This isn’t the first all-party motion or resolution in the house that’s been ignored. Previous motions the tyrant has ignored have included the motion to repatriate Omar Khadr, and the two motions to allow war resisters to stay in Canada rather than be deported to the US to face court martial for desertion (sometimes, after multiple forced redeployments to the Middle East that they never signed on for). Obviously also ‘National Security’ matters of tantamount importance.
Flashback: Torture claims weren’t probed, official testified | Harper government changes tune on Afghan prisoner issue | Colvin’s testimony true: former Afghan MP | David Mulroney testifies war confused issue of torture | Hillier says he saw no credible reports of torture | Afghan torture emails reached MacKay’s office | Opposition wants documentation prior to government torture rebuttal, PM cries foul | Canadian officials discussed torture in 2006 | Canada shamed on Afghan prisoner torture | Canada ignored torture warnings: Diplomat | Military lawyer stonewalls on Afghan torture claims | Ottawa was warned Afghan detainees might be tortured | Military commission suspends torture hearings, gags witness | Torture probe delayed; Tories deny gagging witness | Federal court limits Afghan detainee torture probe | Watchdog rejects government bid to delay Afghan detainee inquiry | Ottawa moves to block Afghanistan detainee torture hearings again | Bid to Block Afghan Detainee Inquiry Slammed | What Ottawa doesn’t want you to know: Government was told detainees faced ‘extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture and detention without trial’
Bruce Cheadle, Canadian Press
December 1, 2009
OTTAWA — The House of Commons has voted in favour of holding a judicial inquiry into the treatment of Afghan detainees, but the majority motion will likely be ignored by the governing Conservatives.
The Harper government, citing national security concerns, has been fiercely resisting attempts to fully probe the sensitive issue of whether Canada met all its international legal obligations in the handover of Afghan prisoners captured by Canadian troops.
Tories voted en masse against the NDP motion Tuesday, but with the support of Liberal and Bloc Quebecois MPs, it passed by a vote of 146-129.
New Democrat MP Paul Dewar, in introducing the motion, noted the contradicting stories that have emerged at a Commons committee probing what was known about abuse in Afghan prisons in 2006-07.
Dewar said that’s why an “independent lens” is needed — a judicial inquiry that can get all the documentary evidence and “sort out the contradictions.”
“We’re actually asking for politics to be taken out (of the hothouse debate),” Dewar argued.
But the suggestion of an independent inquiry met with indignation from Defence Minister Peter MacKay, who said the inquiry demand is “fuelled by partisan politics … by unfounded allegations.”
MacKay also argued a judicial inquiry would be costly and redundant, because the Military Public Complaints Commission and the Commons defence committee are both examining the issue.
Diplomat Richard Colvin sparked the storm when he testified that he repeatedly sounded the alarm in 2006 that abuse of prisoners was endemic in Afghan prisons, and that Canada wasn’t able to monitor what happened to detainees after they were handed over.
His explosive testimony to the defence committee came only after he was unable to speak to the military commission — which is currently suspended due to an impasse over its mandate and access.
The government responded by maligning Colvin, now a senior Canadian intelligence officer in Washington. The tactic continued Tuesday.
“Here is a man, Mr. Colvin, who spent about half a day out of his entire tour outside of the wire and had these few interviews,” Treasury Board President Vic Toews said of Colvin’s 17-month stint as Canada’s No. 2 diplomat in Afghanistan.
The government also announced it will provide the defence committee with some documents Wednesday — although the material will be heavily censored.
“Yes, they are going to be redacted,” Conservative MP Laurie Hawn told the Commons.
Opposition MPs don’t believe the committee will be able to get a definitive picture of the detainee issue, and that only a judicial inquiry with powers to see the full, uncensored paper trail can clear the air.
While insisting it acted properly throughout, the Harper government says such an inquiry is not needed.
The prime minister left on a week-long trip to China and Korea on Tuesday, and no formal inquiry appears in the offing, regardless of the parliamentary vote.
“If Stephen Harper simply ignores the will of Parliament, expressed by a majority of elected members, to have a public inquiry, I think he’s showing contempt for Parliament and contempt for the Canadian people who elected that majority to the House — and that he prefers instead to cover up the truth,” said NDP Leader Jack Layton.
Bloc Leader Gilles Duceppe recalled that Harper used to argue it was immoral for government to ignore the will of Parliament — but that was when Harper was in opposition.
Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae acknowledged the non-binding parliamentary motion is just another tool in the opposition kit.
“We can ask questions every day. We can keep pushing. We can keep hoping to get information out. We can pass resolutions. We can pass motions. We can raise issues of privilege. We’re doing the best we can and we have a responsibility to do that.”
