Skip navigation

Court denies Ottawa's bid to thwart Afghan detainee hearings

Globe and Mail Update

Judge derides government's request to stop public probe into allegations Canada put prisoners at risk of torture ...Read the full article

This conversation is closed

  1. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: My question is 'so what'?

    So what if the MPCC has its public inquiry and they find CF officers knowingly handed over Afghan detainees to the NDS to be tortured?

    Who is going to make the federal government charge the CF officers who following the exact instructions they were given from the federal government who sent them there?

    Better yet, who is going to attempt to try the former MNDs and CDS for giving the orders?
  2. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Fair questions, Earl Street.

    But as with any question that's asked about our government and the agents, the answer ultimately lies with the Canadian public.

    For instance, what was the result of the torture/murder of Shidane Arone by members of the Canadian Forces, and the subsequent cover-up by their superiors?
  3. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: Richard,

    A better question will be 'so what if the MPCC has thier public inquiry, and no one testifies that they knowingly handed over Afghan detainees to torture?'.

    Will this all end? Or is it going to be a torture witch hunt liken to the one developing in the US?
  4. Political Solutions from Kitchener, Canada writes: Good for the MPCC.
    We should be looking very closely into the actions of our military personal and their political masters.
    If the govt doesn't have anything to hide then they shouldn't be afraid to be exposed to the light. Right? RIGHT?
    Isn't that the BS they've been trying to shove down OUR throats over the last few years?
  5. R. Carriere from Maritimes, Canada writes:

    Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes:....Will this all end? Or is it going to be a torture witch hunt liken to the one developing in the US?
    Earl, the Obama torture witch hunt in the US is for public consumption ONLY--more BS to decieve with half truths.

    FACT: Obama signed a Presidential Directive to 'close' Gitmo within one year,(another broken promise...) but does NOT say it could transfer detainees to Langley or Montana. It also neatly sidestepped the question of 'Extraordinary Rendition.' and continues to stay quiet..

    Another example of this total hypocrisy is that a US judge ruled that the US prisoners at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan, where over 700 have been held some as long a 6 years, have rights.

    The Obama administration's answer last week was to appeal the decision!

    In other words, they DO NOT want to change the rules of what is going on in Afghanistan prisons-the alleged torture and abuse of rights. They want it to exist for their build-up in Afghanistan and who knows, perhaps a widening theatre in Pakistan.

  6. Steph C from Ottawa, Canada writes: As I understand it, they are preparing alternate facilities in Virginia for the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay.
  7. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    Earl Street, I don't know where it will go or where it will end. But when serious crimes may have been committed, justice must be permitted to take its course.

    My expectation- my hope- is that ordinary MP's in Afghanistan were not formally aware of the risk of their prisoners being tortured or murdered after they were handed over to the Afghan security services. I say this because as a Canadian, it's inconceivable to me that a fellow Canadian would knowingly do such a thing.

    Nevertheless, it's a sure thing that at higher levels at least, senior members of the Canadian Forces knew of prisoners being tortured and murdered by the Afghan security services. We know this because Canadian diplomats in Kabul warned our government of this problem. And not just our own diplomats warned that torture and murder was being used, but also the 1) US State Department, 2) the UN, 3) Amnesty International, 4) Human Rights Watch, 5) Canadian human rights groups, and 6) the Afghan governments own human rights watchdogs.

    I'd like to emphasize that in no case do I believe Canadian soldiers participated in the torture or murder of Afghan prisoners- the one exception being the soldier who currently stands charged with the murder of an insurgent who was hors de combat.

    There will be an excrement storm over it, Earl. And any sensible person could have seen it coming from a mile away. Why high-ranking members of the CF were willing to put the reputation of the Canadian military on the line over the matter is a mystery to me.
  8. Brian Sexsmith from Canada writes: We've known about the torture of prisoners for years - former Minister of Defence, Gordon O'Connor even travelled to Kandahar to meet with Abdul Noorzai of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, to "look the man in the eyes" and miraculously discern the truth.

