The Commons: 'Will they stop already?' - Macleans.ca
 

The Commons: ‘Will they stop already?’

Stories are changing, but not the Prime Minister’s


 

The Scene. “General Natynczyk said what the government has been saying all along,” the Prime Minister explained en francais with his first opportunity.

Across the way, Gilles Duceppe burst out laughing.

Sixteen times these past few weeks members of this government told the House that not a single proven allegation of abuse suffered by a Canadian-transferred detainee could be found. The Defence Minister, the Transport Minister and the Defence Minister’s parliamentary secretary all testified as such.

Two days ago, the Globe reported otherwise. General Walter Natynczyk insisted that a close reading of the situation in question demonstrated the detainee, later beaten by Afghan authorities, was not so much detained and transferred, as merely questioned. And government ministers insisted on accepting Gen. Natynczyk’s version of events.

Only just before noon today, Gen. Natynczyk summoned the cameras and notepads and announced that he was wrong, that new information indicated the detainee in question was not just questioned, but in fact taken into custody. And so suddenly, it seemed, there was some explaining to do.

Perhaps stumped by the Prime Minister’s first response, Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff tried again, this time in English. “Mr. Speaker, when General Natynczyk corrected his account this morning, he did so, he said, in order to restore trust in his office and in his institution,” he said. “The issue here is trust. We cannot trust this government. We cannot trust a word that comes out of the mouth of the minister. When will the Prime Minister fire him and call a full, independent, public inquiry?”

The Prime Minister stood to repeat himself. “Mr. Speaker, the facts of the case in question of course confirm what we have been saying all along,” he said.

Now it was the Liberal side that laughed incredulously, apparently having missed Mr. Harper’s comments in the other language.

“Which is that,” the Prime Minister continued, “when the Canadian Forces see substantive evidence of any case of abuse, they have taken corrective action.”

Indeed. This government has referred previously to “credible evidence” and “credible allegations” and “substantial evidence” and “credible information” and even “credible, sustained information and evidence.” But then John Baird has said that “there has not been a single proven allegation of abuse of a Canadian-transferred prisoner.” And Peter MacKay has said that “there is no credible evidence, none, zero, to suggest that a Taliban prisoner transferred from Canadian Forces was ever abused.” And Laurie Hawn has said that “there has not been a single substantiated allegation of abuse of a Canadian transferred detainee.”

“The issue is whether the government did the right thing,” Mr. Ignatieff ventured with his third opportunity, straining it seemed to properly convey himself to the Prime Minister. “For more than a year, it had credible reports from Canadian diplomats, from Canadian military of abuse of detainees in Afghan prisons. It did nothing. Will it now admit that it made a mistake? There was a year when it did nothing. Will it appoint an independent judicial inquiry to get to the bottom of this affair, and will it fire the Minister of Defence?”

The Prime Minister begged to differ. “The only nothing here is that the opposition has had nothing new to ask about in three years,” he huffed.

Ujjal Dosanjh took a couple turns at shaming the government side. Peter MacKay stood to respond amid a chorus of calls from the Liberal side to resign. Mr. Dosanjh dared the government to call an inquiry. Mr. MacKay pumped his fist and spoke glowingly of the country’s diplomats and soldiers.

The questions persisted. There were groans from all sides and accusations of who was saying what about whom. The Bloc’s Claude Bachand demanded the Prime Minister apologize to the House. Mr. MacKay stood to respond, but was forced back down by louder calls to step aside.

Jack Layton picked up the inquiry. The Prime Minister dismissed his concern. Mr. Layton lost his patience. “Mr. Speaker, will they stop already?” he begged, proceeding to point and yell and visibly demonstrate his frustration.

