A serious allegation


The CBC led tonight’s National with a rather serious allegation: that detainees in Afghanistan were deliberately transferred so that torture could be used to extract information. The allegation is made by University of Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran, who claims to have seen uncensored documents that indicate this.

Here is Terry Milewski’s report. Make of it what you will.


A serious allegation

  1. Release the files.
    It has to happen.

  2. If true, this is big. The government could fall over this.

    • You are assuming the allegations are about the current government.
      Amir Attaran was after DFAIT's HR reports from 2002-2006 , through the courts, but lost.

      • So, if it is really about the Libs, why is Harper refusing to give up those documents and risking contempt of Parliament. Does he like Iggy so much?

        • ? ? It's not Iggy he would be protecting,
          Iggy would have been still writting pro Bush articles when all this was happening

          the 'rendition' Attaran speaks of,
          is that not the US scheme, circa 2004?

          The written version of the CBC report is here Mr Wherry

          • Oh Wilson, still in never, neverland.

        • You conveniently forget wilson, that the Liberals have already stated they are perfectly fine with any inquiry or documents to detail what happened from the start of this Afghan mission as it pertains to prisoners and transfers.

          • I haven't forgotten that Iffy is perfectly fine to throw every Liberal leader that preceeded him, out with the trash.
            Look what he did to Dion. I wouldn't be bragging about it.

            If we are talking JTF2 (something Travers hinted at weeks ago) and 'rendition and war crimes',
            and hand over to 'torturers' (not Afghan guards),
            what's the first thought that pops into your head Scott?

          • The fact that Ignatieff returned to Canada so recently may turn out to be an unexpected blessing, if the allegations are true. He's sufficiently detatched from the previous history of the Liberal party that he's more likely to allow an investigation of what the Chretien and Martin governments did in Afghanistan than any other Liberal leader would be.

            Why the Conservatives would cover so hard for the Liberals is another question, but not necessarily surprising given how hard Obama's covering for Bush.

      • Ahh, the on-cue CON sgt schultz defence — we knew nothing and if we know something, its because the Liberals did it!
        It never gets old.

    • Enough of this Canadian pride,

      back to the important leftist task of casting ourselves in the international light of shame, and guilt.

      The dicotomy over witnessing our greatness over the last three weeks, with how the left will once again attempt to herald the plight of Taliban monsters will be interesting to see.

      • How sad, you believe everything Harper's mind manipulators throw out to you. Sad indeed.

    • Speculation Alert, but here it is…
      I doubt the CBC would have run this story unless they were convinced he HAD indeed seen the documents.
      How could they be so convinced? Perhaps he has a copy.
      Why would they not show them? Because the RCMP would rain down on them all with search warrants under national security.
      I will not be at all surprised if, at some point in the future, it is revealed out Amir Attaran was leaked a copy of the unredacted documents.
      I just don't see Mr. Attaran or the CBC doing an explosive story like this unless they were 100% sure they could defend it. The proof will be in the pudding. Watch the official Conservative government reaction. It will tell you all you need to know. Bet they're in meetings RIGHT now, trying to figure out how to deal with it.

    • If it's true, the government MUST fall over this.

  3. Derek Lee should file his motion. If the opposition cannot hold the govt accountable for not following an order of Parliament, then we do not have Parliamentary democracy any more. Colvin's stand would have been in vain.

    • The motion is on hold.

      • It was as of this am. After this report, it may not be as of Monday.

        Remember too, that it's not just the Liberals who can file contempt of Parliament Points of order. Any opposition MP can do so.

  4. Terry Milewski is a serious journalist. I'd be worried if I was Harper.

    • They are all serious reporters, and then they get re-assigned to star watch in the US.

    • Milewski is a left wing hack. No one believes Canadian media "journalists". They just peddle the latest socialist spin whether its human caused global warming or that Iraq was better off under Saddam.

      • You hide behind that lame retort. Chretien didn't like Milewski's conclusions and if this report he's filed finds legs, I doubt your whiney so-called leader will like it either. And I dare say there's 100,000 plus Iraqis who as victims of an illegal war could care less who was in government, just as long as they would be alive for another day.

      • You're an idiot; Milewski is a smart and balanced reporter.

        Have you forgotten he was blamed for being too partisan AGAINST the Liberals by Cretien's office back during the Asia Pacific economic conference here? He was suspended from CBC and investigated — and found to be fair and honest in his reporting.

        Come on, try harder. Find someone else to blame besides the guy who brings you the story. I know — how about blaming the harper government for trying to hide something from Canada?

  5. The opposition parties should reject this retired SC judge gambit as of right now. Demand full disclosure as Parliament has ordered.

    • Go for it, table the motion,
      I'm sure Canadians will understand being dragged into an election because an Afghan detainee got cuffed upside the head with a shoe, by an Afghan guard….because that's all yah got right now, oh and the word of a dude who says he has seen things.

      • Steve told you Canadians don't care, didn't he … just like they did not care about prorogation?

      • And just to be clear by "cuffed upside the head with a shoe, by an Afghan guard", wilson means "beaten until bloody with the boots of several Afghani guards"

        • Ok, cuffed upside the head with 'several' boots.
          Still nothing compared to how Afghan women are treated on a daily basis.

          • Oh spare us the histrionics…your "concern" is transparently false.

          • So that's our new Canadian standard: 'hey, we abuse our prisoners less than the Taliban abuses theirs.'

            You sound like Rumsfeld after Abu Ghraib went public: 'Well, it's certainly less abuse than Saddam's people were committing!'

            Canadians are supposed to be better than that. Our handling of these allegations will be the proof (or disproof).

          • Your Canadians; not Wilson's.

      • Go for it, table the motion, I'm sure Canadians will understand being dragged into an election

        Maybe it's becoming more about accountability, credibility and transparency? Could they become issues in an election? Sounds like a theme developing….. Stephen Harper misread prorogation, could he be misreading this too?

        • Stephen Harper has ignored legal orders hand over documents and even suspended parliament to cover up possible illegal behaviour by ministers in his government.

          Notice how that sentence doesn't even mention "Afghan detainees"?

          I think your on to something, danby, when you suggest the may be more about accountability than anything else.

      • There doesn't need to be an election, there needs to be following of the rules.

        And if there is, Harper needs to campaign from jail.

