Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Stephen Harper: the torture files

Evidence of Canadian complicity in torture in Afghanistan continues to pile up. Now the particularly brave chair of the Military Police Complaints Commission, Peter Tinsley, has put the boots to Harper government apparatchiks who have tried to block an independent public inquiry into our possible involvement in war crimes. The government had done its best to derail this inquiry, as it has attempted to delay or scuttle
earlier investigations of abuses.

But there will be an inquiry after all, to look into the Canadian Forces' continuing practice of handing prisoners over to the Afghans to be tortured. And it will be a wide-ranging examination, slated to begin in early December, that will shine a spotlight on possible complicity at the highest echelons of our armed forces. The government, we are told, could be "compelled to deliver documents it has long sought to hide." Meanwhile that same government may try to delay things further with an application to the federal court.

The Conservative government has shown a shocking disregard for human rights during its time in office: indeed, this is a virtual hallmark of the Harper regime. I've blogged about that national disgrace before. Whether it's the handling of prisoners of war "enemy combatants," or leaving various brown Canadians marooned in hell-holes around the globe, our government has been lying and covering up, with the usual
approving grunts and yawps from Harper's knuckle-dragger chorus.

Mr. Harper, this cannot stand. Decent Canadians want a
government that will neither condone nor be complicit in torture in our name, and one that will fight for the safe return of our fellow Canadians held and abused in foreign prisons--regardless of their colour.

Do not hold back the upcoming inquiry into Canadian Forces wrongdoing with yet more time-wasting judicial delay tactics. You have an option, sir. You could say, 'I am not going to do it. This is wrong for Canada.' May I write you a speech?

No comments: