Thursday, December 17, 2009

Real and unreal

Sometimes, it is easy to separate truth from codswallop.

Further Evidence of Richard Colvin to the Special Committee on Afghanistan

Stephen Harper's Government might be astonished to hear allegations of Canadian complicity in torture but readers of Northern Insights / Perceptivity will not be surprised. Our June article about Amir Attiran contained this:

Finally, despite national self-righteousness, Canada has a rather poor record of respecting human rights. The UN's International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance has been open for signatures since 2007, and so far 81 countries have signed. The Harper government refuses to sign, although it issued assurances that it "supports" the treaty. Attaran believes that Canada does not sign because it is contravening the treaty in Afghanistan. He fears that the agreement between Ottawa and Kabul on prisoner transfers makes Canadian soldiers complicit to torture in that war zone.

Attaran faults fellow academics and NGO leaders for failing to speak out and complacently accepting the drift away from effective internationalism. He blames widespread self-censorship on the dependence of individuals and institutions on government funding. He also says that government has given in to the convenience of employing experts and consultants selected from a sycophantic gallery. As in most established bureaucracies, contrarians are unwelcome, even driven out.

Read more at Creekside.
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