Outside the wire


David Pugliese undoes one of the more popular counters to Richard Colvin’s testimony.

There have also been allegations about the extent of Colvin’s travels in Afghanistan. Retired general Lewis MacKenzie said recently on CTV that based on information “from a very reliable source, (Colvin) was not permitted outside the wire in Kandahar probably once and maybe not more than once, and so was the victim of having to talk to a number of other people, diplomats, military, intelligence, et cetera, to send his opinion out on his now infamous e-mails, doing the very best he could with restrictions that were placed on him.”

The claim that Colvin went off the base only once was also repeated by Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford. It surfaced again on Tuesday, with the Conservatives using it to try to undercut Colvin’s reputation. “Here is a man, Mr. Colvin, who spent about a day out of his entire tour outside of the wire and had these few interviews,” said Treasury Board president Vic Toews.

The Citizen has confirmed, however, that Colvin left the base at least six times to travel into Kandahar, in addition to travelling to other locations in Afghanistan.


Outside the wire

  1. Lewis MacKenzie retired in 1993 (has he ever been to Afghanistan himself?) and ran for the PCs in the 1997 election. So, when he refers to "a very reliable source" is that from his first or second career?

    Off base , or playing to it.

    As to the intrepid G&M reporter, "Ms. Christie, you make good, kooky"

    • I think I said in the very first post relating to Colvin that he would become a marked man. What I didn't expect is just how much the opposition would prop him up. I respect him greatly but I'm not sure he's entire up to the grandeur of their praise.

      I wonder how quickly he'll tire of being a pawn and a doormat.

      • If i was him i'd be getting real pissed at the attitude of my govt right about now!

        • I would too, but I think acting on that anger would just tip the debate in favour of the conservatives.

          It must be a pain to have your name and intangible "credibility" bounced around every time a politician talks about Afghanistan, and not be about to say anything about it.

      • About as quickly as he forgets about being smeared by his boss

    • Care to explain that comment?

  2. Ministers lying in the house; back-channel character assassination of dedicated public servants; retired generals given access to information kept from serving, elected MPs; "embedded" tub-thumper journalists willfully pushing the ruling party's increasingly silly line … what's next for our fair nation? Is this what happens when 4 in 10 don't even bother to vote in general elections?

    • Welcome to our Bush years Canada!

      • Please, can't we just skip to the ending?

  3. Sorry, Christie Blatchford is simply an infamous liar.

  4. OT – but important news.

    One of Canada's premier political columnists, the Toronto Star's Angelo Persichilli, is reporting that Liberals are openly discussing the early demise of Michael Ignatieff. One of the Liberals mentioned in the discussions is one of Aaron's favourite MP's Glen Pearson. Mr. Pearson protests most of what was in Persichilli's article but not all of it.

    By the way, Persichilli ends his article saying that he wouldn't be surprised if Ignatieff didn't last till year end. That's the end of this month. This is a huge story. Persichilli is Toronto based and has excellent sources in the Liberal Party. Stay tuned. This is big.

    • "OT"

      Which I suppose is the point. Let us stop talking about silly little things like whether the Canadian government was complicit in torture. It is far more important to discuss Ignatieff's career!

  5. When I'm saying Glen Pearson protests, I'm referring to his blog entry this morning on his political blog.

  6. Jarrid,

    Macleans blog appears to be primarily dedicated to a certain topic right now. Your interjections are not helpful to the cause (and indeed there can be no doubt that there is a cause.)

    So for instance, the startling news that Google appears to be manipulating its search hits and its search word extension to belittle the magnitude of Climategate,

    would be unwelcome here.

    In totally unrelated news, I've got a post up about the definition of propoganda and how the definition appears to fit squarely within AGW theorists' (and their abettors in the media) conduct.

    Just click on the name if you're interested.

    • That is of course another huge topic. Red Tory has a clip where 3 bloggers including Kady discuss climate-gate with Evan Solomon. One of the bloggers goes after Kady pretty hard.

      • It's called monomania biff, seek help. Jarrid, Kady dealt with the witless Adrian Macnair with class, something, Mr. Macnair sorely lacks. Now back on topic boys.

      • Jarhead, now that your precious dishonest cause celeb ie Harper has now sold you out again and dumped intensity almost as quickly as he trashed accountability must have a big cloud of steam brewing in your basement pad. Caution, or your mom may come down and bring the firehose with her…

  7. I see that Lewis MacKenzie is now a fully signed up member of the Conservative Lie Machine. I believe that the movements of Canadian officials in Kandahar must be something covered by legislation which protects the confidentiality of sensitive security information. MacKenzie's 'source' in Kandahar is liable to prosecution if such legislation has been breached. Of course, if it was the PMO that fed him these lies, there wouldn't be an issue …

    • I see that Lewis MacKenzie is now a fully signed up member of the Conservative Lie Machine.

      I don't suppose it's ever crossed your mind that there might be no such thing, and he really could be speaking in good faith to the best of his knowledge? I mean, implausible as that surely must be.

      • What business does he have relaying third-hand reports? He retired sixteen years ago.

        • Quite. Relaying third hand reports … isn't that exactly what the Harper Conservative government (and its little opinion forming helpers like MacKenzie) is accusing Colvin of ? Hmmm.

          • OMG, I agree with Mulletaur. Help, where are my meds?

  8. I'm accused of "monomania" on the, what, fortieth post on the Afghan "torture" issue. And for good measure, guess what topic the post directly above is about?

    • It's really very simple…get your own blog.

    • The topic changes, just as it has always changed since the beginning of time. This is just normal cyclical topic change, however, not anthropogenic topic change. It would be destructive to our economy to aggressively implement topic change measures. Also no point if China and India won't come to grips with topic change in their countries.

  9. This is just normal cyclical topic change, however, not anthropogenic topic change.

    Did you mean to suggest that Biff is not one of us anthropoids?

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