I have a few points to make when it comes to the story of Afghan torture as blown open by Richard Colvin these past few days. Here goes.
Point one: I hear many people say that Afghan people being tortured by Afghan people is none of our concern. This is true. So we turn over prisoners to the Afghan army, and they torture those prisoners, innocent guilty or otherwise. This is not our problem. After all, when I was a security guard at the Mint, and I left the door ajar and went about my rounds in other parts of the building so my friends could pour four hundred tons of toonies into their dumptrucks, I was not to blame because I didn’t do the actual stealing.
Point two: People are right. In this case, you have one of two choices – support the Taliban OR support our soldiers. If you feel that Taliban fighters should not be tortured, then you are against Canadian troops. If you support Canadian troops, you MUST be pleased about the torture. This is perfect logic. Any complaints or concerns about the torture of detained suspects take away from the support and love our soldiers receive from our country. In the same vein of thinking, I hate it when newspapers report stories about Ottawa City Council, because that takes valuable column inches away – inches that could be filled with stories about Steven Seagal.
Point three: People are right. No one cares that Afghan people are tortured to begin with. Whether they be innocent or guilty, this is just what Afghanistan does, and besides, at least some of those people are trying to kill our soldiers. So, whip and electrocute and beat away, we as a nation don’t care. We’re totally comfortable with torture, so long as it satisfies our desire for revenge when our heroes lives are threatened. Which is why there was a massive grass-roots campaign to have Alan Eagleson’s eyelids stapled shut and fingernails pulled out while he was in prison for defrauding our hockey icons.
Point four: As Peter McKay and the rest of the government have pointed out, Richard Colvin is clearly stupid. The Taliban have waged a very obvious campaign here to feed him misinformation every single day, a sophisticated one where they claim to be farmers and claim to be tortured every single time someone speaks to them. When in fact, they are ruthless Taliban fighters who are treated humanely and pleasantly by friendly captors. Obviously Colvin is a gullible and foolish man who doesn’t know the first rule of capturing prisoners – if they tell you they aren’t Taliban, that means that they are! What a dummy.
Point five: The issue here is whether Canadians are handing over captured people to be tortured. It is most certainly not the fact that there was a cover-up. After all, since Colvin was so obviously misled by the crafty Taliban, why would anyone have ever listened to him? I guess that the four hundred and thirty people to whom Colvin voiced his concerns thought (reasonably, I assume) of him more as a silly Taliban Stooge than as Canada’s second-ranking diplomat in Afghanistan. And so they didn’t cover it up, so much as they ignored it, knowing that with his third-grade education, Colvin couldn’t possibly be relied upon to present them with facts.
Point six: The real issue here, obviously, is who let someone as gullible and susceptible as Richard Colvin rise through the ranks to become the #2 man in Afghanistan? How did we have such a breakdown? You would think that a man in his position would have his reports taken seriously, but we were clearly unable to do so because of his lack of qualifications! Who is to blame? Peter McKay?