Dominic LeBlanc stood to prosecute the case. “Mr. Speaker, with the chief of the defence staff’s revelations this morning, the Conservative story on detainees has now been totally discredited. Every time the Conservatives come up with a new story, the truth comes out and they are forced to create a new falsehood to cover up the untruth of their last falsehood,” he said. “Story after story from the government is untrue. Answer after answer is total fiction. Why does the minister not finally come clean, stand up in the House and tell Canadians the truth?”

“Mr. Speaker, saying it louder with more feigned indignation does not make his question true,” Mr. MacKay demurred.

As the Defence Minister stood to take a question from the Bloc’s Francine Lalonde, a rendition of “Na Na Na, Hey Hey, Goodbye” rose from the furthest reaches of the Liberal benches. Mr. Ignatieff admonished them to cut it out.

After still more back-and-forth, claims and counter-claims, Mr. Ignatieff rose again, capping the day with a buffet of questions. “Can the minister tell the House what new information led him to change his story? Will the minister understand that this constant charade of changing his story will not do? Will he further understand that a military inquiry into this matter is insufficient because it does not deal with political responsibility? When will the government do the right thing and appoint a public inquiry to get to the bottom of this?”

Mr. MacKay offered what he could. “Mr. Speaker, the new information was the new information provided by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Walter Natynczyk, this morning, which came from field notes that were made at the time of the incident. So, something that happened almost three years ago, while I was in a different department, that was not known by the Chief of the Defence Staff, is hardly something that I would know,” he said. “What it does prove is that when credible evidence comes forward, Canadian soldiers act meticulously, ethically, marvellously, each and every time. We applaud their efforts. We applaud their courage. They did the right thing.”

More still from Mr. Ignatieff. “Mr. Speaker, again, the issue is whether the minister will bring to the committee, this afternoon, the new information that has made him change his story, once again,” he clarified. “Will he appreciate that this constant changing of stories reduces the trust that Canadians have in this minister’s capacity to tell the House the truth? Will he finally agree that it is more than time to appoint a public inquiry, with a judge, to get to the truth of the matter?”

The Liberals stood to applaud. The Defence Minister stood with both caveats and assurances. “Mr. Speaker, again, General Natynczyk spoke the truth, this morning. He received new information this morning, which he shared with me,” he said. “This information, by the way, was recorded on a battlefield, at a time when soldiers were under extreme stress. There were different versions of what took place, in this instance. All of that was laid out by the General, in his press conference, this morning. He has called for a military board of inquiry, which will occur. That will allow the facts to be disclosed. As is always the case, we have been forthright, we have been straightforward, and we will continue to do so.”

Never mind anything you’ve heard to the contrary.

The Stats. Afghanistan, 23 questions. Foreign affairs, four questions. The environment, three questions. Taxation, two questions. Employment, the Olympics, labour, Aboriginals, the RCMP and consumer safety, one question each.

Peter MacKay, 16 answers. Stephen Harper, eight answers. Bev Oda, three answers. Mark Warawa and Jim Flaherty, two answers each. Diane Finley, Vic Toews, James Moore, Rona Ambrose, Chuck Strahl, Peter Van Loan and Leona Aglukkaq, one answer each.


 

The Commons: ‘Will they stop already?’

  1. I'm sorry, but I still don't get it, if General Natynczyk only heard the true facts this morning, how was Minister MacKay supposed to know any better? Is it not plausible that MacKay was under the same mistaken impression that the General was under until this morning?

    Because he is supposed to take the Globe and Mail's word for it?

  2. Or Amnesty Internationals, or the evidence presented at the BC trial a few years ago, or Richard Colvin's memos to him, or the Red Cross, or the Dutch and British forces . . .

  3. This government has referred previously to “credible evidence” and “credible allegations”…

    Why would the allegations need to be "credible" in order to be taken seriously, when the government that so demands expects to be taken seriously despite having been consistently devoid of credibility since its accession to power?

  4. The Afghan committee proceedings today were a sham. The three defence ministers each gave long and largely irrelevant opening statements, themselves interrupted by Con delaying tactics. Finally, the Libs and the Bloc got to ask a few questions, which the Cons didn't answer. Then it was over.

