Ottawa University Professor Amir Attaran appeared on Canada AM this morning to discuss the possible abuse by Canadian troops of Afghani prisoners.
I have been doing some light reading this evening and I am wondering why Mr. Attaran would be so interested in the possible abuse of these men.
The information which will be presented in an investigation look pretty clear cut to me.
The three Afghans were captured near Dukah by a small group of Canadian soldiers.
One of the detainees was seen observing the soldiers but escaped, only to be captured the next day. In a field report, the soldiers described him as “non-compliant.”
Another is described as being “extremely belligerent” and “it took four personnel to subdue him.”
In the most serious instance, it was said that only “appropriate force” was used and that the suspect was an alleged bomb maker.
And what did these men suffer? Remember, one that they were “non-compliant”, “extremely belligerent” and one was an alleged bomb maker.
All three of them had a similar set of injuries to their face, to their head and the most seriously injured man had his eyes swollen, cuts on his eyebrows, a slash across his forehead and a cut on his cheek.
So in other words, these men looked like this.
Big Deal. It took 4 men to subdue one of them. How do you expect these guys to look?
Right now it seems to me that most of this is still speculation, hearsay, and allegations by Mr. Attaran. Apparently, the men were returned to Afghan authorities and “never seen again.” (cue Twilight Zone music).
So what is this really all about?
Well we can tell you that Dr. Attaran has conveniently brought up these cases (with one file missing) when only a year ago he was criticizing Canada’s Prisoner Transfer Agreement with Afghanistan.
Professor Amir Attaran of the Faculty of Law fears that the agreement between Ottawa and Kabul on prisoner transfers makes Canadian soldiers complicit to torture.
He made this assertion during the conference on the “Canadian Legal Response to Torture” that took place on March 24, 2006 at the University of Ottawa.
This event, organized by the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Human Rights Research and Education Centre and the Faculty of Law, attracted more than two hundred people from different government departments, human rights organizations and lawyers interested in the subject.
So after criticizing the agreement almost a year ago, Mr. Attaran has been reviewing report after report after report on the Afghani prisoner transfers and has finally found 3 that can make his criticism valid. How many prisoner files did he need to review before he found these? How many hundreds of prisoners were processed properly without issue before three “Belligerents” took a couple of shots to put them back in line?
Mr. Attaran should produce a bit more evidence before making allegations as he has.
Judge him for yourself. Mr. Attaran has written for the Globe and Mail (left leaning), The Washington Post (left leaning), The New York Times (VERY left leaning) and his previous employer was the “Sierra Legal Defence Fund” (Granola crunching, left leaning, tree hugging, legal action group).
I think Mr. Attaran should come clean. His actions indicate he wants Canada out of Afghanistan. Just like his buddy Jack Layton.
ADDENDUM: Actually, Mr. Attaran is quoted on page 3 of one of Alexa McDonough’s “Global Perspectives” flyers from 2003. e