'Harper Knew About Torture In Afghanistan' - NATO Official
"Harper's office in Ottawa "scripted and fed" the precise wording NATO officials in Kabul used to repudiate allegations of abuse "at a time when it was privately and generally acknowledged in our office that the chances of good treatment at the hands of Afghan security forces were almost zero."
"It was highly unusual. I was told this was the titanic issue for Prime Minister Harper and that every single statement that went out needed to be cleared by him personally," said the former official, who is not Canadian.
"The lines were, 'We have no evidence' of coercive treatment being used against detainees handed over to the Afghans. There were very clear instructions for a blanket denial. The pressure to hold to that line was channelled via Canadian military and diplomatic personnel in Kabul. But it was made clear to us that this was coming from the Prime Minister's Office, which was running the public affairs aspect of Canadian engagement in Afghanistan with a 6,000-mile screwdriver."
The official described the tensions over the fate of detainees as "uniquely Canadian" – despite the fact that doubts over the treatment of Afghan detainees were ubiquitous among all NATO partners with military footprints in Afghanistan."
FLASHBACK - March 2008
'It's not our job to show jails are free of torture' - Ottawa argued in Federal Court!
Related stories ....
-'Grave Allegations' - Ottawa Citizen
-'Time For Truth About Torture' - guardian.co.uk
-'Don't Waterboard The Messenger' - National Post Editorial Board