Well, isn’t this lovely — CBC News is reporting that the Feds are trying to block military commission hearings into Afghan detainee transfers:
In papers filed in Federal Court, government lawyers argue the issue never should have gone as far as it has with the MPCC.
“In a spirit of co-operation, the government did not challenge the jurisdiction of the MPCC to investigate,” the Justice Department said in its Federal Court filing, according to the Globe and Mail.
“This should have given the commission the opportunity to satisfy itself that the…complaint should be dismissed either because it lacked merit or because the commission has no jurisdiction to investigate it,” the department states.
Government lawyers argue the handling of detainees is a military operation — not a policing issue.
But Amnesty International’s Alex Neve said it is appropriate for the commission to investigate.
“The military police are involved in the detention and transfer of prisoners, they do so in their police capacity,” he said.
He added that the government had indicated it would co-operate.
“So how can it be, one year later now, they change their mind and turn around and say they will contest this? It simply isn’t right.”
Ah, those wacky Little Eichmanns in Ottawa. Nice to see the small government ideologues have come to realize the inherent value contained within an amoral, labyrinthine bureaucracy. Nothing says “depraved” like using a last-minute jurisdictional argument to try and suppress torture allegations.
More from pogge, who notes that, according to The Canadian Press, “the government has already provided reams of documents and information -1,300 pages in all – and has delivered 38 witnesses to the commission.” As pogge aptly observes, “That’s awfully strange behaviour when the entire matter is outside the commission’s jurisdiction, don’t you think?
Yes, I really do think.