  6. If a company outperforms its competitors, its a success.

    If an athlete wins gold, he's the best.

    In order to guage performance, the obvious way is to guage the performer to other performers.

    Except if to do so would shed light on the strength of our economy at a time when the press wishes to cast a pall of dissappointment on the dreaded conservative (read unworthy) government.

    Today's coverage stayed safely away (or buried it at the bottom) from the single most important guage of our economy: our performance relative to other countries.

    Whitewash here, scandal chase there: today's "responsible" journalism.

    • http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNe

      CTV.ca News

      Date: Fri. Mar. 5 2010 10:25 PM ET

      Finance Minister Jim Flaherty is facing the ire of opposition critics who say the minister isn't leading by example, after it was revealed that he used a private jet to sell his belt-tightening budget Friday.

      The day after he unveiled the government's new budget, the finance minister flew from Ottawa to London, Ont., on a Challenger jet so he could do media interviews at Tim a Horton's coffee shop.

      The opposition says the flight cost taxpayers $9,000, compared to a commercial flight, which runs about $800.

      Liberal MP David McGuinty said that Flaherty is asking that Canadians cut back while he travels on a private plane.

      "He can't say he wants Canadians and the government and public services to be reined in, while he spends so flagrantly."

      Flaherty's office told CTV Ottawa Bureau Chief Robert Fife that the private flight was necessary because of scheduling. The office said that Flaherty would be returning to Ottawa on a commercial flight.

      However, it costs another $9,000 just for the jet to return, Fife added.

      • They don't have Tim Hortons in Ottawa? Or better yet, how about use the Parliamentary Press Gallery? Or are there no votes to win in there?

      • The Canadian taxpayer also picks up the tab to fly Ruby Dhalla's momma around with her/

        • Yes, well, that totally makes it A OK that Flaherty abuses his position so he can fly a private jet while so many Canadians are out of work.

          Wilson, honestly, you are not going to lose your title as Harper's biggest shill just because you do not defend every little thing his government does.

      • The funny thing about this is that Flaherty choosing to fly on a commerical jet back to Ottawa actually cost the government MORE because the plane had to fly back anyways. He just didn't want to be labelled as having flown in the expensive plane too much.

    • The constant prattling of biff and wilson — tweedle-dee and tweedle-doo — makes my heart sing. Their rapid response to these niggling questions would indicate both their tinfoil and talking point memos are working overtime. That must mean there's smoke and fire.

      • I see your point, but still hurts my soul to know that such people can be so easily bought.

  7. Even for you, this is blisteringly stupid.

    • Cubans, in our continent, languishing in prisons. A country where many of us vacation. Not held for being accused of killing westerners, but for the "crime' wanting free speech, and other basic freedoms.

      They languish in silence,

      while the faux leftist human rights activists, herald the cause of the Taliban monsters, for the sole purpose of attacking a conservative government.

      Taliban, who under Liberal (read correct) rule, were no ones concern.

  8. If this is true, can we all understand why, with Canadian troops still over there, that there is an actual national security interest in keeping some secrets a secret?

    Or are we STILL all so eager to yell COVER-UP!!!!! and PARLIAMENT IS SUPREME!!!!! at Harper for the frisson of sticking it to Harper, even though he may be covering for a previous administration and even when the collateral damage to Canadians in Kandahar is a very real risk?

    Just wondering.

    • No, I don't see a national security interest here. You are, understandably, concerned for the welfare of our soldiers. But I put it to you that if a) regular Afghanis knew about this anyway, it would be helpful to our soldiers if we stood up and condemned the pracitce, assured Afghanis that we will not tolerate, etc. b) regular Afghanis didn't know about this, and will hear about it ALONG WITH our condemnation of said bad behaviour on our part. Honesty, accountability, a novel concept that just might grow on them c) The taliban. Who cares what they did or didn't know, they are out to kill us no matter what we do, say, think, etc.

      • You are, commendably, calling on common sense and civility to reign supreme where propaganda actually rules. With our soldiers still over there in harm's way, I am afraid I cannot share your idealism.

        • Ah, well I hadn't taken that into consideration, you are right. I do look to common sense probably more than I should. Then again, we haven't started an anti-propaganda campaign either (probably because we don't know the truth yet).

      • And, with respect, neither you nor I can obviously "see" whether there is a national security interest or not. Because we have not seen the documents.

        What has me flabbergasted is the verbiage over the last several weeks that seems to suggest that there is NO national secret worthy of keeping secret, no matter what damage the exposure would do to our nation's interest. That's just incredibly naive, or so incredibly partisan as to be begging for harm to come to Canada so the party in power might suffer at the next ballot box.

        Jenn, you seem to suggest that the country would be better served for properly dealing with some embarrassing issues. While I am not completely convinced (especially since neither of us knows just what the "secrets" are), it is of course a legitimate stance. And you have offered the courtesy of a conversation. So thank you for that. To the silent thumbs downers out there, may I remind you that you are more than welcome to post a response. I look forward to reading tomorrow what you unknown dissenters might actually have to say. Good night.

        • "you seem to suggest that the country would be better served for properly dealing with some embarrassing issues"

          The country would be better served yes, following the rule of law shows to the world that our laws are not just enforced in time of peace but also in time of crisis. That is what makes us better, if we cannot follow our own rules then we are no better than the people shooting at our soldiers in Afghanistan.

        • Your point about neither of us knowing what the secrets are is well taken and of course might well change my opinion once known. But going on what I assume the documents might show, and I assume they might show we did some either misguided or downright horrible things, but we did them IN THE PAST and haven't been doing that anymore in more recent history. So that is why I think it would not affect today's National Security (along with the other stuff I already said).

          In addition, I have no problems with the documentation not seeing the public light of day, if that is the issue, which is why I particularly liked the MPCC forum for this whole mess. But to suggest, in a democracy, that our elected representatives have no right to know what the government has done in our name is, well, past ridiculous and into no-longer-a-democracy, I think.

          • Except that the one guy in the public who HAS seen the documents suggests there could be wrongdoing greater than anyone ever thought.

            There's definitely enough that this should be explored in a transparent manner. Details which could reveal sensitive current military information should be kept secret, everything else must come to light.

        • I have no problem with the concept of some national secrets being worthy of being kept secret from the general public. But there is no national secret that should be kept concealed from Parliament. Canada's MPs are the duly elected leaders of Canada. Stephen Harper is not a King.

