Wednesday, October 21, 2009
"ick Hillier, when he was Chief of the Defence Staff, says he kept his political masters fully informed about the harsh conditions of detainees in Afghan prisons, even though Prime Minister Stephen Harper and cabinet ministers claim they were told nothing," reports the Globe and Mail today.
Mr. Hillier wrote about this in his new book, "A Soldier First: Bullets, Bureaucrats and the Politics of War."
Former Chief of Defence Staff Rick Hillier knew about the possible abuse and torture of Afghan detainees because he received, and read, reports from former diplomat Richard Colvin, according to MacLean's.
Hillier dutifully passed these reports on to Defence Minister Peter MacKay.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay, in the Globe and Mail article, says: "There are hundreds if not thousands of documents, reports, memos, advice that come through all departments. The fact that one report or a series of reports weren't read by a minister or a deputy minister shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone."
There you have it: the Defence Minister doesn't have the time, the patience or ability to read "one report or a series of reports" that Afghan detainees turned over to local authorities risked being tortured.
What else has the Defence Minister missed on the Afghanistan file? Are there other reports from military commanders in Afghanistan that are gathering dust on the Minister's desk?
Peter MacKay should resign as Defence Minister for such profound incompetence.