The Afghan detainee document dump

1. December 18th agreement for the transfer of Afghan detainees between Gen. Rick Hillier and Abdul Rahim Wardak, Afghanistan Minister of Defence.

2. Gosselin Affidavit

3. Buck Affidavit

2. Affidavit from Richard Colvin to the Military Police Complaints Commission signed October 5th, 2009.

3. Richard Colvin email (KANDH-0029) not available.

4. Richard Colvin email (KANDH-0032) not available.

5. Richard Colvin email (KANDH-0039) obtained by Amnesty International.

6. Richard Colvin email (KANDH0074) obtained by Amnesty International.

7. Richard Colvin email (KANDH0082) obtained by Amnesty International.

8. Richard Colvin email (KANDH0125) obtained by Amnesty International.

9. Richard Colvin email (KANDH0138) obtained by Amnesty International.

10. Richard Colvin email (KGBR0291) obtained by Amnesty International.

11. Testimony of Richard Colvin before the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, November 18th 2009.

12. Testimonies of Gen. (Ret) Rick Hillier, L.Gen Michel Gauthier and M.Gen David Fraser before the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, November 25th 2009.

13. Testimony of Ambassador David Mulroney before the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan, November 26th 2009.

Notes:

– The Colvin email dates are redacted. At this time we do not know if the emails are dated prior to 2007 when abuses came to light.

– Canadian Forces don’t monitor Afghan prisons, CF relies upon civilian authorities to do this. Colvin’s emails went out on the C4 network. The military isn’t on the C4 network, from my understanding. Colvin asks C4 recipients to pass info up the military chain of command. Hillier asked why Colvin never raised concerns with him in person while he was there – was this a chain of command issue and not wanting to step outside his lane or something else?

– Some will argue that it was Graeme Smith’s reporting that “informed” Canadians of torture in Afghan prisons. This reporting isn’t official according to CF and would have been unproven at the time. Smith did have special perspective as he lived off base in downtown Kandahar.

– Did the Red Cross at any time tell the Canadian government that they were in a position to commit war crimes due to what the ICRC was observing in Afghan prisons where Canadian detainees were taken after 2007? This answer may already exist within the public realm but I haven’t seen it.

– The threshold of torture is quite uncomfortably put, another legitimate concern. While some abuses and conditions in Afghan prisoners may shock Canadians, Hillier suggested that a punch or a beating may sit on one side of the thin line as abuse, while electrocution, and fingernail ripping sits on the other as torture.

– The Buck affidavit explains Canada’s role in establishing human rights in Afghanistan while describing the difficulties of establishing a Canadian prison in a sovereign Afghanistan. War is not a perfect process nor a practice undertaken with clinical precision. Colvin and others have conflicting accounts of Canada’s efforts to do everything within reason to respond to reports of abuse.

– Torture is far too serious a screw up in counterinsurgency whether violence is more common in Afghan culture or not. Although it is relevant to recognize that this was Afghan on Afghan – sovereign nation in its own prisons on its own citizens. This of course, doesn’t make it right at all, but it doesn’t make it Canadians torturing Afghans.

– If you believe other documents may be useful to supplement this collection, please suggest them in the comments.

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