Amir Attaran, a law professor, has seen documents that confirm that Canadian officials continued to hand over detainees to Afghan authorites to be knowingly tortured for the intended purpose to gather intelligence.
Not only is the fact that Canandian officials knew about detainees being tortured and yet continued to hand them over to Afghan authorities a troubling revelation, but even more heinous is the fact that our government condoned this practice of torture in the hopes of gathering information.
In correspondence I received from Mr. Attaran today he states that he has seen documents through the Access to Information Act that prove Canadian officials intended detainees to be tortured in order to obtain information. He is restricted however to release that information because of its possible threat to national security.
Recently the CBC broke the story on the professors revelation, the article can be found here and the corresponding videos here and here.
For sometime Amir Attaran has kept an eye on events related to the Afghan detainee abuse scandal. After reading government documents that illustrated that Canadians were aware of detainees being tortured, Mr. Attaran developed an hypothesis of why the Canadian government continued handing over detainees.
Mr. Attaran assumed that in 2007 officials had maintained the policy of handing over detainees with the knowledge that they would be tortured in order for the government to obtain information. Recently the professor has seen certain documents that confirm that hypothesis.
A portion of Mr. Attaran's correspondence is below:
I have for years had the hypothesis that the transfers are related to information-gathering. All things considered the hypothesis explains a lot, such as why we resumed transferring detainees after previous confirmations of torture, such as the one on Nov 5, 2007 when Canadian officials found a detainee they had transferred injured in Afghan custody, and also found the whips (braided electrical wire and hose) used by his jailors—in short, the tortured person and the torture implements both. That was the clearest possible warning, but we’ve gone on transferring detainees since. Why?For anyone questioning Amir Attaran's credibility, the blog Canada Votes, or Not has posted another reply from the law professor.
That said, rather recently I was permitted access to information which confirms that the hypothesis is correct. But at this moment I can't tell you what information, and since I am a law professor, you can pretty easily work out why I'm unable to say.
Update: In response to commentators suggesting Mr. Attaran has no proof or is lying, I must point out that while he has put his reputation on the line, the commentators have not. Where as they have nothing to lose but some reputation as a blogger, he has his to lose as a respected academic and writer.
For Conservatives who would prefer to see the evidence before believing Mr. Attaran, that is not a fault of the professor's, but our own government's. It is interesting to note, that if Mr. Attaran is lying or indeed has no proof, one must ask where is any government official pointing that out?