Thursday, February 19, 2009

Detainee transfers in Afghanistan back in the news

This is an article that deserves attention today despite all of the other festivities going on: "Detainee transfers briefly halted in spring of 2007." The report presents evidence that detainee transfers were actually secretly halted in Afghanistan at the same time that the PM and his ministers were publicly mocking the opposition for daring to make such a request in the House of Commons and taunting their patriotism. The government's accounting of the dates on which the transfers were stopped is also called into question by the report, with witnesses contradicting the government's written responses on the matter. Further, the gap between those on the ground, with their concerns about detainee treatment in light of what they were seeing, and "generals and political masters in Ottawa" is also raised.

All of which raises questions again about the Harper government's political preoccupations above all else, even when dealing with such serious matters, their inclinations to secrecy and their competence in the conduct of the Afghan mission.