Thursday, October 23, 2008

Kerry Pither on the Iacobucci report

This is from Kerry Pither's blog. Pither wrote a book on the Almalki et al. I don't understand the distinction that Pither says Iacobucci makes between direct and indirect. Even if someone else were involved you could be directly involved and even if someone else were involved you could be still indirectly involved. I thought indirect meant as she mentions in the next sentence that the Canadians did not directly do the torturing (or even order it or the imprisonment). The full text of the report is in the links highlighted in her article. It is in PDF format. The Adobe reader came with my new computer and Vista operating system. However, when I use it I am warned that there are known compatibility problems. Nevertheless it seems to work after a fashion.
It was convenient that the report came out after the election. However, any blaming of government surely applies to the Liberal govt. as much as the Conservatives, although the latter are responsible for the restrictive terms of reference that Iacobucci seems to have interpreted narrowly as well.

October 22, 2008
No wonder they wanted the inquiry kept secret
The Iacobucci Inquiry’s report is very good news for Ahmad El Maati, Abdullah Almalki, and Muayyed Nureddin, and very bad news for the government, CSIS and the RCMP. It details how Canadian agencies’ allegations against the men were were ”inaccurate,” “inflammatory,” and “without investigative foundation,” and the many ways in which these agencies were complicit in their torture.
While former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci uses the term “indirect” to describe Canadian officials’ responsibility for detention and torture in his report, he explains that by indirect, he means that he cannot rule out the possibility that someone else was involved. So Canadian officials were “indirectly” responsible for the men’s torture in Syria (ie., by supplying questions) they weren’t actually wielding the whips and cables used to torture them. To say they were “directly” complicit, or responsible, he says, he would have had to rule out any possibility that anyone else was involved.
The government did its best to minimize the damage yesterday, waiting until late Monday night to tell journalists, and the men and their counsel, when the report would be released, and giving everyone one hour to read it before responding. Then Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day toured every media studio in town, trying to revive allegations against the men by pointing to claims made by the Attorney General in closing submissions to the Inquiry. He neglected to mention that Justice Iacobucci did not accept those arguments.
Read the report, not the submissions, Minister Day, then issue a formal apology to these men.
More to come soon.

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