‘I haven’t followed it’


Rick Hillier declines to comment on this week’s events.

Rick Hillier, formerly Canada’s top soldier, isn’t commenting about the recent revelations that Canadian-captured prisoners transferred to Afghan authorities were later tortured.

“I haven’t followed it,” Mr. Hillier said Friday in Halifax. “I’m really not even in the mood or the ability to comment upon it, at this point, because I have not followed it in detail.”

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Peter MacKay and General Walter Natynczyk have been called to appear again before the special committee on Afghanistan. The chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission offers a warning as he departs. In a letter to the Citizen, the former ambassador to Venezuela urges everyone to move on. In a separate letter to the paper, the former ambassador to Brazil explains why he chose not to sign on with other former diplomats in support of Richard Colvin.


‘I haven’t followed it’

  1. “I haven't followed it,” Mr. Hillier said Friday in Halifax. ”I'm really not even in the mood or the ability to comment upon it, at this point, because I have not followed it in detail.”

    I am fan of Hiller's, think he did some good work, but that is the biggest load of codswallop I have read this morning. I don't find it remotely believable that Hillier is not following what is going on.

    • Rather interesting that Mr "totally ludicrous!" Hillier has decided to clam up after the revelations of the past week.

      • Perhaps the Coalition can get a twofer?

        Wafergate and Shoegate Inquiry for $ 30 million? Just offer the Political Welfare subsidy to cover costs for the taxpayer and I am in like Flynn.

    • Maybe so, but it's basically saying "no comment", and Wherry plants his words up here anyway. Classless.

      • That is easily the most interesting and salient point in Hiilier's response…what's your problem? Oh you don't like Aaron…at least that's cleared up!

      • "Maybe so, but it's basically saying "no comment","

        I agree. I know HIllier was just trying to avoid the question but he should have better answer than I am not following the cmte hearings.

    • You're slipping badly joylon…+ 9 so far…you sell out:)

      • yes, it is a bit disconcerting. I will have to write something that will get me a -10 and balance will be restored.

        • Why don't you try "On balance, and considering available alternatives, I'm glad Harper is our PM." That oughta do it.

  2. …"we see absolutely no reason why the government of Canada can't just do what Parliament says it ought to do."…M. Ignatieff.

    If Ignatieff had the courage of his convictions, he'd call for a vote of confidence. Failing to act suggests that this whole episode is just a political game for the Liberals who are trying to use the detainee issue solely to score political brownee points.

    • Confidence isn't needed here TwoYen. House motions and rules are in place to deal with this, which we have just seen pass in a vote that Harper now seems keen to ignore, in order t oget to the bottom of a COnservative coverup on this issue.

      Apparently, the Conservative talking points of "no one wants an election right now" a month or 2 ago has suddenly become "why doest Iggy force an election on this issue?"

      Try to be consistent, Con supporters, as hard as that might be.

      • Why is the coalition to find out who Canadians trust to run the country? Too bad don't like pull the hammer or keep barking at the moon!

        Until you go "ALL IN" as Pierre said you MP are nobodies.

        • Whether Canadians trust Harper's party overall or not does not excuse them from their behavior on this issue. However, calling an election would certainly cause this issue to die as committees would have to be restruck, etc, so the chances of getting the truth would become nil.

          But I expect that's rather your point, isn't it?

          • What part don't you get?

            A) The cheap seats don't get to make the decision?
            B) Democracy works best when left to the voters.
            C) The Coalition did not win the election and don't get to dictate squat.

            So pull the plug, win the support of the voters or enough to form a coalition gov't by rejecting the next throne speech.
            Go Ahead call 100 public Inquiries. Raise taxes to 25% for AGW.

            2) Shoes
            3) The Letter "C"

            If the allegations are valid (credible) and the coalition fails to pull the plug immediately they are complicit, guillty of the conspiracy in the "cover up" and "war crimes" regarding these truck drivers, farmers (innocents).
            So put up or shut up. Can't you fascists have at least some principles or backbone?

          • Hi there, welcome to Canada. Perhaps you haven't heard, we've got this thing called Parliament. There are no cheap seats.

          • Spoken from the cheapseats. This is a blog.

            PET and Duceppe felt the same way about MP's. "nobodies".

