Sunday, November 22, 2009

Canadian Government Refuses Once Again To Investigate If POWS handed Over To Afghans Are Being Tortured

UPDATE: 1:47 PM, Nov. 22

Intelligence officer and ex-diplomat Richard Colvin, right, testifies as he sits beside lawyer Lori Bokenfohr at a commons special committee on Afghanistan hears witnesses on transfer of Afghan detainees on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Prime Minister Of Canada Stephen Harper- An Anti-Big Government Neoconservative who is trying to radically change Canada so that it is more like America was under the Regime of his heroes George W. Bush and Dick Cheney aka "the Kings of Torture and War Profiteering". Harper would prefer to dismantle or gut a number of federal government departments to reduce regulations on corporations and the private sector.

Unfortunately the new leader of the Liberal Party Michael Ignatieff would not be much of a difference if he were elected Prime Minister. For instance Ignatieff has over the years defended the use of torture and supported the Bush Regime's unnecessary invasion of Iraq and so will continue if elected the policies and programs of Harper/Bush & Cheney. Having spent over twenty five years in the United States it would appear he has taken on an American view on governance which is antithetical to Canada's traditional views on governance. To put it mildly Ignatieff though he belongs to the Liberal Party in reality he is not very liberal and is not a Progressive.( see video in EndNote)

Obama has also forgiven the Bush Regime for lying to the American Public , to the United Nations and the World about the imminent threat from Saddam which in fact did not exist-ah well Hallibuton and Black Water & KBR etc. made lots of money and that 's what America and the West is all about after all. Sometimes we forget and think things like honesty, integrity, fairness and justice matter but in the dog eat dog Christian Capitalist world all that matters is profit and the bottom line.

For Harper the issue of torture and other abuses of POWs (detainees) are just a matter of Public Relations and blown all out of proportion by those who do not "Support Our Troops" and are therefore even according to Canada's mainstream media to be characterized as traitors.

First a Canadian story as evidence that Canada since 9/11 has been involved in America's dirty war of kidnappings, renditions, torture and abuse of prisoners. This is the story of how the Canadian & American Government conspired to arrest and send an innocent Canadian Citizen Maher Arar to Syria to be tortured.
Canadian government clears his name while the American government refuses to apologize and in the face of overwhelming evidence that he was innocent.

Innocent Tortured Detainee Speaks of Bush's "Professionals"

Sept. 26,2006

Jack Layton leader of the New Democratic Party Demands Public Inquiry on Torture Allegations
"What Does the Government Got to Hide, Let Colvin Speak."

Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin testified before a special House of Commons committee on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan on Nov. 18, 2009.

Colvin alleged that prisoners were turned over to Afghanistan's notorious intelligence service by the Canadian military in 2006-07 despite warnings that they would be tortured. He also suggested the federal government may have tried to cover up what was happening.

NDP: Jack Layton on Torture in Afghan Prisons 2
Jan 30, 2008

Note in this video PM Harper turns the torture question around claiming Jack Layton is attacking & insulting the Canadian Military - he also like his American counterparts laughs off any suggestion that POWs are being tortured even though various Human Rights organizations were making allegations against the US troops & CIA & special Interrogators as well as sending POWs to other countries to be tortured . Within the last year a number of reports were released in the US showing that abuse and torture of prisoners were and are still taking place.

Jack Layton: Question Period April 25 2007
Question on Torture Video recorded by and copyright by the House of Commons Broadcasting Service.

Why Has It Taken So Long For The Canadian Government To Act In The Name Of Decency?!
Oct. 20, 2009 CBC

General Rick Hillier says he only cared about the well being of Canadian troops and that the enemy and afghans deserve no consideration. He sounds more like an American General that is he is rather cavalier about killing Afghans all of whom he sees as the enemy. He also seems to suggests that if Canadian troops retaliate so what?

