Monday, March 22, 2010

Redacted Documents Hide Afghan Detainee Torture

A document released from the Chief of the Defence Staff shows that not only were Canadian military officials aware of detainees being tortured in Afghan custody but that fact, that Canadians knew, was worthy of censorship.

In an interview with Tom Clark on CTV's Powerplay, NDP MP Jack Harris told of how after viewing a previously redacted paper, the Afghan Committee was able to see a sentence that had been previously blacked out. Involving the Canadian military and a detainee, the previously censored phrase from the military document read, "We took a photograph of this guy before we passed him over, just in case that he was abused like happened before." With the black ink gone, not only was what under it made visible, but so is what the government is trying to hide.

The previously censored document that Jack Harris refers to suggests that Canadian officials knew about torture and that there was a history of detainees being tortured. The Committee in comparing the redacted document with the unredacted version, sawthat information was not being censored out of concern for national security, but instead censored out of this Conservative government concern for avoiding scandal.

The release of the unredacted document came on CTV's Powerplay as MP Jack Harris explained to Tom Clark the importance of uncensored documents to the Afghan Committee. Harris said:

"Let's give you one example, the Chief of Defence Staff last December released a document, a full document, in which there was a sentence appearing in that document, that wasn't in the redacted document that we got before, and that sentence was, 'We took a photograph of this guy before we passed him over, just in case that he was abused like happened before.' Now that gives you information that there's history to prisoners being abused. That was redacted, that was prevented, we weren't allowed to see that before the general himself released it."
Below is a clip of interview from CTV's Powerplay, the statement from Jack Harris occurs at the 5:40 mark.

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