"Concerns about the treatment of Afghan prisoners prompted Canadian soldiers to halt the transfer of detainees three times over the course of the last year, says Defence Minister Peter MacKay.
MacKay said the suspensions followed the refusal by Afghan authorities to abide by an agreement that guaranteed access to prisons where the detainees were being held.
"Most recently the reason that the transfers stopped was that the Afghan officials were not living up to ... expectations," MacKay said."
Sounds like Airshow MacKay is staking out the high moral ground here, until Today :
"Afghanistan's intelligence service refused to accept Canadian-captured prisoners over the summer because the military was providing "insufficient evidence" of wrongdoing, The Canadian Press has learned.
And so with little or no evidence to hold suspects, the spy agency has been releasing them - to the dismay of the Canadian military."
"Canada's top two commanders in Afghanistan in spring 2006 told investigators the government pressured them to transfer detainees to Afghan authorities faster than they felt was appropriate, CBC News has learned.
[Brig.-Gen. David] Fraser and [Lt.-Col. Tom] Putt said the military's interest in detainees ended as soon as the prisoners were transferred. The military didn't monitor their condition — that was not its jurisdiction, Fraser said.
And the government's position was that monitoring detainees was an Afghan problem.
Putt's testimony also suggests Canadian troops frequently weren't capturing high-value Taliban targets — an assertion [Richard] Colvin first raised two weeks ago
"I mean, we were basically capturing a local yokel, " Putt said. "Detaining the local yokels and handing them off."
What a surprise : Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of all alliance forces in Afghanistan, says Violence in Afghanistan has increased 300% since 2007. even as President Obama was making his major surge speech:
"And we must make it clear to every man, woman and child around the world who lives under the dark cloud of tyranny that America will speak out on behalf of their human rights and tend for the light of freedom and justice and opportunity and respect for the dignity of all peoples. That is who we are; that is the source, the moral source of America's author."
"And just as America can't afford to abandon this war, surely it can't afford to abandon the Afghan people, who without the American military would be left to the savage whims of their hated enemy, the Afghan people. Indeed, it remains America's solemn duty as the leader of the free world to bring freedom and security to the Afghan people by hunting down and eliminating the Afghan people. Nor can America forget its own national security, and the dire threat posed by the Afghan people to our war against the Afghan people."
Correction : The second paragraph above was mistakenly attibuted to President Obama earlier today. It has since come to our attention it was actually written by Fafblog.