    So, where are we?

    1. The critical period is February 2006, when the Cons assumed power and August(?), 2007, when they finally upgraded Canada's prisoner transfer agreement with Afghanistan, allowing Canada to monitor the condition of those prisoners once transferred.

    2. Mr. Colvin was muzzled, while the other witnesses were coached. Documents were not handed over to the committee until the last moment, and they were incomplete and heavily censored. The Cons continue to ignore that there is no need for "specific, credible" evidence before acting, not that there was any shortage of that. They ignore that the Prime Minister himself was stating in the House, "No problem," when the Brits and the Dutch put in place a monitoring program right from the start. And, repeatedly, the Cons fall back on steps taken AFTER the period under review.

    3. Mr. Colvin's lawyer advises that his client is working on a submission to the committee to correct the many "inaccuracies" that have arisen due to the government's refusal to come clean. Former ambassadors are clamouring in Mr. Colvin's support.

    4. The Afghan committee apparently will not let this die during the recess (until end of January). It may hold hearings (presumably after receiving Mr. Colvin's submission).

    This isn't about military failure. It's about the government's failure and, as contradictory evidence mounts, it appears to be serious.

  5. consistently devoid of credibility since its accession to power?

    It would appear that the government has been credible enough to accede to power win two elections.

  6. The parliamentary hearing process is pathetic.

    It's poorly funded, poorly structures, and leaves little time for proper questioning. They need to be reformed.

    And the problem of national security confidentiality could also be resolved by statute.

    I wonder who has the power to make those changes?

  7. And then there is the Afghan Human Rights report too…..oh, never mind, it came out in 2004
    so Paul Martin, Bill Graham and John Manley read that one before they decided it was far better to handover detainees to the ANP than Americans.

    http://www.aihrc.org.af/AnnualRep.pdf

    • "The trouble is that propaganda is most convincing for the propagandist himself. " — Palestine Blogs aggregator

      Canadian translation: "Horsesh*t Wilson."

  8. I saw that, but it was from 2007 so I hoped things had improved since then. In any case, the Dutch are on record of not wanting to transfer to Afghanis, so Amnesty just supported their position on why not.

    Perhaps I am lumping apples and oranges, but it seems to me that a strategy of listening to one source only to the exclusion of all these other sources–dismissing them as not credible with no evidence other than you didn't listen to it–is um, shortsighted? Idiotic? Indefensible? At the very least, would it have been too much to ask the generals, "then why are all these people saying all this stuff?"

  9. It's plausible.

    Though to suggest that credibility got them elected really ignores the circumstances.

  10. So you ARE calling O'Connor a liar! (Reference my comment on a previous thread.) If you recall (from this afternoon) he told the committee that "he can't remember ever being informed of the possible torture or abuse of a detainee" (from Kady).

    Take another spin, wilson.

  11. You can insist all you want that this is government and NOT military failure,
    but it will be the military that gets dragged thru the mud.
    Particularly now that a document, not having been given to the military, has surfaced.
    The govt gets it's info from the military, not the other way around.

    Reports from the Red Cross (dating back to 2002) not being notified for up to 3 months of detainee transfers,
    were from events prior to the Cons taking government. That would be the Chretien and Martin governments.

    The Martin government had Afghan Human Rights and Amnesty Intl reports on torture and killings in the Afghan prison system. But still chose a handover agreement with the ANP

    • That word "appalling" appeals. A word that works to describe your inclination to defend the indefensible, Wilson.

  12. 'The critical period' started January 2002, when the first Cdn detainee was handed over, and the Chretien govt lied about even having taken prisoners.

  13. They were more credible than the alternatives, which is all the credibility they needed.

  14. "the Dutch are on record of not wanting to transfer to Afghanis"? Reread the story, Jenn.

