39

Black out


 

The Globe’s Paul Koring reviews 80 documents provided to the Military Police Complaints Commission and finds them an unsatisfying read.

The heavily redacted documents, obtained by The Globe and Mail, underscore the sweeping nature of the government’s efforts to keep the documentary record from the Military Police Complaints Commission, which is attempting to conduct an inquiry into allegations that Canada knowingly transferred prisoners to likely torturers in Afghanistan…

In the material delivered to the MPCC, government blackouts render unreadable many of the documents, some drafted by Mr. Colvin. The sweeping redactions were imposed even though everyone who works with or serves on the MPCC must have at least “secret” clearance and all of the senior investigators, as well as the panelists who would conduct the inquiry, have the highest security clearances…

Some documents dating back to spring of 2006, a full year before ministers and senior officers said they first heard of abuse allegations, are entirely blacked out. Others have whole sections censored.


 

Black out

  1. These aren't the droids you are looking for. Move along….

    But seriously – enough with the BS and the manipulation of this issue.
    Perhaps someone impartial, such as the GG, should step in, delegate a crew with FULL access, and get down to figuring things out. I am so sick of the politicizing of all of this.

  2. Didn't she already potentially "create all sorts of constitutional headaches" when she allowed Harper's government to prorogue a year ago? Either she is a symbolic head of state with no powers, or one with powers.

    We accepted her powers of statehood a year ago (wherein she did not actually have to disclose to the citizens of Canada how she came to reach her decision) – so why not now?

    Could the solution to our political nightmares be a return to the traditions of the monarchy? Spooky…

  3. Not so much spooky as improbable.

  4. Unfortunately, the more the Government stalls on releasing these documents, the more this debate develops a momentum of its own and the more this issue, which IMO is too important to be politicised, is politicised. The GG herself can't fix that, or resolve any such debate: the partisanship would engulf and overwhelm the office.

  5. These aren't the droids you are looking for. Move along….

    But seriously – enough with the BS and the manipulation of this issue.
    Perhaps someone impartial, such as the GG, should step in, delegate a crew with FULL access, and get down to figuring things out. I am so sick of the politicizing of all of this.

  6. Um, the GG isn't the right person to "step in". It would create all sorts of constitutional headaches. Better to ask the judiciary.

  7. On a website that has been flogging this issue daily, actually numerous times per day,

    and the poll to your right shows only one in three wants to hold the government accountable for this.

    Could it be, that this pet issue, which to leftist writers appears to be the epicenter of the universe, actually isn't that important to every day Canadians?

    Comparing the comment boards to the news coverage of AGW (where readers were crying out for news on this massive climategate scandal and where the media blatantly refused to report it) was surreal.

    Comparing that poll with the postings here also tells an interesting story.

  8. Those consitutional headaches last year were entirely within her authority to create, what you're suggesting is not.

    Besides, her decision reflected more that she was a symbolic head of state than one with powers – Harper's requests are legally binding, if she had rejected it, she would have asserted authority of her office over that of the office of the elected Prime Minister, a far greater assertion of her powers of statehood than simply doing whatever Harper asked.

  9. The sweeping redactions were imposed even though everyone who works with or serves on the MPCC must have at least “secret” clearance and all of the senior investigators, as well as the panelists who would conduct the inquiry, have the highest security clearances…

    …to view the papers that also now somehow sit on a reporter's desk.

  10. In the grand scheme of things, as any pollster or public-opinion person will tell you, self-selecting Internet polls mean absolutely nothing.

    Nada.

    Zilch.

    Zippo.

    Bupkis.

    They're too easily futzed with, too easily gamed, and carry no data about the people who voted (Are they all unique? Are they even all from Canada?) to draw any meaningful conclusion from. Sure, they're fun and visitors to websites like them, but they shouldn't be used to try and draw any conclusions about the population at large.

  11. "Harper's requests are legally binding"

    that is patently false….

  12. Haha.. you're using an internet poll to claim no one cares about this? Nice try. Biff. The most recent legitimate poll that can't be "freeped" by folks with a self-interest showed 55% of Canadians wanted a public inquiry on this issue.

  13. All that tells us is how many times Biff "voted" on the poll.

  14. "Harper's requests are legally binding, if she had rejected it, she would have asserted authority of her office over that of the office of the elected Prime Minister, a far greater assertion of her powers of statehood than simply doing whatever Harper asked."

    Hunh?

    His request legally binding? Um, in a word, no. In six words, what the heck are you talking about?

    And by the way, Constitutionally speaking, the authority of her office is over that of the office of the PM.

    What Harper did and what Jean allowed was an affront to Parliamentary democracy. Whether it was the lesser evil or not is a matter of debate to which I have a great deal of acceptance, but that does not mean it was a democratic action of the government to promise a confidence vote then withdraw when it appeared they would lose, then cancel an opposition day and then cancel Parliament altogether.

    Whether or not you want to argue that Harper did the best thing possible – it was a crazy crazy week – there is no question that it was an anti-democratic move.

  15. And Canada.

    And the Olympics and our Olympians, without a shadow of a doubt.

  16. I'd even say Highly improbable.

    But still…

    "Though the position is constitutionally granted to the Canadian monarch, the Governor General acts in her place as Commander-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces, and is permitted to use the title. The position technically involves issuing commands for Canadian troops, airmen, and sailors, but is predominantly a ceremonial role in which the viceroy will visit Canadian Forces bases across Canada and abroad to take part in military ceremonies, see troops off to and return from active duty, and encourage excellence and morale amongst the forces."

