Plausible deniability - Macleans.ca
 

Plausible deniability


 

Murray Brewster delves further into this government’s handling of Afghan detainees.

Canadian diplomats in Afghanistan were ordered in 2007 to hold back information in their reports to Ottawa about the handling of the prisoners, say defence and foreign affairs sources.

… There was a fear that graphic reports, even in censored form, could be uncovered by opposition parties and the media through access-to-information laws, leading to revelations that would further erode already-tenuous public support.

The controversy was seen as “detracting from the narrative” the Harper government was trying to weave around the mission, said one official. “It was meant to put on happy face,” he added.


 

Plausible deniability

  1. Government asks delegates to conceal damaging information, news at 11.

  2. Conservative transparency is SO much more refreshing than Liberal transparency.

    Disgusting.

    • Disgust was my first feeling as well…

    • Therein lies the rub. We can argue left and right all day, punch, counterpunch, cite, massage, fingerpoint and spin. But as the new government sinks under the weight of it's pledge to rise above the subterfuge of the previous government, what is there left to debate about? Who is the least disgusting? Is it any wonder voter turnout is trending downward?

      • I will say that trying to hide details about a shooting war in order to hoodwink Canadians into supporting it, crosses a line. I can live with crooks, thieves and despots in the PMO (not really, but you know what I mean). We cannot, and should not, abide this.

        This has nothing to do with partisan leanings. My sentiment would be unchanged no matter which particular party was responsible for this.

        • Agreed.
          We cannot and should not abide this, but we will, and that is depressing.

  3. Whether the ministers or the prime minister saw the reports or not isn't much of an issue because they ought to have requested them. They ought to have insisted on seeing any and all reports because the allegations of torture were brought to the attention of the government by credible organizations, but the government assured us at the time that everything was just fine.

    Either the Ministers were willfully lying or they made those assurances with no investigation, and no reference to the lead bureaucrats in the field, which is such a stunning and repeated lapse of dilgence that it amounts to the same thing.

  4. There was a fear that graphic reports, even in censored form, could be uncovered by opposition parties and the media through access-to-information laws,/i>
    As is, I believe, the point of the access to information laws.

  5. I suppose the defence is that all govt's engage in various forms of controlling or occassionally suppressing the message eg., Chretien shutting down the Somalia inquiry. But as allways with this govt they take it to another level. Torture is never anything to be condoned and this looks very black for the Harper mafia. If this goes badly south i wonder how long it'll take them to start blaming the military?

    • "That the government won't co-operate raises the concern that the government doesn't respect human rights, and that it doesn't want accountability for its human rights record,” Champ says"

      Exactly. So why not cooperate? Spin, spin,spin until yoo disappear up your own jacksy, clowns all.