Outside the wire

David Pugliese undoes one of the more popular counters to Richard Colvin’s testimony.

There have also been allegations about the extent of Colvin’s travels in Afghanistan. Retired general Lewis MacKenzie said recently on CTV that based on information “from a very reliable source, (Colvin) was not permitted outside the wire in Kandahar probably once and maybe not more than once, and so was the victim of having to talk to a number of other people, diplomats, military, intelligence, et cetera, to send his opinion out on his now infamous e-mails, doing the very best he could with restrictions that were placed on him.”

The claim that Colvin went off the base only once was also repeated by Globe and Mail columnist Christie Blatchford. It surfaced again on Tuesday, with the Conservatives using it to try to undercut Colvin’s reputation. “Here is a man, Mr. Colvin, who spent about a day out of his entire tour outside of the wire and had these few interviews,” said Treasury Board president Vic Toews.

The Citizen has confirmed, however, that Colvin left the base at least six times to travel into Kandahar, in addition to travelling to other locations in Afghanistan.

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