Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Afghan Detainees Fiasco not our fault?

The headline of this CTV article seems to imply otherwise, ("Tories accused of incompetence in detainee dust-up") but the last couple of paragraphs seem to help clear things up... it appears that communications breakdowns and "over-the-top" reports between the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and other agencies within Afghanistan may have been the direct cause of the conflicting information provided by the Conservative government over the last few days.

How on earth can you be expected to give a straight answer when the people giving you the information can't even give you a straight answer? The Liberals were going off of one set of reports, the Tories from another, both with various elements of truth to them... but the Liberal sourced documents are now in question, as they seem to have been derived more from a communications breakdown within Afghanistan than anything else.

From CTV:
There have been reports this week that the commission has been denied total access to detainees -- a claim that it clarified recently, saying the reports were excessive.

The assistant investigator with the human rights commission, Reza Jan Ibrahimi, 25, said they are not allowed to meet with prisoners while they are in the custody of intelligence officers. However, they have met detainees after they were moved to the regular prison system.

A spokesperson from the AIHRC, who spoke to CTV News on condition of anonymity, agreed unrestricted access to Afghan detainees is now available.

"We couldn't go there but now our people can go anywhere they want, NDS, jail and other offices," said the commissioner.

The group also claims it has been denied access to detainees held by the feared NDS -- Afghanistan's intelligence police. They have been accused of beating, choking, starving, freezing and whipping suspected Taliban insurgents.

Officials inside NDS now say corrections officers and RCMP in Afghanistan will have access to NDS and other prisons as well. NDS authorities say the lack of access to prisoners was a communications breakdown rather than a deliberate attempt at concealing instances of abuse.

"That technical problem has been solved in a few days so there is no problem," one NDS official told CTV News.
Like I said last night... people need to cut Mr. O'Conner some slack. (but of course, the Liberals won't...)

UPDATE: Mike Duffy raised a couple good points with Mr. Ignatieff today. It seems that Taliban fighters are advised on how to lie about being abused if and when they are captured. Mike also raised the point I raised yesterday, that the Geneva Conventions apply to uniformed and/or recognized soldiers. I don't know what you think, but I don't think the Afghan government recognizes them as legitimate Afghan soldiers.

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