Friday, January 25, 2008

Two interesting and important facts about the detainee transfer issue:

#1: NATO was kept in the dark.

"Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer has asked Canada to explain its Nov. 6 decision to quietly suspend handing over detainees captured by the Canadian Forces to the Afghan government.

That detainee policy shift -- publicly disclosed this week in a Justice Department letter -- appears to contravene NATO's guidelines that Afghan detainees must be transferred within 96 hours, Canwest News was told Friday.

'This came as something of a surprise to us,' NATO spokesman James Appathurai said from Brussels.

'The policy that we have was developed with a very clear idea in mind and that is: this is a sovereign country in which we are invited guests. Therefore, it is not for us as NATO to create a separate parallel detention system.'"

#2. Dion thought you should know.

"In reply to a specific question by a reporter on what the military told him and deputy leader Michael Ignatieff on their recent trip to Afghanistan, Mr. Dion revealed that they certainly knew that the military had stopped transferring detainees.

'This is the other reason why I never believed their story that they were not aware,' Mr. Dion told reporters Friday.

He said he and Mr. Ignatieff 'forcefully disagreed' with Canadian Ambassador Arif Lalani's decision to keep the matter under wraps for reasons of operational security.

'We said this is information that Canadians should have and that they shouldn't get it from us, they should get it from the government since we don't have the right to repeat it,' Mr. Dion said, explaining that they agreed to the confidential briefing as a condition of their Afghanistan trip."

Interesting times.

Recommend this Post

No comments: