Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Evidence That The Manley Report Was Predetermined

In the last two days multiple pieces of evidence have surfaced suggesting John Manley and/or the Panel had concluded their report even before they began it. Their results ultimately favoured the mission, which has led to the obvious approval of Stephen Harper.

Firstly, on Jan. 22, I posted some examples of plagiarism made in Manley's Forward of the Panel's report, which discussed conclusions of the Panel. The work was originally published in a Journal article he wrote two weeks prior to be even being chosen to head the Panel; this would suggest, for Manley at least, the decision was already decided before he began the supposed independent investigation. Such an example can be found in comparing Page 4 of the Panel's report:

Whenever we asked Afghans what they thought ISAF or Canada should do, there was never any hesitation: “We want you to stay; we need you to stay.” Without the presence of the international security forces, they said, chaos would surely ensue.
With Page 12 of the Policy Options Journal Article Manley wrote two weeks before heading the Panel:
Whenever we asked Afghans what they thought ISAF or Canada should do, they did not hesitate to say that we must stay. Without the presence of the international forces, chaos would surely ensue.
The suggestion that Manley had an actual bias is supported by Michael Byers, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Politics and International Law at the University of British Columbia. Of possible interest is John Manley was unavailable to be interviewed. You can hear Michael Byers here on the CBC's As It Happens:

Secondly, further evidence came to my attention the day before, this was in the form of a National Post article which interviewed an expert who went before the Panel and felt the Panel had arrived at it's conclusion even before hearing him. This would go to suggest the whole Panel too had come to its decision before hearing all of its experts. The article states:

Many people who have contributed submissions to the panel say they came away with the impression that Mr. Manley and his fellow members are essentially in favour of staying the course in Afghanistan. That is, continuing combat operations while simultaneously training Afghan security forces towards the mutually agreed NATO endgame of withdrawal at a later, undetermined date.

"I basically said we should stay and continue our role," said Canadian military historian and author Jack Granatstein, summarizing his submission to the panel last month.

"Their questions seemed to be of a kind that when people ask you questions you get a sense of what way they're leaning," he added. "I had the sense listening to them and watching their body language they agreed with what I was saying."
Thirdly, and lastly, to add to the evidence, in the report, the Panel states that Canada should stay in Afghanistan indefinitely, but specifies:
This commitment is contingent on the assignment of an additional battle group (of about 1,000 soldiers) to Kandahar by NATO and/or other allies before February 2009.
This has led some news sources to suggest that John Manley and the Panel were clearly independent in adding such a condition, for though it would be Stephen Harper's wish to stay in Afghanistan it would be quite difficult to get those extra troops. However Far And Wide reported today just how questionable the motivations were of the Panel in making that stipulation. With the knowledge that the Panel interviewed numerous NATO officials, it would seem quite improbable that they weren't aware of this, as reported in the Ottawa Citizen:
Sources at NATO headquarters in Belgium and in the United States have indicated in recent days that two marine battalions being sent to southern Afghanistan for seven months this spring with specific orders to assist the Canadians are likely to be followed by even more marine battalions in 2009 and 2010. This was possible because the Pentagon has begun to slowly wind down combat operations in Iraq and because the marine leadership has been pressing hard for a bigger role in Afghanistan.
I ask how are Canadians supposed to take this report and our Prime Ministers effort at understanding Afghanistan seriously, when the Panel had come to its Stephen Harper approved conclusion before it even began. Where was the non-partisanship? Where was the independent investigation?


Ron said...

This just proves the CBC is hopelessly biased.
So far the other MSM has dutifully ignored this.


Scott Ross' step daddy said...

This just proves you won't show me the inside of your mom's house again.

I am sad. :(

Video blog again you no good son.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I've been trying to get this copy'n'paste story into the G&M discussion. The semi-moderator has twice refused to publish it. Maybe they're fact checking and or maybe they've passed it along to a reporter for follow up. Or, maybe they just deleted it with prejudice.

I sent a link to your blog to the gal I adore, Earth Mother Lizzie May. Maybe she can get the word out. This story should have legs but it's gettin' spiked as far as I can see.


Raphael Alexander said...

A few quick hits:

1. The Manley report may have used similar wording in sections in which the opinions expressed were unchanged based on the fact-finding of the mission.

2. The Manley report foreword likely contained quotes from before the mission started, which probably should have been stipulated as older quotes.

3. The guarantee of marines support is neither a NATO guarantee, nor something which can be said can be taken for granted. So Manley's call for reinforcements was genuine, and not found to be misleading.

JimBobby said...

"...may have used similar wording"


Come on, Raphael. You're smarter than that and so are we. Wake up and smell the smoking gun.

