Natyncyzk corrects himself


In a press conference just now, the Chief of Defence Staff has said he learned this morning that the detainee tortured by Afghan officials in the summer of 2006 was originally in the custody of Canadian Forces.

Reports from Canadian Press, Canwest, CBC, the Globe and Mail, CTV, the Star, the Sun and Bloomberg.

Background here , here and here.

The fully updated Colvin Encyclopedia is here.


Natyncyzk corrects himself

  1. Well done of General Natyncyzk! See, when you find out you've made a mistake, stand up and announce it. And good on him, also, for launching an investigation into how it is that this documentation didn't land on his desk before now. We may not need a public inquiry after all, which will make my fiscal responsibility side feel better, if we can get to the bottom of this stuff without one. Still, the documents delivered to the committee were of the redacted variety, so we're far from there yet.

    • I'm sorry but this is ridiculous. No one will make me believe that prior to receiving this memo, Natyncyk (or anyone else in the brass) had no idea that prisoners turned over to the Afghans were being beaten.

      I'm not sure what prompted Natyncyk to go public with this but to suggest that this is all news to him is complete bull.

  2. So all we need to do to get the truth from our heroic civic servant is to have MPCC hearings that are frustrated for months and months with Justice Department provided foot dragging, a parliamentary committee, more Justice Department supplied interference with parliamentary privilege, and finally the release of sworn testimony, some of it by third parties. And then, once we've finally got access to the same information the General has had access to all along, he "correct(s)" his statement.

    Thanks for the truthiness General. Anything else you need to tell us while you've got the mike?

  3. Ruh-oh shaggy! Time to move to stage 3!

  4. Look like Natyncyzk has figured out that the "detainee" distinction was not merely semantic. If the detainee was originally captured by Canadians, and interrogated in their custody, then there is at least one "proven" case of a detainee in Canadian custody being abused following his transfer to the Afghans.

    In other words, Mackay's oft-repeated blanket denial is wrong, and he should admit as much.

  5. "Natynczyk said the military will conduct an internal inquiry into why it took so long for the latest information to come to his attention."

    Uh-oh, I hope this inquiry doesn't smear the military…

  6. I understand the frustration, but I'm willing to give the General the benefit of the doubt on this one. He's publicly corrected himself, and the record, and said that he will initiate an inquiry into how it is that he's just been made aware of the actual facts (suggesting that he's just been made aware of the actual facts).

    Perhaps I'm being hopelessly naive, but I'm willing to take our Chief of Defence Staff at his word when he publicly corrects himself and vows to look into how it is that he was misinformed (or at the very least insufficiently informed) of the facts.

    • You don't think the General knows enough to check this before he goes around proclaiming what he now has to withdraw?

      Do you believe that any of this would have happened if there had not been any third party leaks that supported Colvin's version?

      You actually believed his statement that there was no intention on anyone's part to malign Colvin?

      To each his own, for myself, I think the rats are running for the exit, that is what is happening.

  7. I will be very surprised if he does as much though. It would be a frankly uncharacteristic volte-face for him, particularly given everything else so far.

    I'd wager that today's QP answers will merely involve more hair-splitting, avoiding the questions, and attempting to declare the questioners the real villains of the piece.

  8. It will be interesting to see Stephen Harper's tolerance of incompetence here. Just how badly can his people screw up while keeping their jobs?

    Same question about Natynczyk, come to think of it…

  9. Peter Mackay is done. I saw him walking up the stairs in centre block, he looked like he just saw a ghost.

  10. Why is Natynczyk against the troops?

  11. It would be interesting to know if the spin-meisters are meeting right now, trying to come up with a way to tarnish his credibility while not appearing to attack the troops. Any bets on whether the response is going to be "it's all the military's fault, and we'll not waste any more time on this looking into what happened."

  12. That, or he just learned that marriage involves vows you're expected to keep.

  13. "We didn't know and the system has been fixed based on what we didn't know"

  14. Perhaps it was that of his career.

    ..one can always hope.

  15. Or… perhaps the lady doesn't like dogs…or potatoes..

  16. As I mentioned above, I commend the General for correcting the record and initiating an inquiry, and I'm not going to nit pick or attack the General for his initial error or for what may well have been a failure of his subordinates to keep him properly informed.

    That said, I just re-read the post and it struck me: The General said he "learned this morning that the detainee tortured by Afghan officials in the summer of 2006 was originally in the custody of Canadian Forces." This morning?!?!?. Again, I'm not here to throw stones at the General, at all, but how did the Chief of Defence Staff learn, THIS MORNING, something that I knew yesterday??? I didn't miss a memo or something did I? No one was expecting ME to brief the CDS, were they???

  17. Who screwed up? MacKay by not pressing Natynczyk enough on the question or Natyncyzk by not questioning his own people closely enough? How much deference and trust should Mackay have for the CDS?

  18. That's what my problem was above LKO. The whole issue from the beginning for the elected officials and the Defence Dept. bureaucrats including the general is at what point do you actually pick up the phone and ask for the file? If not in 2006, then what about last week?

