Friday, February 01, 2008

From Hansard :Not-Answering-the-Question Period

Question Period, Jan 31 : Not answering questions about detainees

Dion : "Mr. Speaker, today we heard reports that the government was allowing Afghan forces to take detainees directly during joint operations alongside Canadian mentors.
Because this is not technically a transfer, the detainee transfer agreement does not apply, but beyond technicalities are the immoralities of this practice.
Will the Prime Minister tell Canadians if this unacceptable practice is occurring, yes or no?"

Harper : " Mr. Speaker, as we train the Afghan forces to take more responsibility for the security of their own country, I think it can be assumed that they would also be taking more responsibility for all aspects of the mission."

Dion : "Mr. Speaker, we will get there. The Prime Minister understands the question very well. We are speaking of joint operations. During joint operations, who takes the prisoners? Do the Afghans or the Canadians keep them under their protection? It is a simple question. Prime Minister, what happens during joint operations?"

Harper : "I would assume that if Canadian Forces seize the prisoners they are in Canadian custody and if Afghan forces seize the prisoners I would presume they are in Afghan custody."

Dosanjh : "The government's attempt to circumvent the military's decision to stop detainee transfers is absolutely troubling.
Will the Prime Minister finally come clean with Canadians and admit that it was his government that issued this new policy to circumvent the detainee ban?"

Peter MacKay : blah blah blah "We stand behind the Canadian Forces."

Dosanjh : "We know Canadian Forces conduct joint operations with Afghan soldiers. There are prisoners detained by those Afghan soldiers. Do Correctional Service Canada officials have access to and the ability to inspect those detainees?"

Stockwell Day : "Mr. Speaker, we are very proud of members of Correctional Service Canada because when people volunteer, and these people are volunteers, to go to a country like Afghanistan they do so knowing the risks.
We are very pleased with how those individuals have been working with Afghan authorities, DND and others in the process of trying to demonstrate the types of things that we do here in this country which can guarantee or at least further the causes and interests of human rights everywhere. They are doing a great job."

They can keep this up forever. And they do.

1 comment:

West End Bob said...

As it happens, (my apologies to the CBC) I was listening to Question Period on CPAC during that sequence yesterday.

At that point I switched on the CD player and listened to music by Tony Orlando and Dawn.*

Much more substantial entertainment . . . .

*No one out there actually believes that, I hope.

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