Saturday, January 30, 2010

Military Conducting Their Own Investigation into Torture, But Will it be Enough?

With Parliament closed down to put a halt to the inquiry into our government's possible complicity in war crimes, the military is conducting their own investigation.

This is essential in some ways, because with Harper hiding behind the troops, they will ultimately be the ones wearing it.

However, this investigation is only on one incident, and will do nothing to explain the countless other transfers.

It's telling that they will release it March 1, just before Parliament resumes. Will this be the way the government will say, OK no more questions? Our own military just gave us the answer so enough is enough.

That rug is getting awful bumpy.

After the Somalia incident, Canada's armed forces took an awful hit in public opinion, and it has only been recently that they have regained their dignity. If this turns out to be just another cover-up, I think we'll see a lot of people scratching those yellow ribbons off their bumpers.

It's a shame too, because they were not to blame.

Harper kept such a tight control on the messaging, that it would often be weeks before any reports were filed, and by then the detainee was lost in the system. And yet he claims he never saw the memos. What a horrible, horrible man.

Military wants answers on Afghan torture report
January 28, 2010
The Canadian Press

OTTAWA—The Canadian military has ordered a formal investigation into how a critical report on the beating of an Afghan prisoner remained buried at National Defence headquarters.

In June 2006 soldiers captured a suspected Taliban fighter and handed him over to local police, who then beat him to the point where the Canadians had to intervene.
A report on the incident, which undermines Conservative government claims that no prisoners handed over to Afghans faced abuse, was apparently uncovered only in December.

Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walt Natynczyk ordered an investigation, which is headed by Rear-Admiral Paul Maddison, commander of Joint Task Force Atlantic. Natynczyk’s deputy, Vice-Admiral Denis Rouleau, says the probe will look at the incident itself, why soldiers took the actions they did and how it was reported.

The report of the investigation is due March 1 and is to be made public shortly after. Diplomat Richard Colvin testified before a special House of Commons committee in November that he repeatedly warned federal officials in 2006 and 2007 that prisoners faced the possibility of torture in Afghan jails.

His warnings were dismissed by the government and the military as vague and unsubstantiated. The June 2006 incident was made public almost two years ago, but the military initially disputed the version of events, saying its soldiers never captured the prisoner in the first place.

Natynczyk’s admission that Canadians had indeed been the ones to detain the suspect caused shock waves on Parliament Hill and prompted accusations of a coverup.

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