Thursday, December 17, 2009

Harper Will Not Ride Out This Storm on a Magic Marker

The Reformers are making a big mistake if they think they can just shun the committee and this whole thing will go away.

These are very serious allegations, that get more damning every day.

I can understand the mindset in 2006 and 2007. George Bush was in power and he had already given the finger to the Geneva Convention. This empowered Stephen Harper, who had aligned himself with the Bush Administration.

But they are gone now and there is a new sheriff in town. I suspect this is one of the reasons why Obama kept Harper out of the loop in his new strategy for this conflict. He is already trying to live down the war crimes of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld. He doesn't need more trouble.

Foot-dragging and fudging
Globe and Mail
December 17, 2009

It is an odd strategy that Conservative MPs have chosen in boycotting, and thereby shutting down, a House committee examining the alleged torture of Afghan detainees. That strategy only reinforces the impression that the government is trying to obstruct efforts to get at the truth.

And the reports keep getting worse. Canada propped up a notorious Kandahar governor, Asadullah Khalid, diplomat Richard Colvin alleged yesterday in a letter to that House committee. The fudging of the truth went beyond the detainee issue, he said. Officials in Ottawa tried to conceal the deterioration of the security situation. The senior bureaucrat David Mulroney told Canada's ambassador to Afghanistan, Arif Lalani, not to mention the deterioration of security in his reports to Ottawa. “The ambassador accordingly sent a report in which he said security was improving,” Mr. Colvin says ....

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