          I believe that the opposition has agreed to allow some Parliamentary debates or discussions kept closed to the general public. And I have no problem with that.

          Saying that some business of the Canadian government must be kept concealed from the vast majority of its elected representatives smacks of autocracy.

          • If only I could share your trust in MPs to protect secrets. As a group they've been a partisan self-serving sieve for all sorts of information.

          • I don't particularly trust MPs. The idea that somebody like Rob Anders has access to any information at all, other than perhaps what is on the Parliamentary cafeteria's menu, scares me senseless. But, like or it or not, the members of Parliament are the only government we have.

            The alternative – the Prime Minister and the PMO keeping secrets from the rest of the government – is scarier to me than the idea of some rogue MP giving away Canadian secrets to some enemy or other.

            And, in my opinion, it is the Conservative MPs who have been the most partisan and self-serving of the lot. Their job seems to be to parrot the government's talking points and serve as attack dogs as needed.

            On my gloomier days, I wonder whether the plan is to try to eliminate Parliament entirely. If (the reasoning goes) Parliament consists of nothing but squabbling and untrustworthy partisan shills, why not dispense with it altogether?

          • You're not "Out There."

            My Member of Parliament is Stephen Harper. Previously Preston Manning. I actually pine for Preston's representation and can say with certitude I would like to roll the clock back. That's conservative.

        • What myl said. Very well put. The reckless actions of the opposition on this file assumes that Harper acts only as leader of the CPC, and not the leader of a country responsible for thousands of Canadians abroad.

          If I thought for a minute that the primary reason for this reckless attitude of the opp. was not to harm the CPC, but rather that they were acting solely because of humanitarian reasons, then, I would still want them to use more discretion.

        • "What has me flabbergasted is the verbiage over the last several weeks that seems to suggest that there is NO national secret worthy of keeping secret, no matter what damage the exposure would do to our nation's interest."

          That's not what's being called for. The executive branch can keep documents secret from parliament, but parliament can certainly request documents, review them and then choose on its own what to release publicly. The motions I've seen demanding these documents have allowed for exactly that process by ordering that the documents in question be handed over the the special committee on Afghanistan which can then choose what to do with them.

          • Oops. Should read: "The executive branch can keep documents secret from parliament, but parliament can certainly request documents, review them and then choose on its own what to release publicly."

  9. "A serious allegation"

    HE MADE IN 2007:

    from this guys wiki description:

    "In February 2007, he received significant media coverage in Canada when he brought forward testimony by Afghan prisoners captured by Canadians and handed to the custody of the Afghan National Army, who said they had later been abused by the ANA. [2] [1] [3] (See also Canadian Afghan detainee abuse scandal.)"

    • And if you google Attaran, he was delving into Gitmo, JTF2 and the years 2002-2006
      Even the G&M has not picked up his 'rendition and war crimes' story………

      Attaran also said HE found the 'secret' agreement Rick Hillier signed,
      omg, what a showboat.

      • Attaran may be a hand wringer, but you've just made a case for him being an unbiased one. Let's see what he has, sounds reasonable…so i doubt you'd agree.

  10. So to recap:

    AGW crumbling, a new scandal almost every day: won't touch (only the british press appears interested, and of course alternate media everywhere)

    Gotcha "accusations" against conservatives: lather rinse repeat.

    • What is with all of your random spacing. Ever heard of a paragraph?

    • That's how it goes, the Libs are owned by their media, will follow them anywhere.

      • Ha ha ha.

        When all else fails, resort to the "they are all out to get us" defence.

      • Oh the damn media with their Liberal bias making you feel like the underdog. Always a nice thing to use although as Charlie Brooker on Newswipe reminds us, pretty hard to be the underdog and raging over the left bias while bragging about being #1 in the ratings like in the US. The bit is around 1:35.

        <object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/2aEk864YrKw&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/2aEk864YrKw&hl=en_US&fs=1&&quot; type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

      • I don't get this whole "liberal media" thing.

        I live in Toronto, and we have four newspapers here: the Toronto Star (which admittedly is liberal, if not Liberal), the Globe and Mail (centrist, but has endorsed Harper in the last two elections), the Toronto Sun (rabidly socially conservative), and the National Post (the unofficial Conservative Party house organ).

        I, for one, would like some more liberal media, please.

        • The fact that you live in the bowels of hell means you don't get an opinion.

          (hey, look at me – Blogging Torying is Easy!)

        • The G&M has never endorsed Harper during any elections. They have had editorials suggesting that Harper would do but simply because the G&M couldn't find something better. They had to semi endorse Harper, because had they endorsed the other options they would have made themselbes to be the laughingstock, and that they wouldn't stand for. It's really that simple.

  11. "You see, once you get out of the 'news' business and into the propoganda (sic) business, its pretty much over"

    Unintentional Hilarity of the Day!

    Thanks Biff, you quite literally made my weekend! And I got hockey tickets for tomorrow :)

  12. Your ability to move goalposts is a thing of beauty.

  13. Derek Lee, walk down that hill,
    oh, he did already.

    Liberals stand down, take cover behind Harper's SCoC Judge.

    But, they will follow the next media led road to nowhere too.

    • Would you kindly shut up?

  14. Ottawa law professor Amir Attaran…

    LMFAO, got to love the CBC and Macleans,,,

    And Errol Mendes is also someone to quote as non bias. Got to love Rogers Macleans, no bias here. And The Government trying to open up the telco networks has nothing to do with the lame coverage from Macleans..

    When is the next Iggy puff piece…

    • Typical playing the victim card – how weak is that.

      • Not as weak as your comment.

        • What an odd thing to say. Pointing out Chuck's comment was void of any actual facts or reasoned argument is not weak.

    • This spacing and rhetoric looks a bit familiar. It looks like Biff got himself an alias.

  15. Interesting tactic. Claim whatever cockamamie story you can think of to slur the Canadian forces in an attempt to attack the government.

    • Except for slurring the forces, I think I could agree with that. But that's the very problem with unconfirmed allegations, isn't it. We should do something about that, like confirm or dismiss the allegations.

    • Perhaps there is a whistleblower in the public service who is trying to avoid the public attack orchestrated against Colvin, who wasn't even a whistleblower, while bringing to light possible war crimes.

