This video is called No to George Bush and torture enablers in Canada.
From the National Post in Canada:
Canada Ignored Torture: Ex-Envoy
Afghan Detainees; Allegations can’t be verified, Tories say
Janice Tibbetts, Canwest News Service Published: Thursday, November 19, 2009
A senior Canadian diplomat said he was on orders from his Ottawa superiors to leave no paper trail about his allegations that Canada was handing detainees over to Afghan custody where they were allegedly tortured and abused.
Richard Colvin, a top Foreign Affairs official posted in Afghanistan in 2006-07, told a House of Commons committee yesterday that the government and the military turned a blind eye to what was happening to their captives, a claim that the Prime Minister’s Office and Conservative MPs questioned yesterday.
But Mr. Colvin alleged the government imposed a “wall of secrecy” after he wrote and distributed reports about the Canadian military routinely and haphazardly handing over prisoners and then failing to follow up on their fate.
“There was certain information that was seen as too hot potato,” said Mr. Colvin, who was the political officer at the Canadian-run reconstruction base when troops began handing over prisoners to Afghan authorities three years ago.
Mr. Colvin said he was specifically told by Mr. Harper’s former foreign affairs advisor, David Mulroney, to use the phone instead of putting anything in writing about prisoner abuse, which Mr. Colvin said contradicted Canadian policy and international law against surrendering to the risk of torture.
“There was indeed a policy, but behind the military’s wall of secrecy, that’s exactly what we were doing,” said Mr. Colvin, who is now the deputy head of intelligence at the Canadian embassy in Washington.
Mr. Mulroney had just left the Prime Minister’s Office to become deputy minister of Foreign Affairs at the time that he allegedly warned Mr. Colvin to watch his step in April 2007.
At the time, senior Cabinet ministers in Ottawa were on the hot seat over the prisoner abuse allegations, denying daily in the House of Commons that there were any credible reports of torture.
Mr. Colvin also alleged that Rick Hillier, the former defence chief, knew that Afghan detainees were being abused and he turned his back to it. …
Mr. Colvin maintained that he learned from credible sources that Canadian detainees handed to Afghan control were beaten with power cables, given electrical shock and were sleep deprived in Afghan jails.
“According to our information, the likelihood is that all the Afghans we handed over were tortured,” said Mr. Colvin, who said most of them were insurgent foot soldiers or innocents who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, rather than hard-core Taliban.
He said he first learned of the abuse soon after arriving in Kandahar in the spring of 2006 and that he later saw evidence himself after visiting prisons and seeing torture marks on prisoners. Canada handed over far more prisoners than either the British or the Dutch and that Canada, unlike its allies, did no follow up on the fate of those they surrendered, Mr. Colvin said.
“We kept hopeless records, and apparently to prevent any scrutiny, the Canadian Forces leadership concealed all this behind walls of secrecy,” he said.
The result, said Mr. Colvin, was that Canada helped strengthen the Taliban by spreading fear of foreigners among the Afghan people.
“Instead of winning hearts and minds, we caused Kandaharis to fear the foreigners,” he said. “Canada’s detainee practices in my view alienated us from the population and strengthened the insurgency.”
Mr. Colvin was called before the House of Commons committee after he filed an affidavit with the Military Police Complaints Commission, alleging that he warned senior government officials and military brass of “serious, imminent and alarming” reports of detainee abuse soon after he arrived in Afghanistan. …
In the House of Commons question period yesterday, Mr. MacKay was grilled on why it took 18 months for the government to act on allegations of detainee abuse. While sidestepping questions, he repeatedly affirmed that the government in 2007 improved a weak prisoner transfer arrangement that had been implemented by the former Liberal government.
See also here.
“We detained, and handed over for severe torture, a lot of innocent people,” a Canadian diplomat has told a parliamentary committee on the Canadian Armed Forces’ Afghan mission: here.
Canada’s new guide for prospective citizens no longer pretends that Canada is about social programs and saving the environment. Instead, it celebrates a land reigned over by a monarch and that possesses a tough, no-nonsense military: here.
Afghanistan’s President Hamid Karzai was inaugurated Thursday amid a state of siege in Kabul. Western officials who were present issued hypocritical demands that Karzai fight corruption: here.
Canadian mission participates in Afghan torture – End the war now! Here.