"We can't allow things that are inaccurate to stand." — The Word of Our Dan, February 19, 2008.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pease in a pod (XIV)

Steven Chase of The Globe and Mail reports:
An apparent slipup in the federal government’s censoring of Afghan detainee documents shows Ottawa is using its black marker to hide potentially embarrassing information, a military and information law expert says.


The sentences in question describe how detainees began testing and challenging their Canadian captors in early 2008. Prisoners are held in a short-term Forces detention facility before being transferred to Afghan authorities.


Michel Drapeau, a former Forces colonel and a professor of military law, said there’s no justification for withholding this information from Canadians – as one of the censors processing the documents had apparently done.

“If a Taliban intelligence officer reads this, I would be hard-pressed to suggest what he could do with this information,” Mr. Drapeau said. “Is this about national security or potential embarrassment to the government?”
The fall before last witnessed this eerily similar and all-foreshadowy provincial slipuppable episode. CBC's account:
Marshall also said privacy and security issues prevented discussion of passages of the report that had been blacked out.

However, when the government posted the report online, the redacted sections could be read by users with basic computer tools.

Among other things, the passages show that the panel investigating the prisons found that Scoville — who became superintendent of prisons in 2000 — did not have enough experience to have taken on the job.

The report, though, noted that Scoville had trouble getting the support he needed from the provincial government, and found that Scoville was left with the "seemingly insurmountable challenge of trying to move the provincial prison system into the new century."
This corner weighed in at the time, publishing some of the eventually-censored, and not-terribly security-oriented passages in extenso.

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