            Why is the coalition collaborating with this government who are guilty. They are complicit in "war crimes" and "cover ups" or "torture"? Why does the coalition keep passing supply Billls and voting confidence in the government? Why is this coalition refusing to protect human rights?

          • They're not. They aren't. Those are different issues. They're not.

            In case you weren't aware, the agreement changed 3 years ago. The questions being brought up are "why did it take a year for this government to fix things after it appears they had credible evidence?" Until that question is answered, we can't be sure that this government is guilty or has committed war crimes.

            So the questions we're left with today are:
            1. Why did it take approximately a year for the government to change the agreement after it seems they were aware (or should have been) that torture was going on?
            2. Did the government purposely seek to have any information of torture covered up and if so why?
            3. Why does the government continue to refuse to provide documentation that might answer the first two questions.

            Of course, if we were to go to election right now, none of these would be answered.
            But again, that's what you want isn't it? You don't actually care what happened or what the truth is, do you?

          • You've just seen what Canadian (non)Sense passes on for logic onto the Progressive/Liberal blogs that he regularly trolls on issues like this.

          • When are you going to fundraise to investigate the wafer? The simple fact is your don't care about humanity. Where is your concern for the murderers and scumbags from 2001-2005? Same with Omar when he was picked up and left to rot at 15 by the Liberals for four years?

            If you were consistent or credible you would have a shred of decency. Instead you attack any dissenting opinion if does not accept your regressive views of your political party.

            I can disagree with my current political party and you just drop on your knees preach your regressive religion. Just like the followers of AGW.

          • Oh no you didn't.

            The Opposition have a Hammer. They can decide to yeild or become complicit in the alleged torture and cover up.

            It boils down to the opposition granting their "confidence" to function and continue the alleged "torture" and "cover up".

            Thwim, you and you Wafer Commission have their "smoking gun" from three years ago. (Shoegate field notes.)

          • Um.. nice bit of pretzel-twisting there: The opposition parties have called for a fully independent judicial inquiry to study these documents for possible wrongdoing by the government (or not).. That takes out he partisanship of the issue and allows the judge or judges to make sure potentially legitimate documents of national security don't get put out there in the public domain – which is different from the Harper government proclaiming anything that might politically damage them or cause them to be found in violations of the Geneva Conventions to be "national security" – more like "Conservative national security".

            If the government has nothing to hide, it should have no problems yielding to an inquiry with these guidelines – the same ones that were used by the Maher Arar Commission. All evidence so far indicates the government has something to hide, which is why it is resisting either wanting to turn over full documents to Parliament or set up said public inquiry.

          • Scott,

            the only twisting and failure to act is yours and the coalition.

            1) Colvin testimony is credible (you , coalition agreed)
            2) Others testimony is not credible (you and coalition agreed)

            So this government must be immediately defeated to stop the cover up, torture and human right abuses under their watch.

            No need to mince words or play nice. So unless the coalition go "all in" on this evidence the fact remains. The opposition with their parliamentary democracy (numbers) are complicit for failing to ACT.

            Protesting and whinning about some Inquiry that may report years from now is not good enough sorry Scott. You can't have it both ways.

            We have evidence or we don't. The coalition have the legal authority to stop this immediately and continue to vote confidence in this government.

            Let's hope 2010 is better for the LPOC, 2009 was a very bad year.

            Merry Christmas Scott!

          • Under that logic, any of us being alive while this goes on, if we don't take every available means to stop it, means that we're complicit.
            Funny.. I don't see you heading off to the nearest recruiting station.

          • Funny you believe Colvin's testimony as credible and I don't. Sux to be a Liberal apologist who can't defend his coalition for refusing to stand up to allegations and testimony of Colvin.

            1) Colvin is wrong and coalition have exploited his testimony.
            2) Colivin is right and the coalition have turned a blind eye and have voted for supply Bills.

            Pick 1 or 2, not complicated and stop using "weasel" words trying to hide.

    • This is the most ridiculous of all the ridiculous arguments coming from conservatives right now.

      The job of the opposition is to hold the government accountable. You don't get to say "force an election or shut up". The opposition does not have to vote non-confidence every time it criticizes the government – that would be stupid.

      Their role is to question the government in order to get to the truth. That is what they are doing. That seems to frighten you for some reason.

