Tuesday, December 1, 2009
A shameful lack of vision
Andrew Coyne sure tells it like is. Why is a government that so adamantly denies any knowledge of Canadian complicity in torture so desperate to keep us guessing? If they're holding the truth in their back pocket, why are they more determined than ever to block the way forward?
With one Tory MP after another getting in on the act of trying to undermine former diplomat Richard Colvin's testimony (for example, for being filmsy, inconsistent, and unreliable), it took Christie Blatchford two articles to articulate what weeks of inept spinning have failed to do: poke holes in Colvin's credibility. Don Martin of the National Post has done some similar work.
Of course, many questions remain and Blatchford focuses only on Colvin's testimony, not on the bigger torture issue (as one Globe letter writer suggested, her "wheat vs. chaff" comment sounds like she misses the boat entirely on the torture question). We can only hope the Military Police Complaints Commission, which is investigating the allegations, is able to eke out the truth despite the government's best efforts to block and obfuscate.
Once again, we see petty and angry politics trump reasoned, articulate, responsible leadership at the federal level. After all, were the leaders of this government to have the courage of their own convictions, surely they would continue to champion the mission in Afghanistan while rushing to sincerely address the damaging allegations that have surfaced. Yet, we see no leadership; we hear no vision. Instead, they duck and hide behind angry, petty invective disguised as spin.