    It seems perhaps that the Canadian branch of Amnesty hasn't been getting their story straight with their Dutch counterparts…

    The point is that everyone was aware that there was a risk of torture, it's just that there was a difference of opinion as to whether the measures and arrangements that were put in place were sufficient to mitigate that risk.

    Amnesty said nothing will sufficiently mitigate the risk, short of building jails.
    The British and Dutch said that you needed independent monitoring.
    At first, Canada relied on the AIHRC, and subsequently increased its own monitoring.

    The question is whether it waited too long before putting in place the May 2007 arrangement.

  15. Crit_Reasoning, how do elections have any bearing here? The issue raised is Con credibility. Let's see, the Cons promised no election, and we got one. Fixed election dates. Whoops. No recession, no deficit and no Senate appointments. Whoops, whoops and whoops again.

    To be open, transparent and accountable! The biggest "Whoops" of all!

  16. There were many other issues besides Truthiness.

  17. Same old talking points; "But, the Liberals did it!"

  18. I wonder if the Reformers would like to get rid of McKay??

  19. The military will only get dragged through the mud if the Conservatives drag them there. You are still missing the point, wilson. If the Liberals in power in 2002 did something wrong, let's call them out on it! (Oh yeah, we did, since they aren't the government anymore, but they can still receive our disapprobation.) That does not excuse the current government from wrongdoing in 2006. No matter what heinous act the Liberals did, the Conservative government must take responsibility for actions of the Conservative government.

    Perhaps you've heard this one before (I've certainly said it enough times), but "the Liberals did it too" is not a good excuse.

    • "The military will only get dragged through the mud if the Conservatives drag them there."

      Exactly right. The CPC is trying to redirect opposition attacks upon itself onto the CF. Personally, I don't think the CF will be tarnished by this scandal, but if it is it's because the CPC wanted it tarnished. Staggering, appalling, but true.

  20. RichardSharp, I was just making a tongue-in-cheek point: however much you feel that the current governing party lacks credibility, polls show that Canadians still consider it more credible than any of the Opposition parties.

    • You are losing your edge you self-satisfied twit.

      (tongue in cheek of course)

  21. Reformers? how 2004 of you. No, we don't want rid of him, also he will win his seat easily when we have the next election.

    • Fart sniffers — all of them. Disgusting. : D

  22. 'If he was relying upon General Natynczyk, it seems he was on solid ground, until the General changed the story this morning"

    On the contrary, it seems they don't talk about such things…incredible as that seems!

  23. I did. The Dutch at least at one point were lobbying for a NATO detention centre independent of the Afghans (not in this report, but others), but they were outvoted by the rest of us. After that, I presume they went with the independent monitoring as the best they could do. Perhaps I am naive, but I do believe that at this point of 2009–with constant monitoring–the Afghan jails are horrible, but not torturous. Not that that couldn't change the moment we stop watching, of course. I'd like to believe that we are making this much of a difference, at least, in our reconstruction efforts.

    • I see what you mean now. Yes, it is true that the Dutch wanted to build a jail at one point.

      It would be interesting to hear the justification for not building one.

      Likely, in the wake of Abu Ghraib and after the Somalia inquiry, there was a reluctance to turn soldiers into jail guards.

      Also, possible that they preferred to spend the money on schools and helicopters.

      Still, probably would have been cheaper than a public inquiry…

  24. Well, of course. I was just riffing off Sir Francis's "credibility" comment. It was a riff, dammit! A riff!

    • At the end of all this . . . ho, hum.

  25. It would appear that the government has been credible enough to…win two elections…

    …as was Jean Chrétien's, pre-Adscam.

    I think we need to talk about "credibility" here rather than credibility–the kind that obtains when one mafia thug testifies against (and is believed slightly more than) another.

    I would be interested to read what you find objectionable or inappropriate about the phrase "accede to power", by the way. Is it too…Harperian? ;)

    • Thanks, Sir Francis. (I hate it when people interrupt a fine riff).