    I do not see it as an impossible stretch the the GG would be involved in matters pertaining to the honor and reputation of our Canadian Forces.

    But as Crit mentioned, the more obvious choice would be the judiciary.

  17. The government can't hold on to documents forever. Somewhere out there are unredacted copies of the documents which will surely leak out.

    I'll bet that Harper releases all documents just before the House rises for Xmas, and then he goes on a two-month photo-op Olympics rampage.

  18. "Harper's requests are legally binding, if she had rejected it, she would have asserted authority of her office over that of the office of the elected Prime Minister, a far greater assertion of her powers of statehood than simply doing whatever Harper asked".

    I think we can thank Harper and his partisans for spreading all this misinformation.

    Sad that many voters are not more critical about what Harper tells them otherwise they would have realized that Harper should be turfed out for proroguing Parliament and violating democracy. And we are sacrificing Canadian lives to teach Afghans about democracy and our values? lol.

  19. As they say, truth will out. Hopefully, Harper will soon be out.

  20. Not so in this case. All members of the MPCC have clearance. This redacted version is what was sent to them apparently.

    • Not so in this case. All members of the MPCC have clearance. This redacted version is what was sent to them apparently.

      And they were leaked to a reporter. So much for clearance.

  21. Do you truly believe all these hyperpartisan MPs will keep unredacted documents secret? I wish I could.

  22. I think that is a reasonable guess at what might happen.

  23. The MPCC is not composed of politicians TY…do try and keep up…of course we don't al have your insiders take, what do i know. Perhaps you're right…and Baird is chairing the thing.

  24. Are you trying to make a point? What is it? It's important enough to you that you're here talking about it, like it's important enough to the other people who are talking about it here and wherever else. I'm here and interested and I'm a Canadian every day. Is that good enough, in your esteemed opinion, to be an every day Canadian, and what does it have to do with internet polls?

  25. Nice try biff / Dimitri! Trying for a two-fer were you?
    I agree with the the non-politicizing this IN NORMAL CIRCUMSTANCES. But – the CPC has been politicizing everything – that's why it's personal to most of the folks on Parliament Hill that they have been smearing with their collective tar brushes these last few years. Whining when what goes around – comes around – just doesn't cut it in these playground games!

    • Oh how I long for the days of the politically pure liberals, who politicized nothing, and acted at all times for the good of Canadians, never for a moment thinking of their party first.

      As for the "comes around" see my comment below. Harper's numbers are holding, as with all the other faux scandals.

      Some advice for liberals wanting to see their party back in power: stop scandal chasing and start fixing your own party, from the top (by actually electing someone rather than annointing them) and figuring out what your party stands for.

  26. So if they violate their clearance, fire and sue them. If we don't trust them with the clearance, don't give it to them.

  27. I'm afraid if the truth will out, Harper is in for a very long time, because he deal so infrequently with it.

  28. Obviously Wherry must hate the troops.

  29. Do we need to review what "heavily redacted" means?

    • If you feel the need, by all means help yourself. I am all for an informed citizenry, and I applaud your willingness to be better informed.

      All we know about the trustworthiness of the system that produced these heavily redacted documents is that it is not trustworthy at all, given the "sitting on a reporter's desk" thing. So anyone bellyaching about how people with security clearances can't see everything had better explain how national security would fare if those and other top-secret documents on the reporter's desks were complete and unredacted.

  30. It feels more and more like I'm living in a banana republic. If the government doesn't believe in reasonable Access to Information, repeal the damn law. This stupid little game is a joke.

  31. fingers got tired deleting cookies and selecting refresh

  32. There are often legitimate national security reasons for redacting documents. Since I have not seen these documents I don't know whether that is the case for every single redacted portion in this case, but it is ridiculous to suggest that all documents should be released in toto as some have suggested.

  33. I see I stirred the hornets nest.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the commenters here (who primarily hold strong "progressive" views like the poster, are very deeply passionate about this issue.

    But like "sweatervestgate", "pooping cartoongate", "blackhumour on food outbreakgate", "giant chequegate",

    folks here seem to confuse the stirring passions of the partisan left (who naturally want to see the downfall of this government and will grab hold of anything to convince themselves that "this one is the big one!!!") and the reification by the partisan left media [some call it an echo chamber],

    with what's really important to Canadians.

    Harper's continued strength in the polls through all of the above faux scandals, including this latest, seems to prove my point.

  34. I'm sure on an academic/theorhetical level, the average Canadian thinks in a perfect world, the brutal Afghan war produced no such instances.

    In polite company they may even say so.

    But in a world gone mad, where the news is filled beheadings, stonings of poor "impure" women, the hanging of gays, bombing of children seeking to recieve candy, downs syndrome kids being sent out with bomb vests, all at the hands of the brutal Taliban thugs,

    most every day Canadians are likely not turning their anger at a visceral moving level at the treatment of such prisoners.

    Partisanship aside of course. It is no coincidence that the tears shed in the comments for these prisoners are interlaced with politically charged calls for Harper's downfall,

    by the same folks who cry for his ouster every other day or so.

  35. "Since I have not seen these documents I don't know whether that is the case for every single redacted portion in this case…"

    So we're a high-security clearance operative today, are we?

  36. So the fact that the Goverment — specifically PMO — leaked redacted documents to Blatchford means that the Parliamentary committee can't be trusted?

Sign in to comment.