A 23 YO Afghani journalism student may have been sentenced to death for insulting Islam. The new constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan may enshrine Sharia law. The government may have kept secret a report that confirmed our wonderful allies are torturing the detainees we handed over. Harper/O'Connor/MacKay may have committed war crimes by ordering our military men and women to hand over detainees to known torturers.

We may have a May election and have a chance to turf these disgraceful liars from power.

Change the climate in Parliament.


Anonymous said...

Ron & JimBobby: Yesterday I did forward it to reporters and editors. Today I'm just asking them for why they don't think it's worth printing. I've only got one response. Out of CBC Politics, Fifth Estate, Globe and Mail (Most of the reporters), National Post (Most reporters), Global News, the Hour, and local media; only the Fifth Estate has told me their editors are looking at it. I have no idea why others don't think it's print worthy.


1. I agree on most points however there is one particular section where it is not his opinion, it is him saying what the Panel did, and that almost exact paragraph is in the journal that was published two weeks before the panel even formed.

2. That's possible, I actually think he had an assistant write it for him. I knew a few MP assistants who cut corners like this. But again either is possible, and I think either is wrong, as they stand.

3. I agree the information we have suggests it's not a NATO guarentee. But the idea was out there, and it was rumoured among NATO officials, of whom Manley and the Panel interviewed quite a few.


DJN said...

Thanks for doing this research and putting the evidence together.

Jason C said...

Scott, I love the new hair. Did you mom dye it for you?

You are indeed Mama's little superman.

I bet you did all that research yourself and none of it was forwarded to you, eh?

I miss you.

JimBobby said...

I finally managed to slip your URL past a semi-moderator on a G&M board. At least one other G&M commenter got it in, too.

Here's soma additional stuff (copied from a G&M comment.

Interested Observer from Canada writes: Will the government of Canada admit they falsified a report to Parliment??

from the Panel's Report:

Institutions that are respected need to be built and the Afghan National Army and Police need to be further recruited and trained.

Comparing it with the Journal Article:

Institutions that are respected will not be built overnight. Police and judges will need time to be trained, and the means to pay them must be established, but a functioning economy needs security in which to grow.

from the Report:

Agricultural districts need to be reclaimed from land mines and poppy fields, so that traditional crops can once again flourish where they have in the past.

Comparing it with the Journal Article:

Afghanistan’s agricultural districts need to be reclaimed from land mines and poppy fields, so that traditional crops can once again flourish where they have in the past.

from the Report:

Both the reality and the perception of corruption in the Government of Afghanistan must be rooted out. They are undermining not only the hope for an Afghan solution but also support for the Western forces sacrificing their lives to help secure the situation. Roads, bridges and electrification must be enhanced, so that ordinary Afghans can see progress.

Comparing it with the Journal Article:

Both the reality and the perception of corruption in the Karzai administration must be rooted out. They are undermining not only the only hope for an Afghan solution but also support for the Western forces sacrificing their lives to help secure the situation. Roads, bridges and electrification must be enhanced, so that ordinary Afghans can see progress. We love to do what we call “capacity-building”, which is doubtless very important, but invisible to the average villager in an Afghan province.


I wonder when the MSM will assign reporters to cover this embarrassment.


Holly Stick said...

Manley was on CBC's "The House" and they did play a question from Michael Byers about the report resembling the earlier article; but Manley weaselled past that and was busy trying to blame Byers for not appearing before the panel.

Jennifer Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer Smith said...

Manley will be on 'Cross Country Checkup' this afternoon (4:00 EST, and I almost said 'As It Happens'). I'm calling on all bloggers and other interested parties to call in and ask these questions of him personally.

The toll-free number is 1-888-416-8333

I do hope you will call and actually get through, since you're the one who broke this story. If there was an award for "Blogger Who Most Resembles a Real Journalist" this year, you would most certainly win. Well done.

Anonymous said...

I missed the opportunity to question Manley, I was out of range of a telephone signal, let alone an internet connection. Did anyone ask?

Jennifer Smith said...

Manley was only on for the first half hour, so he only answered four questions I think. Most of them were pretty rambling and none were about the cut & paste issue. I actually got through and gave my name, number and the gist of my question. They said they'd call me back if they wanted me on, but they never did.

Unfortunately I had to go to work at 5:00 so I didn't hear the rest. I even brought a radio along (plus a printout of your blog post:) but it didn't want to pick up CBC for some reason. I'll listen to it online tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

No more eloquent lines fed to you from the Liberal Party of Canada. Looks like you got to go back to making incoherent rants in front of a video camera.