      That to me sounds more likely even than a established legal academic risking his career on a 'silly tactic'.

      • What makes you think he's risking his career? This makes him a hero to "social justice" types, whether or not he's making up allegations out of whole cloth.

        • Because outside politics those who tell big, attention catching lies suffer consequences for them.

          He risks everything, unlike us online commentors.

      • avr is right. This guy making the allegation won himself a spot as the lead in prime-time television. Hardly a risky move.

          • Challenging laws furthers our jurisprudence and helps the legal system adapt to an ever-changing society.

        • I thought Colvin became a household name because he was publicly slandered by a government for performing a order from parliament and speaking truth (from his position) to an obfuscating system of 'governance'.

  16. To disprove these allegations, the files must be released. To not do so will now be seen as an admission of guilt or negligence, if you're feeling generous.

    • Yeah, that's exactly the reasoning for this silly tactic. It's win-win, if the files are not released, they can make up whatever allegations they want, and if the files are released, they can claim a victory forcing the government to do their bidding.

      • "can claim a victory"
        Sure, that logic works……
        No! Just by refuting these specific allegations, Harper will "win" as it will be endlessly spun by him and media as proof that all what has come before is irrelevant (basically the con-troll aurguments on this board getting writ large) don't attack the troops etc etc

        and this whole " victory" stuff is soooo parochial

        Canadian reputation and $$ is at stake
        Canadian and Afghan lives are at stake

        I, for one am sick of your relentless partisan spinning

        enough already

        • I'm a little sick of your partisan spinning too.

          • "They can claim a victory forcing the government to do their bidding."

            When you say "they", I'm sure what you meant to say was "parliament", because the rules the current governing party is being asked to follow are parliamentary rules.

          • Yes, it's true, I think eventually the documents will be released. It appears that at this time Harper is relying on the advice of an impartial individual, a supreme court justice, to try to persuade the opposition that releasing the documents will be detrimental to the success of the mission in Afghanistan.

      • You're setting up a false dichotomoy. In fact, the files *have to be released* because Parliament has demanded it.

        As long as the opposition has the spine to follow through, the only ones putting the government in a lose-lose position is the government itself.

      • Sounds like a manoeuvre worthy of his chessmasterliness himself, then?

  17. "make of it what you will"

    As if there is any doubt what the author wishes us to "make" of it.

    On cue, the first comment:

    "the government could fall over this"

    Of course that is what we are to "make" of virtually all of Wherry's posts.

    • Biff, I seem to remember you, specifically, all hot and bothered about China's human rights abuses. Now we have an allegation that Canadians deliberately transferred to torturers in order to gain information from torture, and you seem fine with the idea.

      What is up with that?

      • Actually my point is directly related to this. This isn't an issue because of concern for the plight of Taliban monster detainees,

        it's an issue because its seen by the left as an opportunity to attack Harper.

        And so, real abuse, murder, of people not engaged in acts to kill westerners, but rather simply want to speak freely, like say Cubans,

        languish away.

        While the precious Taliban are the current darlings of the left.

        Partisanship sure creates interesting allies.

        • You make absolutely no sense, biff. No, sorry that isn't true. You make quite a bit of sense as long as you are fine with the complete hypocrisy of condemning others for that which you do yourself. Like the government of Uganda, who condemns a truly evil monster named Koni for abducting children for use as child soldiers. Sometimes, the government of Uganda is able to "rescue" these children–and usually keeps them for use in the government's own army.

          That is similar to what you are doing, biff.

        • Substitute the word 'attack' with 'hold accountable'… No doubt the biffs of the nation would prefer to keep politics on the 'attack' mode, since its the only constant in their own party's moral-less arsenal. And being accountable? That's only for other parties, other leaders and other citizens.
          the biffs need no answers, because they are sheep.

  18. While the liberal press will once again attempt to revive this issue,

    they're desperately attempting to whitewash a critical fact in our current state of the economic union coverage:

    Canada "owns the podium" in economic performance and stability.

    • Yer rrreal proud of that "own the economic podium" line ain'tcha?

      • Canada,

        by far,

        has the strongest economy out of any comparable country.

        Of course the press won't report it.

        But you can be gauranteed the CPC will remind candians of that come election time.

        And it will have traction becuase its true.

        True, important, and something the liberal media desperately wants to avoid (like the AGW implosion).

        • Yay….the "liberal media" strikes again!!

          by the by, what would you in your esteemed opinion consider a "comparable country"?

          • Far left liberals should cheer.

            Just as they cheer the NYT and CNN in the US.

            Then the non far left public caught on and they crumbled.

            I can assure you, while far left activists would love the startling facts of the AGW's demise, these literally earth shattering facts are probably not of the variety that average folk think should be actively suppressed.

            You see, once you get out of the 'news' business and into the propoganda business, its pretty much over.

          • "Far Left"

            Hilarious O'Reilly-ism. But you're doing it for 'the folks'. right?

          • The far left that put in placing the banking rules that Harper bitterly opposed and then saved our butt when America spiralled towards collapse?

            Don't worry, though, if there was going to be a recession we'd've had it by now.

          • Far left liberals should cheer.

            Just as they cheer the NYT and CNN in the US.

            Then the non far left public caught on and they crumbled.

            I can assure you, while far left activists would love the startling facts of the AGW's demise, these literally earth shattering facts are probably not of the variety that average folk think should be actively suppressed.

            You see, once you get out of the 'news' business and into the propoganda business, its pretty much over.

        • you act like the CPC had anything to do with Canada's economic standing.
          They were handed balanced books and were headed toward a deficit long before a recession hit ( a recession they denied, a deficit they fudged over and over, btw).
          Cutting the GST and being the LARGEST spending government in Canadian history does not good money managers make.
          You'll notice real fiscal conservatives are not defending Harper's economic record, only partisan to the death types.

          • Heh,

            when the "news" reports the economy in the negative, its the CPC fault,

            but the supressed facts of economic superiorty, not the CPC's doing.

            Are you a Reuters reporter by any chance?

  19. And the problem with this is? Actually the problem is we didn't torture them for information ourselves. These people are terrorists, not soldiers in an army. They laugh at our "human rights" cry babies while they hack the heads off their own people and throw acid in school girl's faces who try to attend school they first torture. If beating them saves on Canadian soldier's life or the life of an innocent Afghan woman or child I say give it to them.

