According to an Ottawa University law professor the documents to be laid out before retired Supreme Court of Canada justice Iacabucci reveal Canadian officials handed over Afghan detainees to torturers for the specific purpose of gaining intelligence.
Professor Amir Attaran has told CBC News that he's read the unredacted documents the Harper government is hiding: "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," he said.
"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."
If professor Attaran is right and if these documents become public, either by being released by Iacabucci or through back channels, it's foreseeable that the chain of command of culpability could reach straight up to the upper echelons of the Defence Department and into the Harper cabinet as well.
In the United States this would be brushed off as all but completely irrelevant but isn't that mentality part of what has brought that once great country low? If professor Attaran is right, if these documents contain what he says he's read with his own eyes, then it'll be our turn to confront government criminality. Will we stand against it? Will we refuse to tolerate it? Will we demand that wrongdoers in high office be punished? Or will we follow the example of the American people, shrug and avert our eyes to it?
How we, the Canadian people, respond to this may define the kind of people we'll be and the Canada we'll have for decades to come. Let's hope that we appreciate what we may be coming up against.