      • The opposition does not have to vote non-confidence every time it criticizes the government

        Surely not, on such pedestrian matters of disagreement as foreign policy or upcoming legislation. But at the point where you're accusing the government of complicity in something that is, by your own protestations, the most monstrously depraved and immoral thing you can apparently imagine, then you'd better back that up with corresponding action.

        This goes to seriousness and credibility. If it's not so compellingly awful as to demand – by morality and natural justice – defeating a minority government at the earliest possible opportunity, then it
        a) must not really be that serious, or
        b) appears the opposition doesn't believe their own hyperbole.

        • The real issue is that the govt has effectively blocked all legitimate means of raising the detainee issue, not whether the opposition takes the only other choice open to them. In fact it's now being posited that they are even willing to bring into question the supremacy of parliament. Your and their response is either call an election [ which favours you ] or shut up and except our limitations. Since this has been a recurrent theme of the Harper govt no one should really be surprised or shocked.
          Somehow i doubt you would be virtuously posting this if the govt wasn't currently ahead in the polls.

        • Yeah…no.

          This is about finding out what is going on. Eventually, it may have to lead to an election, but not at this point. The government is trying to hide behind the soldiers and lying to Canadians and depriving us of the facts. The obligation of the opposition is to try to uncover the truth. That is not going to happen through an election – and you know it. No doubt that is one reason why you claim one is necessary.

          Not to mention the fact that the way the Harper government has politicized this issue and lied about how the opposition is attacking the troops would make it absolutely shameful to have an election right now, as no doubt Harper would try to make that election about support for the military.

          • Gayle,

            The regressive coalition, and clown car brigade have accepted the testimony of a single person and discredited the testimony of everyone else who has downplayed Colvin testimony.
            The regressive coalition with the help of retired liberal civil servants, biased liberal media have created another non story like most of 2009. They regressive made a mistake by extending confidence in the CPC in January. Now they have been taught a valuable lesson.

            Best of luck with another fishing expedition and shoegate. Keep pounding away at the keyboards with your fellow clown posse members trying to pretend your care about the Taliban.

            Most voters have stopped listening the wafer chasing media. Burying the leaked files for five weeks by the BBC, reporting by the CBC two weeks after John Stewart on the comedy network skit shows how far the liberal media is in the tank.

            Best of luck with your activist agenda for big government and more taxes. See you at the Polls if and when the regressive coalition grow some cojones.

        • Well said. All hat and no cow. The chickenlittle opposition like to talk alot.

        • Doesn't it make more sense to get all the evidence out before pulling the plug?

      • The sky is falling? Shoe-gate? Why should the CPC listen to the cheap seats?

        Don't like the Agenda or the Government get the coalition to stand up and vote non-confidence. It was good enough for Dion is Iffy even weaker than Dion?

        • You're talking points are past the best date.

          • Talking is all the coalition and their sheep do. It is understandable all this rage. A large number of the left have nothing to be thankful on Christmas. Since 2000 every year has been getting worse.

            When the coalition grows up again and pulls the plug you might get the attention of the voters. Until than bark, scream, type your moralist blah blah. You are still in the cheapseats. Get used to it. The ride is going to get alot more bumpier!

          • Don't let the door of parliament hit you in the ass when you get turfed.

          • Can't accept your furious keystrokes and barking at the moon amount to squat? Your coalition is failing to defend the Colvin testimony by removing support for the current government.

            Clearly they don't believe Colvin was credible or don't really care about the issue. No action just more flailing like most of the bloggers on Lib blogs.

    • Again, taking hypocrisy to a low level. Before, it was "no one wants an election! Won't somebody save the children from another election!?" to now "Let it go to an election — oh why won't the opposition let our moral torpidity be the main selling point to an election? Please pretty please?"
      Go back to republican revisionist class.

  3. "I haven't follwed it"

    A fitting title for the opposite reason the author intended it.

    Note the "Most Read" posts on the right. Note none of them are on the Afghan prisoner issue.

    Posted with an almost obsessive repetition on this blog, and yet people aren't reading them.

    • It's going to be awfully heartbreaking for some people around here when this blows over in a couple weeks, and has no demonstrable long-term political effect.

      • Which is why, I maintain, the opposition will be happy as long as these unredacted documents remain hidden from view.