    • Whats the problem? Rob H, are you kidding me?

      Study international law where it pertains to the Geneva Conventions and the handling of prisoners/detainees.
      It's against international law for the government to have turned over prisoners to Afghan authorities if we even SUSPECTED they were going to get tortured (which completely shreds and makes a moot point "the no credible evidence claim that MacKay and others were spouting off about).

      If its shown we not only knew that they were going to be tortured, but officials hoped they would be tortured to get more "intelligence" out of them, that is a war crime…. and the Hague's chief prosecutor is going to get a lot more involved then he already is.

      If it's proven Cdn authoritie

    • Some day, you may have sons and daughters of your own, if you don't already. And there's always the possibility that they may be called on to serve their country, on the front lines, in situations where they might be captured by the enemy. If such an unhappy event were to occur, I assume that you would prefer that they not be tortured.

      The main reason why we don't torture – besides the obvious moral one – is this: if we do it to them, they can do it to us.

      And information obtained from torture is not reliable anyway: the tortured tend to tell their captives what they want to hear – or anything, as long as it stops the pain.

      • Actually, no. The main reason we don't torture, and why we don't turn prisoners over to those who might, is because doing so endangers our troops.

        If you're fighting against an enemy and he knows that capture will likely equal torture, he will fight harder than he would have if he knows that capture means he won't be treated too badly. We don't want them fighting harder. It's that simple.

    • Dehumanizing the enemy makes you feel better about your moral depravity I gather?

    • Rob H. sounds a lot like Rob Anders.

    • Are you very young, Rob H? Have you read or heard the slightest thing about, say, World War II? Because there, it was conclusively shown that once a society is okay with removing a certain segment of that society's rights, the certain segment grows. And as it grows, it grows faster, because those who might have, eventually, stood against the practice have already been trod under by it. There are other examples, as well, in Africa and South America, too, I believe.

      But if some day we should ever feel as you do, I vote that people named Rob H (and you better not be the one I know) be the first to go.

  20. You know how you can tell when Conservatives are getting really nervous?
    There must a handbook out there for these kind of predictable responses:

    1. Attack the socialist, Liberal media, it's a big media conspiracy (apparently even conservative media are lefties these days)
    2. Attack the personal character of whoever is dissenting (Attaran, Colvin are apparently part of the vast left wing conspiracy)
    3. Divert blame (ie.pretend it's an attack on CF, not legitimate questions to a government to make people feel bad about betraying front line soldiers).
    4. Blame the Liberals (cause the sponsorship scandal was way worse than this)
    5. Defend the indefensible (torture is ok, it's the TALIBAN. Only posters on the lower end of the IQ scale are permitted to use this one.)

    I dare y ou to find a contrary Conservative opinion on the blogs that doesn't fall into one or more of these categories. The Conservatives who are mortified by all this? They're just shutting up and hoping it's not as bad as it looks. I know my fair share of them.

    • you forgot "we own the economic podium"

    • You don't need all that in order to deny a fabricated story.

      • Well then, the Cons should release the documents to Parliament so that can be proven scf. The fact they haven't and have gone to extreme lengths not to disclose them suggests they have something to hide, and it aint due to matters of national security.

        • There is a flaw in your logic that is obvious to you, me and everyone else.

  21. Funny, I thought Harper acted as an elected MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT.

    • No you are mistaken. We do not expect our PM to act as an average MP. We vote for MP`s but we want leadership qualities from our PM. I would have thought this was common knowledge.

      • Something tells me that you would have been right at home in Fujimori's Peru.

        • That`s all you`ve got ?

      • Hear, hear!

        • Guys, dig your heads out of the sand. If leadership didnt matter to us we would now have PM Dion. You guys should know that poll after poll asks respondents about who is the best leader because it is a very important component in how one votes.

          You guys seem to be in some kind of denial and maybe you would like gov`t to be about a bunch of diverse MP`s in a never-ending debate.

          Saying something as silly as " The MP`s elect the PM " just shows how out of touch you`ve become.

      • We dont' elect our PM.
        We elect MPs.
        The MPs' elect the PM.

  22. The CBC is not going to put a report on TV based on third-party assertions.

    The CBC itself has seen and/or has these documents. They are using Amir Attaran to innoculate their sources.

    It is quite obvious that there is something bad in those documents, given the lengths to which the government has gone to hide them.

    • CBC is the ONLY media outlet covering this story.
      What's that tell yah

    • RIght. I'm sure they didn't even cover the wafergate story at all.

      Oh wait…

      • It's simple then. Harper should sue Amir Attaran and the CBC for slander.

    • What malarkey. If the CBC has seen them, then clearly the documents have been released, so there is no controversy.

      There's nothing stopping the CBC from publishing whatever they want, rather than relying on innuendo and smears.

      • Except for the certain budget cut/privatization of the CBC. Who has crossed the Harper government and come out unscathed? Linda Keen? Elections Canada? Richard Colvin? No one.

  23. That they got the scoop?

    • Nothing to do with a scoop,
      everything to do with being the only outlet where the TAXPAYER picks up the legal cost when this nutbar gets taken to court for unsubstantiated allegations.

      • . . . when this nutbar gets taken to court for unsubstantiated allegations.

        That you can type those words without being instantly struck by a lightning bolt or bursting into flame is proof enough that your god is a merciful one.

      • Maybe they're the only outlet with a copy of those alleged documents? Maybe the problem is that Milewski works for the CBC?

      • That is ridiculous. You are accusing the reporters of deliberately lying.

  24. How about the Liberals and their media wait until our brave troops are out of Afghanistan, out of harms way.
    They have succeeded in demoralizing them, leave it at that for another year.

    If what Liberals and their media want is to hurt Harper,
    then take direct aim at him.
    Like get the guts to bring down the government or something.

    Leave our troops alone you sorry fools.

    • Just so I'm clear on this: we should never, ever question the conduct and policy of the Canadian military (or more precisely its commanders and political leaders) in the midst of active engagement? Isn't that something of a blank cheque for the ruling party?

      • It's transparently happening primarily not for its own sake, but as a club with which to attack the government.

        • Hmm. There's undoubtably an element of political gamesmanship to this. But it's hard to overlook the government's handling of this file and the concerns raised – at almost every turn they've acted liked a group seeking to save their poltical skins (the attacks on Colvin, the equation of criticism and concern with being against the troops, proroguation in the face of demands for documents, etc…).

