Monday, March 08, 2010

Conservatives Spinning Torture

Yesterday Power & Politics with Evan Soloman featured the release of a government memo outlining a contingency plan for the eventuality that credible claims of Afghan detainees being tortured would be made public.

One of the most interesting revelations was that the Conservative government didn't even follow its own plan when credible allegations of torture were first made by non-government organizations, it instead only acted some time later when the Globe and Mail published its story on the accusations.

Another point of interest brought up in the broadcast was that Richard Colvin was quite angry when he found out about the memo because it focused purely on public relations and not on actually correcting the detainee transfer situation.

However the most influential aspect of this memo is the very fact it exists. Considering how many possible scenerios are faced by any government each day, for it to devise a public relations plan to deal with the possiblity of credible claims of torture being made would logically necessitate that this Conservative government believed it was an outcome likelier than most.

It is obvious this government believed there was some probability that legitimate torture claims would be made in order for such a plan to be created. The question is then why did the government create this contingency plan to handle public perception instead of acting to change the detainee transfer agreement?

Amir Attaran, a law professor who has seen uncensored documents relating to this issue, suggests the answer to this question rests in the motivation of the Canadian government to collect intelligence in Afghanistan by any means necessary and if that meant turning a blind eye to torture, so be it.


ridenrain said...

It looks like their pushing this to be "The Scandal" to trigger the election. I don't think the general voter cares that much about it though.

Scott Tribe said...

You don't think Canadians would care if it was revealed we were handing over detainees to purposely get tortured to glean "intelligence' out of them. I beg to differ.

ridenrain said...

Some care, but no where near the number that line the roads when a Canadian soldier comes home in a box. I'd bet the average voter is sick of this being used as a political bludgeon.

Baron von Tollbooth said...

Caring about torture and respecting our troops are not exclusive of each other. Because you're for one needn't mean you're against the other.

ridenrain said...

Possibly you could explain that to Ujjal Dosanjh.