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. "


  1. Anonymous1:54 a.m.

    Harper should be in Prison. NOT leading the country.


  2. I decided I would reverse the flow, and visit your site much more regularly now that I have more time on my hands. Thanks for this article, much appreciated. I can't wait to read your interpretation of the electoral results!

  3. Have cross posted this, Filo. Good work, as ever.

  4. Many thanks. I feel like I've stalled recently. It's hard to get an indication of where this government might lead us.

    Now, with a majority government commanding only 40% of the popular vote and 25% of the support of eligible voters, it can do anything - which is what worries me.

    The latest is the ongoing support for the "mission" in Libya, which went past its U.N. mandate within a couple of weeks of initiating it. NATO, like the Harperites, seem to have no restraints on them.

    And not very many people seem to care.