      At the moment, your preferred mafia thug is plumbing the bottom of the barrel in his approval ratings. Ergo, the relative lack of credibility.

      Nothing objectionable about that phrase, it's just less accurate in the context of democratic elections.

  26. It's plausible.

  27. Crit, fine by me you cheeky devil. I understand the CBC will be releasing a poll tomorrow to the effect that Canadians overwhelmingly don't believe the Cons on this issue. A tongue-lashing, if you will.

  28. Hello? Listening to one source only? As a senior DFAIT official told me today, it would be the equivalent of listening only to Colvin and not taking into account other info available to the government.

  29. Seems to me that Ignatieff is handling things quite credibly. Any sense that this will help him politically?

    • Over time no doubt it will if he plays it smart. It already has. The latest Ekos poll shows the conservatives down from 40 percent in sept to 35 percent now. The liberals are holding at 26% which is their core vote. From the liberal point of view Harper has gone from majority territory to a weakened minority (35% translates into 135-140 seats because of the concentration of conservative support in alberta).

  30. Maybe so. But it does have the benefit of being true, though.

    I really do wonder how sincere the Liberals are when they call for a public inquiry.

  31. Well, presumably someone was briefing him, and presumably, until this morning, that person would have had the same information as the General.

  32. Credible. Truthy. Maybe It'll play to the base.So anyway, as long as the Liberals are calling for an inquiry, maybe the Conservative will do it , “because the Liberals did it”

    • One Liberal here in Ottawa told me that they aren't worried about calling for an inquiry because they don't expect the Conservatives to cave. Hence it's seen as political upside for them.

  33. What do you mean, TwoYen? They listened to one source–the generals who didn't get all the information they should have from the soldiers on the ground. That is not in dispute at this time. Who else did they listen to, who also didn't have the full information? I don't suggest they only listen to Colvin, either, but maybe if they'd taken his reports into consideration (along with G&M, Amnesty, etc. etc.), they could have got the generals to dig a little deeper than the non-digging they apparently did.

  34. Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse – Wikipedia, the free …
    Beginning in 2004, accounts of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse, including torture, rape, sodomy, and homicide of prisoners held in the Abu Ghraib …

    Maybe that had something to do with it Wilson. Why don't you save us and yourself alot of effort…"the liberals did it first and worst" ought to cover it.

  35. When will Wilson stop obfuscating? Prior to 2005 [not sure exact date] we were under a different command structure…we handed detainees to the Americans. Lord knows if we would not have been better advised to continue with this arrangement…but Abu graib was coming up in 2004…hence the 2005 agreement. [assumed] In any case nohing Wilson says is worth more than a fart in a hurricane.

  36. Let's see Mackay run anywhere his family name isn't there to hold his hand, and see what happens?

  37. Just to spell it out: it was a riff about perceptions of credibility. Polls suggest that Canadians generally view Harper as a credible PM, while Ignatieff is manifestly not seen as a credible PM (because his approval ratings are below 15%.)

  38. The unibrow is beyond redemption.

  39. Be kind to wilson, it's been a long three weeks for her.

    • No, but that is not the issue. The agreement included safeguards. It was not until the conservatives took over (just a few weeks after the agreement was signed) that it became known those safeguards were not sufficient.

      And then the CPC did nothing for about 18 months or so, all the while telling Canadians that anyone who questioned them must be a Taliban sympathizer.

  40. I thought the same thing. I think Iggy's doing a pretty good job.

    On the other hand, do Canadians care enough for this to make a dent in public opinion polls?

    • The ekos poll said they have made no gains during this, the ever loving Taliban Jack has made some small gain.

  41. Just a series of gradually modified adjectival variants, refinements, and clarifications of the same excuse over and over and over again.Sent from my iPod

  42. My bet is Mackay will be shuffled out of Defense after Christmas. Whatever. Canadians aren't paying much attention and could care a less about pissing matches between Cons and Crooks or Foreign Affairs and DND.

