Over at the Military Police Complaints Commission, Department of Justice lawyer Alain Préfontaine is trying to prove that diplomat Richard Colvin’s emails flagging abuse of Afghan prisoners were so vaguely worded that the government could not possibly be held responsible for failing to understand what he was talking about.
Colvin and MPCC chair Glenn Stannard have the blacked out versions to work from. Colvin is not allowed to divulge what he remembers is under all that black ink.
If we could just all see the unredacted versions, says Colvin, they would reveal the crucial information.
Well, says Préfontaine, representing the government that blacked out the emails, I have seen the unredacted versions, and I can tell you there’s nothing of importance there.
Then why can’t we see them? asks MPCC chair Stannard, who apparently doesn’t have the clearance to see the very emails he’s holding hearings about.
“Because,” Préfontaine answered, “disclosure would be injurious to either national defence, international relations, or national security.”
I do hope you’re keeping up here. Colvin’s emails are apparently so sensitive they must be blacked out while simultaneously being so unimportant there’s no need to see them.