Is Canada taking its cue from Big Brother?
According to a Globe and Mail article, which quoted portions of a secret Canadian report,
the Harper government knew from its own officials that prisoners held by Afghan security forces faced the possibility of torture, abuse and extrajudicial killing…
But the government has eradicated every single reference to torture and abuse in prison from a heavily blacked-out version of a report prepared by Canadian diplomats in Kabul and released under an access to information request.
A comparison of the full text — parts of which were obtained by The Globe and Mail — with the edited version shows a consistent pattern of excising negative findings or observations from the report with positive ones left in.
There was no explanation for blacking out observations such as “military, intelligence and police forces have been accused of involvement in arbitrary arrest, kidnapping extortion, torture and extrajudicial killing.”
Another portion that is blacked out reads “widespread allegations of corruption and human-rights violations exist with respect to the Afghanistan National Police (ANP) and Ministry of Interior (MOI).”
At issue: Did Canadian forces routinely turn over prisoners to Afghan officials, knowing full well what would happen, making them complicit parties in torture and murder?
Prime Minister Harper made a roundabout and peculiar defense of Canadian policy:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper — who says his critics care more about the rights of the Taliban than about the 2,500 Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan — made it clear on Tuesday that the soldiers would continue to hand over detainees
In November, according to CTVNN, a lawsuit will attempt to force the government to release publicly the unredacted report.
Reports of torture and extradition are becoming so routine that they numb the soul. It is becoming increasingly difficult for any country anywhere to claim the moral high ground. “Fighting for democracy, freedom, and human rights” becomes just an empty slogan.
How a country treats its enemies, no matter how despicable they may be, is the moral yardstick by which a country is measured.