Thursday, April 30, 2009

Modified transfer log with data from the Military Police Complaints Commission

The added information compared to the previous post is from page 13 of the Final Report of the Military Police Complaints Commission of Canada, found here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


As one result of the public hearing held before Justice Lutfy in Vancouver, April 20,in the Federal Court, the following document was made available to me, through the courtesy of Ms. Erin Tully, Counsel for the Respondents.

My understanding is that this is a genuine copy of a Department of National Defence document, although the details of its origin are not clear to me as yet.

The document is of interest for several reasons:

1. It shows precisely the type of information I was seeking in my Access to Information Act request for Operation Medusa in September, 2006, that was the subject of my application for judicial review (Federal Court file T-680-08).

2. It shows that the Department of National Defence kept careful records of all prisoners taken in Afghanistan (and elsewhere) between January 2002, and April, 2006.

3. There are two apparent types of redaction: the identities of the "Accepting Power" (black), and the identities of "Detainees" (white).

4. The notification of the Central Tracing Agency of the International Committee of the Red Cross was carried out in all cases.

5. I was given to understand at the hearing, by counsel for the Respondents, that this type of transfer record does not exist for such prisoners after April 29, 2006, which covers a period of three years of continued operations in Afghanistan. In fact, the log is entirely redacted for dates after April 29.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Notice of a Public Hearing

Monday, April 20, 2009, 9:30 AM
Court 601, The Federal Court of Canada
701 West Georgia, Vancouver

What is this about?

This open hearing is in the Federal Court of Canada in Vancouver, before Chief Justice Allan Lutfy.

The hearing is part of an application for judicial review (Federal Court File T-680-08).

The application is for review of a decision of the Minister of National Defence to deny me information I requested under the Access to Information Act about prisoners taken by Canadian troops in Afghanistan. The information was sought for reassurance that Canada is complying with the Third Geneva Convention of 1949. The basis of the denial was that the information, if released, might "reasonably be expected" to be injurious to the defence of Canada or its allies.

The hearing is open to the public.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

It's All Been Said

“It's all been done. It's all been done. It's all been done before.”
The Bare Naked Ladies

“I expect you will be questioned about the release of the Mosleys. No doubt the pith of your case is health and humanity. You might however consider whether you should not unfold as a background the great principle of habeas corpus and trial by jury, which are the supreme protection invented by the British people for ordinary individuals against the State. The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without judgment by his peers for an indefinite period, is in the highest degree odious, and is the foundation of all totalitarian Governments, whether Nazi or Communist.....Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilisation.”

Winston Churchill, The Second World War, Closing the Ring
Houghton Mifflin Company Boston, 1951, pg.679
Appendix A, Book Two: The release of the Mosleys: Constitutional Issues

“...that hope still burned, the myth that the problem with the ARVN was a lack of training; Americans had been training the Vietnamese army for a decade, and still held to the hope that more training was the solution...”

David Halberstom, The Best and the Brightest
Ballantine Books, New York, 1992
pp 559-560

“But the American officials in supporting the Saigon government insisted that they were defending 'freedom and democracy' in Asia. They left the GIs to discover that the Vietnamese did not fit into their experience of either 'communists' or 'democrats.'
“Under different circumstances this invincible ignorance might not have affected the outcome of the war. The fiction that the United States was defending 'freedom and democracy' might have continued to exist in a sphere undisturbed by reality, a sphere frequented only by those who needed moral justification for the pursuit of what the U.S. Government saw as its strategic interests. Certain 'tough-minded' analysts and officials in any case ignored the moral argument.”

Frances FitzGerald, Fire in the Lake
Vintage Books, New York, 1972
pg. 7

Friday, April 3, 2009

Respondents' Record

Excerpt contining Memorandum of Fact and Law is here.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Applicant's Record - Written Submissions

The "memorandum of fact and law" is here.

The rest of the document is mercifully not posted, all 700-odd pages, and will remain so unless it becomes a matter of National Security.

Resposted from August, 2008