Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mulroney Contradicts MacKay

Ever since Peter MacKay has been under fire about allegations of torture in Afghanistan during the period of 2006-2007, he has repeatedly said in the house that the transfer agreement was changed once the government had credible evidence to back up those claims.

From November 25, 2009, Hansard:

Hon. Peter MacKay (Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, CPC):

Mr. Speaker, when officials at Foreign Affairs and officials at the Department of National Defence were in possession of credible allegations, they acted. Going back two and a half years the action began. The action began to clean up the mess that we had inherited from the party opposite. The action began to rewrite the transfer arrangement, to arrange for more prison visits and to train officials inside the prison.

But, here's what David Mulroney said during his opening statement when he testified in front of the special committee today.

From the video (approximately 7 minutes in)

When I took up my responsibilities at Foreign Affairs in February, 2007, the department was already exploring ways of engaging in monitoring and tracking detainees. At the same time, we had an exchange of letters with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, an organization for which we are a major funder, in which the AIHRC agreed to notify Canada should it learn of any mistreatment of Canadian-transferred detainees. In mid-March, we began detailed work to create a detailed contingency plan, a standard operating procedure in the event of well-founded allegations of mistreatment. We did this not because of confirmed instances of real and substantial risk of torture or mistreatment of Canadian-transferred detainees but because it was clear that what we had in place at the time could and should be further reinforced.
One of these men is lying.

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