    Fortunately, the public isn't as interested in trashing their country as some politicians are to see blood on the floor in the HOC. Canadians know whose side they are on and it isn't with those who aren't in the fight, who prefer to tip already scarce resources towards the enemy at the expense of Canadian soldiers. This was always a no-win scenario and politicians are stupid if they think they can throw baloney at the wall without smearing the whole house with their greasy war crimes accusations.

    Yeah, it's that simple.

    • Whether it is or not, you've shown someone certainly is.

  43. Did you really send that from your iPod?

    That sentence would have been a lot more credible if you took the time to articulate what the "same excuse" was. Maybe your thumb was sore.

  44. The 'same excuse' is using 'credible' over and and over and over again until it works like The Big Lie. Then you shift the subject, another standard tactic. Shift the blame. “Oh! Look over there!” What have you got against iPods?Sent from my iPod

  45. That's true.However one could be forgiven for thinking it was her mission to be here.

  46. Re: credibility, it's interesting in that there is a politician's credibility in one's own eyes ("Do I believe him/her?") and then again that politician's credibility in the voters' eyes ("Do they believe him/her?"). Which is subjective and which is objective? Since one's assessment of a politician's objective credibility is necessarily subjective, but must be considered objective if it is to one's honest assessment of their credibility per se, while the voters' perception must likewise appear to them to be objective but must objectively appear to us as subjective, politicians will either seem subjectively objectively credible or objectively subjectively credible . . . or incredible, of course.

  47. The "liberals did it too" defence works so well, especially since we know in that alternate reality where Harper is cool and slim and hanging with Sir Paul, when he was PM back in 2002 Canada couldn't have handed over any Afghanis for afghani-style torture, because we had been in Iraq for nearly a year, fighting Harper's war of the willing…

  48. Funnily enough one conservative told me they were seriously considering caving because they thought the liberals didn't really want an inquiry. Mad as hatters…the whole lot of them!

  49. I have nothing against iPods. I'm really not trying to shift the blame onto your iPod, though it amuses me that you think so.

    I used the word "credible" several times because that was the topic of this tragic digression.

  50. Hmmm! I thought the polls said otherwise…people are noticing, they just haven't made up their minds yet.

  51. Politics is clearly played on multiple levels. But one thing is right here. The Conservatives have too much invested in these tactics to cave. They can't surrender their constructed personality. So the affect grows firmer and stronger with every attack. It's sociopathic. Sent from my iPod

  52. Heh. As old Dr. Foth might say, thanks for the fuzzification! ;-)

  53. … 'amusing' digression …Sent from my iPod

  54. Digressions can be tragic and amusing at the same time.

  55. Actually i was trying to trick TY into coffing up his source…you blew my cover, and my credibility :)

  56. … your preferred mafia thug is plumbing the bottom of the barrel in his approval ratings.

    You mean David Cameron? He's doing quite well, last time I checked.

    Oh, you mean in Canada? I haven't a horse in this race, actually–no "preferred mafia thug" for me. I vote on the basis of the quality of the riding candidate, in my quaint 19th-Century way. As institutions, all of our major parties revolt me–indifferently.

    …it's just less accurate in the context of democratic elections…

    …but it's exquisitely accurate in the context of Stephen Harper's obvious dynastic ambitions—most clearly evinced when Harper shuttered Parliament to avoid having the nation's representatives take away his title. At that point, the prime minister's chair became a throne.

  57. That, and we weren't going to be there that long, so building a prison would be more of a long-term thing than was useful. (Or it would give the wrong impression to the voters about how long NATO planned to be there.)

    I have to agree with schools and helicopters, even with this mess, because we are supposed to be getting it so Afghans can take care of things on their own. If we do everything for them and never show them how to do it, that doesn't help any. Here I am still relying on my belief that Afghan prisons have gotten better since 2007, that prison guards are now trained as to right and wrong, etc.

