q. From what I’ve heard from you is that it was common knowledge at that time, and maybe it’s not specific to that event, but in general knowledge at that time, that if you transfer somebody to the Afghan forces or to the Afghan police, it’s likely they could be mistreated? Do you agree with that impression?

A. No. Talking to the soldiers on the ground, who provided sworn evidence, what they told us was they believed it was a cultural norm for Afghan National Police or Afghan authorities to offer sort of minor forms of violence to Afghan citizens, but there was never any direct observation or any expectation amongst our folks that we could see in the evidence that was provided that they would expect detainees transferred to the ANA or the ANP to be abused. There was no evidence that we took.

Q. But it was common knowledge that they mistreated the detai—, they could beat somebody and they noticed that the detainee in that case specifically was mistreated though.

A. But in this case. This was the first instance of Canadian Forces observing a detainee being abused in any way. And as I’ve already described, this was, the injuries were minor. He was beaten with a shoe, which was a form of cultural insult.


The Board of Inquiry report

  1. Um, I just watched the announcement on CBC. The speaker, I believe it was Rear Admiral Maddison, said pretty clearly that the incident on July 14 2006 was a case where a Canadian detainee had been abused by the ANP, and that Canadians witnessed and verified this.

    There was some confusion about this, however, as this particular detainee wasn't identified as being a detainee due to a misunderstanding of the definition of "detainee" (they were just holding him briefly before turning him over to the ANP for questioning) and because this particular incident was confused with another that happened on the same day when it was reported up the chain of command.

    As far as shoes go, would you want to be hit with a shoe if you were taken in by the police for any reason?

    • NO, but to them is symbolic, we are different cultures and to them this is to show you how little we think of you, how worthless you are.

      • So, wouldn't that imply that its worse to get hit with a shoe over there than it is here? I don't get people who'd try and play down getting hit with a shoe: it isn't like the symbolism in any way mitigates things.

        • We have 27 people dead (got it buddy …. 27 fricking DEAD) in CANADA because of THE USE OF OVERPOWERED electrical cattle prods upon their persons by Canadian police and you want to argue a fricking shoe?

          Give it up man …. there is something wrong with you! You are hatred driven!

          A young man gets shot in the back of the head in BC and it's whitewashed and you worry about some Afghan doing some other Afghan with a shoe!

          An unarmed man is shot 5 times and there is proof that the RCMP shooter lied and you worry about a striking shoe!

          An Edmonton cop shoots a man 7 times for fighting his dog and has so far got away with it and you want to spend millions of dollars investigating in a foreign country over a damn shoe!


          • Heaven forbid that on a blog posting about an inquiry into the treatment of an Afghan detainee that I'd post stuff about Afghan detainees.

            You do realize that just because people care about one thing doesn't mean they don't care about others, right?

          • You said: "I don't get people who'd try and play down getting hit with a shoe: it isn't like the symbolism in any way mitigates things".

            Well son, I don't get people who'd try to play UP getting hit with a shoe.

            Every whine by the lefties amongst us is distilled by the enemy as weakness – wrap your mind around that! You can rail all you want after the mission is over, but for now, your whining has an effect on the moral of the enemy. We used to understand that lose lips sink ships …. are you bright enough to understand what that means …. if we are defeatist the other side gains encouragement ….. do you really believe that we do not have a fifth column here in Canada keeping and communicating the score and our collective will to finish what we started?

            Your posting encourage the enemy and young Canadians are killed because of it. The number of Canadian Forces' fatalities resulting from Canadian military activities in Afghanistan is the largest for any single Canadian military mission since the 25th Canadian Brigade suffered 309 combat-related deaths (and approximately 145 non-combat deaths in-theatre) in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. A total of 143 Canadian Forces personnel have been killed since the mission began in 2002 and you worry about some poor Afghani being hit with a shoe.

            You do realize that you and your "friends" create hope and encouragement for the Afghani to throw out the foreign invader don't you.

            You realize of course that you are complicit in assisting and encouraging the enemy to kill Canadians, don't you …. it's so obvious that you must understand that.

            I'd love to hit you with a shoe after all, it isn't like your abysmal ignorance mitigates your crass stupidity!

  2. So, beating down people on the streets is "lacking professionalism" now?

    • Well.. one must admit it certainly is "lacking professionalism"… professionals take them out of the public view.

    • Hey …. you ever raise any anger about your local police "beating down people in the streets"?

      Oh … that does not happen, you say ….. Get over your hatred of Harper and look at what happened in your city today!

  3. At the news conference, there were two explanations given of why this Afghan was not considered a detainee.

    First, "the Board also determined that it was the Section Commander's reasonable assessment that the decision to detain had not yet been taken and that it was a future decision to be taken" So the Afghan was more of a holdee than a detainee.

