Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Peter MacKay Knew in 2008 That Afghan Detainees Were Being Tortured

It took Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff just a week of visiting Afghanistan, to learn that Detainees being handed over by Canadian soldiers were being tortured.

In fact, our soldiers had become so concerned about this, that they started taking photos before handing them over, reminding the Afghan authorities that they had evidence should something happen.

But it wasn't until those claims came to the attention of the Canadian public (again), that the Reformers changed their tactics (again).

You'll notice that MacKay doesn't deny the allegations of torture, only that they are now responding it. The calls for Sandra Buckler's resignation were because she undermined the military, by claiming that they kept her government out of the loop. This was quickly disputed by military brass.

Transfers to resume once prisons improve: MacKay
January 26, 2008
CTV.ca News

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Saturday that Canadian soldiers will resume transferring detainees to Afghan authorities, but only when Canada is confident they will not be tortured. The handovers will recommence once "we see there are improvements... in the Afghan prison," MacKay told reporters.

Meanwhile, Conservative House Leader Peter Van Loan said the government has confidence in Sandra Buckler, director of communications in the Prime Minister's Office. On Thursday, she had told CTV News that the military had not told the government that it had stopped turning suspected Taliban detainees over to the Afghan government in early November ....

The opposition has accused the government of covering up news that Canadian troops stopped transferring suspected Taliban prisoners to Afghan authorities after diplomats found clear evidence of torture.

Military leaders had also reportedly been furious, saying they kept the government in the loop. The policy change came to light Wednesday as a result of government documents filed in a lawsuit by human rights groups opposed to Canada's policy of handing detainees over to Afghan authorities. A general also testified about the change on Thursday.

The opposition has accused the government of not revealing the change mainly to protect itself from embarrassment. Government leaders, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper, ridiculed the notion of torture when they first surfaced in the spring of 2007.

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