Yes, In Our Name

by matttbastard

Via the Dawg, the lying liars lied to each and every one of us:

The Harper government knew prison conditions were appalling long before The Globe and Mail published a series of stories last April detailing the abuse and torture of prisoners turned over by Canadian soldiers to Afghanistan’s notorious secret police, documents released this week show.

The heavily censored documents also show that at the same time as senior ministers were denying evidence of abuse, officials on the ground in Afghanistan were collecting first-hand accounts from prisoners of mistreatment.


In addition to routine reports by diplomats citing widespread torture and abuse, Canadian officials were also delivering first-hand accounts showing how grim the prisons were.

In one, Linda Garwood-Filbert, the newly arrived leader of a Correctional Service Canada inspections team, asked for better boots in February, 2007, months before the published reports, because she was “walking through blood and fecal matter” on the floor of cells as they toured Afghan prisons.

No explanation of why the floors were covered in blood is given.


Another report noted that the warden of the main prison in Kandahar, where many prisoners handed over by Canadians soldiers were held, had been fired after charges that he raped juvenile detainees. Cosmetics and hashish were found in his office. He was exonerated because an Afghan military judge said it was “impossible for a drunken man in his 50s to commit an act of rape,” reported a Canadian official in a cable to Ottawa.

Other reports detail conditions far outside internationally acceptable norms. At one Kandahar secret police prison, all inmates are shackled in leg irons around the clock. Some have been kept that way for more than a year.

skdadl nails it in comments over @ POGGE:

I think we call this the banality of evil. I have to walk through blood and fecal material, so I need better boots. This is the road to Nuremberg, folks. And this is being done in our name. Everyone happy to sit here quietly and be a “Good Canadian”?

Also see Designated Protest Zone, Impolitical, The Vanity Press, and pretty much everyone on the ProgBlogs roster.

I need a drink–and to reread Eichmann in Jerusalem.

Related: Amnesty International report on how countries participating in the NATO-led ISAF mission in Afghanistan (including, obviously, Canada) have been (knowingly) complicit in the transfer of detainees to Afghan security officials, despite evidence that doing so put prisoners at risk of being tortured.

Update: File Alison @ Creekside and The Beaver under ‘WIN’:

Are we ready to deal with this yet? Could we please get some grown-ups on this?

Look, we have a lot of serious and difficult issues to deal with in Canada : important stuff like fixing our debt to First Nations, stopping the sell-off of Canadian companies and the flow south of our resouces, getting serious on the environment, to name just a few.

Canada is already a signatory to the Geneva Conventions. We simply don’t have time to go back and re-fight and re-argue all the battles for the some semblance of civilization we have already won.

And we certainly don’t have time for any government that hasn’t figured that out yet.

You goddamn right.

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To Former Poodle (And Current Lap Dog) Tony Blair, On Behalf Of Myself And 86%* Of The Nation

by matttbastard


Here’s an extension for you.

“The worst thing you can ever do is back away in the face of opposition just because the thing is too tough to do even though you know it is the right thing to do…

“If we’re going to fight this terrorism effectively, we have to show that we are as determined as they are, believe in what we’re doing as much as they do – and do not give up, but stay the course… .

“If we give up in Afghanistan, then we will be under increasing pressure right around that region.”

Um, we already are under “increasing pressure right around that region,” Tony.

38 years, 160,000 troops and “thousands of engineers, police instructors, economists and agricultural experts”; you can’t slip past these menacing impediments to utopian vanity by once again breaking out the sandpaper lubricant of hoary, can-do rhetoric.

Dude, face it: as a (non) strategy, “stay the course” was old–hell, DO-fucking-A– long before it was even conceived; all the 9/11 non-sequiturs in the world won’t change the cold, hard fact that Afghanistan is lost. After six+ long, bloody years, the political measures necessary to perhaps at least partially salvage the quagmire will not fucking happen.

This is what they call reality, Tony; hopefully you (and Uncle Steve) can one day reconcile with it after such a lengthy separation–before more lives are needlessly pissed away.

Update 10.28: Canada poised for world domination?  Sweet–no more having to apologize for Bryan Adams.

*Yes, 86%.

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