Canada's top soldier, Gen. Walter Natynczyk changed his line on a crucial issue today. While he maintained yesterday that there was no evidence that a Taliban suspect that was abused by the Afghan National Police, he has now revealed that new information contradicts this. What's more, it contradicts the line the government has been adopting to protect itself in the last week or so, namely that there is no conclusive evidence of an instance of torture concerning a detainee transferred to the Afghans by Canadians.
The Opposition has seized on this as yet more proof that Peter Mackay cannot be trusted and should be relieved of his ministerial duties. After all, how can we trust Peter Mackay? We are driven to driven to distrust him and doubt the integrity of his multiple statements on the subject when he is so bluntly corrected.
Some would defend the minister, maintaining that he is in the same position as Natynczyk, and thus could not have known about the information of this incident before him, rendering his statements true to what he knew at the time.
This begs wilful blindness. It is a very great leap of faith to believe that the information the General is referring to is actually new. It would be highly providential and expedient for this information to suddenly emerge the day after the General's testimony.
It would seem therefore that this information is not new per se, but rather new to the General. And if this is the case, Mackay can in now way be exonerated for his untrue comments on this file every since the beginning of the controversy. If then he has lied to the nation in such a way, is it too radical to say that we cannot trust him?
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