          A productive debate on this issue needs to acknowledge that some of us are very concerned about potential involvment in torture, and that it doesn't make us partisan attack hounds, Taliban supporters, or any less supportive of the men and women in our armed forces. And the conservatives have not done that.

          So while it's certainly true that some of the heat Harper is experiencing is rooted in purely calculated attack ploys (i.e., not based in genuine concern about the issue per se), there's enough obfuscation and politicking on the government's part to make it untenable to put the issue to rest for that reason.

          • Where was your concern when the Liberals were detaining Afghans from 2002-2006?
            Not a peep. The Liberal govt even lied about our troops taking prisoners,
            no concern.
            But all h— breaks out when a Conservative govt takes over power,
            trying to deal with the mess the Liberal govt made of the detainee handover agreements.

            Do you think Canadians are stupid?
            Liberals and their media are trying to recreate a military version of Adscam to bring down the govt,
            because they can't do it any other way (coaltion of losers failed)

          • My concern was just as pronounced then. Not all of us are knee-jerk partisan stooges like yourself. And your comments tend to illuminate more of your biases than mine.

            I trust you were advocating for the citizens and media to leave the Liberal government alone at the time – for the sake of the troops and all.

          • Liberals and their media

            To properly counteract this phenomena, you should recommend that the CPC acquire some media outlets of their own.

          • Like the National Post?

          • Works for me, but I couldn't even begin to guess if wilson would agree.

          • Isn't the NP being slowly shoe-horned into the CBC anyway? Shared content and whatnot?

    • Soldiers are not saints. Yes, we thank them for their service, but putting on a uniform does not preclude bad or criminal behavior. Much like priests or judges, they are human beings first, and are thus susceptible to all the human frailties.

      Having said that, the CBC report does not talk about the conduct of the troops. It alludes to the conduct of "officials," possibly meaning political people.

      There is no evidence that our uniformed soldiers did nothing but follow orders and conduct themselves in an honourable way.

    • As Anon001 points out, our soldiers are expected to follow orders. They are not autonomous agents acting on our behalf. If there are problems with how they are conducting operations, it's reasonable to assume that the problem originates somewhere up the chain of command, and the responsibility for that ultimately falls to the Minister of Defence and the government. So it's a question of leadership above all else. If our troops are conducting the campaign in a questionable manner, it is because at some level that conduct is condoned or even encouraged.

      Our troops perform difficult and dangerous work under extremely unpredictable conditions and deserve, at the very least, clear, coherent, and consistant direction from their leadership, military and civilian alike. NOT getting that direction is what puts them individually, and the legitimacy of their campaign, at risk.

      • I should also point out that it is NOT unreasonable to expect that a military campaign conducted on behalf of Canadian citizens be consistant with the values of those citizens. Any digression from that requires explanation and justification.

        The alternative is to establish the military as independent of civilian command. Does anyone really think that is desirable?

    • Good grief – head still in the clouds. You don't even realize that if the government doesn't deal with this – it hurts our soldiers.

      Poor little sheep.

  25. Good grief – ego still wrapped up in bringing down Harper. You don't even realize that if the media runs with this – it hurts our soldiers.

    Poor little sheep.

    • The CBC is the only scum to run the story,
      Wherry the only paid blogger to pick it up, so far.

  26. How do you know Harper's in trouble and the Cons supporters are worried – Wilson and Biff come out with PM talking points and silly drivel.

    • Grow up.

      • Pardon me – did you say something?

        Response – grow up from a mind manipulated Harper sheep.

        LOL and yawn

    • I think they may be the same person.

    • Wow, isn't that a coincidence. Not. Maybe he wants to get into politics.

    • Yes, it's true. Ignatieff has friends. Unlike Harper, who has to pay people (with taxpayer money) to be his friends :-)

    • Agreed, it would have been better for the CBC to identify that link.

      • Yes,. And they can point out at the same time that Steve Janke is a notorious smear-merchant who has been accused of libel in the past for making unsubstantiated allegations.

        • …and never convicted, just as in this case he might be accused, but of course that would also be a false accusation.

          • So what?

          • What's the point of telling people about false accusations? If I call you a pedophile, does that have a bearing on your credibility on this page?

          • It wasn't a false accusation.

          • Everything Janke said about Attaran is absolutely true and verifiable.

          • No one's claiming otherwise.

          • You are: Steve Janke is a notorious smear-merchant who has been accused of libel in the past for making unsubstantiated allegations

          • You are:

            No, I'm not. That isn't with respect to his latest post.

            Try to read for comprehension.

          • Then why mention it at all?

        • Sorry for not being aware, but how is Steve Janke involved in this particular aspect of the detainee issue?

      • But there's more context to the story then that. Attaran has been a critic from early on [ not saying he's right or wrong]. The fact that he's a friend of Ignatieff is hardly as important a factor in this as Attaran's persistent criticicism. Personally i'd be sceptical of him…but for cons to jump all over the Ignatieff connection is frankly silly.

        • The good reason to have the CBC identify the link between Ignatieff and Attaran is to (attempt to) prevent exactly this type of tangential discussion which distracts from the real issue. Or, it is easier to demand squeaky clean behaviour from others if you can demonstrate it yourself.

          OTOH, I'm not sure that such a disclosure would be completely effective, since it still leaves the actual linkage between the two intact, with all of its inferences. On balance I'm not trying to defend the cons, but I do accept that it would have been at least marginally better to declare that linkage.

          Btw, I thought the CBC story did mention that Attaran has been involved in investigating the detainee issue for many years…

          • "The good reason to have the CBC identify the link between Ignatieff and Attaran is to (attempt to) prevent exactly this type of tangential discussion which distracts from the real issue."

            Wouldn't identifying the link just encourage it?

          • Can't disagree, and I did try to hint at that possibility. Ultimately it is, to a large extent, a lose-lose scenario.

            My thinking is that in either case there is almost certainly going to be some time and effort expended discussing the link and its relevance; that time and effort can be marginally reduced by getting the first part out of the way as quickly as possible. It is only my suspicion, though.

  27. About a half dozen serious journalists have been spending the last few months collecting a body of evidence against this government that will bring this whole temple down on Harper's head.

