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cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:29 pm    Post subject: CBC: Afghan detainee torture risk raised in 2005 Reply with quote

Quote:
A Canadian diplomat with extensive experience in Afghanistan says she raised the possibility that detainees transferred from Canadian to Afghan custody were at risk of torture back in 2005, but her concerns were ignored.

In an exclusive interview with CBC News, Eillen Olexiuk, who arrived in Afghanistan in 2002 and was second in command at the Canadian Embassy in Kabul, said she told the Liberal government then in power that the transfer agreement didn't do enough to protect detainees.

Canadian officials at the time weren't monitoring detainees after the transfer, and that left detainees vulnerable to torture once they were in Afghan hands, said Olexiuk, who met with torture victims during her three years in Afghanistan.

She had also written three different human rights reports over three years warning that torture was a common problem in Afghanistan.

But Olexiuk said her advice was ignored by Paul Martin's government.

"I don't think anybody really cared, quite frankly," she said.


Source: http://www.cbc.ca/politics/sto.....lomat.html
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to see what a state of utter panic looks like;
Go read some Liberal Blogs this morning.

They seem to be of the belief that Diplomat Richard Colvin is the pinnacle of integrity whereas Eillen Olexiuk is "questionable".

My stance on the issue at hand is pretty simple; its hard to have ultimate control of prisoners when you are a guest in a nation with its own elected government and police. I believe that our troops and military have acted with the utmost integrity since 2001 and continue to do so today.

The problem I have, is that the original Afghan Transfer agreement signed by Bill Graham and Paul Martin gave no rights to Canadians to inspect the prisoners that they turned over, that was not rectified till the new agreement was signed by Gordan O'Connor after the Conservatives took power.

If the Martin government was aware of these allegations, why would they agree to those sorts of terms in a Transfer agreement in the first place?

I am also thoroughly disappointed in the leader of the opposition, if his party was aware of these issues and did nothing when they had the opportunity, they in fact signed an agreement that potentially facilitate these accusations as we could not see the prisoners we turned over then why is the hammer not being more thoroughly dropped.

They were aware of this situation when in government; yet they swept it under the rug and used this situation as political leverage against the Conservatives?

Yowza.
concerned





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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe how little coverage this is getting in the news. If it weren't for the CBC, of all places, I wouldn't have known about the Liberals being just as guilty for what they are trying to nail the CPC on. The media in this country is brutally left. We need a Fox News North now.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

concerned wrote:
I can't believe how little coverage this is getting in the news. If it weren't for the CBC, of all places, I wouldn't have known about the Liberals being just as guilty for what they are trying to nail the CPC on. The media in this country is brutally left. We need a Fox News North now.


It didn't stay on the CBC's frontpage very long;
DFP





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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2010 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmostein wrote:
If you want to see what a state of utter panic looks like;
Go read some Liberal Blogs this morning.

They seem to be of the belief that Diplomat Richard Colvin is the pinnacle of integrity whereas Eillen Olexiuk is "questionable".

My stance on the issue at hand is pretty simple; its hard to have ultimate control of prisoners when you are a guest in a nation with its own elected government and police. I believe that our troops and military have acted with the utmost integrity since 2001 and continue to do so today.

The problem I have, is that the original Afghan Transfer agreement signed by Bill Graham and Paul Martin gave no rights to Canadians to inspect the prisoners that they turned over, that was not rectified till the new agreement was signed by Gordan O'Connor after the Conservatives took power.

If the Martin government was aware of these allegations, why would they agree to those sorts of terms in a Transfer agreement in the first place?

I am also thoroughly disappointed in the leader of the opposition, if his party was aware of these issues and did nothing when they had the opportunity, they in fact signed an agreement that potentially facilitate these accusations as we could not see the prisoners we turned over then why is the hammer not being more thoroughly dropped.

They were aware of this situation when in government; yet they swept it under the rug and used this situation as political leverage against the Conservatives?

Yowza.


I'm kind of leaning towards an agreement having been crafted by NATO members that would act as a loophole to proper detainee treatment. CSIS being involved in interrogations a la blacksite type marks a considerable departure from troops simply throwing their boots down on an inmate - something that has happened, but has also been rectified appropriately - as it would be an entirely problematic decision for any of the NATO member states to disclose in public, however the CSIS involvement is intelligence-related and given the intelligence sharing among NATO members in Afghanistan, and not to ignore the likely close association with the American brand of intelligence gathering there, then I would see the CPC's reticence being born out of a desire to prevent harmful disclosure to their national and international image, whereas the LPC may see it as something they could possibly exploit for their own gain regardless of their own culpability (gaming on CPC's reticence), while also, possibly re-branding themselves.

The problem I have with this is that for all intents and purposes, the members of the opposition including the LPC have requested all documents dating back to our entry into Afghanistan, so I don't see them as being entirely frightened at the prospect of being investigated themselves.

The CPC transfer agreement was signed by Rick Hillier as there was no canadian official present at the time to sign it in Afghanistan.

