What should have been known and when? - Macleans.ca

What should have been known and when?


Gen. Michel Gauthier made reference Wednesday afternoon to the Globe and Mail’s reporting in April 2007 as to when he first became aware of allegations of torture. Without the transcript of his comments it’s unclear—from my memory and what’s being reported elsewhere—how precisely he qualified that statement, whether he was referring to specific allegations of general torture, specific allegations related to detainees transferred by Canadian Forces, or something else entirely.

In terms of third-party sourcing—and in lieu, so far, of Mr. Colvin’s full reporting—there are at least three general reports that precede the Globe’s investigation. On March 3, 2006 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, a Canadian, reported that complaints of “arbitrary arrest, illegal detention and torture” were common in the Afghan justice system. The U.S. State Department’s 2005 report on Afghanistan appears to have been published on March 8, 2006. It states that “credible observers reported that local authorities in Herat, Helmand, and other locations routinely tortured and abused detainees.” And on June 2, 2006, a Canadian Press story was sent out on the wires that cited a spokesman for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission who estimated that human rights violations were experienced by approximately 30 percent of transferred prisoners.


What should have been known and when?

  1. "UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, a Canadian"

    Excitable "human rights" paranoiac in the same vein as the commissars presiding over Macleans' thoughtcrime hearing, you mean?

      • Fancy paying any attention at all to an ex SC judge. Couldn't they find someone more qualified? I guess Duffy can't be everywhere!

    • The polls have nothing to do with this issue, Dakota.. but nice try.

      • the polls have everything to do with the situation.

      • Sure they do. The Liberals are hoping desperately that some of the mud they have been flinging will stick. No luck so far.

        I guess when your leader is a lame duck you've got to try anything to help your numbers. It's just funny that Ignatieff supports the very thing the Liberals are making such a fuss about.

        • You're right. We should have an election today, elect a Conservative majority, and all rest assured that unpleasantness such as this would never see the light of day ever again.

          • Do you mean like the pillaging of the EI fund to inflate budget numbers?

          • Ah…the SC has ruled on that…but carry on, i'm sure you're qualified to second guess them.

  2. Hmm, Libeerals on their way back up and con support dropping slightly i see. Polls can be spun anyway. Obsessively watching them is a mug's game.

    • Um…did you read the poll. Cons and Libs are both up slightly, with the NDP down 1.5.

      Nice try though. Hpe your happy trailing by 10 points because it looks like it's here to stay.

      • Did i read them closely, no? But that was my point, you'll get it eventually…well maybe not?

        • You seemed to come up with the conclusion that the Libs were up and the Cons were down. Was that just wishful thinking?

          Don't need to dig very deep to see the trendline. But I guess the facts just get in the way of your Liberal spin.

          • Sigh…polls go up,polls go down…i don't share your obssesion.

  3. History will show that Canadians turned Afghan prisons from dungeons of death into more humane prisoner containment centers.
    That Canadians did bring Canadian values into Afghanistan,
    in 18 SHORT months.

    You can all dissect that transformation inch by inch, looking for scandal to hang on the Harper government,
    but reform of the Afghan rpison system is truly a Canadian success story.
    poll at CNews
    Do you think Afghan detainees were tortured?

    Yes 30%
    No 10%
    I don't care 56%
    Unsure 3%
    Total Votes for this Question: 3396

    • "but reform of the Afghan rpison system is truly a Canadian success story"

      Pity the govt doesn't tell it then? Actually the story is fast becoming this govt's vendetta against Colvin and their attempt to shut up a public servant.

      Cherry picking your polls. The only one i've heard clearly shows that most Canadian's are finding Colvin far more believable than the govt.

    • I think this shows how out of tune online torture-apologists are with the general sentiments of Canadians.

      • Or perhaps that "I don't care" is far more widespread an opinion than you'd like, but people feel social pressure to fudge that into giving the 'right' answer when asked by a telephone pollster.

  4. Ah yes. Trust the robocons to follow the Rick Hillier line like a monkey follows his organ grinder.

    I guess Liberal-appointed bureaucrats should always be given the benefit of the doubt, right chaps?