Hillier admits to torture in Afghanistan 19 Nov 09 Toronto

General Rick Hillier the retired chief of staff of Canadian army and commander of Nato Forces in Afghanistan admits to torture in Afghanistan and handing over of the captive Afghans by the Canadian army to the Afghan army to be tortured by the Afghan agents, in an interview with Toronto Stars James Travers at the Toronto Reference library on 19th November 2009

All Afghan detainees likely tortured: diplomat CBC News Nov.18,2009

All detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons were likely tortured by Afghan officials and many of the prisoners were innocent, says a former senior diplomat with Canada's mission in Afghanistan.

Appearing before a House of Commons committee Wednesday, Richard Colvin blasted the detainees policies of Canada and compared them with the policies of the British and the Netherlands.

The detainees were captured by Canadian soldiers then handed over to the Afghan intelligence service, called the NDS.

Colvin said Canada was taking six times as many detainees as British troops and 20 times as many as the Dutch.

He said unlike the British and Dutch, Canada did not monitor their conditions; took days, weeks or months to notify the Red Cross; kept poor records; and to prevent scrutiny, the Canadian Forces leadership concealed this behind "walls of secrecy."

"As I learned more about our detainee practices, I came to a conclusion they were contrary to Canada's values, contrary to Canada's interests, contrary to Canada's official policies and also contrary to international law. That is, they were un-Canadian, counterproductive and probably illegal.

"According to our information, the likelihood is that all the Afghans we handed over were tortured. For interrogators in Kandahar, it was a standard operating procedure," Colvin said.

He said the most common forms of torture were beatings, whipping with power cables, the use of electricity, knives, open flames and rape.

Colvin worked in Kandahar for the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2006. He later moved to Kabul, where he was second-in-command at the Canadian Embassy. In both jobs, Colvin visited detainees transferred by Canadian soldiers to Afghan prisons. He wrote reports about those visits and sent them to Ottawa.

Colvin mentioned David Mulroney, a deputy minister who is now the ambassador to China, as one of the officials who didn't want to hear the allegations.

Colvin said when a new ambassador arrived in May, the paper trail on detainees was reduced and reports on detainees were at times "censored" with crucial information removed.

He said all of these steps were "extremely irregular."

At the time, the government denied there were any credible allegations of torture.

But Tories questioned the validity of Colvin's sources, saying the information he received concerning the allegations were from second-hand and third-hand reports.

Colvin's testimony "seemed dramatic, but under questioning it was revealed to be filmsy, inconsistent, unreliable," Laurie Hawn, parliamentary secretary to Defence Minister Peter MacKay told CBC News. "[He] did not come across as credible."

Like the Americans Canadians and the Canadian government are only really interested in the torture of POWs when it becomes a Public Relations matter rather than that of human rights. After all these people that is anyone arrested or captured on the battlefield are by definition guilty and Canadians don't really care about what happens to POWs or Enemy Combatants anymore than they are concerned about killing innocent Afghan citizens they are after all just "Collateral Damage" .

So the Conservative/Tory government of Neoconservative Bush Emulator and supporter Stephen Harper refuses to even investigate to see if the charges are true that POWs handed over to Afghan or Americans were abused or tortured.

Unfortunately Canada has adopted the American view of the world in which we are the "Good Guys" so we can do no wrong . Richard Colvin who reported on the abuse is seen as a liar a fabricator working for the enemies of the Harper Regime. So their next move would be to discredit Richard Colvin . The Canadian Public like the Americans and British deny any wrong-doing on the part of their troops no matter how little or how great the evidence is. The situation is such that it is becoming difficult for the Canadian government and its allies to even justify to their respective publics continuing the war in Afghanistan.

The problem in Canada Great Britain and the United States is that once they embark on any military action they can never say it was a mistake or that it is becoming a quagmire and an unwinnable war so that the best option would be for Canada and other countries to pull their troops out of Afghanistan. To many of us the Afghan-Pakistani war is just getting worse. Everytime innocent civilians are slaughtered or the peoples in the region discover that their fellow citizens when captured are being tortured by the Afgan or Pakistani or American soldiers or the CIA or by Special Forces in their covert actions in which people are still disappearing into the legal Limbo or black hole created by the former Bush & Tony Blair Regimes.

