Sunday, March 07, 2010

Fisking up and at 'em Attaran/Detainees: CSIS and other things Upperdate

Adrian MacNair deals with the artful professor's latest "revelations" concerning allegations of Afghan detainee abuse (video version here, remember the JTF 2 picture with prisoners is from 2002--not mentioned by the CBC). The CBC story itself may be a scandal since Mr Attaran provides absolutely no evidence to substantiate what he claims to have seen, and no indication of what the documents actually are.

As a friend put it to me:
Disgracefully shoddy journalism or deliberately dishonest scandal-mongering - I can't tell which. All this "What did he know and when did he know it?" rubbish. What does Terry Milewski know about the redacted contents of these emails? What does Attaran know, and when did he know it, and how did he find out?

The very first questions a responsible journalist would have asked Attaran about his outrageous claim is: How do you know this? What evidence do you have? Where did you get it? Milewski asked none of these questions.He just went with what Attaran wanted. If some j-school grad on a summer internship had handed in a story like this to me on city desk, I would have spiked it and told him to find a new line of work.
Then there's another aspect to the Afghan detainee abuse matter that our media manage to ignore--willfully?
Maybe some former Liberal ministers should be worrying about their asses

Facts: The previous Liberal government and Afghan detainees

"Torture in Afghanistan: The Liberals knew" redux

Afghan detainees and the former Liberal government/Human rights Update
(letter in Globe and Mail)
Update: More on the broader detainee issue at a topic thread, with a reference to an alleged CSIS role in interrogating prisoners.

Upperdate: Bruce R. weighs in at Flit on the CSIS angle and other things:
Wrong-tree barking watch

This is an interesting story. Not sure why they're going with the CSIS involvement angle, though. The allegations about commanders putting orderly transfer to the Afghans ahead of intelligence-gathering would be more worth pursuing, I would have thought. Shows what I know.

And from the article, I'm not exactly clear what is is they're accusing CSIS of: all the witness appears to be saying is military police don't interrogate (they don't), that the Canadian Forces in 2007 had no interrogation capability of its own (they didn't) and so would have had to rely on CSIS personnel in theatre if it had done any, and that Afghan government's procedural time limits would have prevented anything more than tactical questioning to establish identity in any case. The upshot being any detainees would have been of limited intelligence value at the time. Anyone who was there surely knows all of this to be true...

...Prof. Wark's idea that Canadians were "outsourcing interrogation to the Afghans" at the time is ludicrous. In order to "outsource" we would actually have had to get something in the way of return or output, presumably. And if there was ever an item of intelligence that came from an Afghan NDS interrogation of a detainee taken on one of our ops, neither I nor my ANA counterpart ever saw it. The NDS weren't big on the whole info-sharing thing to start with, and in my conversations with them at the time were generally bitter that the dysfunctional court system was springing most of their detainees free before THEY could do any questioning, either [emphasis added, not much time for, er, abuse it would seem]...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just more crap from the "if you don't have any facts, just make sh*t up" school of journalism.

Attaran & his fellow traveler Byers have been flogging this dead horse since whenever.

Some old crap from the same old crap dealers.

11:20 a.m., March 07, 2010  
Blogger ArmdRecceBoy said...

Want to do something about it instead of enduring another non-story torqued out of all recognition by Attaran et al? Then demonstrate conclusively that his allegations are patently untrue and make sure as many people as possible (particularly people with CBC e-mail addresses) know it. That will make twice that Attaran has flogged a completely false story and even the worst of the "make it up" school of journos will shy away from him.
I look forward to someone debunking this sh*t bubble.

10:17 p.m., March 07, 2010  

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