Mr. Hillier derisively compared the political uproar that surrounded Mr. Colvin's parliamentary testimony to people “howling at the moon” and said nobody ever raised torture concerns with him during the 2006-2007 period in question.At least he didn't call it "fraternity hazing".
“I don't remember reading a single one of those cables [from Mr. Colvin] ... He doesn't stick out in my mind,” Mr. Hillier said of the diplomat's warnings and criticism.
“He appears to have covered an incredibly broad spectrum, much of which I'm not sure he's qualified to talk about.”
The former soldier rejected suggestions Canada was “complicit in any war crimes” – saying Ottawa had a responsible system in place. He also played down the fact Afghan prisoners got hurt in jails.
“Even in our own prisons [in Canada] somebody can get beaten up. We know that.”
- The Globe and Mail
But let's get real: the man is lying to cover his ass:
Retired general Rick Hillier, who led Canada's 2006 military foray into southern Afghanistan, joined the Conservatives in dismissing Mr. Colvin's story. He told a Toronto audience Thursday night that he can't recall ever coming across reports from the diplomat, who was a senior Foreign Affairs staffer in Afghanistan for 17 months.From the Globe and Mail, April 2007:
The Harper government knew from its own officials that prisoners held by Afghan security forces faced the possibility of torture, abuse and extrajudicial killing, The Globe and Mail has learned.
But the government has eradicated every single reference to torture and abuse in prison from a heavily blacked-out version of a report prepared by Canadian diplomats in Kabul and released under an access to information request.
Initially, the government denied the existence of the report, responding in writing that "no such report on human-rights performance in other countries exists." After complaints to the Access to Information Commissioner, it released a heavily edited version this week.
Among the sentences blacked out by the Foreign Affairs Department in the report's summary is "Extrajudicial executions, disappearances, torture and detention without trial are all too common," according to full passages of the report obtained independently by The Globe.
The Foreign Affairs report, titled Afghanistan-2006; Good Governance, Democratic Development and Human Rights, was marked "CEO" for Canadian Eyes Only. It seems to remove any last vestige of doubt that the senior officials and ministers knew that torture and abuse were rife in Afghan jails.