The International Criminal Court seems to think that Canadian officials may be complicit in war crimes over the Afghan detainees:
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo says in a documentary soon to be aired on TVO that Canadian officials are not immune to prosecution if there is evidence that crimes were committed by handing over detainees to face torture.
When Toronto filmmaker Barry Stevens asked Moreno-Ocampo in his film, Prosecutor, if the ICC would pursue a country like Canada over its role in Afghanistan, he replied:
“We’ll check if there are crimes and also we’ll check if a Canadian judge is doing a case or not . . . if they don’t, the court has to intervene. That’s the rule, that’s the system, one standard for everyone.”
Moreno-Ocampo could not be reached for further comment about the case Thursday when attempts were made by the Star.
Update: Adrian MacNair is underwhelmed:
As one who has actually been to Afghanistan and seen how the military cares for and treats detainees, it’s a little difficult to swallow the news that the International Criminal Court could investigate Canada for so-called war crimes. I’m not sure what that would accomplish, but it certainly would do nothing to help with the main problem in the country: the insurgency.
I’m unsure as to how or why anybody believes that Canada’s role in Afghanistan is anything more than a humanitarian mission buttressed by security. We’re in the country to provide stabilization for the democratically elected (though admittedly corrupt and fraudulent) government with whom we have specific agreements and rules we must follow.
In providing security to Afghans we are not allowed to hold Afghan nationals for more than 96 hours in our custody, though at the time of the allegations (pre-2007) this was 72 or 48 hours.
It doesn’t seem reasonable to me to expect a foreign military with finite resources to ensure absolute humanitarian oversight of detainees after they’ve been handed over to the Afghan government. That’s like expecting a police officer in Canada to ensure proper oversight of a prisoner he has arrested and brought to justice. Is a police officer morally culpable if a prisoner is raped in prison?