Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Cons vs 50 Former Ambassadors ~ update x 2

Posted by Christian  |  at  9.12.09

After reading liberal catnip's post yesterday titled, The Cons vs 23 Former Ambassadors, I decided to steal borrow her title for this post. Hope you don't mind, catnip.

A group of 23 former Canadian ambassadors released a short letter yesterday chiding the harper government over the personal attacks used in their effort to discredit senior diplomat, Richard Colvin. Today that number has grown.

update As the harper government dig in their heels, the number of former ambassadors rebuking the governments treatment of Colvin has hit 95.
The Harper government responded to Mr. Colvin's testimony with a series of attacks on his credibility, an onslaught that this week brought a letter of protest from former ambassadors against the diplomat's treatment.

On Thursday, the number of former ambassadors putting their names to the letter climbed to 95. The open letter castigates Ottawa for dismissing Mr. Colvin's 2006 and 2007 torture warnings as irrelevant and suspect – a move ex-ambassadors fear casts a chill over the foreign service's ability to report frankly from abroad.

“I have never seen foreign-service officers come together like this before in my life," ex-ambassador Gar Pardy, an organizer, said of the effort.
update 2

Up to 111 as of Friday.


  1. The abuse of Colvin becomes all the more inexcusable as evidence supporting him builds and the case against his testimony properly dwindles into discredited insignificance.

    Cases like these are why we need much stronger freedom-of-information laws in this country and much weaker state secrecy, both on the civil service side as well as on the political side. Colvin must have known what he was in for when he opened his mouth, and he's to be commended for it. But he shouldn't have had to put himself in that position.

    To that end, the retired ambassadors reflect their own experience in a secretive foreign service by saying that the chief lesson of the Colvin affair is that foreign service officers may become afraid to report the truth as they see it to their superiors. I disagree. Surely the first and most important lesson is that the public should not have to rely on a tiny number of courageous leakers to learn what crimes have been committed in our name.

  2. Didn't mr. harper pledge a more transparent and accountable government; from protecting whistle~blowers to the freedom of information act? Instead he performed a 180.

    In my perfect world, David? We would not need to rely on whistle~blowers, simply those with an understanding between right and wrong. Unfortunately, it seems most who reach the top arrive with unhealthy doses of ambition.

  3. "Didn't mr. harper pledge a more transparent and accountable government; from protecting whistle~blowers to the freedom of information act?"

    Campaign promises? Now, there's a low blow! Heh. I completely agree.

  4. I understand one may have to alter or delay some programs for unseen reasons. But harper has actively worked against what he promised. To me, that's the difference.


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