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Old 02-15-2010, 04:01 PM   #1
Avalon Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Canada
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Default Canadian Whistler Blowers and other Northern Truths

For awhile now i have been following this story, as many Canadians do. The CBC , the CTV networks report on it less now, but it shook our country when the news broke..

Richard Colvin appeares before the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan where he discussed a signed affidavit alleging that Afghan detainees turned over to Afghanistan prisons by Canadian soldiers were tortured

We did what???

Who is this Richard Colvin guy??

His friends describe him as..

Driven, committed to Canada's mission in Afghanistan. Knows his stuff. Takes copious notes. Sociable, yet discreet. Above all, discreet.

Hardly the portrait of a rogue field officer whose reports warning that Afghan detainees faced likely torture could not be deemed "credible"

The news stories kept coming..

On October 6, 2009, the lawyer for Colvin (called to testify at a hearing into allegations of Afghan prison torture) said that the Conservative government was trying to keep her client silent. In a letter sent to the Canadian Department of Justice and obtained by CBC News, lawyer Lori Bokenfohr said the government invoked the national security order in response to Colvin's decision to co-operate with the Military Police Complaints Commission.

During his testimony in November 2009, Colvin said Canada did not monitor detainee conditions in Afghanistan and that detainees transferred by Canadians to Afghan prisons were likely tortured. "According to our information, the likelihood is that all the Afghans we handed over were tortured", Colvin said. "For interrogators in Kandahar, it was a standard operating procedure". Colvin worked in Kandahar for the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2006 before moving to Kabul, where he was second-in-command at the Canadian Embassy. He said his reports were ignored and he was eventually told to stop putting the reports in writing.

i do not understand the surprise at this information.....but it shook up the country..

On December 30, 2009 Prime Minister Harper sought his second prorogation, which, according to his spokesperson, was to consult with Canadians about the economy. However, "...the move triggered immediate condemnation from opposition MPs who labelled the Conservative government's move an 'almost despotic' attempt to muzzle parliamentarians amid controversy over the Afghan detainees affair."This triggered a protest of thousands of citizens

In a display that was anything but apathetic, thousands of Canadians of varying political stripes clogged city streets across Canada demanding Prime Minister Stephen Harper reopen Parliament and get back to work.

Hordes of protesters crammed Toronto’s downtown square, cradling signs denouncing the Prime Minister’s decision to suspend Parliament until early March.

More than 3,000 people closed down a busy section of Yonge Street to sing, march and chant anti-Harper slogans.

“These demonstrations that are happening all over the country are Canadians’ way of saying ‘you are wrong, you are completely wrong about us. You pushed us, you pushed us and now we’re mad,” said an impassioned Andrea Dale, 46, who works in the financial sector.

OK 3000 doesn't seem like a lot...don't forget we are the second largest country , in landmass.. but only about 30 million people..

Ok Back to our Whistle Blower...

Richard Colvin...

from Wiki..

Colvin was born in 1969 in a village near Coventry, Great Britain, where he lived until the age of 16, when his family migrated to Canada, settling near Waterdown, Ontario. His father was a marketing executive for farm machinery manufacturer Massey Ferguson. His uncle David Colvin worked for the British foreign service and ended up ambassador to Belgium. Colvin attended high school in Waterdown and studied international relations and Russian language at the University of Toronto, graduating with distinction.

He applied to join the foreign service straight out of school, but failed the exam, and obtained a job as reporter for the weekly newspaper USSR Business Reports in Moscow. After a year he returned to Canada, completing a masters of journalism at the University of Western Ontario in 1994, where he graduated at the top of his class. In 1992 he took the exam to enter the foreign service for a second time. This time he succeeded, ranking first out of 7,000 applicants.

He married a Russian woman and took a job in Ottawa working on Canada-U.S. defence relations. In 2002, he moved to Ramallah in the Palestinian territories, where he served as head of a new political mission in the wake of Yasser Arafat's death. His marriage failed, and he returned to Canada in 2005, moving to Calgary. During a vacation in Whistler he was offered a job in Afghanistan .[/I]

Ok..Offered a job while on vacation...sounds a little risky , non?

Well ofcourse after his testimony...the Conservatives went into HyperActive Mode....

[/I]The Canadian government's attack on the credibility of a man whom several colleagues described as a consummate professional, and ministerial suggestions he is spouting Taliban "lies" about the treatment of detainees, have shocked those who worked along side Colvin in Afghanistan.

Michael Semple, Colvin's counterpart for the European Union mission in Kabul and an expert on that country, told the Star he was "totally flabbergasted" by the comments of Defence Minister Peter MacKay and cabinet colleague John Baird.

"The suggestions are preposterous."

Colvin, Semple said, was an "absolutely rock solid" diplomatic staffer who stepped up and volunteered to go in as a civilian representative with Canada's Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar after Glyn Berry, a close friend of Semple, was killed by a suicide car bomber outside Kandahar. [/I]

So...his close friend was killed...and then he volunteered to go in?

[/I]Life as a foreign service officer in a war zone like Afghanistan, without family and with a single-minded focus on work, is grueling.[/I]

i would say, not just grueling..but impossible...how many foreign service officers have stable family lives???

[/I]Colvin, Semple said, was part of an informal peer group of representatives of "like-minded countries" – people who are "mid-level in their careers who still have the energy to work hard ... and throw themselves into their job."[/I]

Sounds like a nice boys club...NWO kinda style..*laughs*

[/I]He was known as a habitual and copious note taker, quietly absorbing and recording data as he went about the business of getting to know and understand the file.[/I]

Good habit to have in that line of work...wouldn't you say?

Now of course comes the attacks..

[/I]OTTAWA–Richard Colvin at age 40 now holds the dubious and unlikely title of "whistleblower."

It's a label the 15-year veteran of Canada's foreign service, currently the deputy head of security and intelligence in Canada's embassy in Washington, might find fatal to his career.

Although the Conservatives promised protection for whistleblowers, Defence Minister Peter MacKay, once foreign affairs minister and Colvin's political boss high on the chain of command, clearly has Colvin in his sights.

He attacked Colvin's credibility after the diplomat's testimony that suggested widespread Canadian knowledge and cover-up of the abuse of Afghan prisoners transferred by Canadians to local authorities, and said Colvin "never raised the issue with me."

"Mr. Colvin is a member of the public service who has a job in Washington. As far as I'm concerned his job is there for him," said MacKay. But he also added: "I suspect that promotion (to Washington) took place, or it did take place, long before he gave his evidence yesterday." [/I]

Attacked his credibility...wow..how original...

You think the ptb's would come up with some new tactics..

[/I]"The fate that generally awaits anybody involved in whistleblowing is your career is basically dead-ended, whether it's overt or covert," says Cutler, who places blame on top bureaucrats, not politicians. "The culture hasn't changed."[/I]

This is something many Canadians will watch closely....(after the distraction of the Vancouver games of course).. i wonder though how many will "see"what is really going on...
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