What they were told, what we aren't allowed to hear - Macleans.ca

What they were told, what we aren’t allowed to hear


The Star reports on a May 2007 memo warning government and military officials about the legal ramifications of detainee transfers. James Travers, meanwhile, posits an unsourced, but seemingly somehow informed, theory as to some of what the government is currently withholding.

In the winter of 2007, three insurgents captured by Canada’s top-secret Joint Task Force Two disappeared into the notorious Afghan prison system. Three years later, Prime Minister Stephen Harper suspended Parliament rather than release related documents that raise difficult questions about the role of this country’s special forces and spies in targeting, capturing and interrogating key enemies.

Linking those events are fears about what happened to Isa Mohammad and two other prisoners transferred to Kabul control by Canadians after successful Kandahar operations. In a private 2007 briefing, the prestigious International Committee of the Red Cross expressed concern to Canada that the men had either been killed or were being held by the U.S. in one of its controversial “black site” military prisons.

Dispatches detailing those worries, the names of the three missing men – as well as a fourth who Canadians found – and Red Cross frustration over the military’s persistent failure to provide timely, accurate prisoner information are in the files the Harper government is withholding.