Reading the documents: DFAIT 10

The documents tabled today can be viewed in their entirety here. Herein, a series of posts on some of the noteworthy files and disclosures contained therein.

Included in yesterday’s release is a file marked DFAIT 10. Dated from November 2007, it is a memo to the Foreign Affairs Minister (Lawrence Cannon at the time) about the impending release of government documents as part of the legal case brought by Amnesty International and the BC Civil Liberties Association. Specifically, the memo attempts to address what will be disclosed as a result and what “communications considerations” should be undertaken.

The evidence contained in the documents was summarized for the minister as follows (the unredacted portion reprinted here in square brackets).

The material to be released is extensive. Cumulatively the documents leave one with the impression of [flawed Afghan judicial system and of detention facilities that fall well below UN standards]. In addition, the assembled material may seem to suggest that Government of Canada messaging on the detainees issues for the last twelve months has been out of sync with reporting from the field (DND, CSC and DFAIT). This will present significant political and communications challenges.