It depends what the definition of 'is' is -

It depends what the definition of ‘is’ is


Canadian Press, the Star, the Globe, the Sun and the CBC report from today’s session of the special committee on Afghanistan. From CP’s dispatch.

Finding a piece of braided electrical cable in the office of an Afghani investigations director was enough to get the man fired, but not enough to convince Canadian officials that torture was taking place.

Opposition MPs were incredulous Wednesday as three Canadian civil servants maintained they had no “first-hand” evidence that Afghan detainees were being abused, notwithstanding allegations by some prisoners of being beaten with cables.

It was the highlight of a sometimes testy, two-hour exchange at the special committee on Afghanistan.


It depends what the definition of ‘is’ is

  1. Give it a rest Aaron, you're running yourself ragged with this story. Get some sleep man.

  2. I once discovered a braided electrical cable in the toolbox of one of my employees. I was about to fire him when someone pointed out that I was supervising a team of network technicians, and they were all in possession of braided electrical cable. You can imagine how foolish I felt.

    • so you think that the Afghan jailers are pulling night shifts as network technicians? i think that in this case we know the investigators are investigators, no?

      • No, I wasn't seriously suggesting anything. It's not like my little anecdote was true.

  3. " . . . someone pointed out that I was supervising a team of network technicians"

    So, if you found some in a jailer's office & fired him, and someone pointed out that Afghan jailer's use braided electrical cable to torture people, you might feel less foolish?

  4. Aaron, pay attention. Please.

    The government has long said that it suspended detainee transfers after receiving the report of the braided cable in November of 2007, and also likely managed to get the Afghan official fired. That's the story.

    Linda Garwood-Filbert was simply saying that she didn't see first hand evidence of torture when she toured the prisons and spoke to prisoners. She didn't find the cable, after all, someone else did. The CP story (and in particular, your excerpt) deliberately obscures these facts.

    I don't know Ms. Garwood-Filbert, but I'm certain that finding herself stationed in Afghanistan and touring prisons there was not much fun, and nor was having her testimony twisted out of context by Bob Rae. Now you are piling on with an excerpt that does not come close to capturing her testimony, or the facts.

    The least you could do is try to properly reflect all sides of this complex story (though you've clearly made up your mind), since you seem intent on following it.

  5. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't leave thumbscrews just rolling around their desk drawers. So certainly that would be a good catch.

  6. Almost as ragged as your tattered defence of this morally reprehensible and unaccountable CON team.

  7. I would suggest that is had our "three Canadian civil savants[sic]" been confined to a room with a crazed-looking true believer in the merits of the "Midnight Express" approach to interrogation who happens to look like me (i.e. a hardy, hale, and potentially vicious individual who tips the scales at 300+ lbs) that they may have re-formulated their answers as to what 'first hand evidence' really means. Is it the threat, or the act?

  8. Ms Garwood-Filbert, who asked in Feb 2007 for better boots for walking through blood and fecal matter. Didn't she wonder where the blood came from?