    Then there is a second explanation, "Similarities between this incident and an unrelated incident earlier that day resulted in elements of the unrelated incident being erroneously included in the memo." The news conference seemed to say that the discrepancy revolved around the status of the Afghan but this is not clear in the written report. It is amazing good fortune, though, to have uncovered two reasons why this was never before seen as a case of a Canadian detainee being abused.

    It would be nice to know the details of the similar incident to see how the two were similar.

  4. OT: I think I just got another square on my Macleans Bingo! Card. Pretty sure I passed by Wherry downtown. That or you have a doppelganger.

  5. So boil everything down to the essential facts and we are still as we were = no actual evidence anywhere except the shoe! – I wonder how many people realize that slapping a man with his own shoe is a symbolic act and not used for the effect of an actual assault – does anyone remeber G.W. Bush and the ' Shoe ' thrown at him –

  6. A joke: "Better a shoe than a taser."

    • Not a joke …. tasers have killed 27 Canadians and no one is talking about that.

      Man – WTF are their priorities?

  7. How hard, and how many times was this person hit with the shoe? It's still a beating. Who says a shoe can't hurt someone? If it's humiliating, it's worse.

    • An 82 year old man was tasered in Kamloops while in his hospital bed with a 2-1/4 inch penknife in his hand. A 74 year old was tasered by RCMP in Kelowna for double parking. A 15 year old native girl was held down and tasered in RCMP cells RIGHT HERE IN CANADA BY CANADIANS …..

      What is wrong with you ….. 27 human being killed IN CANADA and you whine about Afghani on Afghani violence!

      The number of Canadian Forces' fatalities resulting from Canadian military activities in Afghanistan is the largest for any single Canadian military mission since the 25th Canadian Brigade suffered 309 combat-related deaths (and approximately 145 non-combat deaths in-theatre) in the Korean War between 1950 and 1953. A total of 143 Canadian Forces personnel have been killed since the mission began in 2002 and you worry about some poor Afghani?

      Worry about the father, mothers, wives and children left behind by our continued participation in this folly.

      Raise some money for the children's education rather then trying to find scapegoats because of your political stance.

      Man Oh Man …. you people are just not real!

  8. Smerking James addresses the media. It sounds like the conservatives are going to float a loan from the EU. Our debit 60 billion military plus 50 billion graft. Time for a lynching.

  9. Canadian Detainees were tortured and are being tortured in Afghanistan. The Harper government claims that opening up documents would be a threat to national security. Nobody but Harper is suggesting that national security can be breach. Harper is living in abject fear of those documents, because Canadians will learn that Harper's ideological need to please his own base and George Bush, will reveal Harper's utter incompetence in managing the war and that it cost Canadian lives. Harper is a treasonous evangelical fundamentalist Texas Republican redneck…and anybody in this country that believes Harper is a traditional Canadian conservative is an idiot.

    • I have been trying for three years to get the details of the killing of an unarmed man here in Canada by RCMP you ideologically driven moron … Canadian are being tortured by Canadian police just about every day with the use of an souped up cattle prod …. 25 Canadians and 2 foreigners have been killed by Canadian police with this actual torture instrument approved for use by an NDP and then by Liberal governments and you are hung up on Harper!

      Give you head a shake …. maybe it will re-establish some common sense there!

      Don't like Harper, don't vote for him and press your party to call for a vote!

      George Bush has been gone for over a year stupid … it's George Bush dark in there now!

      Go away you revisionist idiot – your idealogical hatred makes you unstable!

  10. Canadian Prime Minister advocates release of Canadian Islamic terrorist, who brings at least one son into Afghanistan to engage in combat against a major Canadian ally, the US military. This traitor is, at minimum, a non-uniformed enemy combattant (enter child soldier argument here although fifteen years of age makes it a tad murky), and at worst, a murderer. The traitor is gravely wounded during his insurgent activities, and is saved by the US military health care machinery in Aghanistan and all over the world. The traitor is detained in Gitmo, and suffers such degrading treatment as interrupted slumber and rude questioning. Canadian government agents interview this traitor and share the info with Canada's major ally.

  11. "Mistreatment", not torture.
    cuffed upside the head with a shoe… not torture.

    30 witnesses said they were saw nothing, other than this event with a shoe, and stepped in.

    Not torture.

  12. Let's see if I have this right. Hitting someone with a shoe is now considered torture by the Liberals, if it is done in Afghanistan?

    • I think it's more the hitting part than the shoe part that people are concerned about.

    • I didn't know the Liberals had commented on it yet.

    • Imagine the trouble the conservatives would have saved themselves if they didn't prorogue parliament over a shoe.