The Martin government likely agreed to the terms in a similar way that the CPC has agreed to the terms, intelligence sharing being given precedence over fair and adequate treatment. Both transfer plans are filled with holes and replete with far too little enforcement to be effective to ensure proper treatment of detainees.

I think the refusal to host a public inquiry and gaming the entire the situation since Colvin's testimony reflects a deep concern by the CPC to withhold certain facts from being revealed. What they are is anyone's guess. We'll just have to wait and see what the Speaker's ruling is on the opposition's motions on privilege and possible contempt to see how the CPC plans its next move. The Lacobucci appointment isn't going to hold the floodgates, and Nicholson's insistence on relying on the Lacobucci appointment to legitimize the government's position isn't going to prevent the will of parliament getting its way.
mr12387





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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2010 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:


Liberal calls out Liberal Party on war crimes charges

Brian Lilley

Dan Donovan says he is just writing what he and other Liberals have been thinking and speaking about in Ottawa over the past few months, his party has lost its way on the Afghanistan issue, specifically torture.

Donovan, the publisher of Ottawa Life Magazine and a long time Liberal was appearing on local radio in the capital when I first hear him going off on his own party. Normally, Donovan appears on CFRA in Ottawa as a Liberal pundit but last week was full of anger at his party for going too far in pursuing the Afghan detainee issue. In the eyes of this one-time Liberal staffer, foreign affairs critic Bob Rae and defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh are aligning the party of the centre with the left fringe of Canadian politics by accusing the Canadian military of war crimes.

Donovan uses his editorial column in the latest issue of his magazine to blast away at the two Liberal critics.

“Many lifelong Liberals, like me, are disgusted with Rae and Dosanjh and their antics. Their agenda is to do whatever they can to attack the Prime Minister and Defence Minister, even if it means tarring the reputation of Canada and the Canadian Forces. It’s odd, I’ve never heard Rae or Dosanjh expend the same amount of energy on matters related to the deaths of 136 soldiers and diplomats violently killed in Afghanistan”

Even more anger is directed at Dosanjh, given his position as health minister in the Martin government.

“I don’t recall Dosanjh expressing any concerns for detainees when he was a Liberal Minister in the Paul Martin Cabinet that expanded our Afghan mission. Actually, I don’t recall Dosanjh expressing any concern for our poorly armed troops who were killed in action in Afghanistan because he and his colleagues in Cabinet sent the troops to Afghanistan with equipment that did not provide them with enough protection. He must have done so … but in private with the same great flare, gusto and passion he articulates for the Taliban prisoners. Bravo Ujjal! Bravo!”

While I don’t share Donovan’s anger, it is interesting to me to see a Liberal, a well known one in this city, calling out his party for, to use the colloquial term, sucking and blowing at the same time. The Liberal party has for some months now been attempting to say that the government may be complicit in war crimes but fearing the accusation that they don’t stand with the troops, they say they are not accusing Canadian soldiers of war crimes.

They must think we have trained cats in Afghanistan handing over prisoners to the local authorities for torture.
The fact of the matter is that if Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Defence Minister Peter MacKay or General Rick Hillier are guilty of war crimes, then so are the soldiers that carried out those orders. It was established at Nuremberg that, “just following orders” was not a valid defence. The International Criminal Court also establishes in Article 33 of the Rome Statute that following orders is not a defence.

Article 33
Superior orders and prescription of law

1. The fact that a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court has been committed by a person pursuant to an order of a Government or of a superior, whether military or civilian, shall not relieve that person of criminal responsibility unless:

(a) The person was under a legal obligation to obey orders of the Government or the superior in question;

(b) The person did not know that the order was unlawful; and

(c) The order was not manifestly unlawful.

2. For the purposes of this article, orders to commit genocide or crimes against humanity are manifestly unlawful.

Just to make sure that everything is clear, Article 7 counts torture as a crime against humanity as well as “other inhumane acts.”

The Liberals have been warned by those inside the party and out that their strategy of claiming war crimes is risky, that it could see front line troops charged. Still they persist, while saying they are not in any way demeaning the work of the men and women on the ground. Such talk is patently false. If the people in leadership positions that ordered the transfers are guilty of war crimes, so are those that handed them over. During the many decades that the Liberals were in power, Canada deported men who were just following orders during the Second World War.

If the members of Her Majesty’s Official Opposition were so confident in their assertions that war crimes occurred, they would be joining Professor Michael Byers from UBC in asking the ICC to investigate Canada. They don’t for two reasons, firstly to do so would rob them of a weapon to beat the government over head with during question period, secondly, the Liberals are smart enough to realize that the Canadian public would not take kindly to our own politicians accusing our own soldiers of war crimes. A party that did so would not see power for some time.
Brian Lilley is the Ottawa Bureau Chief for radio stations Newstalk 1010 in Toronto and CJAD 800 in Montreal. Follow Brian on Twitter to get the latest as it happens.
cosmostein





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

While the concept of anyone being guilty of war crimes in either situation, be it Liberal or Conservative is nothing more then Partisan buzzwords for the sole purpose of shockvalue, the article however, in a sense is correct.

