Monday, April 25, 2011

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canadian War Crimes in Afghanistan

A lengthy, well-documented and detailed piece by Michael Keefer, professor at the University of Guelph, Ontario, on the complicity of Harper and his minions in Afghan detainee transfer to certain torture, deliberate blocking of information at the highest levels in the Canadian Forces and the Canadian government and outright lies from Harper's government when questioned by news and parliamentary committees about it.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Canadian War Crimes in Afghanistan

"...[A]ccording to law professor Amir Attaran, who has seen uncensored versions of the documents that the Harper government has so strenuously resisted sharing with Parliament, the paper trail is thoroughly incriminating. In March 2010 Attiran told CBC News: “If these documents were released [in full], what they will show is that Canada partnered deliberately with the torturers in Afghanistan for the interrogation of detainees […]. There would be a question of rendition and a question of war crimes on the part of certain Canadian officials. That’s what’s in these documents, and that’s why the government is covering up as hard as it can.”

This question hasn't even come up in this election campaign except by Jack Layton of the New Democratic Party (NDP) whose position all along has been against the war and Canada's part in it. For his efforts, his was given the name "Taliban Jack" by Harper Conservatives and their supporters.

Michael Keefer's conclusion:

"The clear pattern of intentionality revealed in the words and actions of senior Canadian government bureaucrats and senior military officers is both embarrassing (these people actually believe, despite copious evidence to the contrary, that torture produces real ‘intelligence’) and also a scandalous offence against the rule of law.

More scandalous still is the evidence that these people were acting on directives from Stephen Harper—that Harper knew perfectly well that the Afghan puppet-state tortures the prisoners handed over to it by the Canadian Forces, but nonetheless permitted the continuation of this system, and that he actually took charge of the program of lying about it. "

Sunday, April 24, 2011

So much excellent writing about the contemptible Harper Government

As we limp our way toward another Harper minority government (or, may the gods forbid, a Harper majority), there is so much to read by some truly great bloggers.

James Laxer:

Ten compelling reasons to vote for Stephen Harper:

Stephen Harper - Sans moi, le deluge

Stephen Harper: Now He’s The Champion of National Unity

David Climenhaga and his Alberta diary.

Neil Kitson

Canada's 2011 Federal Election

Harper's government has been found in contempt of parliament, the first time that it has happened in any country with the parliamentary system. Stephen Harper and his merry band of loyal acolytes have tried to make it appear that the whole thing is about a budget, another blatant lie.

In the last election, people who had posted lawn signs for a Liberal candidate in London, Toronto and the Niagara Region of Ontario had the break lines cut on their cars. In the last couple of days, cars have been vandalized and houses spray- painted with graffiti, e.g. "Lie-beral scum". Liberal and NDP signs have been defaced or destroyed. One Liberal candidate in the riding west of Ottawa had one hundred of his signs spray-painted with the crosshairs of a gunsight, just like the unlovely Sarah Palin's tactics. These are not the tactics of the centrist or left-of-centre parties. Why would they deface their own signs? Some Con supporters suggest it's done to elicit sympathy for themselves.

Harper has made my skin crawl since I first saw him. With each following lie, dirty deal, corrupt official, attack ad and his blatant ignorance (if I'm being charitable) or breaking of our laws, he has become more nauseating and frightening.