December's arctic cold has slipped into the Ottawa Valley; with Parliament in full Christmas recess, the Government has seemingly succeeded in freezing-out any efforts of substance to cleanse the air on Afghan torture.
The Gomery Inquiry into the Liberal sponsorship scandals that followed the near defeat of the anti-separatist forces in the 1995 Quebec Referendum plagued successive Liberal Governments in its wake, ultimately costing Paul Martin the election of January 2006. Prime Minister Stephen Harper learned the lesson well, and he isn't about to allow an inquiry commission to pick through the entrails of whichever errors of judgement and mistakes were made by his then Minister of Defence, Gordon O'Connor, or for that matter the current Minister, Peter MacKay.
As I have noted before: Reality is that any unresolved issues about the treatment of Taliban detainees quite simply count amongst the costs associated with waging war. While it may be scandalizing for Canadians more accustomed to "waging peace"...and it may have driven the media into a frenzied orgy of whistleblower headlines fed by the revelations of diplomat Richard Colvin; that dye was cast the day Canada entered into the War in Afghanistan - That too being, as it turns out, a decision made by Mr. Chretien. Lest we forget!
Arguably Mr. Harper's government has been duped twice before by ill conceived decisions of its own making without the subsequent clamour for Royal Commissions and/or special inquiries. In the spring of 2006 the "new" Conservative Government was sent into a panic and then Foreign Affairs Minister, Peter MacKay, committed millions of tax payer dollars in a frenzy to evacuate thousands of Lebanese/Canadians (most of whom had never lived in Canada) from the shores of a skirmish in Beirut, only to have them return to the middle east weeks later. Much more recently the panic invaded our shores as the wild-eyed neophyte Health Minister, Leona Aglukkag and her ministerial officials, over-managed and overspent a mild outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus into a crisis of such proportions that the media and the nation were spun into a frenzy of long miserable, endless line-ups; vaccine shortages and countless other costly abuses.
If the country hasn't yet clamoured for inquiries into both those affairs: Then why should Mr. Harper be compelled to agree to a commission on detainees...an affair not of his own making which comes (Chretien's lesson teaches), at the potential cost of the next election? Let's not be silly.