More e-mails, more questions -

More e-mails, more questions


Richard Colvin indicates at least some of his reports were sent directly to the Foreign Affairs Minister’s office, while internal e-mails show Foreign Affairs was worried that making too big a deal of a change to the detainee transfer agreement in early 2007 might compel some to ask why it took so long. The Star pinpoints the arrival of Colvin’s memos to Peter MacKay’s office in spring 2006. The Globe profiles David Mulroney. The Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers issues a statement on the public treatment of Richard Colvin. And op-eds from Errol Mendes, Wesley Wark, James Ron, Lewis MacKenzie and Vic Toews.


More e-mails, more questions

  1. The Afghan mission is complicated and aspects of it would probably even challenge a competent government. But I am utterly confused as to how the Cons manage to bungle ever aspect of Afghan detainees. Is their aim to advertise incompetence? To convince Canadians (and Afghans and the rest of the international Afghan participants) that this government has risen way above their level of ability to govern. For a career politician who has never accomplished anything outside politics, you'd figure Harper coudl have at least hired an outside consultant to ensure that this thing gets fixed. It's perplexing.

    • Agreed. The thing is, I think Canadians are mature enough to realize that mistakes and missteps are likely in such a situation (not to excuse a role in torture, but realistically we understand it would take ongoing work to make sure the Afghan officials were holding up their end of the deal). So once again, their instinct to treat any and all questions or concerns with pure contempt has only served to turn a molehill into a mountain.

      • It's like the don't trust us…or worse, don't think it should or does concern us.

      • Mistakes, perhaps. A hefty coverup, including smear campaign and no effort to show accountability? I dare say I'm hoping Canadians have had their fill of that, but it appears that's the most popular card in the CON playbook.

      • No.. not quite contempt I don't think. As Robert points out, conservatives tend to believe that government is the problem. That government screweing up is status quo. Unfortunately, along with that belief comes an acceptance of screwing up. The problem is that while even they realize that Canadians won't accept a government that continually screws up, it seems to be the prevailing thought that the Conservatives don't screw up any more than the Liberals, it's just that the Liberals had the media on their side to hide their problems.

        That's why they are so fond of Adscam, as it vindicates their beliefs of government simply being corrupt and hiding it behind closed doors, and why they don't like to acknowledge that it was the government itself that called the inquiry into its own behavior to correct it. At any rate, this leads to nearly instinctive reaction that screw-ups are natural, and the only way to remain in power must be to cover them up as quickly as possible. So I don't think they treat questions or concerns with contempt, I think they treat them as threats.

  2. Perhaps. Roll over and accepting this just doesn't seem right though.

    • It could be that this is yet another one of those moments where Harper holds the high ground politically and electorally and yet his instinct is to head for the nearest canyon…didn't Deiff have this facility…all be it on a suitably grander scale?

  3. The Errol Mendes piece is really worh reading for those who are interested in this issue. He seems to point out that the Cons defence may not have a leg to stand on. Would you trust him or Harper/Mackay?

    • Mendes is a well-known Liberal activist, but he's also an accomplished lawyer. Amir Attaran is another one. They're probably both Taliban sympathisers, at least in TheGreatHarper's worldview, as are all the climate change bastards gathering in Copenhagen next month.

  4. Are you the same guy as Anon Lib?

    • No.

  5. The Vic Toews Op/Ed is an embarassment. I am absolutely ashamed of this government; before this issue, I was leaning towards voting for them in the next election.

    But the government's handling of this matter shows them to be despicable, dishonourable, untrustworthy and unprincipled.

    Not a single person was accusing the troops of acting dishonourably; to twist this into a "Colvin does not support our troops" thing is reprehensible. I am apalled and I hope that if the government refuses to fully cooperate and provide all the relevant information and/or call an independant inquiry, that the opposition will have the balls to vote non-confidence.

    • Wouldn't a non confidence motion trigger an unpopular election, likely resulting in a Conservative majority? As it is, I'm having a very hard time "trusting" a minority Harper government. A majority? No thank you.

    • Better late than never.

  6. I can understand and appreciate that mistakes can happen. But what I do not understand is why the Conservatives didn't do what a proper government does when it comes across a problem and fix it. According to the Colvin at least, not only did they not fix it, they didn't even want Colvin to even tell them about it.
    I guess they figured that they'd be settled back in opposition by the time the crap hit the fan.

    • But what I do not understand is why the Conservatives didn't do what a proper government does when it comes across a problem and fix it.

      It's rather difficult for a government to fix a problem when the party in charge believes government is the problem.

    • Either that or they figured that as long as there are a sufficient number of partisan/uninformed Canadians who will vote for them, and the opposition votes are split, and they have sufficient funds to negatively frame any opposition leaders/parties, they would always be in power and they can ride roughshod over any issue that was not to their advantage. They did get away with pro-roguing Parliament.

  7. With 70% of Canadians objecting to prisoner transfer if there is the possibility of torture: (a) there goes the claim that Canadians do not care when Afghans torture Afghans, and (b) is it possible that 70% of Canadians are Taliban lovers (hey, Rick Mercer, this is my line)?