Thursday, January 24, 2008


Let me get this straight, the Stephen Harper CON government, when questioned last spring about prisoner transfers in Aghanistan and the belief that some prisoners were being tortured by the Afghan forces after being turned over by the Canadian Forces, denied there was any such thing taking place. Their story proceeded to change and unravel by the day.

At first, they denied the whole thing. A few days later, they admitted that it may have taken place, but it wasn't an issue any more.

A few days later, they said it happened but they now had assurances and a system to ensure it would not take place again.

Flash forward nine months -- suddenly, after 10 weeks of silence, Brig-Gen Andre Deschamp says in a court case that the Canadian Forces halted all transfers as of Nov. 5, 2007 after finding evidence that torture of prisoners was still going on. It wasn't revealed on where the prisoners are now being sent, and apparently the transfers may begin again at any time. Only a parliamentary secretary is available to comment -- maybe the head honcho and his sock puppets all had a date with Gary Lunn's 'image fluffer'?

Let's give kudos to the Canadian Forces people who made the decision to halt the prisoner transfers -- what we are fighting for in Afghanistan is to help establish the conditions for a lawful and democratic government. We are not to condone the actions of those who we fight by turning a blind eye. Otherwise, we'd be sending troops to work in the poppy fields and pick the seeds to be shipped for East Vancouver's heroin market. And I can buy the given rationale as to why the Forces can't provide detailed info on where the prisoners are now being held.

But the government is fully deserving of a brickbat for its either secrecy and opaque operation routine, or for sheer incompetence. Maybe its both.

It wasn't long ago that Harper was shouting down questions in the House of Commons regarding this issue, denying that these events could happen, and taunting opposition members by suggesting they care more about the Taliban.
We know that now-old Harper trick, throw out a wild accusation so it sticks in the back of people's minds. No need to prove it. But that also can backfire, O' smartest geek in the closet, because...
The government, in a training manual, officially agreed that its nearest ally the US engages in torture, along with Afghanistan. It backed off on one count when Uncle Sam (and cousin George) fumed. The other country remains on the list.
In the meantime, he's been kept abreast but kept Canadians out of the loop -- and don't tell me he wasn't advised, unless you want to buy a piece of beach-front property in Kabul. There isn't much of anything that doesn't cross through the scrutiny of the tindogs in the PMO's anal retentive centre.

So is it that Harper cares more for the Taliban now? Or is he going to suggest that the major domos in the Forces -- recently neutered Rick Hillier, for one -- has developed a weak spot for pina coladas and getting caught out in the rain, and those Taliban fellas?

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