  4. Speaking of obsessive, why no mention in this comment of "Climategate" for the 500th time? Or can we just click on your name for mono-a-mono?

    • Fear not for his consistency, alack:
      When kody tires, biff picks up the slack.

  5. ‘I haven't followed it'

    The reason the General has not followed it is because many people have nothing to say and if we let them, they will spend all day saying it.

  6. "The replacement will be announced in the coming days," Dugas said in an e-mailed response. "I would not comment on statements by the chair of a quasi-judicial body."

    More condescension from the Conservatives? You'd think they'd have learned after Walsh's letter. Oh yeah, I forgot for a moment there. Conservatives don't learn. (note period this time, Thwim)

  7. It is interesting to me that William Dymond chastises Colvin for "let(ting) their personal agendas get in the way" while praising another diplomat, Andy Ross, for doing much the same thing. Also, apparently William Dymond was privy to a retraction of MacKay's personal attacks on Colvin. Has anyone else seen this retration because I feel like I'm paying attention and I don't know what he's talking about. I've seen a denial from MacKay that he ever did attack Colvin, but that is a completely different thing.

    • If its the same Bill Dymond that I worked with back in the late 60's he's the same prick he always was.

  8. The Citizen helpfully explains that, "William Dymond is former Canadian ambassador to Brazil. He is a senior fellow at the Centre for Trade Policy and Law at Carleton University." Actually, this doesn't tell a half the story that might be useful to know before reading the column by the former bureaucrat who stands so far apart from so many colleagues.
    Dymond is part of the "core staff" at the CTPL and is the Senior Executive Fellow and Director of Policy Research. A much loftier title clearly befitting the man who has been described as "one of Mr. Mulroney's key free trade agreement negotiators." That would be Brian Mulroney and, in the interests of true fairness, the description comes from Mel Hurtig.
    Mr. Dymond works along side Derek Burney at the CTPL. Apparently, they have been together since the heady days of Canada – US free trade negotiating. And, oh yes, "Mr. Burney headed the Transition team for Prime Minister Harper from January to March, 2006."

    …in other words, a Conservative shill…

    h/t Harpobizarro

  9. Scott Tribe and Gayle,
    this is why the government will not release documents that officials (not the govt) deemed a security risk:


    • You are going to have to actually explain yourself wilson.

      • No she doesn't.. remember, the Con parrots live by Tom Flanagan's creed, "it doesn't have to be true, it just has to be plausible".

        • Apparently you are still chasing the wafer?

    • Shoegate is so exciting!

      • Shoegate? Have you been drinking sir?

        • Nope, he's just a parrot told what to repeat as Con talking points. He and some other Con parrots thinks Laurie Hawn's lines in the House the other day trying to minimize beatings and torture as merely a prisoner getting shoes thrown at him is a great line.

          • To quote Keith Martin, these Reform-Conservatives are "unable to use their God-given intellect to debate a serious issue."

          • Why are regressive so angry and hate humanity? Clearly you and many feel the current government is guilty and accept the testimony of Colvin. Why has your regressive failed to protect human rights, cover ups and war crimes by extending the current government?

            If the regressive coalition believed Colvin the logical step is the immediate move to non confidence votes on any confidence motion (supply bill) immediately or they are just barking, screaming trying to score cheap political points.

            Thanks again for your consistency as a member of the clown car brigade Chris.

          • Any chance of getting a Wafer Inquiry added yet?

  10. and if I knew how to make sure this Kinsella post doesn't disappear, I would do it.
    Best evidence ever for the govt to take with them to court.

    • Certainly it is shameful if Kinsella released information to the public that could harm our military. Shameful? No, that doesn't go nearly far enough. How about treasonous? Yes, that's probably better.

      Two things about that. One, sue Kinsella. Of course you'd have to prove it was harmful to our military. Or that "previously top-secret" means still top-secret. Oh, and on that basis you'd also have to sue Natynsczyk who released previously redacted text this week. Two, release the documents in a controlled environment (such as that afforded by the Military Police Complaints Commission) so that this kind of digging isn't required. But the government didn't do that–it did everything humanly possible to shut the MPCC investigation down. By behaving as if there is a cover-up, it leads people to think there might be a cover-up. And that leads to the natural question of what are they covering-up?

