Thursday, June 23, 2011 | Categories: Episodes
Part One of The Current
It's Thursday, June 23rd.
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says the detainee document process was a 12 million dollar waste of time.
As Tony Clement put it, "That's a lot of Gazebos".
This is The Current.
Afghanistan Detainees - Graeme Smith
We started this segment with a clip of Defence Minister Peter MacKay, speaking yesterday after the government's long-anticipated release of documents related to the treatment of detainees transferred by Canadian forces to Afghan authorities.
Roughly 4,000 pages of documents were made public after being vetted by a panel of judges and a special parliamentary committee comprised of members of the ruling Conservatives, the Liberals and the Bloc Quebecois. That's only about a tenth of what are believed to be an estimated 40,000 pages that were under review. But as you heard from Minister Mackay ... the Conservatives say it is enough to absolve the Canadian military of any wrongdoing. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird added it is also enough to lay the issue to rest - once and for all. We aired a clip.
One of the first reporters to write about the detainee issue from Afghanistan was Globe and Mail reporter Graeme Smith. He was living in Kandahar City at the time, and he has returned to Kandahar City for the Globe after a two-year absence. That's where we reached him today.
We did try to speak with someone from the Canadian government. But the offices of both Ministers Mackay and Baird said they were unavailable for interviews this morning. We also requested interviews with Conservative MP Chris Alexander - the former Canadian ambassador to Afghanistan - and Conservative MP Laurie Hawn, who sat on the ad hoc parliamentary committee that reviewed the documents.
Finally, the Prime Minister's Office said it could not find a government representative to speak to us, either.
Afghan Detainees - Peter Tinsley
For more than a year, political watchers have been anxiously awaiting the release of those thousands of pages of documents from the detainee file. But few would have a deeper interest in them than Peter Tinsley. He is the former chair of Canada's Military Police Complaints Commission. And he spent two years trying to get to the bottom of detainee controversy until the Harper government decided not to renew his position in 2009.
Peter Tinsley is a former international war crimes prosecutor in Bosnia. He was also an unsuccessful candidate for the Liberals in last month's federal election. Mr. Tinsley is currently the Executive Director of the international organization, Institute for Justice Sector Development. We reached him in Prince Edward County, Ontario.