    Harper knows what is waiting for him on the front page of the newspaper one of these mornings. He is absolutely terrified. Harper knows what is in those documents, and so do a lot of other people in Ottawa.

    • Can Harper dodge the bullet by sacrificing Peter MacKay?

      • Did Chretien wear Somalia?
        Who wore Somalia?

        • As I recall, the soldiers who killed the young boy "wore" Somalia.

      • God no longer accepts human sacrifices, Ask hm yourself

    • Harper knows what's in the documents, which is why all this bluster doesn't concern him in the least.

      • Then why the smear (Colvin) and stonewall? Surely he could have handled things better than this?

        • Just because Harper may consider the accusations untrue, that does not mean he need not defend himself. In fact, when your detractors feel they need not rely on accuracy, that is when they can be most dangerous.

          And as for the redacted documents, perhaps they truly mean what they say? Perhaps there is some sensitive information in there that should not be release while we have troops in Afghanistan.

          Perhaps they could have handled things better, but I fail to see how. If they had lent credibility to Colvin's claims, which in mind were fanciful, that simply opens the door to more forceful and less truthful attacks. The fact is, Colvin and others fave failed to provide any direct evidence that a single Canadian detainee was ill-treated, it is all speculation and conjecture based on half-truths.

          • "Colvin may himself feel that he is right, but that doesn't mean he is."

            You've got a lot of nerve, s_c_f. Everything you've posted is based on your own 'feeling' that you are right, in the absence of any concrete proof about anything.

            Let's release the documents, and cut out the smears.

          • I don't know if I'm right or not, but I have spent time examining Colvin's evidence and all the other evidence out there, which is enough for me to say that I'm not convinced that our troops had any involvement in torture whatsoever.

          • I notice that right here you have gone from saying Harper has a right to defend himself to saying "I'm not convinced that our troops had any involvement in torture". Of course Colvin never accused the troops of any such involvement; it's the deicision makers at the top he was concerned about..

            Way to try to deflect atention from Harper and the rest who will bear the responsibility if the allegations are true; and in that case they should face criminal charges.

          • Oh, he doesn't genuinely feel he's right.

          • "Perhaps there is some sensitive information in there that should not be release while we have troops in Afghanistan. "

            Like Canadian officials handing over detainees to be tortured?

            I can't think of anything else. Can you?

          • Yes, I could instantly think of many things: strategy, troop positions and numbers, future plans for advancement, details about weaponry, details about deployments, etc…. there are a MILLION things you'd prefer your adversary did not know in a conflict.

          • Yes, I could instantly think of many things: strategy, troop positions and numbers, future plans for advancement, details about weaponry, details about deployments, etc…. there are a MILLION things you'd prefer your adversary did not know in a conflict.

            From years ago? Don't be silly.

          • Doesn't matter how old it is if much of it is still true today. It's the same war.

          • Point taken, but how is releasing "sensitive" information to our MP's putting the troops in danger? Are we worried an MP will leak the info? I'm certain there are means to ensure the utmost secrecy of any sensitive information in the documents.
            Once the committee sees the un-redacted documents, they can address the issue. No wrongdoing, the info remains closed, and a feather in SH's accountability cap. Since Mr Harper assures us there was no indiscretion, it should be a no brainer for him. The quickest way to end the "scandal" is to prove beyond a doubt it doesn't exist.

          • Stop making sense…that's far too obvious a course for a chess master…for one thing it doesn't allow for prorogation anywhere. Proragation is the surest to prevent leakage of sensitive information.

          • danby: "how is releasing "sensitive" information to our MP's putting the troops in danger?"

            Indeed! I am genuinely curious what the reasoning is behind the idea that releasing top-level policy decisions from 2006 could impact CF personnel on the ground in 2010. The only thing I can think of is that it would give the Taliban a PR victory and/or enrage their fighters. To which I'd answer, the Taliban already have all the PR stuff they can cope with, and torture is not going to raise a lot of eyebrows over in Kabul; and the Taliban fighters seem pretty motivated already, though much more so by the US drone campaign than by some policy stuff by a minor coalition partner from 4 years ago. No no, this is about us any way you slice it; the Taliban are pretty tangential to the whole business.

          • agreed. this cpc talking point would near have us believe are troops are currently being coddled by the taliban, which is but the finest grade of bs.

            like you say Jack there is far more driving the taliban toward a fever pitch if they haven't already reached it then a memo pointing out facts that they likely all ready know.

          • and if this story goes all out internationally? That would not score big time for the Taliban?????

            Call our troops home immediately. Now!

            If members of Parliament and the general population on longer know who to cheer for then let's bring our boys and girls home.

            War is not as simple as some make it out to be. Far from it.

          • Perhaps they could have handled things better, but I fail to see how


            By handing over the documents to the standing committee and not proroguing for months, for starters.


          • The events occurred in 2006 and before, so your suggestions that a delay of 6 weeks in 2010 has any bearing is up to your usual standards of lacking any logic whatsoever.

  28. maybe the allegations are baseless; time will tell.
    But feel free to kick start the smear campaign

  29. Somehow, if "detainees in Afghanistan were deliberately transferred so that torture could be used to extract information" I suspect many of the outside Taliban would already be aware of this – unless the individuals have disappeared into a black hole somewhere, never having been heard from since.

  30. some conservatives. this board is filled with CPC flacks that jut wanna play hear no evil, see no evil, and attack the messenger.

    Paris Hilton's lap dogs never behaved so well.

  31. I guess that means – by extension – anyone who was a friend or former colleague of just about anyone who isn't a CPC baa lamb has an agenda and knows nothing….duh!
    Did any cartoonist do one yet of Harper painting a floor and finding himself stuck in the corner – with his little band of trolls?

  32. I wonder if they held off on this story until the Olympics were over.

  33. This would explain why Harper & Co. have insisted all along that enquiries about Afghan detainee abuse are 'attacks on our soldiers' – because Harper & Co. were fully aware of what they had ordered our soldiers to do.

    • I was trying to give the benefit of the doubt on that, but its looking more and more plausible.

    • "Everything is a Human Right to Attaran."

      For which Conservatives such as you and the rest of the trolls here should be grateful. Under other circumstances, you lot wouldn't be around at all.