    • "this is why the government will not release documents that officials (not the govt) deemed a security risk"

      What was in those documents that could possibly damage NS as opposed to embarassing the govt?
      Kinsella is certainly a partisan political animal…but Power's performance wasn't too great either…all the eye rolling and head shaking…unprofessional at best. His parotting of the govt line when it's just the detainee docs the opposition wants was as partisan as any thing Kinsella had to say. His remarks about the opposition hurling war criminal allegations at the generals was pathetic. It'll be interesting to see if CTV authenicates his documents.

    • Warren has no intention of making the post disappear.. why would he? He was doing a public service to prove a point.

      Anyhow.. if you or the government want to keep things as evidence.. you can just download the video from CTV's power play (which Warren has helpfully linked to).. but I have my doubts you'll get very far – or the government.

  11. Heh, well, he can't really say, "Events have made me look like a fool."

  12. I regret that I've never seen any CPC talking points so I do not need to be consistent with them.

    • I'm sure the opposition is leading up to it — need to get Harper's numbers in the high-20s or low-30s first.

      Conversely, you could argue that Braveheart Harper could march up to the GG, unlike last year when he had his tail between his legs, and demand fresh elections because he needs a fresh mandate.

      • Harper has his moral majority the coalition is too afraid to pull the plug. Did you miss the LGR vote?

  13. A pet issue for those on the far left, and a non issue for everyday Canadians.

    Meanwhile, over at SDA , Kate's hits, already the highest of any blog in the country, have gone up an astonishing 70% since she started covering climategate in detail.

    • Birds of a feather stick together.

      • I forgot, Kate's been painted with the evil brush by the left. By mentioning her I must be tainted too.

        Like ad hominem tracer paint.

        • I fear one is tainted merely by thinking about her.

          • I was just innocently reading the comments to see if anyone said they actually believed Rick Hillier, and now I'm TAINTED? Not fair!

          • Abstiinence works best.

          • I'm just waiting for the right moment to correct the spelling of my name from kausin to cussin' ! ;)

    • Maybe that is because she is the only one talking about it. Where else are deniers to go?

      Plenty of people and bloggers and media are talking about torture allegations.

      • Bing "climategate" and you'll render fifty six million hits.

        Fifty six million.

        You'll have a tough time finding Kate's site without scrolling around a bit. So many sites talking about it. In rich detail, link laden, not much of the broad stroke dismissiveness you'll find here. Real meaty stuff.

        Yet one Candiand site alone is attracking hundreds of thousands of his.

        "only one talking about it". The veracity of that statement seems to be perfectly in line with the rest of the AGW supporters' statements.

        • Bing "Bigfoot is Real" and you'll "render" 145,000,000 hits

          One Hundred and Forty-Five Million.

          • Or try i was abducted by aliens.

          • Two and a half million.

            You'll have a hard time finding my alien abduction story without scrolling around a bit. So many sites talking about this stuff. In rich detail, link laden, not much of the holier-than-thou skepticism you'll find at SDA. Real meaty alien stuff.

          • LOL

            You guys are funny.

          • The real question is…who hasn't been abducted by aliens?

          • Lou Dobbs

          • "In rich detail, link laden, not much of the holier-than-thou skepticism you'll find at SDA. Real meaty alien stuff"

            You gotta admire the truly committed.

          • He probably has the documents the committee is looking for.

        • Bing "The Conservative Party of Canada Is Great".

          Nothing. Nada. Zip….

  14. Hillier has almost certainly been told by his lawyer not to comment on it.

    • Or his publisher.

      • Or his (sigh ) conscience.

        • I fear those are all one and the same.

        • Just wonderin' an' not cussin' ……….

          How can someone with a name like Syphilis even know what a conscience is?

          • Went to a catholic school where I was taught how to spell … and that suffering
            is good for you …. and that it's especially good for other people.

          • LOL!

            You are OK in my books! ;)

          • gotta love rock and roll

  15. Hey, that's a really good point.

  16. Comparing climategate to bigfoot.

    Interesting, how you've convinced yourselves that those emails are not real, even when the CRU admits their authenticity.

    Of course the end – greater government control over the economy – is far more important than the means, the legitimacy of which appears to matter little to fellow eco-socialist travellers.

    • How would Bigfoot help expand government control over the economy? I think you're barking up the wrong tree there.

