Saturday, November 21, 2009

Revisiting the Afghan Transfer Agreement

What amazes me is how long it's taken for the media, and the opposition parties, to really grab hold of this story. These aren't new revelations.
What's scary is it shows how impotent Canada's opposition parties are. They've sat on this story for more than two years, and have done little to bring the government to account over actions that arguably constitute war crimes!

This is my post from more than two years ago.

Let's get some things straight. Unlike the Conservative government would try and have you believe, taking shots at government incompetence and their complicity in torture is NOT the same as taking shots at Canadian soldiers on the front lines doing their duty. Canadian soldiers were following protocol. They were told to deliver prisoners somewhere, and the agreement was to deliver them in good faith to Afghan Authorities. Top military brass can in some ways be held accountable, but again, who do the top military brass answer to? The minister of Defence. Again, in no way are Canadian soldiers responsible for incompetent government policy.

Had the Canadian soldiers themselves been abusing detainees, like in AbuGharib, then yes, we would be responsible and we would have a military scandal more than a political one.

But this is nothing like AbuGharib. The only parallel is that instead of soldiers committing crimes, it was Canada's top brass, our Minister of Defence and the Prime Minister himself who knew of the torture, rape, and abuse and waited over a year and a half to take action!

Our soldiers are the victims here. These protocols led to a far more dangerous situation, a complete lack of trust in Kandahar. You can't claim to be trying to win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people, then go and turn those same people over to the humiliation of human rights abuses.

Our government, plain faced, stands up and says how dare people insult our military. They go on to claim there's no way they could know of such conditions occurring. How could they not know? Anybody reading a newspaper knew. The Red Cross complained of Canada not informing them of prisoner transfers for months after they'd taken place. It was stonewall after stonewall by the Canadian Government!

It's unfortunate we have such an impotent opposition in the House of Commons. Dion did little if anything to bring this scandal to the attention of Canada. Ignatieff seems to have all but disappeared, whether he's now hiding from his own words supporting torture, or he's just a lame duck I don't know. His silence is scary.

I do agree with one thing, there shouldn't be a public inquiry. Instead, the ICC should look into these allegations and decide whom, if anyone, in Canada's government should be brought to trial for war crimes.

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