Source | See also under Torture: Torture claims weren’t probed, official testified | Harper government changes tune on Afghan prisoner issue | Colvin’s testimony true: former Afghan MP | David Mulroney testifies war confused issue of torture | Hillier says he saw no credible reports of torture | Afghan torture emails reached MacKay’s office | UK: Rights watchdog reveals Pakistani spies pressed by British to torture detainees | Opposition wants documentation prior to government torture rebuttal, PM cries foul | Canadian officials discussed torture in 2006 | Canada shamed on Afghan prisoner torture | Canada ignored torture warnings: Diplomat | Guantanamo won’t close by January: Obama | Israelis Want a Pain Ray of Their Own | UK soldier testifies comrades beat Iraqi to death | Military lawyer stonewalls on Afghan torture claims | U.S. court denies Maher Arar’s appeal | UK: Move to withhold evidence in MI5/MI6 torture collusion claim | U.S. artists slam use of music in Guantanamo interrogations | Ottawa was warned Afghan detainees might be tortured | Military commission suspends torture hearings, gags witness | Torture probe delayed; Tories deny gagging witness | Portable heat ray weapon may end up in police hands | Guantanamo January closing deadline may slip | Federal court limits Afghan detainee torture probe | Iraq shoe thrower released from jail, testifies to brutal torture | Sonic weapons used in Iraq positioned at congressional townhall meetings in San Diego county | CIA doctors face human experimentation claims | U.S. probes ‘inhumane’ CIA tactics under Bush | US justice department to investigate CIA over interrogation methods | Obama approves new interrogation unit | UK: New evidence in Binyam Mohamed torture case | UK: Secrets of CIA ‘ghost flights’ to be revealed | UK: CIA ‘put pressure on Britain to cover up its use of torture’ | Microwave weapon will rain pain from the sky | Abdelrazik accuses CSIS, MPs of harassment and interrogation | Pentagon-handpicked 9/11 families want Gitmo kept open | CSIS ignored Khadr’s human rights: Parliamentary report | ‘They were looking for the ideal Manchurian Candidate’ | Revealed — the secret torture evidence MI5 tried to suppress | Guantanamo’s closure window dressing – overseas CIA ‘black sites’ to stay | ‘If I didn’t confess to 7/7 bombings MI5 officers would rape my wife,’ claims torture victim | MPs call for clear policy against torture | New video shows officer shove, then taser 72-year-old great grandmother | US: Ruling allowing Taser use to get DNA may be nation’s first | Gitmo protest captured on film | MI5 faces fresh torture allegations | Skepticism greets launch of Afghan detainee inquiry | Government Experiments on U.S. Soldiers: Shocking Claims Come to Light in New Court Case | Supreme Court of Canada won’t hear Afghan detainee torture case | Reversing himself, Obama seeks to block abuse photos | British soldiers ‘tortured and murdered 20 Iraqis, then covered it up with firefight claim’ | CIA waterboarded 2 al-Qaida suspects 266 times | UK: Government makes ‘unprecedented’ apology for covering up Binyam torture | Psychologists Helped Guide CIA Interrogations | Mumbai attacks suspect alleges torture, retracts confession | Obama publishes torture memos, protects perpetrators | Obama Tilts to CIA on Torture Memos | Document lays bare CIA torture techniques | CSIS chief backpedals on earlier torture statement, claims long-term official ‘misspoke’ | CSIS won’t rule out tips derived from torture | Watchdog rejects government bid to delay Afghan detainee inquiry | Rights groups press for better security oversight | Head of RCMP unit that framed Arar promoted to Assistant Commissioner | Obama administration: Guantanamo detainees have ‘no constitutional rights’ | CIA destroyed 92 interview tapes | Tortured Guantanamo detainee set free | UK agents ‘colluded with torture in Pakistan’ | Obama backs Bush: No rights for Bagram prisoners | U.K. resident held at Gitmo alleges Canadian involvement in torture | Senior judges attack US over ‘torture evidence suppression’ | After Obama praises torture ruling, civil liberties group appalled | Ban stun gun use on young people, Ontario child advocate urges | 24 star Keifer Sutherland opposed to torture, questions role of series in inspiring interrogations | RCMP destroyed evidence, charges dismissed in second torture case for officers | Obama shuts network of CIA ‘ghost prisons’ | Vets Sue CIA Over Mind Control Tests | US police could get ‘pain beam’ weapons | George Bush shoe-thrower ‘too severely beaten’ for court appearance | Conspiracy against Arar reached to highest levels, U.S. court told | Ottawa moves to block Afghanistan detainee torture hearings again | UK Home Secretary orders inquiry into MI5 and CIA torture claims | Tortured trio say report ‘vindicates us’ | Ottawa given evidence of torture, official says | Torture Tactics Endorsed in Secret White House Memos | Tasers being used for pain compliance during interrogation, suit alleges | Lawyers say UK GuantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡namo suspect has no hope of fair trial | Defiant military watchdog widens detainee hearings | CSIS faces review in Khadr case | RCMP lays no charges in Maher Arar ‘terrorist’ leaks, declares case closed | Protesters push for Omar Khadr’s release | ‘You don’t care about me,’ Omar Khadr sobs in interview tapes | Remembering Brainwashing | Chinese Torture Techniques Inspired Interrogations at GuantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡namo | US Counterinsurgency Manual Leaked, Calls for False Flag Operations, Suspension of Human Rights | Torture was expected in ‘top-down’ decision to deport Arar: lawyer | Bid to Block Afghan Detainee Inquiry Slammed | CSIS suspected U.S. would deport Arar to be tortured: documents | What Ottawa doesn’t want you to know: Government was told detainees faced ‘extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture and detention without trial’ | Canadian MKULTRA project mind control victim to tell of pills, shocks, brainwashing