What was reported? - Macleans.ca

What was reported?


The generals say there was nothing in Richard Colvin’s memos to warrant action. The CBC, Star and Globe review a couple of Colvin’s early memos and find concerns about the reporting of detainees and the “unsatisfactory conditions” in Afghan prisons, and the suggestion that the Dutch, British and Canadians might consider building a joint prison of their own.

Separately, the CBC finds that, after handing them over to the Afghan authorities, Canada lost track of two Afghans accused of killing Canadian soldiers in 2003.


What was reported?

  1. I find it fascinating that the generals and the Conservative government can pretend Colvin wasn't credible in 2006, after they took action on the very thing he was warning about a year later.

    All they had to say was that his reports were the first sign that something was amiss, they weren't sure enough to suspend transfers, but when they later verified the reports, they did. How hard would that be?

    Instead they've dissembled and covered up and spun this into a major scandal, which makes me think they are completely, arrogantly incompetent, or they are hiding something worse, or both.

  2. "The generals say there was nothing in Richard Colvin's memos to warrant action"

    And that's why they took action. Perfectly obvious if you favour suspending reality whenever it's presumes to get in your way.

    • You are assuming they acted on Colvin's memo's only.

      Nonetheless, the government and the generals need to ensure their denials don't venture into the territory where they have to defend the afghan government's policy or implementation of justice. They are dangerously close to that line right now.

      • 'You are assuming they acted on Colvin's memo's only"

        How could they…they never saw them until yesterday!

        We seen to be verging from the rediculous to the absurb and back again. Colvin says evryone was tortured – not likely, but nonetheless a serous charge. Hilliar says no-one who was handed over was abused – every bit as unlikely. Meanwhile the govt is saying it knew about the risks, it wasn't aware, it took action, no action was necessary but we knew anyway, Colvin's warnings were heeded, Colvin's warnings were ignored because he isn't credible and by the way we never saw them and neither should you. And all at the same time…this govt has symtoms of ADD! Either that or they no longer know how to tell a straight story.

        • Colvins first 2006 memos were about the concerns from the Red Cross (who were tasked with prison visits in the 2005 agreement).
          The Red Cross was angered that it took months for reports of detainee transfers to get to them,
          and that once handed over, Afghans did not keep good records, so detainees became untrackable.
          No mention of torture or abuse.

          Do you see memos like like getting to the highest levels?

          • Considering that the previous D Minister was claiming that it was the job of the red cross to monitor for us and inform us[ he was wrong] i'd say yes, those memos should have been read.

        • "this govt has symtoms of ADD!"


  3. If "unsatisfactory conditions" in Afghan jails is the best that can be found in the search for a "smoking gun", this story is bound to go missing in action very soon.

    I mean, did anyone seriously think that Afghan jais were nice places to be? Is this a "torture" story, or is it a "unsatisfactory conditions" story?

  4. Separately, the CBC finds that, after handing them over to the Afghan authorities, Canada lost track of two Afghans accused of killing Canadian soldiers in 2003.

    Just two?

    • I think it is also a developing story. They know of two…

      • Right. Maybe this Mulroney character can deny this today too. I'm wondering if this may not be the main reason why the government tried so hard to shut Colvin up, and why they continue to refuse to handover document.

        • Chances are the great unwashed masses will never know. Colvin has the full weight of the government working against him, rather than investigate to see what actually took place. The government, and this government in particular, have mastered misinformation and an opaque modus operandi, to deny-deny-deny until such issues go away.

          And these allegations, regardless of the evidence that surfaces, will go away and someone in the bureaucracy will take the fall, if there is any fall at all.

          The way all nations work…