See no evil, hear no evil

Conservatives MPs boycott hearings into Afghan detainee controversy

Conservative MPs skipped a Parliamentary committee meeting on Wednesday that was supposed to delve further into the simmering controversy over the handling of Afghan detainees. None of the government’s seven representatives on the committee, including committee chair Rick Casson, showed up. Angry opposition MPs denounced the Conservative boycott as indicative of the government’s contempt for Parliament. “This government is actually interfering with the privileges of members of Parliament,” said NDP MP Paul Dewar, “and, in so doing, is making Parliament dysfunctional in being able to go about its job.” For his part, the parliamentary secretary to Defence Minister Peter MacKay, Conservative MP Laurie Hawn, has dismissed the hearings as “partisan political games,” but if the Tories were hoping to will the Afghan detainee controversy into obscurity, diplomat Richard Colvin could soon make that an increasingly difficult task. On Wednesday, Colvin, whose memos from Afghanistan sparked the debate into the treatment of prisoners, will release a 20-page rebuttal to the government’s claims it received no “credible allegations” of torture in Afghanistan until 2007.

Toronto Star

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