  34. The Conservatives and supporters are making a big mistake if they wrap themselves in the mantle of our brave, glorious, pure hearted, morally impeccable troops. They are a cross section of of young Grade 12 educated males for the most part. Don't expect too much. Remember Somalia and the American Iraq War scandal. It takes a few years after every war for the truth about atrocities to come out as they will in this one as well. Ninety percent of what the Conservative jingoists say about our brave troops is garbage.

    • There's nothing wrong with only graduating high school, and there are many people with college and even professional degrees serving in the military. That doesn't mean they are above scrutiny and they should be punished if they have done wrong, but for the most part I am sure they are dedicated men and women called upon to do a dangerous job.

  35. For my part i'm going to be cautious about anything Attaran has to say. He's a bit of a professional handwringer to say the least. That said, it's up to him to put some flesh on these allegations. My hope is this puts even more pressure on the gov't to release the docs unredacted [ not publically of course]. If Harper's takng a bullet as MYL implies, then why for god's sake wouldn't he privately make it clear to the opposition leaders [ at least the liberal leader since the previous gov't may be implicated] that they need to back off, at least while the troops are there. I see no obvious indications that Harper is protecting anyone's hide but his own, or possibily the militaries. The latter would explain why he's playing this politically…a sort of ace to pull out at the last moment. If i were a con i'd have to hope this was more than merely wishful thinking…hopefully the libs in particular have considred the possibility…that may be wishful thinking on my part? I certainly hope not. Let parliament see the docs!

  36. Funny how the media is more that willing to attach a labe of "right wing" onto somebody they wish the public to be skeptical of, regardless as to whether there is inherent truth to the statements made,

    but the term "left wing" doesn't even exist in media discourse,

    even when its an obvious far left winger with an agenda.

    Today's balanced media: where there's no bell to the curve, only a slope that starts in the middle and ends on the "right wing".

  37. The recent allegations of what the documents might reveal is extremely troubling and saddens me. That this is a potentially, mammoth coverup angers me. Is Canada "the peacekeeper" a relic from the past? We should not stand by and allow this to happen. Delaying the truth will not change the truth.

  38. For business and sports news if my memory serves me right.

  39. For the record, has there been a past incident, in the entire history of Canada, where an MP made public information which directly and obviously put Canadian soldiers in danger. (Actually, I think there was a press release which accidentally told the date of a Minister's visit to Afghanistan, but that was a government office, right?)

  40. Here's my issue. If he (or someone else) has these documents making these allegations, why not release it themselves? Or, at very least, why not release the portions thereof that don't speak to other sensitive areas of national security. If it's as big as they say it is, it would be out already on the front page of a paper, especially if CBC or Attaran has seen these unredacted documents, n'est-ce pas? I'm a CPC voter, and I think these docs need to be released. I just find it odd that all these critics want to do is talk about it. Release them already if they have anything egregious about them!

    • My guess is that there may be penalties for releasing this kind of information, and he wanted to protect himself and his source. Or releasing the information could make the identity of the leaker obvious, and he wants to protect him. Or CBC is worried about its license.

      • The penalties be damned! (At least that's what I assume Deep Throat was thinking in the days when Watergate was in full swing.)

  41. I have a question. Would a ranking official write in his report: "We transfered the detainee to the ANP. Maybe their torture techniques will extract more information."

    Seem oddly self-incriminating to put in a report as the CBC describes.

    • Doubtful.. but they may well have written "US Central Intelligence requested detainee transfer to them for intelligence gathering. Verified with C.O. and transferred detainee as requested."

  42. Well, that and the shredder…or the ultimate deterrent…send Cannon to fetch the docs.

  43. This is very serious. I hope it's not true. Attaran had better be able to back it up, in which case whoever gave that order should be removed from office and face criminal charges. On the other hand if Attaran can't back it up he should be sued for defamation to the tune of everything he's worth and then some.

  44. Tjee, I'm sure glad that when my parents were subjected to WWII there wasn't all that Political Correctness catching like wildfire!. At least they, and many others, were given the chance for victory over evil.

  45. I guess it's easy for the conservative apologists to not care about Afghan detainees. But it's a slippery slope, and one day, the government that's hiding this information may hide information about something that's very important to you. And then what? You're saying it's okay for government to hide stuff from Parliament, and the people who voted them to power. Fact is: it's not.

  46. I am not saying that it is ok for government to hide stuff from Parliament. What I am saying is that there is definitely a line that has to be kept in mind. If the opposition is serious about getting to the bottom of this, they could find various avenues of dealing with such a sensitive issue while thewar is going on. They could, for instance, approach the government in a less public way and have private meetings about this sort of thing. Why would the general public (or the general media) be involved in deciding what was wrong or right if not none of the finer details are open for discussion? As if every john doe in the street would know how to deal with specific war issues. Get real.
    I know one thing for certain: I trust my own government and its practices a hell of a lot more than I trust the Taliban and its practices.
    We can't go fighting wars with hands tied behind our back.
    It's easy for an academic to stand on the sidelines and offer advice. But put him in the practical field and his carefully weighed expertise won't get him anywhere.

    • But the opposition has no interest at all in endangering Canadian soldiers. In fact, even if you choose to view them as crass, opportunistic craven….politicians, they have every reason to keep secret information secret while still bringing important information related to torture to light.

  47. There's another aspect to the Afghan detainee abuse matter that our media manage to ignore–willfully?

    Maybe some former Liberal ministers should be worrying about their asses

    Facts: The previous Liberal government and Afghan detainees

    "Torture in Afghanistan: The Liberals knew" redux

    Afghan detainees and the former Liberal government/Human rights Update
    (letter in Globe and Mail)


  48. Why would the general public (or the general media) be involved in deciding what was wrong or right


    Why indeed? When you learn the answer to this question, you will have learned why you are wrong. NO one can teach you, it must come from within.

  49. In case some have forgotten, the Libs voted FOR the NDP motion, that was passed by the House, saying "That, in the opinion of the House, the government should, in accordance with Part I of the Inquiries Act, call a Public Inquiry into the transfer of detainees in Canadian custody to Afghan authorities from 2001 to 2009." You all note the dates, 2001-2009, so including Libs' period until 2006, right? So respect Parliament, release the docs to the committee and call an inquiry, we're all agreed then? http://www2.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publicat

  50. I suspect that the good professor’s proof came from the same bin that produced the cold fusion claim.

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