Monday, January 25, 2010

Harper Unleashes Vengeance On Richard Colvin

Just before Christmas, Frances Russel wrote a column in the Winnipeg Free Press. In it she asks Who's next on Harper's smear list?

The George W. Bush administration isn't gone, its policies and political style have just moved north. Like the Bush administration, the Harper government uses Karl Rovian tactics to smear and intimidate not just opposition critics, but parliamentary officers, heads of quasi-judicial agencies and tribunals and even Canada's seven major Christian churches.

Who's next?

Peter Tinsley, chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission and Paul Kennedy, chair of the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, have both been refused second terms for not toeing the government's line. Tinsley's sin was initiating the Afghan torture probe; Kennedy's was criticizing the RCMP's actions regarding the Taser death of Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver airport.

Marc Mayrand, Canada's Chief Electoral Officer, was publicly attacked and finally taken to court for probing the Conservatives' alleged "in and out" advertising scheme in the 2006 election.

The Conservatives created the "independent" Parliamentary Budget Office but slashed its funding when their own appointee, Kevin Page, embarrassed them by questioning their rosy fiscal forecasts.

Well we learned today who is next and it should come as no surprise. Richard Colvin. Yep, that's right. Harper is gunning for him and there's nothing we mere mortals can do about it, except fight like hell.

Diplomat-whistleblower says he faces government reprisal
Murray Brewster
The Canadian Press
January 25, 2010

OTTAWA—A lawyer for the whistle-blower in the Afghan detainee issue says Richard Colvin has a "reasonable belief" that the Conservative government is retaliating against him for his damaging torture testimony late last year.

Colvin's Toronto lawyer, Owen Rees, makes the accusation in a letter sent to the Military Police Complaints Commission on Monday. Rees says the government has essentially stopped paying Colvin's legal bills since November, when the diplomat told a Commons committee that several senior government officials were aware that Canadian Forces in Afghanistan were handing over detainees to be tortured by Afghan authorities in 2006.

"Coupled with the government's public attacks on Mr. Colvin and his testimony before the special committee on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan . . . our client is left with the reasonable belief that the denial of legal indemnification is a reprisal for his participation before the committee and the commission," the letter says ....

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