Saturday, March 06, 2010

A Shot Across Iacabucci's Bow?

Ottawa University law professor Amir Attaran may have thrown a wrench into the gears of Harper's determined, perhaps desperate efforts to conceal documents pertaining to torture of detainees captured by Canadian forces and handed over to Afghan captors.

Professor Attaran claims he's seen the documents and they're unequivocal. He maintains they show detainees were handed to the Afghans for what Michael Ignatieff politely refers to as 'enhanced interrogation' in order to extract intelligence from them.

There are some fascinating dimensions to Attaran's gambit. He says the documents exist. He says they show a deliberate policy of torture. In other words, Professor Attaran is telling the public that retired Justice Frank Iacabucci will be receiving unredacted documents that plainly show we had a policy of using Afghan government thugs to torture detainees to extract intelligence.

But wait, there's more!

What's also implicit in Attaran's statement is that we did this, we duly recorded the fact and that information was conveyed through channels to Ottawa. People in Ottawa knew and that means they'll be accountable for their actions once they knew. Who would that be? Almost certainly it would include senior officers at the Defence Department and, unless they're willing to throw themselves on their swords, the knowledge trail would likely skip right over the Laurier Bridge to Parliament Hill.

But wait, there's even more!

How did a law professor come to see these unredacted documents when the Harper regime has them so securely under lock and key? The most likely explanation is that someone inside thought they needed to be leaked and was willing to risk the consequences to prevent them from being buried. Who, what, when? I would expect professor Attaran has already had his first sit down with the RCMP. We know that Harper doesn't like upstarts telling the public the truth he doesn't want them to hear.

And, you guessed it - even more.

Now most of you kids are probably too wet behind the ears to recall a guy named Daniel Ellsberg and what became known as the Pentagon Papers. Ellsberg was a Pentagon analyst who leaked rafts of documents showing that the Pentagon knew Vietnam was unwinnable. That was quite the scandal. The American newspapers had a field day with that. The point is, once this sort of stuff is leaked, the genie is forever out of the bottle.

I'm guessing that Attaran was shown these documents by someone of conscience unwilling to let them be buried. That suggests the documents Harper is struggling so fiercely to bury have already fled the coop and may be circulating in public.

My bet is that Amir Attaran has fired a shot across Justice Iacabucci's bow. He's just told Frank Iacabucci and Stephen Harper and all those safely-retired generals that they've lost control of these documents and, if they don't release them, someone else just might. And, if Attaran's accounts of what's in these documents is right, that kids may be game, set and match.
If Frank Iacabucci was supposed to be Stephen Harper's beard, he just got trimmed.


Anonymous said...

This is an aside. It isn't difficult to understand why the Harper Government wants to sell off the CBC to private broadcasters. This country will be in a sorry mess if CBC is sold. We will not ever get unbiased reports again. Please protest this attempt to let CBC go.

The Mound of Sound said...

You're absolutely 100% right on that. I checked out CTV's web page and those greasy punks are pushing the government line that the Harper regime is acting diligently and just seeking a deal that would keep Canada safe. It's all about "protect the troops" not government coverup and complicity in torture. CTV ought to be renamed PPP - Paid Political Propaganda. Canada's equivalent of Pravda.

Cari said...

What in hell kind of a government do we have.. no one can tell the truth, or they get ostracized.If it is not true, it is not the CBCs fault Even CTV has the story!
This Country is not the Country it used to be... Big Brother is upon us,!!

The Mound of Sound said...

Cari, we have the kind of government any nation can have in the perfect storm of a petty tyrant and a timid, incompetent opposition. That's what you get when you have a Conservative leader trying to transform his party into a clone of the Republicans and a Liberal leader trying to recast his party as the Democrats. You know what the computer geeks say about garbage in, garbage out.

ThinkingManNeil said...

We've all had a sneaking suspicion that Harper and his thuggish neocon/christofascist crew are more than capable, and culpable, of this kind of primitive, sadomasochistic, uber-macho kind of behavior, and that more than just participating in it, whether directly or at arms length, these war criminal bastards ENJOY it.

Someone once said awhile ago that one reason the Bush Reich engaged in torture was to not only send a message to its alleged enemies abroad but also to send a message to American citizens, and the message was "We're OK with torture, so you all had better behave".

We know how Harper and his reptilian acolytes ape the policies, mores, and smug self righteousness of Bush so I would say to all Canadians that if it can happen in Afghanistan, it can happen here with Harper and his "Law & Order" harpies. We know how they regard the Arar and Abdulrazak cases, and how they leave Canadians to the fates abroad when they run into legal troubles, and how some of them get a hard-on at the prospect of imposing a Christian Dominionist Old Testament morality and legal system on the rest of us, so the idea that they might be more than a little willing to torture Canadian citizens they don't like, or outsource them to some "black site" somewhere off shore isn't something I'd put past these sick ratbastards for a femto-second.

Harper and his dime-store Gestapo need to be turfed, charged, tried, convicted and jailed ASAP, and it's time for the opposition parties to see this and do something about it.

Keep a clear eye, folks!


Ken S from Ramara said...

CDNs should thank the men and women of our civil service, who must obviously be the leak of these documents. Remember how DFAIT mandarins leaked the details of the Maxime Bernier scandal. When will PMSH realize he better not mess with this group, afterall they hold all the trump cards!