  19. It's hard to know who's at fault when the government has been withholding so much relevant information.

    Let's have a transparent inquiry – then we'll know.

  20. "This morning at about 9 o'clock, I was briefed by my staff who'd been researching the case – just to ensure the completeness of all the information we'd been using,” he said, adding his officials produced a report from the June 2006 incident that contradicted what he previously knew.

    "We were unaware of this information until we downloaded the file from Aaron Wherry's blog at Macleans.ca" he went on to say.

  21. "he just learned that marriage involves vows you're expected to keep."

    Are we still still talking about Peter MacKay or moved on to Tiger Wood?

  22. No kidding, LKO. I was just watching Question Period, and (while not answering whether he'd bring the new evidence to the committee as he was asked at least twice to do) MacKay started going on about the new evidence being a soldier on the ground's notebook. Well, that came to light in the trial brought by Amnesty International and the BC Civil Rights people! That was at least two years ago. And General Natyncyzk's original statement was refuting that testimony, if I understand how things went down correctly. So, what, do these people not even read the testimony they are refuting? Has MacKay actually not read a newspaper for the last several days?

  23. Perfect. Or he could have gotten it from the Globe and Mail, I believe, sometime in 2007. Or Colvin's memos, come to that.

  24. While it is good that the General admitted his mistake, how could he go around undermining his own soldiers' version of things when they were there and he wasn't there himself? Typical way that this Cons govt under Harper does things though.

    So when will Hillier and Gauthier admit their "mistakes" when they said that there were no credible evidence of torture in 2006 (which contradicted what both Mulroney and MacKay had now admitted to)?

  25. You don't think that MacKay and the military were doing what Harper wanted them to do?

  26. So does his boss.

  27. There is no credible substantiated evidence anywhere at anytime in history to suggest that Harper and co. will apologize or correct themselves.

    And to ask them to just shows us what a Taliban sympathizer and shows just how very much you hate of our troops and Canada.

  28. "My guess is the response will acknowledge the apparent flaw in the military briefing system …"

    You mean like labeling village yokels as taliban when they brief Hillier/Gauthier?

  29. Mackay should indeed lose his job over this but this will not address the fact that we may have been deliberately complicit in the torture of prisoners. This merits more than just a demotion.

  30. It is actually worse for McKay then simply having Natyncyzk correct the record on this one instance. CBC has the field notes that led to Natyncyzk's correction. It includes the line:

    "So I had him lie down on his stomach, then conducted a detailed search (I had him empty his pockets prior to this) catalogued all his items and then took down his particulars (name [redacted] from Uruzgan). We then photographed the individual prior to handing him over, TO ENSURE THAT IF THE ANP DID ASSAULT HIM, AS HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST, WE WOULD HAVE A VISUAL RECORD OF HIS CONDITION."

    that is pretty black and white.


  31. So where does that put us on DefCon (DefendConservatives) protocol?

    DefCon6: this is a non-story and hope it goes away – check

    DefCon5: if the story persists, blame the media – check

    DefCon4: if the story persists, blame the Liberals – check

    DefCon3: if the story persists, blame a bureaucrat or premier – triple check

    DefCon2: if the story persists, blame a staffer – pending?

    DefCon1: if the story persists, start talking about Adscam, broken GST promises, NEP, coalitions, go for a long working holiday in Asia, make a cabinet shuffle, etc. – check, looks like we're already there.

  32. It may be possible to be both a local yokel and a Taliban member. Not every Taliban supporter is a Harvard grad.

  33. Standard HTML works here, so it's i and /i within the < and >.

  34. That seems to agree well with what Hillier and Gauthier are saying. So are we at DefCon2 — blame a staffer?

  35. agreed. there show be a independent judicial inquiry a la Arar Inquiry.

  36. Don Martin was speculating on a cab shuffle, including the reintrodcution of Bernier into cabinet, this morning…

  37. Well, I'm revising my congratulations if, as MacKay hinted during Question Period, the documentation that caused Natyncyzk to revise his statement is the same documentation we've been kicking around on these boards all week. If that is the case, it is completely inexcusable.

  38. Were those vows written on a napkin at a conference centre?

  39. Natynczyk. That's a Taliban-sounding name, isn't it?

  40. What are we betting?

    My guess is the response will acknowledge the apparent flaw in the military briefing system, express hope that the internal inquiry will identify and correct the problem with the system and either assert that the government would have acted if it had this information at the time or repeat that the government did act once it had information…

  41. Shh.. they're going to move on to Stage 3 soon, don't set yourself up to the be defendant.

  42. Especially when the information was also withheld from the CDS…

  43. I agree, although Harper just might apologise if he thinks he can throw MacKay and/or the Generals under the bus, claiming that he relied on all their information. How can anyone blame the poor PM when he has incompetent Def. Min. and/or Generals, you know.

    I think the events of these past weeks show us that our troops are the ones who uphold our Canadian values whereas the Generals are politicians and should be treated as such.

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