Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is This the Afghan Secret the Cons Are Trying to Hide?

It's one of the most famous pictures of Canada's mission in Afghanistan. It shows members of the secretive JTF2 unit escorting three detainees off a plane at Kandahar airport, and handing them over to the U.S. military.

The date was January 21, 2002. And the picture caused an uproar in Parliament. There were fears the detainees would end up in one of the CIA's secret torture dungeons.

As a result the decision was taken to hand detainees over to Afghan authorities, notably that country's brutish National Directorate of Security (NDS). The one staffed by many former KGB agents.

But now the Wikileaks have revealed that nothing really changed. Because the CIA was  running the NDS.

It’s the second-last line in a report of a March 8, 2008, meeting with Amrullah Saleh, at the time head of Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security. And it casually notes that until 2009, the entire budget of this secret police force was provided by America’s Central Intelligence Agency.

As the New York Times, one of the handful of newspapers first given the documents by the non-profit group WikiLeaks put it: “For years, the CIA had essentially run the NDS as a subsidiary.”

Which leads to the obvious question.

Did Ottawa know this? If so, that could explain why the Conservative government is so adamant about keeping its files on the detainee issue secret.

If ministers knew at the time that their elaborate attempt to stay on the right side of the Geneva Conventions was a ruse, they would be in contravention of Canadian and international law. They could be prosecuted.

And that’s an incentive to keep things quiet.

You know, I realize that many Canadians don't care about any of the above. They'd rather not know. Just like they don't care about the fate of a Canadian child soldier who has been locked up and tortured for eight years in a place like Guantanamo.

And they don't understand why we need this public inquiry.

But I believe that a country that doesn't ask questions about human rights, or one that is afraid of the truth. Or one that settles for lies or the silence of the Cons.

Isn't much of a country, and is heading for a very dark place...

And that's all I have to say. Because it's so obvious eh?

Except that for the sake of the country I love.

I want the truth about EVERYTHING.

And I want it NOW...


Anonymous said...

Thanks MS and thanks Walkom! Gotcha, but will any opposition pick this up?

Unknown said...

Investigative journalism made possible by the presents of the truth, thanks to wikileaks.

Simon said...

hi Toe...One would hope that the opposition would, but the Liberals seem more enthusiastic about the war than even Harper so I don't know. I should also say that wading through those documents is quite a challenge, and the government is already trying to discredit the Wikileak, so it may take a while before we find out what really happened. And after the Mulroney inquiry I'm starting to doubt whether in this country you can ever get to the bottom of ANYTHING...

Simon said...

hi Socially Active...yes Wikileaks is quite an amazing invention. I hadn't really checked it out until now, and
I'm extremely impressed. It does make you wonder however why more vital information isn't uncovered by the MSM, and how democracy is supposed to work when the truth is the first, second, and third casualty...

Emily Dee said...

Great article Simon. I don't know what happened to my country.