      • Standard faux-market/false-flag operation.

        Bigfoot schedules public appearances. Worldwide interest in Bigfoot appearances leads to anticipation of tourism spike. Government takes over arm's-length tourism promotion body to "tailor the message" more carefully. Voila, reduction of independent action by the me-first MBAs who have infiltrated every level of government, thus resulting in a management coup that looks (at least to the to the already-decided eye) just like socialism.

        Come on, you know anyone who's living in seclusion in the woods these days is a legacy-money libertarian with a three-bathroom cottage.

        • Or Christie Bla– whoops! I mean, Mike Duffy.

    • Eco-socialists? Man, I thought we were eco-fascists…do try and keep your epithets straight.

    • "Of course the end – greater government control over the economy – is far more important than the means, the legitimacy of which appears to matter little to fellow eco-socialist travellers"

      Hmmm, i'm starting to see how alien abduction could be a relatively harmless obssession all things considered.

  17. After the wheels fell off blaming the govt. for the deaths related to H1N1, the detainee shoe incident from 3 years ago, is now front page news.Taliban terrorist gets hit with a shoe, by a fellow countryman, gets a bloody nose & is rescued by Canadian troops. The opposition armchair battalion of the coalition , say this is a war crime.
    The newspapers have been demonizing Peter MacKay & prime Minister Harper at every opportunity. A story built into a national frenzy , by a pack of journalists, at it's very worst. Harper hater reporters are salivating, running with the story 24/7 day and night.
    The story should read….Libs/NDP/Block stand up for Afghan terrorists(murderers) at the expense of our military, in hopes of more cheap political gains.
    130 canadian soldiers have died in this battle. This isn't a tea party.
    I say to the coalition, defeat the govt. , on a non-confidence vote & let the Canadian people return the Conservative govt. with the largest majority ever. Let the govt. do it's job…..enough opposition games. It's impossible to sink any lower then this….Shoe-gate.

  18. And suddenly all the respect you've earned is pissed out the window

    Don't worry General, it will all be better when you have that senate seat and you and Duffy can go on the road together.

    • LOL!

      You got the wrong General. That General is not posting here; however, generally I post wherever I generally can!

  19. Upon reflection… interesting the issues that turn the brave into the meek

    • " Upon reflection… interesting the issues that turn the brave into the meek "

      Depends on your perceived definition of " meek. "

      meek definition

      meek (mēk)


      1. patient and mild; not inclined to anger or resentment

      I know a fellow who was perceived as being meek, but was asked to lead a party of hunters looking for wolves.

      The "meek" leader always had his gun loaded and his power dry.

      • It's too late on a Saturday for this but … I prefer Merriam-Webster: (2) "deficient in spirit or courage.'

        The point is something has cowed the big cod in to submissiveness: recent revelations? legal advice in the face of a threat? PMO coaching? Shame? Sudden onset of good sense?

        It's certainly not the General's natural inclination to be so "meek", so what's what's got the cod's tongue?

        • " It's certainly not the General's natural inclination to be so "meek", so what's what's got the cod's tongue? "

          I don't speak for the General; however, knowing his genetic nature ( I read a lot), he is far too smart to use his tongue as bait to catch a fish.

  20. William Dymond sounds like the Canadian "Sir Humphrey" to me…
    Dymond misses the point – in my opinion – quite deliberately!
    The point is – Mr. Colvin was called before the Military Commission – and the government prevented that.
    The Parliamentary commission called him – Parliament Mr. Dymond – to whom you were once responsible – as a higher court than the mere government – but you imply that Mr. Colvin went to the media.
    I put you in the same bag as that other apologist – Patrick (?) – who was on the same CBC News Network Power and Politics round table as Paul Wells when Mr. Wells went ballistic.
    As for Scumbags Hillier – I don't think I'll be buying his book anytime soon!

    • I believe you mean Paul Chapin, the former diplomat in Afghanistan who drafted the 2007 transfer agreement, if memory serves.

  21. to quote Sir humphrey:-

    stage One – Refuse to publish in the public interest saying:
    1) there are security considerations
    2) the findings may be misinterpreted
    3) you are waiting for the results of a wider and more detailed report which is still in preparation (if there isn't one, commission it; this gives you even more time)

    Hm – waiting on the wider report to be commissioned….