    The indifference of successive governments to the well being of Canadian Omar Khadr in Gitmo is further evidence of our government's tacit approval of torture.

    Perhaps the greatest threat to discredit our military's reputation, is the alleged policy of "don't look, don't tell" regarding our Afghan allies rape of children. Why has there not been a thorough investigation into this?
  9. Earl Street from Petawawa, Canada writes: Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:
    There will be an excrement storm over it, Earl. And any sensible person could have seen it coming from a mile away. Why high-ranking members of the CF were willing to put the reputation of the Canadian military on the line over the matter is a mystery to me.
    Its not the CF nor the government that wishes it so, hence the protracted fight in the courts to prevent the hearings.
  10. Ruby Christal from Edmonton, Canada writes: Harper would rather fire the MPCC in its entirety than let details of Canadian government complicity in torture and child rape come to the surface.

    This is transparent, open, and accountable government, Harper style.
  11. ALASTAIR JAMES BERRY from Canada writes: Injustice is UN-CANADIAN.

    These allegations must be investigated or they will fester for years and RUIN THE MORALE of the CANADIAN ARMED FORCES!

    Better to grasp the nettle now before the episode grows out of all proportion.

    So what if somebody made a mistake? Better to admit and rectify, that build a wall of lies and half truths around the affair.
  12. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes: Earl Street, I agree. It's usually the case that those responsible for a crime hope that it won't come to light, or that they'll be held responsible. But the potential crime has nothing to do with the Canadian soldiers and MP's who were investigated.

    I've followed this particular story closely since it first became public. One unfortunate thing is that the case against the MP's and soldiers who detained the prisoner appears to be trivial. It's a non-issue. After a long investigation, the worst that can be said against them is that the MP's failed to 'dot-the-i's' by conducting a formal investigation of a Taliban prisoner who sustained minor injuries during his apprehension. All that should have happened is that the MP's be reminded to properly document and investigate all instances of prisoner injury. End of story.

    Were it not for the fact- the disturbing fact- that the Canadian Forces hands over Afghans to an agency which is accused of torturing and murdering prisoners, I doubt whether this incident would ever have come to light. Nor should it have to, in my opinion.

    Failing to investigate a prisoner sustaining minor injuries during capture isn't a crime. THE CRIME THAT'S BEING COVERED UP IS THE POLICY OF HANDING PRISONERS OVER TO TORTURERS. That crime is being orchestrated at the highest levels of the Canadian Forces and the Canadian government. But as always, low-ranking members of the CF will take the heat for it- not those who have given the orders.
  13. Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:

    I...I'm gobsmacked. Where is are the usual voices calling me a liar? LOL
  14. Merely an Observer from Canada writes: Richard Roskell being gobsmacked should hardly surprise anyone; probably gobsmacked numerous times throughout any given day.

    Ah well, to placate him, let's just use his own words
    "Richard Roskell from Naramata, Canada writes:
    Okay, okay... I lied. Sometimes I do it because it's entertaining as well.
    Posted 01/02/09"

    That shouldn't surprise anyone as well.
  15. EX Forces Ampuroid from Canada writes: It is ok Richard we really do know what kind of hypocrite you are. It is ok for you to take people from their culture reprogram them to a Canadian lifstyle to make you feel and look better but no one else is allowed to do it. Your adoptee is the only one else that is worth it. Consider this the second gobsmack too.

Comments are closed

Thanks for your interest in commenting on this article, however we are no longer accepting submissions. If you would like, you may send a letter to the editor.

Report an abusive comment to our editorial staff


Alert us about this comment

Please let us know if this reader’s comment breaks the editor's rules and is obscene, abusive, threatening, unlawful, harassing, defamatory, profane or racially offensive by selecting the appropriate option to describe the problem.

Do not use this to complain about comments that don’t break the rules, for example those comments that you disagree with or contain spelling errors or multiple postings.

Back to top