  13. To be clear,

    its a war zone where women and children are being blown to pieces, its regular and accepted policy to blow up suspected militants with predator drone missles, the enemey is plotting to blow up N. Americans, and after months of headline grabbing drama,

    someone was cuffed with a shoe?

  14. What amounts to a minor scuffle in any late night tiff, drunken brawling at any nighclub accross the country, and certainly expected in any junior level and above hockey game,

    happens in a brutal war zone, is supposed to capture national headline attention???

    The pathetic media and their leftists patrons have come to this, in their deperate desire to find some "gotcha" moment, on the backs of brave young Canadian soldiers?

    Shame on them.

  15. So, let me see if I have this straight:

    • so many replies! must have been a very pithy comment!

  16. RCMP has info, shares it with USA. Result: USA ships Canadian to Syria, where Canadian alleges he was tortured before returning to Canada. Result in Canada: Self-flagellation and compensation to the tune of millions of $, even though Canada did not ship Canadian to Syria and even though Canada did not torture Canadian. Result in USA: … Result in Syria: …

  17. The only truly remarkable items so far is the prime minister's behaviour in the first sentence, and the US military's devotion of considerable resources to save the life of someone who allegedly just killed one of their own. Result in Canada: media fascination with our new pet Canadian trapped overseas, a number of legal proceedings, up to and including the Supreme Court of Canada. Result in USA: a number of legal proceedings, up to and including the US Supreme Court, as the US struggles to deal with captured enemy that do not fit the definitions of lawful enemy combattants under the Geneva Convention. Result in Afghanistan: …

  18. Canadian military deployed as a NATO Alliance force on invitation of Afghan government to stabilize country under attack from insurgent Taliban. Captured Afghan, who may or not have been a "Canadian detainee" before local authorities get their hands on him, is submitted to local Afghan crappy practice of getting slapped about with a shoe, amongst other allegations. Result in Canada: Parliament is mesmerized by alleged Canadian complicity in the apparently surprisingly backwards practices of a backwards country. Millions of dollars spent by public institutions and no effort spared by media & commentariat on this all-encompassing issue. Verge of a constitutional crisis, requiring a "landmark" ruling by the Speaker of the national elected legislature on how to proceed. Major discussion on how to protect sensitive information, versus actually willingly disclosing sensitive information, the better to engage in national self-flagellation. All while Canadian SOLDIERS ARE STILL THERE, in harm's way, trying to accomplish the job for which they were sent over there. Result in Afghanistan: …

  19. For the lengths we can go to in order to make ourselves feel sh-tty about ourselves, I suspect we in Canada may have it too good for our own good.

  20. If the only verifiable evidence of abuse is a detainee being assaulted with a shoe, and if the current Chief of Defence Staff has no problem with releasing all of the documents unredacted, then what the hell is under all that black ink?

    • Have you ever received a access to information document from your own police services?

      I have over the past 12 years …. many of them.

      You idiots with Nero complexes totally amaze me. Do you have any idea what is happening in your own country?
      but you care so much what an Afghani does to another Afghani that you would encourage the side killing us to
      kill more of us.

      Get this boy …. there is no Taliban – it is an American invention – there is only tribal loyalty there. We are the hated western occupier and we do not belong an any theater of war supporting Yankee imperialism!

      Not happy about Afghanistan, lobby with me to bring our young men home! I really unhappy about how many are
      being killed there for the re-establishnment of a client American narco state – oh, you are the type who likes the drugs? Sorry!

  21. If we had a responsible independent media (as opposed ot the commone Wherry type that appears to be little more than a left leaning political party communications bureau,

    the real story would be how there is no story, and how this was essentially concocted for purely partisan gain.

    • ah yes
      an obedient press, that is what this country needs,

      just like Pravda perhaps?

      • They are "obedient" – to their leftist patrons. You know what pravda was like? It would ingore/hide 30 witnesses testimony and tout one witness as being the holder of pure truth, in order to spin the party line.

        Now, back to touting Colvin and burying the rest.

        And of course every leftist who comes on this site will vociferously defend this.

        Just like Pravda indeed.

        • What did Colvin have to gain by his testimony?

          • What did the other 30? Well we know very little about them don't we, because the deciders in the media have determined that its not for us to decide.

      • Ah Chet
        you know just enough history to be confused….

        applying the left/right paradigm to Soviet politics is a useless pursuit

        Pravda did all those things you said as the GOVERNMENT controlled organ of the state – and along with a few others, was the only approved version of "the news" that the citizens were allowed to hear

        so Aaron here (and very few others I made add – as most of the media in Canada, including CBC TV, spend their time re-spinning Con talking points) is doing just exactly the opposite of what you accuse him of.

        If Colvin is so wrong, just release the memos and related docs and watch the left eat sh*t.

        But no need to answer – I do not expect you to "get" this