Wow. More of the smearing of witnesses we’ve come to expect from the Cons, this time at the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan.
– Cheryl Gallant. Although Richard Colvin took pains in his opening statement to the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan to make clear that he had nothing but admiration for the brave Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, none of whom to his knowledge had anything to do with torturing Afghans, Cheryl Gallant used her allotted time to lecture Colvin on how Canadian soldiers had nothing to do with torturing Afghans. She also chastised him for “fanning the flames of outrage” and lectured him on how “planting stories” is in the “Al Qaida handbook.” Wanker.
– Laurie Goldie Hawn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay. Colvin never witnessed torture first hand — so take that, Red Cross. Torture was probably self-inflicted and isn’t it suspicious that of all the public servants who were bullied out of testifying by the Cons, Colvin is the only one with the guts to torpedo his own career by coming forward. Yes, Goldie, obviously Colvin is up to something. Wanker.
– Peter Goldring. Ditto Goldie but more pompously. Wanker.
– Jim Abbott. Ditto Goldie, plus if our record-keeping and monitoring of prisoners was so bad, how do we know any of this even happened? As Kady O’Malley pointed out in her live-blogging, Abbott clearly thinks this is his “Columbo” moment on committee.
I don’t know how to explain their shocking behavior other than to guess they all saw the movie High Noon as kids and somehow thought Gary Cooper was the bad guy, taking the townspeople for their role models instead.
Will the rest of Canada stand up for Richard Colvin? He’s going to need it.
By the way, a month ago, Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time Peter MacKay, and Minister of Defence at the time Gordon O’Connor all denied ever seeing any of the 16 reports “circulated widely throughout the Foreign Affairs and Defence departments and also shared with senior military commanders in Ottawa and Afghanistan” warning that Afghan authorities were abusing detainees handed over by Canadian forces.
How did they all manage to miss all those reports from Richard Colvin, the second in command of Afghan reconstruction at the time? we asked ourselves, somewhat rhetorically.
Canadian diplomats in Afghanistan were ordered in 2007 to hold back information in their reports to Ottawa about the handling of the prisoners, say defence and foreign affairs sources.
The instruction — issued soon after allegations of torture by Afghan authorities began appearing in public — was aimed at defusing the explosive human-rights controversy, said sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
There was a fear that graphic reports, even in censored form, could be uncovered by opposition parties and the media through access-to-information laws, leading to revelations that would further erode already-tenuous public support.