Stephen Harper & General Hillier, June 2006. (Photo: Chris Wattie/Reuters)
Detainee fallout: take few, free quickly
Details of new policy – and top soldier’s outrage – emerge as government ministers refuse comment, citing operational secrecy
MICHAEL VALPY: Tuesday’s Globe and Mail, January 29, 2008
Michael Valpy reports that “…[t]he Canadian Forces are holding insurgent detainees at their Kandahar Air Force base rather than turning them over to Afghan authorities … [a]fter the revelation last week that Canadians ceased turning detainees over to the Afghan authorities in early November after discovering credible evidence of torture, [Subsequently] the Prime Minister’s Office initially said it hadn’t been informed of this by senior officers. Valpy goes on to write that “Gen. Hillier was said to be “absolutely livid” when he learned of this.”
From this article it is clear that the Harper government is stonewalling attempts to get clear answers as to what actual policy Canada has to make sure that “detainees” – or what should be termed prisoners of war – are not tortured. Indeed many Canadians have to take it at face value that detainees are in not just someone who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The whole thing smacks of a policy of guilty until proven otherwise.
The Harper government must be defeated. They are misleading the public and dragging this country into a sickening morass of human rights abuses. An election must be called so that this country gets out from the shadow of collusion with the criminal regime in Washington. The opposition parties now are faced with a moral obligation to put aside strategy on how and when to topple the government and simply bring it down at the first opportunity.