In Canada the government and military propaganda machine which also influences our supposedly free non-partisan media have created a situation in which anyone who dares criticize "our mission in Afganistan" is considered as not-supporting our troops and even accused of attacking them and are therefore as in the American lingo UnCanadain and therefore "Traitors" whom no one should pay attention to.

For instance every Friday across Canada is now "Support Our Troops Day".So any criticisms no matter how trivial are seen as UnPatriotic.

Tories reject call for Afghan torture inquiry
No proof detainees were tortured, defence minister says CBC News,Nov. 19, 2009

The Canadian government is dismissing calls for a public inquiry into the alleged torture of prisoners handed over by Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay defended his government Thursday in light of allegations that detainees were routinely abused.

"There has not been a single, solitary proven allegation of abuse involving a transferred Taliban prisoner by Canadian forces," MacKay said in the House of Commons.

His comments came a day after Richard Colvin, a former senior diplomat with Canada's Afghan mission, dropped a political bombshell on Parliament, alleging that suspects handed over by Canada to Afghan authorities were tortured.

Speaking Wednesday before a Commons committee on Canada's mission in Afghanistan, Colvin alleged that prisoners were turned over to Afghanistan's notorious intelligence service by the Canadian military in 2006-07 despite warnings that they would be tortured. He also suggested the federal government may have tried to cover up what was happening.

MacKay painted Colvin as having been duped by the Taliban and said Canadians are being asked to accept the word of prisoners "who throw acid in the face of schoolgirls." MacKay also said he did not know about Colvin's allegations.

However, Ottawa University law professor Amir Attaran said the onus was on MacKay to explain how he could not have known about Colvin's reports.

"The reality is that Mr. Colvin wrote 17 reports that he sent to colleagues in Ottawa. He cc's more than 70 people on those reports," Attaran said.

If Mr. Colvin was lying in those reports, "don't you think one of them would be standing up?"

Meanwhile, top Canadian officials discussed in December 2006 whether Asadullah Khalid, then governor of Kandahar, was involved in the torture of prisoners and dismissed the concern, according to The Canadian Press.

and as agued here the Conservatives/Tories have prematurely gone into attack mode against Richard Colvin which may backfire if more people in authority back up his character and his charges.

"Tories tar long-gun success by 'swinging too hard' on torture "by Jane taber, at globe And,Nov. 20,2009

As for the character assassination of senior Canadian diplomat Richard Colvin by the Harper Tories: He’s not impressed, believing it is happening only because Mr. Harper, “the grand strategist,” has been away travelling in Asia and not focusing on the issue. Meanwhile, his ministers are freelancing as they try to deal with the fall-out on the Afghan mission.

Mr. Colvin is the man behind the explosive testimony about the torture of Afghan prisoners handed over by Canadian soldiers. He told all at a Commons committee this week, appearing as a credible witness who singled out senior government officials for their silence and control.

Rather than taking his allegations under advisement, Defence Minister Peter MacKay and other Tory MPs, including his parliamentary secretary, Laurie Hawn, savaged Mr. Colvin in the House of Commons and at the committee this week.

Mr. MacKay argued that the diplomat’s allegations were not credible. He said there was never a stitch of evidence that anyone was tortured, and that to believe the prisoners’ testimony is to accept evidence from “people who throw acid in the faces of schoolchildren and who blow up buses in their own country.”

Conservative ministers are being too aggressive, said Mr. Flanagan, a political science professor at the University of Calgary.


Ignatieff Wants Canada to Toss out quaint ideas such as Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions whenever we wish to - This Guy is just another Neoconservative or so called Neoliberal who wants to support the United States and abandon the United Nations and all International agreements.

Ignatieff sees nothing wrong with the use of torture or indefinite detention and indefinite preventive detention or even with targeted assassinations . He prefers like Harper and Bush to "Fear Monger" and to show how tough he and his party is rather than focusing on various other issues such as bolstering how health care system or providing more assistance to university students who are not from wealthy families or for instance make major changes to create a better well funded national day care policy .

Ignatieff defends Bush at Liberal Convention-July 27,2009

War's Cheerleader

and so it goes,

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