"The suggestions are preposterous."


The Toronto Star's Tonda MacCharles has a profile of Richard Colvin that features comments from an EU diplomat named Michael Semple who served in Afghanistan and knew Colvin there. Semple's comments certainly belie Peter MacKay's attempts to smear Colvin as some kind of lightweight who was duped by the Taliban.

Michael Semple, Colvin's counterpart for the European Union mission in Kabul and an expert on that country, told the Star he was "totally flabbergasted" by the comments of Defence Minister Peter MacKay and cabinet colleague John Baird.

"The suggestions are preposterous."

Colvin, Semple said, was an "absolutely rock solid" diplomatic staffer who stepped up and volunteered to go in as a civilian representative with Canada's Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kandahar after Glyn Berry, a close friend of Semple, was killed by a suicide car bomber outside Kandahar.

Berry had been political director of the reconstruction team, coordinating reconstruction projects in the southern region of Kandahar, and worked night and day to rebuild Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban.

"Glyn sacrificed his life serving Canada and serving that cause, and Richard volunteered to step into his shoes, and for someone to turn around and suggest that somehow Richard is a closet Taliban sympathizer or someone who's `soft on terrorists' - when every waking day in Kandahar when he was there he knew that the Taliban had killed his predecessor - of all the people in the world who are vulnerable to that accusation, Richard's pretty low on the list, I'd have thought.

But it doesn't matter how faithfully you serve this government. If it becomes convenient for them to throw you under a bus, then under the bus you go.

H/t to Toedancer at Bread and Roses.

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Jane Tabor and Jeffery Simpson in the G&M both agree with this .... the attacks on Colvin's credibility are 1) waaaaay off tangent and 2) it is made up of spin and spin only with no substantive factual basis for the attacks.

But pogge, MacKay has already said that it's nothing personal.

Audra's Facebook title for a patch of the Commons debate yesterday: "They're not calling him a liar, just a person who says things that are lies."

Sure, Machismo MacKay is saying its "nothing personal" - that's what all petty and insecure bullies say when they are punching a schoolyard victim in the head: "It's nothing personal, its just that I don't like hearing what you're saying."

MacKay is nothing but a frat-boy piss-ant who is the currently annointed PC-parrot-puppet being sent out to the PMO's bidding. Nothing more than a barnyard cock who struts - all the while shooting blanks!

pogge, for added updated goodness, Scott links to an interesting Star interview with Paul Cavalluzzo, senior counsel to the O'Connor inquiry, who notes that MacKay is ignoring one of the key findings of that inquiry -- that it is very unlikely diplomats are going to be first-hand observers of torture, but for that reason they are supposed to become "analytical" in precisely the ways Colvin did.

MacKay, as ever, is showing his true colours. I met him once, as he came to a seminar class I was in when I was an undergrad. It was just after the PC-Alliance merger, and MacKay made a lot of self-important remarks about Brison's "betrayal"; it was clear enough that he took it personally.

There will be an inquiry, though, and Colvin will likely be completely vindicated. I'd hope that it brings down Harper and MacKay and Baird, but we'll see. At the very least, it should damage Hillier.

Waitaminute. You're saying that just after that piece of business, MacKay had the unleavened self-important anti-introspective gall to accuse someone *else* of betrayal? Wouldn't any normal person, even any normal scoundrel, be kind of avoiding that word 'round about then?
The top Cons really don't have that basic insight most people do that says a bad act is bad because of the nature of the act, no matter who does it. They substitute this thing that says a bad act is one that is bad for them personally--and they really *feel* that way, don't they? Really, if someone saved a busload of orphans through an act that tore up MacKay or Harper or one of those guys' front yard in the process, they'd be livid at the dastardly act of tearing up their front yard. Although they'd pretend otherwise for the cameras. But after they were finished giving the hero her medal, they'd quietly be all "You'll never work in this town again, you yard-wrecking vandal!"

Oh, I was very, very unimpressed. I don't recall his exact choice of words, but that was the gist of it.

When they do get around to passing out medals, and MBE's and OBE's, Richard Colvin should be first in line.

(Agreed, such a presentation will probably not happen in my lifetime).

Richard Colvin demonstrates some things that nobody in the incumbent government does: congruence, principled behavior, and alignment.

By alignment I mean that his logic, his values, and his actions are congruent. He thinks it is right, he feels it is right, and he does something about it.

Come to think of it, that is probably the definition of "whistleblower".

That is a rare quality indeed, and deserving of recognition OTHER than the kind of recognition he is receiving from the party in power.

And, it appears, a quality nonexistent among politicians.

I don't think we are going to get a public enquiry. Such an enquiry would have to be called for by those complicit.

P.S. Read what the Guardian has to say.

The more the Conservatives deny, the more the story will build, and the greater the pressure will be for an enquiry. It will happen. The only question is how much damage it does to the government first. I almost feel inured to the continued tales of corruption, mismanagement, and outright deception and deceit from the CPC, but I feel like this will have more play. Sadly, it won't do anything to help public cynicism.

I would think it would do plenty to help public cynicism--definitely strengthen it even more. Not that it needs the help . . . Ohhh, I see what you meant. Never mind, carry on.


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