Friday, November 14, 2008

Hiding our governments complicity in torture

Turning prisoners of war over to known torturers or to those who would abuse them is a war crime, under the Geneva Conventions.

Apparently our government is not concerned about a few front line soldiers getting investigated for potential war crimes, they just don’t the want the public to know that it was government officials that issued the orders.

Harpers’s government have now filed a suit to block the long delayed MPCC (Military Police Complaints Commission) hearing into the turning of prisoners of war over to the Afghan government to be knowingly tortured.
Their suit is seeking a court order to prohibit the commissioner and the commission from investigating the allegations.

The government is now claiming that the MPCC by attempting to review policy decisions made by officials in relation to the transfer of Afghan detainees falls outside of the confines of the mandate of the MPCC.
So much for the cooperation promised by Harper and MacKay back in the spring.
There is no refusal to co-operate. Harper said in parliament.

The MPCC “will get the co-operation with respect both to information disclosures and the funding necessary to have a full-blown hearing,” said MacKay.
After continually trying to obstruct the process, this is really the last attempt by the government to have the hearings actually cancelled.
Government censors have blacked out key passages of secret documents that showed that ministers knew that torture was rife in Afghan prisons.

They also have blacked out details of torture allegedly administered personally by Asadullah Khalid, the governor of Kandahar province and a key Canadian ally.
Khalid if you recall was the Afghan governor that Maxime Bernier met with, just before he walked out in the town square and went public with Canada's desire to have Khalid replaced.

Although Bernier ended up looking like a fool by going public, no one has ever questioned what the purpose of Khalid meeting was in the first place.

Was Bernier sent to get Khalid to back off on the torture, which would then of proven the government's knowledge of the torture or was there some other deal in the works?

That is the problem when a government tries to cover up their complicity in illegal acts, you are just left to conjecture.

Meanwhile Canada continues turning prisoners over to Afghan authorities and refuses to to say how many prisoners it has turned over, or whether it can account for all of them.

Reference Globe and Mail here.

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