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According to Richard Colvin,  since 2006 (and probably earlier) the Canadian Armed Forces have had a hand in facilitating the torture of afghan prisoners.  Richard Colvin said:

“According to our information, the likelihood is that all the Afghans we handed over were tortured. For interrogators in Kandahar, it was a standard operating procedure,” Colvin said.

He said the most common forms of torture were beatings, whipping with power cables, the use of electricity, knives, open flames and rape.”

Let me state this right now.  Torture does not work.  For an in depth analysis of exactly how bad torture is for nation states see Alflred McCoy’s book: A Question of Torture.

So torture is neither viable nor productive in terms of gathering information.  Unless of course you are the church and are just trying to save the poor heretic’s souls.

It was only a matter of time as the slaughter and abuse of civilians goes hand in hand with imperial misadventures.  We avoided the Iraq fiasco, but now are fully mired in Afghanistan.  Colvin expresses his regrets about our foreign policy:

“As I learned more about our detainee practices, I came to a conclusion they were contrary to Canada’s values, contrary to Canada’s interests, contrary to Canada’s official policies and also contrary to international law. That is, they were un-Canadian, counterproductive and probably illegal.”

I agree with Mr. Colvin.  But did our government?  Of course not, the denials and spin began almost immediately.

“Defence Minister Peter MacKay also questioned the credibility of the allegations earlier this week. Hillier and Conservative officials denied Colvin’s assertion that he reported prisoner abuses as early as 2006.”

To expect a different response from any political party would be silly.  That is the sad fact of the realpolitik of our times, we sanction horrible practices, and then when public scrutiny arrives, the government does its utmost to deny, deflect and discredit the bearer of the news of its malfeasance.  Witness our feckless Conservatives in action:

“Last week, Colvin was accused by Conservative MPs of being a Taliban “dupe” for believing and broadcasting claims of prisoner abuse — and testifying he’d relayed those concerns to an unreceptive government.”

Mr. Colvin’s assertions were corroborated by a Afghani MP Malalai Joya she said:

“What he has been saying is what I’ve heard from my people,” she said.

Many of the victims are women and children detainees who have been raped, she said. “It’s not new for our people.”

Whoops!  A outside confirmation of what is happening in Afghanistan?  The Conservatives could not possibly be lying could they?

“The Conservative government was aware of concerns about the state of prisons in Afghanistan in early 2006, prompting it to negotiate a new prisoner transfer agreement, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Friday.”

Wow, getting caught in a lie misunderstanding (again) sucks does it not Mr.MacKay?  The caliber of the verbal casuistry being spewn forth by the Conservative government leaves me gobsmacked..  The party of ‘law and order’ and ‘family values’ and morality in general.  I remember with the Conservatives were rallying against the Liberals during the Adscam – debacle, oh how shrill they were.   Good thing the Conservatives are above such antics now that they are in power.

It looks like we are at least partially responsible for people being tortured.  A government that was actually dedicated upholding human rights and ‘canadian values’ would at least admit to their part in this ugly little affair.




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