  58. In other words, according to the CPC, it's now patriotic to be unpatriotic.

  59. That, in essence is the problem with amphibians — cold-blooded, tiny brained and too quick with the bug-baiting tongue.

  60. Your mixing apples and oranges there, Jenn. But you are not alone in that. Even the estimable Paul Wells seems to confuse the general and the specific.

    MacKay was only saying that there was no record of abuse of a Canadian transferred detainee. If he was relying upon General Natynczyk, it seems he was on solid ground, until the General changed the story this morning.

  61. Sorry for my grammar: "You're mixing apples and oranges…"

  62. Maybe a certain Dizzy Lizzy will run against him!

    • I hope she does, alas, she has chose yet another province.

  63. Oh, meant to say thanks for agreeing with me at the other place. But instead of apologizing, MacKay again claimed Colvin was not credible while denying he'd ever said anything bad about Colvin. For some reason, I am genuinely disgusted today, as opposed to just despairing as on every other day.

  64. A DFAIT official unsympathetic to the Conservatives and knowledgeable about this issue told me tonight that DFAIT had also opposed the Liberals when they proposed the original transfer agreement. Although he admitted that the new transfer agreement was better than the last one, his solution, which he said was proposed by some DFAIT officials, was to have Canada build its own jails in Afghanistan. Apparently neither the previous government nor the current government were enthusiastic about that idea.

  65. As long as Stephen Harper breathes, he will tell the same story. It's his way.

  66. John Ibbitson points out in the globe that the Afghan issue as such will have no direct effect at the polls. This may be true but I think at this point the actual details of the situation are, for all practical purposes, largely irrelevant. An Ekos poll shows that the main effect appears to have been a direct hit on the governments' credibility and this in turn appears to have had an effect on voting intentions since the conservatives are down from 40.7% in September to 35.6 in the latest poll. This puts them squarely back in minority territory and probably translates in fewer seats than they hold now. Recovering will be difficult because credibility is like virginity; you only loose it once but the loss is permanent.

  67. “This information, by the way, was recorded on a battlefield, at a time when soldiers were under extreme stress." Is Peter MacKay now suggesting that our troops, in the heat of battle, cannot be relied upon to bear true witness to events? This guy's doublespeak has reached a new low. Can a defense minister be less supportive of our men and women in the field? This chump is unworthy of the office he holds and should be sacked forthwith. He undermines Canada's reputation, puts our military in the crosshairs of international prosecutors, and makes cheap fodder of the brave souls who carry our banner under the most trying of circumstances. Shame on him!!

    • I think he is suggesting they had more important things to worry about at the time than making sure the paperwork on prisoners was as thorough as it might have been. Despite those pressures, of course, the soldiers did intervene appopriately to stop a prisoner from being beaten up. In other words they did what was important, and got on with their job.
      Mr. Mackay's comments have been completely supportive. It's the opposition who keep raising ludicrous suggestions that somehow our soldiers could be prosecuted for "war crimes" – despite the complete absence of any evidence that they have been complicit in anything of the sort.
      It seems those shedding crocodile tears about Taliban prisoners not being treated as well in their own country as they would be here (athough being beaten up by police on arrest is not entirely unheard-of in this country) are the ones who should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Spoken like a true Liberal / dipper. MacKay has more class than both your parties together. The General only learned of the new revelation yesterday for christ sakes.

      • Right on!

      • Okay, but that still doesn't excuse MacKay for insinuating that the soldiers might not have done a good job about recording it.

  68. Hey Administrator, nice to know you only accept comments from all the leftwing Osama Bin hiddin huggers. I guess that's your way censoring those of us that don't care if detainees are handed over and tortured by the own. If it saves a Canadian or Coallition's life, then sorry , I say beat away!