John McCallum has been an MP for as long as Canadian troops have been in Afghanistan, and he called out the Prime Minister and Defense Minister as guilty of "War Crimes".

If the previous government was aware of this alleged situation, would that not make Paul Martin and Bill Graham just as guilty of this theoretical accusation? They were aware, people within the party were aware, I fail to see a difference other then the fact that the Liberals were aware in theory prior to signing the the transfer agreement that did not give Canadians the right to inspect prisoners they had turned over.

While the Liberals will make every attempt to spin this as a "different" circumstance, the reality is that it simply is not.
Bugs





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PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DFP wrote:
I'm kind of leaning towards an agreement having been crafted by NATO members that would act as a loophole to proper detainee treatment. CSIS being involved in interrogations a la blacksite type marks a considerable departure from troops simply throwing their boots down on an inmate - something that has happened, but has also been rectified appropriately - as it would be an entirely problematic decision for any of the NATO member states to disclose in public, however the CSIS involvement is intelligence-related and given the intelligence sharing among NATO members in Afghanistan, and not to ignore the likely close association with the American brand of intelligence gathering there, then I would see the CPC's reticence being born out of a desire to prevent harmful disclosure to their national and international image, whereas the LPC may see it as something they could possibly exploit for their own gain regardless of their own culpability (gaming on CPC's reticence), while also, possibly re-branding themselves.

The problem I have with this is that for all intents and purposes, the members of the opposition including the LPC have requested all documents dating back to our entry into Afghanistan, so I don't see them as being entirely frightened at the prospect of being investigated themselves.

The CPC transfer agreement was signed by Rick Hillier as there was no canadian official present at the time to sign it in Afghanistan.

The Martin government likely agreed to the terms in a similar way that the CPC has agreed to the terms, intelligence sharing being given precedence over fair and adequate treatment. Both transfer plans are filled with holes and replete with far too little enforcement to be effective to ensure proper treatment of detainees.

I think the refusal to host a public inquiry and gaming the entire the situation since Colvin's testimony reflects a deep concern by the CPC to withhold certain facts from being revealed. What they are is anyone's guess. We'll just have to wait and see what the Speaker's ruling is on the opposition's motions on privilege and possible contempt to see how the CPC plans its next move. The Lacobucci appointment isn't going to hold the floodgates, and Nicholson's insistence on relying on the Lacobucci appointment to legitimize the government's position isn't going to prevent the will of parliament getting its way.


The problem is that you assume what is problematic. You know very well that these captives are not covered by all this 'human rights' web-spinning. Equally, you know that the so-called 'rights' involved were constantly shifting throughout this period, and there really is no procedure where 'human rights' are 'awarded', so matter how smugly patronizing the motives of these sainted souls.

Torture has been defined down to causing 'stress'. The US revised its interrogation procedures to conform to international agreements as they stood in 2002, when the current invasions began. None of it hurts, and none of it leaves bodies maimed and twisted -- as it does in those regimes you seem to find unobjectionable.

The 'torture' you decry happens in Canadian prisons. What do you think they were doing to Pickton for six years? By current standards, how many times was he 'tortured'? (They never produced the evidence that they needed for a murder conviction. They couldn't even prove he was anything but a patsy.) How many days of being locked down 23 hours a day, supposedly awaiting a 'constitutionally protected right to a speedy trial' ... before it qualifies as torture? Is it torture to grab a guy by te lapels and go nose-to-nose? How many hours did they keep Pickton up, questioning him, no lawyer, using the same techniques, using exhaustion, confusion, everything to get a few words of guilt??? ...

Another point is nobody but 'the West' even pretends to comply with these so-called human rights declarations. The UN membership, itself, has terrible violators of human rights, about which the UN does nothing. Some of them tolerate slavery and the Sudan even has slave markets! UN membership is supposed to be conditional upon compliance with the Universal Charter of Human Rights ... that's a laugh. So, don't tell me about the UN and human rights. It's an excuse for payoffs.

Legally, human rights, as enabled by the UN, has zero legal status. It's a piece of smelly propaganda issued by the vilest regimes to revenge themselves upon the West. The UN has, through long disuse, forgone any right it might once have had to any kind of moral leadership. It's a stooge of third world dictators and tyrants, and is full of little states who 'sell' their votes. Any discussion that ignores this is just unrealistic.

Of course both parties, when in power, act the way the Conservatives have. It is probably the only realistically sensible way to act. Our guys weren't torturing anybody, and were turning over detainees in a civil war/drug war to their own government, under the protection of written guarantees. Written on the same paper that the UN Universal Declaration is writtin on, perhaps ... but ... what could they have done better?
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CBC: Afghan detainee torture risk raised in 2005

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