Opposition alleges ‘massive systematic cover-up’ of Afghan detainee abuse

March 21 to May 7, 2007 – Opposition parties attack the government over allegations of prisoner abuse by Afghan authorities as reported in a Globe & Mail article and audio slideshow on April 23. They accuse the government of violating the Geneva Conventions by knowingly handing detainees over to Afghans for torture, and demand the resignation of Defense Minister Gordon O’Connor.

The Opposition also cites an internal government report released by the Department of Foreign Affairs under access to information, claiming government cabinet ministers illegally influenced the civil service first to deny the existence of the report, and then to black out portions of the report as part of a “massive systematic cover-up”.

The Opposition further claims that the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Red Cross do not have access to detainees as specified under the 2005 Afghan Detainee Agreement, and they accuse the government of lying to Canadians.

The Government says they are unable to confirm the Globe & Mail allegations, and they promised to investigate the issue further. The government also says that the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Red Cross do in fact have access to detainees, and that they have been unable to confirm the Globe & Mail reports of abuse. They criticize the Opposition parties for taking the allegations at face value and implying the Canadian military and Minister of Defense are guilty of lying, misconduct and cover-up.

On May 3, the government signed a new detainee agreement that formally spells-out existing arrangements allowing Canadians unrestricted access to detainees.

The accusations seem to have damaged the government’s approval ratings according to a recent SES poll showing divided support for the government’s handling of the issue.

13 thoughts on “Opposition alleges ‘massive systematic cover-up’ of Afghan detainee abuse

  1. Since he served in the army he should know international law. If you fail to read a report or memo at your work that could get your company charged you would be fire so he should have stepped down but Peter MacKay is just as bad and they are all Neo cons so the US got rid of their and we Smarter Canadians kept ours. Think About it Canada Bush is still in office its just a little further North NOW.

  2. This post-over 1 year ago refernces detainees- Afghan POW’s. A year later we are still not getting the ‘goods’ as to what is happening to them- why- only to save embarrassment.
    As someone who’s grandfather died as a Canadian POW in a Japanese prison camp and who was starved ,beaten and tortured for years,I have no sympathy for Mr. O’Conneror his motives.
    I know there are good Generals and bad Generals,brave ones and chicken ones,his actions speak for themselves.

  3. You do not call someone in any country who has served with honor in the military a “chicken” that is a low blow. Goodale ever serve in the military. I understand your issues in those other areas but that is different subject. I have an issue with Goodale disrepcting a man who serve his country. I do agree that O’ Connor made mistakes and it was best for him to be removed from his post.

  4. look at what he is dealing with, example…a “Government” that would introduce a motion to DEMAND the SENATE pass a Bill C-2. Is that not a cheap shot, knowing the House and Senate are independent and always have been?

  5. Their is a difference between calling someone a Chicken and holding people accountable. I have no problem with government being held accountable and I agree with you. However Goodale is know for as being a cheapshot artist!

  6. In effect, the Government of Canada appears to be governed not from a sovereign Parliament in Ottawa, but run through a New York City-based political fraternity, which seeks to replace a democratic form of government, with the rule of society by a “Council of Wise Men”. The architects of such a fascistic government look upon their vision of society,

  7. Interesting that the Liberals started this line of questioning BEFORE the Globe & Mail story. I wonder if this was a coordinated effort? The CBC went to the Afghan prison to investigate the abuse allegations further, but in the end could only report on “mistreatment” such as crowded conditions, cold nights, and bad food. I’m sure there’s truth to the Globe & Mail report, but I think its revealing how the Liberals twisted it into an indictment of the Canadian military’s actions and intentions, and how they successfully used it to browbeat the government and accuse them of a cover-up, even though they seem to have done nothing wrong. The worst part is that this tactic actually hurt the government’s standing in public opinion polls … unfortunate proof that the truth doesn’t matter, its the allegation that counts.

  8. Peter MacKay hit the ball out of the park with his comeback at the end. Gordon O’Connor did serve his country as a soldier. How dare that Liberal prick of a Ralph Goodale declare him a chicken? It just goes to show his level of respect towards war veterans. I would take a war veteran’s word over a corrupted Liberal bureaucrat any day.

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