Monday, December 14, 2009

Current Detainee Transfer Agreement Failing

The Globe has a story on how the current transfer agreement is failing. Seems we really don't know what's happening to those we turn over. What's more, CF troops are reporting that they capture the same enemy fighters again and again.

Like almost every other aspect of this story, those of us who were paying attention knew about this long ago.

Indulge me a moment, please. Here's the bulk of a blog post I wrote in March 2008.

60%-70% of prisoners handed over to Afghan authorities are only held only briefly before they are able to bribe their way out of jail. See:

Q: Why do we fail to follow up on detainees to make sure they do not pay $20 and go back to the Taliban front lines?

A: We are so afraid of confirming that we are in violation of international law that we look the other way while two crimes are committed: bribery and torture.

Q: Why have we given in to Afghan demands that we resume detainee transfers?

A: Afghan soldiers and police only make $4 a day. They need the bribes to survive. Bribery has been an integral part of the Afghan economy for centuries. If we keep the detainees or follow up on their treatment, Afghan soldiers and police lose the opportunity for much needed extra cash.

Many so-called Taliban who are delivered for bounty to NATO forces are not Taliban at all. Tribal and family rivalries routinely see Afghans kidnapped for ransom or turned over to NATO, then by NATO to Afghans. From there, the age old system of bribery, pay-offs and torture goes into effect.

Detainees are released AFTER being tortured sufficiently enough to induce the detainees' relatives (or fellow Taliban) to cough up bribe money.

The failure of the detainee agreement is demonstrably putting out troops at unnecessary risk. Now. Not back in 2002-2006. Now.

Chew on that, Hillier-MacKay-O'Conner-Harper-Cannon-Baird.


Owen Gray said...

This story keeps reminding us about where this government's priorities lie. Their energies are devoted to self promotion. Policy has always been an afterthought.

JimBobby said...

Right you are, Owen. If it was simply politics, it might be forgivable. The detainee issue involves matters of basic human decency and brings shame on all Canadians.

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